(France – Palace)
(A carriage pulls up to the front door of the palace and two men climb out.)
Servant: The brothers Grimm your majesty.
Grande Dame: Good day gentlemen, thank you so much for coming. I suppose you're wondering why anyone my age would request the audience with the authors of children's stories.
Grimm1: Your letter was most intriguing Madame.
Grande Dame: I find your collection of folktales, quite brilliant actually.
Grimm2: Thank you.
Grande Dame: But I must say I was terribly disturbed, when I read your version of the little cinder girl.
Grimm2: There are those who swear Perrault's telling, uh, with it's fairy godmothers and um, magic pumpkins would be closer to the truth.
Grimm1: Some say the shoe was made of fur, other's insist it was glass, well I guess we'll never know.
Grimm2: Forgive me your majesty, might I inquire about the painting. She's really quite extraordinary.
Grande Dame: Her name was Danielle de Barbarac, and this was her glass slipper. (The men look at her in surprise.) Perhaps you will allow me to set the record straight?
Grimm1: Then it's true, the story?
Grande Dame: Yes, quite. Now then...what is that phrase you use? Oh yes, once upon a time, there was a young girl, who loved her father very much.
(A young girl stands in front of a maid. She is getting ready to see her father who has been away for many weeks.)
Danielle: Oh Paulette, it feels just like Christmas, I get a mother and sisters all in one day.
Paulette: Yes it's going to be very exciting here, what with a baroness and all, oh hold still!
Louise: The master deserves some happiness after all this time. Bringing up the child on his own, oh she must be lovely.
Danielle: I hope she'll like me.
Paulette: She will love you, just be the little angel I know is in there somewhere.
Louise And don't go chewing on the bones at dinner and give yourself away. (A young boy throws a rock at the window from outside and Danielle goes over to the window.) Child your father arrives any moment.
Danielle: Gustave, I told you not today.
Gustave: You look like a girl!
Danielle: That's what I am half-wit.
Gustave: I know but today you look it.
Danielle: Boy or girl I can still whip you!
(Danielle runs out of the room to chase him.)
(Auguste Le Seigneur, Danielle’s father, has arrived. He climbs off his horse and is greeted by his manservant, Maurice.)
Maurice: Look lively it's the master. Welcome home Monsieur Le Seigneur, I see you have brought us a baroness.
Auguste: I have brought you an entire household, Maurice. But I seem to be missing a daughter.
(The baroness holds out a hand and is helped from the carriage.)
Rodmilla: Oh...Auguste...it's absolutely charming, really.
(Her daughters are helped out of the carriage. Jacqueline is a bit heavier than Marguerite. Suddenly Danielle comes running up covered in mud.)
Auguste: Oh ho, ho. (He picks her up.) Ooh look at you-just as I left. I wager your friend Gustave is around here someplace.
Danielle: No sir, I slaughtered him!
(Gustave walks up, covered in more mud than Danielle.)
Auguste: Well, so you did, I had hoped to present a little lady, but I suppose you'll have to do. Danielle, may I present the Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent and her daughters Marguerite and Jacqueline.
Rodmilla: Hello Danielle, at last we meet, your father speaks of nothing else. Ladies, say hello to your new stepsister.
(Danielle’s Room – Night)
(Danielle is ready for bed and her father has come to tuck her in. He hands her a book.)
Auguste: It mans paradise, this may be a bit thick for an 8 year old, but I thought we could add it to our library.
Danielle: Will you read some?
Auguste: It's been a very long day.
Danielle: And you're a husband now.
Auguste: Yes, a husband, but a father first and forever. We've been 2 peas and a pod you and I for a long time. I suppose this will take some getting used to. Come.
Danielle: Did you see the way they ate they're supper, it was perfect, like a dance.
Auguste: Do you like them?
Danielle: Very much!
Auguste: Good, good. Because I have to go to Avignon in a fortnight.
Danielle: But you just got back!
Auguste: I know.
Danielle: For how long?
Auguste: Only 3 weeks .
Auguste: Two. (Danielle gives him a look.) Alright, one! Come on sleep, kiss, sleep tight.
(Front Doors – Day)
(Auguste is ready to ride out. The entire chateau has come out to see him off.)
Auguste: I've never seen so many gloomy faces around here. I shall be back in a week.
Rodmilla: Then go! The sooner you leave, the sooner we can celebrate your return.
Auguste: Perhaps by then the 3 of you will have gotten to know each other better, huh? I'm counting on you to teach them the ropes around here. The Baroness isn't used to getting her hands dirty. Thank you, Maurice.
Maurice: Safe journey master.
Rodmilla: (to her daughters) Come along ladies, back to your studies.
Danielle: Wait its tradition, he always waves at the gate.
(The baroness gives her a look, and then continues into the house. Auguste rides toward the gate, but something is wrong. He grasps his chest, then falls off his horse.)
(As Danielle runs towards her father, the baroness comes back out of the house and runs after her. Danielle rushes to her fathers side, and the baroness is soon beside her.)
Rodmilla: Auguste...Auguste! Auguste, I love you!
(Auguste looks at her for a moment then turns and caresses Danielle’s cheek. He then passes away.)
Rodmilla: Auguste! You cannot leave me here! You cannot leave me here!
(Some servants try to pull Danielle away from her father.)
Danielle: Leave me! Leave me! Papa, please come back!
Grande Dame: (vo) It would be ten years before another man would enter her life. A man who was still a boy in many, many ways.
(Ten Years Later)
(The Royal Palace – Night)
(The King of France, Francis, walks along in his bedclothes complaining to the Queen, Marie, about their son.)
King Francis: I signed a marriage treaty with the kind of Spain and by God that boy will obey my command or there will be hell to pay!
Queen Marie: But he does not love her, my lord.
King Francis: It's not about love!
Queen Marie: Perhaps it should be.
King Francis: If he is to become king he must learn to accept his responsibilities.
Queen Marie: A sapling cannot grow in the shadow of a mighty oak, Francis, he needs sunlight.
King Francis: He needs a good whipping!
Queen Marie: Really, Francis, can't this wait till morning.
King Francis: If I can't sleep, neither shall he. (They arrive at Prince Henry’s room.) Henry wake up!
(They go inside and see that Prince Henry has made a makeshift escape rope out of some bed sheets and is gone.)
Queen Marie: Oh no, not again.
King Francis: Call out the guards. Bring him back!
(Prince Henry rides off on one of the palace horses.)
Prince Henry: Yah!
(Ghent Chateau – Dawn)
(In the kitchen Danielle awakes in front of what’s left of the fire. She gets up slowly and prepares to go about her day.)
(Danielle is picking some apples as Henry comes riding through.)
Prince Henry: Come on you stupid beast. Come on. Yah!
Danielle: Oh no you don't!
(Danielle begins to pelt him with apples, not realizing he is the Prince because his face is covered by the hood of his robe.)
Prince Henry: Ow! Ooh!
Danielle: Thief! This will teach you to steal my father's horse!
Prince Henry: Please, my own has slipped his shoe, and I had no choice!
Danielle: And our choice is what? To let you?
Prince Henry: I was merely borrowing it!
Danielle: Get out or I'll wake the house!
(She throws another apple at him.)
Prince Henry: Ow!
(He pulls his hood away from his face. Danielle, upon seeing that it is the Prince of France, falls to her knees.)
Danielle: Forgive me your highness, I did not see you.
Prince Henry: (rubs his temple) Your aim would suggest otherwise.
Danielle: And for that I know I must die.
Prince Henry: Uh, then uh speak of this to no one and I shall be lenient.
Danielle: We have other horses your highness, younger if that is your wish.
Prince Henry: I wish for nothing more than to be free of my guilded cage. (He climes back on the horse and prepares to ride of. But before he does he tosses her a bag of gold coins.) For your silence.
(He rides off as Danielle gets to her feet.)
(Ghent Chateau – Dining Room)
(Rodmilla, Marguerite, and Jacqueline are seated around the table having breakfast. Louise is serving them.)
Marguerite: I said I wanted 4-min. eggs not 4, 1-min. eggs and where in God's name is our bread?
Louise: It's just coming out of the oven my lady.
Rodmilla: Marguerite, precious, what do I always say about tone?
Jacqueline: A lady of breeding ought never to raise her voice any louder than the gentle hum of a whispering wind.
Rodmilla: Jacqueline, dear, do not speak unless you can improve the silence.
Marguerite: I was not shrill, I was resonate. A courtier knows the difference.
Rodmilla: I very much doubt your style of resonance would be permitted in the royal court.
Marguerite: Well, I'm not going to the royal court, am I mother? No one is, except for some Spanish pig they have the nerve to call a princess.
Rodmilla: Darling, nothing is final until you're dead and even then I'm sure God negotiates. Why is there no salt on this table? Danielle!
(Danielle quickly comes in.)
Danielle: (calling out) Coming!
Paulette: Ooh, she's in one of her moods .
Louise: Did the sun rise in the east?
Danielle: (grinning) Yes, Louise it did, and it's going to be a beautiful day.
(She dumps the coins on the table.)
Paulette: Look at all those feathers. Child where did you get this?
Danielle: From an angel of mercy and I know just what to do with them.
Danielle: If the Baroness can sell your husband to pay her taxes then these can certainly bring him home. The court will have to let him go.
Louise: But the king has sold him to Cartier, he's bound for the Americas.
Danielle: This is our home and I will not see it fall apart.
Rodmilla: (os) We are waiting
(Paulette quickly puts the coins in Danielle’s pocket.)
Paulette: Oh, take heed mistress, or these coins are as good as hers.
(Danielle enters with her arms full of plates and such.)
Danielle: Morning Madame, Marguerite, Jacqueline.
Danielle: I trust you slept well.
Rodmilla: What kept you?
Danielle: I fell off the ladder in orchard, but I am better now.
Marguerite: Someone's been reading in the fireplace again. Look at you ash and soot everywhere.
Rodmilla: Some people read because they cannot think for themselves.
Marguerite: Why don't you sleep with the pigs Cindersoot, if you insist on smelling like one.
Rodmilla: Oh that was harsh Marguerite. Danielle, come here child. Your appearance does reflect a certain crudeness my dear. What can I do to make you try?
Danielle: I do try stepmother, I do wish to please you. Sometimes I sit on my own and try to think of what else I could do, how I should act-
Rodmilla: Oh calm down, child, relax.
Danielle: Perhaps if we brought back Maurice, I would not offend you so.
Rodmilla: It is your manner that offends Danielle. Throughout these hard times I have sheltered you, clothed you, and cared for you. All that I ask in return is that you help me here without complaint. Is that such an extraordinary request?
Danielle: No, my lady.
Rodmilla: Very well, we shall have no more talk of servants coming back, is that quite understood?
Danielle: Yes, my lady.
Rodmilla: After all that I do, after all that I've done, it's never enough. Eggs are cold.
(Prince Henry is fleeing from the palace guard when he stumbles upon an elderly man, Leonardo da Vinci, being robbed by some gypsies.)
Leonardo: Oh no, there's nothing there. There's nothing! I beg you please leave us alone, they're just pots and pans, please! (A gypsy grabs a case that seems to hold a painting.) No, no, no, no, not that!
Gypsy: Out of the way old man!
Leonardo: Anything but that, no!
Gypsy: Get on the horses, it's the royal guard!
(The gypsies scatter.)
Prince Henry: (riding up) God, I don't believe this.
Leonardo: The painting, Oh please sir for the love of God, the painting. (points) That- that man there, he's getting away .
Prince Henry: (looks behind him and sees the guard closing in) The guard will assist you, I cannot.
Leonardo: Please sir, it is...my life!
(Henry rolls his eyes, but gives chase to the gypsy with the painting.)
Prince Henry: Aah! Ugly peasant bastard! Give it to me, got you, give me that!
(He chases the gypsy to a cliff and they both end up going over into the lake. Henry seems to have won because he has the painting.)
(Rodmilla and Marguerite are looking at a broach that a sales person is showing to them.)
Rodmilla: No, too small, it needs to draw some attention.
Sales Person: I fear Baroness, anything larger might make her fall over.
Rodmilla: Perhaps you are right. I shall just have to look elsewhere.
Sales Person: I have just the thing miss.
(He pulls out a much larger broach.)
(Gustave watches the women from the window. He speaks to Danielle, who is behind a changing screen.)
Gustave: Have you lost your marbles? Do you know what the punishment is for servants to dress above their station? Five days in the stocks!
Danielle: You'd do the same for me, admit it.
Gustave: Me? Pretend to be a courtier? Prancing around like some nobleman, why I've never even been to the royal court, and neither have you.
Danielle: Then I won't be recognized, now hand me that gown so I can be on my way.
(Gustave tosses her the gown.)
Gustave: They'll never buy it, you are too sweet.
Danielle: They'll never buy a servant with 20 gold francs either. I am Maurice's only hope.
Gustave: And the Baroness? What'd you tell her?
Danielle: I am picking wildflowers. Gustave can you still see her?
Gustave: They're buying a broach.
Danielle: (rolls her eyes) Unbelievable, she ignores that manor, blames us for her debts, and still pretends to have money to burn. Now, don't you dare laugh, I'm coming out. (She comes out wearing a beautiful gown and Gustave is speechless.) The shoes aren't too big?
Gustave: Nobody will be looking at your feet.
Danielle: Yards of fabric and I still feel naked.
Gustave: If you're going to be a noblewoman, y-you must play the part, you look down to no one.
Danielle: I am just a servant in a nice dress.
Gustave: Come, we have to do something with that hair.
(He takes her hand and they hurry off.)
(Henry returns and hands Leonardo his painting. The palace guard is waiting.)
Leonardo: Oh! Thank you.
Laurant: Henry, you promised.
Prince Henry: I know, I lied. I thought I'd see the world before I gave of my life to God and country.
Leonardo: (surprised) Then why on earth did you stop?
Prince Henry: I suppose it's because I lack conviction. You seem to have it in spades. Besides, you claimed it was a matter of life and death.
Leonardo: A woman always is, sire.
(He unrolls the painting of the Mona Lisa.)
Prince Henry: She laughs at me sir, as if she knows something I do not.
Leonardo: The woman had many secrets I merely painted one of them.
Laurant: Signor da Vinci has been invited to the palace as the artist in residence.
Prince Henry: Leonardo da Vinci?
Leonardo: Michelangelo was trapped under a ceiling in Rome, I'm just a second choice.
Prince Henry: Why here I am on my way to Genoa and I find my salvation on the highways. Sir, you are the very founder of forward thinking and my father is the king of backward. Perhaps you can talk him into the 16th century.
Leonardo: Captain Laurant do translate.
Laurant: Prince Henry suffers from an arranged marriage, Signor. Among other things.
(Henry gives him a look.)
(Rodmilla rushes out of the house as Prince Henry and the palace guard ride up.)
Rodmilla: Oh, your highness. What a lovely surprise, to what do we owe this great honor?
Prince Henry: Uh, I'm returning your horse Baroness.
Rodmilla: (glances at the horse) Oh, was it missing?
Prince Henry: Yes, I took the liberty of borrowing it this morning. I'm afraid I might have scared the wits out of one of your servants, a young lady with uh quite a good aim actually. (He rubs his temple.)
Rodmilla: She's mute my lord.
Prince Henry: Really?
Prince Henry: Hmm, she spoke quite forcefully.
Rodmilla: (embarrassed) Well it comes and goes, but as always your highness is welcome to anything he wishes. Anything at all.
(Suddenly Jacqueline and Marguerite come rushing out the door. Marguerite is wearing the huge broach her mother just bought at the center of her bodice.)
Jacqueline: Oh wait for me!
Rodmilla: Oh ladies, here you are.
Both: Your highness. (they curtsy)
Rodmilla: Your highness, may I present Marguerite-Francoise-Louise of the house of Ghent? And Jacqueline.
Prince Henry: You may indeed. Ladies forgive me but you seem to have blossomed overnight.
Rodmilla: We are so looking forward to celebrating the engagement to your own Spanish rose.
Prince Henry: Yes, well there have been several new developments with regards to Spain. (He looks at Marguerite) I must say Marguerite, that broach is...stunning.
Marguerite This old thing? You're too kind.
Rodmilla: These new developments...I trust are for the best?
Prince Henry: Let us hope so. Good day ladies.
(The Palace – Front Courtyard)
(There is a crowd at the edge of the bridge leading into the palace courtyard. Guards are keeping the people at bay. Danielle comes running up but slows to a walk as she approaches the bridge.)
Guard: Make way for the lady.
(The crowd parts for her and she walks over the bridge. On the far side of the courtyard some men are being loaded into a cart. Maurice is among them.)
Maurice: I have money to pay for my debts, please listen to me!
(The Cargo Master closes the door on the cart and climbs into the drivers seat.)
Cargo Master: Come along, move it!
Danielle: (To herself) God give me strength.
Cargo Master: Come on!
(Danielle walks up and grabs the reins of the horse, stopping it in it’s tracks.)
Danielle: I wish to address the issue of this gentleman, he is my servant and I am here to pay the debt against him.
Cargo Master: You're too late, he's bought and paid for.
Danielle: I can pay you 20 gold francs.
Cargo Master: Madame you can have me for 20 gold francs, now drive on.
Danielle: I demand that you release him at once, or I shall take this matter to the king.
Cargo Master: The king's the one who sold him. He's now property of Cartier.
(Behind them Prince Henry and the palace guard ride into the courtyard. Henry is intrigued by what is going on and rides over to investigate.)
Danielle: He's not property at all you ill-mannered tub of guts. Do you honestly think it's right to chain people like chattel? I demand you release him at once.
Cargo Master: Get out of my way!
Prince Henry: You dare raise your voice to a lady, sir?
Cargo Master: Your highness? Uh forgive me, sire. Uh, I meant no disrespect. Uh, it's just uh I'm following orders here. It's my job to take these criminals and thieves to the coast.
Danielle: A servant is not a thief your highness, and those who are cannot help themselves.
Prince Henry: Really? Well then, by all means enlighten us.
Danielle: (pauses before she speaks) If you, suffer your people to be ill-educated and their manners corrupted from infancy and then punish them for those crimes to which their 1st education disposed to them. What else is to be concluded, sire, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.
Prince Henry: Well there you have it. Release him.
Cargo Master: But sire…
Prince Henry: I said...release him.
Cargo Master: Yes sire
(He quickly goes and unlocks the door to the cart. Danielle tosses the money to a nearby man and walks over to the door as Maurice climbs down.)
Maurice: (quietly) I thought I was looking at your mother.
Danielle: (quietly) Meet me at the bridge. (louder) Prepare the horses we will leave at once. (to Henry) I thank you your highness.
(She walks past him. Henry climbs off his horse and follows her.)
Prince Henry: Have we met?
Danielle: I do not believe so your highness.
Prince Henry: I could've sworn I knew every courtier in the providence.
Danielle: Well, I am visiting a cousin.
Prince Henry: Who?
Danielle: My cousin.
Prince Henry: Yes, you said that. Which one?
Danielle: The only one I have, sire.
Prince Henry: Are you coy on purpose or do you honestly refuse to tell me your name?
Danielle: (stops walking) No! And yes. (begins walking again)
Prince Henry: Well, then, pray tell me your cousin's name so that I might call upon her to learn who you are. For anyone who can quote Thomas More is well worth the effort.
Danielle: (stops again) The prince has read Utopia?
Prince Henry: I find it sentimental and dull. I confess the plight of the everyday rustics bores me.
Danielle: I gather you do not converse with many peasants.
Prince Henry: Certainly not, no, naturally.
Danielle: Excuse me sire, but there is nothing natural about it. (begins walking again) A country's character is defined by its, "everyday rustics" as you call them. They are the legs you stand on and that position demands respect, not-
Prince Henry: Am I to understand that you find me arrogant?
Danielle: (stops walking) Well you gave one man back his life, but did you even glance at the others?
Prince Henry: Please, I beg of you, a name, any name.
Danielle: I fear that the only name to leave you with is Comtesse Nicole de Lancret.
Prince Henry: There now...that wasn't so hard.
Queen Marie: (os) Oh Henry, you're back!
(Both Henry and Danielle turn to look at the Queen.)
Prince Henry: Hello mother.
(As Prince Henry is occupied with his mother Danielle quickly turns and walks away.)
Queen Marie: The king would like a word with you, several in fact.
Prince Henry: He usually does, I shall be right in.
(He turns to continue his conversation with Danielle, but she’s gone.)
(Paulette and Louise are working outside. Louise is working in the garden and Paulette is cleaning sheets. Louise looks up as Maurice and Danielle exit the forest. Louise drops her hoe and runs to them. Paulette looks up at the noise and gives a cry of delight at the sight of Maurice. She runs over to him as well. Louise embraces her husband. Paulette runs up and embraces them both as Danielle watches.)
Maurice: Oh Louise I've missed you so much.
(They all hold out their arms for Danielle and she runs into them for a huge group hug.)
Danielle: I think he looks wonderful!
(The Palace – Throne Room)
King Francis: You son are restricted to the grounds!
Prince Henry: Are you putting me under house arrest?
King Francis: Do not mock me boy for I am in a foul disposition and I will have my way-
Prince Henry: Or what? You'll ship me off to the Americas like some criminal? All for the sake of your stupid contract.
King Francis: You are the crowned prince of France.
Prince Henry: And it is my life!
Queen Marie: Francis, sit down before you have a stroke. Really...the 2 of you. Sweetheart, you were born to privilege and with that comes specific obligations.
Prince Henry: Forgive me mother, but marriage to a complete stranger never made anyone in this room very happy.
King Francis: You will marry Gabriella by the next full moon or I will strike at you in any way I can.
Prince Henry: What's it to be father, hot oil or the rack?
King Francis: (sputters in anger before replying) I will simply deny you the crown and live forever.
Prince Henry: Good, agreed, I don't want it.
(Henry then storms out of the room.)
King Francis: (to Marie) He's your son.
(Ghent Chateau – Dining Room)
(Rodmilla is pacing as Marguerite and Jacqueline play a game at the table. Danielle enters the room.)
Marguerite: Somebody's in trouble.
Danielle: What do you mean?
(Rodmilla grabs Danielle by the arm and throws her into a nearby chair.)
Rodmilla: You stupid, stupid girl. How dare you do this to me, to Marguerite? Why the whole thing makes me sick, it's deceitfulness Danielle and I will not have it in this house.
Danielle: What did I do?
Marguerite: Think Danielle, think really hard.
(Danielle glances at Jacqueline who makes a motion with her hands and mouth’s ‘the horse’. She quickly stops as Marguerite gives her a sharp look.)
Danielle: Prince Henry stole our horse this morning…
Rodmilla: Yes, and that would explain why he returned it this afternoon, how dare you let him surprise us like that!
Danielle: I'm sorry.
Rodmilla: Luckily for you, Marguerite turned in a beautiful performance. She and the prince had quite an interlude.
Marguerite: Yes, I shouldn't be surprised if he drops by again.
Rodmilla: Come, come! I must know exactly what was said. A simple phrase can have a thousand meanings. He said you were forceful what did you say?
Danielle: I called him a thief, Madame, I did not recognize him.
Rodmilla: Oh, Danielle, you poor little country girl. Well we must work extra hard to make sure the manor is spotless. We can't have a royal bottom sitting on a dirty chair now can we? (Danielle shakes her head no.) No.
(Maurice quietly comes in the room.)
Marguerite: What's he doing here?
Maurice: I-I have worked off your...my debt Madame, they told me I could go home.
Rodmilla: Fine, go catch a chicken.
(She waves Maurice and Danielle out of the room.)
(The Palace – Night – Walkway)
(Henry is walking along with his mother.)
Queen Marie: Who dear?
Prince Henry: Comtesse de Lancret. She is a cousin of-well actually I don't know who were cousin is. Surely you must have heard of her.
Queen Marie: Darling, there are simply to many courtiers to remember them all by name. Why do you ask?
Prince Henry: Hmm? Oh never mind.
(The King walks up to them.)
King Francis: In honor of Signor da Vinci, I've decided to throw a ball, a masked ball, at which point you and I will strike a compromise
Prince Henry: Compromise? You?
King Francis: If love is what you seek, then I suggest you find it before then. For 5 days hence at the stroke of midnight you will announce your engagement to the girl of your choice or I will announce it for you, are we agreed?
Prince Henry: And what of your treaty?
King Francis: Let me worry about Spain, you've got bigger problems.
Queen Marie: Choose wisely Henry, divorce is only something they do in England.
(Ghent Chateau – Day)
(Rodmilla stands at the door talking to a palace guard.)
Rodmilla: What news of the engagement?
Guard: Cancelled. Rumor has it, he must find himself a bride before that very night.
Rodmilla: Well that doesn't give us very much time...I shall need to know...what the competition is, every move he makes, his agenda...and any other tidbits you might pick up.
Guard: He's playing tennis with the Marquis de Limoges tomorrow at noon.
Rodmilla: (she caresses his cheek) Skin with such...elegance. Concealing such...ruthlessness. I've grown rather fond of are intrigues together. Surely you must know that.
Guard: I'm having an inkling my lady.
Rodmilla: When my daughter is queen, perhaps we might come to a new arrangement.
(Danielle and Paulette are gathering honey from some hives that are set up near the edge of the garden.)
Paulette: I would've given anything to see you all dressed up like a courtier, speaking to the prince like a lady.
Danielle: Scolding him is more like it and I cannot believe I gave him my mother's name. The man is insufferable.
Paulette: Yes, you've been saying that all day.
Danielle: Well it's as true now as it was this morning.
Paulette: Darling, he's royalty, they're born like that.
Danielle: Well then I suppose the penalty for being wealthy is that you have to live with the rich.
Paulette: I'll bet he's quite charming once you get to know him.
Danielle: Honestly, I think he and Marguerite deserve each other.
Paulette: Oh bite your tongue. The only throne I want her sitting on is the one I have to clean everyday.
(Inside – Bedroom)
(Rodmilla, Marguerite, and Jacqueline are looking for dresses to wear to the tennis match.)
Rodmilla: What's wrong with this one?
Marguerite: It's blue.
Rodmilla: Henry loves blue.
Marguerite: And 50 other girls will be wearing the exact same color!
Rodmilla: Very good Marguerite!
Jacqueline: This one's too small.
Rodmilla: Well, we shall just have to get you a tighter cinch.
Jacqueline: I cannot breathe as it is.
Rodmilla: One cannot breathe, one cannot eat.
Marguerite: Mother focus please!
Rodmilla: Well perhaps if I knew what you were looking for.
Marguerite: Something fit for a queen!
Rodmilla: Come ladies, I have just the thing. But we must speak of this to no one.
Marguerite: Oh I do love a good intrigue.
Rodmilla: Waste not...want not!
(Rodmilla opens a trunk and pulls out a beautiful gown. It’s white with just a bit of shimmery material in it.)
Marguerite: Oh perfect!
Jacqueline: (holds up some shoes) Ooh look at these shoes. Where did you get these?
Rodmilla: There Danielle's dowry, for her wedding.
Marguerite: Cinderella, married? To who the chimney sweep?
Jacqueline: Mother, if that dress is hers, perhaps she'll want to wear it to the ball.
Marguerite: Since when does a royal function include commoners?
Jacqueline: Well...never, but she is our stepsister and the invitation did say, "to the ladies of the house".
Marguerite: She's not of noble blood.
Rodmilla: And besides who would notice? No one.
Marguerite: Honestly Jacqueline, whose side are you on?
(Danielle walks in on them.)
Danielle What are you doing?
Rodmilla: Airing out your dress...for the masque.
Jacqueline: Her dress? But you just said-
Marguerite: I suppose for a commoner it'll have to do. I mean, look at it, it's practically an antique.
Danielle: You wish me, to go to a masque?
Rodmilla: Of course.
Danielle: I don't know what to say.
Rodmilla: Say? Honestly Danielle, it hurts me you don't feel like one of my daughters.
Danielle: I only meant-
Rodmilla: I thought we could all go as one big happy family, that is if you complete your chores in time and mind your manners till then.
(Jacqueline is fed up with her mother and her sister’s lies and storms out of the room.)
Danielle: What's the matter with her?
Marguerite: Oh, she doesn't want you to go.
(Danielle is hunting for truffles with the family pig. She glances down at her dirty hands and then at the nearby lake.)
(Leonardo is tinkering with some of his inventions while Henry prattles on.)
Prince Henry: Do you really think there's only one perfect mate?
Leonardo: As a matter of fact I do.
Prince Henry: Well, then how can you be certain to find them? And if you do find them are they really the one for you or do you only think they are and what happens if the person you're supposed to be with never appears or she does, but you're to distracted to notice.
Leonardo: You learn to pay attention.
Prince Henry: Then let's say...God puts 2 people on earth and they are lucky enough to find one another but one of them gets hit by lightening, well then what? Is that it? Or perchance you meet someone new and marry all over again is that the lady you're supposed to be with or was it the 1st? And if so, when the 2 of them were walking side by side, were they both the one for you and you just happen to be the 1st one 1st or was the 2nd one supposed to be 1st? And is everything just chance or were some things meant to be?
Leonardo: You cannot leave everything to fate, boy. She's got a lot to do. Sometimes you must give her a hand.
(Leonardo hold up a pair of wooden type shoes.)
Prince Henry: What's this project?
Leonardo: Would you care to see if they work?
(Leonardo is walking along in his wooden shoes on the lake. He comes across Danielle who has slipped into the water, fully dressed to wash. Danielle is just floating along with her eyes closed.)
Leonardo: It looks like rain.
(Danielle opens her eyes and screams in shock. Leonardo yells too as he falls over out of his shoes and into the lake.)
(Leonardo and Danielle make their way to the shore. Henry comes up to help them.)
Prince Henry: Signore da Vinci, are you all right?
Leonardo: I should leave walking on water to the Son of God, fortunately I tripped over an angel.
Prince Henry: Comtesse!
Danielle: Your highness. (She slips on a rock.) Oh! Uh...uh careful, it's very slippery right there.
Prince Henry: Here please, allow me.
(He puts his cape around her shoulders. Leonardo walks past them up to his carriage.)
Danielle: Oh! Thank you.
Prince Henry: Where are your attendants?
Danielle: I decided to give them the day off.
Prince Henry: A day off? From what? Life?
Danielle: Don't you ever tire of having people wait on you all the time?
Prince Henry: Yes, but they're servants, it's what they do.
Danielle: Well I wish I could dismiss mine as easily as you do yours. I must be going.
Prince Henry: You're angry with me.
Prince Henry: Admit it.
Danielle: Well yes if you must know.
Prince Henry: Why?
Danielle: Because you are trying to bait me with your snobbery.
Prince Henry: I'm afraid, Mademoiselle, that you are a walking contradiction and I find that rather fascinating.
Prince Henry: Yes, you. You spout the ideals of a utopian society and yet you live the life of a courtier.
Danielle: And you own all the land there is and yet you take no pride in working it. Is that not also a contradiction?
Prince Henry: First I'm arrogant and now I have no pride, however do I manage that.
Danielle: You have everything and still the world holds no joy and yet you insist on making fun of those who would see it for its possibilities.
Prince Henry: How do you do it?
Prince Henry: Live each day with this kind of passion, don't you find it exhausting.
Danielle: Only when I'm around you. Why do you like irritate me so?
Prince Henry: Why do you rise to the occasion?
Jacqueline: (os) Danielle!
(Danielle looks over her shoulder and sees Jacqueline with the truffle sniffing pig coming out of the woods, looking for her.)
Danielle: Forgive me, your highness. I've lost track of the hour.
Leonardo: But the wind, it's perfect!
Danielle: I am sorry.
Prince Henry: I'm playing tennis tomorrow with the Marquis de Limoges, will you come?
Danielle: I must go.
Prince Henry: Why does she keep doing that?
(Ghent Chateau – Night)
(The ladies of the house are having dinner in the dining room.)
Rodmilla: Paulette...where are the candlesticks? We can hardly see our plates.
Paulette: They're missing my lady. I've searched high and low.
Marguerite: The painting in the upstairs wall is gone too, it seems we have a thief in our midst.
Rodmilla: Hm...so this is how I'm treated after all our years together. My husbands prized possessions? Well I shall just garnish your wages until the pilfered items are returned, is that quite understood?
Both: Yes Ma'am.
Rodmilla: Perhaps I shall ship you off to the Americas with all the rest of the thieves.
Jacqueline: Oh didn't you hear? The prince went to the king and asked him to release all those men.
Danielle: He didn't?
Jacqueline: Mm, now by-by loyal decree, any man who sails must be compensated.
Rodmilla: Compensated? Oh, honestly. What is the world coming to?
Marguerite: Well, what want to know is, who this Comtesse everyone keeps talking about? There must have been 10 courtiers speaking of her today and how the prince fell all over himself.
Rodmilla: Well, we should find out who she is and bury her.
(Palace – Day – The Tennis Match)
(The Prince and the Marquis de Limoges are playing tennis. The Marquis hits the ball over Henry’s head and as Henry goes to hit it back he falls into the netted off area where the courtiers stand. When he climbs back out he is covered in handkerchiefs. He attempts to go back to the game, but the Marquis points behind him to Marguerite who is holding out the ball.)
Prince Henry: You're looking well Marguerite.
Marguerite: You're welcome to look your highness.
(Pierre Le Pieu and his cronies are walking along, looking at all the merchandise for sale this week. He walks up to where Danielle is working.)
Pierre Le Pieu: Danielle de Barbarac...you get prettier every week.
Danielle: And you Monsieur Le Pieu are wasting your flattery.
Pierre Le Pieu: It's a pity your soil's the best in the province and yet so poorly tended.
Paulette: We have limited resources sir, we do the best we can.
Pierre Le Pieu: Anything I can do?
Louise: Perhaps you should bring it up with the Baroness, and stick to shopping.
Pierre Le Pieu: I'd rather discuss it with Danielle, if you don't mind. I may be twice your age child, but I'm well endowed. As evident by my estate, I've always had a soft spot for the less unfortunate. You need a wealthy benefactor and I need a young lady with spirit.
Danielle: (holds up a bowl) Prunes?
Pierre Le Pieu: No, I'll buy nothing this week, and you'd do well to remember that without my generosity your pathetic little farm would cease to exist, I'd be very, very careful if I were you.
Paulette: Oh, horrible man, if he didn't buy a bushel of vegetables every week I'd spit on him.
(Elsewhere in the market Henry walks along with Marguerite. Rodmilla, Jacqueline, and the palace guard follow. He gestures for one of the guards to bring forward some sweets. He holds the box out to Marguerite.)
Prince Henry: Here, never have you tasted anything so delicious.
Rodmilla: (to Jacqueline who moves to get some herself) Don't even think about it!
(Marguerite holds open her mouth and Henry is forced to feed her some of the sweets.)
Prince Henry: Like it?
Marguerite: Like it? Why it's positively sinful. What's it called?
Prince Henry: Uh, chocolate. The Spanish Monks keep sending bricks of it.
Marguerite: These are our servants your highness.
Prince Henry: Really? Oh I'd love to meet them. Good day ladies.
(He turns and is almost face to face with Danielle who lets go of the chicken she’s holding. As the entire party scramble away from the chicken Danielle runs to hide.)
Rodmilla: What are you doing? Trying to scare the prince to death?
Paulette: We were startled that's all.
Prince Henry: (looks around) Were there just the 2 of you?
Louise: And the chicken your highness.
(Ghent Chateau – Night)
(Danielle is straightening up Rodmilla’s room. Rodmilla sits before the fire.)
Rodmilla: We must press for a quick engagement. Paris at Christmas, can you imagine? No, I don't suppose you can. My mother was hard on me too you know. She taught me that cleanliness was next to Godliness. She forced me to wash my face at least 20 times a day, convinced it was never clean enough. But I was very grateful to her, she wanted me to be all I could be and here I am...a Baroness...and Marguerite shall be queen. Pity you never knew your mother, there must be a little bit of her in you somewhere.
Danielle: I wish I knew what she looked like.
Rodmilla: Yes, but we must never feel sorry for ourselves must we? No matter how bad thinks get they can always get worse.
Danielle: Yes, Madame.
Rodmilla: (softly) You have so much of your father in you. Sometimes I can almost see him looking out through your eyes
Rodmilla: (abrupt) Yes, well, your features are so masculine. And well to be raised by a man...no wonder you're built for hard labor.
Danielle: Did you love my father?
Rodmilla: Well, I barely knew him. Now go away, I'm tired.
(Ghent Fields – Day)
(Gustave has set up his easel and is painting while Danielle tries to figure out Leonardo’s flying contraption.)
Danielle: Gustave, it's floating.
Gustave: I don't know what you're so happy about? You're going to be swimming in manure if they get married.
Danielle: And I don't know why it bothers you so, I could care less.
Gustave: You're lying. The prince would be your brother-in-law and you Comtesse de Lancret, would be bringing them breakfast in bed.
Danielle: Yes, but then they would move into the palace and I would stay with the manor, turn things around that's all that matters.
Gustave: You like him, admit it.
(Gustave looks up and sees Prince Henry and his men riding towards them.)
Gustave: And I suppose if you saw him again, you'd simply-
Danielle: I'd walk right up to him and say your highness my family is your family please take them away.
Gustave: Good, because here's your big chance he's heading this way.
(Danielle quickly hides behind a huge pile of hay. Henry finally reaches them.)
Prince Henry: I'm looking for Signor da Vinci, we're to go to the Monastery together. Have you seen him?
Gustave: Da Vinci? Uh, no your highness.
Prince Henry: Well is that not his flying contraption? Where did you get it?
(Danielle quickly lets go of the flying contraption and it glides away from her hiding place.)
Gustave: From...the Comtesse de Lancret. She is a friend of his.
Prince Henry: You know her? Please, I must find her, where is she staying?
Gustave: Uh, I believe your highness that she is staying with a cousin, the Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent.
Prince Henry: Hm, that does present a problem.
Gustave: But...I do know that she is there, alone, by herself at this very moment.
Prince Henry: Excellent, nice painting.
(Henry and his men ride off towards the Ghent Chateau.)
Danielle: Gustave! You horrible little snipe!
Gustave: Did you hear? He likes my work.
Danielle: And he is heading toward my house.
Gustave: Then I suggest you run.
(Danielle smiles, then runs for the house.)
Danielle: Paulette! Louise! Quick!
(Danielle comes out the front doors, dressed in the proper courtier manner, just as Prince Henry rides up.)
Danielle: Your highness, what an unexpected surprise!
Prince Henry: Comtesse. Do you not attend church?
Danielle: My faith is better served away from the rabid crowds.
Prince Henry: Yes, I'm afraid my father's edict has created quite a um a phenomenon. Which is why I'm bound for the Monastery. The Franciscans have an astonishing library. Since you are so fond of reading I thought perhaps you might join me.
Danielle: It is not fair sire, you have found my weakness but I have yet to learn yours.
Prince Henry: But I should think it was quite obvious. (Danielle smiles at him.) Captain Laurant? I shall not be needing my horse or your services. Today I am simply, Henry.
(Rodmilla meets with the palace guard we saw earlier.)
Guard: Prince Henry left early this morning, Baroness. No one seems to know where he went, but I brought you something that will brighten your day. It's a...
(He holds out his hand and she takes what he offers.)
Rodmilla: Oh you vicious, vicious man.
(Danielle walks along looking at all of the books on the shelves.)
Danielle: It makes me want to cry.
Prince Henry: Pick one.
Danielle: I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens.
Prince Henry: What is it that touches you so?
Danielle: I guess it's because when I was young my father would stay up late and read to me. He was addicted to the written work. I would fall asleep listening to the sound of his voice.
Prince Henry: What sort of books?
Danielle: Science, philosophy. I suppose they remind me of him. He died when I was 8. Utopia was the last book he brought home.
Prince Henry: Which explains why you quote it.
Danielle: I would rather hear his voice again than any sound in the world. Is something wrong?
Prince Henry: In all my years of study, not one tutor demonstrated the passion you have shown me in the last 2 days. You have more conviction in one memory than I have in my entire being.
Danielle: Your highness, if they're is anything I have said or done-
Prince Henry: Please, don't. It's not you.
(The service is now over and people are leaving. The King and Queen have climbed into their carriage and are ready to leave.)
Rodmilla: Make haste Marguerite, it's now or never.
(She hands Marguerite the object she got from the guard. Marguerite walks over to the royal coach and holds out a beautiful necklace to the Queen.)
Marguerite: Forgive me, your majesty but you seem to have dropped this on your way out.
Queen Marie: Why, my goodness. I do not even remember putting it on. Thank you child, it is a rare person indeed who would return such a valuable keepsake.
Marguerite: You are to magnanimous, majesty.
Queen Marie: How very kind. (to her maid) Her name?
Maid: Marguerite de Ghent.
Queen Marie: Marguerite? We shall have a chat tomorrow you and I, and bring your mother.
Marguerite: As you wish.
(The carriage has broken a wheel and the guards are working on fixing it.)
Prince Henry: Well this is terribly embarrassing.
Laurant: We'll head back to Monastery at once, your highness.
Danielle: And we shall continue on foot! (begins walking)
Prince Henry: But it's half a day's walk.
Danielle: (stops and turns to him) Honestly, your highness, where's your sense of adventure.
Prince Henry: Well, I guess if you put it that way.
(He runs to catch up with her.)
(The ladies have returned from church and are climbing out of the carriage.)
Rodmilla: Now, we can't be to confident, ladies. The prince wasn't in church today and we need to know why.
Jacqueline: Marguerite gets to do everything!
Marguerite: Don't be daft Jacqueline, the queen doesn't even know you exist.
Rodmilla: What Marguerite does is for all of us my dear, we are counting on you to help her get ready.
Jacqueline: Lovely, next thing you know I shall be cleaning the fireplace with Danielle! (goes inside)
Rodmilla: Where is that girl?
Marguerite: Probably off catching rabbits with her teeth. (goes inside)
Paulette: Begging your pardon my lady, but that gilded mirror in your bed chamber, did you move it?
Rodmilla: Of course not, why?
Paulette: It's also missing.
Rodmilla: Then it too shall come out of your pay. (goes inside)
Louise: Either you stop telling her when things go missing or we'll be paying her to work.
Paulette: Good thing I didn't mention the tapestries.
(Henry stands by himself. Danielle is nowhere in sight.)
Prince Henry: You would think I would know the way to my own castle.
(Up on a hilltop we see Danielle, dressed only in her undergarments.)
Danielle: Why is it men never stop for directions. (points) Ah! There it is, it is back that way!
Prince Henry: And I still can't believe that I'm down here while you're up there and in your undergarments no less.
Danielle Well I couldn't very well climb up here in that gown no could I? And besides you might break your royal neck and then where would we be?
Prince Henry: You swim alone, climb rocks, rescue servants, is there anything you don't do?
Danielle: Fly! Now turn around so I can climb back down.
(Henry turns around only to see that he’s surrounded by gypsies.)
Prince Henry: Oh no! It's you again. Stay aloft Madame, there are games afoot.
(Henry draws his sword and he and a gypsy begin to duel. The Head Gypsy picks up Danielle’s dress from the ground.)
Head Gypsy: My wife thanks you for this fine gown Mademoiselle!
Danielle: (still climbing down) You will give me back my dress sir!
(She makes it down and the gypsies grab her.)
Prince Henry: Let her go, your quarrel is with me.
Head Gypsy: Release her.
(The gypsies turn her loose.)
Danielle: I insist you return my things at once and since you deprive me of my escort I demand a horse as well.
(All the gypsies laugh.)
Head Gypsy: My lady, you can have anything you can carry.
Danielle: (pauses) May I have your word on that sir?
Head Gypsy: On my honor as a gypsy, whatever you can carry. (Danielle walks over to where Henry stands. She lifts him up onto her back and with a quick bow to the gypsy she begins to walk away. The other gypsies watch in shocked surprise and then burst out laughing.) Wait, please come back, I'll give you a horse!
(Ghent Chateau – Night)
(Louise and Paulette are cleaning Rodmilla’s room as Rodmilla stares out the window.)
Rodmilla: I want to be informed the minute she gets home, understood?
Both: Yes Ma'am.
(Danielle and Henry sit in a cave surrounded by gypsies. They sit by themselves in front of a fire. They are playing ‘rock – paper – scissors’.)
Danielle: You are reading my thoughts, my lord.
Prince Henry: And they're as fuzzy as my own Comtesse.
Danielle: Then France concedes?
Prince Henry: Never! My next choice will be paper.
(They play another hand, but his choice is rock.)
Danielle: It is your turn, and it had better be good.
Prince Henry: I have no desire to be king.
Danielle: But think of all the wonderful things you could do, for your country. for the world.
Prince Henry: Yes, but to be so defined by your position, to never be seen as who you are but as what you are. You have no idea how insufferable that is.
Danielle: You might be surprised.
Prince Henry: Really?
Danielle: (looks around) A gypsy, for example, is rarely painted as anything else. They're defined by their status just as your title defines you, yet it is not who they are. You have been born to privilege and with that comes specific obligations. (pauses) I am sorry my mouth has run away with me again.
Prince Henry: No, milady. It is your mouth that has me hypnotized.
(They lean in and kiss. The Head Gypsy sees this and gives a yell, which sets off lots of whoops and hollers from the other gypsies. Henry and Danielle pull apart and laugh.)
(Danielle and Henry ride up to the gate on a horse that they got from the gypsies.)
Danielle: Oh right here please. I don't want to wake anybody up.
(Henry stops the horse and then hops down. He then helps Danielle down as well.)
Prince Henry: You saved my life, you know? Back there in the woods.
Danielle: A girl does what she can, sire.
Prince Henry: Henry.
Prince Henry: Nicole...do you know the ruins at Amboise?
Prince Henry: I often go there to...be alone. Would you meet me there tomorrow?
Danielle: (smiles) I shall try.
Prince Henry: Then I shall wait all day.
(They both smile at each other then Danielle heads for the house.)
(The Palace – King & Queen’s Room – Morning)
(The King and Queen are asleep in bed. Henry comes in and throws aside the bed curtain.)
King Francis: (waking up) Off with his head!
Queen Marie: Francis, wake up. Our son has something to tell us.
Prince Henry: Mother, Father, I want to build a university with the largest library on the continent where anyone can study no matter they're station.
King Francis: All right who are you and what have you done with our son?
(Henry walks away, but then quickly walks back.)
Prince Henry: And I want to invite the gypsies to the ball!
(Danielle is rudely awakened from her bed in the attic. Rodmilla, Marguerite, and Jacqueline stand over her.)
Rodmilla: Are you ill?
Danielle: No...(tries to sit up, but falls back on the pillow) …yes.
Rodmilla: Where were you?
Danielle: (unconvincing) I got lost.
Rodmilla: I don't believe you, you're hiding something from me I can feel it and I demand to know what it is.
Danielle: Why don’t you tell me so I can get back to sleep?
Marguerite: What about our breakfast?
Danielle: You have 2 hands make it yourself.
Marguerite: Why you lazy little leech.
Rodmilla: Jacqueline, go boil some water.
Jacqueline: Me? Boil water? Oh I knew it. I just knew it.
(Louise calls to Danielle who is outside.)
Louise: Mistress, you better get in here quick!
(Danielle quickly runs inside.)
(Danielle runs in to find the other women holding her gown and shoes.)
Rodmilla: Oh look who finally decided to grace us with her presence.
Danielle: What do you think you're doing?
Marguerite: Trying on my dress.
Rodmilla: You honestly think that after that performance this morning I'd let you go anywhere.
Danielle: Do you honestly think these games, these intrigues are going to win you a crown. To hunt royalty like some sport it's disgusting.
Marguerite: You're just jealous.
Danielle: These are my mother's.
Marguerite: Yes and she's dead.
(Danielle loses it and punches Marguerite.)
Danielle: I'm going to rip your hair out!
(Danielle then proceeds to chase Marguerite through the house.)
Jacqueline: Mother, do something!
(Marguerite runs in and picks up Danielle’s book ‘Utopia’ and holds it over the fire.)
Marguerite: Get away from me so help me God!
Danielle: No Marguerite, don't! Put it down!
Marguerite: Give me the shoes!
Danielle: Put it down!
Rodmilla: (comes in) Consider carefully, Danielle. Your father's book or your mother's shoes, though neither will save you from a sound lashing!
(Danielle hands over the shoes, but Marguerite drops the book into the fire anyway.)
Danielle: No! No! No! No! No! No!
(Attic – Later)
(Jacqueline is tending to Danielle’s back, which is bloody from her whipping.)
Jacqueline: You really brought this upon yourself, you know.
Jacqueline: First with breakfast and then that horrid display downstairs.
Danielle: I don't know what's come over me.
Jacqueline: Of course, I shall never forget the way Marguerite's feet went over her head like that. She should not have said that about your mother.
Danielle: Thank you.
(Rodmilla and Marguerite are meeting with Queen Marie.)
Queen Marie: (regarding Marguerite’s black eye) Oh you really must let my doctor look at that. To think you saved that baby from a runaway horse.
Marguerite: 'Twas a maternal instinct majesty.
Queen Marie: Oh, I'm so sorry my son can't join us, but he seems to have disappeared again.
Queen Marie: Yes, he was gone all day yesterday and did not return until dawn.
Rodmilla: Well, must be marvelous to have that kind of stamina.
Queen Marie: Perhaps you could help solve a mystery for me. Do you know the Comtesse de Lancret? Apparently she's staying with a cousin, but no one seems to know who
Rodmilla: (realizing) Nicole de Lancret?
Queen Marie: Yes! Oh, how wonderful. I was beginning to think she was a ghost.
Rodmilla: No, I'm afraid she's been around for years, yes and is staying with us as a matter of fact. Isn't that right darling?
Marguerite: Yes, our cousin.
Rodmilla: Whom you like to call Cinderella.
(Marguerite realizes what Danielle has been up to. She jumps out of her chair and storms around for a few moments before coming back to the table.)
Queen Marie: Good heavens child, are you all right?
Marguerite: There was a bee.
(Henry is waiting as Danielle arrives, once again dressed as a courtier.)
Prince Henry: Hello.
Prince Henry: Are you well?
Danielle: I fear that I am not myself today.
Prince Henry: I feel as if my skin is the only thing keeping me from going everywhere at once.
Danielle: There is something I must tell you.
Prince Henry: And I you. Oh, here your book, you left it in the carriage yesterday.
Danielle: Your highness.
Prince Henry: Henry.
Danielle: I cannot stay long but I had to see you. There is much to say.
Prince Henry: Come...I want to show you something. I used to play here as a boy. It was my father's most cherished retreat before the war.
Danielle: It's beautiful.
Prince Henry: I've measured my life by these trees, starting here...and all the way up there. And still they-they grow. So much life to live, but I no longer imagine it alone.
Danielle: You're not making this easy.
Prince Henry: I have not slept for fear I would wake to find all this a dream. Oh! Last night, I had a revelation. I used to think that if I cared about anything I'd have to care about everything and I'd go stark raving mad but now I've found my purpose, it's a project actually inspired by you and I feel...the most wonderful freedom.
Danielle: It wasn't me.
Prince Henry: Oh Nicole, you are unlike any courtier I have ever met. Tomorrow at the masque I shall make it known to the world.
Danielle: Why, did you have to be so wonderful?
Prince Henry: Now then, what was it you wanted to tell me?
Danielle: Simply that...last night, was the happiest night of my life.
(Henry moves to pull her into an embrace but it hurts her wounded back and she cries out.)
Prince Henry: Oh sorry, I'm sorry.
Danielle: I must go!
Prince Henry: Nicole.
Danielle: No! No! No!
(Rodmilla is confronting Danielle.)
Rodmilla: Of all the insidious jokes, turning your mother into a Comtesse, why it's almost as absurd as a prince who spends his days with a servant that sleeps with pigs.
Danielle: What bothers you more stepmother, that I am common or that I am competition?
Rodmilla: Where is the dress Danielle?
Danielle: I don't know what you're talking about.
Marguerite: The gown, the slippers, they were in my room this morning and now they're gone, you hid them I know it.
Rodmilla: Where did you put the gown Danielle?
Danielle: Where are the candlesticks and the tapestry and the silver? Perhaps the gown is with them.
Rodmilla: You'll produce that gown-
Danielle: I would rather die a thousand deaths than to see my mother's dress on that spoiled selfish COW!
Rodmilla: Well...perhaps we can arrange that. (She opens the pantry and shoves Danielle in.) Get in there, open this door and you'll wish you never set foot in this house. Marguerite, Jacqueline, gather everything that will fetch a price, we are going to town first thing in the morning.
Jacqueline: Mother, it's only a ball.
Rodmilla: Yes, and your only going for the food.
Prince Henry: Engaged? To a Belgian?
Queen Marie: I'm afraid so.
Prince Henry: That's impossible, there has to be some mistake!
Queen Marie: She was traveling by boat this afternoon, the Baroness Rodmilla was quite reluctant to talk about it.
Prince Henry: It's no wonder with tidings such as these. If she was betrothed she damn well should've had the decency to say something.
Queen Marie: Would you have listened?
Prince Henry: Of course not, I would've-Oh God! How could I have been so blind? There I was, pouring my royal heart out to her and she was simply trying to bid me farewell.
Queen Marie: It is a strong woman who can keep her wits about her, with you trying to steal her heart.
Prince Henry: Yes, and what a clumsy thief I turned out to be.
Queen Marie: Oh come now Henry, any choice is better than Spain.
(Ghent Chateau – Night)
(The servants are trying to get Danielle out of the pantry, but to no avail.)
Maurice: You must go to the prince, tell him what's happened.
Gustave: But I am nobody, the prince would never see me.
Maurice: You are her friend, Gustave. She needs your help. The prince expects to see her.
Gustave: I-I cannot; besides my master has me working tonight.
Maurice: Then go to da Vinci, surely a painter can see another painter.
Gustave: I am but an apprentice and he is the greatest painter in the world. I could no sooner talk to God.
Maurice: For once in your life man be bold.
(The Ghent ladies arrive at the ball.)
Guard: This way sir, this way. May I see your invitation?
Jacqueline: I wanted to be the peacock.
Rodmilla: Honestly Jacqueline, the horse is one of God's noblest creatures.
Jacqueline: Oh well why don't I just pull the carriage while I'm at it.
Rodmilla: If you think you'll get us there any faster.
(Gustave is asking people where he can find Leonardo.)
Gustave: (to man) I'm looking for Signor da Vinci.
Gentleman: Over there, with the beard.
(Gustave walks past Leonardo to another elderly man with a beard.)
Gustave: S-S..ahem, Signor da Vince. (he faints)
Leonardo: (looks over at him) Yes?
(They are still trying to get Danielle out of the pantry.)
Paulette: Oh, oh, oh mistress it's no use!
(Gustave arrives with Leonardo.)
Leonardo: Allow me.
(He pulls out the bolts that hold the door up and is able to open the door.)
Louise: Oh brilliant. Why that was pure genius!
Leonardo: (smiles) Yes, I shall go down in history as the man who opened a door!
Danielle: Gustave? How?
Gustave: Well Maurice said the prince was expecting you.
Danielle: He is expecting someone who does not exist. Signore my name is Danielle de Barbarac and I am but a servant.
Leonardo: Yes and I am the bastard son of a peasant, what's has that to do with anything?
Danielle: I have deceived him.
Leonardo: The prince will understand.
Paulette: Come child the night is young. We must get you ready for the ball!
Danielle: I do not wish to go.
Louise: If you stay, the Baroness wins.
Danielle: How can I face him?
Leonardo: Because he deserves to hear the truth from the one he loves.
Danielle: A bird may love a fish Signore but where would they live?
Leonardo: Then I shall have to make you wings!
Paulette: Oh come on. No time to waste. Louise get the dress!
(Francis walks up to Henry who is standing alone.)
King Francis: I understand that you wanted to see me.
Prince Henry: Yes father I do.
King Francis: Listen...Henry perhaps it was unfair of me to put so much pressure on you as I did. About the marriage contract. I just thought it was time to make some changes in your life. You seemed to be a bit floundering and uh...well I just wanted to say that this university thing...is a brilliant idea. We don't have to announce anything tonight.
Prince Henry: I've made my decision.
King Francis: Oh.
(Danielle is helped into the carriage, but we can’t really see her outfit. She begins to ride away.)
Gustave: She looks like a masterpiece.
Louise: She look like her mother.
Leonardo: Come let us go and see these painting of yours.
Leonardo: When you're as old as I am my young friend, now is all you've got.
(They turn to go into the house, but Paulette stops them.)
Paulette Wait its tradition!
(When the carriage reaches the gate Danielle leans out and waves. They all wave back.)
(Jacqueline is at a table getting a plate of food. Captain Laurant is on the other side of the table also dressed as a horse. He nickers at her and she neighs back.)
(It’s now midnight and the King is preparing to speak.)
Rodmilla: (to Marguerite) This is it my darling.
King Francis: Friends...honored guests...it gives us great pleasure on this festive occasion...not only to honor Signor da Vinci...who seems to have disappeared...but also to tell you of another awaited decision. So without further ado...
(Danielle arrives at the back of the party. She looks beautiful in her mothers dress and the wings from Leonardo.)
Danielle: Just breathe. Just breathe.
King Francis: It is my great privilege to announce the engagement of our son, Prince Henry...to-
(Henry spots Danielle and moves towards her.)
Rodmilla: (sees Danielle as well) Well, well, well, what have we here?
Prince Henry: (reaches Danielle) My mother said you were getting married.
Danielle: She was misinformed, but there is something I must tell you now before another word is spoken.
Prince Henry: Then your not engaged?
Danielle: (smiles) No, I am not.
Prince Henry: I was about to make the worst mistake of my life.
King Francis: Who is she?
Queen Marie: My guess would be the Comtesse de Lancret.
King Francis: Ooh...the who?
Prince Henry: Come there is someone I want you to meet.
Danielle: Oh wait, I must speak with you.
Prince Henry: Whatever it is, my answer's yes.
Danielle: No, wait, wait, please.
Prince Henry: (points) Oh look, look, I invited the gypsies.
(Rodmilla begins to move through the crowd toward the Prince.)
Marguerite: What are you doing?
Rodmilla: Making you a princess!
(Rodmilla comes up behind Danielle and rips one of her wings off.)
Rodmilla: How dare you!
Prince Henry: Madam contain yourself!
Rodmilla: She is an imposter, sire!
Rodmilla: Her name is Danielle de Barbarac and she's been a servant in my home for the past 10 years.
King Francis: A servant, Henry? Is this some kind of joke?
Prince Henry: Baroness, you are on dangerous ground.
Rodmilla: Ask her yourself. She's a grasping devious pretender and it is my duty, your highness, to expose her as the covetous hoax she is.
Prince Henry: Tell these women who you are. Tell them.
Rodmilla: Bow before royalty, you insolent fraud!
Prince Henry: My God, it's can't be true. Nicole?
Danielle: Nicole de Lancret was my mother. I am what she says.
Prince Henry: The apple? That was you?
Danielle: I can explain.
King Francis: Well someone had better.
Prince Henry: First you're engaged, and now you're a servant? I've heard enough.
(He turns and begins to walk away.)
Danielle: Henry, please...
(He turns back to her.)
Prince Henry: Do not address me so informal, Madam. I am a prince of France...and you are just like them.
(He walks away.)
(Leonardo arrives just as Danielle is running away in tears.)
Leonardo: Danielle? Danielle?
(Danielle falls and loses her shoe before getting up and running away.)
(Henry is sitting alone when Leonardo walks up.)
Leonardo: What have you done?
Prince Henry: I was born to privilege and with that comes specific obligations.
Leonardo: Horse shit!
Prince Henry: You're out of line old man.
Leonardo: No you're out of line. Have you any idea what that girl went through to get here tonight?
Prince Henry: She lied to me.
Leonardo: She came to tell you the truth, and you fed her to the bulls.
Prince Henry: What do you know? You build flying machines and you walk on water yet you know nothing about life.
Leonardo: I know that a life without love is no life at all.
Prince Henry: And love without trust, what of that?
Leonardo: She's your match, Henry.
Prince Henry: I am but a servant to my crown and I have made my decision. I will not yield!
Leonardo: Then you don't deserve her.
(He sets Danielle’s shoe on the wall and walks away.)
(Danielle arrives in the pouring rain. She is soaked to the skin. She sits just inside the front doorway and weeps.)
(Danielle is working the garden.)
Rodmilla: I have it on good authority, that before your rather embarrassing debut, the prince was about to chose Marguerite to be his bride. Men are so fickle aren't they? One minute they're spouting sonnets and the next, you're back to being the hired help. Although I must say, I've never seen you quite this dedicated in your chores.
Danielle: What makes you think I do any of this for you?
Rodmilla: Well my, my, my aren't we feisty today?
(Danielle picks up her things and moves to go into the house. Rodmilla blocks her way.)
Danielle: Let me pass.
Rodmilla: You brought this on yourself you know?
Danielle: And I have work to do.
Rodmilla: Let the others handle it.
(Danielle pushes past her.)
Danielle: Don't you understand? You've won! Go, move into your palace and leave us be.
Rodmilla: You are not my problem anymore.
(Danielle turns back.)
Danielle: Is that what I am? Your problem? I have done everything you've ever asked me to do and still you've denied me the only thing I ever wanted.
Rodmilla: And what was that?
Danielle: What do you think? You are the only mother I have ever known. Was there a time even in its smallest measurement, that you loved me at all?
Rodmilla: How can anyone love a pebble in their shoe?
Paulette: (os) Danielle! My lady! Oh come and see, it's back all of it!
(Front of Chateau)
(Pierre le Pieu has brought back all of the missing items.)
Louise: You take that chair, and make sure you don't break.
Rodmilla: Ah, Monsieur le Pieu right on time.
Pierre le Pieu: It's all here Baroness, right down to the very last candlestick.
Danielle: My father's books, his paintings, you sold them to him!
Rodmilla: Yes, and now they're back. I couldn't very well have us looking like paupers when the king arrives.
Danielle: Thank you Monsieur, this means the world to us.
Pierre le Pieu: I'm a businessman, Danielle, not a philanthropist.
Danielle: I don't understand.
Rodmilla: I couldn't very well have you around distracting the prince, now could I?
Pierre le Pieu: The Baroness and I have come to an arrangement.
Rodmilla: You, for all this. Although I do think I'm getting the better end of the deal.
(Danielle begins to yell as Pierre’s men grab her and haul her off.)
Danielle: No, no, no!
Danielle: No! No! No! No!
(It’s the Prince’s wedding day. He is marrying the Spanish Princess. Henry stands at the alter and waits for her to walk the aisle. She is crying very loudly the entire way. She finally reaches him and he takes her hand. Rodmilla and her daughters are in attendance. Both she and Marguerite are wearing black.)
The Cardinal: En nomini patri ET fili ET spiritus sarcti.
(Henry and the princess kneel in front of the Cardinal, and she continues to cry very loudly. Henry thinks for a moment and then begins to laugh. He leans back and pulls her veil up. Rodmilla looks closer at him.)
Spanish Princess: No, no por favor. Henry, por favor. No seas asi conmigo por favor. (She motions to her love who stands watching.) No seas asi conmigo, por favor.
Prince Henry: Madame, Madame...I know exactly how you feel.
(He motions to her love and she runs to him. The man picks her up in his arms and they kiss. The King and Queen of Spain get up quickly and begin to argue.)
King Francis: And I thought I had problems.
(He and Queen Marie begin to laugh quietly.)
(Henry runs past Maurice who is waiting with the carriage. Henry spots him and runs back.)
Prince Henry: Where is she?
Maurice: The Baroness?
Prince Henry: Nic-Danielle?
Maurice: But she has been sold, sire.
Prince Henry: (shocked) Sold? To whom?
Jacqueline: (walking up) Pierre le Pieu your highness. Just after the masque.
Prince Henry: Tell no one we have spoken, for all shall reveal itself in due course. Come Laurant, there is much to be done.
(Pierre le Pieu’s Chateau)
(Pierre sits at a table. There is a knock at the door.)
Pierre le Pieu: Enter! (Danielle walks in carrying a large number of swords. She wears shackles on her feet.) Oh I do so hate to see you in irons. I'd remove them...if only you'd promise not to run away again.
Danielle: (she sets the swords down on the table) I have no reason to stay.
Pierre le Pieu: You belong to me now.
Danielle: I belong to no one, least of all you.
Pierre le Pieu: Ooh I do wish you'd reconsider my offer.
Danielle: I would rather rot.
Pierre le Pieu: I had a horse like you once. Magnificent creature. Stubborn just like you, willful to a fault, it too just needed to be broken in.
(He moves in close behind her.)
Danielle: You will maintain your distance, sir.
Pierre le Pieu: Oh you didn't say please.
(He grabs and tries to kiss her, but she shoves him away, grabs a sword and slices his cheek with it.)
Pierre le Pieu: I could hang you for this.
(Danielle backs him into a chair, all the while holding him off with a sword.)
Danielle: Not if you're dead.
Pierre le Pieu: I do love your spirit.
(He tries to go after her again but she shoves him off and grabs another sword. Now she holds him at bay with 2.)
Danielle: My father was an expert swordsman Monsieur, he taught me well. Now hand me that key or I swear on his grave I will slit you from navel...to nose.
(He holds out a key.)
Pierre le Pieu: Your freedom, my lady.
(As Henry and Laurant arrive Danielle exits the chateau with a grin on her face. She sees Henry but is unsure why he is there.)
Prince Henry: Hello.
Danielle: Hello. What are you doing here?
Prince Henry: I uh...I came to rescue you.
Danielle: (not believing) Rescue me? A commoner?
(She walks past him.)
Prince Henry: Actually I came to beg your forgiveness. I offered you the world and at the first test of honor I betrayed your trust. Please Danielle...
Danielle: (she stops and turns to him) Say it again.
Prince Henry: I'm sorry.
Danielle: No, the part where you said my name.
Prince Henry: Danielle. (She smiles) Perhaps you would be so kind as to help me find the owner of this rather remarkable shoe. (He pulls out the shoe.)
Danielle: Where did you find that?
Prince Henry: She is my match in every way. Please tell me I haven't lost her.
Danielle: It belongs to a peasant, your highness, who only pretended to be a courtier to save a man's life.
Prince Henry: Yes I know, and the name's Henry, if you don't mind. I kneel before you not as a prince, but as a man in love and I would feel like a king if you, Danielle de Barbarac, would be my wife.
(Danielle begins to cry and covers her face. Suddenly she smiles and throws herself into his arms. They kiss passionately.)
(The ladies are having breakfast.)
Jacqueline: How was I to know he'd come flying out the side door? He was supposed to be getting married.
Marguerite: I hear the prince talked to you, what did he say?
Jacqueline: Well I can't be sure, it all happened so quickly. But I think what he said was, "Serves me right for choosing a foreigner over your sister".
(Marguerite and Rodmilla grin and giggle.)
Rodmilla: Well, very good. Well perhaps we should just let him fret about it for a few days.
(There is a knock at the door.)
All: I'll get it!
(All the ladies rush out.)
Laurant: His supreme majesty, King Francis requests an audience with the Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent and her daughters immediately.
Rodmilla: Well, is anything wrong?
Laurant: (motions to the carriage behind him) No my lady, the king demanded that you arrive in style.
Rodmilla: Hmm in style we shall be.
(She and Marguerite rush back inside. Jacqueline and Laurant share a smile as she shuts the door.)
(The Palace – Throne Room)
(The ladies enter. There are quite a few people present. The King and Queen are seated on their thrones. Henry stands next to the King. Rodmilla bows before them.)
King Francis: Baroness. (Rodmilla looks at him expectantly) Did you or did you not, lie to her majesty the queen of France.
(Rodmilla and Marguerite look up in shock.)
Queen Marie: Choose your words wisely Madam, for they may be your last.
Rodmilla: A woman would do practically anything for the love of her daughter your majesties. Perhaps I did get a little carried away.
Marguerite: Mother! What have you done? Your majesty like you I am just a victim here, she has lied to us both and I am ashamed to call her family.
Rodmilla: How dare you turn on me you little ingrate!
Marguerite You see, you see what I have to put up with!
King Francis: Silence! Both of you. Good lord, are they always like this?
Jacqueline: Worse, your majesty.
Rodmilla: Jacqueline, darling, I'd hate to think you had anything to do with this.
Jacqueline: Of course not mother. I'm only here for the food.
Queen Marie: Baroness de Ghent you are forthwith stripped of your title and you and your horrible daughter are to be shipped to the Americas on the next available boat...unless by some miracle someone here will speak for you.
(Rodmilla looks around, hopefully.)
Rodmilla: There seems to be quite a few people out of town.
Danielle: (os) I will speak for her. (Everyone turns and kneels.) She is, after all my stepmother.
(Rodmilla kneels very slowly.)
Rodmilla: Your highness.
Prince Henry: Marguerite. (She looks at him) I don't believe you've met...my wife.
Danielle: I want you to know that I will forget you after this moment and never think of you again. But you I am quite certain will think about me ever single day for the rest of your life.
Rodmilla: And how long might that be?
Danielle: (to the King and Queen) All that I ask your majesties is that you show her the same courtesy that she has bestowed upon me.
(Rodmilla and Marguerite are now servants working the laundry.)
Supervisor: After you've washed the tablecloths you can start on the napkins, and move those over there.
Rodmilla: (motions) Marguerite.
Rodmilla: Well, you heard the woman.
Marguerite: So did you.
Rodmilla: Yes, but I'm management.
Marguerite: Like hell you are! You're just the same as me a big nobody.
Rodmilla: How dare you speak to me that way, I'm of noble blood.
Supervisor: And you are getting on my nerves. (She hits them with a bag of clothes and Rodmilla and Marguerite fall into a vat of dye. All the other workers laugh.) Now get to work!
(Leonardo unveils his painting of Danielle. Danielle, Henry, Laurant, Jacqueline, Paulette, Louise, Maurice, and Gustave are there.)
Danielle: Leonardo, it's wonderful! (she hugs him)
Leonardo: Think of it as a belated wedding present, your highness.
Gustave: I just can't get over it, that's all, (mocking) your highness. (Paulette lightly smacks him.)
Danielle: Yes well royalty or not, I can still whip you.
Prince Henry: I must say Leonardo, for a man of your talents, it um it doesn't look a think like her.
(Danielle smiles and pulls him into a little alcove.)
Danielle: You sir, are supposed to be charming.
Prince Henry: And we princess are supposed to live happily ever after.
Danielle: Says who?
Prince Henry: Do you know? I don't know.
(They smile, then kiss.)
(The Grimm brothers leave the palace.)
Grande Dame: (vo) My great grandmother's portrait hung in the university up until the revolution. By then the truth of the romance had been reduced to a simple fairy tale. And while Cinderella and her prince did live happily ever after the point, gentlemen, is that they lived.