ROBERT THE BRUCE (narrator): I shall tell you of William Wallace. Historians from England will say I am a liar, but history is written by those who have hanged heroes. The king of Scotland had died without a son, and the King of England, a cruel pagan known as Edward the Longshanks, claimed the throne of Scotland for himself. Scotland's nobles fought him, and fought each other over the crown. So Longshanks invited them to talks of truce, no weapons, one page only. Among the farmers of that shire was Malcolm Wallace, a commoner with his own lands. He had two sons: John and William. (Throughout the narration, Scottish nobles are arriving out of the mist. ROBERT THE BRUCE's father, with his page, stops his horse on a rise. A rival noble and page stop on a distant rise. Cut to Wallace's farm. Malcolm and John are riding to MacAndrews.) MALCOLM: (stopping to speak to William who is running after them) I told you to stay. WILLIAM: Well, I finished my work. Where are we going? MALCOLM: MacAndrews. He was supposed to visit when the gathering was over. WILLIAM: Can I come? MALCOLM: No. Go home, boy. WILLIAM: But I want to go. MALCOLM: Go home William or you'll feel the back of my hand. JOHN: Away hame (home), William. (Malcolm and John arrive at MacAndrews', finding that there is only silence.) MALCOLM: MacAndrews; MacAndrews. (Malcolm and John enter the barn to find everyone at the gathering hanged) Holy Jesus! (Malcolm hears someone at the back door. He grabs John's axe, assuming it might be an English soldier still lurking. Instead he finds William. When Malcolm approaches William, the boy panics and runs off, running into the hanging corpses.) WILLIAM: Ah! (screams) MALCOLM: It's all right! JOHN: William! William! MALCOLM: It's all right. It's all right. Easy lad. (William is asleep and dreaming) DEAD PAGE BOY:: William! (in Wallace's house) MALCOLM: I say we hit back now. MACCLANNOUGH:: We cannot fight them. It's suicide. CAMPBELL: Wallace is right. We fight them! MACCLANNOUGH:: Every nobleman who had the will to fight was at that meeting. We cannot beat an army. Not with the 50 farmers we can raise. MALCOLM: We do not have to beat them. Just fight them. Now who's with me. Campbell (among others): I am, Wallace. MACCLANNOUGH:: Alright, alright. MALCOLM: Ready. (Next morning, Malcolm comes out of the house and gets his hidden sword from the roof's thatch. William is sitting on his father's horse.) MALCOLM: Where do you think you're going? WILLIAM: I'm going with you. MALCOLM: Oh, you're going with me, are you? And what are you going to do? WILLIAM: I'm gonna help. MALCOLM: Aye, and a good help you'd be, too. (He gets William down from the horse.) But I need you to stay here and look after the place for me while I'm away. WILLIAM: I can fight! MALCOLM: I know. I know you can fight. But it's our wits that make us men. See you tomorrow. JOHN: (laying a hand on William's shoulder, then tossing his head affectionately) Ha! (William watches his father and brother ride away.) (English soldiers ride by young William and Hamish.) HAMISH: English! WILLIAM: Get down! HAMISH: With your father and brother gone, they'll kill us and burn the farm. WILLIAM: It's up to us, Hamish. BOTH BOYS: Ahhhh! (Throws rocks at sheep skulls) (Hamish misses his throw. William hits both of the skulls.) HAMISH: (looking at William) Nah! (He knocks William down with a punch. Then they continue to horse around) (That evening, William walks home, stopping to look at it from a distance. No one is home.) (William, having fallen asleep at the table, wakes up the next morning. He stretches and looks around.) WILLIAM: Da? (He walks to the door and calls out) Da? (William goes out side to get water and sees the men returning from battle. He looks close and realizes that there are two missing and the two are his father and brother. William turns around afraid to hear the bad news.) CAMPBELL: William, come here lad. (William continues to do his work without turning around.) (Later, in the house, William watches as his dead father and brother are being washed for burial. William places his hand on his father's chest, staring at the lifeless body.) (At funeral) PRIEST:: (speaks Latin) EVERYONE: Amen. (Everyone from the funeral leaves but young Murron turns around, picks a thistle and gives it to William. After she leaves, a man rides up) ARGYLE: William, I am your uncle, Argyle. (Gets down from his horse and takes William's face in his hand.) You have the look of your mother. (That night, in William's house, over dinner.) ARGYLE: We'll stay here tonight. Tomorrow you'll come home with me. WILLIAM: I don't want to leave. ARGYLE: You didn't want your father to die either, did ya? But it happened. Did the priest give a poetic benediction? "The Lord bless thee and keep thee"? WILLIAM: It was in Latin. ARGYLE: You don't speak Latin? Well that's something we shall have to remedy, isn't it. (After dinner; Argyle praying with William) ARGYLE: The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord cause his light to shine on thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee. And give thee peace. Amen. (William dreams) Dead MALCOLM: Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it. (William wakes up to the sound of thunder and bagpipes. He goes outside, joining his uncle, who is listening to Campbell play the bagpipes.) WILLIAM: What are they doing? ARGYLE: Saying goodbye in their own way. Playing outlawed tunes on outlawed pipes. It was the same for me and your daddy, when our father was killed. (Noticing William's interest in the sword he's holding, Argyle hands it to him.) ARGYLE: First, learn to use this (taps William's forehead), then I'll teach you to use this (Argyle lifts the sword). (Argyle and William leave the farm with William looking back in sorrow.) ROBERT THE BRUCE (narrator): Many years later, Edward the Longshanks, King of England, supervised the wedding of his eldest son, who would succeed him to the throne. As bride for his son, Longshanks had chosen the daughter of his rival, the King of France. It was widely whispered that for the princess to conceive, Longshanks would have to do the honors himself. That may have been what he had in mind all along. (Wedding ceremony. The priest lifts Isabella's veil. Prince Edward is shocked and distressed. He looks over his shoulder, past Longshanks, to his friend Phillip, who returns an intimate smile. The prince reluctantly kisses his bride. It's a hurried, embarrassed kiss on the cheek. Isabella looks up at the priest in confusion and disbelief.) (In Longshank's Council Chamber) LONGSHANKS: Scotland; my land. The French will grovel to anyone with strength, but how will they believe our strength when we cannot rule the whole of our own island? (Princess Isabella enters the chamber) LONGSHANKS: (to Princess Isabella) Where is my son? ISABELLA: Your pardon, my Lord. He asked me to come in his stead. LONGSHANKS: I sent for him and he sends you? ISABELLA: Shall I leave, my Lord? LONGSHANKS: If he wants his Queen to rule when I am gone, then by all means stay, and learn how. Please. LONGSHANKS: Nobles. Nobles are the key to the door of Scotland. Grant our nobles lands in the north. Give their nobles estates here in England, and make them too greedy to oppose us. ADVISOR: But sire, our nobles will be reluctant to uproot. New lands mean new taxes, and they are already taxed for the war in France. LONGSHANKS: Are they? Are they? The trouble with Scotland is that it's full of Scots. (Everyone laughs except Princess Isabella) Perhaps the time has come to reinstitute an old custom. Grant them prima noctes: first night. When any common girl inhabiting their lands is married, our nobles shall have sexual rights to her on the night of her wedding. If we can't get them out, we'll breed them out. That should fetch just the kind of lords we want to Scotland, taxes or no taxes. ADVISOR: A most excellent idea, sire. LONGSHANKS: (curtly) Is it? ROBERT THE BRUCE (narrator): Now in Edinburgh were gathered the council of Scottish nobles. Among these was Robert, the 17th Earl of Bruce, the leading contender for the crown of Scotland. (In the castle courtyard, Robert greets incoming riders, then returns to Lords Craig and Mornay.) ROBERT THE BRUCE: I hear that Longshanks has granted prima noctes. CRAIG: Clearly meant to draw more of his supporters here. ROBERT THE BRUCE: My father believes that we must lull Longshanks into our confidence by neither supporting his decree nor opposing it. CRAIG: A wise plan. And how is your father? We missed him at the council. ROBERT THE BRUCE: Ah. His affairs in France keep him long overdue. (Looks up to see his father walking on the battlement.) But he sends his greetings, and he says that I speak for all the Bruces, and for Scotland. (William, now a man, returns to his boyhood home and smells the air.) (Outdoor wedding celebration. Music is playing and people are dancing. Murron watches as William walks among the crowd. A large man steps in front of William and drops a large rock at his feet.) MAN: Ah, it's all over now. WILLIAM: You dropped your rock. (To the man standing on the other side of the rock.) HAMISH: Test of manhood. WILLIAM: You win. HAMISH: Call it a test of soldiery, then. The English won't let us train with weapons, so we train with stones. WILLIAM: Well, a test of a soldier is not in his arm, it's here. (William points to his head) HAMISH: No, it's here. (Hamish points to his arm, then punches William, knocking him to the ground.) WILLIAM: Hamish? HAMISH: Mm-hmm. (Winking at William) (William throws the large rock first, the crowd approves.) CAMPBELL: Here you go, son. Show him how. Come on! MORRISON: Come on, Hamish! (Hamish throws the rock further.) CAMPBELL: Haha, my boy! WILLIAM: That's a good throw. HAMISH: Aye. Aye, it was. WILLIAM: I was wondering if you could do that when it matters. As it, as is matters in battle. Could you crush a man with that throw? HAMISH: I could crush you, like a worm. WILLIAM: You could? HAMISH: Aye. WILLIAM: Well then do it. (Asking the crowd) Would you like to see him crush me like a worm? (William walks to the spot where Hamish's last throw landed, picking up an egg sized rock on the way.) CROWD: Aye! WILLIAM: Come do it. HAMISH: You'll move. WILLIAM: I will not. CAMPBELL: (handing Hamish a large rock) He'll move. Come on there, boy. (Hamish misses) MAN: Well done. (William hits Hamish in the forehead with the small rock) CAMPBELL: Fine display, young Wallace. WILLIAM: You alright? You look a wee bit shaky. HAMISH: I should have remembered the rocks. WILLIAM: Aye, you should have. Get up you big heap. It's good to see you again. HAMISH: Aye, welcome home. Oh, me head. WILLIAM: Well, you should have moved. (William walks up to Murron and is about to ask her to dance.) TOOTHLESS GIRL: William, will you dance with me? WILLIAM: Of course I will. (English ride in on horses) LORD BOTTOMS: I have come to claim the right of prima noctes. As lord of these lands, I will bless this marriage by taking the bride into my bed on the first night of her union. BRIDE'S FATHER: O' by God, you will not! (Morrison swings at an English soldier. English soldiers hold him with knives to his throat.) LORD BOTTOMS: It is my noble right. (The bride gently moves the knife from her husband's throat with her hand and then whispers something along the lines of "I will be okay. I love you. I will be okay" and kisses him. Then the English soldiers ride off with her.) SMYTHE: Ha ha. Ha ha. (Later, William stands in his former house while the rain drizzles through gaping holes in the thatched roof.) (William rides to the MacClannough residence) WILLIAM: Good evening, sir. MACCLANNOUGH:: Ah, young Wallace. Grand soft evening, huh? WILLIAM: Aye, 'tis that. I was wondering if I might have a word with your daughter. MACCLANNOUGH:: What do you want to have a word with her about? WILLIAM: Well, ah, Murron, would you like to come and ride with me on this fine evening? MOTHER MACCLANNOUGH:: In this? You're out of your mind. WILLIAM: Oh, it's good Scottish weather, madam. The rain is fallin' straight down, well slightly to the side like. MOTHER MACCLANNOUGH:: She cannot go with you. WILLIAM: No? MOTHER MACCLANNOUGH:: O' no the now, anyway. MACCLANNOUGH:: No the now. WILLIAM: No the now? MACCLANNOUGH:: No the now. We'll see you later. MURRON: 'O the weather's just fine. It's hardly raining. (Murron runs from the house and joins William on his horse.) MOTHER MACCLANNOUGH:: (calling out to her daughter as she and William ride away.) Did you no hear what I said? MACCLANNOUGH:: Murron MOTHER MACCLANNOUGH:: Now get-- (turns to her husband) It's you she takes after. (William and Murron ride off to the top of the mountain) WILLIAM: How did you know me after so long? MURRON: Why, I didn't. WILLIAM: No? MURRON: It's just that I saw you staring at me and I didn't know who you were. WILLIAM: I'm sorry, I suppose I was. Are you in the habit of riding off in the rain with strangers? MURRON: It was the best way to make you leave. WILLIAM: Well, if I can ever work up the courage to ask you again, I'll send you a written warning first. MURRON: 'O it wouldn't do you much good. I can't read. WILLIAM: Can you not? MURRON: No. WILLIAM: Well that's something we shall have to remedy, isn't it. MURRON: You're going to teach me to read, then? WILLIAM: Ah, if you like. MURRON: Aye. WILLIAM: In what language? MURRON: Ah, you're showing off now. WILLIAM: That's right. Are you impressed yet? MURRON: No. Why should I be? WILLIAM: (in French) Yes. Because every single day I thought about you. MURRON: Do that standing on your head and I'll be impressed. WILLIAM: My kilt will fly up but I'll try. MURRON: You certainly didn't learn any manners on your travels. WILLIAM: Well, the French and the Romans have far worse manners than I. MURRON: You've been to Rome? WILLIAM: Aye, my uncle took me on a pilgrimage. MURRON: What was it like? WILLIAM: (in French) Not nearly as beautiful as you. MURRON: What does that mean? WILLIAM: Beautiful. But I belong here. (Back at Murron's home; night. William drops Murron off. She waits, hoping to be kissed.) MOTHER MACCLANNOUGH:: (calling from inside the house) Murron, come in now. (Murron starts to leave but William stops her, handing her a cloth he has kept in his shirt. She opens it to find the thistle, now dried and pressed, that she had given him when they were children. At first she doesn't understand, but when she remembers, she smiles to think that he has kept it all these years.) (The next day William is patching his roof when MacClannough and Campbell ride up to him.) WILLIAM: Sir, I know it was strange of me to invite Murron to ride last night, but I assure you I-- CAMPBELL: MacClannough's daughter is another matter. I've come to fetch you to our meeting. WILLIAM: What kind of meeting? CAMPBELL: The secret kind. MACCLANNOUGH:: Your meetings are a waste of time, Campbell. CAMPBELL: (to William) Your father was a fighter, and a patriot. WILLIAM: I know who my father was. I came back home to raise crops, and God willing a family. If I can live in peace, I will. CAMPBELL: (to another man) Go on. MACCLANNOUGH:: You say you want to stay out of the troubles? WILLIAM: Aye. MACCLANNOUGH:: If you can prove it, you may court my daughter. Until you prove it, my answer is no. WILLIAM: No? MACCLANNOUGH:: (as he rides off to join the other riders) No Wallace, no. WILLIAM: Didn't I just prove it? MACCLANNOUGH:: No. WILLIAM: No? MACCLANNOUGH:: (calling out) No. (William calls Murron out by throwing pebbles at Murron's back door. She comes out and they run into a grove to be alone and talk.) WILLIAM: Of course, running a farm is a lot of work, but that will all change when my sons arrive. MURRON: So, you've got children? WILLIAM: Oh not yet, but I was hoping that you could help me with that. MURRON: So you want me to marry you, then? WILLIAM: Well, that's a bit sudden but alright. MURRON: Is that what you call a proposal? WILLIAM: I love you. Always have. I want to marry you. (They kiss) WILLIAM: Is that a yes? MURRON: Aye, that's a yes. WILLIAM: Is it? (One day shortly after, in the bottom of a basket of furs Murron is carrying, she finds a pictogram. She looks around and sees William on horseback in the meadow. She waves to him and he waves back. Then her father looks, but William is gone.) (That evening, William and Murron meet secretly in the woods.) WILLIAM: We best hurry. He'll be waiting. MURRON: Wait. WILLIAM: Where are you going? (She runs behind a tree and returns with a small bundle.) WILLIAM: What's that? MURRON: You'll see. (In the woods under cover of night, they stand before a priest. Murron is now wearing a finely embroidered smock and a simple veil.) WILLIAM: (to Priest) Father. WILLIAM: (to Murron as the priest wraps their hands together with a swath of tartan) I will love you my whole life; you and no other. MURRON: (handing William a cloth embroidered with a thistle pattern) And I you; you and no other forever. PRIEST: (speaks Scots Gaelic) (Privately, William and Murron spend their honeymoon in the woods. Next morning, in the woods, Murron helps William dress. They kiss.) (Later in the morning, in town William walks up to Murron. Smythe watches them.) WILLIAM: When am I gonna see you again? Tonight? MURRON: I can't. WILLIAM: Why not? MURRON: My dad's growin' suspicious. WILLIAM: Growin' suspicious, is he? Wouldn't have anything to do with that. When? When? MURRON: Tonight. WILLIAM: Tonight? MURRON: Aye. (The two go their separate ways. Murron is carrying a basket of vegetables.) SMYTHE: Look lively, sergeant. (Smythe walks to Murron with two other soldiers in the back.) SMYTHE: Where are you going lassie? Ooh, that looks heavy. Let me help you. MURRON: That's fine. SMYTHE: I'm not going to steal it. 'O, you remind me of my daughter back home. (She tries to lose him, but he finds her.) SMYTHE: Hello lassie. (Smythe throws the basket from her. In defense, Murron hits Smythe in the face. He throws her into one of the huts and attempts to rape her. She is making a lot of noise.) SOLDIER: Keep it quiet, Smythe. SMYTHE: You bitch. (Murron bites his cheek, drawing blood. Smythe hits her in the face.) SMYTHE: Ah, you bitch. (One of the soldiers with Smythe gets hit by a rock thrown from behind by William as he runs down the path toward them. William then knocks the sergeant aside and grabs Smythe, throwing him against a wall, dazing him.) WILLIAM: (helping Murron stand up and walk) Are you alright? Alright? Come on. Are you alright? MURRON: Aye. WILLIAM: (smelling trouble and coming upon a horse, he asks Murron) Can you ride? MURRON: Aye. (William puts Murron on a horse, and is about to get on.) SMYTHE: (screaming at William) Come back here, you bastard. Raise the alarm. Help! WILLIAM: (to Murron) Meet me at the grove. Ride. (He swats the horse and Murron rides away.) SMYTHE: (trying to stop Murron) They're getting away. (He falls on his face.) SOLDIER #1: Go around back! SOLDIER #2: Get him! SOLDIER #3: Come on. (Soldiers run toward William, who kicks Smythe, then climbs over a hut in time to see Murron ride off. He is relieved. Then he grabs a lone soldier and shoves him into a hut.) (Unknown to William, a soldier clotheslines Murron with his spear, knocking her off the horse. Murron is captured.) (William comes out of the hut, dressed as an English soldier, and escapes into the woods.) WILLIAM: (taking off the soldier's tunic, calls out) Murron? Murron? (Back in town, Murron is tied to a stake. The magistrate has assembled the townspeople and soldiers around him.) MAGISTRATE: All of you know full well the great pains I've always taken never to be too strict, too rigid, with the application of our laws. And as a consequence, have we not learned to live together in relative peace and harmony? Huh? And this day's lawlessness is how you repay my leniency. Well you leave me with little choice. An assault on the king's soldiers is the same as an assault on the king himself. (Magistrate draws his dagger. Smythe shuts his eyes, feeling guilty of the consequences he created. The magistrate slits Murron's throat.) MAGISTRATE: (looking in the direction William left) Now, let this scrapper come to me. (Later the English soldiers watch as William slowly rides into Lanark.) WATCHMAN: Sir! (The magistrate, from his place in the fort, looks out for William.) Corporal: There. (Points at William, who is slowly riding toward them, his hands held out, palms up, showing that he is unarmed.) (As William approaches a couple of soldiers, he slowly raises his hands behind his neck. When one of the soldiers takes the reigns of William's horse, William hits him in the head with a flail pulled from inside his shirt.) (Fighting starts. Campbell and Hamish show up, and the townspeople join in with rocks and farm implements.) MAGISTRATE: (in his fort, obviously worried) Corporal, summon archers on the tower, now. (Arrows are showering down on the towns people. During the fight, Campbell gets hit by an arrow.) HAMISH: (as he tries to pull the arrow out) Hold still, father. CAMPBELL: (smacks Hamish in the head) Idiot boy! (Pushes Hamish away and breaks the arrow himself.) (William sneaks to the back, climbing up into the fort, killing both of the archers. The fighting continues and the Scots break open the fort's gate. One soldier is left with the magistrate. He surrenders as the Scots close in, surrounding them.) HAMISH: Father, how are you? (The Magistrate and William share a silent moment, then William kicks him down some primitive steps, grabs him by the shirt and drags him to the stake Murron had been tied to. William cuts the Magistrates throat without saying a word. He then leans down and picks up the swath of tartan that had, at his wedding, bond his hand to Murron's. He walks away and stands alone on a rise, looking off in the distance.) CAMPBELL: MacAulish, MacAulish! CROWD OF SCOTSMEN: MacAulish, MacAulish, WALLACE, WALLACE! (Over his shoulder William looks at the crowd.) (Murron's Funeral) PRIEST: (speaks Latin) MOTHER MACCLANNOUGH:: (crying) (William leans down to Murron and kisses her for the last time. As Murron's corpse is lowered in the ground, Mother MacClannough wails. William walks over to the MacClannoughs, bowing down to the father, and is forgiven.) (In town that evening, William, in solitude, contemplate's Murron's thistle embroidery, now bloodstained.) CAMPBELL: Whatcha waiting for, boy? (Waiting for Hamish to sterilize his wound with a red hot poker.) HAMISH: (handing the poker to Morrison) Here. You can do it. I'll hold him down. MORRISON: (handing it off to Madbaker.) Here. You can do it. I'll hold him down. CAMPBELL: Pour it straight in the wound, boy. I know it seems like a waste of good whiskey, but indulge me. (Madbaker pours whiskey on top of the wound. The red hot poker is inserted. Campbell screams with a frightening yell.) HAMISH: Hold him! Hold him! MADBAKER/FLAGMAN:: Now let him go. Sorry. (Campbell jumps to his feet and punches Madbaker, knocking him out.) CAMPBELL: It'll wake you up in the morning, boy. (Everyone laughs.) Watch guard: There's somebody coming. MORRISON: Arm yourselves. HAMISH: (to William) There's somebody coming. CAMPBELL: MacGregors, from the next clan. MACGREGOR: We heard about what was happening, and we don't want you amadans thinking you can have your fun without us. WILLIAM: Go home. Some of us are in this. We can't help that now. But you can help yourselves. Go home. MACGREGOR: We'll have no homes left when the English garrison from the castle comes through and burns us out. And they will. CAMPBELL: (patting MacGregor on the back) Welcome! (William welcomes MacGregor in the same manner.) (William and his men ford a river, cross mountains, running.) (At the fort of Lord Bottoms, who previously took the bride from the wedding, a group of soldiers are seen approaching.) ENGLISH SOLDIER: (on the battlement, calls out) Patrol returning, my Lord. (Bottoms walks the battlement, looking up at the patrol, then takes the stairs down. The patrol arrives and its leader approaches the Lord.) LORD BOTTOMS: So, what news? (William pulls off his helmet and hits him. Dressed as English, the Scots catch the soldiers off guard and pin them.) LORD BOTTOMS: (shouting so all his men can hear and have confidence) I have dispatched 100 soldiers to Lanark. They will be returning now. WILLIAM: Were they dressed like this? Actually, it was more like 50. (Turns to Morrison now coming up behind him) Make it quick. MORRISON: (to Bottoms) Do you remember me? LORD BOTTOMS: I never did her any harm. It was my right. MORRISON: Your right? Well I'm here to claim the right of a husband. (Morrison kills the Lord with a ball and chain.) WILLIAM: (shouting so all the fort can hear) I am William Wallace, and the rest of you will be spared. Go back to England, and tell them there that Scotland's daughters and her sons are yours no more. Tell them Scotland is free. (turning around to leave, to his men) Burn it. (The Scots leave with the fort in flames.) (In Longshank's castle, the king walks into his throne room to find the Prince and his followers shooting arrows at a straw target resting on the throne. Isabella is there, too. The Prince shoots and is applauded by the courtiers. Phillip approaches to say something but, seeing the king, backs away. Clearly Longshanks is not pleased.) LONGSHANKS: Scottish rebels have routed one of my garrisons and murdered the noble lord. PRINCE: I heard. This Wallace is a brigand, nothing more. LONGSHANKS: And how would you deal with this brigand? PRINCE: Like any common thief. Have the local magistrate arrest him and punish him accordingly. LONGSHANKS: Leave us. (Everyone leaves except Isabella and Phillip. The latter hides himself in a place to watch. Prince Edward is confused, not knowing what to expect. Longshanks suddenly strikes the Prince, knocking him to the floor.) LONGSHANKS: Wallace has already killed the magistrate and taken control of the town. Stand up. Stand up. (He reaches down to get the frightened Prince to his feet. He grabs him by the throat.) In the morning, I depart for France to press our rights there, and I leave you here to quell this little rebellion, understood? Is it? One day you will be a king. At least try to act like one. (The King leaves and Isabella hurries over to comfort the Prince.) PRINCE: Get away from me. (to Phillip) Convene my military council. (The distressed Isabella is approached by her maid and closest companion, Nicolette.) NICOLETTE: (in French, trying to comfort Isabella but only making her cry) I hope your husband goes to Scotland and meets Wallace, and then you'll be a widow. (English light calvary burn a small village. Then on the misty countryside, they spot a small band of Scots.) LORD DOLECROFT:: (to his men) After them. (The light cavalry chases the Scots, who are on foot, into a box canyon.) LORD DOLECROFT:: (to the Scots) No point resisting. You're outnumbered and trapped. Now where are the rest of you? Where's Wallace? (A rock hits his helmet. He looks to the rim above. Wallace and the others are there. Wallace and Hamish wave.) (At the Bruce's castle, Robert is led up some tower stairs to his father's room by the leper's caretaker, who immediately leaves. Behind a curtain, the leper is sitting at a desk, writing.) ROBERT: Father? LEPER: Ah, come in, come in. ROBERT: A rebellion has begun. LEPER: Under whom? ROBERT: A commoner named William Wallace. (The leper stands and walks out from behind the curtain, thinking.) LEPER: You will embrace this rebellion. Support it from our lands in the north. I will gain English favor by condemning it, and ordering it opposed from our lands in the south. Sit down. Stay a while. ROBERT: (slumping into a chair) This Wallace, he doesn't even have a knighthood, but he fights with passion and he inspires. LEPER: (laughs) And you wish to charge off and fight as he did. So would I. ROBERT: Well, maybe it's time. LEPER: (sitting, getting serious) It is time to survive. You're the 17th Robert Bruce. The 16 before you passed you land and title because they didn't charge in. Call a meeting of the nobles. ROBERT: But they do nothing but talk. LEPER: Rightly so. They're as rich in English titles and lands as they are in Scottish, just as we are. You admire this man, this William Wallace. Uncompromising men are easy to admire. He has courage, so does a dog. But it is exactly the ability to compromise that makes a man noble. And understand this: Edward Longshanks is the most ruthless king ever to sit on the throne of England. And none of us, and nothing of Scotland will remain, unless we are as ruthless. Give ear to our nobles. Knowing their minds is the key to the throne. (William and his men are fighting against the English troops at a small village) (In a passage of Longshanks' castle, the Prince, Phillip and other young courtiers are walking. Two are carrying a full-length mirror, in which the Prince and Phillip are admiring themselves. The Prince stops them to adjust the belt of Phillip's gaily colored tunic.) PRINCE: Wait. Wait. Look. This is out and this is left. (to the people holding the mirror) Carry on. Carry on. (Isabella and Nicolette follow, strolling, not in any hurry to keep up with the men, who turn a corner and disappear. Their following conversation is spoken in French.) NICOLETTE: When the king returns, he will bury them in those new clothes. Scotland is in chaos. Your husband is secretly sending an army north. ISABELLA: How do you know this? NICOLETTE: Last night I slept with a member of the War Council. ISABELLA: He shouldn't be telling secrets in bed. NICOLETTE: Englishmen don't know what a tongue is for. ISABELLA: (pauses for a moment, shocked) Ah. (She then hurries around the corner to catch up to Nicolette.) This Scottish rebel, Wallace. He fights to avenge a woman? NICOLETTE: (taking Isabella's hand.) I nearly forgot. A magistrate wished to capture him, and found he had a secret lover. (Some soldiers appear and Isabella motions to Nicolette to be quiet until they turn the corner. Nicolette continues in a more conspiratorial voice. Isabella listens attentively.) NICOLETTE: So he cut the girl's throat to tempt Wallace to fight, and fight he did. Knowing his passion for his lost love, they next plotted to take him by desecrating the graves of his father and brother, and setting an ambush at the grave of his love. He fought his way through the trap and carried her body to a secret place. (Isabella leans back against the wall, closing her eyes, wrapped in emotion.) NICOLETTE: Now that's love, no? ISABELLA: (opens her eyes) Love? I wouldn't know. (Nicolette comforts her.) (William's camp. William, Campbell, Hamish, Morrison and MacGregor are eating, while the others around go about their work.) WILLIAM: You know, eventually Longshanks will send his whole Northern Army against us. CAMPBELL: Heavy cavalry, armored horse; shake the very ground. HAMISH: They'll ride right over us. WILLIAM: Uncle Argyle used to talk about it; how no army had ever stood up to a charge of heavy horse. HAMISH: So what'll we do? CAMPBELL: Hit, run, hide, the Highland way. WILLIAM: (looking up to the tall trees) We'll make spears. Hundreds of them. Long spears, twice as long as a man. HAMISH: That long? WILLIAM: Aye. HAMISH: Some men are longer than others. CAMPBELL: Your mother's been telling stories about me again, ah? (They laugh.) GUARD: Volunteers coming in. (Two commoners approach Wallace) FATHER: William Wallace, we've come to fight and to die for ya. (He kneels.) WILLIAM: Stand up, man. I'm not the pope. FATHER: (getting up) My name is Faudron, and my sword is yours. (reaches into his shirt) I brought you this. (William's men stop him.) GUARD: We checked them for arms. FATHER: (looking at Hamish, he pulls out an embroidered cloth) I brought you this. My wife made it for ya. WILLIAM: Thank you. STEPHEN: (walking passed William, stepping up to the pot.) Him? That can't be William Wallace. I'm prettier than this man. (Stephen takes a mouthful of stew without even being invited. William is amused.) STEPHEN: (looking skyward) Alright Father, I'll ask him. (still chewing on the food, he approaches William) If I risk my neck for you, will I get a chance to kill Englishmen? HAMISH: Is your father a ghost or do you converse with the Almighty? STEPHEN: In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God. (looking heavenward again) Yes, Father. (to William and his men) The Almighty says don't change the subject; just answer the fucking question. HAMISH: Mind your tongue. CAMPBELL: Insane Irish. (Stephen pulls a dagger from his sleeve and presses it to Campbell's throat. William's men counter with swords to Stephen's throat.) STEPHEN: (to Campbell) Smart enough to get a dagger past your guards, old man. WILLIAM: That's my friend, Irishman. And the answer to your question is yes; if you fight for me you get to kill the English. STEPHEN: Excellent. (putting away his dagger) Stephen is my name. I'm the most wanted man on my island, except I'm not on my island, of course. More's the pity. HAMISH: Your island? You mean Ireland. STEPHEN: Yeah. It's mine. (grinning broadly) HAMISH: You're a madman. STEPHEN: I've come to the right place, then. (Everyone laughs.) (Cut to the woods. With bow and arrows, William silently stalks a deer that's grazing unsuspectingly. Stephen stalks William, and startles the deer. Alerted, William turns to see Stephen running toward him with his knife raised above his head as Faudron stealthily approaches William from behind. As William turns his bow on Stephen, Faudron raises his sword to attack William. Before he can land the blow, however, Stephen throws his dagger past William's shoulder and into Faudron's chest.) STEPHEN: Sure didn't the Almighty send me to watch your back? I didn't like him anyway. He wasn't right in the head. (William, dumbfounded, looks heavenward, wondering if he's being watched.) (Morrison and Stewart come running in the sunset) HAMISH: William, it's our runners. MORRISON: (to William and the other men) The English are advancing an army toward Stirling. WILLIAM: Will the nobles rally? Stewart: ROBERT THE BRUCE and most of the others will not commit to battle. But word is spread, and highlanders are coming down on their own. MORRISON: Aye, in droves of hundreds and thousands. WILLIAM: (shouting to all) Are you ready for a war? (The Scots cheer.) (Battlefield at Stirling. A horseman approaches full-speed as Mornay, Lochlan, and Craig wait with their armies.) MORNAY: (to the horseman) Well, what news? HORSEMAN: We're outnumbered, at least 3 to 1. MORNAY: How many horse, then? HORSEMAN: 300, maybe more. MORNAY: 300 heavy horse? LOCHLAN: We must try to negotiate. MORNAY: Who's in command? Did he have a scarlet chevron? HORSEMAN: Aye, he did. CRAIG: We can still negotiate. (As the nobles are talking, two Scottish soldiers are waiting and listening in the front line.) YOUNG SOLDIER: (to the veteran beside him) What are they talking about? VETERAN: I can't hear, but it doesn't look good. The nobles will negotiate. If they do a deal, then we go home. And if not, we charge. MORNAY: 300 heavy horse; we have no chance. (The English infantry, archers and cavalry appear over the hill.) YOUNG SOLDIER: (to no one in particular) So many! (swallows hard, then turns to the veteran) I didn't come here to fight so they can own more lands; then I have to work for them. VETERAN: Nor me. (shouting to all) Alright lads. I'm not dying for these bastards! Lets go home. (The two Scots start to leave the field and others join them.) LOCHLAN: (seeing the departing men, rides over the them, shouting in desperation) Stop men. Do not flee. Wait until we've negotiated. (William and his men, with faces painted for battle, arrive on the scene in time to see the exodus. The fleeing men stop and curiously watch William's entrance.) YOUNG SOLDIER: (to the veteran as Wallace rides past) William Wallace? VETERAN: Can't be. Not tall enough. (William and his men ride up to the nobles.) STEPHEN: The Almighty says this must be a fashionable fight. It's drawn the finest people. LOCHLAN: (to William) Where is thy salute? WILLIAM: For presenting yourselves on this battlefield, I give you thanks. LOCHLAN: This is our army. To join it you give homage. WILLIAM: I give homage to Scotland. (shouting so that all can hear) And if this is your army, why does it go? VETERAN: (shouting out the answer) We didn't come here to fight for them. (His companions shout their agreement.) YOUNG SOLDIER: Home. The English are too many. WILLIAM: (shouting to them all) Sons of Scotland, I am William Wallace. YOUNG SOLDIER: (to William) William Wallace is 7 feet tall. WILLIAM: (to the young soldier) Yes, I've heard. He kills men by the hundreds, and if he were here he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arse. (All laugh. He addresses the crowd.) I am William Wallace, and I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight? VETERAN: (to William) Fight against that? No, we will run, and we will live. WILLIAM: (in reply) Aye, fight and you may die, run and you'll live. At least a while. (shouting to all) And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom?! Alba gu brath! (Scotland forever!) (The Scots cheer "Alba gu brath" repeatedly. Across the field, the English watch the shouting Scots.) LORD TALMADGE: They seem quite optimistic to me. Maybe they do want to fight. CHELTHAM: Confrontation might be a foregone conclusion, my lord. But none the less, I think we should deliver the king's terms. LORD TALMADGE: The king's terms; He'll never live up to them. CHELTHAM: My lord, I think--. LORD TALMADGE: Alright, offer them the terms. (The Scottish nobles notice Cheltham approaching on horseback.) CRAIG: They're coming out. Shall we go and meet them? MORNAY: Let me do the talking. Agreed? LOCHLAN: Agreed. CRAIG: Aye. (William's men watch Mornay, Lochlan, and Craig go out to meet Cheltham.) STEPHEN: (to William) Fine speech. Now what do we do? WILLIAM: Just be yourselves. (Turns his horse to the field.) HAMISH: Where are you going? WILLIAM: I'm going to pick a fight. (His men watch as he rides out toward Cheltham and the Scottish nobles.) HAMISH: (to Stephen) Well, we didn't get dressed up for nothing. (Cheltham and the Scottish nobles converge in the middle of the field.) CHELTHAM: Mornay, Lochlan, Craig. Here are the king's terms. Lead this army off field and he will give you each estates in Yorkshire, including hereditary title, from which you will pay--, (William rides up, intimidating Cheltham by circling him and disturbing his horse. Cheltham ignores William.) CHELTHAM: From which you will pay him an annual duty--. WILLIAM: (rudely interrupting) I have an offer for you. MORNAY: Cheltham, this is William Wallace. CHELTHAM: (ignoring William) From which you will pay the king an annual duty--. WILLIAM: (interrupting Cheltham again) I said I have an offer for you. LOCHLAN: (to William) You disrespect a banner of truce? WILLIAM: (to Lochlan) From his king? Absolutely. (to Cheltham) Here are Scotland's terms. Lower your flags, and march straight back to England, stopping at every home to beg forgiveness for 100 years of theft, rape, and murder. Do that and your men shall live. Do it not, and every one of you will die today. CHELTHAM: (laughs) You are outmatched. You have no heavy cavalry. In two centuries no army has won without-- WILLIAM: (shouting in anger) I'm not finished. Before we let you leave, your commander must cross that field, present himself before this army, put his head between his legs, and kiss his own arse. (All are shocked. Cheltham and his escorts head back to their own side of the field in disgust. William makes a face at them as they depart.) MORNAY: (to William) I'd say that was rather less cordial that he was used to. WILLIAM: You be ready and do exactly as I say. On my signal, ride round behind our position and flank them. MORNAY: We must not divide our forces. WILLIAM: Do it, and let the English see you do it. MORNAY: They'll think we've run away. WILLIAM: Take out their archers, and I'll meet you in the middle. MORNAY: Alright. (William and the nobles return to their own side. William dismounts.) Priest: (speaks in Latin) (The Scots kneel in prayer. Across the field, Cheltham returns to Lord Talmadge.) LORD TALMADGE: (to Cheltham) Insolent bastard. I want this Wallace's heart on a plate. Archers. (Cheltham give the signal and the archers step forward. Talmadge looks across the field for a reaction. There is a moment of silence, and them the Scots scream.) Stewart: (shouts out to the English) You bastards! (One Scot comes forward and raises his kilt to insult the English. Many others, dropping their weapons, join him.) (The English archers draw their bows. Cheltham signals.) CHELTHAM: Loose! (As the arrows fly from the English bows, the Scots crouch behind their shields. Many Scots are hit.) STEPHEN: (to Wallace) The Lord says He can get me out of this mess, but He's pretty sure you're fucked. (laughs wildly) (The Scots rise again after the arrows stop raining down. They scream and moon the English.) CHELTHAM: Ready, loose! (signals) (The English archers launch another volley and again the Scots take cover under their shields taking only light casualties.) WILLIAM: (signaling to the mounted Scottish nobles) Ride! (Across the field, Lord Talmadge watches with a grin.) LORD TALMADGE: (to Cheltham) See, every Scot with a horse is fleeing. Our cavalry will ride them down like grass. Send the horse; full attack. (Cheltham signals and the cavalry moves out. The English knights charge across the field while the Scots stand motionless.) WILLIAM: (shouting to his men) Steady! Hold! Hold! Hold! Now! (As the English close in, the Scots suddenly raise hundreds of long heavy spears from the ground. The horses crash into the spears throwing their riders. The Scots battle the English hand to hand.) LORD TALMADGE: (to Cheltham) Send the infantry. CHELTHAM: My Lord? LORD TALMADGE: (frightened) You lead them. (Cheltham moves forward, signals, and the rest of the army follows him onto the field. Then they start to run. Seeing this, William and his men run to confront them. The battle rages. Swords sever limbs completely, while axes and picks cut through helmets. The Scots fight savagely and slaughter the English.) (Talmadge grows concerned then confused as Mornay and Lochlan arrive with their cavalry and attack the English archers. William spots Cheltham in the battlefield.) WILLIAM: (yelling to Cheltham) Bastard! (William and Cheltham go head to head. William knocks Cheltham off his horse and beheads him with rage.) LORD TALMADGE: (now utterly frightened, shouts to his men) Retreat! (As the battle progresses Campbell loses his left hand. Other soldiers come riding in - Mornay and Lochlan's men, attacking the English from the rear. One of them rides up to William, who starts to swing at him with his sword, but discovers it's Mornay. William stops and looks around.) WILLIAM: (to Mornay) Alright. (Mornay is pleased with the victory. William goes in front of his troops, and raising his sword, cheers.) Scottish army: (screaming) WALLACE! WALLACE! WALLACE! (Smiling, William stabs his sword in the ground.) (Castle in Edinburgh. William is kneeling before Craig.) CRAIG: I knight thee Sir William Wallace. Sir William, in the name of God we declare and appoint thee guardian and high protector of Scotland and thy Captains as aides-de-camp. Stand and be recognized. (William presents necklaces to his men.) ROBERT: (to Craig) Does anyone know his politics? CRAIG: No, but his weight with the commoners can unbalance everything. The Balliols will kiss his arse so we must. Balliol: (after William had congratulated his men) Sir William, Sir William. Inasmuch as you and your captains hail from a region long known to support the Balliol clan, may we invite you to continue your support and uphold our rightful claim. (William starts to reply, but is interrupted.) MORNAY: (shouting) Damn the Balliol clan! They're all Longshanks' men! WILLIAM: (shouting over the din) Gentlemen!, Gentlemen! Balliol: Now is the time to declare a king. MORNAY: (to Balliol) Wait! Then you are prepared to recognize our legitimate succession. Balliol: You're the ones who won't support the rightful claim. MORNAY: Those were lies when you first wrote them. (shouting amongst the crowd) Balliol: Oh, no. That's not true. I demand recognition of these documents. MORNAY: These documents were lies when you wrote them. (Disgusted, Wallace starts to walk out.) CRAIG: Gentlemen! Please, Gentlemen! Wait! Sir William, where are you going? WILLIAM: (turns around to address the crowd) We have beaten the English, but they'll come back because you won't stand together. CRAIG: Well what will you do? WILLIAM: I will invade England and defeat the English on their own ground. CRAIG: (laughs) Invade? That's impossible. WILLIAM: Why? Why is that impossible? You're so concerned with squabbling for the scraps from Longshank's table that you've missed your God-given right to something better. There is a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it. (William and his men leave and the debate starts again.) (Outside, William and his men descend into the courtyard.) ROBERT: (calling out to them) Wait! (They stop so that Robert can catch up.) ROBERT: (to William) I respect what you said, but remember that these men have lands and castles. It's much to risk. WILLIAM: And the common man who bleeds on the battlefield, does he risk less? ROBERT: (to William as the two of them walk together.) No, but from top to bottom this country has no sense of itself. Its nobles share allegiance with England. Its clans war with each other. If you make enemies on both sides of the border, you'll end up dead. WILLIAM: We all end up dead; it's just a question of how and why. (They stop and talk face to face.) ROBERT: I'm not a coward. I want what you want, but we need the nobles. WILLIAM: We need them? ROBERT: Aye. WILLIAM: Nobles. Now tell me, what does that mean to be noble? Your title gives you claim to the throne of our country, but men don't follow titles, they follow courage. Now our people know you. Noble, and common, they respect you. And if you would just lead them to freedom, they'd follow you. And so would I. (He walks away, leaving Robert to think about what was just said.) (William and his army ride over the English countryside.) (The York Captain rides full-speed into York.) Governor of York: (in the fortress yard, talking to his aide) Damn it! My sodomite cousin the prince tells me he has no troops to lend and every town in Northern England is begging for help. York Captain: (rides up to the Governor) He advances! Governor of York: To which town? York Captain: To here my Lord. Governor of York: Bring the food and provisions inside, double the wall guards, seal the gate, now! York Captain: Quickly, bring in the provisions, seal off the gate, NOW! (Daytime. Wallace's men approach York. The peasants, seeing them, scream and run. By nightfall, William's men have created a battering ram of logs ties together and set on a cart. They wheel it across a bridge to the city wall. The Governor of York is watching the Scots from a tower overlooking the gate.) York Captain: (approaching his lord, who is preoccupied with Wallace) Sir, we can get you out if you leave now. Governor of York: I am not about to tell my uncle I've lost him the greatest city in Northern England. (The Scots continue battering the gate. From the fortress battlements the English drop heavy rocks and pour vats of oil on them. Archers shoot flaming arrows, igniting oil and burning the men pushing the ram.) WILLIAM: Come on! (The Scots scream as Wallace leads more men to drive the ram into the gate. This time the now burning gate caves in and the Scots cheer.) (Back in London, Longshanks and his men ride into the castle.) SOLDIER: Make way for the king. (Prince Edward, standing at a tower window overlooking the courtyard, watches his father's arrival. Then he nervously ducks back into the room. Phillip is there and goes to the window to have a look.) Phillip: (turning back into the room) It's not your fault. Stand up to him. PRINCE: I will stand up to him and more. (He practically falls into a chair. His fear is causing him to sweat. Longshank's footsteps are heard climbing the tower stairway. He enters the room, handing his crown to his escort, who leaves, closing the door behind him.) LONGSHANKS: (to the Prince) What news of the North? PRINCE: (standing) Nothing new, Your Majesty. We've sent riders to speed any word. LONGSHANKS: I heard the word in France, where I was fighting to expand your future kingdom. The word, my son, is that our entire Northern Army has been annihilated. And you have done nothing. PRINCE: I have ordered conscriptions. They are assembled and ready to depart. (Chamberlain and a soldier enter.) Chamberlain: Excuse me, sire, but there is a very urgent message from York. LONGSHANKS: Come. (The soldier hands over a covered basket and a note.) Leave us. SOLDIER: Thank you, sire. (He is happy to leave the room) PRINCE: (reading the note) Wallace has sacked York. LONGSHANKS: What? PRINCE: Wallace has sacked York. (Longshanks grabs the note out of the Prince's hands and reads it to himself while Prince Edward lifts the cover of the basket and, shocked by what he sees, falls back into his chair. Longshanks looks into the basket and pulls its contents out--the Governor of York's head.) Phillip: Sire, thy own nephew. What beast could do such a thing? LONGSHANKS: (putting the head back in the basket, thinking out loud) If he can sack York, he can invade lower England. Phillip: (advancing) We would stop him! LONGSHANKS: Who is this person who speaks to me as though I needed his advice? PRINCE: (standing, stating with some self-assertion) I have declared Phillip my High Counselor. LONGSHANKS: Is he qualified? (The Prince starts to answer but is interrupted.) Phillip: (confidently) I am skilled in the arts of war and military tactics, sire. LONGSHANKS: Are you? (Longshanks assumes a kindly manner, laying an arm across Phillip's shoulder. They walk slowly toward the window.) LONGSHANKS: Then tell me, what advice would you offer on the present situation? (As Phillip begins his reply, Longshanks throws him out the window to his death. Phillip screams on his way down. The Prince runs to the window and looks down at Phillip, dead on the pavement, his head surrounded by a pool of blood. In anger, Prince Edward draws his dagger and tries to attack his father, but is easily disarmed and beaten to the floor, whimpering and coughing.) LONGSHANKS: (sits, again talking to himself) I shall offer a truce and buy him off. But who will go to him? Not I, huh, if I fell under the sword of that murderer that might be my head in a basket. And not my gentle son. The mere sight of him would only encourage an enemy to take over the whole country. So whom do I send? Whom do I send? (Night. In the woods. Wallace is sleeping on the open ground near the campfire. A twig snaps, startling him awake. He sees a hooded figure walking furtively among the trees. He closes in on it. The figure pulls back the hood and walks toward him from out of the mist. It's Murron. William kneels.) WILLIAM: I'm dreaming. MURRON: Yes you are, and you must wake. WILLIAM: (looking around a moment, then back to her with pleading eyes) I don't want to wake. I want to stay here with you. MURRON: And I with you. But you must wake now. Wake up, William. Wake up. William, wake up. (It's morning. The vision of Murron is gone; her words now an echo. William wakes.) CAMPBELL: (from the battlement of York's fortress) William, a royal entourage comes, flying banners of truce, with the standards of Longshanks himself. (William and his captains step off a ferry and are at once surrounded by English soldiers. His men stay behind while he is led to a large, ornate tent. Princess Isabella watches his approach with curiosity. Then she walks out to meet him.) ISABELLA: I am the Princess of Wales. I come as the king's servant and with his authority. WILLIAM: To do what? ISABELLA: To discuss the king's proposals. Will you speak with a woman? (She turns and leads the way into the tent. Lord Hamilton and the princess's maid, Nicolette, are there. As Isabella sits, her eyes catch the suggestive look on Nicolette's face, but the princess hurriedly looks away as William looks around suspiciously.) ISABELLA: I understand you have recently been given the rank of knight. WILLIAM: I have been given nothing. God makes men what they are. ISABELLA: (with indignation) Did God make you the sacker of peaceful cities, the executioner of the king's nephew, my husband's own cousin? WILLIAM: York was the staging point for every invasion of my country. And that royal cousin hanged innocent Scots, even women and children, from the city walls. (noticing the exchange of glances between the princess and Hamilton) Well, Longshanks did far worse the last time he took a Scottish city. Hamilton: (snidely to the Princess in Latin) He is a bloody murdering savage. And he's telling lies. WILLIAM: (to Hamilton in Latin, startling both the English Lord and the Princess) I never lie. But I am a savage. (in French for the princess's benefit) Or in French if you prefer. (Isabella is pleased, but then remembers herself and once again she becomes serious and dignified.) WILLIAM: (in English, looking only at Isabella) You ask your king to his face, ask him, and see if his eyes can convince you of the truth. ISABELLA: (after a pause) Hamilton, leave us. Hamilton: My lady? ISABELLA: Leave us. Now. (All leave except Nicolette, who hides behind a curtain to eavesdrop.) ISABELLA: Let us talk plainly. You invade England, but you cannot complete the conquest so far from your shelter and supply. The king desires peace. WILLIAM: Longshanks desires peace? ISABELLA: (in innocent sincerity) He declares it to me, I swear it. He proposes that you withdraw your attack. In return he grants you title, estates, and this chest of gold which I am to pay to you personally. WILLIAM: A lordship and titles. Gold. That I should become Judas? ISABELLA: Peace is made in such ways. WILLIAM: Slaves are made in such ways. The last time Longshanks spoke of peace I was a boy. And many Scottish nobles, who would not be slaves, were lured by him under a flag of truce to a barn where he had them hanged. I was very young, but I remember Longshank's notion of peace. ISABELLA: I understand you have suffered. I know about your woman. WILLIAM: She was my wife. We married in secret because I would not share her with an English Lord. They killed her to get to me. I have never spoken of it. I don't know why I tell you now except I see her strength in you. One day you'll be a queen, and you must open your eyes. You tell your king that William Wallace will not be ruled, and nor will any Scot while I live. (Isabella's wagon departs. The Princess looks out at William as he stands watching with Hamish.) (Longshanks in his castle, conferring with his war counsel.) LONGSHANKS: (noticing Isabella enter) Ah, my son's loyal wife returns unkilled by the heathen. So he accepted our bribe? ISABELLA: No, he did not. LONGSHANKS: Then why does he stay? My scouts tell me that he has not advanced. ISABELLA: He waits for you at York. He says he will attack no more towns or cities, if you are man enough to come and face him. LONGSHANKS: Did he? (He returns to the map on the table, where Prince Edward in sitting. The king moves the pieces as he speaks.) LONGSHANKS: The Welsh bowmen will not be detected arriving so far around his flank. The main force of our armies from France will land here to the north of Edinburgh. Conscripts from Ireland will approach from the southwest to here. PRINCE: Welsh bowmen, troops from France, Irish conscripts. Even if you dispatch them today they will take weeks to assemble. LONGSHANKS: (to his son) I dispatched them before I sent your wife. (to Isabella) So our little ruse succeeded. Thank you. And while this upstart awaits my arrival in York, my forces will have arrived in Edinburgh behind him. You spoke with this Wallace in private? Tell me, what kind of man is he? ISABELLA: (coming out of her shock of realizing how the king used her, says with dignity, lying) A mindless barbarian, not a king like you, my lord. LONGSHANKS: You may return to your embroidery. ISABELLA: (with subtle indignation) Humbly, my lord. PRINCE: You brought back the money, of course. ISABELLA: (turns around to face the Prince) No, I gave it to ease the suffering of the children of this war. LONGSHANKS: (to his son) Ha! That's what happens when you send a woman. ISABELLA: Forgive me, sire. I thought that generosity might demonstrate your greatness to those you mean to rule. LONGSHANKS: (coughing) My greatness will be better demonstrated when Wallace returns to Scotland and finds his country in ashes. (In the yard of the fortress of York. Day.) Stewart: (from the battlement) William, there's riders approaching. (William sets down his bucket and walks to the gate. Hamish follows. They see Nicolette arriving on horseback with a mounted escort.) HAMISH: Personal escort of the princess. You must have made an impression. WILLIAM: Aye. HAMISH: I didn't think you were in the tent that long. WILLIAM: Aye. (William and Hamish walk out to meet Nicolette.) WILLIAM: (in French) Miss. NICOLETTE: (in French) A message from my mistress. (She gives him a paper.) WILLIAM: (in French) Thank you. (He takes the note and reads it. In disbelief, he looks quickly at Nicolette then at Hamish, then hurries back to the fortress, leaving Hamish and Nicolette staring and smiling at each other. Hamish, remembering, hurriedly follows William.) (In the woods, Stephen rides up as William's army runs past. William and Hamish, on horseback, stop.) STEPHEN: It's true. The English ships are moving up from the south. I don't know about the Welsh yet, but the Irish have landed. I had to see it with me own eyes before I could believe it. HAMISH: What the hell are the Irish doing fighting with the English? STEPHEN: I wouldn't worry about them. Didn't I tell you before, it's my island. WILLIAM: Hamish, ride ahead to Edinburgh and assemble the council. Order it. HAMISH: Aye. WILLIAM: (to Stephen) Your island? STEPHEN: (proudly smiling) My island! (urging his horse onward) Yup! (The hall of Edinburgh castle. The Scottish Council is seated around the table discussing as Hamish looks on. ROBERT THE BRUCE listens. He's troubled, but doesn't comment.) CRAIG: Our butts in a bush. MORNAY: No, please. Gentlemen. Lords, Craig is right. This time our only option is to negotiate. Not unless you want to see Edinburgh razed to the ground. (William marches in the door.) WILLIAM: My army has marched for more days than I can remember, and we still have preparations to make. So I'll make this plain. We require every soldier you can summon. Your personal escorts, even yourselves. And we need them now. CRAIG: With such a force arrayed against us, it is time to discuss other options. WILLIAM: (growing angrier) Other options? Don't you wish at least to lead your men onto the field and barter a better deal with Longshanks before you tuck tail and run? ROBERT: Sir William. CRAIG: We cannot defeat this army. WILLIAM: We can. ROBERT: Sir William. WILLIAM: And we will. We won at Stirling, and still you quibble. We won at York and you would not support us. If you will not stand up with us now then I say you're cowards. (The nobles jump to their feet. Lochlan draws his sword, but Hamish crashes his battle axe down on the table, shocking the Nobles into silence.) WILLIAM: And if you are Scotsmen, I am ashamed to call myself one. ROBERT: Please, Sir William. Speak with me alone. I beg you. (William and Robert walk away from the table together.) ROBERT: Now you've achieved more than anyone ever dreamed, but fighting these odds it looks like rage, not courage. WILLIAM: It's well beyond rage. Help me. In the name of Christ help yourselves. Now is our chance, now. If we join, we can win. If we win, well then we'll have what none of us have ever had before: a country of our own. You are the rightful leader, and there is strength in you. I see it. Unite us. Unite us. Unite the clans. (Robert and William shake hands in agreement) Alright. ROBERT: Right. (Wallace walks out without a second glance, confident that he can rely on the Bruce.) (Later, in the Leper's room.) ROBERT: (upset) This cannot be the way. LEPER: You said yourself, the nobles will not support Wallace. So how does it help us to join the side that is slaughtered? ROBERT: I gave him my word. LEPER: I know it is hard. Being a leader is. Now son, son, look at me. I cannot be king. You, and you alone can rule Scotland. What I tell you, you must do. Not for me, not for yourself, but for your country. (Battlefield at Falkirk. In the early morning the Scots pour oil and tar on the battlefield. By mid-morning the Scottish army has already assembled on the field. MacGregor, Hamish, Stewart, and others arrive, easing their way forward.) MACGREGOR: Eh, lads. Make way. Coming through here. Make way lads. Make--. HAMISH: (falling in next to William, who is already there) The Bruce is not coming, William. WILLIAM: He'll come. Mornay and Lochlan have come. So will the Bruce. (On the other side of the battlefield, the English army, with Longshanks in command, is waiting. All his officers and guards are mounted, as is he.) LONGSHANKS: Quite a lovely gathering. (Turning to an unidentifiable knight.) Wouldn't you agree? (The knight nods.) English General: The archers are ready, sire. LONGSHANKS: Not the archers. My scouts tell me their archers are miles away and no threat to us. Arrows cost money. Use up the Irish. Their dead cost nothing. And send in the infantry and cavalry. English General: Infantry, cavalry, advance. (The Irish charge across the field, weapons at ready. The English infantry and cavalry slowly follow. Seeing their approach, the Scots charge out to meet them. The Irish and Scottish lower their weapons and greet each other like old friends.) STEPHEN: Ah, good to see you this morning. LONGSHANKS: (shocked, looking at his general) Irish! WILLIAM: (stabbing his sword into the ground, to the Irish) Glad to have you with us. Watch this. (William grabs a banner and waves it, signaling the concealed Scottish archers, who shoot flaming arrows into the oil-soaked battlefield. The English cavalry and soldiers get burnt by the fire. William leads his men into hand to hand fighting. It is fierce, with many getting hurt or killed. William then waves another banner, this time signaling the Scottish nobles, who are still at the rear, to join in. Mornay and Lochlan look at each other, silently understanding each other's intent. They ride off the field with their men as William watches with helplessness which quickly turns to bitter hatred.) English General: Mornay, Lochlan? LONGSHANKS: I gave Mornay double his lands in Scotland and matching estates in England. Lochlan turned for much less. Archers. English General: I beg your pardon, sire. Won't we hit our own troops? LONGSHANKS: Yes, but we'll hit theirs as well. We have reserves. Attack. English General: Archers. (signals) Archer commander: Loose! (Arrows fall on many English, Scots, and Irish, too busy fighting to shield themselves from the arrows. One hits Morrison in the chest.) LONGSHANKS: Send in our reinforcements. English General: (calls out) Send in the rest. (More English soldiers rush to battle.) LONGSHANKS: Bring me Wallace. Alive if possible. Dead, just as good. Send us news of our victory. (to the unidentifiable knight) Shall we retire? (William is hit by an arrow, but breaking it off, continues to fight with all his might though his troops are nearly wiped out. Longshanks rides off the field with his knights and staff. William observes Longshanks' departure. In a rage, he pulls an English soldier off his horse, jumps on the animal and rides after the king. Stephen notices Wallace's mad pursuit. The English General accompanying Longshanks notices that Wallace in riding up behind them.) General: (to the unidentifiable knight) Protect the king. (The knight turns and charges Wallace, his lance leveled. Wallace charges the knight, his sword raised. The knight's lance snaps as it is driven into the chest of William's horse. William is thrown off his horse and lands face down on the grass. The knight throws down the broken lance, dismounts and approaches the lifeless William. But William suddenly grabs him and flips him over, unsheathes his knife, removes the knight's helmet and starts to slit the screaming man's throat, but stops when he realizes to his dismay that the knight is ROBERT THE BRUCE. With confusion and disbelief William backs away and falls to the ground. Sitting there, it is clear from his face that all hope is gone. William watches as English infantrymen run toward him across the field. He can take no more. He lays back on the grass, giving up. Robert sees the approaching English, and runs to William, concerned for his life.) ROBERT: (to William) Get up! Get up! (Stephen, on horseback, arrives ahead of the English soldiers. Robert recognizes Stephen as one of William's captains.) ROBERT: (to Stephen) Get him out of here! STEPHEN: (recognizing Robert, is shocked) Jesus! ROBERT: (lifting William onto Stephens's horse, shouts) Go! STEPHEN: (giving Robert a long stare, then urging his horse onward) Ah! (Stephen rides off to safety with William as the English chase after, leaving Robert on the field alone. Robert, seeing something, walks over and picks up the thistle embroidery Murron gave William on their wedding night. Robert realizes it's William's.) (Night falls at William's camp by the waterside. The survivors among William's men tend their wounds. Stephen brings water to Hamish, who offers it to his badly wounded father.) CAMPBELL: (to his son) I'm dying. Let me be. HAMISH: No, you're going to live. CAMPBELL: I've lived long enough to live free; proud to see you become the man you are. I'm a happy man. (Hamish cries as his father dies.) (Dusk on the field of Falkirk. ROBERT THE BRUCE walks among the hundreds of dead and dying soldiers. Children are there grieving for their fathers; wives search for their husbands. In his own grief, feeling responsible for all this suffering, Robert falls to his knees, resting his head on the hilt of his unused sword.) (In Edinburgh, Robert is in the Leper's room.) LEPER: I'm the one who's rotting but I think your face looks graver than mine. Son, we must have alliance with England to prevail here. You achieved that. You saved your family, increased your land. In time, you will have all the power in Scotland. ROBERT: Lands, titles, men, power, nothing. LEPER: Nothing? ROBERT: I have nothing. Men fight for me, because if they do not, I throw them off my land and I starve their wives and their children. Those men who bled the ground red at Falkirk, they fought for William Wallace, and he fights for something that I've never had. And I took it from him when I betrayed him and I saw it in his face on the battlefield, and it's tearing me apart. LEPER: Well, all men betray. All lose heart. ROBERT: (shouting in anger) I don't want to lose heart. (with passion) I want to believe as he does. (pauses as a tear rolls down his cheek) I will never be on the wrong side again. (Robert turns his back on his father and walks away.) (Mornay, in bed, dreams of Wallace. Flames burn behind him, in ghostly appearance, as William rides nearer. Mornay's fear wakes him up. He is alone in bed. Just as he begins to shake off the terror of the dream, Wallace, on horseback, rides into the room and up onto the bed, dangling a ball and chain.) MORNAY: No! Please! (William guides his horse to Mornay's bed and crushes his skull with a ball and chain. Hearing his scream, guards rush toward the room. Hearing them approaching, William looks for a way out. He guides his horse up some stone steps. The horse kicks opens the double doors. William looks down alarmed. Below is the moat. He turns his horse back into the room just as Mornay's men run in.) Mornay's men: There he is. After him! (William turns the horse around again, knocking over many of the men. With a running start, rider and horse leap from the room and plunge into the moat.) (Later, Craig, Robert, and other Scottish nobles are gathered at a table, eating as they discuss their situation.) Scottish noble: Lord Craig, is it true about Mornay? CRAIG: Aye, Wallace rode into his bed chamber and killed him. More a liability now then ever he was. And there's no telling who'll be next. ROBERT: (smiling, to Craig) Maybe you, (seriously) maybe me. (laughing) It doesn't matter. CRAIG: I'm serious, Robert. ROBERT: (slamming his fist on the table) So am I! ((Craig is puzzled and irritated by his behavior. Red liquid drops on Craig's food. Lochlan's dead body drops on the table) CRAIG: (jumping up) Christ! Shit! Search the place. Noble: Lochlan! (The Bruce, in shock, gets slowly to his feet and stares in fear at the corpse.) (Wallace runs along a mountain path, high above a valley. In a Scottish street commoners talk.) Farmer: (seated, surrounded by curious listeners) William Wallace killed 50 men. 50 as if it was one. Drinker No 1: (surrounded by a different group of listeners) 100 men, with his own sword. Drinker No 2: (inside, at a table) Cut through them like Moses through the Red Sea. (William stands on top of a mountain, looking out across the land he loves, Scotland.) (London, in Longshank's castle. Coughing frequently, it is apparent that Longshanks is now in poor health.) LONGSHANKS: His legend grows. It will be worse than before. Hamilton: He rallies new volunteers in every Scottish town. And when he replenishes his numbers, -- LONGSHANKS: (having difficulty speaking) They're sheep, mere sheep. Easily dispersed if we strike the shepherd. Very well. Take a flock of your finest assassins and set a meeting. ADVISOR: My lord, Wallace is renowned for his ability to smell an ambush. LONGSHANKS: If what Lord Hamilton tells me is correct, he warmed to our future queen and would trust her. So we'll dispatch her with the notion that she comes in peace. Hamilton: My Lord, the princess might be taken hostage, or her life be put in jeopardy. LONGSHANKS: My son would be most distressed by that. (Prince Edward looks doubtful and confused by this statement. The King sits down. Around a corner, in the shadows, is Nicolette, eavesdropping.) LONGSHANKS: But in truth, if she were to be killed, we would soon find the King of France a useful ally against the Scots. (to his son) You see, as king, you must find the good in any situation. (William, Hamish, and Stephen stand in front of an isolated hut in Scotland. Nearby sits Princess Isabella's wagon. Two French soldiers stands outside the door as guards. Concealed inside are the English assassins.) Chief Assassin: (to his accomplices) It's William Wallace sure. And he's given up his sword. Be ready. (William and Hamish approach the guards and push them into the hut, closing the door behind them. Then William and Stephen push a cart up to the door as a barricade. Finally, they douse the thatched roof with tar and ignite it with torches that Stephen hands them. The hut burns with the assassins trapped inside.) (That night Wallace rides up to a single dwelling somewhere in Scotland. He looks around cautiously before riding closer. Princess Isabella is inside. She hears something outside and goes to the window, but sees nothing in the moonlight. Turning back into the room, she begins to pace anxiously. Behind her, unnoticed, Wallace enters, removing the tartan from his head. He approaches the now sitting princess.) WILLIAM: My lady. (Isabella, startled, jumps to her feet.) WILLIAM: I received your message. This is the second time you've warned me of danger. Why? ISABELLA: (nervously) There will be a new shipment of supplies coming north next month. Food and weapons, they will travel-- WILLIAM: No, stop. Why do you help me? (in a whisper) Why do you help me? ISABELLA: (turning away) Because of the way you are looking at me now. (William kisses her and they embrace. He lays her down on a bed. Next morning, outside, William and Isabella kiss again. William then mounts his horse and rides away as Isabella stands alone, watching. William, Hamish and Stephen ride down a country road. Time progresses. At the bedside of his dying father, ROBERT THE BRUCE reaches out to comfort him. Longshanks sits alone as his own death draws near. His breathing is now very labored. Princess Isabella strolls the castle colonnades, in love and feeling loved at last. In a remote camp in the Highlands, Stephen, leading horses of hooded riders, walks up a path toward William, Hamish, and the other men.) STEPHEN: (calling out) Just when we thought all hope was lost, our noble saviors have arrived. Off with their . . . hoods! (William removes one hood. The arrivals are Craig and another Scottish lord.) CRAIG: Sir William, we've come to seek a meeting. WILLIAM: Well, what's the point? You've all sworn loyalty to Longshanks. CRAIG: An oath to a liar is no oath at all. Every man of us is ready to swear loyalty to you. WILLIAM: So let the council swear it publicly. CRAIG: We cannot. Some scarcely believe you are alive. Others think you'll pay them Mornay's wages. So we bid you to Edinburgh. Meet us two days from now. Give us your pardon and we'll unite behind you. Scotland will be one. WILLIAM: One? You mean us and you. CRAIG: No, I mean this. (He pulls out Murron's thistle embroidery. William reaches up and grabs it, shocked to see it again.) It's the pledge of ROBERT THE BRUCE. (William looks to Hamish, who turns away skeptically.) (Near the river. William is preparing his horse to ride to Edinburgh. Stephen and Hamish are the only ones with him.) HAMISH: You do know it's a trap. Tell him. STEPHEN: (to William) I think if the Bruce wanted to kill you he'd have done it already at Falkirk. WILLIAM: Aye. STEPHEN: (to Hamish, empathically) I know, I saw. HAMISH: (trying to appeal to William's common sense) Alright, leaving him aside, what about the others? The nest of scheming bastards couldn't agree on the color of shit. It's a trap, are you blind? WILLIAM: Look at this. We've got to try. We can't do this alone. Joining the nobles is the only hope for our people. You know what happens if we don't take that chance? HAMISH: What? WILLIAM: Nothing. (walks back to his horse) HAMISH: I don't want to be a martyr. WILLIAM: Nor I. I want to live. I want a home, and children, and peace. HAMISH: Do ya? WILLIAM: Aye, I do. I've asked God for these things. It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom. HAMISH: That's all a dream, William. WILLIAM: A dream? Just a . . .? Huh! What we've been doing all this time; we've lived that dream. HAMISH: You dream isn't about freedom. It's about Murron. You're doing this to be a hero because you think she sees you. WILLIAM: I don't think she sees me. I know she does. And your father sees you, too. (Hamish punches William in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. Hamish walks away in hopelessness.) STEPHEN: (looks skyward) Jesus?! (to William) Get up. Give us your hand. Shall I come with you? WILLIAM: No, I'll go alone. STEPHEN: (shaking William's hand in farewell) I'll see you after. WILLIAM: Right. STEPHEN: (looking to heaven again) Sooner rather than later, I hope. (He watches William lead his horse away.) (Edinburgh hall. ROBERT THE BRUCE awaits William's arrival. Craig stands on a platform, looking out the window. Robert paces on the table.) CRAIG: He won't come. ROBERT: He will. I know he will. (Wallace rides toward Edinburgh castle, looking around cautiously.) GUARD: (from outside) My Lord, he approaches. (Robert jumps down off the table and Craig stands. Wallace enters the castle, while Robert and Craig come down the outside stairs. The Bruce raises his hand in greeting. William returns the salute, then dismounts. A stableboy leads the horse away. Suspense mounts with furtive glances. Robert notices something wrong and stares at Craig, whose expression confirms his fears.) ROBERT: NO! (English soldiers ambush Wallace from behind, beating him to the ground. Robert runs to Wallace to help.) CRAIG: (pulling Robert away) Stay out of it, Robert. ROBERT: Aah! You lied! Get away! Get away! (He pulls some of the soliders away, then throws himself on top of Wallace to deflect the blows. The men beat Robert also.) CRAIG: (running to protect Robert) The Bruce is not to be harmed. That was the arrangement. (William is beaten unconscious.) (Later, Robert climbs the stairs to his father's room.) ROBERT: (shouting) Father! (bursts into the room and slams his father against a wall) You rotting bastard. Why?! Why?! LEPER: (calmly) Longshanks acquired Wallace. So did our nobles. That was the price of your crown. ROBERT: Die! I want you to die. LEPER: Soon enough I'll be dead. And you'll be king. ROBERT: I don't want anything from you. You're not a man, and you're not my father. (Letting him go, Robert starts to walk away.) LEPER: (grabs Robert) You are my son, and you have always known my mind. ROBERT: (shaking himself free) You deceived me. LEPER: You let yourself be deceived. In your heart, you always knew what had to happen here. (Robert walks away) At last, you know what it means to hate. Now you're ready to be king. (Robert turns and faces him with disgust in his eyes, then starts closing the door.) ROBERT: My hate will die with you. (London. Inside the castle Wallace stands before the Magistrate.) ROYAL MAGISTRATE: William Wallace, you stand in taint of High Treason. WILLIAM: Against whom? ROYAL MAGISTRATE: Against your king. Have you anything to say? WILLIAM: Never in my whole life did I swear allegiance to him. ROYAL MAGISTRATE: It matters not. He is your king. Confess, and you may receive a quick death. Deny, and you must be purified by pain. Do you confess? Do you confess? (Wallace ignores the executioner.) Then on the morrow you shall receive your purification. (Dungeon. Footsteps approach the jailer and guard.) Jailor: Your Highness. ISABELLA: I will see the prisoner. Jailor: We've got orders from the king that no one-- ISABELLA: (turns sharply to him) The king will be dead in a month and his son is a weakling. Who do you think will rule this kingdom? Now open this door. JAILOR: Majesty. (They enter the cell. The Princess is saddened by what she sees.) JAILOR: Come on filth, up on your feet. (The jailor walks up to William, sitting on the floor, and kicks him.) ISABELLA: Stop it. Leave me. (shouting) I said leave me. (The jailor exits.) WILLIAM: My lady. ISABELLA: Sir, I come to beg you to confess all and swear allegiance to the king, that he might show you mercy. WILLIAM: Will he show mercy to my country? ISABELLA: Mercy is to die quickly, perhaps even live in a tower. In time, who knows what could happen. If you can only live? WILLIAM: If I swear to him, then all that I am is dead already. ISABELLA: (starting to cry) You will die. It will be awful. WILLIAM: Every man dies, not every man really lives. (She steps up to him and takes out a small vial.) ISABELLA: Drink this. It will dull your pain. WILLIAM: No. It will numb my wits, and I must have them all. For if I'm senseless or if I wail, then Longshanks will have broken me. ISABELLA: (her tears flowing now, almost unable to speak) I can't bear the thought of your torture. Take it. WILLIAM: (looking sadly at her) Alright. (She puts the vial to his lips and he drinks. They kiss. Once she leaves and the door is locked, William spits out the vial's contents.) (In his chambers, the king lies in his bed, too ill to speak. The Prince is with him. Isabella enters.) ISABELLA: (firmly to the king) I have come to beg for the life of William Wallace. PRINCE: (amused) You're quite taken with him, aren't you. ISABELLA: (to Prince Edward) I respect him. (to Longshanks) At worst he was a worthy enemy. Show mercy, O thou great king, and win the respect of your own people. (Longshanks does nothing.) Even now you are incapable of mercy. (turning toward the Prince) And you. To you that word is as unfamiliar as love. PRINCE: Before he lost his powers of speech he told me his one comfort was that he would live to know Wallace was dead. ISABELLA: (bending down to Longshanks' left ear, whispers) You see, death comes to us all. But before it comes to you, know this. Your blood dies with you. A child who is not of your line grows in my belly. Your son will not sit long on the throne, I swear it. (The Prince approaches. Longshanks is shocked and struggles. Isabella leaves. Prince Edward looks worried.) (In Aldgate, a crowd has gathered to watch Wallace's "purification." On the grim stage, a pair of midgets entertain the crowd by acting out what is to come. Meanwhile, still in his cell Wallace prays.) WILLIAM: I am so afraid. Give me the strength to die well. (On the stage, the midgets continue their entertainment until the executioners arrive. Accompanied by cries of "boo," the midgets run off the stage.) COMMON MAN: Here he comes! (Wallace is brought through the crowd on a wagon. He is on his knees. The crowd throws trash and food at him. Princess Isabella sits alone in the palace. William is lifted onto the stage and brought before a covered table behind which stands the Magistrate, watching William closely at he removes most of the cover to reveal the instruments for William's torture. The Magistrate gestures for the crowd to be quiet. Hamish and Stephen can be seen in the crowd.) ROYAL MAGISTRATE: Now behold the awful price of treason. You will fall to your knees now. Declare yourself the king's loyal subject, and beg his mercy, (removing the rest of the cover to reveal an axe that will be used to behead William) and you shall have it. (Wallace does not respond, but only stares at a young child in the crowd.) ROYAL MAGISTRATE: Rope. (A rope loop is slipped over Wallace's head. Wallace continues to look at the child. Longshanks is in his deathbed, his eyes closed.) ROYAL MAGISTRATE: (to the executioners) Stretch him. That's it, stretch him. (William is raised into the air hanging by his neck with incredible pain. After a while, the executioner signs Wallace to be let down. He is dropped onto the platform and drops Murron's embroidery.) ROYAL MAGISTRATE: (calls out so the crowd hears) Pleasant, yes? (to William) Rise to your knees, kiss the royal emblem on my cloak, and you will feel no more. (Wallace picks up the embroidery and stands, but gives no response.) ROYAL MAGISTRATE: Rack him. (Wallace is streched in mid-air by ropes tied to his hands and feet, as Hamilton and the king's Advisor watch. Isabella sits alone listening to the cheers on the crowd. Wallace bleeds from his wrists from the great pressure of the ropes. The Magistrate tests the ropes to see how taut they are.) ROYAL MAGISTRATE: Enough? (Wallace resists. After several seconds, the magistrate decides that William will not be broken in this way. He signals his men to drop him again. Then they put William on a heavy cross shaped table, tying down his arms and legs. His shirt is cut open with a hooked blade on a long handle. His face now shows that he is in serious pain as they begin disembowelling him. Still he does not cry out.) ROYAL MAGISTRATE: (leaning over to whisper to William) It can all end, right now. Peace. Bliss. Just say it. Cry out mercy. (In the crowd, Hamish and Stephen are suffering along with William, while around them the women start chanting "mercy." Longshanks and the Prince wait inside the castle. ROBERT THE BRUCE leans against a parapet of Edinburgh castle, suffering. A tear falls down Isabella's cheek.) ROYAL MAGISTRATE: (still bent over Wallace) Cry out. Just say it. Mercy. HAMISH: Mercy, William, mercy. STEPHEN: Jesus, just say it. ROYAL MAGISTRATE: (to the crowd) The prisoner wishes to say a word. WILLIAM: (after much struggle, shouting with all his might) FREEDOM! (Longshanks' eyes open, and he appears dead. Prince Edward comes to him, concerned. Stephen closes his eye in regret. Princess Isabella also closes her eyes. In Edinburgh, ROBERT THE BRUCE raises his grieved head from his folded hands and looks out as though to see London. William is in great pain as he continues to be disembowelled. The Magistrate gives up all hope of breaking Wallace and signals for the axe. As it is being raised high in the air, Wallace looks out into the crowd. Behind Hamish and Stephen, Murron appears, walking through the crowd. William watches her. As the axe descends, she smiles at William and he smiles back. William drops the embroidery the moment he is beheaded.) (Years later. On the field at Bannockburn, ROBERT THE BRUCE and Lord Craig sit on horseback as the Scots face the English army, positioned across the field. William's men are assembled along with the young Scottish solider and the Veteran.) ROBERT (narrator): After the beheading, William Wallace's body was torn to pieces. His head was placed on top on London Bridge, his arms and legs sent to the four corners of Britain as a warning. It did not have the effect that Longshanks planned. And I, ROBERT THE BRUCE, rode out to pay homage to the armies of the English king and accept his endorsement of my crown. ENGLISH COMMANDER: (to the English Lord on horseback next to him) I hope you've washed your arse this morning. It's about to be kissed by a king. (Robert takes out Murron's embroidery and looks at it with sorrow, thinking, as MacClannough watches. The Bruce looks at William's men, then puts the embroidery back into his sleeve armour.) CRAIG: (to Robert) Come. Let's get it over with. (Craig rides out and Robert follows. But Robert stops.) ROBERT: (to Craig) Stop. (turning to the Scots) You have bled with Wallace, now bleed with me. CRAIG: (in pained regret) Ah! (Hamish drops his axe, and pulls out Wallace's sword. Stepping forward, he screams and throws William's sword out into the field. It stabs into the earth, standing like a cross. ROBERT THE BRUCE draws his sword.) CROWD: WALLACE, WALLACE, WALLACE, WALLACE. (Robert charges and the screaming Scots follow.) WILLIAM (narrating): In the year of our Lord 1314, patriots of Scotland, starving and outnumbered, charged the fields at Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Scotsmen. And won their freedom. THE END. ©2024