Young Rebels: To Hang a Hero – Transcript
				Script by Frank Telford
                                Transcription by Karen Robinson

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[Jeremy, Isaac, and Henry stand in the bushes with the Colonel, who looks through a telescope at British troops.]

Colonel: They've doubled their pickets.

Isaac: Or tripled them. A snake couldn't wiggle through that line, sir.

Henry: Let alone a fat man.

Colonel: I'm afraid you'll have to. That's why I asked for you. And that's why you're here.

Isaac: That fire looks good. It's cold up in these hills.

Colonel: What goes on behind that line, gentlemen? That's what we must know.

Jeremy: Haven't any civilians come out?

Colonel: Not in a week. We're ignorant of British strength and intention. Our very survival is in the hands of one man.

Jeremy: One man?

Colonel: A spy we slipped into New York town eight days ago. By now, if he's still alive, he should have the information we need. But we haven't heard one word.

Jeremy: And you want us to try to find this man and bring the information back.

Colonel: The mission is voluntary.

Isaac: Well, one of us might slip through. [Nudges Henry.]

Henry: I hate these morning excursions. They thin the blood. But anything's better than standing around here freezing.

Jeremy: Well, how are we to make ourselves known to this man? Is there a code word, or...?

Colonel: Unfortunately none was arranged. [Hands Jeremy a piece of paper.] This is all you'll need to know about him. Memorize that, then destroy it. Godspeed, lads. [Leaves.] [Jeremy, Isaac and Henry gather around the paper, reading.]

Henry: A schoolmaster?

Isaac: Where is this Mermaid Tavern?

Jeremy: Must be the one on Quincy Street. We'll move out separately. [Crumples the paper] Move your feet, Henry. We don't want to see your thin blood all over the place. [Drops paper in the fire.]


[British soldier lights his pipe from a campfire. Places a powderkeg on top of a pile of them. Jeremy, Isaac and Henry watch. Jeremy pours a trail of powder, lights it. Kegs explode. Soldiers run to the explosion, Jeremy, Isaac and Henry run past. Soldiers chase Isaac. Shouts of “Catch that man! Get him!” Isaac fights with soldiers. They capture him.]


[Busy street. Caption: New York September, 1776 Jeremy walks down steps to the street. A man stops him.]

Man: Show the King's colors, sir, only a farthing. [Pins a red ribbon on Jeremy's lapel.]

[Jeremy sees Isaac being marched by with other prisoners. Runs up and pulls him away. Redcoat stops them.]

Jeremy: Who's in charge, here? And what of it?

Soldier: I am, laddie my boy.

Jeremy: By what right do you seize property of a loyal subject of the King?

Soldier: Who, him?

Jeremy: Who else?

Soldier: Oh, well, then, I'll tell you what we'll do for you, lad. After we've stretched his neck a bit, you can have him back.

Jeremy: I like his neck just the way it is.

Soldier: The man is a spy. Going to hang.

Jeremy: [laughs] A spy? Isaac a spy? Why the poor dumb thing can't read nor write, and he has a memory like a sieve. Some spy.

Soldier: He was trying to sneak past our picket line. This morning.

Jeremy: Well, of course he was. He was trying to get home. Isn't that so, Isaac?

Isaac: [Playing dumb] Huh? Yes, suh. Ya know, when them old Yankees skedaddlee, this big old reb come up to me, and he say 'Boy, you tote that pack.' And I say 'No, suh. Cause Master Jeremy don't 'low me to 'ssociate with no white trash.' So he took this biiiig musket, and he stuck it in my chest and he said 'Boy, you get along.'

Jeremy: You see? He was impressed.

Isaac: [Gives idiotic laugh.] Oh, yes, that's right, Master Jeremy. I can arguefy with a Yankee, but I sure ain't going to arguefy with no musket.

Samuel: Sergeant, I think this man will be more useful to our side as a spy than theirs. I'll handle this. Disperse the crowd, Sergeant.

Soldier: Yes, sir! All right you lot, get away from here, it's all over with. Come on.

Samuel: How long were you in the rebel camp?

Isaac: [Looks confused, holds up eight fingers.] This many, suh.

Samuel: [Looks at Jeremy] Mr, uh...

Jeremy: [Shakes his hand.] Blake. Jeremy Blake, at your service, captain.

Samuel: Mr. Blake, your servant must be questioned. I trust you have no objections to my taking him along to headquarters.

Jeremy: None whatsoever.

Samuel: Thank you. We'll send him back to you shortly. [To Isaac] Come along. [Leaves.]

Isaac: [To Jeremy] Memory like a sieve! [Leaves.]


[View inside tavern. Door opens, Nathan enters, wearing a red ribbon on the lapel of his brown coat. Sits at a table in the back. Jeremy and Henry watch him.]

Jeremy: He fits the description perfectly.

[He and Henry walk over to the table where Nathan, wearing spectacles, is reading a book. Nathan looks up suspiciously.]

Jeremy: Schoolmaster, I'm in need of a tutor.

Nathan: Oh?

Jeremy: Perhaps we can discuss it over a tankard or two. [He and Henry sit down at the table.]

Nathan: Well, I don't mean to seem rude, gentlemen, but I have this lesson to prepare.

Henry: Isn't it about time you finished it? It's eight days overdue, I believe.

[Nathan looks up, eyes the red ribbons.]

Jeremy: Now you wouldn't expect us to wear the blue and buff here, would you?

[Door opens, Garvie enters, catches Nathan's eye, then goes to the bar.]

Nathan: Gentlemen, this conversation is miles over my head. If you'll excuse me, I ...[Starts to get up. Jeremy puts a hand on his shoulder and stops him. Nathan takes off his glasses, looks worried.]

Jeremy: [In a whisper] We've no more time for games. We're from General Washington. Why haven't you reported back to him?

Nathan: [Hesitates.] Their lines are impassable. But that's not the reason I haven't tried.

Henry: What, then?

Nathan: Something new is afoot.

Jeremy: Have you any idea what it is?

Nathan: A surprise attack by the dragoons, I think.

Henry: The finest British cavalry. Hmmm.

Nathan: But I don't know exactly where or when.

Jeremy: [Looks over at Garvie.] The boy helps you?

Nathan: [Nods]

Henry: Pretty obvious, I'm afraid.

Nathan: He's a little nervous. His father's a Tory.

Henry: No wonder he's nervous.

Jeremy: Are there any more who help you?

Nathan: A few.

Jeremy: Can we meet?

Nathan: As quickly as I can spread the word.

Jeremy: Where?

Nathan: Twelve Bleekman Place. It's Garvie's father's house. Don't worry; his father's away. Bring Latin books.


[Young men with books walk into a mansion. Inside, Nathan and Jeremy and Henry are waiting.]

Nathan: These two men are from the General. We'll dispense with names. Anything new to report?

Boy: They've been gathering horses all over town and tethering them in Battery Park.

Jeremy: Near the waterfront?

Boy: Aye. If you wait for dark you can slip through the alley behind Stuyvesant Street, and see the whole park from there.

Jeremy: Why there? If they were planning a dragoon attack, wouldn't they locate their horses uptown, near our lines?

Henry: There's only one logical explanation. They mean to embark the dragoons by ship, sail them up the Hudson, and attack on our flank or rear.

Nathan: [Nods.] We must find out exactly where and when.

Boy: Redcoats! They're at the back fence! [Everyone runs to look out the window. A citizen points to the house, talking to redcoats.]

Citizen: They're all in there, sir.

Garvie: We're trapped!

Henry: Not necessarily.

Soldier: Follow me! [Redcoats swarm into the house.] Sergeant, in there! [Points to library. Soldiers burst open library door to see

Nathan at the head of the table, with boys seated on the sides of the table. Jeremy is standing, reciting from a book.]

Jeremy: Amo, amas, amat, amamos, amatus, amant.

Nathan: [Handing his diploma to the soldiers.] This proves that I am an accredited schoolmaster. Read it.

Soldier: Hmph. Your diploma?

Nathan: It bears the great seal of the crown colony of Connecticut.

Soldier: [Long pause.] Very well, schoolmaster. But no more gatherings of more than five. Understand?

Nathan: [Disarming smile] Perfectly.

[Soldier tosses the diploma on the table and the soldiers leave. Jeremy blows out a breath of relief. Nathan's shoulders relax. Jeremy nods to Henry, who checks the door, sees the soldiers load into a cart, hears one of them say 'Let's go'.]

Jeremy: [Reads the diploma.] Be it known that Nathan Hale, having successfully passed the prescribed course of study at Yale College, class of 1773...This is really yours.

Nathan: [Nods.]

Jeremy: Then you are a schoolmaster.

Nathan: I was. And I hope to be so again someday. [To the boys] I want you scatter about town and see what you can find out about this dragoon business.

Boy: I don't know, sir. This was a very close call.

Nathan: [Long pause] If anyone's quitting, let him say so now. [Long pause] I'll make my usual rounds after supper.


[Tavern scene. Someone plays a concertina. Barmaids carry trays. Jeremy and Henry eat at a table. Door opens, Isaac enters with Samuel. Samuel comes over to the table, followed by Isaac.]

Jeremy: [Stands] Well, captain, I see you've returned my servant.

Samuel: I'm afraid not. Lord Howe fancies his talents. He's now in his Lordship's service. Don't worry, you'll be compensated.

Jeremy: No, please, sir, consider it my contribution to the war effort. As for you, Isaac, you must think of this as a great opportunity. You can learn a great deal in the service of his Lordship.

Isaac: [Idiotic laugh] Ohhh, yes suh. I already have, suh. [Henry grins]

Samuel: Ask for a Bergac Noir '73, Isaac. [Isaac stares at him, stupidly.] Bergac Noir, '73

Isaac: [Tries to mouth the words, leaves, looking stupid.]

Jeremy: Will you join us in a tankard?

Samuel: My pleasure, sir. Thank you.

Jeremy: [Gestures to Henry] Henry Abbington, captain. And, uh, watch your language. He's a divinity student. [Grins] [Door opens. Nathan enters. Sees Samuel, looks alarmed.]

Samuel: Nathan? Nathan! [Gets up, runs to embrace him.] How are you doing? What a wonderful surprise! How long has it been?

Nathan: [Recovering] Months, I guess.

Samuel: What brings you to New York town?

Nathan: Why, I mean to apply for a position at Kings College.

Samuel: Why, that's marvelous! We'll have a chance to see a lot of each other. Come, I want you to meet some of my friends.

Nathan: [Turns toward the door] Oh, I really must be...

Samuel: Oh, come on, come on. [Pulls Nathan to the table.] Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet Nathan Hale. This is my country cousin, from Connecticut.

Jeremy: I believe we've had the pleasure, sir.

Samuel: Oh! Good, good. Have a seat, Nathan. More ale here! This young rascal and I grew up together. But you'd never believe we're of the same blood, would you? I mean, could first cousins be more unlike? I mean here I am, a soldier, seeking the bubble reputation 'even in the cannon's face', as the bard said, while Nathan here...

Nathan: That's 'even in the cannon's mouth', Samuel

Samuel: [Grins] You see what I mean? While I do it, he teaches it. Nathan, I think you'd turn tail at the first sight of bayonets.

Nathan: I'd probably faint dead away, Samuel. [Isaac returns with a box on his shoulder.]

Samuel: Well, gentlemen, I must see this wine safely back to headquarters. But if duty permits, I'll be back.

Nathan: Oh, I wasn't planning to stay too long. I...

Samuel: Oh, no excuses. You wait for me, you hear? [Gets up and leaves the table]

Nathan: [In a low voice, to Jeremy] Rotten luck.

Jeremy: Relax. You did well.

Henry: [Stands beside Isaac, who is waiting with the box.] That's Bergac '71.

Isaac: [In a low voice.] Tomorrow morning, a ship arrives. More dragoons.

Henry: [Loudly] A bit tarter than the '73, perhaps, but all in all, not too bad.

[At the bar, a Scottish soldier Jordy talks with Samuel.]

Jordy: Yon laddie, is he a friend 'o yours?

Samuel: He's my cousin. Why?

Jordy: I'd swear he was the lad that broke a musket over my head at Bunker Hill.

Samuel: You must be mistaken. He's a schoolmaster.

Jordy: It must be I am. Perhaps I've had a drop too much, maybe.

Samuel: [Gives Nathan an odd look, then smiles and shakes his head. ] Isaac. [Samuel and Isaac leave.]

Henry: [Seated at the table, in a low voice.] The dragoons are getting reinforcements.

Nathan: I must make my rounds. Find out what my boys have learned of this. We've got to find out when and where they're going to attack. [He goes out into the street. Samuel steps out of the shadows and follows him along the sidewalk.]

Jeremy: [At the table with Henry.] I'm going to have a look at Battery Park. Stay, Isaac may return. [Leaves. Henry takes his chicken and eats it.]


[Nathan goes from house to house talking to his spies. Samuel follows him. Jeremy creeps out of the bushes and sees the horses penned up, waiting for the dragoons. He returns to the tavern. Henry and Nathan are waiting for him. Samuel comes in with soldiers. Samuel steels himself, then approaches the table.]

Samuel: Well, gentlemen, I thought you'd be in your cups by now.

Jeremy: I'd say you have some catching up to do, captain.

Samuel: [to the barmaid] Rum here. Bring the whole bottle. [Sits down.] Well, cousin, you must tell me now things are in Haddam town. Your sister Rose; she's well, I hope.

Nathan: Very well.

Samuel: Is my father still beating yours at chess?

Nathan: Regularly. Like clockwork.

Henry: Speaking of chess, I'd like a game, if any of you would...

Samuel: Gentlemen! To the King! [Raises his glass.]

Jeremy, Henry and Nathan: To the King. [They drink, but Nathan only puts his cup to his lips. Samuel watches him closely.]

Samuel: Tell me, Nathan, was your brother's church damaged in the fire?

Nathan: [Smelling a trap] Slightly.

Jeremy: [Trying to distract Samuel.] Why, they had a fire in Philadelphia last year that burned for days. They...

Samuel: I had a letter from the sexton. He didn't say the church was damaged. Matter of fact, he didn't mention any fire at all. [Long pause, while Nathan's mind clearly is racing.] You've been lying to me, cousin, why? Now you haven't been in Haddam town for months. The question is, just where have you been?

[Nathan tries to think of an answer. Henry comes to his rescue.]

Henry: Perhaps it's some affair of the heart that counsels discretion. Confess, that's it, isn't it? [He and Jeremy laugh.]

Samuel: [Stands up abruptly, gestures to soldiers.] Jordy! [The soldiers gather around Nathan.] Take a good look.

Jordy: Aye, he was in the Yankee line, all right! With Knowlton's Rangers, I think.

Samuel: [Clearly distressed.] So you'd faint at the first sight of bayonets, would you? Search him! [Soldiers pull Nathan to his feet, search under his coat, find a paper in his vest. Samuel looks at it, sees list of locations of British troops. He seems close to tears.] You're a spy. A contemptible spy!

Nathan: [Eyes Henry and Jeremy]. So-- I am, cousin! And I suspect it was these two filthy Tories who got your wind up! [Strikes Henry. Soldiers restrain him.]

Samuel: Hey! Take him out of here. [They leave.]

Henry: [Rubbing his shoulder.] That was quick thinking. He saved us.

Jeremy: Yes. And now we must think of a way to save him.


[In General Howe's office, the general reads the list Nathan made. Soldiers stand nearby with Nathan in custody. Samuel stands beside Nathan.]

Howe: Thank heaven he didn't have an opportunity to pass this on to Washington. [Walks over to Nathan.] Here it is Monday. The little surprise we planned for Wednesday would have been up the flue. [Isaac listens.] Give him the night alone to make his peace with the Almighty. Hang him at first light.

Samuel: [Exchanges a glance with Nathan.] Surely, my Lord, you'll not hang him without a trial.

Howe: But you said he self-confessed.

Samuel: Yes, I did, my Lord. But might a not court-martial rule that there are, uh, mitigating circumstances?

Howe: Such as?

Samuel: Such as he really did us no harm.

Howe: No, thanks to you.

Samuel: His youth, my Lord. He's just turned twenty-one.

Howe: Captain, believe me, I'll get no pleasure out of seeing this lad die. But he's a spy, my duty is clear. On second thought, Lieutenant, make it Artillery Park at eleven. It'll give time for a crowd to gather. [Isaac listens.] We must make an example out of him. Take him away. [Soldiers march Nathan out. Nathan looks at Samuel as he leaves. Samuel remains.]

Howe: Why so glum, captain? It's likely you saved the lives of a lot of good men, who would have ridden into a trap.

Samuel: He's my cousin, sir.

Howe: I see. [Pause] Captain, could you be ready by the morning after next to lead the raid?

Samuel: [Depressed and distracted.] Sir?

Howe: You are familiar with Harlem Heights?

Samuel: Yes, sir. [Isaac listens.]

Howe: Then it's done. Action is the only cure for a soldier's sorrow. [Pats Samuel on the shoulder.] As for your cousin, you only did your duty. Put him out of your mind. [Leaves.]

[Samuel sits in a chair, looking very depressed. Isaac brings him a drink.]

Isaac: It might help, sir.

Samuel: [Takes the drink.] You understand. I had no choice.

Isaac: I understand sorrow. I've had my share. [Pause] May I go sir? [Samuel nods. Isaac leaves. Samuel closes his eyes in grief.]


[Night, crickets.]

Jeremy: [Walks to Isaac and Henry behind the house where Nathan is being held.] He's in a rear room. There's only one guard patrolling the yard. Alert Nathan to smash the window the minute we hit the guard.

Isaac: You got that, Henry?

Henry: Have I ever let you down? [Leaves.]

[Nathan paces the room. A voice sounds at the door.]

Soldier: Mr. Hale. There's a divinity student here who wants to comfort you.

Nathan: Please, send him in.

Henry: [Enters, carrying a Bible.] Shall I read to you?

Nathan: [Puzzled but alert] Please do. [They sit.]

Henry: 'And Gideon said unto him, now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Mideonites, and the Lord said unto Gideon, Fear not, thou shalt not die. [Nathan looks up.] No man stood with me; all men forsook me. Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me and strengthened me and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.' [Gestures toward the window with his eyes. Nathan follows his glance, and sees the picket, with Jeremy and Isaac sneaking up. He looks back at Henry and smiles slightly.] 'I have fought the fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.[Nathan stands slowly. He understands the plan, and is ready to make his escape.] I am now ready, and the time of my departure is at hand.'

Samuel: I would like to be alone with my cousin. [Henry and Nathan look up in alarm as Samuel enters. This is wrecking the plan. Outside, more soldiers arrive, saying “Squad left, hup!” Jeremy and Isaac watch in frustration. Jeremy tries to jump the soldiers, but Isaac holds him back. There are too many. Henry stands up as Samuel comes in.]

Samuel: [To Henry.] I appreciate your kindness to my cousin. I hope he understands now that you had nothing to do with his capture.

Nathan: I do. Thank you, sir. I'm glad to know that even a Tory can have a kind heart. [Henry leaves. ]

Nathan:Has your conscience driven you here, cousin?

Samuel: Conscience? I'm not the one who committed treason.

Nathan: One man's treason is another's patriotism.

Samuel: Patriotism. Treachery, I call it.

Nathan: What do you want of me?

Samuel: Your understanding.

Nathan: All right, you have it.

Samuel: Well, don't turn your back to me! [Nathan turns to face him.] Blast you, Nathan, I won't let you die with your blood on my hands.

Nathan: There's no remedy, cousin.

Samuel: Search your soul. Such contemptible treachery is no part of your nature. You were corrupted. Seduced. Now if Lord Howe were to know this, we could...

Nathan: [Indignant] Seduced! By whom?

Samuel: By agitators, who stuffed your foolish head with seditious nonsense, then turned you over to a rebel leader to be used as his cat's paw.

Nathan: I am no man's cat's paw! I volunteered.

Samuel: Oh, yes. Because no other in that army of malcontents and misfits would, I suspect. Well, your general sent you here to die. Is he prepared to help you now? [Pause] Answer me!

Nathan: [Resigned] You know that's beyond his power.

Samuel: You defend him! Defend yourself! Don't you want to live? Think on what I've said, Nathan. I'll return as soon as I can. [He starts to leave.]

Nathan: Samuel. [Takes Samuel's hand.] Whatever happens, I bear you no grudge.

[Samuel tears up, embraces him quickly, and leaves.]


[Sunrise. Nathan sits at the table, with a candle burning before him. He licks his thumb and pinches the candle flame, extinguishing it.]


[At Garvie's father's house, Garvie hears a knocking at the door. He runs down the stairs to let Jeremy and Henry in.]

Jeremy: Didn't you tell them?

Garvie: I told them.

Jeremy: Why aren't they here, then?

Garvie: Do you think they want to hang too?

Jeremy: Every man is needed. We have a plan.

Garvie: To what? To snatch him from the gallows in front of a company of redcoats? You're mad!

Henry: What about Battery Park? There'll be no company of redcoats there.

Garvie: I know nothing of your plans for Battery Park.

Jeremy: [Takes his arm.] You'd better start learning them. In twenty-four hours they embark their dragoons. They mean to sail them up the Hudson and attack our army at Harlem Heights.

Garvie: Don't tell me. Tell General Washington.

Jeremy: It's too late. There's no guarantee we'd get through. It's not too late to stop them.

Garvie: We can't stop dragoons.

Henry: No, but we can steal their horses.

Garvie: You think you can run a hundred horses through the whole British army?

Jeremy: As many as we can. The rest will be run so ragged they'll be useless for days. You tell each Son of Liberty that we rendezvous just before dawn in the ally behind Stuyvesant Street, and tell each man to bring a bridle.

Henry: We move at dawn tomorrow.

Garvie: They won't do it.

Jeremy: The three of us can't do it alone.

Garvie: We can't help it. The fight's gone out of us. Don't you understand that after Nathan's arrest it's opened our eyes. This rebellion against our King is hopeless.

Henry: Our King?

Garvie: Yes! Our King. Is he really so bad?

Henry: What about your country?

Garvie: I guess we realize now that a ragged army and a few proclamations don't make a country. [Henry grabs his vest.] You leave me alone, or I swear I'll turn you in to the Provost Marshall myself.

Jeremy: Let him go, Henry. [They leave. The camera follows them onto the front porch.]

Henry: It appears things are not going as they should, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Well, don't be too hard on them, Henry. They're young and they're afraid.

Henry: So is Nathan.

Jeremy: We've a mission. If they won't join us we do it without them.


[In Lord Howe's office, Isaac pours tea for the general.]

Samuel: May I speak further of this, sir?

Howe: Please do. I had no idea the lad was a soldier.

Samuel: A captain, sir. In Knowlton's Rangers. One of Washington's best units. Can you imagine, sir, what it would do to their morale if one of their officers were to renounce their cause?


[Nathan sits at the table. Two soldiers enter.]

Soldier: It's time, lad. [Nathan stands. As they are tying his hands, Samuel enters.]

Samuel: Just a moment, Lieutenant. I'd like to speak with the prisoner. [The soldiers leave.] Have you thought about what I asked you to, Nathan?

Nathan: Yes.

Samuel: Thought deeply?

Nathan: Samuel, a man in my position isn't frivolous.

Samuel: Good. Of course we must appear to go through with the hanging. But Lord Howe will commute your sentence.

Nathan: Exactly what does his Lordship expect in exchange?

Samuel: Nothing.

Nathan: [Puzzled] Nothing?

Samuel: Just words, Nathan. A few words. No betrayal of comrades, no military information.

Nathan: [Suspicious] A few words. What kind of words?

Samuel: Of repentence. Of regret. That you're about to waste your life for a cause that's betrayed you.

Soldier: [Enters with another soldier.] Captain, time is short.

Samuel: [Holds up his hand.] Nathan, do you understand?

Nathan: [Long pause] Yes.

Samuel: [Shoulders relax, he smiles in relief] All right, lieutenant, we're finished.

[Soldiers take Nathan's arm, march him out. Samuel leans on the table and blows out a big sigh of relief.]


[A snare drum plays. Nathan stands on a ladder with a noose around his neck. Townspeople watch. Jeremy and Henry are among them along with the boy spies.]

Henry: If we were a hundredfold, we couldn't save him now. [Jeremy blinks back tears. Isaac comes up to them.]

Isaac: [Under his breath] He's going to renounce the cause. [Howe and Samuel arrive on horseback.]

Howe: Citizens, I bring you greetings from His Majesty King George the Third. As you know, our sovereign has a kind and loving heart. [Nathan looks at him askance.] That is why he has given me the power to grant amnesty to all those who lay down their arms and end this foolish conflict. His Majesty could even find mercy in his heart for the likes of this lad, here, who's been taken as a spy. I suspect that this young man now realizes that he has risked his life for a cause that exists only in the minds of fools and criminals. My boy, before we execute sentence, have you anything you wish to say? [Nathan glances at Samuel, who nods.]

Nathan: Yes, my Lord. [Pause. Howe looks up expectantly.] I am well satisfied with the cause in which I have engaged. [Samuel looks up in stunned disbelief.] I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.

[Pause. Howe gives a signal and the soldiers pull the ladder away. Henry winces, he and Jeremy and Isaac and the boy spies look up with great emotion on their faces. We see Nathan's feet dangling in the air. Garvie turns away and runs through the crowd. Samuel turns his head and weeps silently.]


[Jeremy waits in the alley with a bridle in his hand. Henry and Isaac arrive.]

Henry: It looks like we're going to have to do this alone.

Isaac: Sorry, it was a little tough getting away.

Jeremy: Anybody suspicious?

Isaac: No. It'll be a while before I'm missed. I just hope General Howe never comes to Chester to have his horse shod.

Henry: From British officer's orderly to blacksmith. You've come up in the world, Isaac.

Isaac: Everything's still the same. The schedule hasn't changed.

Jeremy: It'll be light soon. Let's go. [Henry sighs] We have to try. [Garvie walks up, a bridle in his hands. Other young men arrive.]

Garvie: I didn't know anyone else was coming.

Boy: Nor I.

Jeremy: Why did you?

Garvie: I said it wasn't a country. I was wrong. He died for it.

Jeremy: And he didn't die for nothing. I only hope I can lead you as well. Let's go. [They disable the pickets, then let the horses out of the corral. They mount horses and lead the other horses.]

Jeremy: Let's go! [They gallop through the town. Redcoats shoot at them.]

[Howe and Samuel watch in dismay.]

Howe: Who are those men?

Samuel: Rebels, I should think, sir.

Howe: Rebels! Such audacity. What inspires these men, captain?

[Samuel doesn't answer, but he's clearly thinking of Nathan.]


[At Washington's camp. Jeremy, Isaac and Henry ride up and dismount. Their leader the Colonel greets them.]

Soldier: Gentlemen, the general intends to retreat across the Hudson tonight. Thanks to you, my friends, the dragoons won't be on our flanks. The general has time to fortify his defenses. He asked me to convey his gratitude. Jeremy: Most of the credit belongs to Nathan, sir.

Colonel: Nathan?

Jeremy: The man you sent us to find.

Colonel: Where is he?

Jeremy: He's dead. The British hanged him.

Colonel: Did he die well?

Isaac: No man ever died better.

Jeremy: At least his death wasn't futile, Colonel. There were those who had surrendered, had given up hope. But now because of him they're fighting again.

Henry: I imagine he'll be forgotten. Too bad. He gave so much. He was a nonviolent man in a violent world.

Isaac: He said he regretted he had only one life to give for his country. I don't think he'll be forgotten.


Narrator: Formerly a school teacher, Nathan Hale was a Captain in Knowlton's Rangers. He was working behind British lines gathering information for General Washington. Some historians believe that his cousin Samuel, employed by the British, caused his capture. He was hanged as a spy in New York City on September 22, 1776. He was twenty-one years old.

Much as I loved this show, there were a few historical inaccuracies that I will list here, along with some other historical notes.

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