"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"THE CIDER HOUSE RULES"

Screenplay by

John Irving

Production Draft



FADE IN. BEGIN TITLE SEQUENCE.

EXT. ST CLOUD'S - TRAIN STATION - DAWN

An establishing shot of the rundown train station on an
overcast morning. There's snow on the station platform. A
train arrives and departs.

LARCH (V.O.)
In other parts of the world, young
men of promise leave home to make
their fortunes, battle evil, or solve
the problems of the world.

Behind the station, at the top of the hill, lies the St.
Cloud's orphanage.

LARCH (V.O.)
I was myself such a young man, when
I came to save the orphanage in St.
Cloud's... many years ago.

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - ORPHANAGE - EARLY MORNING

A man and woman (COUPLE #1) make their way toward the main
entrance of the large brick building.

LARCH (V.O.)
Here in St. Cloud's, I have come to
understand that promises are rarely
kept, that the battle isn't so much
against evil as ignorance, and that
being successful can't hold a candle
to being of *use*.

The couple enters the orphanage, where we hear the sound of
babies.

LARCH (V.O.)
Nor have I solved the problem I came
here to solve.

INT. ORPHANAGE - MORNING

Two nurses, EDNA and ANGELA, chase CHILDREN--a morning
routine.

LARCH (V.O.)
Even in the most enlightened times,
unwanted babies will manage to be
born. That there will always be
orphans is simple not a problem to
be solved. Here is St. Cloud's, we
don't regard the sordid facts of
life as problems.

The camera goes up the stairs with some of the kids.

INT. LARCH'S OFFICE - DAY

We enter an office where DR. LARCH shows couple #1 their
newly adopted son, HOMER, an infant who lies smiling in Dr.
Larch's arms.

LARCH (V.O.)
In truth, we've only had one real
problem.

We close in on the infant until his face fills the screen.

LARCH (V.O.)
His name was Homer Wells.

Dr. Larch hands over the infant to the adopting parents.

LARCH
I named him after the Greek writer.
You know Homer, of course?

Hesitant nods. (They don't look as if they read.)

LARCH
I made his name "Wells" because I
could tell he was very deep.

The parents look with pride at their adopted son.

LARCH (V.O.)
In truth, Nurse Angela named him--
her father *drilled* wells, and
"Homer" was one of her family's
umpteen cats.

INT./EXT. ORPHANAGE - DAY

At the front door, Larch and the nurses wave and call good-
bye to Homer, they close the door.

INT./EXT. ORPHANAGE - NIGHT

The same door swings open; it's another night. The same couple
is bringing Homer back. There is concern in their faces as
Nurse Edna lets them in.

INT. BOY'S DIVISION, DOORWAY - NIGHT

Larch is delivering his benediction to the boys.

LARCH
"Good night, you Princes of Maine,
you Kings of New England!"

As he turns, he is startled by Nurse Edna, waiting with couple
#1 and baby Homer.

ADOPTING MOTHER
There's something wrong with him! He
never makes a sound.

Larch looks quickly at Homer.

LARCH (V.O.)
He didn't cry enough for them, if
you can believe it.

ADOPTING FATHER
Do you think we could have a look at
someone a little different?

The mother hands over the baby to Larch. Baby Homer lets out
a happy squeal as soon as he's in Larch's arms. The parents
stare in disbelief.

LARCH (V.O.)
Thus was Homer Wells returned. He
was too happy a baby.

EXT. ORPHANAGE - DAY

Angela and Edna call and wave good-bye to a two-year-old
Homer, leaving with COUPLE #2. Larch stands on the porch and
watches the family head down the hill.

LARCH (V.O.)
The second family has an unfortunate
gift for getting sounds out of Homer.

INT. COUPLE #2'S HOME - DAY

Larch bursts into the home of the second couple and lifts a
crying and bruised Homer out of his bed. There is rage in
Larch's eyes as he looks at the couple.

LARCH (V.O.)
The rumor was true. They beat him.
He couldn't stop crying.

EXT. HILL, ST. CLOUD'S - DAY

Larch carries Homer up the orphanage hill.

LARCH (V.O.)
Here is St. Cloud's, I try to
consider, with each rule I make or
break, that my first priority is an
orphan's future.

INT. DELIVERY ROOM - DAY

The naked belly of a VERY PREGNANT WOMAN.

LARCH (V.O.)
Easier said than done.

A tiny hand comes in with a stethoscope and puts it on the
big belly. Young Homer's head, with the stethoscope around
his neck, pops up behind the belly; he closes his eyes as he
concentrates on listening to the sounds of the unborn child.
Larch stops in the doorway, catching sight of Homer. He smiles
faintly.

EXT. COUPLE #3'S HOME - DAY

The door opens to a THIRD COUPLE smiling at us, welcoming
and embracing a sixteen-year-old Homer. Behind them waits
the would-be STEPSISTER--an attractive girl, a little older
then Homer.

LARCH (V.O.)
I told the third family to take good
care--this was a special boy.

INT. STEPSISTER'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Homer and the stepsister are in bed together. The parents
burst in on them--the father chasing Homer around and around
the bed, the mother beating her daughter, who covers herself
with a pillow.

LARCH (V.O.)
It was Homer who took too much good
care of himself.

EXT. COUPLE #3'S HOME - NIGHT

From her window, the stepsister watches Homer leave the house
carrying his suitcase. Homer looks up at her as he walks to
the street.

EXT. ORPHANAGE - EARLY MORNING

It's after dawn, but still a little dark, as Homer walks to
the orphanage door, suitcase in hand. A HUGELY PREGNANT WOMAN
arrives at the same time. They stand awkwardly next to each
other, waiting for someone to answer the door. The woman is
crying. Homer reaches out and takes her hand.

HOMER
Don't be frightened. Everyone is
nice here.

PREGNANT WOMAN
Do you live here?

HOMER
I just belong here.

The woman sniffles; she nods vaguely. The door opens. Nurse
Edna lets the woman in and embraces Homer.

LARCH (V.O.)
What could I do with him? He kept
coming back!

INT. LARCH'S OFFICE - DAY

Larch instructs an older Homer from "Gray's Anatomy." Homer
is bored and looks out the window.

LARCH
Homer, if you're going to stay at
St. Cloud's, I expect you to be of
use.

INT. DELIVERY ROOM - DAY

Homer looks adoringly at Dr. Larch as Larch examines ANOTHER
PREGNANT WOMAN. Larch waves Homer over; he places the boy's
hand on the woman's abdomen, to feel the fetus kicking.

LARCH (V.O.)
But, in failing to withhold love,
had I created a true and everlasting
orphan? I had been too successful
with Homer Wells. I had managed to
make the orphanage his *home*.

INT. OPERATING ROOM - DAY

Larch closes a door quickly behind him (so that Homer doesn't
see the ABORTION PATIENT in the O.R.)

INT. DELIVERY ROOM - DAY

Homer assists Larch in delivering a BABY.

EXT. INCINERATOR - DAY

Homer carries a white enamel pail to the incinerator. He
looks inside the pail; he stops.

LARCH (V.O.)
God forgive me. I have *made* an
orphan by loving him too much. Homer
Wells will belong to St. Cloud's,
forever.

Hold on Homer's disgusted expression as he stares at the
contents of the pail.

END TITLE SEQUENCE. FADE OUT. We hear a song playing on an
old phonograph.

INT. DISPENSARY - DAY

We see the song playing on the old phonograph. Dr. Larch is
taking ether. He holds the bottle in one hand, the cone over
his mouth and nose with the other.

SUPER: ST. CLOUD'S, MAINE, MARCH 1943.

When Larch dozes off, his hand loosens its grip on the cone;
the cone falls off his face, and he wakes up. Then he puts
the cone back in place, dripping more ether from the bottle
to the gauze covering the cone.

Pan the dispensary, which also serves as Larch's photo gallery
and bedroom apartment. The ether-bed is separated from the
room by a hospital curtain (the kind on casters). We see the
recording revolving, the glass-encased cabinets of medical
supplies, the old photographs of St. Cloud's.

Homer enters, he stands uncomfortably, watching Larch for a
moment. Then he turns around and walks back into the corridor.

INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

Homer calls out as though he's just coming down the corridor.

HOMER
Dr. Larch! Dr. Larch!

INT. DISPENSARY - DAY

Larch wakes up; he shakes off the ether haze. Homer reenters.

HOMER
We've got two new patients, one to
deliver.

Dr. Larch and Homer leave together.

INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

The *two* doctors walk briskly down the hall, a couple of
professionals.

LARCH
First pregnancy?

HOMER
Yes, for both.

LARCH
(sarcastically)
I presume you'd prefer handling the
delivery.

HOMER
(tiredly; an old topic)
All I said was, I don't want to
perform abortions. I have no argument
with *you* performing them.

LARCH
You know *how* to help these women--
how can you not feel *obligated* to
help them when they can't get help
anywhere else?

HOMER
One: it's illegal. Two: I didn't ask
how to do it--you just showed me.

LARCH
What *else* could I have showed you,
Homer? The only thing I can teach
you is what I know! In every life,
you've got to be of use.

Homer and Larch split off and disappear into two different
operating rooms. As he goes, Homer mumbles to himself, "Of
use, of use, of use."

INT. OPERATING ROOM - DAY

Larch and Angela are preparing the ether for DOROTHY, a not
visibly pregnant woman. The sounds of labor across the hall
can be heard Over.

LARCH
(holds the cone)
Have you ever had ether, Dorothy?

DOROTHY
Once, when they took out my appendix.

ANGELA
(looks for scar)
No one's touched your appendix.

DOROTHY
Whatever it was... the ether made me
sick.

LARCH
It won't make you sick this time,
Dorothy--not the way I do it, just a
drop at a time.

DOROTHY
I can't pay for this, you know--I
got no money.

LARCH
One day, Dorothy, if you have any
money, a donation to the orphanage
would be very much appreciated.

ANGELA
Only if you can afford it.

LARCH
(holds the ether bottle)
Try to think of nothing, Dorothy.

Angela puts the cone over Dorothy's mouth and nose; Larch
drips the ether on the cone. A newborn wails in the other
O.R. Over.

INT. DELIVERY ROOM - DAY

Homer has delivered CARLA. A newborn baby is screaming in
Edna's arms. Homer is attending to Carla, who is panting.

HOMER
That was good, Carla--that was
*perfect*. Everything's fine.

CARLA
I don't wanna see it!

EDNA
You don't have to see it, dear. Don't
worry.

CARLA
I don't even wanna know what sex it
is--don't tell me!

HOMER
We won't tell you, Carla. You're
going to be okay.

EDNA
Your *baby's* going to be okay, too.

CARLA
I don't wanna know!

Larch pops into the delivery room; he peers at the baby.

LARCH
He's a big boy!

CARLA
Let me see him, for Christ's sake--I
wanna see him.

Edna shows the baby to Carla, who stares, then turns away.
Larch whispers to Homer.

LARCH
Would you mind having a look at
Dorothy?

INT. OPERATING ROOM - DAY

Angela sits with the still-etherized Dorothy while Larch and
Homer confer over a basin containing Dorothy's uterus.

HOMER
There was no visible wound?

LARCH
No. The fetus was dead. Her uterus
was virtually *disintegrating*--my
stitches pulled right through the
tissue!

HOMER
(mystified)
It looks like scurvy.

LARCH
(derisively sarcastic)
Scurvy! Ah yes, the curse of the old-
time sailor, suffering long periods
at sea with no fresh fruits or
vegetables. Homer, Dorothy isn't a
*sailor*!

ANGELA
She's a prostitute, isn't she?

HOMER
(to Angela)
Did you look in her purse?

LARCH
(frustrated)
I looked everywhere else!

Angela hands Larch a bottle of brown liquid.

ANGELA
It's called French Lunar Solution.

Larch wrinkles his nose at the odor.

LARCH
It's not ergot, it's not pituitary
extract, it's not oil of rue...

ANGELA
It claims to restore monthly
regularity.

HOMER
It's obviously an aborticide.

LARCH
Obviously.

Larch wets his finger with the stuff, then touches it to his
tongue.

LARCH
(spits)
Christ, it's oil of tansy!

HOMER
I don't know it.

LARCH
If you take enough of it, your
intestines lose their ability to
absorb Vitamin C.

HOMER
In other words, scurvy.

LARCH
Good boy. Good job. And you call
yourself "not a doctor"!
(to Angela)
Keep an eye on her--she's in trouble.

As Homer turns to leave, Larch stops him; he points to the
basin.

LARCH
Take care of that, will you?

Homer stops, annoyed; he picks up the basin and empties the
contents into a white enamel pail.

INT. DINING HALL - AFTERNOON

MISS TITCOMB is teaching math to some distracted boys and
girls in a corner of the dining room. A blackboard on wheels
is a mass of numbers. Homer, passing through the dining room
with the white enamel pail, attracts the attention of BUSTER,
a sixteen-year-old who is picking over a plate of pastries
on a table. Buster immediately goes with Homer.

BUSTER
I'll help you.

Homer shakes his head, keeps walking. Buster follows. Dr.
Larch passes close to Buster. Buster makes a face, disgusted.

EXT. INCINERATOR - AFTERNOON

Buster and Homer tramp through the snow toward the
incinerator. Homer still carries the pail.

BUSTER
He *sniffs* that ether! I've seen
him do it!

HOMER
It's because he's too tired to sleep.
He has to.

BUSTER
He *smells* like he could put you to
sleep!

HOMER
He's a doctor, Buster--doctors smell
like ether.

BUSTER
*You're* a doctor, Homer--you don't
smell like ether.

HOMER
I'm *not* a doctor. I haven't been
to medical school--I haven't even
been to high school!

BUSTER
But you've studied with the old man
for *years*!

HOMER
I'm *not* a doctor!

BUSTER
I'm sorry, Homer.

Buster stands watching as Homer empties the pail into the
incinerator.

INT. DISPENSARY - NIGHT

With his head inclined to the giant ear of Larch's phonograph,
FUZZY--six, thin, and pale and looking remarkably like an
embryo--is listening to a recording. He can't hear what Larch
and Homer are saying about him as they construct a humidified
tent over a small hospital bed on wheels. The humidifier is
operated by a car battery.

LARCH
Fuzzy is not uncommon. I tell you,
there's something about the premature
babies of alcoholic mothers. They
seem susceptible to every damn thing
that comes along.

HOMER
I haven't read that.

LARCH
I haven't, either. But you *will*.
The morons who write the books should
do a little research *here*.

HOMER
But isn't Fuzzy just... well,
underdeveloped?

LARCH
When *doesn't* he have bronchitis? I
wouldn't call his bronchial infections
"underdeveloped." Would you?

Larch plucks Fuzzy from in front of the phonograph and zips
him into the breathing tent. Fuzzy smiles. As larch leaves,
MARY AGNES, a pretty but tough-looking teenager, comes into
the dispensary.

HOMER
What is it, Mary Agnes?

Mary Agnes smiles at Homer; then she sticks her tongue out
at him. Homer looks at her impassively, but as the moment
continues his expression suggests his annoyance. Fuzzy starts
to cough; he wheezes as he breathes. Homer leans down; he
peers at Fuzzy through a hole by the zipper of the tent.

MARY AGNES
(garbled because of
her tongue)
Look!

Homer examines Mary Agnes' tongue.

HOMER
Did you bite it?

MARY AGNES
I don't remember.

HOMER
(dismissively)
It looks like you bit it--it'll be
all right.

MARY AGNES
Maybe I was kissing someone and he
bit me.

HOMER
(looks at her tongue
again)
No, you did it yourself. Maybe in
your sleep.

MARY AGNES
I must have been *dreaming* of kissing
someone.

Homer is not responding to her come-on. He wheels Fuzzy into
the hall.

HOMER
Story time, Fuzzy!

INT. GIRLS' DIVISION - NIGHT

In the girls' bunk room, Nurse Edna is saying prayers. The
girls lie with their palms pressed together on their chests.

EDNA
"Oh Lord, support us all the day
long..."

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - THE HILL - NIGHT

The building of St. Cloud's is silhouetted against the sky.
Carla, the woman we saw deliver the baby, is heading down
the hill alone, she sobs, not looking back.

EDNA (O.S.)
"...until the shadows lengthen and
the evening comes, and the busy world
is hushed, and the fever of life is
over, and our work is done."

INT. GIRLS' DIVISION - NIGHT

In the bunk room again, with Edna and the girls.

EDNA
"Then in Thy mercy grant us save
lodging, and holy rest, and peace at
the last."

ALL THE GIRLS
Amen! Amen! Amen!

INT. BOYS' DIVISION - NIGHT

Dr. Larch is reading from Oliver Twist--the death scene of
Bill Sike's dog. The boys listen in horror in their beds.

LARCH
"A dog, which had lain concealed
till now, ran backwards and forwards
on the parapet with a dismal howl,
and collecting himself for a spring,
jumped for the dead man's shoulders."

Homer enters; he walks quietly to his bed in the far corner
of the room, where he starts to undress.

LARCH
"Missing his aim, he fell into a
ditch, turning completely over as he
went; and striking his head against
a stone, dashed his brains out.

Larch turns out the lights. From the open doorway to the
hall, Larch delivers his nightly benediction.

LARCH
Good night, you Princes of Maine!
You Kings of New England!

Larch closes the door, leaving them in the semi-darkness.
One young boy runs into Homer's bed, nervously giggling.

FUZZY
(in his breathing
tent)
Why does Dr. Larch *do* tht every
night?

CURLY
(about seven)
Maybe to scare us...

COPPERFIELD
(about eleven)
No, you jerk.

STEERFORTH
(about nine)
Dr. Larch *loves* us!

FUZZY
But why does he do *that*?

BUSTER
He does it because we like it.

The boys silently agree, Homer among them.

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - EARLY MORNING

The girls, led by Mary Agnes, round a corner of the orphanage,
towing a sled piled high with snowballs.

MARY AGNES
Buster is mine. You two get
Copperfield and Curly. Nobody touches
Fuzzy.

They shriek as the boys suddenly surprise them. Buster throws
two hard snowballs that hit Mary Agnes and CLARA (eight or
nine) before Mary Agnes overwhelms him and repeatedly sticks
his head in the snow. Copperfield, terrified of Mary Agnes,
escapes. Curly misses, then tips over the sled of snowballs
as Clara and the adorable HAZEL (five or six) throw him to
the ground. Fuzzy drops his one snowball; he runs aimlessly
in circles, coughing, as Nurse Edna explodes from a door of
the orphanage.

EDNA
Stop it! No fighting! *Share* the
snowballs!

BUSTER
(mouth full of snow)
They're *our* snowballs! They *stole*
them!

MARY AGNES
They attacked us--just like the Japs!

Fuzzy coughs and wheezes, trying to catch his breath.

EDNA
Listen to you, Fuzzy! You've been
running. You get to the shower!

A NEW COUPLE comes up the hill. The orphans stop and stare,
brushing snow off themselves, struggling to make themselves
look presentable. Curly is desperate to look his best. Mary
Agnes doesn't bother to pretty herself. She whispers to Clara
and Hazel.

MARY AGNES
I know the type--they'll take one of
the babies.

INT. DINING HALL - MORNING

The children are eating breakfast as the would-be parents
walk around the tables, looking over the assembled orphans.
Curly works on his table manners; he forks and eats a piece
of pancake with elegance. Angela and Edna try to make the
couple slow down by the older children, but the couple stop
and stare at the adorable Hazel.

INT. BABY ROOM - MORNING

Larch and Homer are examining the babies. The doctors are
checking the babies' grips, their eyes, ears, and throats.

Angela appears in the doorway.

ANGELA
Wilbur, the adopting couple is waiting
in your office.

LARCH
(irritated)
Life is waiting.

Angela disappears. Larch looks at the next baby's record
(attached to the bed).

LARCH
Where's the name sheet?

HOMER
Nobody's named this one yet.

LARCH
It's my turn!

Homer is tired of this game. Larch touches the child's
forehead with his index finger.

LARCH
Henceforth you shall be... Little
Dorrit!

The baby starts to cry.

HOMER
He doesn't like it.
(looks at the record)
He's a boy, That's why.

LARCH
Can't a boy be a Dorrit?

HOMER
I don't think so.

LARCH
You do it then.

Homer points his finger at the child's forehead like a gun.

HOMER
Henceforth you shall be... Little
Wilbur.

LARCH
I'm not crazy about the "Little..."

Homer is writing the name.

HOMER
Okay, he's just a Wilbur then.

LARCH
We haven't had a Wilbur here in a
year or so, have we? We used to have
*dozens*!

They are interrupted by Copperfield, who comes running from
the corridor.

COPPERFIELD
They picked Hazel! The idiots chose
Hazel!

INT. GIRLS' DIVISION - DAY

Hazel is being fussed over by Edna. Hazel clutches a cardboard
suitcase and a tattered rag doll. Mary Agnes, by far the
oldest, sits on a bed.

MARY AGNES
If people want to adopt one of us,
they should have to take the oldest
first.

EDNA
Please, Mary Agnes! This is Hazel's
special day--don't make her feel
sad.

MARY AGNES
Hazel's practically the youngest of
us. She should be the *last* to leave!

CLARA
At least Hazel can talk. Usually
they take one of the stupid babies.

MARY AGNES
They take the babies so they won't
ever have to tell them that they
were orphans!

HAZEL
(begins to cry)
I'm not a baby!

MARY AGNES
If you cry, Hazel, they'll just send
you back.

EDNA
Mary Agnes, that's not true!

Hazel cries harder.

MARY AGNES
That's what they did to me!

EDNA
You *wanted* to come back--that's
why you cried.
(to Hazel)
You can cry if you feel like it,
Hazel. You cry as much as you want.

INT. LARCH'S OFFICE - DAY

Homer is in the corridor outside the office, overhearing
Larch's lecture to the couple adopting Hazel.

LARCH
It is strictly for our orphans' sake
that I destroy any record of their
natural mothers. Of course they will,
one day, want to know. But orphans,
especially, should look forward to
their *futures*. Not back to their
pasts.

INT. WINDOW, CORRIDOR - DAY

Homer sees Curly standing all alone by a window in the
corridor; a suitcase is next to him.

HOMER
Hi, Curly. You going somewhere?

Curly shakes his head.

CURLY
I thought they might take me.

HOMER
They wanted a girl.

CURLY
Nobody ever wants me!

Homer embraces Curly and lifts him up, he grabs the suitcase
and continues down the corridor.

HOMER
You're one of the best, Curly--we
couldn't let just anyone take you.

CURLY
Dr. Larch wouldn't let just anyone
take *any* of us!

HOMER
That's true.

CURLY
Nobody's asked for me, have they?

HOMER
Nobody special enough, Curly.

CURLY
You mean somebody asked?

HOMER
Only the right people can have you,
Curly.

Homer disappears into the boys' bunk room carrying Curly and
his suitcase, leaving the corridor empty.

INT./EXT. ORPHANAGE - DAY

Faces in the windows; the orphans watch Hazel walking across
the snowy lawn with her new parents.

INT. GIRLS' DIVISION - NIGHT

Edna (with the girls) gives her good-bye blessing to Hazel.

EDNA
Let us be happy for Hazel. Hazel has
found a family. Good night, Hazel.

THE GIRLS
Good night, Hazel! Good night, Hazel!
Good night, Hazel!

INT./EXT. ORPHANAGE - FRONT DOOR - DAY

The front door opens. The orphans excitedly run outside onto
the green lawn, into the warm weather of spring.

INT. DISPENSARY - MORNING

Angela is singing along with the song on the phonograph, a
more romantic song then before, which rouses Larch from his
ether. He is grumpy, but she sings the song in his ear and
won't give him back the ether cone; he rolls away from her,
but she tickles him and bites his ear, coaxing him into a
more playful mood.

LARCH
I was dreaming about you. How
beautiful you were!

ANGELA
You weren't dreaming about me.

LARCH
I was!

Playfully, she slips out of his embrace.

ANGELA
Then I wasn't beautiful.

LARCH
You were! You *are*! It was fantastic.

ANGELA
It was just the ether, Wilbur...

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT

Homer wheels a tray with glasses of water between the beds.
A DISTRAUGHT PREGNANT WOMAN stops him by her bed.

HOMER
Are you okay? Can I get you anything?

DISTRAUGHT WOMAN
No one but me ever put a hand on me,
to feel that baby. Don't you want to
touch it or put your ear down to it?

HOMER
Okay.

Homer touches the woman's belly.

DISTRAUGHT WOMAN
Put your ear there. Go on.

Homer cautiously lays his ear against her belly.

DISTRAUGHT WOMAN
You shouldn't have a baby if there's
no one who wants to put his face
right there!

She holds Homer's head against her belly; she presses his
face into her. She shuts her eyes. Homer's eyes stare widely.
Dr. Larch stops in the doorway; he watches with concern.

DISTRAUGHT WOMAN
Stay right there. Right where you
are. Stay right here. Right here.

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - TRAIN STATION - DAY

Homer at the train station, staring down the empty tracks.
Buster is hanging around with him, kicking a rock.

BUSTER
Do you ever think about leaving this
place to go find them?

Homer makes no response. As the train approaches, Homer and
Buster go sit on a loading cart. They see the distraught
woman (no longer pregnant) from Homer's experience of a few
nights ago; she is leaving St. Cloud's without her baby,
waiting for the approaching train. Her face is a mask. The
DISAPPROVING STATIONMASTER gives her a hard look.

BUSTER
I mean your parents.

HOMER
I know who you mean. I think about
leaving here, but not to find *them*.

BUSTER
Why not?

HOMER
Whoever they were, they didn't *do*
any of the things parents are supposed
to do. Dr. Larch did those things,
and Nurse Edna, and Nurse Angela.

BUSTER
Yeah. But sometimes I wish I could
meet mine, anyway.

HOMER
What for, Buster? What would you do
if you met them?

BUSTER
Uh... I'd like to show them that I
can cook, a little.

HOMER
You cook very well!

BUSTER
And that I can drive a truck!

HOMER
(laughing)
Better than I can!

BUSTER
Sometimes I want to meet them so I
can kill them. Just sometimes.

Buster is ashamed; he knows he's said the wrong thing.

BUSTER
Homer, you know I would never kill
anyone--you know I wouldn't.

HOMER
I know.

The slowly moving train has stopped. There are SOLDIERS
leaning out the windows. Buster turns to see Mary Agnes
walking past the train--she's doing her best to look grown-
up, sophisticated. One of the soldiers reaches out and gently
tugs on her hair. Mary Agnes is enraged; she spits at the
soldier.

BUSTER
I think Mary Agnes could kill someone.

HOMER
I doubt it. She's just an...

Mary Agnes spits at *all* the soldiers.

HOMER
...emotional girl.

The soldiers roll up the windows as Mary Agnes improvises
some verbal abuse.

BUSTER
What's she so emotional about?

HOMER
(shrugs)
I don't know. She got left here,
like the rest of us, didn't she?

Camera closes on Homer.

INT. DINING HALL - NIGHT

The orphans are watching King Kong, the part when the giant
ape first captures the screaming Fay Wray. Intercut Kong
with the orphans' rapt faces. Homer sits near the front,
mesmerized by the film. Dr. Larch and Angela sit by the
projector; Larch is reading a letter. Fuzzy points to the
screen.

FUZZY
(coughing)
He thinks she's his *mother*!

King Kong is undressing Fay Wray in the cave.

COPPERFIELD
He doesn't think she's his mother,
Fuzzy.

FUZZY
He does so! He *loves* her!

CARLA
How could she be his *mother*?

Larch shakes the letter in front of Angela.

LARCH
(a harsh whisper)
They want to replace me! The Board
of Trustees wants to *replace* me!

ANGELA
(whispering back)
They just want you to hire some new
help.

LARCH
Some new *things* would be useful. I
don't need any "new help."

The film breaks--to huge cries of disappointment from the
orphans. Fuzzy coughs and coughs while Larch fumbles with
the projector. Angela turns on the light while Larch squints
at the broken film. The orphans are chanting, "Kong! Kong!"

LARCH
Homer! I need you!

Homer gets up and walks to the projector.

LARCH
I thought you took care of this. It
always breaks in the same place.
It's your splice, isn't it?

HOMER
(angry)
It's *your* splice! You blame me for
everything!

Larch abruptly lets go of the film.

LARCH
Angela, we need a new movie, a new
projector, a new typewriter--*that's*
what they should replace around here!

Edna comes in; she speaks to Larch, then quickly leaves.

EDNA
We have a delivery. Imminent, in my
estimation...

Larch turns to Homer.

LARCH
Homer, would you get this one?

Homer shifts his weight to the other foot; aggravated; he
stands there.

HOMER
She's a patient, right? She should
see a doctor.

Homer and Larch stare at each other.

LARCH
(trying to stay calm)
Homer, you are a skilled and gifted
surgeon. You have near-prefect
obstetrical and gynecological
procedure.

Homer is also trying to avoid a fight.

HOMER
I just mean I'd rather fix the movie.
Tonight.

Larch can't hide his disappointment.

LARCH
Sure. Okay. You splice. I'll deliver.

It is an uneasy peace.

INT. BOYS' DIVISION - NIGHT (LATER)

Homer is adjusting Fuzzy's breathing tent as the other boys
climb into bed.

FUZZY
Homer... doesn't King Kong think the
woman is his *mother*?

HOMER
Uh, sure--that's what Kong thinks,
all right.

FUZZY
That's why Kong loves her!

Larch comes in and walks over to Homer and Fuzzy. Larch and
Homer exchange a look.

HOMER
I thought it was my turn.

LARCH
It is. I'll get this. You go ahead.

Homer sits down with 'David Copperfield.' There is quiet
anticipation while Homer readies himself to read.

HOMER
(reading)
"Whether I shall turn out to be the
hero of my own life, or whether that
station will be held by anybody else,
these pages must show."

Larch continues to adjust Fuzzy's breathing tent.

HOMER
"I was a posthumous child. My father's
eyes had closed upon the light of
this world six months, when mine
opened on it."

FUZZY
(whispers to Larch)
His father's dead, right?

LARCH
(whispering back)
That's right, Fuzz.

Close on Fuzzy.

HOMER (O.S.)
(continues reading)
"There is something strange to me,
even now, in the reflection that he
never saw me..."

As Larch bends over Fuzzy to fix the breathing apparatus,
Fuzzy whispers.

FUZZY
Is *your* father dead?

LARCH
(nods, whispers)
Cirrhosis--it's a disease of the
liver.

FUZZY
*Liver* killed him?

LARCH
*Alcohol* killed him--he drank himself
to death.

FUZZY
But did you know him?

LARCH
Barely. It hardly mattered that I
knew him.

FUZZY
Did you know your mother better?

LARCH
(nods, still whispers)
She's dead now, too. She was a nanny.

FUZZY
What's a nanny do?

LARCH
She looks after other people's
children.

FUZZY
Did you grow up around here?

LARCH
No. She was an immigrant.

FUZZY
What's an immigrant?

LARCH
Someone not from Maine.

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - NIGHT

The orphanage in moonlight. Not a sound.

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - MORNING

The children are chasing a ball near the incinerator.

A VERY FRIGHTENED GIRL---not one of the orphans--is lying
next to the incinerator.

Edna kneels by the strange girl, who cringes with fear.

EDNA
No one's going to hurt you, dear.
Have you come to visit us? We have
beds, you know. Have you had any
breakfast? What's your name?

The girl won't speak; when Edna touches the girl's forehead,
she pulls back her hand in alarm.

INT. OPERATING ROOM - MORNING

Edna is holding the head of the frightened young girl. The
girl is feverishly hot and whimpering; she keeps looking at
her feet in the stirrups as if she's an animal caught in a
trap. Larch and Homer stand on either side of her.

EDNA
Her temperature is a hundred and
four.

LARCH
(very gently)
How old are you, dear? Thirteen?

The girl shakes her head. The pain stabs her again.

LARCH
Twelve? Are you twelve, dear?
(the girl nods)
You have to tell me how long you've
been pregnant.
(the girl freezes)
Three months?

Another stab of pain contorts the girl.

LARCH
Are you *four* months pregnant?

The girl holds her breath while he examines her abdomen;
Homer very delicately examines the girl's abdomen, too.

HOMER
(whispers to Larch)
She's at least *five*.

The girl goes rigid as Larch bends into position.

LARCH
Dear child, it won't hurt when I
look. I'm just going to *look*.

Homer assists Larch with the speculum.

LARCH
Tell me: you haven't done something
to yourself, have you?

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL
It wasn't me!

LARCH
Did you go to someone else?

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL
He said he was a doctor. I would
never have stuck that inside me!

HOMER
Stuck *what* inside you?

Homer holds the girl still--she is babbling on and on while
Larch is examining her.

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL
It wasn't me! I would never do no
such thing! I wouldn't stick that
inside me! It wasn't me!

Larch, his wild eye peering into the speculum, makes an
audible gasp from the shock of what he sees inside the girl.
Larch tells Homer to have a look. Larch then whispers
something to Edna; she brings the ether bottle and cone
quickly. Larch starts putting the cone in place, over the
nose and mouth of the frightened girl. Homer bends to the
speculum.

LARCH
(to the twelve-year-
old)
Listen, you've been very brave. I'm
going to put you to sleep--you won't
feel it anymore. You've been brave
enough.

Homer stares into the speculum; he closes his eyes. The girl
is resisting the ether, but her eyelids flutter closed.

EDNA
That's a heavy sedation.

LARCH
You *bet* it's a heavy sedation! The
fetus is unexpelled, her uterus is
punctured, she has acute peritonitis,
and there's a foreign object. I think
it's a crochet hook.

Homer has pulled off his surgical mask. He leans over the
scrub sink, splashing cold water on his face.

LARCH
(to Homer)
If she'd come to you four months ago
and asked you for a simple D and C,
what would you have decided to do?
*Nothing*? *This* is what doing
nothing gets you, Homer. It means
that someone else is going to do the
job--some moron who doesn't know
*how*!

Homer, furious, leaves the operating room. Edna lifts the
girl's eyelids for Larch so that he can see how well under
the ether she is.

LARCH
I wish you'd come to *me*, dear child.
You should have come to me, instead.

INT. CORRIDOR - MORNING

Homer storms down the hall, then stops, pulling off his white
coat. Angry, pacing, he kicks at nothing.

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - GRAVEYARD - EARLY MORNING

Buster and Homer are digging the pit. Larch paces by the
coffin of the 12-year-old girl.

BUSTER
What'd she die of?

LARCH
(inhales deeply)
She died of *secrecy*, she died of
*ignorance*...

Buster nods, but he's totally bewildered.

LARCH
(to Homer)
If you expect people to be responsible
for their children, you have to give
them the right to decide whether or
not to *have* children. Wouldn't you
agree?

Buster doesn't get it. Homer has heard this too many times;
he rolls his eyes.

HOMER
How about expecting people to be
responsible enough to control
themselves to begin with?

LARCH
How about this child? You expect
*her* to be responsible?

Homer looks away.

HOMER
I didn't mean her. I'm talking
about... adults.
(annoyed)
You know who I mean!

Larch studies him.

EXT./INT. ST. CLOUD'S ROAD - TRUCK CAB - DAY

Buster is driving the old pickup truck, with the shovels and
a wheelbarrow in the back. Larch and Homer are in the cab,
they are being bounced all over the cab by Buster's wild
driving. Larch looks at Homer; he stares at him with a curious
smile.

HOMER
What?!

Larch says nothing. Homer gives him a look.

LARCH
(smiling)
It's just a marvel to me that you
still have such high expectations of
people.

HOMER
I'm happy I amuse you.

LARCH
(to Homer)
Try to look at it this way. What
choice does Buster have? What are
his options? Nobody will ever adopt
him.
(Buster considers
this)

HOMER
Try to look at it *this* way. Buster
and I are sitting right here beside
you. We could have ended up in the
incinerator!
(Buster grins)

LARCH
Happy to be alive, under any
circumstances--is that your point?

Buster is distracted; he drives the truck into a ditch and
it bounces around, missing a tree by an inch. He is up on
the road again in a few seconds.

HOMER
Happy to be alive... I guess so.

They are all distracted by a luxurious convertible that
overtakes them on the hill to the orphanage. The fast car is
driven by a handsome man in the uniform of the Army Air Corps--
a YOUNG OFFICER. From the passenger seat, a BEAUTIFUL YOUNG
WOMAN smiles at them, rendering them speechless.

EXT. ORPHANAGE DRIVEWAY - DAY

The luxurious convertible (now parked) has drawn all the
orphans to it. The handsome young officer (WALLY) and the
beautiful young woman (CANDY) stand confused by the car;
they are surrounded by the curious orphans, with whom they
are painfully self-conscious. They are overly friendly to
the children as they are anxious of Larch and Homer and Buster
(in their gravedigging attire), who are getting out of the
truck. Nervously, Wally gives the children chocolates.

CANDY
So many children. Are they all
orphans?

WALLY
Well, this *is* an orphanage.

The kids climb into Wally's car.

CANDY
Oh, they're getting into the car...
watch your fingers!

Curly tugs on Candy's dress, staring up at her, his face
already smeared with chocolate.

CURLY
I'm the best.

CANDY
(sweetly)
You are?

WALLY
(good with kids)
The best? Wow! The best at *what*?

CURLY
I'm the best one.

Curly's nose is streaming snot. Candy kneels beside him and
holds her handkerchief to his nose.

CANDY
Here, blow...

Curly tries to talk while she's holding his nose.

CURLY
I really *am* the best, I just have
a cold.

CANDY
Blow! There, I bet that feels better.

CURLY
(sniffs)
Yeah.

The other orphans are dying with envy--Candy is so beautiful.
(Some, like Buster, are torn between Candy and the car.)

LARCH
Curly, come here!

CURLY
(to Larch)
*Tell* them! I'm the one.

Virtually all the orphans have climbed into Wally's car.

HOMER
(to Wally)
I'm sorry. They're not used to seeing
a car like this.

WALLY
It's okay--I don't mind.

Larch, scowling, presents himself to the new couple.

WALLY
We brought some chocolates for the
kids.

LARCH
(witheringly)
Chocolates. How *thoughtful*.

Larch picks up Curly and carries him toward the boys'
division.

CURLY
I'm the best! *Tell* them!

LARCH
You're the best, Curly.

INT. LARCH'S OFFICE - DAY

Homer is seated in the desk chair. The impressive couple sit
in front of him.

HOMER
So, Mrs...

CANDY
Candy. Candy Kendall.

Wally jumps up to his feet to shake Homer's hand.

WALLY
Wally. Wally Worthington.

Wally sits down. The three sit still for an awkward moment.

HOMER
(to Candy)
How many months are you?

CANDY
(whispers)
Two.

Homer writes on a piece of paper. Candy and Wally exchange a
worried look.

WALLY
So, now, uh... you're not... I mean,
do *you* do the--

HOMER
No. Dr. Larch will be performing the
procedure.

WALLY
(relieved)
Ah, well... okay. Good! I just
wondered...

Edna pokes her head in the door.

EDNA
Excuse me, Homer. Dr. Larch said
this one is your turn.

Edna quickly sees that all three of them have misunderstood
her.

EDNA
Oh, dear--I'm sorry. I meant the
circumcision. That boy you delivered
on Tuesday...

HOMER
Sure. Fine. Have you prepped him?

EDNA
I'll get started.

Candy and Wally can't conceal how impressed they are with
the young Homer.

INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

Homer walks down the corridor, dressed in his operating gown,
as the door to the O.R. opens and Wally stumbles out,
hurriedly opening a window. Wally breathes deeply to regain
his composure.

WALLY
I think it was the ether--the smell
got to me.
(pause)
God. This is all my fault.

Edna comes down the hall with a dirt-stained, crying Curly
who's covering one eye.

EDNA
(over the din)
Steerforth got into the pantry--he's
eaten all the pie dough.

CURLY
(sobbing)
He wasn't sharing it, either.

EDNA
He's down the hall, throwing up.

Homer nods to Edna, who is marching off with Curly. Wally
smiles at Homer.

HOMER
What kind of plane are you flying?

WALLY
A B-24 Liberator.

HOMER
Liberator...

WALLY
Have you enlisted?

HOMER
They wouldn't take me. I'm Class IV--
I've got a heart defect.

WALLY
Really! Is it serious?

HOMER
No, it's not serious. I'm just not
supposed to get excited. You know--
no strain, no stress. I try to keep
calm all the time.

Wally hears Homer's facetiousness--how tired he is of his
heart condition.

WALLY
Oh, well. I don't imagine there's
any strain or stress around *here*!

Homer appreciates the joke.

The door to the operating room that Wally exited opens into
the corridor; Candy is being wheeled out on a gurney by Larch
and Angela. Wally rushes to Candy's side. Homer follows
slowly. Candy is groggy, coming out of the ether.

WALLY
How is she doing?

LARCH
Just fine.

CANDY
(slurred speech)
Boy or girl?

ANGELA
It was nothing--it's all over.

WALLY
It's all over, honey.

They walk Candy on her gurney. Homer looks after them.

CANDY
(slurred speech)
I would like to have a baby, one
day. I really would.

ANGELA
Why, of course--you can have as many
children as you want. I'm sure you'll
have very beautiful children.

Larch wheels Candy behind a curtain.

LARCH
You'll have Princes of Maine! You'll
have Kings of New England!

Larch has a different tone of voice when he speaks to Wally.

LARCH
I suggest you find yourself some
fresh air, Lieutenant.

Wally is left alone in the corridor.

INT. BOYS' DIVISION - DAY

Cranked at three-quarters, Fuzzy sits in bed, wheezing and
coughing. He's drawing with great intensity, using crayons
on a piece of paper held by a clipboard. Homer sits on the
end of Fuzzy's bed, cleaning up Steerforth. Homer pauses to
look out of the window; he sees Wally, dashing and spotless
in his uniform beside his flashy car. A life Homer might
have had crosses his face.

FUZZY (O.S.)
Homer, when is Halloween?

Homer turns to Fuzzy, who holds up his picture--a big pumpkin
with a jack-o-lantern face.

HOMER
(distracted)
Uh... it's the end of October.

FUZZY
Is that soon?

Homer looks at Fuzzy; his little body is working hard just
to breathe.

STEERFORTH
That's a few months away, Fuzz.
(to Homer)
I still don't feel so good.

FUZZY
(disappointed)
Oh. It's the best time! How come we
only get pumpkins once a year?

Fuzzy coughs and coughs.

HOMER
Don't get too excited, Fuzzy.

FUZZY
Why can't we have pumpkins for
Christmas, too? We don't get any
good presents at Christmas, anyway.

Homer looks out the window at Wally again. His decision forms.

EXT. ORPHANAGE DRIVEWAY - DAY

Homer approaches the flashy car, where Wally is still pacing.

HOMER
Has anyone offered you anything to
eat?

WALLY
Actually, someone did. I just didn't
think I could eat anything.

An awkward silence, which Homer covers by examining the car.

HOMER
(trying to sound casual)
I wonder if you might give me a ride.

WALLY
Sure! Be glad to! Uh... a ride where?

HOMER
(unprepared)
Where are you going?

WALLY
We're heading back to Cape Kenneth.

Homer nods, but he has no idea where Cape Kenneth is.

HOMER
Cape Kenneth...

Wally nods.

HOMER
That sounds fine.

INT. STAIRWAY/CORRIDOR - DAY

Homer runs up the stairs, two steps at a time; he races into
a corridor at full speed, exhilarated. Suddenly Dr. Larch
appears in front of him. Homer stops abruptly, out of breath,
unable to speak.

INT. LARCH'S OFFICE - DAY

As Homer stands guiltily, Larch rifles through an X-ray file,
holding various X rays up to the lit screen. He quickly finds
the one he's looking for, attaching it briefly to the screen
for a confirming look--a heart X ray, which Larch waves at
Homer as he talks.

LARCH
(sarcastic)
Doubtless you'll let me know what
immensely worthwhile or at least
*useful* thing it is that you find
to do.

HOMER
(restrained)
I wasn't intending to leave here in
order to be entirely useless--I expect
I'll find some ways to be of use.

LARCH
In other parts of the world, I suppose
there are other ways.

HOMER
(still restrained)
Of course.

LARCH
(blows up)
Are you really so *stupid* that you
imagine you're going to find a more
gratifying life? What you're going
to find is people like the poor people
who get left here--only nobody takes
care of them as well! And you won't
be able to take care of them, either.
There's no taking care of *anybody*--
not out there!

HOMER
(feeling trapped)
You know I'm grateful for everything
you've done for me...

LARCH
(calmly)
I don't need your gratitude.

Larch hands Homer the heart X ray.

HOMER
(exasperated)
I don't need this--I know all about
my condition.

LARCH
It's your heart--you ought to take
it with you.

Camera closes on Homer with the X ray.

INT. KITCHEN - LATE AFTERNOON

Buster and Mary Agnes are serving the evening meal while
Larch rails at Angela and Edna, who are helping Buster and
Mary Agnes. The sound of children in the dining hall is
intermittent and chaotic.

EDNA
Going where? Does he have a plan of
some kind?

ANGELA
Will he be back soon?

LARCH
I don't know! He's just leaving--
(to Angela)
you're the one who says he needs to
see the world!
(to Edna)
*That's* what he'll do--he'll see
the world!

EDNA
(stunned)
He's leaving...

ANGELA
He'll need clothes... some money...

LARCH
Let him try to *make* some money!
That's part of "seeing the world,"
isn't it?

ANGELA
(angrily)
Oh, just stop it! You knew this was
going to happen. He's a young man.

LARCH
(almost breaking)
He's still a boy--out in the world,
he's still a boy.

ANGELA
Just find him some clothes, Wilbur.
He could use some clothes.

Camera closes on Larch, fighting tears.

INT. BOYS' DIVISION - AFTERNOON

Homer is packing his things--we see the heart X ray, and
some photos of Larch and Edna and Angela.

Larch approaches Homer with a small bundle of clothes.

LARCH
(gently, almost
reverently)
I think these will fit you.

Homer is grateful and ashamed. Before he can speak, Edna is
there--a wad of bills in her hand. She tries to put the money
in his pocket; when he refuses it, she simply puts the money
in his open suitcase, stuffing the bills under his clothes.

EDNA
You'll need some money--just a little
something, until you find a job.

Larch and Edna retreat from him, humbly, as if they were his
servants.

EXT. DRIVEWAY - AFTERNOON

As Homer puts his stuff in the truck of Wally's car, Angela
can't resist touching his face. She is too upset to speak.

From a window, Larch is watching the departure. He sees Homer
saying goodbye to the children, embracing them.

From another window, Fuzzy just stares. (Of course he's
coughing.)

We see Wally carrying Candy to the car.

CANDY
(groggy)
I'm okay--I can walk.

WALLY
I don't want you to walk--I want to
carry you. Should I put the top up?
It might get cold.

CANDY
No--keep it down. I want to feel the
air.

She speaks to Homer, touching his sleeve, like a sleepy
person, as Wally puts her gently in the backseat.

CANDY
(still groggy)
Coming with us? It's always a good
idea to have a doctor along for the
ride.

Homer gets in the passenger seat beside Wally, who starts
the car; suddenly there is Curly. Homer can't look at Curly,
who looks betrayed. Edna picks up Curly and carries him to
the passenger-side window. Curly is sobbing.

HOMER
I have to go, Curly. I'm sorry.
(to Edna)
I couldn't find Buster. Will you
tell him...

He can't finish what he has to say. Edna kisses him good-
bye.

From the window, Larch watches the car leave.

Buster, whittling a stick, isn't watching.

INT./EXT. WALLY'S CAR - ON THE ROAD - AFTERNOON

There is quiet as the journey gets underway. Wally keeps
glancing at Candy in the rear-view mirror; she seems distant,
lost in thought. Homer is taking everything in--the speed,
the road, the wind in his face.

INT. BOYS' DIVISION - NIGHT

Angela speaks to the boys.

ANGELA
Let us be happy for Homer Wells...

INT. GIRLS' DIVISION - NIGHT

In the girls' washroom, in front of the mirror by the row of
sinks, Mary Agnes is repeatedly slapping her face. Angela's
benediction to the boys plays Over this scene of violent
self-abuse. Except for the sound of the slaps. Mary Agnes
doesn't make a sound.

ANGELA (O.S.)
Homer Wells has found a family. Good
night, Homer!

ALL THE BOYS (O.S.)
Good night, Homer!

INT. DISPENSARY - NIGHT

On his bed, Larch is taking ether. We hear the refrain from
the boys in the bunk room Over.

ALL THE BOYS (O.S.)
Good night, Homer! Good night, Homer!
Good night, Homer Wells!

INT. WALLY'S CAR - NIGHT

The radio is playing. Candy is lying down, her knees drawn
up, in the backseat; she appears to be asleep, oblivious to
Homer and Wally's conversation.

WALLY
Actually, the Army has given me leave
twice. First when my father died,
and now I'm on leave to help my mother--
I'm just trying to get her ready for
the harvest. She's no farmer. Apples
were my dad's business. And with the
war on, she's short on pickers.

Candy's eyes are open but her voice is groggy.

CANDY
(to Homer)
Wally thinks apples are boring.

WALLY
(to Homer)
I never said they were boring.

CANDY
You said, "Apples aren't exactly
flying."

WALLY
Well, they aren't.

Homer looks back at Candy. Her eyes close.

HOMER
I think I'd probably like the apple
business.

WALLY
You're a little overqualified, aren't
you?

HOMER
No, I'm not. I need a job.

WALLY
The only jobs are picking jobs.
Picking apples is truly boring.

Candy's eyes snap open and she sits up a little.

CANDY
There! You said it was boring.

WALLY
Well, *picking* them is! It's about
as exciting as... walking!

Candy seems irritated with Wally. Homer tries to engage her.

HOMER
Is your family in the apple business,
too?

CANDY
No, but I work there--I like it. My
dad's a lobsterman.

HOMER
I've never seen a lobster.

CANDY
Really?

HOMER
I've never seen the ocean, either.

WALLY
(amazed)
You've never seen the *ocean*?

Homer shakes his head, smiles.

WALLY
That's not funny... that's *serious*.

EXT./INT. ROADSIDE/CAR - NIGHT

The car is parked at the side of the road. Wally is half-
hidden behind a tree. Candy and Homer are left alone in the
car; there's an awkward silence as Homer pretends not to
hear Wally's excessive peeing. Suddenly Candy starts to sob.

CANDY
I couldn't have a baby with someone
who's leaving me--I didn't know what
else to do!

Homer is a doctor--he's used to postabortion reactions.

HOMER
I know.

CANDY
He's going to be dropping bombs on
Mandalay! They're going to be shooting
at him!

HOMER
Where's Mandalay?

CANDY
Burma!

HOMER
Oh...

CANDY
I can't have a baby alone. I don't
even know if he's coming back!

HOMER
I understand.

He doesn't, really. Wally returns. Wally leans over Candy to
hug her.

WALLY
Honey, honey... of course I'll come
back.

Candy pounds on his chest with her fists.

CANDY
You don't *know*, Wally. You have no
*idea*!

Wally backs away. Candy sobs uncontrollably.

CANDY
Stay away from me!

Wally signals to Homer to get out of the car.

Later, Wally and Homer stand outside the car, overhearing
Candy's weeping. Homer is smoking nervously.

HOMER
(strictly medical)
This is all normal. Don't worry. The
abortion procedure... it affects
you. It's the ether, too. It'll take
a little time.

WALLY
I don't *have* any time. There's a
*war*!

HOMER
It's all very normal.

Wally looks at Homer, who takes a nervous drag on his
cigarette.

WALLY
You ought to cut that shit out--it's
terrible for you.

Homer looks at Wally; he sees the authority in his eyes.
Homer drops his cigarette and puts it out with his foot.

They notice that Candy has stopped crying. Wally finds Candy
asleep in the backseat.

EXT. WALLY'S CAR - ON THE ROAD - LATE AT NIGHT

The lone car on the road. Snatches of war news from the radio
are the only sound as the headlights illuminate the dark
highway.

EXT. COAST OF MAINE - MORNING

The car is parked, with Homer sleeping in it alone. The sounds
of the ocean increase as Homer opens his eyes. Homer gets
out of the car and walks toward the beach, enchanted. There
it is: his first view ever of an ocean, the horizon, the sun
glimmering on the water. Candy is lying on a blanket in the
sand. Wally is throwing rocks in the water. Homer takes it
all in. When Candy calls for him, Homer walks up to her.

CANDY
I'm a little worried about the...
(she gestures below
her waist)
...about how much bleeding is okay.

HOMER
It should taper off tomorrow, but it
can come back again. You have cramps?
(Candy nods)
They'll ease up, almost entirely. As
long as the bleeding isn't heavy,
it's normal.

WALLY (O.S.)
Catch!

A football comes flying through the air toward Homer; it
bounces off his chest. Wally laughs.

WALLY
(meaning the football)
Give it here!

Homer throws the football; it's clear he's never thrown one
before.

WALLY
What was *that*?! Come over here!

Homer runs over to Wally, who proceeds to show him how to
pass the ball. Snatches of his instruction drift to Candy,
who closes her eyes. "Put your fingers on the laces--no, it
rests in your palm, like this! You want the laces up--yes,
like that!"

EXT. COAST OF MAINE - DAY (LATER)

Homer and Wally sit on the beach a short distance from Candy's
blanket. She appears to be asleep. Wally looks in her
direction before he speaks to Homer.

WALLY
It's called the Burma run. It's about
a seven-hour round-trip flight between
India and China.

Wally draws a crude map in the sand.

HOMER
"Burma run" because you fly over
Burma...

WALLY
*And* over the Himalayas. That's
called flying over the hump.

On Candy's face: she's not asleep; she's listening.

HOMER (O.S.)
At what altitude?

WALLY
I've got thirty-five minutes to climb
to fifteen thousand feet--that's the
first mountain pass.

Homer looks at Wally, thoughtfully.

HOMER
What lousy luck--I mean your orders...
to draw an assignment like that!

WALLY
(conspiratorially)
Actually, I volunteered.

Homer is shocked; he looks back at Candy, lowers his voice.

HOMER
It's the flying, right? You love to
fly, don't you?

Wally nods; he also gives a look in Candy's direction before
he responds.

WALLY
I love the bombing, too. But there's
also the Himalayas--they have the
most wicked air currents in the world.
I wouldn't miss flying there for
anything.

Homer's smile suggests that he's impressed, but that he
wouldn't have Wally's enthusiasm for the task. Wally laughs
and puts his hand on Homer's shoulder.

WALLY
Uh, look... if you're serious about
wanting a job, picking apples isn't
that boring.

HOMER
Oh, I would love that, Wally.

EXT. CAPE KENNETH - LOBSTER POUND - AFTERNOON

The car is parked at a lobster pound. Homer sits in the car
watching Wally carrying Candy's bag to the door. Candy stands
outside the car; she shakes Homer's hand.

CANDY
I guess I'll see you around the
orchards. Thanks for everything.

HOMER
Sure... I'll see you around.

Candy turns and heads toward the house to catch up with Wally.
A lobsterman in his boat is approaching the dock. It's RAY,
Candy's father. Candy waves. "Hi, Daddy!" Homer glances at
Candy and Wally on the dock, kissing good-bye.

CANDY
(whispering)
I love you, Wally.

WALLY
I love you, too. See you tomorrow.

EXT. OCEAN VIEW - WORTHINGTON HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

Wally drives up to the Worthington house; he gets out of the
car. Homer sits in the car, admiring the beautiful farmhouse.

WALLY
Come on. You have to meet my mom.
(conspiratorially)
If it comes up, I've been at a
wedding. That's where I met you, at
the wedding.

INT. WORTHINGTON HOUSE - WALLY'S BEDROOM - LATE AFTERNOON

Homer as never seen such a room: the sports trophies, the
photos of athletic teams, and of Candy with Wally. Model
airplanes are everywhere. Mrs. Worthington's voice comes
from the hall.

OLIVE (O.S.)
Wally? I expected you earlier...

She appears in the doorway of Wally's room. Mrs. Worthington
(OLIVE) is an elegant, fiftyish New Englander, as handsome
as Wally, but more reserved. She is surprised to see Homer.

WALLY
This is Homer Wells--he's the most
overqualified apple picker you'll
ever meet, but he's dying to learn
the apple business.

Wally is taking his uniform off as he speaks, just dropping
it on the floor as he quickly puts on some farm clothes.

OLIVE
How do you do, Homer Wells...

Homer has never met anyone like her.

HOMER
How do you do...

Mrs. Worthington starts picking up her son's uniform from
the floor. She is politely curious about Homer.

OLIVE
Were you a friend of the bride or
the groom?

Homer looks confused; he seems to have forgotten about the
alleged wedding. Wally puts his arm around Homer, urging him
into the hall.

WALLY
Homer is everybody's friend, Mom...
the bride's, the groom's, mine,
Candy's, *everybody's*.

Homer is embarrassed, but Olive is obdurately well-mannered.

OLIVE
Well, perhaps you'll come to dinner,
Homer...

Wally calls to her as he pushes Homer down the hall.

WALLY
Not tonight, Mom--he's got to meet
*Mr. Rose*!

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - DUSK

Homer and Wally get out of the jeep at the cider house, a
barnlike building with adjacent sheds and, behind it, line
after line of trees--the apple orchards.

Homer sees an outdoor shower where THREE BLACK MEN are
showering. It is a wooden stall that leaves the shower's
occupants visible above and below their midsections. A FOURTH
BLACK MAN is caught naked, running behind the cider house
and out of sight as he wraps a towel around himself.

JACK
You already used up the hot water!

MUDDY
You're usin' my soap, ain't you?

JACK
I ain't usin' no soap--it's too cold
to bother with soap!

MUDDY
There ain't never enough hot water,
soap or no soap.

WALLY
They're migrants.

HOMER
(no clue)
Migrants?

WALLY
Yes. They pick fruit, all kinds.
They travel up and down the coast
with the seasons.
(leaning close to
Homer)
The trick to Mr. Rose is, you have
to let him be the boss.

Homer wonders what that means as Wally reaches for the door
of the cider house. Before Wally can knock, a pretty young
black girl, ROSE ROSE, bumps open the screen door with her
hip and throws a bucket of water in the grass--almost hitting
Homer and Wally.

ROSE ROSE
That sink's backed up again, Wally.
I thought you was gonna get me a
plumber.

WALLY
Rose, this is Homer--Homer, this is
Mr. Rose's daughter, Rose.

HOMER
Rose Rose?

ROSE ROSE
Pretty, ain't it? You a plumber?

WALLY
No, no--Homer is a new *picker*.
He's going to stay here with you.

This gets the attention of the men on their way from the
showers. They walk over, towels around their waists.

ROSE ROSE
(suspiciously)
He's stayin' *here*?

The screen door swings open and shut again, startling them
all, as MR. ROSE comes out of the cider house.

MR. ROSE
That daughter of mine sure is Miss
Hospitality, ain't she, Wally?

Grinning, Mr. Rose shakes Wally's hand. Rose Rose goes back
inside the cider house as Mr. Rose shakes Homer's hand. Homer
introduces himself.

MR. ROSE
You got lots of experience pickin',
I suppose.

WALLY
Homer's got no experience, Arthur,
but he's smarter then I am. He's a
fast learner.

Mr. Rose looks briefly at the men, who wait for his reaction.

MR. ROSE
This is history. Ain't that what
you're sayin', Wally? I guess we
makin' *history*... havin' this young
man stay with us!

Wally slaps Homer on the back; he goes inside the cider house
to help Rose Rose with the plumbing.

WALLY
(over his shoulder)
See you later.

Homer looks at Mr. Rose for instructions. Mr. Rose stares
back at him with his enigmatic smile.

HOMER
So. What should I do now?

MR. ROSE
Out back, there's a shed. It's just
a mess. If that shed was better
organized, I could put my truck in
there.

Homer looks at Mr. Rose with an uncomprehending expression.

MR. ROSE
If you're as smart as Wally says,
you know you sometimes gotta do one
job before you do another.

Homer thinks that over.

Later, Homer is cleaning out the shed.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - EVENING

The pickers all sit down to supper around a picnic table.
Homer with Mr. Rose, Rose Rose, and the other black pickers.
Mr. Rose takes an apple from a bowl on the table. Then he
pulls out a knife and opens it in one fluid motion; he's so
fast, the knife seems to come out of nowhere. He begins to
peel the apple. Homer eyes Mr. Rose, but Mr. Rose's focus is
riveted to his apple and the long, perfect strand of peel
dangling from it.

MR. ROSE
You did a good job with that shed,
Homer.

Peaches breaks the awkward silence.

PEACHES
What kind of a name is Homer?

HOMER
It's the name of a cat. Originally.
Well, not *originally*.

Homer decides to stop. Another silence.

MR. ROSE
Now, now--we all got names, sensible
or not.
(to Homer)
Peaches is from Georgia, where we
met him pickin' peaches. He's still
better with peaches than hs is with
apples.
(Peaches grins)
Jack here is new. And this here is
Hero, 'cause he was a hero of some
kind or other once. Ain't that right,
Hero?

There are some disrespectful suggestions from the pickers
concerning what his heroism might have been.

MR. ROSE
And this here sensitive-lookin' fella
is Muddy. The less said about Muddy,
the better. Ain't that right, Muddy?

Muddy scowls at Homer, but he smiles at Mr. Rose.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT

Homer unpacks his suitcase. (His bed should be nearest Muddy's
and Mr. Rose's.) Jack lies on his bed, smoking. Muddy, also
smoking, is sitting on his bed, sharpening a knife. Hero and
Peaches are playing cards on one of their beds. Mr. Rose is
finishing shaving. Rose Rose watches Homer unpack.

ROSE ROSE
What's that?

HOMER
It's just my heart.

ROSE ROSE
What you got a picture of your heart
for?

He holds up the X ray, in order to show her.

HOMER
There's a little something wrong
with it. Just this part here--the
right ventricle. It's slightly
enlarged.

ROSE ROSE
So what?

HOMER
Yes, so what. It's nothing serious,
really. Just a small defect.

MR. ROSE
It's big enough to keep you out of
the war, I suppose. Ain't that right?

HOMER
Right.

Rose Rose picks up the book that Homer has put on the bed.
She studies the cover; it's "Great Expectations" by Charles
Dickens. She puts it down, restlessly.

MR. ROSE
They told me I was too old to serve.

PEACHES
They told Muddy his feet was too
flat!

Everybody laughs, except Muddy.

MUDDY
(to Peaches)
And you was "generally unfit," as I
recall.

Finished unpacking, Homer sits on his bed; he picks up "Great
Expectations" and begins to read. Rose Rose sits down next
to him, watching him read. Homer notices her interest.

HOMER
Do you like to read?

ROSE ROSE
(embarrassed)
I can't read. Nobody taught me.

Homer smiles politely and goes back to his book. Rose Rose
keeps looking over his shoulder at the pages.

ROSE ROSE
(pointing to the page)
What does it say there?

Homer looks around at the pickers lying in their beds,
smoking, listening. (Like bedtime stories at the orphanage,
he thinks; however, the picker's attitude is suspicious,
reserved.)

HOMER
(reading)
"I looked at the stars, and considered
how awful it would be for a man to
turn his face to them as he froze to
death, and see no help or pity in
all the glittering multitude."

Homer looks up; there's no response.

HOMER
(to Rose Rose)
More?

Some muttering, some giggling, mostly silence. Rose Rose
wants more, but suddenly Jack jumps out of bed and stomps to
the kitchen end of the cider house, where a piece of paper
is tacked to the wall. Jack is talking to Homer all the way.

JACK
Since you're the one who's smart
enough to read... what's this?

Jack points at the piece of paper. Homer gets up and looks
at it.

HOMER
It's a list of rules, it seems.

All the men groan--Jack swears and Peaches laughs.

ROSE ROSE
*Whose* rules?

MUDDY
They're for us, I suppose.

JACK
Go on and read 'em, Homer.

HOMER
"One. Please don't smoke in bed."

ROSE ROSE
It's too late for that one!

All the smokers laugh and cough in their beds.

MR. ROSE
(uncharacteristically
blunt)
Stop it, Homer. They aren't our rules.
We didn't write them. I don't see no
reason to read them.

HOMER
Okay...

Rose Rose stomps back to her bed. Her father absently snaps
his towel.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT (LATER)

Everybody is asleep, except Homer. He is staring at the
ceiling in the quiet semi-darkness, the book lying on his
chest.

LARCH (O.S.)
(distant echoing)
Good night, you Princes of Maine!
You Kings of New England.

INT. BOYS' DIVISION - NIGHT

Dr. Larch is standing in the doorway to the boys' room; he
closes the door.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT

Homer, on his bed, closes his eyes.

INT. DISPENSARY - NIGHT

Larch lies in bed with his eyes open. (No ether.)

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - NIGHT

The cider house and the apple orchard in the moonlight.

EXT. ORCHARDS - MORNING

Wally in his farm clothes at the wheel of the Jeep--he is
racing through the orchards, dodging trees, with Homer in
the passenger seat, hanging on for dear life.

WALLY
Remember this! In the morning, when
the tall grass is wet, you can make
the Jeep slide on the grass. Can you
feel it?

Homer is excited as Wally weaves among the trees--faster and
faster.

WALLY
It's almost like flying.

HOMER
What about the trees?

WALLY
The trees are flak--antiaircraft
fire from those geeks on the ground.

Wally brakes hard. The Jeep comes to a stop in the packing-
house area.

Candy has been waiting on the loading platform. The pickers
are working in the background.

WALLY
(defensively to Candy)
I was just showing Homer the
orchards... kind of a geography
lesson.

CANDY
(good-naturedly)
I know what you've been doing.

She pulls an apple branch, with an apple to two, out of the
vehicle's grille--or else the branch is wedged in the front -
bumper or headlight area. Candy playfully starts poking Wally
with the branch.

CANDY
(to Wally)
You've been giving him a *flying*
lesson!

WALLY
(teasing her)
He *loved* it!
(to Homer)
Didn't you?

HOMER
Yeah, it was great.

Wally gets the apple branch away from Candy. He pins her
arms at her sides--he hugs her, kisses her. She doesn't
struggle.

CANDY
(laughing to Homer)
He thinks people *like* to get whacked
by branches.

WALLY
*Homer* liked it!
(to Homer)
Didn't you?

HOMER
Yeah, sure. There's no stress or
strain around here...

They all laugh. Homer observes the happy couple.

EXT. ORCHARDS - DAY

Homer is walking with Wally and Candy. The orchards are
beautiful.

EXT. PACKING HOUSE - MORNING

Much activity: the pickers are unloading apple crates from a
full flatbed trailer. An angry-looking VERNON gives Homer an
evil glare. Homer spills some apples lifting the crate to
the loading platform.

VERNON
What's wrong with you?

Mr. Rose takes Homer aside.

MR. ROSE
That's Vernon. You best stay away
from him until he gets to know you
better--then you best stay away from
him *more*!

Wally, in full uniform, appears from inside the packing house;
he calls for Homer.

MR. ROSE
Out lieutenant's calling you, Homer.
Mind your ass.

Homer smiles are runs toward Wally.

INT./EXT. PACKING HOUSE - MORNING

Homer and Wally walk through the packing house, where the
HEFTY, LOUD WOMEN sort through the apples rolling by on the
conveyor tracks. Wally snatches an apple from one of them,
giving it to Homer.

WALLY
(to Homer)
You getting along okay?

Before Homer can answer, the women interrupt.

BIG DOT
Where is that Candy?

FLORENCE
Did she leave you, Wally?

DEBRA
Who's the boy?

Wally makes an effort to introduce Homer, but he's
interrupted.

FLORENCE
Wally, you can marry Debra if Candy
leaves you!

BIG DOT
Wally's gonna marry *me* if Candy
leaves him!

DEBRA
You can marry all three of us, Wally!

FLORENCE
We can take turns.

Wally puts his hand to his heart.

WALLY
You girls make it hard for a guy to
go off to war.
(points to Homer)
But I'll leave my best man here to
pinch-hit for me.

As the women are left behind giggling, Wally continues talking
to Homer.

WALLY
Uh... I'm shipping out sooner than I
thought. I just wanted to be sure
you were settled in--and happy enough,
considering...
(grabbing another
apple from a crate)
Are you bored stiff? Or can you stick
it out for a bit?

HOMER
Uh... actually, picking apples is as
much excitement as I want for a while.
I'm grateful for the job.

WALLY
(his hand on Homer's
shoulder)
You're the one who's helping *me*,
Homer. You're going to give my mom a
little peace of mind while I'm gone.
Candy, too.

HOMER
Well, sure... that's good, then.
(awkward pause)
All I mean is, I'm lucky I met you.

WALLY
I don't think so, Homer. *I'm* the
lucky one.

Homer shakes his head. Wally stops walking; they both stop.

WALLY
(more serious)
You want to fight about it?

Homer is unfamiliar with this kind of kidding around; at
first he is startled, but then he laughs. Wally laughs, too.
They shake hands.

Mr. Rose calls out to Homer from the tractor. The pickers
are impatiently waiting for him on the flatbed; they're going
back to the orchard. Homer has to run to catch up to them.
He jumps on the flatbed; he sees Wally waving good-bye.

EXT. ORCHARDS - DAY

High up in a tall tree on a couple of ladders, Mr. Rose and
Homer are picking side by side. Mr. Rose is picking with
high-speed perfection, but Homer is slower and fumbling--he
drops an occasional apple to the ground.

MR. ROSE
You pickin' more cider apples then
anythin' else. Them drops is good
only for cider. And you pickin' the
stems with the apples only half the
time. They good only for cider, too--
if you don't pick them stems.
(Homer watches him)
The rule is, you wanna pick the apple
*with* the stem, Homer. And see
here... see that *bud* that's just
above the stem? That's the bud for
*next year's* apple--that's called
the *spur*. You pick the spur, you
pickin' two years in one--you pickin'
next year's apple 'fore it have a
chance to grow. You leave that on
the branch, you hear?

Homer nods; he picks more carefully, with more concentration.

MR. ROSE
(approvingly)
That's better. I can tell you got
yourself some education. Them's good
hands you got, Homer. Them hands you
got, they know what they're doin'--
ain't that right?

HOMER
I guess so...

Homer can see over the apple mart parking lot from the top
of the tree. He can see the driveway of the Worthington house,
where Candy and Olive are saying a tearful good-bye to Wally.
Distracted, Homer drops another couple of apples, which Mr.
Rose observes with a wry smile.

ANGELA (O.S.)
Wilbur! Wilbur!

INT. LARCH'S OFFICE - DAY

Larch is doing something at his desk when Angela comes in.

ANGELA
Wilbur, you should read this.

Larch stares at Angela, who holds a letter.

ANGELA
It's from the Board. Another letter.

INT. LARCH'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Dr. Larch stands in front of a mechanical drawing easel. He
works intently with a calligraphic pen, but we don't see
what he's working on. Angela and Edna sit at the desk; they're
looking over the letter.

ANGELA
(quoting the letter)
Uh... "merely suggesting that some
new blood might benefit you all...
someone with new ideas in the
obstetrical and pediatric fields."
(she looks up at Larch)
I think they're just testing some
ideas for our next meeting.

EDNA
Dr. Holtz seems nice. I think he
only wants to help...

LARCH
He is a goddamn psychiatrist--of
*course* he wants to "help"! He'd be
happy if he could help *commit* me!

ANGELA
It's that Mrs. Goodhall you have to
be careful of, Wilbur.

LARCH
One has to be more than "careful" of
Mrs. Goodhall--she has sufficient
Christian zeal to start her own
country! I'd like to give her a little
ether.

EDNA
So what are you going to do?

Larch puts down the pen, comes around the easel, opens a
drawer in a filing cabinet, and hands Edna a folder containing
a few cleanly typed pages. Larch returns to the easel, to
his painstaking work. Edna opens the file; as she and Angela
read the contents, Larch recites from memory as he works.

LARCH
"Homer Wells, born Portland, Maine,
March 2, 1915..."

EDNA
Homer was born *here*, in, what was
it, 1922?

LARCH
"...graduated Bowdoin College, 1935,
and Harvard School of Medicine, 1939."

ANGELA
This is *your* life story, Wilbur!
You just changed the dates!

LARCH
"An internship and two years of
training at the Boston Lying-in,
South End Branch. For his age, he
was judged an accomplished
gynecological obstetrical surgeon;
he is also experienced in pediatric
care..."

ANGELA
You *invented* him! You've completely
made his up!

LARCH
Don't you understand? The board is
going to *replace* me! That's what
the "new blood" is *for*!

EDNA
You mean they'll replace you with
someone who won't perform abortions.

LARCH
(sarcastically)
Well, we can only guess about that,
Edna. They *are* against the law.

ANGELA
These *credentials* are against the
law!

LARCH
We all know who trained Homer--his
credentials are as good as mine are.
Don't you be holy to me about the
*law*! What has the law done for any
of us here?

Edna and Angela think this over.

LARCH
(points at file)
So here is my candidate. What do you
think?

EDNA
But what about school records? Homer
doesn't have any *diplomas*...

Larch turns the easel around. Attached is a parchment headed:
"HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL"--it's a diploma-in-progress.

LARCH
He *will* have them, Edna.

The women are shocked, awed.

ANGELA
Oh, Wilbur, I don't know...
(sudden thought)
We don't even know where he is!

EXT. CIDER HOUSE, ROOF - NIGHT

ROSE ROSE (O.S.)
Where's that Homer?

Homer stands in front of a ladder that leans against the
cider house; he starts to climb up, drawn by the murmuring
voices, the soft laughter.

JACK (O.S.)
Who cares?

MR. ROSE (O.S.)
Now, now. He's a good boy.

JACK (O.S.)
Shit. We don't know what he is.

MR. ROSE (O.S.)
Jack, you gotta watch your language
'round my daughter.

Homer arrives at the top and sees everyone sitting on a long
plank, a bench attached to the apex of the roof--obviously a
popular spot.

MR. ROSE
Here he is.

No one moves.

MR. ROSE
Where's your manners? Make room for
Homer, so's he can enjoy the view.

MUDDY
What view?

Peaches slides over and Homer sits down.

HOMER
Are we supposed to be up here? The
rules said...

MR. ROSE
Homer, you the only one who's read
them rules, so you the only one who
feels like he's doin' somethin' wrong.

The others laugh.

MUDDY
*What* view?

MR. ROSE
Well, Muddy, we can look at all these
angry stars Homer's been readin' to
us about.

More laughter; Homer smiles, enjoying the teasing.

JACK
(gesturing toward the
Worthington farmhouse)
I bet the view looks better from the
Worthin'tons'.

MR. ROSE
You think so, Jack? Well... I wouldn't
want to be in that Wally's shoes
tonight.

ROSE ROSE
(playfully, teasing
him)
Daddy, I'd like to be in that Wally's
shoes *every* night.

MR. ROSE
(teasing her back)
You lucky you in your work boots
tonight, girl...

ROSE ROSE
What's lucky about that?

Rose Rose is being physically affectionate with her father--
lightly punching his arm, rubbing the top of his head.

MR. ROSE
You know where that Wally is tonight,
darlin'? He's up there in them angry
stars.
(gesturing at the
dark sky)
He's flyin' all around up there...
with them Japs shooting at him.

They all look up, imagining that. Homer more than the others.
Rose Rose, looking thoughtful, rests her head on her father's
shoulder. They are completely natural together.

EXT. CAPE KENNETH - APPLE MART - DAY

Homer and the pickers are loading crates of apples into a
shipping truck. Olive and Candy are consulting some papers
(the shipping tally) on a clipboard; Mr. Rose is standing
beside them.

MR. ROSE
They all on board, Mrs. Worthin'ton.

OLIVE
Thank you, Arthur.
(see is looking at
Homer)
And how is our Homer working out?

She catches Homer's eye; he smiles, then joins them. Mr.
Rose puts his arm around him.

MR. ROSE
Oh, he's a smart young man, most of
the time--Wally was right about him.

Olive is looking over the rest of the picking crew.

OLIVE
No rotten apples?

MR. ROSE
(it's an old way of
speaking that they
have)
No, no--not this year. Well... maybe
we got *one*, but it ain't Homer.

He means Jack, who gives Olive and Candy and Mr. Rose a
furtive look. Olive smiles at Rose Rose, who comes up to her
and Candy. Olive touches Rose Rose with affection.

OLIVE
Rose... dear girl, I'm sure I can
find you some other clothes.
(to Candy)
You must have some things that would
fit her.

Candy takes Rose Rose by the shoulders and turns her around.
Rose Rose is enjoying this.

CANDY
I have a *ton* of things that would
fit you.

MR. ROSE
Now, now, Candy--this girl don't
need no more clothes, not for pickin'.

He starts leading his daughter away.

OLIVE
(charming)
Arthur, there's no such thing as a
young woman who's got all the clothes
she needs.

Olive waves good-bye as she moves toward her car. Candy turns
to Homer.

CANDY
So. Not bored yet?

HOMER
I'm *never* bored! It's all very...
different for me... here.

Homer has the hardest time looking at Candy.

HOMER
Uh... have you been *feeling* okay?

CANDY
When I'm not thinking about Wally.
I'm not good at being alone.
(realizing)
Oh, goodness. You meant... yes, I'm
fine. I...
(struggling to change
the subject)
...I don't suppose you've seen a
lobster yet.

Homer shakes his head. He looks at the tractor and the empty
trailer. Mr. Rose and the pickers are just watching them.

CANDY
(more seriously)
You have to come to my dad's lobster
pound and see one, then.

HOMER
Okay...

Homer looks toward the pickers sitting on the flatbed when
he hears the tractor start. Candy follows his gaze.

HOMER
I better go.

CANDY
I don't think Mr. Rose would leave
without you.

Mr. Rose gestures for Muddy to drive off; the tractor trailer
pulls away.

CANDY
(laughing)
Sorry!

Homer has to run to catch up.

CANDY
(calling)
Come next week!

He jumps on the back of the departing flatbed between Mr.
Rose and Rose Rose, as Candy watches him.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - DUSK

An anxious-looking WHITE PLUMBER is fixing the kitchen sink
while the pickers (in their towels) stand around and watch.

Homer is putting on his best shirt. Peaches admires the shirt
as Rose Rose cooks the night's supper on the wood stove.

PEACHES
Whoa--look at that Homer! He's gettin'
all dressed up for supper tonight!

ROSE ROSE
He ain't gettin' dressed to have
supper with *us*, Peaches!

The pickers all look at Homer, who looks guilty as he leaves.

MR. ROSE
(to the plumber)
Don't let us make you nervous or
nothin'--we know you gotta job to
do.

MUDDY
Yeah, we can wait all night for the
water to come back on--you just go
on and take your time.

EXT. INLAND ROAD - DUSK

Homer pedals a bicycle down a dirt road.

EXT. LOBSTER POUND - DUSK

Ray holds a lobster up to the camera. We see the old-fashioned
wooden pens, floating dockside.

RAY
Hungry?

Homer looks uncertain.

EXT. GANGPLANK, DOCK - DUSK

Homer and Ray and Candy go up the gangplank from the dock to
the lobster pound.

RAY
They're the garbage-eaters of the
ocean's floor. The seagulls clean up
the shore. The lobsters clean up the
bottom of the sea.

HOMER
They eat everything?

RAY
Everything that falls to the bottom.

CANDY
It's time somebody ate *them*.

RAY
(to Candy)
I was lookin' for Wally's letter. I
was gonna show it to Homer...
(to Homer)
They made him a captain already--
*Captain* Worthington!

CANDY
Daddy, it's a letter to *me*.

RAY
He mentions Homer, too, you know.

CANDY
(awkwardly)
Wally said to say, "Hello."

HOMER
(equally awkward)
Oh! That's... nice.

RAY
(to Homer)
Wally said the most spectacular hits
were in the oil fields at Yenangyat.

Later, through the window of the lobster pound, we see them
eating lobster around a kitchen table. Laughter and some
unclear dialogue drift to us.

EXT./INT. CAPE KENNETH/WALLY'S CAR - NIGHT

With the bicycle stowed in the trunk, Candy is driving Homer
back to the cider house. They pass a drive-in movie theatre,
the marquee announcing "CLOSED FOR THE SEASON." Homer stares
in awe at the giant blank screen.

HOMER
A movie *outside*?

CANDY
Yes. But it's closed all the time
now, because of the blackout.

HOMER
People watched the movies in their
cars?

CANDY
(smiling)
When they watched at all. Do you
like movies?

HOMER
Yes! I've only seen one, though.

Candy looks at him; he isn't joking.

CANDY
You've seen only one movie? Which
one?

HOMER
"King Kong". It's really good.

Candy laughs.

CANDY
I haven't seen "King Kong" since I
was a kid!

Homer laughs a little self-consciously; around her, he feels
like he's *still* a kid.

INT. DINING HALL - EARLY MORNING

At one table, the children are happily eating apples; a few
of the kids are stuffing apples from a big bowl into their
pockets. At another table, Larch, Edna, and Angela sit around
an open packing crate of apples. Larch takes a bite from an
apple and spits it out. Angela takes the apple out of his
hand.

ANGELA
That's a pie apple, Wilbur. Homer
said you're not supposed to eat it!

Angela hands him another apple.

LARCH
So he's an apple expert, is he?

Angela gives him a critical look as Larch takes a bite out
of the new apple.

LARCH
(sarcastically)
Oh my, yes! This is a *far* superior
taste--and crisp, too! You know, so
many apples are disappointingly mealy.
I wonder of most of the apples in my
life weren't meant for pies!

ANGELA
Wilbur, he picked them for us
himself...

LARCH
(incredulous)
You don't find it depressing that
Homer Wells is picking apples?

Both Edna and Angela glower at him.

LARCH
Or that he can't be bothered to write
us a proper letter? A dissertation
on apples, we don't need!

EDNA
(annoyed)
He probably doesn't make much money
picking apples--he must have had to
pay to send them, too.

LARCH
I wouldn't worry, Edna, that he
doesn't have money. If he gets hungry,
he can pick his dinner!

Larch angrily tosses the half-eaten apple into the garbage.

EDNA
Wilbur, it's a *gift*! How can you
be angry with Homer for sending us a
*gift*?

Larch stares into space, depressed. Then he examines the
crate and finds the mailing label that says "OCEAN VIEW
ORCHARDS--CAPE KENNETH, MAINE." He rips it off, holds it up
triumphantly.

LARCH
I'll show him a *gift*! I'll give
him a gift he can *use*!

Larch storms out of the room.

INT. CAPE KENNETH - MOVIE THEATRE - NIGHT

A newsreel from the war is playing on the screen--soldiers
marching, smiling, waving to the camera. Homer and Candy sit
together watching. Homer is completely fascinated; Candy
watches Homer as much as the news. Her expression changes
when the newsreel cuts to footage from an air raid.

EXT. CAPE KENNETH - MOVIE THEATRE - NIGHT

Candy and Homer walk out of the theatre, under the marquee
and past the poster for "Wuthering Heights."

CANDY
(disappointed)
But you looked as if you liked it.

HOMER
(smiling)
I *did* like it. All I said was,
"It's not 'King Kong'."

Candy makes a face, but in good fun.

HOMER
First she loved him, then she didn't,
then no one else could have him...

CANDY
She *did* love him!
(teasing him)
How many women have you known?

Homer is embarrassed; he ducks the question.

HOMER
And what did she die of, exactly?

CANDY
She was torn apart! She died of a
broken heart.

HOMER
Oh, sure!

Homer smiles and shakes his head; Candy starts to laugh.

HOMER
What's the *medical* explanation?

CANDY
Well, she was in a weakened
condition...
(laughs)
I don't know! What about "King Kong"?!
Is that medically possible?

Homer smiles; he knows she's teasing him, and he likes it.

HOMER
(mock serious)
At least King Kong knew what he
*wanted*.

Candy pushes him playfully. They're both having a good time,
*too* good a time.

EXT. ORCHARDS - DAY

Homer is picking apples in a big tree; Rose Rose is on a
ladder in the tree right beside him. She's picking about
twice as fast as he is, and he keeps dropping his apples. In
another tree, Muddy is watching.

ROSE ROSE
What is you *doin'* with that Candy,
Homer?

MUDDY
(imitating Mr. Rose)
He's makin' history, I suppose.

From the surrounding trees, the other pickers laugh.

ROSE ROSE
You ain't gettin' in no trouble, I
hope.

HOMER
No trouble.

In adjacent trees, both Peaches and Hero are picking apples;
they can hear Homer and Rose Rose, too. (So can Mr. Rose.)

PEACHES
That Candy--she's the nicest girl I
know!

MUDDY
She's about the most beautiful girl
I ever seen--I don't know if she's
the nicest.

HOMER
She's the nicest *and* the most
beautiful girl I've ever known.

The men *oooh* and *aaah* at Homer's announcement--Mr. Rose,
too.

ROSE ROSE
That sounds like you is in trouble
already, Homer.

MR. ROSE
That's right--that sounds like trouble
to me.

HOMER
I'm not in trouble.

ROSE ROSE
Yeah, you is. I know when people is
in trouble, and you is.

Camera closes on Homer's face; he keeps picking.

LARCH (O.S.)
His name is Homer Wells...

INT. ST. CLOUD'S - DINING HALL - EVENING

Edna and Angela face the Board of Trustees around a table.
Larch circles the table as everyone reads the contents of a
folder. Larch has provided a copy for each member. The three
elderly gentlemen on the Board don't speak; they just nod
their heads to everything Dr. Holtz or Mrs. Goodhall says.

LARCH
...and his *pathetic* resume is the
best I've seen. Though I find it
hard to believe the Board would be
interested in this character.

DR. HOLTZ
But he looks like an excellent young
man, a first-rate candidate!

LARCH
He looks like a bleeding-heart
missionary *moron* to me, but that's
going to be the problem with any
doctor interested in coming here!

MRS. GOODHALL
Do you know him?

LARCH
*No*! I don't want to know him! He's
doing *missionary* work--in *India*!
I wrote him *weeks* ago, but he's
either too holy or too busy to answer.
Maybe he got killed in the war!

Suddenly Steerforth bursts through the door, having been
pushed from behind by Mary Agnes. The two stop when they see
what's going on--not to mention Larch's stern expression.
They back out. Mary Agnes winking at Dr. Holtz before the
door closes. Mrs. Goodhall is ready to continue.

MRS. GOODHALL
I fail to see how someone courageous
enough to make a commitment to a
foreign mission is automatically to
be dismissed--that part of the world
requires precisely the kind of
dedication that is needed here.

LARCH
Does it *snow* in Bombay? One winter
here and we'll be shipping him south,
in a *coffin*!

MRS. GOODHALL
You can't think that a man who has
*served* under such conditions as
exist over there will be in the
slightest daunted by a little *snow*--
have you no idea how harsh and
primitive and full of *disease* that
part of the world is?

LARCH
Then I suppose we can look forward
to catching various diseases from
him!

DR. HOLTZ
But, Dr. Larch, he seems exceptionally
qualified...

LARCH
I'm not talking about his medical
qualifications. It's the *Christian*
thing that bothers me--I just don't
see it being of much *use* around
here.

MRS. GOODHALL
(bitterly)
I fail to see how a little
Christianity could *hurt* anyone
here!

LARCH
Anyway, I was just showing you this
guy as an example of what's available--
I didn't think you'd be interested.

DR. HOLTZ
We're *very* interested!

MRS. GOODHALL
Yes, *very*!

DR. HOLTZ
You wouldn't be opposed to meeting
with him?

LARCH
I suppose it wouldn't hurt to *meet*
him. What's his name again?

ANGELA
Dr. Homer Wells.

LARCH
(mumbling)
I just hope he won't expect us to
say *Grace* all the time.

The three elderly gentlemen repeat the name.

MRS. GOODHALL
It's a nice name, very New England.

DR. HOLTZ
Very *Maine*, a very *local*-sounding
name.

EDNA
*Very*!

INT. DISPENSARY - NIGHT

A song plays on the old phonograph as a happy Larch and Angela
dance. Edna interrupts them.

EDNA
I just wanted to ask you...

LARCH
Edna! Come dance with me! Let's be
foolish tonight.

EDNA
Does he *know* he's supposed to be
in India? Does he even *want* to
come back?

This causes Larch to take the needle off the record.

LARCH
(angrily)
He's a field hand! What could possibly
hold him there?

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - RAINY DAY

The rain beats down on Olive's car. Homer gets soaking wet
as he leans in to talk to Candy, who's behind the wheel. Mr.
Rose calls to Homer from the doorway of the mill room.

INT. MILL ROOM - RAINY DAY

Mr. Rose is instructing Homer as they stand bottling cider
in their yellow slickers and rubber boots. Rose Rose is hosing
down the pressboards; Muddy and Hero and Peaches are operating
the grinder and the press. Jack is stirring the vat. In a
defiant, contemptuous way, Jack keeps flicking the ash of
his cigarette into the vat. This make everyone uncomfortable;
only Mr. Rose doesn't appear to notice.

MR. ROSE
Cider don't have no taste till later
in October--it's too watery now,
when we're usin' just them early
Macs and them Gravensteins. You don't
get no *good* cider till you're
pickin' them Golden Delicious and
them Winter Bananas, them Baldwins
and them Russerts...

HOMER
What about the worms? Most of these
apples are the drops--off the ground,
right? There have to be worms.

MR. ROSE
Of *course* there's worms, Homer!
And what is them worms, really? They
just *protein*, them worms! They is
*good* for you!

Everyone but Jack laughs. He takes a last drag on his
cigarette, then deliberately drops it into the vat.

MR. ROSE
That just ain't right, Jack--your
cigarette's gonna end up in nine or
ten gallons of this batch of cider!
That ain't right.

JACK
Them people drinkin' that cider,
they don't know there's a cigarette
in there!

MR. ROSE
It's not that hard to find it in
there, Jack--it'll take you just a
minute. You just gotta go fishin'.

JACK
You mean *swimmin'*. I ain't goin'
in that vat to fish out no cigarette!

MR. ROSE
What business is you in, Jack? Just
tell me what your business is...

Jack looks for a translation from the other men, who are
nervous.

MUDDY
Just say you're in the *apple*
business, man. That's the only
business you wanna be in. Just say
it.

Jack pulls a knife on Mr. Rose.

PEACHES
(whispers excitedly
to Jack)
You don't wanna go in the knife
business with Mistuh Rose--just say
you're in the *apple* business, Jack!

JACK
(to Mr. Rose)
What business are *you* in?

We never see Mr. Rose's knife. We see the men circle each
other: Jack takes a swipe at Mr. Rose's head--then he steps
back, his yellow slicker slashed open. His slicker is opened
up, right up the middle. His shirt underneath the slicker is
slashed open, too--he feels his bare chest and stomach,
feeling for the cut. But there's no cut--Jack's not bleeding,
he's not even scratched. Just his clothes have been slashed.

MR. ROSE
I'm in the *knife* business, Jack.
You don't wanna go in the knife
business with me.

Muddy turns Jack around and views his slashed clothes.

MUDDY
You're lucky he didn't cut your
*nipples* off, man.

PEACHES
The good news, Jack, is you're half-
undressed for *swimmin'*...

MUDDY
Yeah, that cigarette ain't hard to
find when you're properly undressed.

Jack starts to undress for the vat.

Mr. Rose ushers Homer and Rose Rose outside.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - RAINY DAY

Mr. Rose has cut his own hand in the fight. Homer's
professionalism if offended to watch Rose Rose's amateurish
efforts to stitch up her father's wound, but clearly this
isn't the first time she's done it.

HOMER
Give men that. I know how to do it.

ROSE ROSE
Oh, I suppose you is a doctor, Homer?

HOMER
Almost.

MR. ROSE
I don't need no "almost" a doctor,
Homer.

Homer can't bear to watch Rose Rose at work with the needle.

ROSE ROSE
We should drown that damn Jack in
the vat!

MR. ROSE
Now, now, darlin'... Jack just needs
to know what business he's in.

ROSE ROSE
Yeah, you really showed him, Daddy--
you just about cut your own hand
off, and all you cut off *him* was
his clothes!

MR. ROSE
You oughta know you don't go to jail
for cuttin' a guy's *clothes*. Ain't
that right, Homer?

Homer winces at the stitching.

INT. WALLY'S CAR - DRIVE-IN THEATRE - EARLY EVENING

Wally's car comes bouncing along the ditches of the closed
drive-in. Homer is at the wheel; Candy calls out some driving
instructions. The car comes to a stop next to a speakerpost.
Candy leans out; she grabs the speaker and hangs it on the
window. Homer sits back and drapes his arms out the window
and over the seat. He feels great.

CANDY
You're a natural. You were born to
drive a car like this.

HOMER
You think? Maybe I was.
(looks around)
I love this place!

Homer looks up at the giant movie screen.

HOMER
The screen is enormous! Imagine King
Kong up *there*! Have you seen a lot
of movies here?

CANDY
Yes... and no. When you come here,
you don't really care about the movie.

Homer stares at Candy in disbelief.

HOMER
You don't care about the movie?

Candy looks at him for a moment.

CANDY
What are you so crazy about the movies
for?

HOMER
It was my favorite night at the
orphanage--movie night. We'd race
into the dining hall. Of course
everyone wanted to sit in front, so
we'd be packed in so tight you could
feel the kid next to you breathing.

CANDY
At least you were never lonely.

HOMER
I didn't say that. Growing up in an
orphanage, you're always lonely.
You're just never alone.

Candy is moved. Homer feels exposed; he tries to change the
mood by making light of what he's said.

HOMER
You're not alone in the bathroom,
or... or in the shower... you're
never alone in wanting the last piece
of meatloaaf, or even in your own
bed on a cold morning.

Candy laughs.

CANDY
You don't miss it?

HOMER
I miss things. I miss... people.
(with certainty)
I miss reading to the boys.

CANDY
But you had so much *responsibility*.

HOMER
I never *asked* for any
responsibility.

CANDY
Just a little privacy.

Homer laughs.

CANDY
Privacy is exactly the point of drive-
in movies.

HOMER
Did you come here with Wally--to
*not* watch movies?

At the mention of Wally they both look a little self-
conscious.

CANDY
Sometimes... movies mostly bore Wally.

HOMER
Ah-ha.
(points to the speaker)
So what is that--a radio?

CANDY
The *speaker*. For the movie sound.

Candy looks at Homer.

CANDY
Scrunch down like this.

Candy scrunches down in her seat; Homer imitates her. Homer
is focused on the giant screen.

HOMER
How could you not *care* about the
movie?

CANDY
You just cuddle. You come to hug...
to kiss. You don't *come* here to
watch the movie.

HOMER
(teasing her)
That's what *I'd* come here for. I'd
watch the movie.

CANDY
Not with the right girl you wouldn't.

Homer's expression changes from exhilarated to guilty. He
leans back in his seat and looks straight ahead at the screen.
Candy tentatively leans her head on his shoulder. Homer looks
afraid to breathe.

From behind, with her head on his shoulder, they look like a
normal couple. We track in toward the huge screen until we
see only the screen. There are shadows on the black screen.
Suddenly the movie "King Kong" appears.

INT. DINING HALL - NIGHT

"King Kong" is playing against the bare, white wall. Fuzzy
is very weak, but he smiles at the sight of the love-struck
Kong holding the screaming Fay Wray in his giant hand. Dr.
Larch runs the projector; he sits close beside Fuzzy. When
the film breaks in the predictable place, Fuzzy makes no
protest. Dr. Larch looks at Fuzzy, who has stopped breathing;
his eyes are closed.

LARCH
Fuzzy? Fuzzy?

They are alone in the dining hall. Larch has wheeled in Fuzzy
for a private viewing.

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - GRAVEYARD - MORNING

Buster helps Larch lower the small coffin into the grave.
The tiny gravestone says "F.S."

BUSTER
What are you going to tell the little
ones?

LARCH
I'll tell them Fuzzy was adopted.

BUSTER
Why would the little ones believe
that *anyone* would adopt him?

LARCH
They'll believe it because they want
to believe it.

BUSTER
Shouldn't we tell Homer?

LARCH
If Homer wanted to know what was
happening here, he could pick up a
telephone and call us.

INT. BOYS' DIVISION - NIGHT

The boys in their beds listen to Buster inventing Fuzzy's
"family."

BUSTER
It was a family with a better
breathing machine then the one Dr.
Larch built.

INT. ST. CLOUD'S - CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Larch leans against the wall, covering his eyes, overhearing
the boys.

BUSTER (O.S.)
The family that adopted Fuzzy, they
*invented* the breathing machine.
It's their business... breathing
machines.

Larch pauses; he waits to see if they believe this.

CURLY (O.S.)
Lucky Fuzzy!

Larch almost breaks with a sudden sharp breath.

ALL THE BOYS (O.S.)
Good night, Fuzzy! Good night, Fuzzy!
Good night, Fuzzy Stone!

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - MORNING

As the men sit at the picnic table eating their cornbread,
Rose Rose pours coffee. A jeep comes down the orchard road
toward them. It's Olive. Mr. Rose leads the "Good mornin',
Mrs. Worthin'ton!" greeting. Olive has an armful of clothing
and a fairly sizable package; she brings the latter over to
Homer.

OLIVE
Some mail for you, Homer.

Homer shakes the package; he puts the package beside the
table, unopened. Olive turns to Rose Rose.

OLIVE
And some clothes for you, dear--
(nodding to the cider
house)
let's go see if they fit.

Mr. Rose watches Rose Rose and Olive disappear into the cider
house. The other men view Homer's package with curiosity,
especially Peaches.

PEACHES
Ain't you gonna see what it is, Homer?

MR. ROSE
Mind your own business, Peaches.

PEACHES
Sorry, Homer...

INT. BUNKHOUSE - LATE AT NIGHT

Homer lies awake in bed; everyone else is asleep. Homer pulls
the package out from under his bed, opening it just enough
to see what it is; then he shoves it back under his bed.

EXT. OCEAN/BEACH - DUSK

The beach at sunset. Candy and Homer, dressed for cooler
weather, are alone at the water's edge. From a paper bag,
Candy is scattering some small, brightly colored pieces of
broken glass.

HOMER
Aren't you worried that people will
cut their feet?

CANDY
Nobody will swim here until next
summer. By then, the water will have
rubbed the glass smooth against the
sand--there won't be any sharp edges.

She finds and old piece of glass among the stones and shells
at the high-tide mark.

CANDY
See? That's last year's glass, or
from some year before. I put glass
here every year. The ocean makes it
beautiful.

Candy holds up a piece of glass to the sun for Homer to look
at. The ocean is a gray-green color, the glass a paler shade
of green.

CANDY
Give me your hand.

She rubs the smooth piece of glass against his hand, then
throws it toward the water. It falls short. Homer retrieves
it. Candy splashes him playfully. He chases her away from
the beach, into the pine trees. Homer locks his arms around
her, from behind. He can't let go. She lets him hold her,
then breaks his grip. She turns to face him. She is taller
then he is, older, obviously more experienced. She initiates
the kiss. They drop to the ground right there; they make
love by the roots of the tree, Candy guiding him.

EXT. WALLY'S CAR - BEACH PARKING LOT - NIGHT

They come out of the woods, walking toward the car, Candy
leading. We hear Candy talking just before we see her and
Homer.

CANDY
(increasingly upset)
*Nobody* volunteers for the Burma
run--he said so himself. And nobody
knows *me* better than him! So how
am I supposed to feel? He's a bomber
pilot and I'm just selfish, I know.
Well, I'm *not* a brave little girl
and I'm *not* sorry.

She sits in the passenger seat, Homer in the driver's seat.

CANDY
I *know* this was right.
(pause)
I told you. I'm not good at being
alone.
(pause; in a whisper)
I told him, too.

Homer concentrates on starting the car.

CANDY
(repeating herself)
I *know* this was right.

HOMER
Right.

Their expressions, as the car pulls away, belie their words.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - END OF DAY

Homer and Mr. Rose sit opposite each other at the picnic
table. Rose Rose stands behind her father, her hands on his
shoulders, watching Homer snip out Mr. Rose's stitches--very
quickly.

MR. ROSE
Slow down, Homer--don't be in such a
big hurry.

HOMER
This is easy--I'm not hurrying.

MR. ROSE
You still doin' it too fast!

Job done, Homer leaves the table and hurries to the bicycle,
pedaling away. Rose Rose watches Homer go, as Mr. Rose flexes
his healed hand.

ROSE ROSE
He's in a big hurry, all right. I
told you he's in trouble.

EXT. CAPE KENNETH - LOBSTER POUND - EVENING

Candy and Homer sit on the dock. Candy still seems to be
wrestling with her conscience. Homer throws snails in the
sea. It's cold.

HOMER
Just tell me. Do you want me to go?
Do you want me to stay?

CANDY
It will be okay.

HOMER
*What* will be okay?

CANDY
We have to wait and see. I think
that, for *everything* in life, you
have to wait and see.

Homer throws a snail with more force.

HOMER
I'll just move on, get another job
somewhere.

Ray comes out onto the dock; he sees Homer throwing another
snail.

RAY
Every time you throw a snail off the
dock, you're makin' someone start
his whole life over.

Candy throws a handful of snails into the water.

CANDY
Maybe we're doing the snails a favor,
Daddy.

Ray looks at the two of them; he sighs.

RAY
It's gettin' late. I think I'll pack
it in.

CANDY
Good night, Daddy.

Ray nods good night; he leaves. Homer looks expectantly at
Candy.

CANDY
We'll just have to wait and see.

INT. WORTHINGTON HOUSE, DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Olive and Homer sit at the dining-room table, the remnants
of an apple pie in front of them. Homer is still eating.
Pictures of Wally are on the wall.

OLIVE
I used to hate it when Wally went
back to college--even when it was
just college! And this was when his
father was still alive... I hated it
even then. Naturally I hate this
more.

Homer nods in sympathy. His mouth is stuffed with apple pie.

OLIVE
What I mean is... I would like it
very much if you thought you could
be happy here, Homer.

HOMER
(wiping his mouth)
Mrs. Worthington, I feel I'm very
lucky to be here.

OLIVE
There's not a lot of work in the
winter, and you'll have to tolerate
Vernon--even Wally despises him, and
Wally likes everyone.

Olive's thoughts drift; her eyes look up at a photo of Wally.

HOMER
I think Wally will be fine, Mrs.
Worthington--he seems indestructible
to me.

OLIVE
(distracted)
I don't know.
(intently at Homer)
Just promise me one thing.

Homer is tense. Does Olive suspect about Candy?

HOMER
Uh... sure.

OLIVE
Just promise me that, if there's a
blizzard, you'll move into Wally's
room until it's over.

They both laugh, but Homer has a hard time looking her in
the eye.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - DAY

The pickers are moving out; the harvest is over. Olive and
Homer stand near the door to the bunkhouse, talking--we can't
hear their conversation. Rose Rose and the other men walk
past them, carrying the last of their belongings to the truck.
Olive and Homer walk over to the truck.

OLIVE
Good-bye. Have a safe trip home.
Thank you, again, for all your hard
work.

MR. ROSE
You take care now, Mrs. Worthin'ton.

They shake hands.

OLIVE
Good-bye, Arthur.
(she hugs Rose Rose)
Homer, I'll see you tomorrow?

HOMER
Right.

Olive gets in her Jeep and waves as she drives off.

The truck is packed. Muddy tugs on a rope that secures the
load.

MUDDY
(to Mr. Rose)
We all set, I think.

Mr. Rose nods and gets in behind the wheel. Rose Rose and
Muddy get in next to him. The others are bundled up for the
ride in the open back of the truck.

As they're leaving, Homer waves good-bye--the pickers calling
out to him.

MR. ROSE
You all take care of yourself, too,
Homer!

PEACHES
We see you next harvest.

MUDDY
Don't freeze to death, Homer.

JACK
Go on and freeze to death if you
want to, Homer.

MR. ROSE
Now, now, Jack--that just ain't right.

ROSE ROSE
You just stay out of trouble, Homer!

Homer stands looking after them, after they're gone.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - LATER THAT SAME DAY

Homer is alone, rearranging his stuff--spreading out a bit,
making the place his own. (On the other beds, we see the
mattresses rolled up on the bare bedsprings.)

CANDY (O.S.)
So, you're staying.

Homer turns; he hadn't seen Candy come in.

CANDY
Olive told me.
(awkward pause)
You might have told me yourself.

HOMER
I'm just waiting and seeing. Like
you said.

She smiles. He goes to her; they embrace.

BEGINNING A MONTAGE OF THE NEXT NINE OR TEN MONTHS.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE ROOF - MORNING

Homer, drinking coffee, is writing a letter on a note pad.

HOMER (V.O.)
Dear Dr. Larch, thank you for your
doctor's bag...

EXT. RAY'S LOBSTER BOAT - DAY

Homer is learning how to "haul" a lobster pot with Ray and
Candy's guidance.

HOMER (V.O.)
...although it seems that I will not
have the occasion to use it.

EXT. LOBSTER POUND, FLOATING PENS - EVENING

Following Ray's example, Homer is trying to "disarm" the
lobsters' big claws by blocking them shut with the little
wooden wedges. Roy works quickly, never getting pinched. As
Candy watches, Homer gets pinched.

HOMER (V.O.)
Barring some emergency, of course. I
am not a doctor. With all due respect
to your profession. I am enjoying my
life here.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT

Homer and Candy are naked. They have pulled two beds together
and made a double bed. He can't take his eyes off her.

HOMER
I've looked at so many women... I
mean, I've seen *everything* about
them, *everything*... but I never
felt a thing. I felt nothing. Now...
with you... it *hurts*... to look at
you.

INT. DISPENSARY - DAY

Edna and Angela and Larch are all reading Homer's letter,
their lips moving silently as they read the words.

HOMER (V.O.)
I am enjoying being a lobsterman and
an orchardman--in fact, I have never
enjoyed myself so much.

INT. WORTHINGTON HOUSE, FIREPLACE - NIGHT

Olive and Homer and Candy are playing a board game around
the fireplace.

HOMER (V.O.)
The truth is, I want to stay here. I
believe I am being of *some* use.

INT. LARCH'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Edna and Angela view him anxiously from the doorway as Larch
furiously types and types.

LARCH (V.O.)
My dear Homer, I thought you were
over your adolescence, that period
which I would define as the first
time in our lives when we imagine we
have something terrible to hide from
those who love us.

INT. WALLY'S CAR - DAY

Candy is singing to the car radio, as animated and happy as
we've ever seen her. Homer, driving, can scarcely keep his
eyes on the road; he has to keep looking at her.

LARCH (V.O.)
Do you think it's not obvious to us
what's happened to you?

INT. BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT

With the radio playing (a popular song), Homer hops across
the bare floor, pulling on his boxer shorts; he opens the
door to Olive, who's holding out an armload of blankets to
him. He sheepishly thanks her. When Homer closes the door,
we see a hidden (and stricken) Candy, naked from their
interrupted lovemaking.

LARCH (V.O.)
You're fallen in love, haven't you?
By the way, whatever you're up to
can't be too good for your heart.
Then again, it's the sort of condition
that can be made worse by worrying
about it. So don't worry about it!

EXT. ORCHARDS - DAY

Vernon and Homer are working under an apple tree; they are
poisoning mice.

HOMER (V.O.)
Dear Dr. Larch, what I am learning
here may not be as important as what
I learned from you, but everything
is new to me. Yesterday I learned
how to poison mice. You use poison
oats and poison corn.

INT. DINING HALL - EVENING

Supper chaos--Buster and Mary Agnes are doing their best to
stop a food fight while Larch and Angela and Edna are
completely absorbed reading Homer's letter.

HOMER (V.O.)
Field mice girdle an apple tree.
Pine mice kill the roots. I *know*
what you have to do--you have to
play God. Well... killing mice is as
close as I want to come to playing
God.

INT. MOVIE THEATRE - CAPE KENNETH

Homer and Candy are watching "Rebecca".

LARCH (V.O.)
Do I interfere? When absolutely
helpless women tell me that they
simply *can't* have an abortion,
that they simply *must* go through
with having another--and yet another--
orphan... do I interfere? *Do* I? I
do not. I do not even *recommend*. I
just give them what they want: an
orphan or an abortion.
(close on Homer)
You are my work of art, Homer.
Everything else has been just a job.
I don't know if you've got a work of
art in you, but I know what your job
is. You're a doctor!

INT. BUNKHOUSE - DAY

The radio is playing a slow, sexy dance number. The fat ladies
from the apple mart are dancing as they paint the interior
walls of the bunk house.

HOMER (V.O.)
I am not a doctor.

LARCH (V.O.)
You know everything I know, plus
what you've taught yourself--you're
a better doctor then I am and you
know it!

Homer is finishing up painting the kitchen walls. When he
gets to the list of rules, tacked on the wall, he removes
the list and finishes painting under where the rules were.

LARCH (V.O.)
They're going to replace me, Homer!
The Board of Trustees is looking for
my *replacement*!

Two of the ladies unroll the rolled-up mattresses on the
bare bedsprings, as Vernon enters with an armload of blankets
and pillows.

HOMER (V.O.)
I can't replace you! I'm sorry...

Homer holds up the list of rules, rereads it briefly; he
walks over to an unpainted beam, a support beam, and tacks
the rules on this beam.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE, ROOF - MORNING

Homer reads Larch's letter, sipping coffee.

LARCH (V.O.)
Sorry? I'm not 'sorry'! Not for
anything I've done. I'm not even
sorry that I love you!

INT. DISPENSARY - NIGHT

Larch sits on his ether-bed with a letter from Homer in his
hand. He looks completely deflated. Angela is standing in
the doorway.

LARCH
I think we may have lot him to the
world. He's not coming back.

END OF THE MONTAGE.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - EARLY EVENING

In the newly painted, spruced-up cider house, Homer and Candy
are dancing to another slow, sexy song on the radio. He is
untucking her blouse, feeling under her blouse--she starts
to unbutton his shirt. They kiss while they dance. But the
song changes abruptly on the radio to something fast and
silly.

Homer responds to the music, dancing goofily--instantly out
of the mood. Candy laughs, but she picks up a pillow and
swings it at him, hitting him. He dances away from her. She
throws the pillow; he ducks--the pillow lands somewhere near
the door. Now Homer grabs a pillow and chases her from bed
to bed. She shrieks--they're both laughing. They each grab a
pillow and stand toe to toe whacking each other, laughing
all the while, until he pins her arms behind her and,
breathing hard--and despite the stupid music that broke the
mood--they are passionately kissing again.

The sound of a truck is sudden and loud.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - DAY

Mr. Rose's truck has arrived. The pickers are hopping out of
the truck, grabbing their gear.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - DAY

The door opens. Hero and Peaches barge in, as Homer and Candy
are struggling to return the pillows to the beds.

HERO
Who's that?

PEACHES
It's that Homer!

Muddy is right behind them. He picks up a pillow, off the
floor, looking for which bed it belongs on.

MUDDY
It's that Candy, too...

Then comes Mr. Rose, slyly smiling, taking it all in--there's
no hiding what's going on. Homer and Candy are caught, their
shirts untucked and half-unbuttoned--they're still out of
breath. The pillows lie crazily on the beds, each one of
which has been stepped on.

MR. ROSE
Don't this place look like home?

PEACHES
It look nicer then home!

MR. ROSE
What have you two been doin' to make
it look so nice?

Rose Rose enters. She looks hardened, toughened--not happy.
She plops down her stuff on her bed, looking only at Candy.

ROSE ROSE
How is that Wally doing?

CANDY
Oh, he's fine! I just heard from
him. He's bombing all these places...

Homer tries to help out.

HOMER
(mumbling)
...bridges, oil refineries, fuel
depots...

He peters out, knowing how sick of hearing this Candy is. He
tries to change the subject.

HOMER
Where's Jack?

There is an uncomfortable silence.

MUDDY
He just wasn't up for the trip.

More silence.

MR. ROSE
That Jack just never knew what his
business was.

One look at Muddy and we know something pretty bad happened
to Jack.

EXT. ORCHARDS - DAY

The pickers on their ladders, all picking. Homer is now a
good picker; he looks over at Rose Rose. She is slumped
against the ladder, not picking, completely ignoring an
argument beneath them in the aisle between the trees. (Mr.
Rose is checking over the apples Peaches has just picked.)

MR. ROSE
You pickin' nothin' but cider apples,
Peaches--I hope you understand that.

PEACHES
They ain't drops--I picked 'em off
the tree!

MR. ROSE
Then you pickin' 'em too fast--they
ain't no better than drops to me.
See that bruise, and that one? *Half*
of these is bruised! Look at this
one! It ain't got no stem! You might
as well *step* on 'em, too--they
only good for cider.

EXT. ORCHARDS - DUSK

In the aisle between the trees, Homer and Candy are arguing
in one of the work vehicles.

CANDY
Do you think I'm having a good time?
Do you think I'm just *teasing* you?
Do you think I *know* whether I want
you or Wally?

HOMER
So we should "wait and see." For how
long?

CANDY
I grew up with Wally. I began my
adult life with him.

HOMER
Fine. That's all there is to it then.

CANDY
No! That's not all there is to it! I
love you, too--I *know* I do.

HOMER
Okay, okay--I know you do, too.

CANDY
(bitterly)
It's a good thing I didn't have that
baby, isn't it?

Her sudden hardness leaves him speechless as they go their
separate ways. Candy drives on.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - SUNNY MORNING

Breakfast time at the picnic table. Rose Rose by herself,
away from the table. She does not look well; she suddenly
goes back inside the bunkhouse.

PEACHES
(calling after her)
Ain't you eatin' with us, Rose?
(to the men)
She used to eat with us. Now we ain't
good enough for her, I guess.

HERO
She ain't hungry, maybe.

MUDDY
She ain't hungry every mornin' 'cause
she's sick every mornin'.

Homer gets up to take his dishes inside.

INT. KITCHEN AND BUNKHOUSE - MORNING

When Homer comes in, Rose Rose is throwing up in the sink.

HOMER
You okay, Rose?

ROSE ROSE
I guess you must like watchin' me be
sick...

HOMER
I don't like watching anyone be sick.

Rose Rose lies down on her bed with the curtain open. There
is something familiar about the way Homer approaches her
bedside; he does so with the authority of a doctor. He sits
on the edge of her bed with such complete self-assurance
that she doesn't protest.

HOMER
How many months are you?

She just stares. But she doesn't stop him when he touches
her abdomen. It's as if she knows that he knows what he's
doing.

HOMER
You're not yet three months, are
you?

ROSE ROSE
Not yet. What do you know about it?

HOMER
I know more than I want to know about
it. Who's the father?

ROSE ROSE
Don't trouble yourself about it,
Homer--this ain't your business.

HOMER
But you don't look very happy.

ROSE ROSE
*Happy*! What are you thinkin'? How
am I supposed to take care of a baby!
I can't have a baby.

HOMER
Rose, please listen. Whatever you
want to do, I can help you.

She is taken back.

HOMER
What I mean is, if you don't want
to... keep the baby, I know a place
where you can go.

ROSE ROSE
You think Daddy's gonna let me go
anywhere? I ain't going *nowhere*.

She rolls over on the bed, facing away from him again.

ROSE ROSE
Why don't you just go back to your
pickin', Homer? I can take care of
it myself!

HOMER
Rose, listen--don't *do* anything.
You know, I mean to yourself. Please
listen...

MR. ROSE (O.S.)
(calling)
Homer! Is this a workin' day or what?

EXT. LOBSTER POUND - EVENING

Homer and Candy are sitting at the dock.

CANDY
We should take her to St. Cloud's.
That much is obvious, isn't it? Let
her make up her mind when she gets
there...

HOMER
I told her! She doesn't feel she can
do that. Something about her father
not letting her go anywhere...

CANDY
Well, we have to help her!

Homer doesn't respond.

CANDY
We have to do *something*. Don't we?
(beat)
Homer?

Homer looks out over the ocean; he remains unresponsive.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - MIDDAY

Rose Rose is setting the picnic table for lunch when Candy
arrives.

CANDY
Hi...

ROSE ROSE
Hi...

She keeps setting the table.

CANDY
I've got some more clothes for you--
I just keep forgetting to bring them
with me.

ROSE ROSE
I don't need no more clothes, thank
you.

CANDY
(softly)
Rose, I know what's going on. Homer
told me. I got pregnant, too--about
a year ago.
(pause)
I've been through this.

Rose Rose looks down.

ROSE ROSE
You ain't been through what I been
through, Candy.

CANDY
(doesn't get it)
Yes, I *have*!

Rose Rose dismissively waves her hand.

CANDY
Who's the father, Rose?

Rose looks at Candy and shakes her head.

CANDY
You want to have the baby?

Rose Rose shakes her head again, more emphatically.

CANDY
I know where you can go. Homer and I
can take you...

ROSE ROSE
I can't go nowhere.

CANDY
Why?

Rose Rose stays silent.

CANDY
Is it the father? Does he know?

Rose Rose turns away from Candy.

CANDY
You can trust me. Is it Jack? It's
not Jack, is it? It's *Muddy*! Is it
Muddy?

ROSE ROSE
(almost wistfully)
No. It ain't Muddy. Muddy's just...

Rose Rose stops; she can't even continue setting the table.
Her voice turns bitter, despairing.

ROSE ROSE
It sure ain't Jack.

There, suddenly, is Mr. Rose, walking past them. He is
uncharacteristically tentative.

MR. ROSE
(to his daughter)
I'll be up top...

Mr. Rose leaves Candy and Rose Rose alone again. Rose Rose
nods almost invisibly after her father. Rose Rose looks
pointedly at Candy, nodding. Candy slowly gets it. Mr. Rose
is the father! Rose Rose lets that sink in; she keeps looking
at Candy with an ashamed expression.

EXT. ORCHARD - DAY

The pickers are at work, on their ladders, when Candy runs
down the aisle between two rows of trees. She stops at the
bottom of Homer's ladder, out of breath. Muddy and Peaches
and Hero, in the treetops, are watching and listening.

CANDY
She won't go to St. Cloud's!

HOMER
(shrugging)
Well, we can't force her. It's her
decision.

CANDY
You don't understand! It's her
father...

HOMER
Mr. Rose *knows*?

CANDY
(shouting)
He's the *father*! He's her baby's
father!

The pickers can't help but hear this, too. Candy starts to
leave, Homer running after her.

HOMER
Wait... *wait*! Are you sure?

CANDY
We've got to keep her away from that
bastard!

Candy leaves. Homer starts looking for Mr. Rose.

EXT. ORCHARD, NEAR CIDER HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER

Smiling his enigmatic smile, Mr. Rose keeps slowly picking
while Homer stands at the foot of his ladder.

MR. ROSE
I didn't see where you was pickin'
this mornin', Homer, but you musta
worked up a big appetite. You look
like you're serious about gettin' to
your lunch today!

HOMER
Is it true?

Mr. Rose stops picking, his eyes darting to see who's around.

HOMER
Are you sleeping with your own
daughter?

Mr. Rose, with deliberate slowness, comes down the ladder.

MR. ROSE
(slyly; still composed)
I think you been stayin' up too late
at night, Homer.

HOMER
You're actually having sex with your
own little girl? Is that possible?

MR. ROSE
Ain't nobody havin' *sex* with my
little girl, Homer--that's somethin'
a father knows.

HOMER
You're lying. How can you... with
your own daughter!

Mr. Rose switches from sly to threatening in a split second.

MR. ROSE
Homer, don't you know what business
you in? You don't wanna go into no
business with me, Homer--ain't that
right?

HOMER
Go on, cut my clothes. I've got other
clothes.

Mr. Rose is indignant.

MR. ROSE
You a fine one to be talkin' about
lies. Shame! These people took you
in. That boy Wally's at *war*!

That takes some of the steam out of Homer's superiority.

HOMER
But she's your *daughter*...

MR. ROSE
And I *love* her! There ain't nobody
else gonna treat her as good as I
do!
(looks away)
I wouldn't do nothin' to hurt her,
Homer--you must know that.

Homer turns; he speaks over his shoulder as he walks away.

HOMER
She's *pregnant*. Do you know *that*?

By his expression--he looks as if he's been punched--it's
clear that Mr. Rose didn't *know that*.

The other pickers are on their way to lunch; it's obvious
that Muddy, Peaches, and Hero already know that Mr. Rose is
sleeping with his daughter.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - PICNIC AREA - LUNCHTIME

Rose Rose is sitting at the picnic table when the pickers
arrive for lunch, almost simultaneously with Homer. He looks
at, then looks away from, Rose Rose. Mr. Rose is the last to
sit down at the table as a very tense, wordless lunch begins.

EXT. ORCHARD - DAY

Homer is on a ladder picking apples. Muddy climbs a ladder
on the other side of the same tree.

MUDDY
Don't mess in this, Homer, if you
know what's good for you.

HOMER
How long's this been going on, Muddy?

MUDDY
Long enough. You ain't gonna stop
it.

Muddy looks all around for Mr. Rose; then he gives Homer his
knife.

MUDDY
There's my knife, Homer. It ain't
gonna do *me* no good. You give that
knife to Rose Rose, you hear?

Homer nods, pocketing the knife. As Muddy climbs down and
moves his ladder to an adjacent tree, he keeps talking to
Homer until he disappears in the leaves.

MUDDY
You best just watch you ass, Homer!
You don't wanna end up like Jack!

Homer thoughtfully continues his work.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - LATE AT NIGHT

Homer lies awake in his bed.

EXT. ORCHARD - LATE AFTERNOON, ANOTHER DAY

The pickers on their ladders in the trees; nobody is talking.
In the late sun, the leaves have a reddish, fiery glow.

EXT. ORCHARD - ANOTHER DAY

It's much colder; the pickers are on their ladders in the
trees again, but they're dressed for the cold. Homer is high
on a ladder; he turns toward the view of the Worthington
house when he hears a car come to a screeching halt in the
driveway. Homer sees Candy get out of Wally's car; she leaves
the door open and runs toward the house. Parked in front of
Wally's car is an Army Jeep, with an ENLISTED MAN leaning
against it. The indifferent soldier smokes a cigarette as he
watches Candy run.

CANDY
No! No!

Homer descends the ladder and runs for the house, down as
aisle between the row of trees. The pickers watch him run.

INT. WORTHINGTON HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - DAY

Camera follows Homer into the Worthington house where, from
the front hall, he sees Olive and Candy (in profile) sitting
on the couch. We can't see who's talking, nor do we recognize
the voice. As Homer comes into the living room, we see MAJOR
WINSLOW sitting in a chair (also in profile), talking to
Olive and Candy.

Major Winslow is a smooth, handsome well-briefed officer in
the casualty branch of the Army Air Corps; he's done his
homework, but he's not all business. He's painfully aware of
the delicate nature of his report.

MAJOR WINSLOW
When the plane was hit, the crew
chief and the radioman jumped close
together. The copilot jumped third.
All on Captain Worthington's orders--
the captain was still flying the
plane. None of the men of the ground
could see the sky--that's how thick
the jungle was. They never saw the
plane crash--they never *heard* it
crash. They never saw Captain
Worthington's parachute, either.

OLIVE
Why was he missing for twenty days?

MAJOR WINSLOW
Because the crew thought he'd gone
down with the plane. They were
hospitalized for almost a week in
China before they were flown back to
India. It wasn't until that they
sorted through their gear...

CANDY
Who cares about their *gear*?

MAJOR WINSLOW
Three men jumped from the plane, but
they had four compasses with them.
One of the crew jumped with Captain
Worthington's compass.

CANDY
He was in Burma for twenty days
without a compass?

MAJOR WINSLOW
He followed the Irrawaddy River, all
the way to Rangoon. Somehow he managed
to avoid the Japs, but not the
mosquitoes.

OLIVE
Then it's malaria?

MAJOR WINSLOW
It's encephalitis B. He's recovering
at Mount Lavinia Hospital, Ceylon.
(pause)
Uh... Captain Worthington is
paralyzed.
(Olive gasps)
Waist down. He won't walk.

Candy stands and leaves the room.

MAJOR WINSLOW
(to Olive)
I'm sorry.

HOMER
(asks the major)
There are no autonomic effects, are
there?

Major Winslow has to consult his notes.

MAJOR WINSLOW
No autonomic effects... that's
correct.

OLIVE
When will he be home, Major?

MAJOR WINSLOW
Four weeks or so, right around
Halloween.

INT./EXT. WALLY'S CAR - LOBSTER POUND - END OF DAY

Homer and Candy are sitting in the parked car in silence.

HOMER
(finally)
There are no autonomic effects, just
the paralysis of the lower
extremities.

Candy stares at him, uncomprehending.

HOMER
Wally can have kids, a normal sex
life...

Candy cries.

EXT. LOBSTER POUND - EVENING

Ray is throwing snails in the water. Candy sits on the end
of the dock, slumped on Homer's shoulder.

RAY
How about him not needin' the friggin'
compass! How about that?

CANDY
Daddy, *please*...

Ray knows that she wants him to leave. He shuffles off the
dock, toward the house. He knows how they both must feel.

RAY
Good night, kids. Don't catch cold--
it's gettin' cold already.

CANDY
Good night, Daddy.

HOMER
Good night, Ray.

Homer tries to cuddle closer, but Candy sits up, preoccupied.

HOMER
Just tell me. I'll do whatever you
want to do.

CANDY
Nothing.

HOMER
Isn't that like waiting and seeing?

CANDY
No. Nothing is nothing. I want Wally
to come home. I'm afraid to see him,
too.

HOMER
I know.
(he kisses her)
Is *that* nothing.

CANDY
No, don't--that's something. Nothing
is nothing.
(Homer's sad smile)
Don't even look at me. I want...

Candy buries her face in his chest.

CANDY
...to do nothing.

Homer holds her, doing nothing, while she sobs. As her crying
subsides, Homer's thoughts are far away. With Candy slumped
against him, hugging him, he doesn't look at her; instead,
he looks out to sea and at the darkening coast, Candy's words
resonating. An unfamiliar expression is on his face.

HOMER
(mumbling to himself)
It's a tempting idea, I know... to
do nothing.

Candy is silent. Homer feels strangely agitated; he shifts
his position.

CANDY
(groans)
Please don't move, don't go anywhere.

HOMER
(overly genuine)
*Go* anywhere? Of course not! That
would be *doing* something, wouldn't
it? We wouldn't want to *do*
something. Let's just sit here all
night!

CANDY
(irritated)
If you're trying to be funny, Homer...

HOMER
(irritated, too)
I'm not trying to be anything--I'm
just doing nothing! If I wait and
see long enough, then--with any luck--
I won't *ever* have to make up my
mind! Decisions can be painful, after
all...

Candy is angry; she gets to her feet and stares hard at him.

CANDY
Stop it! Just cut it out!

HOMER
(mock surprise)
You got up! You *did* something! If
you keep this up, you might be in
danger of making a *decision*!

CANDY
For God's sake, Homer, Wally's been
shot down!

Candy sobs. Homer puts his face in his hands for a minute.
He regains his composure and stands up.

HOMER
(genuinely contrite)
I know, I'm sorry.

CANDY
(yelling and sobbing)
He's *paralyzed*!

HOMER
(deadpan; just the
facts)
He's *alive*. He still loves you.
(pause)
So do I.

CANDY
(anguished)
What do you want me to *do*?

He faces away from her.

HOMER
(with calm resolve)
Nothing. You're not the one who has
to do anything.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - NIGHT

Homer is in semidarkness as he walks toward the cider house.

MR. ROSE (O.S.)
Where do you think you're going?

ROSE ROSE (O.S.)
You gotta let me go, Daddy. Please...

Homer walks faster. When he gets to the cider house, he sees
Mr. Rose and Rose Rose arguing. Rose is sitting on the
bicycle, a bundle of her clothes tied up behind the seat.

MR. ROSE
You ain't goin' nowhere in the middle
of the night, girl!

ROSE ROSE
I ain't your business no more, Daddy.
Please let me go.

Rose Rose starts to pedal away, but Mr. Rose stops her. She
starts to struggle.

HOMER
Hey, hey! Stop it. Maybe I can help.

They turn to see Homer.

MR. ROSE
You just go inside, Homer. We don't
need no help.

ROSE ROSE
That's right, Homer. This ain't your
business.

She tries to break free from her father and pedal away, but
he stops her again. They keep struggling.

HOMER
Please listen to me! *Both* of you...

MR. ROSE
You forget yourself, Homer. This
here's my daughter! You got your own
mess to deal with--ain't that right?

Homer steps between them, which makes Mr. Rose furious.

MR. ROSE
(yelling)
What business is you in, Homer?

HOMER
Mr. Rose, I'm in the *doctor*
business.
(to Rose Rose)
If you want, I can help you. You
don't have to go anywhere.

Rose Rose and Mr. Rose stop struggling. Suddenly Homer is in
charge.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT

Muddy, Hero and Peaches smoke in their beds. Rose Rose opens
her curtain and peers out from her bed. She gets up and goes
toward the kitchen area in her nightshirt; she stops at an
unused bed, now covered with white rubber sheeting--Homer's
medical instruments are displayed and ready. Homer finished
scrubbing his hands in the sink. His surgical mask is loosely
tied around his neck.

Mr. Rose is looking at Homer's surgical instruments when
Rose Rose joins him.

MR. ROSE
(to Homer)
What's that? What's it called?

HOMER
One cervical stabilizer, two sets of
dilators--Douglas points. One medium-
sized curette, one small; one medium
speculum, one large; two vulsellum
forceps.

MR. ROSE
There ain't no *almost* about this
stuff, Homer--ain't that right?

Homer ignores him; he keeps naming his equipment.

HOMER
Merthiolate, ether, vulval pads,
gauze--lots of gauze.

MR. ROSE
When it comes to this, you is the
real thing--is that what you sayin'?

Homer looks at Mr. Rose and Rose Rose.

HOMER
No *almost* about it--I'm a doctor.

Homer turns to Peaches, Hero, and Muddy.

HOMER
Get out of here, please.

Muddy herds Peaches and Hero out of the bunkhouse.

MR. ROSE
I'm stayin', Homer.

HOMER
Okay. Then you can be of use.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT

Mr. Rose wears a surgical mask; he is sweating, even in the
cold, and his eyes look stricken as he watches Homer, who is
performing the abortion. Mr. Rose holds the ether cone over
Rose Rose's face. He drips some ether from the bottle on the
cone.

Cut quickly for Rose Rose's etherized face... to Mr. Rose's
eyes above his mask... to Homer working with his eyes trained
on the speculum...

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - NIGHT

...to Muddy and Peaches and Hero huddled under the overhanging
roof in the rain.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT

Mr. Rose is having a hard time breathing.

HOMER
You better get some air.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - NIGHT

The cider house in the rain. Mr. Rose staggers out; he stands
there in the rain, trying to regain his composure. He starts
to scream.

Another angle: huddled under the overhanging roof, Muddy and
Peaches and Hero are watching him.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - RAINY DAY

Rose Rose, curled in a fetal position, listens to the rain
on the roof. Candy sits on her bed beside her. She helps her
to sit up, to drink a glass of water; then Rose Rose lies
down again. Rose Rose's expression never changes while Candy
talks to her. Mr. Rose lies in his bed in the exact same
fetal position as his daughter; he too, is listening to Candy.
Homer is putting away his instruments.

CANDY
The bleeding should taper off
tomorrow, but it can come back again.
The cramps will ease up, almost
entirely. The bleeding is usually
much lighter in two days. As long as
the bleeding isn't heavy, it's normal.

Muddy enters the cider house from out of the storm. He glances
at Candy and Rose Rose; then at Homer. Then he speaks to Mr.
Rose.

MUDDY
It's that Vernon--he keeps askin'
where you and Homer and Rose Rose is
at.

MR. ROSE
Tell that Vernon to mind his own
business, Muddy.

MUDDY
I told him that you all is sick.

MR. ROSE
Tell him what you want, Muddy--*you*
is the crew boss today.

Hero and Peaches, dripping wet, come inside. Peaches is
standing next to the list of rules tacked to the kitchen
support beam.

PEACHES
Look at that. Them same damn rules
is tacked up again!

Homer has finished putting his instruments away.

MUDDY
Why don't you put them damn rules in
the wood stove, Peaches?

As the men are murmuring their approval of this idea, Rose
Rose interjects.

ROSE ROSE
I want to hear what they are, first.

The men groan, but Mr. Rose won't oppose his daughter on
this subject--not this time. He just lies there.

ROSE ROSE
Homer, let me hear what they are.

Homer begins to read.

HOMER
"One: Please don't smoke in bed."

MUDDY
We heard that one already, Homer.

HOMER
"Two: Please don't go up to the roof
to eat your lunch."

PEACHES
That's the best place to eat lunch!

HOMER
"Three: Please--even if you are very
hot--do not go up to the roof to
sleep."

HERO
What do they think? They must think
we're crazy!

MUDDY
They think we're dumb niggers so we
need dumb rules--that's what they
think.

HOMER
This is the last one.

The men groan, in mock disappointment.

HOMER
"Four: There should be no going up
on the roof at night."

PEACHES
Why don't they just say, "Stay off
the roof!"?

HERO
Yeah, they don't want us up there
*at all*!

Homer crumples the list and throws it into the wood stove.

ROSE ROSE
(to Homer)
That's *it*?

HOMER
That's it.

ROSE ROSE
It means nothin' at all! And all
this time I been *wonderin'* about
it!

PEACHES
They're *outrageous*, them rules!

MR. ROSE
Who *live* here in this cider house,
Peaches? Who grind them apples, who
press that cider, who clean up the
mess, and who just plain *live*
here... just breathin' in the vinegar?
(he pauses)
Somebody who *don't* live here made
them rules. Them rules ain't for
*us*. *We* the ones who make up them
rules. We makin' our *own* rules,
every day. Ain't that right, Homer?

HOMER
Right.

Camera closes on Candy.

INT./EXT. WALLY'S CAR - DRIVE-IN THEATRE - EVENING

Homer and Candy sit and stare at the blank screen; they don't
look at each other. Candy grips the steering wheel of the
parked car.

CANDY
Please don't make me say it again.

HOMER
No, that's not it--I just want to be
sure I understand you.

Candy slumps forward with her forehead on the steering wheel.

HOMER
I *helped* you not to think about
Wally. You were so upset--you couldn't
stand worrying about him, about his
being killed and not coming back--
but when you were with me, you could
stop worrying... well, for a while,
anyway. This is how I helped you,
right?

CANDY
Please... that's enough. I *loved*
you, too--you know I did.

HOMER
"...did." Well, okay.

CANDY
Please don't...

HOMER
(sarcastically)
And now that Wally's coming back,
and because he'll certainly *need*
you...

CANDY
You say that as though it's some
awful thing!
(angrily)
I never stopped loving Wally!

Homer lets that sink in.

HOMER
(still sarcastic)
At least there's no more waiting and
seeing. At least I got to see the
ocean.

Candy covers her face in her hands and cries uncontrollably,
unstoppably. Homer's anger keeps him impervious to her tears--
another "first" for him. He turns and looks at her with an
almost clinical curiosity; then he goes back to staring at
the blank screen.

EXT. ORCHARD - IN FRONT OF THE APPLE MART - DAWN

The rain has stopped but the grass is wet, the trees
glistening in the dawn light as Wally's car stops and Homer
gets out. The car exits the frame in one direction; Homer,
walking, exits the frame in another.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE - DAWN

As he walks toward the cider house, Homer sees Muddy and
Peaches and Hero waving to him from the roof.

MUDDY
Rose Rose has runned away!

PEACHES
She took off in the night!

MUDDY
She took off on the bicycle, man.

Homer starts jogging, then running toward the cider house.
Muddy comes down the ladder to meet him.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - EARLY MORNING

Rose Rose's bed is exposed. The curtains are flung open; her
bed is empty. Mr. Rose is still in his bed, in the fetal
position we have seen before. Mr. Rose's trancelike expression
doesn't change as Homer and Muddy enter.

MR. ROSE
Ain't nobody gonna find her, Homer--
she's long gone.
(pause)
I swear, I didn't try and stop her--
I just wanna touch her hand before
she go. That's all I wanna do, I
swear.
(pause)
Where'd she get that knife, Muddy?
That looked like *your* knife--what
I seen of it.

Muddy is scared; he looks to Homer for advice.

MR. ROSE
If that was your knife, Muddy, I
wanna thank you for givin' it to her--
no girl should be goin' *hitch-hikin'*
if she don't got a good knife with
her.

HOMER
(seeing the blood)
Where'd she get you?

MR. ROSE
She just plan misunderstand me--I
was tryin' to give her my knife, I
was just reachin' to touch her hand.
But I understand if she misunderstand
me--it's all my fault, ain't that
right?

Homer takes the blanket off him; Muddy gasps. Homer tries to
examine Mr. Rose's wound. Mr. Rose smiles at him.

MR. ROSE
It's too late for the doctor now,
Homer--ain't that right?

Homer doesn't answer; he knows Mr. Rose is a goner.

MR. ROSE
(proudly)
She's *good* with that knife! She's
real fast. She's a lot better with
that knife than *you* is, Muddy! And
who do you suppose taught her?

MUDDY
*You* taught her, I suppose...

MR. ROSE
That's right! A girl's gotta know
how to defend herself, don't she?

He winces in pain at Homer's examination.

HOMER
(surprised)
There's more than one laceration,
more than one cut.

MR. ROSE
That's 'cause I sticked my *own*
knife in the wound--after she go, I
sticked my *own* knife in there. I
poked it all around, I just tryin'
to find the same place she got me.

Homer finds Mr. Rose's knife. There's blood everywhere.

MR. ROSE
You listen to me: you tell them police
how this happen, you tell it *this*
way, you hear? My daughter, she runned
off--and I so sad about it that I
stabbed myself. I so unhappy that
she gone, I killed myself--that what
you say, you hear? That the true
story--ain't that right?

Homer and Muddy exchange a glance. Mr. Rose, with his blood-
soaked hand, suddenly grabs Homer by the throat.

MR. ROSE
Let me hear you say that! I so unhappy
she runned away that I killed myself--
that what happen here, ain't that
right?

HOMER
Right?

MUDDY
That what happen--you lost you only
daughter so's you killed yourself!
That's what we say, all right.

MR. ROSE
That's right. I know you understand
how I feel, Homer--you is breakin'
them rules, too. Ain't that right?

Mr. Rose dies. Muddy turns away. Homer closes Mr. Rose's
eyes.

EXT. CIDER HOUSE, ROOF - MORNING

Muddy and Hero and Peaches are sitting close together on the
roof, like banished children. It is from their perspective
that we see the police car and the ambulance--two men carrying
the body out of the cider house, and a cop or two talking to
Homer and Olive, and Homer talking to them. We hear no
dialogue.

EXT. APPLE MART - DUSK

Homer and the men load crates of apple jelly onto a truck.
The mood is solemn; they work with tired focus. Candy drives
up. The men are evasive with her; they find a reason to work
across the mart. Candy walks to Homer, stands next to him.
They say nothing for a moment, until Candy breaks the silence.

CANDY
Do you think she'll be all right?

HOMER
She knows how to take care of herself.

Candy looks away; she can't think of what to say. She shoves
her hands into her pockets, finds a letter there, which she
hands to Homer.

CANDY
This came for you a couple of days
ago. Olive asked me to bring it.
With everything happening, I guess
she forgot.

HOMER
Sure. Thanks.

Homer looks at the letter from St. Cloud's; he puts it
unopened in his pocket without a second thought. Candy can't
let things end there.

CANDY
I know you don't think much of being
needed, or of me for that matter...

HOMER
I'm sorry for what I said about Wally
needing you. It was... unnecessary.

CANDY
No, I'm the one who should be sorry.
You have every right to be angry.

HOMER
No. You warned me. I didn't listen,
but you warned me.

Candy looks surprised.

HOMER
You told me you weren't any good at
being alone.
(pause)
You told Wally, too. Right?

Candy can only stare straight ahead.

HOMER
(relenting)
He's going to be fine, Wally's going
to be fine. I know he is.

A tear rolls down Candy's cheek, Homer wipes it away; then
he stops touching her and looks off into the quiet orchards.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT

The pickers lie in their beds, smoking. Homer is undressing.
He pulls the letter out of his pocket and sits down on his
bed. Homer opens the letter without enthusiasm and begins to
read.

ANGELA (V.O.)
Dear Homer, I am writing to tell you
about Wilbur.

INT. DISPENSARY - NIGHT

Music is playing on the old phonograph as an exhausted Larch
gives himself ether.

INT. GIRLS' DIVISION - NIGHT

Edna is getting the girls ready for bed. Music continues
Over.

INT. DISPENSARY - NIGHT

Larch has twisted himself on the narrow bed so that his face
is unusually close to the windowsill, and when the ether
cone starts to fall off his face--and his slack hand trails
down, off the side of the bed--the cone becomes caught against
the windowsill.

He tries to turn his face away from the cone, but he presses
his face into the sill--thus holding the ether-soaked cone
over his mouth and nose. His hands twitch, he's trying to
wake up; the hand that holds the ether bottle lets the bottle
fall. The bottle shatters against the sill; the ether spreads,
running red with blood from a cut on Dr. Larch's hand or
finger. Music continues Over. It's a funeral.

INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Buster is bringing in the wood as the music plays Over. Buster
smells the spilled ether. He heads toward the dispensary,
sniffing. Camera follows him into the dispensary.

In the dispensary: Buster approaches Larch's ether-bed.

BUSTER
Dr. Larch? Dr. Larch?

He drops the armload of wood and runs for help.

INT. DISPENSARY - NIGHT

Angela enters. She feels for Larch's pulse; Larch is dead.
Angela opens a window. She pull's Larch's body away from the
windowsill. Buster joins her on the bed.

ANGELA (V.O.)
I can assure you that the overdose
was entirely accidental.

INT. BUNKHOUSE - NIGHT

Homer finishes reading the letter; he puts it down, gets up,
and walks to a window. He stares into the night.

ANGELA (V.O.)
Let us be happy for Dr. Larch. Dr.
Larch has found a family.

THE BOYS (V.O.)
Good night, Dr. Larch! Good night,
Dr. Larch! Good night, Dr. Larch!

Homer wipes a tear off his cheek.

EXT. PICKERS' TRUCK - CIDER/PACKING HOUSE - MORNING

The truck is packed for the long trip south; it passes by
the packing house, which looks closed for the season. No one
else is about. Muddy is driving slowly, his arm out the open
window. In the back, huddled among their belongings, are
Peaches and Hero (on one side) and Homer (on the other). The
pickers are trying to draw Homer into their conversation,
while Homer is giving the apple farm a good-bye look. He has
made up his mind about something.

MUDDY
You ever see a palm tree, Homer?

PEACHES
He ain't never been outta Maine!

HERO
Ain't you sick of pine trees, Homer?

Homer just smiles and shakes his head.

EXT. WORTHINGTON HOUSE, DRIVEWAY - MORNING

As the pickers' truck drives past, Homer is on the side of
the truck nearest the Worthington house and driveway; he
sees Olive and Candy and Ray helping Wally out of the car
and into a wheelchair. A NURSE stands by.

Wally is wearing what appears to be an oversized officer's
coat or flight jacket, his face looking small in the overlarge
clothes. He can't move his legs at all, and his mouth is
drawn into a tight-lipped smile.

PEACHES (O.S.)
Let me tell you somethin' about
Florida, Homer.

HERO (O.S.)
The Sunshine State!

PEACHES (O.S.)
It's so nice 'n' warm down there,
you can pick them grapefruits and
oranges *naked*, if you want to.

Olive is dissolved in tears. Candy is sobbing; she kisses
Wally, without ceasing, while he haltingly touches her face,
her hair.

In the truck the smile is gone from Homer's face. He shakes
his head.

HOMER
Thanks, guys... I'd like to go with
you. But I've got to move on.

MUDDY
Yeah, well... you could move on with
*us*, man! You could move on somewhere
*warm*!

PEACHES
Homer, stayin' in Maine ain't movin'
on!

This makes all the pickers laugh, but Homer just smiles and
shakes his head. He watches the Worthington house disappear
from view.

INT. MOVING TRAIN - PASSENGER CAR - NIGHT

A CONDUCTOR, taking tickets, comes to Homer, who is better
dressed than we've ever seen him; he is looking at his sober
reflection in the black window-glass of the night train when
the conductor gets his attention. When the conductor moves
on, Homer takes Angela's letter out of his breast pocket; he
skips ahead to the end.

ANGELA (V.O.)
Dr. Larch often wondered how the
world was treating you.

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - GRAVEYARD - AFTERNOON

ANGELA (V.O.)
He talked a lot about you, hoping
you would be of use, whatever you
were up to.

Angela and Buster and Mary Agnes and Edna carry Larch's
coffin; they set it down by the raw hole. The pile of fresh
dirt stands out against the new snow; the hole is black
against the new white.

EDNA (O.S.)
"Oh, Lord, support us all the day
long..."

We see the wheelbarrow with the gravestone.

EDNA (O.S.)
"...until the shadows lengthen and
the evening comes, and the busy world
is hushed, and the fever of life is
over, and our work is done."

INT. GIRLS' DIVISION - NIGHT

We see the faces of the girls praying for Larch (Mary Agnes,
too) as Edna finishes her favorite prayer.

EDNA
"Then, in Thy mercy grant us a safe
lodging, and a holy rest, and peace
at the last."

INT. MOVING TRAIN - PASSENGER CAR - NIGHT

Camera closes on Homer, sleeping to the sound of the rocking
train. Angela's letter lies in his lap.

THE GIRLS (O.S.)
Amen! Amen! Amen!

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - TRAIN STATION - EARLY MORNING

The train stops, blowing snow. Homer steps off the train
carrying a suitcase and Dr. Larch's bag. The disapproving
stationmaster is still disapproving. Music plays Over,
something triumphant.

EXT. ST. CLOUD'S - THE HILL - EARLY MORNING

Homer makes his way up the hill toward the orphanage. Music
Over.

EXT. ORPHANAGE - EARLY MORNING

Edna is breaking up fights; this time, instead of fighting
over snowballs, the orphans are fighting over their pumpkins.
Suddenly Homer tops the brow of the hill and they all see
him. Buster is the first to catch sight of Homer; he runs
toward him. Mary Agnes also sees Homer; she immediately turns
away and runs inside. Music FADES OUT Over.

INT. LAVATORY - EARLY MORNING

Mary Agnes crashes into the bathroom and stumbles up to the
mirror; she starts to fix herself up with shaking hands.

INT. ORPHANAGE, FRONT HALL - EARLY MORNING

Everyone has heard the news; they come on the run. The
children flock around Homer, hugging him. Homer takes Angela
and Edna in his arms. Mary Agnes joins the group. Homer takes
in how changed, how attractive she is. They smile awkwardly
at each other.

INT. BOYS' DIVISION - EVENING

Homer's suitcase is open on the bed; we see Homer's hands as
he begins to unpack. Smaller hands reach in and root through
the clothes.

CURLY (O.S.)
Did you bring something for me?

Curly continues his search. Homer thinks for a second; then
reaches into his pocket and pulls out the piece of pale-green
glass.

HOMER
You know what? I did.

Homer hands the piece of glass to Curly.

HOMER
It's from the ocean. It's for you.

Curly is duly impressed; he walks away to examine his new
treasure. Homer continues unpacking. He pulls his X ray out
and puts it aside.

BUSTER
What are you doing here?

Homer turns to see Buster, Mary Agnes, Angela, and Edna in
the doorway.

MARY AGNES
We made up a room for you.

ANGELA
Wouldn't you be more comfortable by
yourself?

Homer smiles; he nods.

Angela and Mary Agnes start to put Homer's things back in
his bag. Edna picks up the X ray and looks at it with a somber
expression.

EDNA
Homer, do you know what this is?

HOMER
Sure. It's my heart.

ANGELA
(shakes her head)
Actually, it's Fuzzy's. There's
nothing wrong with your heart.

HOMER
Fuzzy's?!

EDNA
Dr. Larch wanted to keep you out of
the war, Homer--that's why he did
it. That's why he told you it was
yours.

Homer is stunned; he puts his hand to his heart.

ANGELA
I think he worried about his own
heart. He said it would never stand
up to Homer Wells going off to war.

Homer takes that in; he nods. Mary Agnes touches him
sympathetically.

INT. LARCH'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Homer looks at his fake diplomas; they are now framed and
hanging on the office wall. Homer surveys the office, as if
for the first time; he sits down in the desk chair, as if
slowly getting used to his new position.

INT. BOYS' DIVISION - NIGHT

Homer reads to the boys from "David Copperfield". While his
voice is strong--positive, optimistic, certainly reassuring
to the boys--there is in the conclusion of the chapter
something that distracts him. He seems to hesitate; he misses
a line or two, and perhaps he purposely skips one or two
others. (Possibly Homer's eyes wander ahead, to the title of
the next chapter: "I Make Another Beginning.")

HOMER
"Thus I began my new life, in a new
name, and with everything new about
me... I felt... like one in a dream...
The remembrance of that life is
fraught with so much... want of
hope... Whether it lasted for a year,
or more, or less, I do not know. I
only know that it was, and ceased to
be; and... there I leave it."

Homer stops and looks at the boys' faces.

CURLY
What happens next?

Homer smiles.

HOMER
That's tomorrow, Curly. Let's mot
give the story away.

Homer puts out the lights and leaves the boys in the familiar
semi-darkness. Seconds, later, the closed door to the hall
is flung open, flooding the room with light from the hall,
and Homer, dressed in his long white laboratory coat and
looking every inch the doctor, delivers his best imitation
of Larch's popular blessing.

HOMER
Good night, you Princes of Maine!
You Kings of New England!

On Copperfield and Steerforth and Curly as the door to the
hall is closed and semi-darkness prevails in the room again.
Copperfield, smiling, shuts his eyes. After a second, the
wide-eyed Steerforth shuts his eyes, too. Then Curly.

The last to close his eyes is Buster.

FADE TO BLACK:

THE END

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