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                         THE PIANO LESSON

                    Screenplay for a film by
                         JANE CAMPION

                         JAN CHAPMAN

                         Script editor
                         BILLY MACKINNON

                         Maori dialogue and translator
                         SELWYN MURU

(c) copyright:
Jan Chapman Productions Pty Ltd
2 Fairlight Street Leichhart 2040
NSW Australia

4th draft 1991
Developed with the assistance of
The Australian Film Commission


Sc 1                                                  Sc 1
                         ADA (VO - Scs 2 to 7)
               The voice you hear is not my 
               speaking voice, but my mind's 

               I have not spoken since I was 
               six years old. No one knows 
               why, not even me. My father 
               says it is a dark talent and 
               the day I take it into my head 
               to stop breathing will be my 

               Today he married me to a man 
               I've not yet met. Soon my 
               daughter and I shall join him 
               in his own country. My husband 
               said my muteness does not 
               bother him. He writes and hark 
               this: God loves dumb creatures, 
               so why not he!

               Were good he had God's patience 
               for silence affects everyone in 
               the end. The strange thing is I 
               don't think myself silent, that 
               is, because of my piano. I 
               shall miss it on the journey.


A woman in a dark crepe Victorian dress sits leaning against a tree, 
her hands cover her face, around her neck she wears a writing pad. She 
crosses a field with large bare trees, in the far background stands a 
3 storey stone house.


A small girl roller skates down a dimly lit corridor. A parlour maid 
looks down the hall where the girl has disappeared.


Three men wearing long grey aprons are fitting the packing for a 
piano. On one of the men's arms is a tattoo of a whale in a wild sea.

Sc 5     EXT     SCOTTISH HOUSE GROUNDS     DAY     Sc 5

The girl wearing her skates sits on a small black pony. An old man is 
pulling it, but it won't move. (In the background, another aspect of 
the grey stone house.)


The woman lifts back the sheets from the bottom of the sleeping girl's 
bed. She is still wearing her skates. The woman cuts through the laces 
and removes the boots. One disembodied skate rolls across the room.


The woman stands at a window lit by moonlight. Her skin appears 
luminescently white. She touches the wooden window frame, the curtain, 
the objects on the window sill, her mind abstracted, her hands 
unconsciously performing a farewell. Turning from the window she moves 
to a square piano crowded by packing boxes. In the dim light she 
begins to play strongly. Her face strains, she is utterly involved, 
unaware other own strange guttural sounds that form an eerie 
accompaniment to the music.

An old maid in night-dress looks in. Abruptly the woman stops playing. 
The emotion leaves her face, it whitens and seems solid like a wall.

                    CUT TO BLACK

Sc 8     EXT     UNDERWATER BEACH          DAY     Sc 8

Under water a long boat passes overhead, its oars breaking the 

Sc 9     EXT     BEACH                    DAY     Sc 9

Amidst a riotous sea a woman, ADA, is carried to shore on the 
shoulders of five seamen. Her large Victorian skirt spreads across the 
men's arms and backs, on her head a black bonnet, around her neck her 
pad and pen. We should be forgiven if this woman seems a sacrificial 
offering as the bay they carry her to is completely uninhabited. A 
black sand backs on to an endless rise of dense native bush.

The breakers are chaotic, the men strain to keep their footing, 
calling to each other.

               Hold still you smutt! Blast the 
               Look up! Look up!
               Lay to! Lay to.
               Up with it you buggerers, hold 
               Damn me won't you hold?!

Two of the men are black, all are battered, tattooed and tough, some 
are drunk.
Behind the woman is her daughter, a girl of ten in Scottish dress. She 
too is carried on the shoulders of seamen.

ADA is placed on the sand. She looks down at her feet sinking into the 
wet sand, then up at the huge confusion of fern and bush in front of 
her. The sound of sea behind is thunderous.

Several of the seamen have formed a group and are pissing on the sand.

Her daughter is on all fours evidently being sick. But ADA's attention 
is diverted to the seamen who are staggering through the waves with a 
huge piano shaped box. They put it down as soon as they get to 5hore 
but ADA makes gestures that they must immediately bring it to higher 
safer ground. The piano placed to her satisfaction she hovers near it, 
one hand in constant touch of it while her daughter grips her free 

Sc 10     EXT     BEACH                         DAY     Sc 10

TWO SEAMEN finish carrying the last crate to shore. Trunks and boxes 
including an open crate with hens are scattered carelessly along the 

The SEAMEN gather together. After a discussion in which they look 
between ADA and her child and their Coaster out on the sea, one of the 
men approaches. Behind him the other men keep their eyes out to sea or 
down on the sand. They don't want to be involved. The sight of the 
women alone on this beach is too hopeless.

               It's a little rough out there. 
               Could be they can't get through 
               to you in this weather. Maybe 
               they'll come over land.

ADA nods.

               Have you things for shelter?

ADA nods.

               What things have you?

ADA signs to her daughter. The little girl speaks clearly and loudly 
without emotion.

               She says, "thank you".

Puzzled, the man walks off, then turns and comes back.

               Does your mother prefer to come 
               on with us to Nelson?

ADA signs vigorously to FLORA.

               She says, No. She says she'd 
               rather be boiled alive by 
               natives than get back in your 

               (stunned) You be damn fortuned 
               I don't smack your puppy gob, 
               missy. Damn lucky.


Sc 12     EXT     BEACH                         DAY     Sc 12

ADA is sheltering behind the crated piano, anxiety etched on her face.

FLORA  is asleep at her feet a half eaten biscuit in her hand ADA has 
found a gap through the crate so that she might lift the lid and play 
a few notes. The sweetness and comfort of the piano seem only to 
exaggerate their isolation and hopelessness.

2- See notes

Suddenly a rush of sea water shoots straight under the raised crate of 
the piano wetting her shoes. ADA stands, pushing FLORA onto her feet. 
She is aghast to see the tide has crept in completely unnoticed.

They watch three of their boxes float out to sea. One of the hens has 
escaped the crate and is bobbing up and down in the waves.


Sc 14     EXT     BEACH                         DUSK     Sc 14

There is just a pink streak left in the sky. ADA and FLORA shelter 
inside their make-shift tent, a hooped petticoat secured at the edges 
with stones.  Inside the tent a candle lights up their conversation.

ADA is hand signaling a story to FLORA who lies back watching, nervous 
and afraid. ADA's whole self is involved in the "telling", her face is 
alight with expression, now tender, now sad, now humorous, now soft, 
while her hands and fingers are deft and precise. From outside it is 
an odd shadow play.

               (hand signaling) Mother... I'm 

ADA pauses.

               (speaking) I'm not going to 
               call him Papa.  I'm not going 
               to call HIM anything. I'm not 
               even going to look at HIM.

Sc 15     EXT     BUSH ON WAY TO BEACH          DAY     Sc 15

Through a dense bush walk a party of fourteen MAORI people and two 
EUROPEAN MEN. The wetness, closeness and darkness of the bush is such 
that the air seems green, like at the bottom of a deep sea. Two of the 
MAORIS share one pair of shoes and all of them are clothed in a 
mixture of native and European costume. Of the Europeans one is small 
and has a shy manner. He has a half completed Maori tattoo across his 
cheeks. The other is a similar age about 45 and wears a suit, muddy 
and out of place here in the bush. He staggers, spurts forward then 
slows to a stop. His hair and face are wet and his skin reflects the 
green foliage. BAINES the younger man turns and slows.

               Are we stopping?... Do you want 
               to stop?

The MAORI voices and laughter are becoming fainter. BAINES watches 
torn between his concern for STEWART and the split in their party.

3-See Notes

               Shall we stop?

Unable to get an answer BAINES runs after the MAORIS.

               Tai hoa! Me tatari tatou .., me 
               tutatou I konei.
               (Wait! We are stopping.. we're 

STEWART takes out a comb and drags it dazed and zombie like through 
his wet hair. Inside the darkness of his pocket, he turns over and 
over a small, worn edged photograph, a smudge of green light allows us 
to see ADA's tumbling face. Taking it in the heel of his hand he 
secretly looks at it. Just as the party return and settle he stares on 
ahead possessed and determined.

               We must get on.

The MAORIS look at BAINES bewildered.

               Aue tepatupsiarehe!
               (The fairy people, what can you 

Sc 16     EXT     BEACH                     MORNINGSc 16

It is early morning. The sea is calmer and the tide is again low. The 
party or two EUROPEANS and fourteen MAORI MEN and WOMEN come out on to 
the beach. About half the MAORI party head straight for the shoreline 
where an older woman loudly organises a pipi collection. All sorts of 
containers are used from flax baskets to shirts with knots in their 
arms. The rest follow STEWART and BAINES over to the boxes. STEWART 
automatically re-combs his hair, patting it against his forehead, 
where it sticks in a raked pattern. On his head he carefully places a 
formal top hat, oddly dean compared to his mud splattered suit. The 
party stops short of the petticoats where a tell-tale foot reveals its 

               Miss McGrath, Alisdair Stewart. 
               You'll have to wake yourself. 
               I've got men here to carry your 

ADA and FLORA struggle up to find themselves confronted by a group of 
men and women. The MAORIS stare curiously and comment on the women.

               Aut he anahera enci?
               (Are they angels, they look 
               like angels.)

A man points at FLORA's feet and gestures as if holding one of the 
little shoes in his hand.

               Te monohi hoki! 
               (So small!) 

FLORA is struck by shyness and hides under her mother's skirt. ADA 
cannot look straight at STEWART and STEWART also cannot look at her.

               I see you have a good many 
               boxes, I'd like to know what is 
               in each.

As ADA does not move STEWART is puzzled.

               CAN - YOU - HEAR - ME?

ADA nods and looks up coldly, insulted by his slow loud speaking.

               Well that is good, yes that is 
               good, good.

STEWART smiling searches ADA's face for some sign of comprehension but 
is unnerved by her lack of response. He stops smiling, and, patting 
his hair walks to the closest box. Several of the MAORI party follow 
behind STEWART while one of them closely and particularly mimics him.

               What's in here?

ADA points to the writing already on the box saying "Crockery and 

               Ohh, yes so it is, written 
               there, crockery.

               And this one?

ADA writes "bedclothes and linen" on the pad around her neck- While 
she writes he takes the opportunity to scrutinise her.

               You're small. I never thought 
               you'd be small.

He walks to another chest

               What's here?

She writes "clothes". The MAORI mimic also pretends to write.

Finally he comes to the piano box. He lifts a corner experimentally.

               What's in here then, lead?

               (gravely) It's my mother's 

               A piano?

The MAORIS touch the exposed legs of the piano.  STEWART speaks to the 
other European man BAINES.

               Tell them to carry in pairs. 

               Those three and those two the 
               black and the red, then the 

STEWART holds BAINES back a moment.

               What do you think?

STEWART nods towards ADA. BAINES thinks a moment then turns towards 
ADA too.

               She looks tired.

               She's stunted, that's one 

BAINES walks over to HONE a big man and the MAORJ leader, he stands 
tall with a great sense of his own importance. (Mana)

               Anei nga pouaka - ko era e 
               Me era e raa.
               (Here are the boxes, those 
               three and those two.) 

               E Hoal

HONE takes an aggressive fighting posture towards BAINES, insulted 
that BAINES should suggest he might carry anything. HONE does not 
carrying, he is the boss. With great dignity HONE retreats, too 
injured to help. Other MAORIS come up and BAINES assigns them boxes. 
ADA gets worried, the piano is being left alone. She writes on her 
pad, "THE PIANO?" She shows STEWART.

               Oh no, it can't come now.

               It must come.


               She wants it to come.

               Yes and so do I, but there are 
               too few of us here to carry it. 
               TOO - HEAVY

ADA writes "I NEED THE PIANO." Her MAORI mimic copies her.

               Do you mean you don't want your 
               kitchenware or your clothes? Is 
               that what you mean?

ADA signs to FLORA.

               We can't leave the piano

               Let us not discuss this 
               further. I am very pleased....

STEWART slows down as he watches ADA again sign to FLORA, he has the 
uncomfortable impression he is being interrupted.

               Mother wants to know if they 
               could come back directly for 

STEWART is shocked, his mouth hangs slightly open, paused in mid 
speech. TAHU mimics this mouth drop perfectly.

               After they have taken the other 

STEWART is growing confused and anxious. His two mimics and their 
growing audience unnerve him further.

               Kei Riri a te raho Maroke. 
               (shouted loudly at TAHU)
               (Watch it dry balls is getting 


STEWART nods suspiciously towards the MAORI speaker not understanding 
him, the speaker smiles and nods back.

               I suggest you prepare for a 
               difficult journey. The bush 
               will tear clothes and the mud 
               is deep in places.

STEWART walks away. ADA stands beside the piano turned away from the 
activities. FLORA pats her hand trying to cheer her. Down on the beach 
a fire is lit and pipis are prepared for cooking. Some of the young 
men are racing naked into the sea.

               (to BAINES about the MAORIS) 
               What are they doing? We don't 
               have time for that.

Sc 17     EXI     BEACH                         DAY     Sc 17

It is some hours later and the carrying party are beginning to make 
their way up into the bush. ADA still stands beside her piano. FLORA 
wants to follow the party. BAINES comes back along the beach, trailed 
by a young Maori boy, KAHA.

               Mr. Stewart asked if I might 
               show you to the path. (ADA does 
               not move) ... May I carry 

ADA turns to BAINES, her face angry and defiant, her eyes full of 
tears. BAINES falls back, struck by her show of emotion. ADA and FLORA 
walk past him toward the bush.

Sc 18     EXT     CLIFF ABOVE BEACH               DAY     Sc 18

The party threads its way through the bush along the cliff. ADA pauses 
at the cliff top to see her piano below on the sand, tiny and 
desolate. Its distance and her love of it suddenly strike her. Its 
music is faint and becomes loud over the next scene.

Sc 19     EXT     BUSH FROM BEACH               DAY     Sc 19

Brown feet squelch through the mud, finally followed by dainty boots 
caked in dirt. The MAORI leaders of the party have stopped.

4 - See Note

BAINES works his way to the front.

               aha tenei?
               (What is it?) 

               E hinga te Koroua ra B Pitama i 
               konci. Kare noa Kia hikina te 
               (Old man Pitama died here. 
               (points to the spot) 
               The Tapu hasn't been lifted)

STEWART struggles up to the front to join BAINES, he speaks over the 
top of HONE.

               What's he say?

               Someone died here. It's tapu.

               But we came down this way 
               didn't we? I'm sure we did.

The MAORI leaders continue discussing.

               0h Pitama eh.

               E Tarna heke atu ki ram - tiro 
               his atu.
               Rapuhia mai he huarahi re!
               (Go and look, find another 
               track eh!)

               'cia tupato he ana taniwba ke 
               raro na. 
               (Go easy there's a ghost down 

               'Ca, rongo koe i te haunga a 
               tans tutae i te tuatahi. (You 
               smell his shit first.) 

STEWART continues over the top of the MAORI discussion.

               They want more money. They are 
               trying to make two days out of 

               No, no they know another track 
               - to the side of this.

ADA and FLORA sit watching, out of breath. The bush is dense, 
claustrophobic and exotic. One of the MAORI women sits close to ADA 
apparently not looking at her- Slowly she draws the scarf that is in 
ADA's lap into her own. Defiantly she puts it on.

Meanwhile another woman makes a very dignified attempt to wipe the 
freckles from FLORA's face.

Sc 20     EXT     STEWART'S                    DAY     Sc 20

It is another day and STEWART'S hut, bleakly set amidst smoking stumps 
is full of squeals, chasing and antics.

Sc 21     INT     STEWART'S HUT               DAY     Sc 21

The reverend in frock coat has a wedding dress stuck part way up his 
arms. It is not a normal wedding dress but a backless one used again 
and again as a photographic prop. Stewart's AUNT MORAG and her 
companion NESSIE are trying to pull it off.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Watch your feet!

               Watch your feet!

ADA and FLORA find the family fun frightening and have taken refuge in 
the bedroom.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Careful! Watch his hand.

               Watch his hand

The REVEREND tickles his sister as she tries to get the sleeve off his 
hand. NESSIE squeals with excitement.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Stop it!

NESSIE looks towards ADA panting with excitement at the fun.

                         AUNT MORAG
               (shooing the Reverend out) 
               We'll bring out the bride.

The two women now fit the wedding dress on ADA.

                         AUNT MORAG
               LIFT - YOUR - ARM - UP - DEAR.

FLORA sits on the bed sulkily. She leans back and crosses her leg.

               My REAL father was a famous 
               German composer

                         AUNT MORAG
               Ohh the tag is broken.

               (continues) .... They met when 
               my mother was an opera 
               singer... in Luxemburg...

The two women pause to look at FLORA. ADA signs to FLORA "THAT'S 


ADA looks away, the two women finish primping the dress. FLORA crosses 
her arms.

               I want to be in the photograph.

Sc 22     EXT     STEWART'S Hut                DAY     Sc 22

NESSIE half holds an umbrella over ADA as they make their way to where 
the camera is setup in front of a chair and a sparse display of three 
toi-toi. All about the house is muddy, so much so that they must weave 
their way through on planks and logs. A fine veil of rain is falling 
across the distant bush, the whole valley is shrouded in mist. STEWART 
looks through the camera at the REVEREND and the photographer who are 
posing as the couple, complete with tatty bouquet. STEWART notices 
ADA's arrival and seeing her as a real bride, his bride, he is 
struckdumb with pride, even the rough tapes at the back or the dress 
cannot destroy the illusion.


The umbrellas are held away, the rain pours down.

Sc 23     INT/EXT     STEWARTS HUT BEDROOM     DAY     Sc 23

AUNT MORAG has brought a chair into the bedroom and sits knee to knee 
with FLORA.

                         AUNT MORAG
               I thought she met your father 
               in Luxemburg.

               Well, yes, in Austria where be 
               conducted the Royal Orchestra. 

                         AUNT MORAG
               (frowning) And where did they 
               get married?

AUNT MORAG checks to see if someone is coming.

               (her Scottish accent becomes 
               thick and expressive) In an 
               enormous forest, with real 
               fairies as bridesmaids each 
               holding a little elf's hand.

AUNT MORAG sits back, regarding FLORA with obvious disapproval and 
disappointment. She smooths back her hair.

               No, I tell a lie, it was in a 
               small country church, near the 

AUNT MORAG is becoming involved again. She leans forward.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Which mountains are those dear?

               The Alps.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Ohhh I've never been there. 
               (she leans forward)

               Mother used to sing the songs 
               in German and her voice would 
               echo across the valleys

               That was before the 

                         AUNT MORAG
               Oh what happened?

MORAG looks over her shoulder as FLORA continues to talk, so 
persuasive is FLORA's storytelling that the scene comes vividly to 
life, albeit in FLORA's dark pupil.

               One day when my mother and 
               father were singing together in 
               the forest, a great storm blew 
               up out of nowhere. But so 
               passionate was their singing 
               that they did not notice, nor 
               did they stop as the rain began 
               to fall and when their voices 
               rose for the final bars of the 
               duet a great bolt of lightening 
               came out of the sky and struck 
               my father so that he lit up 
               like a torch... And at the same 
               moment my father was struck 
               dead my mother was struck dumb! 
               She- never-spoke-another-word.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Ohhh ... dear. Not another word    
               From the shock, yes it would 

The story is interrupted by the return of the wedding party who are 
dripping wet, exactly as the couple in the story. AUNT MORAG bustles 
over to take off the wet wedding gown, her face puckered with tragedy.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Terrible.  Terrible

Before she can undo the ties ADA pulls it from herself so aggressively 
that the ties and part of the gown comes apart. None of this is a 
concern to ADA who is distracted with fear for her piano. She crosses 
to the little window and stares anxiously at the falling rain.

Sc 24     EXT     BEACH                         DUSK     Sc 24

Soft piano music has been playing over the previous scene. Now it 
builds to strength as sea water swirls high around the piano, small 
and embattled on the dark rainy beach.

Sc 23     INT     STEWART'S HUT BEDROOM          DAY     Sc 25

It's morning of the next day. ADA and FLORA sit amongst tea chests in 
the bedroom. ADA is signing intently to FLORA. FLORA signs back, 
sometimes using words. STEWART watches uneasy with their secret 
communication. As STEWART enters the animation is suspended. ADA 
stands and takes a step back as if to attention.

               I shall be gone for some days. 
               There is some Maori land I want 
               and may buy very reasonably. 
               (STEWART shuffles) I am hoping 
               you will use the time to settle 
               in, and, in some ways we may 
               start again

FLORA and ADA look at each other.

               All right?

ADA looks at him blankly, then nods.

Sc 26     EXT     STEWART'S                    DAY     Sc 26

ADA and FLORA dressed in cloaks and bonnets skirt the dense bush 
trying to find a path in. It is not easy, because the bush is so 
tight. ADA's leg slides in up to her calf in mud.

Sc 27     EXT     BAINES'                    DAY     Sc 27

ADA and FLORA arrive at BAINES' rough hut. It is mid-morning but 
BAINES is not yet dressed. ADA hands him a note. BAINES looks at it 

               I'm not able to read.

ADA signs to FLORA.

               Please take us to the beach 
               where we landed.

               I'm sorry, I can't do that. 
               (FLORA and ADA stare evenly at 
               I don't have the time.
               (They continue to stare.)

Sc 28     EXT     BAINES'                    DAY     Sc 28

It is much later when BAINES emerges from his hut with a saddle over 
his arm. The two women are still there. ADA looks up at him 

FLORA mirrors her expression.

               I - can't - take - you there. I 
               can't do it.

He puts the saddle over a rail. He continues to saddle up, sneaking 
glances at them from under the horse and around its side. They watch 
him closely, not pleadingly, but stubbornly1 eerily of one mind.

Sc 29     EXT     BEACH                         DAY     Sc 29

The sky is blue with long wisps of cloud.

The party of three break onto the long expanse of beach where the 
piano still stands. It has not been without visitors. There are 
footprints on the sand and some of the boards have been pulled back. 
ADA passes BAINES, walking urgently towards it. Soon, ADA has removed 
enough boards that she may lift the lid and play the keys. EMNES stays 
back. ADA takes great delight in feeling her fingers on the keys 
again. Her whole composition is altered. She is animated, joyful, 

Down on the wet sand FLORA does a wild dance of her own invention 
using a seaweed wig. She finishes by rolling down the beach in the 

BAINES views them with suspicion, yet he is magnetically drawn to the 
spectacle He has never seen women behave with so much abandon. His 
attention fixes on ADA's uninhibited emotional playing, and as he 
watches, he finds himself edging irresistibly closer.

Sc 30     EXT     BEACH                    LATE AFTER NOONSc 30

The shadows are long on the sand when BAIN'ES collects the boards. ADA 
and FLORA are attempting a duet. ADA notices him come towards them 
with the boards, obviously intending that they should leave. Her mood 
darkens, she continues playing stubbornly even though FLORA has 
stopped. Abruptly she finishes. In black spirits she replaces her cape 
and bonnet. BAINES is struck by this sudden change, he watches her 
mesmerised as he replaces the boards.

Sc 31     EXT     BEACH                    NIGHT          Sc 31

From a helicopter, the camera tracks along the beach, following the 
crashing wave line, to find the piano.


Sc 33     EXT     STEWART'S HUT & KITCHEN     DUSK          Sc 33

The hut puffs smoke out into the valley. The lie of the land traps 
sound like a shell and the clear high notes of a voice echo out. 
Suspicious that ADA is singing, STEWART approaches the house quietly. 
Through the open kitchen door he sees that the keys of a piano have 
been etched on the table top. While ADA "plays" the notes FLORA sings 

STEWART puts his pack down. ADA stands to attention, folding the 
tablecloth back over the table. 

5, 6 + 7 See notes

               Hello, then.


ADA nods. STEWART'S hand explores the markings on the table. ADA 
watches his hand moving under the checked cloth.

Sc 34     INT     MISSION HOUSE               DAY     Sc 34

AUNT MORAG, NESSIE and TWO MAORI GIRLS dressed in proper Victorian 
costume are kneeling around a huge double white sheet, sewing and 
cutting it. The MAORI girls are part of the mission's good works. They 
are dressed in European style and while their training is in polite 
proper domestic behaviour they constantly corrupt it with their 
demonstrative displays of affection, and their clay tobacco pipes to 
which they are addicted.

STEWART is standing, looking on. BAINES is behind him in the kitchen 
removing his boots.

                         AUNT MORAG
               (looking carefully at STEWART) 
               Well you stopped combing your 
               hair, which is a good thing, it 
               was looking over done. 
               (without pause but referring to 
               the sheet) You see these are 
               the slits that the heads will 
               go through, show him Nessie ... 
               they'll be dead, the Reverend 
               is going to use animal blood, 
               no doubt it will be very 
               dramatic. Tea! 
               (for NESSIE rather than to her)

               It will be very dramatic.

NESSIE leaves to get the tea. HENI, the MAORI girl with a Moku tickles 
MARI'S back while she sews.

They sing the anthem in snatches. It is background to the 

               (sitting down) 
               What would you think if someone 
               played a kitchen table like it 
               were a piano?

                         AUNT MORAG
               Like it were a piano?

               It's strange isn't it? I mean 
               it's not a piano, it doesn't 
               make any sound.

NESSIB puts STEWART'S tea down. BAINES comes in with his tea cup 
dwarfed in his big hands. He stands back leaning against a wall.

                         AUNT MORAG
               (hissing to NESSIE) Biscuits.' 
               No, no sound.

NESSIE hustles back to the kitchen.

               I knew she was mute, but now 
               I'm thinking it's more than 
               that. I'm wondering if she's 
               not brain affected.

                         AUNT MORAG
               No sound at all?

               No, it was a table.

                         AUNT MORAG
               (musing) Well, she was very 
               violent with the gown. She tore 
               off a chunk of lace. if hadn't 
               been there I'd have sworn she'd 
               used her teeth

               and wiped her feet an it.

               Well it has not yet come to 
               anything. Just a concern.

AUNT MORAG pats her chest. a calming device.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Oh, yes, yes of course, a 

               There is something to be said 
               for silence

                         AUNT MORAG
               Oh indeed. Cotton'.

She holds her needle up for NESSIE to thread.

               (warming)  And with time she 
               will, I'm sure, become 

                         AUNT MORAG
               Certainly, there is nothing so 
               easy to like as a pet and they 
               are quite silent.

BAINES watches quietly on.

Sc 35     EXT     STEWART'S WOODCHOP          DAY     Sc 35

STEWART is at the woodshop cutting firewood. He displays his 
virtuosity as an axeman, cutting the wood into ever more slender 
pieces, FLORA is watching and stacking the fallen timber. She flinches 
as the axe hits the wood, but scurries in to pick up the timber. 
BAINES is standing talking to STEWART.

               Those 80 acres, that cross the 
               stream, what do you think of 

               On your property?


BAINES carries a log across for STEWART who talks without pausing in 
his work,

               Good, flatish land with 
               reliable water, why? I don't 
               have money. What are you about?

               I'd like to make a swap.

               What for?

               The piano.

               The piano on the beach? Ada's 

BAINES nods. STEWART stops, this is serious.

               It's not marshy is it?

STEWART has walked a few paces away from his wood chop in the 
direction of the land.


               You'd have to organise it up 

               Yes, I thought that.

               Well Baines the music lover, I 
               never would have known. Hidden 
               talents George.

               I'll have to get lessons. It 
               wouldn't be much use without 

               Yes, I suppose you would.

BAINES remains silent. He looks away.

               Well Ada can play.

BAINES shrugs.

               I have it in a letter she plays 
               well. She's been playing since 
               she was 5 or6.

FLORA has stopped stacking. She is lying along the top of the wood, 
lifting a leg up and down, watching the men.

Sc 36     INT     STEWART'S KJTCHEN               DAY     Sc 36

STEWART, flushed with his plans, is pouring tea into cups. FLORA peers 
at cup level through the steam. ADA sits beside her at the table.

               I have got us some excellent 
               land. Baines has taken some 
               queer idea to have a piano, and 
               you are to give him lessons. 
               Have you taught before?

ADA signs to FLORA.

               What on?

               On your piano, that is the 

ALA finger signs, her face furious.

               What does she say?

               She says it's her piano, and 
               she won't have him touch it. 
               He's an oaf, he can't read, 
               he's ignorant.

               He wants to improve himself... 
               and you will be able to play on 
               it ... (ADA is not responding 
               well) Teach him to look after 

ADA's breathing becomes heavy with anger, she writes Curiously on her 

               NO! NO! THE PIANO IS MINE! IT'S 

STEWART regards her note and her passion with suspicion and disdain

               (getting up) You can't go on 
               like this, we are a family now, 
               all of us make sacrifices and 
               so will you.
               You will teach him. I shall see 
               to that!

ADA's emotions are suddenly removed and she views STEWART blankly, 
eerily so.

Sc 37     EXT     BUSH FROM BEACH               DAY     SC 37

The piano is taken up through the bush by a group of six to eight 
MAORI MEN. It's very heavy and awkward and they grunt and struggle 
with it.

               HiM na ake 'nun na'. 
               (Lift up the back)  

               Tern - tern!
               (Ass hole!)

               Hei niti niti maan! 
               (turning around) 
               You lick it.)

Someone stumbles and the back of the piano comes crashing to the 
ground thundering out in the bottom end of the scale. People scatter. 
Only one stays who warrior like challenges the piano.

Sc 38     EXT     PATH TO BAINES                DAY      Sc38

The women duck low to avoid a branch as STEWART leads them to BAINE'S 
hut. STEWART carries the piano stool.  The path slopes up through a 
strange, bearded forest where the tops of trees are bare and ghost 

               I'd try children's tunes, 
               nothing more complicated

ADA is unrepentant, she does not want to teach BAINES the piano.

               Just be encouraging no one expects him to be good.

Sc 39      INT/EXT     BAINES' HUT                DAY     SC 39

The piano is the only cared for item in the rough hut

               (lifting the lid) It looks 
               good, very nice looking thing. 
               Well . I wish you luck. The girls 
               are very excited about the 

The "girls" look anything but excited. FLORA shy, plays obsessively 
with a long strand of greasy hair. ADA is cold and grim.

               Flora will explain anything Ada says.
               They talk through their fingers, 
               you can't believe what they say 
               with just their hands.

STEWART leaves. BAJNES goes to the piano and lifts the lid. He looks 
at them. ADA signs to FLORA.

               My mother wants to see your 
               hands. Hold them out.

BAINES holds out his hands, spread wide as if holding a ball.

               No, no, like this

FLORA puts her neat little fingers together, first with their backs up 
then she turns them over. HAINES does the same only his bands are big 
and coarse. ADA signs to FLORA. BAINES is shyly keen.

               You have to wash them.

               They are washed.

ADA signs.

               Wash them again.

               The marks do not come out.  
               They are scars and hardened 

ADA and FLORA do not move. Humiliated BAINES takes a scrub brush, soap 
and bucket and goes outside. ADA can see him from the window. She 
moves to her piano. She wants to touch it but she is torn by her 
feelings, wanting it, but not owning it. She strokes the varnished 
wood with her hand and softly lifts the lid. Outside FLORA stands 
beside BAINES pointing out hits of his hand he should still scrub. 
Furtively she lays her hands on the keys. The instrument is horribly 
out of tune, almost every note is off. She goes outside and signs to 

               There's no tune left in the 
               piano so she can't teach you.

The two women leave.

Sc40     EXT      STEEP BUSH HILL                DAY     Sc40

Two men come crashing out down a steep bush hill, They are tied to 
each other. BAINES, the younger and stronger, is trying to break their 
fall by grasping hold of branches and shoots. Finally their fall is 
checked. The old man is white haired, the front of his suit splattered 
with the debris of many meals. He sits up feeling about for his 
glasses. He is blind. His eyes, though closed, wobble and roll BAINES 
finds the glasses One of the lenses has gone, the other is very dark. 
The old man fits his handkerchief in the gap.

Sc 41     EXT     HUGESCREE                    DAY     Sc 41

BAINES carries the old man on his back, they cross a huge scree. Each 
of BAINES' steps dislodge a fall of rocks. The crashing of stones 
echoes across the valley. BAINES and he are but small dots in this 
giant earth scar


Sc 43     INT     BAINES' HUT                    DAY     Sc 43

Inside BAINES' hut the old man feels the piano.

                         BLIND MAN
               Ah, a Broadbent. A fine 
               instrument. I've not come 
               across one here, or in the 
               Islands where I have tuned some 
               200. Yes, they like their 
               pianos there.

Out of his pocket he takes a carefully wrapped tuning fork. He unwraps 
the package, lifts the back and lid and starts to tune. He sniffs the 
air. BAINES watches, He sniffs close to the keys.

               Scent? And salt of course.

He works on.

               What will you play when it's 
               tuned? What music do you play?

BAINS looks over at him from the meal he is preparing.

               I can't play.

The blind man stops working.

                         BLIND MAN
               You don't play?

               No, I can't.

               I'm going to learn.

The man goes back to work somewhat depressed by the futility of the 

                         BLIND MAN
               Well my dear Miss Broadbent, 
               tuned, but silent.


SC 46     EXT     BAINES' HUT                    MORNINGSc 46

A slash of sunlight falls across the piano. Thousands of particles of 
dust become visible floating in the air. BAINES is at the window in 
his shirt/night shirt. He notices the dust on the piano and strips off 
his shirt which he uses as a duster. Under the shirt he is naked. As 
he wipes the smooth wood he becomes aware of his nakedness. His 
movements become slower until he is no longer cleaning, but caressing 
the piano.

Sc 47     EXT     PATH TO BAINES'               DAY     Sc 47

On the path to BAINES' house, ADA and FLORA sit in the bush. ADA's 
head is bowed. Her hands held over her face. FLORA tries to catch the 
spots of light in her palm as they twinkle through the thick canopy of 
leaves over head.

Sc 48     EXT/INT     BAINES' HUT                    DAY     Sc 48

The door opens. ADA and FLORA stand in their cloaks and bonnets.

               Mother says she can't stand to 
               teach piano with it all out or 
               tune. So I'm to do scales.

ADA turns and walks off. FLORA bustles in. BAINES watches ADA from the 

               I hope you've scrubbed your 

FLORA begins a scale.

               Oh, it's in tune.

She looks over at BAINES who is still gazing out the window.

               What's out there?

She gets up to see what BAINES is looking at. She sees her mother and 
divines BAINES is looking at nothing.

               You have to watch me where I 
               put my fingers.

FLORA starts again. ADA can only hear the piano faintly but moves 
closer as she too hears it's in tune.

As she enters the hut BAINES pulls his fingers away from the piano. 
FLORA sees this and stops too. She looks at her mother.

               It's in tune.

ADA checks the other notes. FLORA stands with her arms folded, a bit 
sulky and fluffed up.

               (Hissing) I was teaching.

ADA tries the piano. She looks over at BAINES then signs to FLORA.

               She wants to see what you can 

               I'd rather not play. I want to 
               listen and learn that way.

               Everyone has to practice.

               I just want to listen.

ADA is a bit nonplussed. She does not want to be listened to anymore 
than she wants to teach. She pulls a strand of her hair then signs to 

               What do you want to hear?

BAIWES shrugs shyly and locks away out the window. He doesn't know


ADA is slow to start. Unobliging as ever she plays scales. But once 
begun her belligerence fades as her absorption in the music 

Sc 49     INT     STEWART'S HUT/ADA'S BEDROOM      NIGHT     Sc 49 

Back at STEWART'S hut, ADA lies dispirited on the bed. FLORA lies 
beside her holding ADA's hand.

               Tell me about my real father.

ADA nods and strokes FLORA's hair from her face. FLORA leans back.

               How did you speak to him?

ADA signs to FLORA who watches in love with all the stories of her 
mother and unreal father.

                         ADA (subtitled)
               I didn't need to speak, I could 
               lay thoughts out in his mind 
               like they were a sheet

               What happened? Why didn't you 
               get married?

ADA continues to sign her hands casting odd animal like shadows on the 
newspapered walls.

                         ADA cont.
               After a while he became 
               frightened and he stopped 

STEWART enters their bedroom. FLORA stops and ADA stands against the 
wall. STEWART finds the atmosphere curious yet impenetrate.

               Shall I kiss you goodnight?

FLORA looks up at her mother. ADA shrugs.

STEWART nods stiffly, and uncomfortably, he leaves.

Sc 50     EXT     BAINES' VERANDAH               DAY     Sc 50

It's raining heavily, FLORA sits on the small verandah outside BAINES' 
hut, her legs stuck straight out into the wet. She is overseeing a 
merciless power game with the dog, forcing it out of the verandah with 
a stick.

Sc 51     INT     BAINE'S HUT                    DAY     Sc 51

ADA's playing can be heard inside. BAINES sits back watching ADA. Her 
cape on the hook is dripping a puddle on to the floor and there is a 
circle of drips around her skirt hem. She is totally absorbed in her 
piano music as she was on the beach.

BAINES watches. Her long white neck, now wet from rain, proves 
irresistible. He comes across the room and kisses her. ADA jumps up 
and prepares to leave. BAINES stands in front of the door.

               Do you know how to bargain, nod 
               if you do.

She doesn't move,

               There's a way you can have your 
               piano back. Do you want it 
               back? You want it back?

ADA eyes him suspiciously.

               You see I'd like us to make a 
               deal. There's things I want to 
               do while you stay. If you let 
               me you can earn it back.

               What do you think, one visit 
               for every key.

ADA is tense but she is thinking about it. She holds up a finger then 
points to the black of her dress.

               Your dress?

ADA shakes her head.

               Skirt ...?

She walks over to her piano and points to a black key. 

               For every black one?

ADA turns raising her head, nodding. 

               That's a lot less, half.

BAINES is counting the keys. ADA starts for the front door. 

               All right, all right then, the 
               black keys.

She sits back at the piano. She plays the lowest black key as in 
number one

She takes her hands off the piano waiting.

               It's better that you play.

Obediently she begins, stopping abruptly, indignantly, as he touches 
her neck.

               Play... Keep playing.

After a moment she settles back to the piano.

Sc 52     EXT     BAINES' VERANDAH               DAY     Sc 52

Outside FLORA is cradling the poor confused dog, asking him what cruel 
miserable person had sent him out into the cold and wet.

Sc 53     EXT     RIVERHOLE NEAR BAINES'          DAY     Sc 53

BAINES bathes in a riverhole. He is watched by a gathering of Maori, 
sometimes with great seriousness, at other times with hilarity. They 
pass between them his clothes, trying them on and mimicking him. One 
of the older women HIRA crouches close to the bank keeping up a steady 
line of inquiry. Her manner is relaxed but focused and persistent. She 
smokes a pipe-

               I got the good wife for you 
               Peini. She pray good. Clean. 
               Read Bible. You sleep her 
               Peini. She chief daughter.

               No, no bible readers.

BAINES continues good humouredly washing.

               Why? We need you pakeha clever. 
               You sleep her.


               (A big man dressed as a woman) 
               (Background) I give her plenty 
               clever. (Gestures sexually)

               I have a wife.

               (camping it up) I give her 
               clever eb Peini. Hallelujah!

               Don't answer, he low born. Jun 
               look at him, mongrel. Your wife 
               where she?

               She lives her own life in New 
               Jersey, America.

               You have spare wife here Peini. 
               You get rnana for that. Our 
               chief four wives.

BAINES shakes his head amusedly. As he gets out of the river HIRA 
slaps him.

               I marry white man Peini, he a 
               whaler like you. He very good 
               to me. Love me, nurse me.

HIRA touches her own face where BAINES' tattoo is.

               Who do that? It not finish, 
               that no good Peini. You finish!

Several people on the bank are taking turns to comb their hair, 
peering into a tiny piece of mirror.

Sc 54     EXT/INT     BAINES' HUT                    DAY     Sc 54

BAINES' dog hears ADA and FLORA approach. It takes off under the 
house. FLORA calls the dog. It keeps well hidden. ADA has gone on 
inside and the door is closed. FLORA stands outside the door left out 
and lonely. She knocks. BAINES answers.

               (small voice) 
               I want to speak to my mother

She buries her head in her mother's skirt.

               I don't want to be outside, I 
               want to watch. 

ADA signs to FLORA.

               I'll be very quiet.

ADA leads her to the door signing to her

               I won't look at him!

FLORA is shut out.

Sc 55     INT     BAINES' HUT                    DAY     Sc 55

ADA sits at the piano. She is shy and nervous She turns to BAINES who 
nods. ADA begins to play. BAINIES keeps his head bowed, but as the 
playing becomes more confident he raises his head to watch.  He sits 
at a far corner of the room apparently enjoying the whole vision or 
this woman at her piano.

After some time BAINES, affected by the music, takes his chair to a 
closer position and from an opposite angle. ADA glances up as she 
feels him passing behind her.  He seems satisfied to watch. His 
attention finally focuses on her neck as it bends further or closer to 
the piano.

Again he shifts his chair, taking it round the back and to the other 
side of the piano. As he moves ADA watches warily. From this position 
be doesn't try to touch her, but watches, enjoying her fingers moving 
on the keys and the small details of motion on her face. Twice he 
closes his eyes and breathes deeply BAINES is experiencing an 
unpractised sense of appreciation and lust. When his eyes are closed, 
ADA glances at him with curiosity and suspicion.

Sc 56     INT     SCHOOL HALL                    DAY     Sc 56

FLORA stands on a kitchen chair. AUNT MORAG and NESSIE have paused 
from fitting FLORA's bodice and wire angel wings. They are attempting 
to learn the hand gestures as FLORA signs:

               "I shall listen hard to rehearsal, 
               because I live too 
               far away to go often."

                         AUNT MORAG
               (suspiciously) Which sign is 
               the word rehearsal?

FLORA deftly demonstrates.

                         AUNT MORAG
               I can't imagine a fate worse 
               than being dumb. Turn around.

               To be deaf?

                         AUNT MORAG
               Oh yes, dear too - TERRIBLE! 

               Actually, to tell you the whole 
               truth, Mama says most people 
               speak rubbish and it's not 
               worth the listen.

AUNT MORAG and NESSIE exchange looks.

                         AUNT MORAG
               (stiffly) Well, that is a 
               strong opinion.

               Yes, it's unholy.

Sc 57     INT     BAINES' HUT                    DAY     Sc 57

ADA is quick to remove a used plate and cup left on top of the piano.

BAINES is sitting next to the window, his elbow on the sill, his head 
turned away.

               Lift your skirt,

ADA stops playing. She turns to him. Thinks about it then slowly lifts 
her skirt a little to show her boots.

               Lift it higher.

ADA pulls the skirt up fractionally so the top other boots are 

BAINIES nods ADA starts to play again, not so confidently as before.

BAINES moves close, he goes down on his knees to watch her feet on the 


ADA doesn't hear.

               Lift it higher.

She stops and lifts her skirt to her knees. She looks at BAINES with 
ill-disguised contempt. BAINES is enthralled with her legs, or what he 
can now see of them. He moves back to watch them from behind. He's 
lying on the ground, head propped on his arm. ADA's slim stockinged 
calves work the pedals, one of the stockings has a small hole through 
which her white skins shows

Sc 58     EXT      MISSION HOUSE GROUNDS          DUSK     Sc 58

HENI holds STEWART'S horse near a wooden gate. Its wet coat steams in 
he night air, making the whole horse glow. HENI talks softly to it in 

Sc 59     INT     MISSION HOUSE               NIGHT     Sc 59

Inside the REVEREND is closely watched by STEWART, AUNT MORAG and 
NESSIE as he cuts out the shape of an axe from a piece of marbled 
cardboard. A lamplight flickers warm tones across their faces while 
the rest of the room is dark giving it a conspiratorial air.

               Nessie, your hand out ... out 
               here, please.

               Oh, no use Mr Stewart, I can't 

               Nessie, please.

NESSIE hesitatingly puts her arm out towards him and the REVEREND 
chops away in the air two feet in front other, NESSIE looks at AUNT 
MORAG puzzled.

               Look you are being attacked!

The REVEREND points to the opposite rose-papered wall, where his 
shadow and paper axe now look very real as they loom large above the 
crouching NESSIE chopping into her. NESSIE squeals, as does MARY.

               And with the blood ... it will 
               be a good effect:

Sc 60     INT     BAINES' HUT               DAY     Sc 60

ADA's finger plays the fourth black key from the left hand side, 
denoting lesson four.

               Undo your dress. This part, 
               (he indicates the top) I want 
               to see your arms.

ADA is taken unawares. She sits a moment unsure if she wants to 
cooperate, then slowly she staffs to undo her buttons.

ADA pulls her arms out of the tight sleeves. Underneath she wears a 
worn-in bodice. Her arms are so white they seem transparent. A 
delicate network of blue-green veins crisscross up the soft underpart 
of her arms. A dark growth of hair in her armpit suggests a shadowy 
depth. The back of her hands, normally white, are quite tanned in 


BAINES draws his chair close. Gently he places his hand on the soft 
underpart of her forearm. ADA stiffens and pulls away. He grips the 

               Two keys.

ADA continues to play. Slowly he moves his hand higher towards her 
shoulder. Clearly unnerved she changes the music to something brisk, 
almost comical. BAINES feels suddenly ridiculous, his mood broken. He 
takes his hand away and moves back to the window injured. ADA is 
victorious, she is pleased to have won herself a respite.

Sc 61     EXT     STEWART'S WOODCHOP          DAY     Sc 61

STEWART is at the woodchop talking to AUNT MORAG and NESSIE.
MARY and HENI, AUNT MORAG'S Maori girls lie sprawled out under a tree.

                         AUNT MORAG
               I hardly need to give one to 
               you, but there you are anyway.

NESSIE has been sorting through a basket of invitations, finding 
STEWART'S she hands it to AUNT MORAG who hands it to STEWART.

               Don't be late. You will see 
               there are two times and since 
               you are accompanying a 
               performer, you will need to 
               make the earlier time

STEWART has stopped listening, he is watching ADA and FLORA pick their 
way through the fallen logs to BAINES path.


The two women stop. There is a Japanese sense of deferment to STEWART

               How are the lessons going?
               ADA nods enthusiastically.
               He's getting on all right?
               ADA nods again

                         AUNT MORAG
               That is good, yes.

As ADA walks on AUNT MORAG leans towards STEWART.

               She seems quieted down.  Is she 
               more affectionate?

STEWART looks after them unable to answer.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Ah well, slowly, slowly

Sc 62     INT     BAINES' HUT                    DAY     Sc 62

BAINES secures a chair against the door while ADA is removing her 
dress top. She sits at the piano hugging herself against the chill.  
As BAINES passes be knocks the jacket off the chair back. He picks it 
up and takes it across to her seat by the window.

BAINES nods and ADA begins to play. BAINES fingers the still warm 
jacket1 he lifts it up and smells it. ADA turns around and stops 
playing suddenly appalled by his odd sensual pleasure taking. She 
holds out her hand for the jacket, her expression stern and 
censorious. She indicates he should return it to the chair back. 
BAINES ignores her. ADA stands and comes over to BAINES. She pulls the 
jacket from his hands and replaces it across the chair back, but as 
she turns to sit,

BAINES is beside her. He pulls the shoulders of her bodice down, 
exposing her shoulders and some of her breast. ADA immediately stands, 
but BMNES is much stronger and man-handles her across to the bed. ADA 
struggles seriously, this is much, much more than she was expecting.

               Ada, four keys.

ADA holds up five fingers and mouths 'five'.

               I just want to lie.

ADA shakes her head vigorously and again mouths five'. 

               All right, all right five.

ADA no longer struggles. She is stiff and still. BAINES intoxicated by 
the smell and presence of her skin becomes soft and gentle. He kisses 
and touches her with feeling and affection. Then suddenly aware of her 
stillness he too becomes still. He pulls himself up to see whether her 
face betrays her feelings. ADA seizes this opportunity to return to 
the uncertain sanctuary of her piano. From the bed, BAINES watches her 
run a hand noiselessly over the polished ivory keys, a gesture 
betraying affection never afforded to him. BAINES gets up. He shuts 
the piano lid forcing ADA to remove her hand.

ADA immediately stands and dresses, marking hurtfully BAINES' 
ownership of her piano.

Sc 63     EXT     STEWART'S HUT               SUNSETSc 63

A golden evening. STEWART in his best shirt and trousers prepares the 
horse and cart.

Sc 64     INT      STEWART'S HUT  ADA's BEDROOM      SUNSETSc 64

Inside FLORA is in her finished Angel costume, she sings softly to 
herself while ADA undoes the long strands of plaits and separates them 
to comb.

               The Holly and the Ivy...

STEWART comes in to put on his jacket, but the collar is all tucked 
in. ADA automatically adjusts it for him, settling it around his neck. 
Her touch, meant practically, strangely affects him. In an impassioned 
impasse, meant gallantly, he tries to kiss ADA's finger tips. The 
gesture falters as ADA, surprised, jumps back.

Sc 65     EXT     SCHOOL HALL                    DUSK     Sc 65

People are arriving at the school hall. One family is being ferried 
through the mud in a wheelbarrow.

10 See Notes

Sc 66     INT     SCHOOL HALL                    NIGHT     Sc 66
Some people are already seated in the hall. Several other angels have 
arrived, and they like FLORA are ushered backstage.

Sc 67     INT     SCHOOL HALL BACKSTAGE          NIGHT     Sc 67
BACKSTAGE, the Sunday School teacher is gathering the children 
together, reminding them of the order of songs, checking their hair, 
etc. The local dramatic society are also preparing themselves. One of 
the women is peeping through a hole in a make-shift curtain to watch 
the townspeople seating themselves.

               They're bringing in extra 

Despite this, there would still be only a maximum of forty people. 10 
or so of them MAORIS in their best European dress.

                         ANOTHER WOMAN
               Oh God, don't pin my hair too 
               high Alfred!

                         STILL ANOTHER
               Yes, me too, do it about here 
               ... (she shows Alfred)

Two of the women are putting a little c4ouring on each of the angels 
while two other angels are being smacked for putting their white gloved 
hands in the bucket of blood.

Sc 68     INT     SCHOOL HALL                    NIGHT     Sc 68

Everyone is chatting at each other's seats, except the MAOIRI guests 
who wait solemnly. AUNT MORAG is organising the placement of the new 
seats. BAINES arrives.

                         MAN ONE
               Look who's here, the musical MR BAINES
               What will we have tonight 
               George, "Twinkle, twinkle?"

BAINES smiles and blinks, the teasing continues as BAINES scans the 
room for ADA. Two of the MAORI PARTY share one pair of shoes so that 
only one may be in the hall at a time, while the other waits 
barefooted outside.

                         ANOTHER MAN
               'Mary had a little lamb' or a 
               polka, come on George what's it 
               to be?

AUNT MORAG hustles over to BAINIES and pushes him in front of her 
towards NESSIE and the piano.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Mr. Baines, do come and turn 

BAINES looks wildly about for rescue.

               I can't read music, I have just 

BAINES backs off from NESSIE whose face drops in disappointment. He 
has spotted ADA and is eager to take a seat near her. He takes the 
seat next to ADA but one. He sits smiling and blinking. The teasing 
continues, behind him.

               (turning) Lot of fools. Come 
               on, move up.

ADA puts her hand on the seat and shakes her head indicating that she 
is saving it for FLORA. BAINES is rebuffed and looks across at ADA who 
ignores him.

The main lights are put out and everyone returns to their places. In 
the dark STEWART shyly takes ADA's hand in his. BAINES watches STEWART 
squeezing her hand and quite out of control stands and leaves 
accompanied by a chorus of eshhhhhhhhhhhhhn. Satisfied, ADA watches 
him go.

The children file on with their candles, They stand in a group singing 
with great seriousness, but struck with shyness their voices are so 
small as barely to be heard.

               -sing up Billy!
               -Come on sing out!

One of the smallest promptly pees. An arm reaches under the curtain to 
wipe the stage.

Sc 69     INT     SCHOOL RALL & BACK STAGE     NIGHT     Sc 69

Backstage all is ready for the main dramatic event. There seems to be 
more peep-holes than curtains as eyes press themselves to the little 
flap. The master of ceremonies, the REVEREND is on stage explaining 
the dramatics. He is wearing harlequin tights and rompers, his face is 
dramatically paled. The candles are blown out.

               And so the young maid came upon 
               each and all of Bluebeard's 
               missing wives, their severed 
               heads still bleeding, their 
               eyes still crying.

The piano accompaniment is suspenseful while the audience shriek 
appreciatively. Backstage AUNT MORAG provides the dripping blood, 
moving between the corpses, she peers at the audience through a peep-
hole in the curtain.

               But who it this? 

(AUNT MORAG looks around gasping, fooled despite herself)

A loud improvised door slam and heavy footsteps. NESSIE, in costume, 
freezes. The shadow of Bluebeard moves clumsily down the cut-out 
banister and along the corridor.

               I am home early my sweet wife 
               ... where art thou?

The girl scrambles for the fallen key and rushes out of the closet 
into the silhouette corridor.

                         YOUNG WIFE
               Hello husband, what a surprise!

               Yes wife, a surprise indeed! So 
               now you know my secret you, the 
               sweetest and youngest or all my 
               wives must be prepared to die.

BLUEBEARD pulls out a cut-out axe and moves towards her.

Two of the young warriors in CHIEF NIHE's party rise to their feet.

               Auc! Ha aba ra tenei?
               (Hey! What's this)

               E Nilie, E Nihe he Kohuru, he 
               (Nihe, Nihe is this murder?)

NIHE waves them down, but they are shaken up and only crouch above 
their seats. The others stare anxiously between NIHE and the stage.

               (Amused by them)
               E te whsnau keite pai-he takaro 
               (Everything is fine this is 
               just a game)

BLUEBEARD moves closer, the young wife drops to her knees her hands 
held up in prayer.

                         YOUNG WIFE
               No, no wait!

               I shall not wait. Bare your 

As BLUEBEARD raises his axe again, first one then the other of the 
young warriors run forward, shouting a fierce war cry and parting the 
audience, who flee to either side while the corpses come very much to 

               Kia hiwara! Kin hiwara! 
               (Be on the alert! Brace 

               Pokokohun - whakaputa mai ja 
               (Coward! Show yourself, come 

Only NIHE and his top-hatted daughter remain calmly in their seats. 
The warriors have BLUEBEARD cornered and whimpering an umbrella held 
spear-like above him. NIHE stomps his stick, his great voice booming 

               Hoki rnai! Hoki rnai!
               (Come back here! Come back 

Sc 70     INT     SCHOOL HALL BACK STAGE       NIGHT     Sc 70

Backstage the CHIEF and his party are shown the theatrical devices; 
the blood-bucket, the paper axe, the splits in the sheets.

Sc 71     INT     BAINES' HUT                    DAY     Sc 71

ADA goes to the piano, she is upset that BAINES has again left a plate 
on top of it. BAINES intercepts her, stepping several times between 
her and the piano. She sees the game and stands still. He steps aside. 
She removes the plate, gently, lovingly wiping the surface underneath. 
There is a sulky irritation in the ways BAINES watches her.

               I have been waiting. You are 
               very late.

ADA starts to play, BAINES watches then looks away.

               I don't want you to play. I 
               just want you to sit.

ADA keeps playing until she has finished. Without looking at him she 
holds up two fingers against the piano.

               (angry) No, not two keys.

ADA starts playing again, BAINES feels powerless. He no longer admires 
her absorption with the piano, he is jealous of it.

               (shouts) Two keys then!

She stops playing. There is an insolence or casualness in the way she 
regards BAINES. He pulls her chair back from the piano. This upsets 
her, as much of her confidence was associated with the instrument. 
BAINES kisses her passionately on the mouth. ADA pulls back, BAINES 
persists, he is desperate and romantic.

Sc 72     EXT     BASE OF BUSH COVERED HILL     DAY     Sc 72 

STEWART, with BAINES interpreting, talks with a group of MAORIS at the 
base of a bush covered hill. The MAORIS sit behind a small 
representation of the hill marked out with twigs on the ground. The 
atmosphere is tense.

                         MAORI NEGOTIATOR
               (pointing to the places)
               Nga awa kau kau, nga ana koiwi 
               0 matoti mattia tunpuna; kei 
               runga katoa i te whenua nei 
               korerongia atu ki to tangata na 
               e Peini. 
               (The bathing waters, the caves, 
               that house, the remains of our 
               ancestors are all part of this 
               land. Explain it to the man 

               (muttering to BAINES across the 
               previous speech) What do they 
               say? Are they selling? Offer 
               the blankets for half the land.

STEWART holds up his ten fingers and then two more.


               Te, kawnarna paraikete mo te 
               tahi hawlie 0
               te whenna uci.
               (he'll give you twelve blankets 
               for half the land.)

The MAORIS look carefully at the quality of the blankets, noting the 
depth of the weave and the strength of the Wool. They shake their 
heads as they discuss them.

               (Quietly to BAINES)
               Offer the guns.

                         MAORI NEGOTIATOR
               Kahore atu he kororo. Kahore 
               niaton Kote hake whentia. Engad 
               mate peaks ne. 
               (No more talk, we won't sell 
               the land. I will trade you 
               pigs, that is all.)

He messes up the pattern of twigs as he speaks.

(Angry to the NEGOTIATOR) 
He aha te pononga 0 te whenus 
pena kahore he Pu hei pupuri?
(What is the point of owning 
our land if we have no guns to 
hold it?)       


The MAORI NEGOTIATOR gets up to leave as do the others, STEWART 
snatches back his blankets and sulkily shakes them out to fold.

E hoa ma, haria atu ra takit 
kia Nihe. 
(Give my regards to Chief 

(Others join in)

Ac ra. Kia Ora! Kia Ora! Te 
(Yes indeed! Thank you. Thank 
you, Peini.)


BAINES and STEWART walk through the bush. STEWART laden down with his 
blankets, red-faced and irritable.

What do they want it for? They 
don't cultivate it, burn it 
back, anything. How do they 
even know it's theirs?

BAINES stops as he comes to a freshly placed fence post. STEWART winds 
down his complaints watching BAINES anxiously. BAIXES walks down to 
the next one. he touches the freshly split post.

(tentatively) I thought I might 
as well mark it out.

Yes, why not.

Ada says you're doing well with 
the piano?

BAINES keeps walking from post to post.

I'll have to come and hear you 
play. what do you play.

Nothing just yet

No. Well I suppose it takes 


ADA has cut a good sized cabbage in the vegetable patch. She throws it 
to FLORA who misses, dropping it in a pool of mud, spattering her face 
and dress. ADA smiles and FLORA who was about to cry gives the cabbage 
a big football beet towards her mother. ADA's mouth falls open, but 
then she too kicks it and they begin to dribble the mud caked cabbage 
towards the hut, all the time signing playful insults. Into this 
arrives STEWART.

Baines can't play a damn thing. 
Is that right he can't play a 

We're going to lose that land, 
the way he was carrying on over 

Is he musical? You've got to 
teach him a song. Something 

FLORA has her foot on the cabbage, she nudges it off behind her. It 
roll down the hill. STEWART can't help but notice,

What's that?

He follows the cabbage down the hill' where he scrapes some of the mud 

This thing's been knocked to 

Sc 75     INT/EXT     BAINES' HUT                    DAY     Sc 75

FLORA is seen through BAINES' window Inside, ADA as ever charts her 
progress on the black keys, eleven. She turns to BAINES for 
instructions.  BAINES is not himself, he is sulky and distant.

Do what you like. Play what you 

ADA is perplexed by this turn about of behaviour. A little 
uncertainly, she sets about her playing. After a little she too turns 
to see what BAINES is doing. He's not there. She is surprised then 
anxious as she fears the deal may be off when there are flaw so few 
keys to go. She starts to play again, but her anxieties prove too 
great. She stops and listens. She looks out the window, where FLORA is 
mucking about in the yard. She walks to his bedroom, listens, then 
opens the door. BAINES stands naked looking at her. ADA is taken aback

I want to lie together without 
clothes on. How many would that 

ADA holds up ten fingers an impossibly high number of keys.

BAINES nods.

ADA is surprised; she didn't expect him to agree. ADA checks again 
holding up her hands.

Yes, ten keys.

Hesitantly, she starts to undress. She lies on her petticoat, having 
deemed the bed too dirty. BAINES lies, very still on top of her. A 
scraping sound is heard.

Sc 76     EXT/INT     BAINES' HUT                    DAY     Sc 76

FLORA is outside walking on sticks and logs trying to make sure she 
never puts her foot on the ground. She looks over at the house 
suddenly aware that the piano playing has stopped again. She 
investigates the mystery peeping through the various cracks and holes 
in the loosely built hut. Her vision is always only parts of bodies, 
the venture is one of challenge and curiosity.

Sc 77     EXT     NATIVE PINE FOREST          DAY     Sc 77

FLORA and three small Maori children play amongst some native pines. 
Two MAORI WOMEN smoke and chat nearby. The children rub up and down 
against the tree trunks kissing and hugging them. The game has an edge 
of promiscuity to it as they exchange trunks and hug one tree as a 
group. Unseen by the children STEWART marches towards FLORA. He pulls 
her off the tree.

               Never behave like that, never 
               any where. You are greatly 
               shamed and you have shamed 
               those trunks. (trees)

The MAORI WOMEN keep up an unacknowledged chant.

                    MAORI WOMEN
               What o'clock say Mr Stewart?
               -Ge Tupeka?
               (got tobacco?)
               -Time for puff puff.

Sc 78     EXT     NATIVE PINE FORESTDAY     Sc 7$

With a bucket of dull soapy water FLORA begins the task of washing the 
tree trunks.

The MAORI WOMEN laugh and point to their feet meaning her to wash them 
too.  Their children are lying in their laps playing string games.

Sc 79     EXT     NATIVE PINE FORESTDUSK     Sc 79

FLORA is still washing the tree trunk silhouetted against the evening 

FLORA is tearful and sorry for herself. The job has an increased 
futility as it has begun to rain- STEWART is inspecting her penance. 
She follows STPWART about the trees.

               (sulkily) I know why Mr. Baines 
               can't play the piano.

               You've missed this bit.

               She never gives him a turn.

STEWART stops and looks at her.

               She just plays whatever she 
               pleases, sometimes she doesn't 
               play at all.

STEWART continues through the trees more slowly.

               And when is the next lesson?


FLORA puts her bucket on her head to protect herself from the rain.

Sc 80     EXT     PATH TO BAINES'          DAY     Sc 8O

The next day is very windy, the tops of trees are thrashed by fierce 
gusts of wind and some smaller branches crash to the ground. ADA's 
long dress and cape flap uncontrollably. FLORA's smaller cape stands 
out on end. Birds fly in mad wind-battered courses, swooped up then 
strangely drawn down.

Sc 81     EXT     BAINES'               DAY     Sc 81

ADA and FLORA arrive at BAINES' place to see the piano emerge from the 
hut carried by six MAORI MEN, one of whom does nothing but walk beside 
it "plonking" the keys. Another group of MAORIS sit cross-legged on 
the verandah playing draughts. Panicked ADA hurries down the hill to 
the hut. FLORA follows behind.

Sc 82     INT     BAINES' HUT               DAY     Sc 82

Inside the hut, HIRA, the old woman from the bathing spot, is smoking 
her pipe. ADA enters distraught and indicates what she has seen. Her 
face is flushed and whipped by the wind. She is much more expressive 
than normal.

               I am giving the piano back to 
               you. I've had enough.  The 
               arrangement is making you a 
               whore and me wretched.
               I want you to care for me, but 
               you can't.

BAINES sits down on a chair and prepares to eat, somewhat ignoring 
ADA. ADA is confused not quite believing the situation. She watches 
BAINES for some kind of confirmation.

               (softly) George, can I use this 

BAINES nods. ADA is still watching. HIRA scrapes the inside of her 
pipe with the comb.

               It's yours, leave, go on go!

ADA is off balanced by the reversal of attitudes, surprised too, that 
she doesn't want to go. FLORA is fast to leave, ADA follows to 
organise and protect her piano on the journey.

Sc 83     EXT     BAINES' HUT & BUSH     DAY     Sc 83

As she climbs out of the small valley surrounding BAINES' hut, she 
stops and walks back to look down at BAINES and his hut, in the EXACT 
same manner that she once looked at her piano from the cliff-top above 
the beach. BAINES is throwing the scraps of his meal to his dog, he 
does not look up.


STEWART, on his way to BAINES, sees THE PIANO BEARERS and ADA way 
below him in the bush. He scrambles down a steep slope towards them.

               (stiffly from some distance) 
               Stop right there'. This isn't 
               yours  what are you doing with 
               the piano?

The women exchange looks.

               He's given it to us.

               (out of breath) Hah, you're 
               very cunning Ada, but I've seen 
               through you, I'm not going to 
               lose the land this way. Wait 

STEWART is off, pounding on down through the bush.

Sc 85EXT/INT     BAINES' HUT/BEDROOM     DAY     Sc 85 

HIRA is sitting on the front step of BAINES' place, blocking STEWART'S 
easy access.

               George sick, he don't wanna see 
               nobody. You got Tupeka for the 

STEWART goes around to a side window in BAINES' bedroom. BAINES is 
sitting on the bed, but lies back as he hears STEWART coming about the 
side of the house. STEWART opens up the window.

               I don't think you should have 
               given up the piano. I will make 
               sure you are properly taught, 
               with music written on to sheets 

               I don't want to learn.

               You don't want to learn.


               And what does this do to our 
               bargain? I cannot afford the 
               piano if you mean me to pay.

               No, no payment. I have given it 
               back. I don't want it.

               Well, I doubt I want it very 
               much myself.

               It was more to your wife that I 
               gave it.

               Well, thank you, I expect she 
               will appreciate it.

He closes the window.

               So that is agreed on?

BAINES nods.

HIRA has wandered stiffly into BAINES' room. She sits on the edge of 
his bed.

               You make BIG mistake George. In 
               first place you should swap 
               land for wife. Now look, she 
               gone, you no land, no music 
               box, you got nothing.


Sc87     EXT/INT     STEWART'S HUT     DAY     Sc 87

At the door of the hut STEWART is distributing buttons to the piano 
One squats catching them as they fall. A commotion begins as one of 
the MAORIS snatches the whole jar and runs off. Two of them give chase 
while the others insist on tobacco.

11 See Note

Inside the hut ADA had lifted the top of the piano and is peering in 
while playing notes to check tune and damage.

               Is it all right? Aren't you 
               going to play something?
ADA pulls up a chair and seats herself at the piano. She rubs her 
hands and places them lightly on the keys, she turns from habit over 
her left shoulder where STEWART waits crossed armed. Quickly she 
removes her hands, stands and gestures FLORA to play. FLORA proudly 
takes ~p the seat, she pulls her lips in trying to control her 
happiness to say in front of both her mother and STEWART.

What will I play?

She looks to ADA, who looks back through her not concentrating.

Play a gig.

(to ADA) Do I know any gigs?

Play a song then

FLORA starts a song, ADA walks past them out of the hut, STEWART 
ignores her exit moving up to lean on the piano. ADA is seen through 
the hut window wandering amidst the ghostly, blackened trunks. 
STEWART'S attention is drawn to ADA, he interrupts FLORA'S singing 
with a sudden outburst.

(exasperated) Why won't she 
play it? We have it back, and 
she just wanders off!

FLORA stops to watch her mother through the window. ADA looks towards 
the house as the music stops.

Keep playing!

Grimly STEWART slaps the top of the piano to FLORA's playing.

ADA continues to walk, her face dark and puzzled. She stops. Her head 
stiffly, irresistibly, lifts and turns in the direction BAINES' hut. 
She peers deep into the bush as if attempting to penetrate a puzzle. 
She thinks and walks on.

Sc 88     INT     STEWART'S KITCHEN     DAY     Sc 88

The next day ADA and her piano face each other across the kitchen. A 
slit of light falls across the piano highlighting it's rosey walnut 
wood. ADA's expression is critical and distant.

Taking a cloth she begins to clean and polish the piano. Her finger 
holds down one of the keys and we glimpse an old inscription on its 
side, a small heart, and an arrow. Putting the cloth aside she sits at 
the piano to begin playing.

She starts with wholehearted feeling, her eyes closed, but before long 
she is surprised by a moving reflection across the piano and she 
'starts', glancing over her shoulder. She stops and begins again. But 
once more a reflex has her glance across her left shoulder and she 
pauses in her playing. Disquieted she starts again and again she looks 
away. She stops, confused, unable to go on, unable to getup, one hand 
on the lid and one on the piano keys.

Sc 89     EXT     PATH TO BAINES'     DAY     Sc 89

ADA carrying her cape and bonnet hurries through the narrow bush path 
to BAINES' hut, FLORA has a fist of her skirt and is pulling back. ADA 
turns on FLORA and snatches the skirt out of the girl's hand. ADA 
signs to her and continues on.

Why? Why can't I?

ADA signs again.

(crossing her arms) I shan't 
practise and I DON'T CARE!

But ADA does not wait to listen. FLORA walks back through the bush 
muttering childish expletives to herself. STEWART and his two MAORI 
helpers come out of the bush towards her. FLORA squeals with fright.

(looking up the hill) Where's 
your mother? Where has she 

FLORA pauses petulant and grumpy.

               To HELL!

FLORA races off as fast as she can, enlivened by her wickedness. 
STEWART clambers back up the path. He just glimpses the distant figure 
of ADA nervously turning, her skirts flying as she hurries up the bush 
path The wind bothers the tops of the trees, setting them groaning, 
rubbing their branches against each other.

Sc 90     INT     BAINES' HUT          DAY     Sc 90

ADA enters BAINES' hut, she is breathless1 announcing her presence by 
simply being there, standing there. BAINES comes through from the 
bedroom. Seeing ADA he is aloof, suspicious and his blinking becomes 

               So what brings you here? Did 
               you leave something? I have not 
               found anything.

ADA does not respond, finally she looks at BAINES and her look has a 
vulnerability and frankness that takes him off guard.

               Does he know something?

ADA shakes her head.

               The piano is not harmed? It 
               arrived safely? Would you like 
               to sit? I am going to sit.

ADA does not sit. She stands immobilised.  BAINES attempts to maintain 
his casual charade) he pours a tea.

He turns to her about to speak, but stops unmanned by a new fragility 
to her strength. He blinks rapidly

               Ada, I am unhappy because I 
               want you, because my mind has 
               seized on you and thinks of 
               nothing else. This is how I 
               suffer, I am sick with longing. 
               I don't eat, I don't sleep. If 
               you do not want me, if you have 
               come with no feeling for me, 
               then go!

BAINES walks roughly towards the door and opens it, his softness 
turned suddenly cruel.

               Go! Go NOW! Leave!

ADA is stung by his change of tune, she takes a step towards him and 
eyes filling with tears of anger hits him hard across the face. 
BAINES' nose begins to bleed yet his face slowly lights up as if she 
has spoken words of love. ADA is flushed, shocked, the two face each 
other at this very moment of profound awareness of each other, 
profoundly equal. With each new breath, with every moment that their 
eyes remained locked together the promise of intimacy is confirmed and 
reconfirmed and detailed until like sleepwalkers who do not know how 
they came to wake where they did, they are standing next to each other 
and beginning to kiss each other, the lips, the cheeks, the nose. 
There is nothing practised about their tenderness, only their feelings 
and emotions guide their instincts. BAINES' face crumples with the 
exquisite pain of his pleasure, ADA cradles his head to her chest. 
BAINES struggles through her dress anxious to touch her skin.

Sc 91     EXT/INT     BAINES' HUT          DAY     Sc 91

Outside STEWART surveys the hut suspiciously. BAINES' dog growls as he 
climbs on to the small verandah. Carefully STEWART peers through some 
loosely slatted boards. There are sounds inside which are worrying 
him. By standing on the seat he has found a spyhole where he can see 
ADA and BAINES kissing, undressing

He reels back angry, but just as we might expect him to burst through, 
he steps up to look again; the fatal second look, the look for 
curiosity. He watches BAINES bare-chested undressing ADA, her buttons 
burst, ADA laughs, BAINES touches her under her skirts - anywhere, he 
takes himself under her dress pulling down her stockings. STEWART 
watches, stepping down to peer lower as BAINES buries into ADA's 
skirt. He does not seem to notice the dog licking his hand. Suddenly 
he pulls his hand away and looks at it, wet with dog saliva, he wipes 
it on the boards and continues watching as if mesmerised.

Sc 92     INT     BAINES' BEDROOM     DAY     Sc 92

Inside BAINES' small bedroom the raw dark boards contrast with the 
softness, whiteness of BAINES' and ADA's bodies, The long black 
strands of ADA's hair stick to her cheek and wrap around her neck. Her 
face is flushed and her eyes are bright. BAINES rolls his face across 
her chest, gently, slowly savouring the flavour of her body. Drunkenly 
they continue their sex slowly, slowly. ADA's breaths turn to low 
murmurs; these small sounds are extraordinarily moving to BAINES whose 
face swoons with joy.

               What?  What?  whisper....


As ADA dresses, BAINES sits on his bed watching. He is unhappy, 

               Now you are going I am 
               miserable, why is that? (He 
               catches her hand and draws her 
               to hint) Ada I need to know, 
               what will you do? Will you come 

ADA is distracted, collecting her buttons from the floor, concerned at 
the time past, worried to dress and return.

The camera cranes down and down to find STEWART wedged under the loose 
wooden floor slats. He cannot hear clearly, but ADA's hand reaching 
for each button is only inches away. One falls through a slat on to 
STEWART'S neck and on down his shirt collar. As she stands he rolls 

               Wait! I don't know what you're 
               thinking. (gently, teasingly) 
               Does this mean something to 
               you? Hey? (Stroking a strand of 
               hair behind her ear) I already 
               miss you. Ada, do you love me?

ADA considers this question. Clearly she doesn't know, the question is 
more complex to her than to him, then as if by way of answer she 
kisses him strongly and sexually. BAINES pulls away confused. ADA 
finishes dressing. BAINES comes up behind her to help with the 

               (anxiously) Come tomorrow. If 
               you are serious, come tomorrow.

ADA turns and kisses him passionately, with the new born enthusiasm of 
someone who has just discovered their appetite for sex. Then as 
quickly as she began, she takes her hood and cape and goes to leave.


She nods and is gone.


FLORA and ADA are both in their white nightgowns. FLORA stands behind 
ADA on a chair trying to sort out the knots that have matted at the 
back of ADA's head. ADA shakes her head from side to side playfully, 
making the difficult job impossible.

               Stay still! It's the very worst 

FLORA tries to hold her mother's head still but ADA's high spirits are 
unstoppable and her hair flies out from side to side flicking FLORA in 
the face.

               Mama STOP IT!

FLORA starts to giggle and retaliates flinging her own hair from side 
to side. The two women are twirling in the small bedroom their hair 
flying about them, FLORA is shrieking with the fun, then stops dizzy 
and sick. ADA continues flicking FLORA as she twirls.

               Stop it I feel sick!

But ADA doesn't stop, her dark hair whirls about her, as giddy and 
disorientated, she knocks against the walls

Sc 95     INT     STEWART'S HUT     NIGHT     Sc 95

Next door STEWART sits on his bed listening, his hair wet and neatly 
combed. He has a journal of pressed botanical specimens beside him. 
Hearing FLORA squealing he goes to the kitchen and standing back in 
the shadows, watches ADA frenetic, whirling through the part open 

Daylight floods the room as ADA secures the pins at the back of her 

Sc 97     EXT     PATH TO BAINES'          DAYSc 97

Music builds and plays throughout.) The sky is dark and the wind is 
ballooning ADA's cape, wrapping it up high around her. The tree tops 
are swaying furiously. Inside the bush it is dark and ADA hurries up 
through the path. She is out or breath and glancing behind her as if 
to guard against followers, when directly in front of her STEWART 
steps out onto her path. ADA stops short. The look on his face is 
unlike any expression she has yet seen. His eyes do not look at her, 
but all about her in a way more animal than human. She lowers her eyes 
and calling his bluff walks steadily past him. But STEWART takes her 
arm and spinning her back, pulls her close and blind to all protest 
kisses her. ADA struggles furiously. His grip falters and she steps 
back staring at him, then runs off down the hill, but STEWART is on 
top of her clasping her skirts, pulling her towards him hand over 
hand, she slips and falls to the ground. STEWART is upon her, lifting 
her dress, touching her legs, ADA goes quite still, which throws 
STEWART long enough for her to scramble away, yet again STEWART 
catches her and again they roll on the ground, STEWART touching and 
kissing her, ADA turning herself this way and that to avoid it. There 
is a cat and mouse quality to their mute struggle finally broken by 
FLORA calling up the path, distraught and in tears, her angel wings 
have twisted about her waist.

               (TOP OF HER LUNGS) Mumma! 
               Mumma! They are playing your 

STEWART allows ADA to get up and the two women go back down the path 
towards home. The distant sound of the piano keys thumping.

Sc 98     INT     STEWART'S HUT     DAY     Sc 98

At the piano and with solemn dignity sits a MAORI WOMAN. She is 
wearing a top hat and a long black dress, beside her stands the MAORI 
who absconded with the buttons, most of which he has attached to his 
jacket. She plays loudly with two closed fists, her companion listens 
gravely, placidly, blinking at the crashes, two others listen from the 
doorway, one with his bands over his head.

Sc 99     INT/EXT     STEWART1S HUT     DAY     Sc 99

FLORA and ADA stand in the hut while fierce hammering can be heard 
outside. STEWART is boarding over the windows, barricading them in.

FLORA joins in the spirit of be exercise gaily pointing out any slats 
STEWART has missed.

               Here Papa!

ADA's face pales in the diminishing light. Exasperated by the 
threatened incarceration she shakes her head with anguish and moving 
to the piano lifts the lid and plays several bars brutally and 
strongly. She passes on to the bedroom, where she picks up the small 
hand mirror and looks at her face puckered with frustration. She 
touches her face and neck tenderly, then throws herself on the bed, 
face to the wall, her hands over her ears.

FLORA stands over her mother.

               You shouldn't have gone up 
               there, should you? I don't like 
               it and nor does Papa. Mama, we 
               can play cards together.

ADA rolls over, her eyes closed she pushes her face and body against 
the mattress. The movement is sensual and removed. FLORA stops dealing 
the cards on to the bed and watches her mother puzzled.

Sc 100INT     STEWART'S HUT     NIGHT     Sc 100

It is night and ADA is walking in the dark, ghostly in her white 
nightgown. She sits at her piano and begins to play loudly and 
strongly. Her hair is loose and she seems half-asleep. FLORA and 
STEWART wake to the loud playing and fumble their way to the kitchen. 
STEWART carries a lit candle. ADA continues her playing

FLORA passes a hand in front of ADA's face.

               She is asleep, look.

One night she was found in her nightgown on the road to London. 
Grandpa said her feet were cut and bleeding so badly she couldn't walk 
for a week.

The two watch ADA, mesmerised by her compulsive playing.

12 See Note

STEWART stands guard while ADA and FLORA wash their clothes in the 
stream. FLORA is taking the lead, soaping up the clothes, she passes 
the garments to her mother to rinse. ADA is distracted and as she 
takes the clothes, she just as soon lets them go and they float off 
down the stream past STEWART who tries to catch them but can't. Two 
MAORI BOYS continue the chase, enjoying the fun, thinking it a great 

               You are letting the clothes 
               float off... They are floating 

ADA stares off into the distance rocking lightly back and forth as she 
crouches on a stone. Her dress unhitched floats down the stream behind 

12.See notes

               Mama! Look out!

FLORA wades across to grasp yet another garment ADA has let drift off.

Sc 102EXT     STEWART'S          DAY     Sc 102

On the way back to the barricaded hut FLORA swings between ADA and 

               One, two, three
               One, two, three

ADA glances around at the bush. FLORA beams enjoying a feeling of 
familyness of which she is now the boss. The two women go ahead into 
the hut which STEWART shuts and secures with a beam.


It is night. ADA is tossing in the small bed beside FLORA, her hair 
wound across her face, she makes low moaning sounds as she pushes her 
face and body up against the sleeping FLORA. Her movement and moans 
increase until she wakes suddenly sitting bolt upright.


ADA walks through the kitchen, small slithers of moonlight lighting 
her path. She walks past the piano into STEWART'S room who has gone to 
sleep with his candle still alight. ADA looks, then slowly her hand 
hovers above him before lightly touching his face. His eyes open, he 
looks towards ADA anxious and surprised, but as ADA continues, his 
reserve breaks and he is captive to his own sensations. She pulls down 
the sheet and strokes his neck, shoulders, chest, he reaches out 
towards her.


But ADA scowls and pulls away roughly, STEWART lies back anxious not 
to break the spell and when he is still ADA continues to caress his 
chest. His eyes well with tears and he looks up into her face like a 
child after a bad dream, fearful and trusting. ADA continues like a 
nurse spreading ointment on a wound, tenderly and attentively she 
strokes down towards his belly. STEWART'S skin goose bumps and be 
shudders. He puts his hand on hers to still it1 she slides hers out 
and continues stroking. He looks at her pleadingly and childlike, she 
stops and kisses the soft skin of his belly, STEWART groans clutching 
the mattress. ADA seems removed from STEWART as if she has a separate 
curiosity of her own.

Sc 105INT     STEWART'S KITCHEN          DAY     Sc 105

Next day AUNT MORAG stands circling in STEWART'S small darkened house. 
FLORA and ADA sit quietly together

                         AUNT MORAG
               Ohhh, it's so dark, it's like a 
               dank cave.

               Yes, like a cave.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Ohh no, it makes my skin creep!

STEWART comes into the house with some logs, AUNT MORAG follows him 
across to the fire.

                         AUNT MORAG
               Alisdair, is it because of our 
               play? Have the natives 
               aggressed you?

She continues following him to the door.

I have to say you have done the wrong thing here, you see you have put 
the latch on the outside. When you close the door, (and she doses it) 
it will be the Macna that lock you in, you see? With the latch on that 
side you are quite trapped.

               (nodding her head in imitation) 
               ... you are quite trapped.

AUNT MORAG walks inside and continues to the table where her basket 
full of clothes and packets of food have been left. She lifts it from 
the table and begins to spread the cloth.

                         AUNT MORAG
               We have just come from George 
               Banes' and they have taken him 
               over. It is no wonder he is 
               leaving, he has got in too deep 
               with the natives. They sit on 
               his floor as proud as Kings, 
               but without a shred of manners.

               (in unison) ... without a shred 
               of manners.

NESSIE and AUNT MORAG are unpacking parcels of cakes and biscuits
 on plates putting them about the table.

                         AUNT MORAG
               He is quite altered, as if they 
               had been trying some native 
               witchcraft on him. Well 
               tomorrow or the day after he 
               will be gone.

               Baines is packing up?

                         AUNT MORAG
               Well he has NOTHING to pack, 
               but he is leaving. And it is 
               just as well; Nessie has 
               foolishly grown an affection 
               for him ... we have had some 

At this mention NESSlE's face crumples and tears again begin to flow.

                         AUNT MORAG
               (very firmly) STOP IT! STOP! 

NESSIE remarkably obeys, blinking her face back to shape.

ADA attempts to disguise her agitation, she moves to the piano and 
strokes it, she begins to play.

               I am quite frightened of the 
               way back, we must leave in good 
               light. Will we be safe?

               (wanting them gone) If you 
               leave soon, yes, I am sure of 

STEWART and MORAG watch ADA at the piano. Her playing develops until 
she is fully absorbed. AUNT MORAG is intrigued despite herself


On the edge of the bush beside the dirt road to town AUNT MORAG 
attempts a discrete toilet stop. NESSIE keeps guard holding up the 
cape while one of their MAORI charges holds up another.

                         AUNT MORAG
               You know I am thinking of the 
               piano. She does not play the 
               piano as we do Nessie.

The cape begins to droop as NESSIE listens.

               UP! UP! No she is a strange 
               creature and her saying is 
               strange like a mood that passes 
               into you. You cannot teach that 
               Nessie, one may like to learn 
               but that could not be taught.

NESSIE again lets the cape droop.

               Up! Your playing is plain and 
               true and that is what I like. 
               To have a sound creep inside 
               you is not all pleasant

A fluttering sound in the bush.

               what is that?

               (frightened) Ohhhhhh!

               (slow, relaxed) A pid-geon 

The party finish and hurry a little spooked on the road to town.

Sc 107INT     STEWART'S ROOM     NIGHT     Sc 107

It is night. ADA enters the room, STEWART looks at her shyly.

               I've been hoping you would 

ADA strokes his brow. STEWART closes his eyes, breathing heavily 
relieved. ADA strokes the nape of his neck and on down his back. 
STEWART'S face puckers, his eyes fill with tears. She strokes so 
softly, the tenderness is shocking to him. Gently she pulls his under-
garment down, exposing his buttocks. STEWART grabs nervously at them, 
hauling them up with his hands. ADA unclenches his fist and once more, 
slowly pulls them down. She begins to stroke his buttocks, STEWART is 
painfully eroticised, painfully vulnerable, he begins to weep, the 
intimacy and soft-ness unman him and he is helpless. STEWART sits up 
hunching over himself, retreating

               I want to touch you Why can't I 
               touch you? Do you like me?

Slowly he raises his head to look at ADA. She looks back moved by his 
helplessness, but distanced as if it has nothing to do with her.

               Do you?

ADA does not respond. STEWART slumps into disappointment and despair.

               Why? Why not?!

Sc 108INT     STEWART'S KITCHEN     DAY     Sc 108

The next morning, ADA, FLORA and STEWART sit together in the small 
dark hut. FLORA preens a miniature landscape of moss and tiny branches 
all piled on a dinner plate. A slit of sunlight falling across the top 
small branches gives it a magical glow. FLORA's small dirty fingers 
push in another 'tree', she looks up happily

This is going to be Adam's tree 
and then I'm going to make a 
serpent to live here, with a 
very long tongue. (She pokes 
her tongue out and waggles it).

STEWART reads, he glances at ADA who is glum and lifeless.

Sc 109INT     STEWART'S HUT     DAY     Sc 109

ADA and FLORA wake to sunlight streaming in on their faces, more and 
more of it as STEWART rips the boards from the windows FLORA runs 
about in nightgown and boots happy to be in the sunlight. ADA winds 
her hair into a bun. STEWART walks inside, he packs food and fencing 

               (Clears his throat) We must 
               both get on. I have decided to 
               trust you to stay here. You 
               will not see Baines?

               (ADA nods) Good, good. Perhaps 
               with more trying you will come 
               to like me?

Sc 110EXT     STEWART'S          DAY     Sc 110

ADA hangs out washing restlessly scanning the bushline. A tiny STEWART 
walks along the crest of the hill, eventually dropping out of sight.

Sc 111INT     STEWART'S HUT     DAY     Sc 111

Inside the hut ADA is pacing, anguished and frustrated. Impulsively 
she picks up a knife from the kitchen table, opens the back of the 
piano and cuts one of the keys loose. Carefully she engraves on the 
side in Victorian handscript.


Sc 112EXT     STEWART'S          DAY     Sc 112

Under the sheets FLORA has constructed a dolls' clothes line on which 
she hangs small strips of cloth ADA hands her the key wrapped and tied 
in white cotton. ADA signs. Her black shadow behind the sheet recalls 
the macabre play.


The little girl continues defiantly with her miniature washing. ADA 
rips the washing line up and flings it aside. FLORA is shocked, 
stunned. She takes the key and walking off she turns and shouts.

               We're not supposed to visit 

ADA signals GO!


At the junction of the path to BAINES' hut is the beginning of 
STEWART'S boundary fence. At this place FLORA has paused. She looks 
back to see if her mother is watching; she's not- FLORA turns sharply 
right so that she now follows alongside STEWART'S boundary fence and-
away from BAINES' hut.

Sc 114EXT     HILLS WITH FENCE     DAY     Sc 114
The fence appears and disappears behind hills.  Flora too dips behind 
the hills to reappear on the other side. She sings a brisk song to 

               The grand old Duke of York. He 
               had ten thousand men etc.

She pauses in one of the valleys, stifled by clumps or tall, mauve 

The fence line seems endless as the tired FLOW4 trudges up yet another 
hill but from there, she can see where the fence finishes, half way up 
the crest of the next hill and at this point is STEWART, driving in a 
new fence post. He is watched by MANA and his friend who squat passing 
a pipe between themselves. MANA strums tirelessly on his buttons.

               Mumma wanted me to give this to 
               Mr. Baines.

She holds out the cotton covered piano key. STEWART looks up.

               I thought maybe it was not a 
               proper thing to do. 

STEWART keeps working, hammering the post into the earth.

               Shall I open it?


He stops and takes the key, suspicious and uncomfortable. He slowly 
unwraps it and turning it over reads it. Squeezing the key in his 
fist, STEWART staggers off in a daze, He returns, picks up his open 
pack spilling the nails. Finally he drops the pack and the key) and 
leaves with only his axe. FLORA follows confused. The MAORIS waste no 
time investigating the booty. MANA presses the piano key repeatedly.

               Knare e Wainta! Kaare e Wajata! 
               (no sing, no sing)

Sc 117EXT          STEWART'S     DAY     Sc 117
The sky is dark and rain is falling heavily as STEWART strides fast 
towards the hut, his axe swinging in his hand. FLORA is far behind 
him, her angelwings sodden.

Sc 118INT     STEWART'S HUT     DAY     Sc 118

STEWART bursts into the hut, his wet hair is splattered against his 
forehead. his face is white. ADA looks up from her book, moving her 
hands from the table. STEWART swings his axe hard. It slices into the 
table, splitting a section off her book. ADA pushes her chair back.

               (exasperated) why? WHY? I 
               trusted you!

He pulls the axe out of the table and swings it at the piano.


ADA runs forward to restrain him, but it sinks deep into the wood. The 
struck piano lets ont a strange resonant moan.

               I trusted you, do you hear? I 
               trusted you. I could love you.

He takes her by the wrist.

               Why do you do this? Why do you 
               make me hurt you? Do you bear? 
               Why have you done it? We could 
               be happy

STEWART shakes her violently.

               You have made me angry. SPEAK!!


He pulls her out of the hut, past the now terrified FLORA.

               You shall answer for this. 
               Speak or not you shall answer for 

He drags her out through the mud, towards the wood chop. It is raining 

ADA sees where they are headed and suddenly she is very scared. She 
bucks and struggles, but STEWART is infinitely stronger. At the wood 
chop she breaks free and crawls away through the woodchips and mud. 
But axe in hand he grasps her by the neck of her dregs, then her hair, 
and pulls her backwards towards the cutting block. There, he takes her 
right hand and holds it in place with his boot, so that only ADA's 
index finger shows, ADA's head is held twisted between the wood chop 
and STEWART'S leg.

               (anguished) Do you love him? Do 
               you?! Is it him you love?

ADA blinks rigid with fear. The rain is driving down.

               No, she says NOOOOOO!!!

The axe falls. ADA's face buckles in pain. Blood squirts onto FLORA's 
white pinafore, her angel wings are splattered in mud.

               (Screaming) Mother!!

ADA stands. She looks faint, her finger is pulsing blood, she shakes 
her hand then seeing the blood she puts it behind her back shocked. 
She watches FLORA, concerned and confused. Uncontrollably her whole 
body starts to shake and as if by reflex ADA begins to walk. FLORA 
trots parallel to her.


ADA keeps walking blindly like her being depends on it. Her face is 
ashen, her eyes fearful as she walks unseeingly straight into a large 
tree stump. She sinks into the mud.

STEWART wraps the finger in a white handkerchief and gives it to FLORA 
who backs away from him terrified.

               (quietly) Mama.

               Take this to Baines. Tell him 
               if he ever tries to see her again 
               I'll take off another and another 
               and another!

The figures seem tiny amidst the rain drenched skeleton forest.


Sc 121EXT     MAORI PA     DAY     Sc 121

The formal farewells are over and HIRA and BAINES finishes shaking 
hands and pressing noses with her people.

HIRA holds his arm, she is sad and tearful. He places his hat on her 
head affectionately and slips her a much appreciated tin of tobacco.

A soft rain begins to fall. BAINES and HIRA make their way past the 
Meeting House and the low sleeping houses to the Pa entrance where his 
horse waits,

               I worry for us Peini. Pakeha 
               cunning like wind, KNOCK you 
               over, yet you not see it. Some 
               they say, how can pakeha get 
               our land if we won't sell it?"

A crowd of children run beside them, dogs scurry off and pigs are 
kicked out of the way, their owners protesting loudly. Some hold mats 
over their heads to protect themselves from the rain, one has a 
battered umbrella.

               They wrong Peini. We need guns 
               to hold it.

BAINES mounts his heavily laden horse. MANA pushes forward to say his 
farewell, but is abruptly shoved aside, evidently unpopular with the 
others. BAINES glances over and sees the piano key the man has 
fashioned into an earring.

               (angrily)I worried Feini. 
               What's gonna happen you, you go 
               home, but where we go? We got 
               nowhere to go.

HIRA's voice rises as BAINES lets go of her arm and rides through the 
group towards MANA. He takes the piano key in his hand, MANA pulls 

               (In Macit) 
               It is mine. I found it.

BAINES turns it over and finds the writing on it.

               Homni 'ci au.
               (I want this.)

               Ncrr! Naaku. Itís mine. Me find 

               He aha to hiahia? Ask for it? 
               (What do you want?)

               (still angry) 
               Gun, ask for his gun!

MAYA rubs his nails up and down his buttons while he considers what he 
will have.

               - Nga rarahe
               (The glasses)

               - Wana Putu
               -Te whitiki, gettem ehoal
               (The belt)

Sc 122EXT     MAORI PA     DAY     Sc 122

Outside the Pa walls near the kumera gardens, HIRA holds BAINES' 
saddle bags. It is raining hard as he rides out, hatless, shoeless and 
gunless, but clutching to his chest ADA's engraved key.

               Go Peini ... Haere atu e Peini.

               I'll be back.

Sc 123EXT     SCHOOL     DAY     Sc 123

BAINES crosses through the pony paddock of the one room colonial 
school hall, school house. He has a piece off flax knotted around his 
waist to bold up his trousers. In the paddock are five very shabby 
looking rides'. one huge old wagon horse, built to carry a whole 
family, down to a tiny sour looking Shetland. The girls have long, 
stained, once white pinafores and everyone wears boots that seem too 
big, except the little boy who has the front cut off his hoots so his 
toes can hang out.

Four little girls play a sedate game of skip rope, using a bush vine.  
BAINES watches, noticing in particular a little girl of about 9 with a 
bock. The boys and some of the wilder girls play BullRush.


Sc 126EXT     GENTLE STREKM     DAY     Sc 126

The girl with the book goes off sit by a little stream. BAINES follows 
and sits beside her.

               Can you read?

The little girl immediately closes the book and walks off.

The girl keeps walking, before she turns about to watch him from a 
safe distance.

Another little girl drops down from a tree.

                         TREE GIRL
               I can.

               You can read? 

(She is very small.)

                         TREE GIRL
               Yes ... lots of things.

The skipping group of girls join them.

                         BIG SISTER
               She can't read, she's my 
               sister, I ought to know.
               Are those sweets?

                         TREE GIRL
               I can read!

                         BIG SISTER
               She can't.

BAINES holds out the packet to the little girl. 

               Don't give her one.

BAINES does anyway.

                         BIG SISTER
               She can't read.

The little girl throws the lolly paper away, which one of the other 
girls picks up and sniffs, she hands it to the others.

               Mmm Caramels

               Can you read?

He holds out the piano key BIG SISTER takes it with great authority, 
her friends crowd behind her. She frowns at the writing. She turns it 

                         BIG SISTER
               Running writing, we haven't 
               done that yet.

                         READING GIRL
               Myrtle can read it, her mother 
               taught her.

The key is snatched from BIG SISTER and given to MYRTLE, the girl with 
the book. The others crowd around.

               (frowning) D e a r  G e o r g e

The children look over at BAINES to see if this is right so far.

               You (in unison)... have

                         BIG SISTER
               That's "My".

               Its not an M

                         BIG SISTER
               Yes it is.

                    MYRTLE & BIG SISTER
               Dear - George - you - have - my

               heart? (She pulls a face as if 
               it doesn't make sense) Ada 

                         BIG SISTER
               It doesn't make sense.

The little girls read it again together. MYRTLE turns the key over 
matter of factly to see if there is more writing.

               That's all

They all look up at him.

               Say it again, just you.

Everyone turns and listens to MYRTLE

               Dear George you have my heart, 
               Ada McGrath.

She gives a little "Is that all?" gesture.

               You say it. (He points to BIG 
               SISTER, who has a crazy deep 

                         BIG SISTER
               Dear George you have my heart, 
               Ada McGrath.

Another little girl spontaneously recites the message. And so does 
another. Through all this BAINES keeps his bead down shaking it in 
disbelief and shy happiness. He starts to laugh with relief and 
pleasure. The little girls think it is something funny in the line and 
continue to repeat it, which each then appears to give BAINES fresh 
pleasure. Meanwhile the smallest of the girls is quietly helping 
herself to the sweets.


Sc 129EXT     BAINESí     DUSK     Sc 129
BAINTS rides up to his house in the evening light He is silly with 
happiness. HIRA comes running out to meet him

               Peini, Peini, liddle gel. I 
               seen her come up here, scream, 
               scream . blood on her. Look 
               bad... very bad

BAINES jumps off his horse and strides into his hut.

Sc 130INT     BAINES' HUT     DUSK     Sc 130

Inside he finds FLORA crouching in a corner, her face is white, tear 
stained and splattered with mud. Her angel wings are squashed behind 
her and blood stained. On seeing BAINES she cries with renewed pain 
and relief

               What has happened? Hush, hush, 
               what is it?

FLORA thrusts the wrapped finger at BAINES. He takes the blood soaked 
object and unwraps it. The finger unravels into his hand, he reels 
back groaning, choking about to be sick.

               (yelling) He says you're not to 
               see her or he'll chop her up!

               (angry, horrified) 
               What happened?

But FLORA cannot speak. She bursts into loud sobs. BAINES kneels in 
front of her shaking her.

               TELL ME! TELL ME!

BAINES stops shaking her, she scrambles away and out the door. BAINES 
chases after her.

Sc 131EXT     BAINES     DUSK     Sc 131
FLORA screams as he catches her.

               Quiet down! Shhh! Where is she?

               He chopped it off

               Jesus! I'll kill him! I'll kill 
               What did she tell him?

               (shaking her)

               Put her down Peirn She is 

HIRA takes the quivering FLORA in her arms.

               There girl. there

BAINES notices the blood on FLORA'S dress, he touches it, she shys 

Sc 132EXT     STEWARD'S HUT     NIGHT     Sc 132
STEWART walks outside his hut disconsolate.

Sc 133INT     STEWART'S HUT     NIGHT     Sc 133

STEWART enters ADA's room with a lamp. He puts it down beside her on 
the table. He studies her pale face and dry lips. ADA's eyes flicker 

               (speaking to his feet) 
               I lost my temper. I'm sorry.

STEWART looks at ADA.

               You broke my trust, you pushed 
               me hard, to hard. (he sighs) 
               You cannot send love to HIM you 
               cannot do it.  Even to think on 
               it makes me angry, very angry

ADA opens her eyes and looks at STEWART. It is evident she hears 
nothing and has understood nothing, she is struggling with pain. Her 
face grimaces and she groans.

               I meant to love you. I clipped 
               your wing, that is all.

STEWART sings two lines of an English love ballad to ADA.

               We shall be together, you will 
               see it will be better...

Her forehead is damp with fever. She thrashes at the blankets. STEWART 
pulls them off to cool her. He feels her brow.

               (whispering) ... 
               my love bird.

Her nightgown is damp with sweat and clings to her body. STEWART 
reaches out to adjust her gown, his hand touches her leg and he holds 
it there, feeling a tingle of pleasure, that grows and builds the 
longer his hand remains.

               Ohhhhh my love

His hand begins to move further and further up her leg, nudging the 
nightgown higher and higher. He looks at her face. She is closed-eyed, 
unconscious. STEWART'S face crinkles into a pained expression and all 
his control melts into a drive to hold and extend this moment. He 
brings his mouth to her leg and begins to kiss her knee, her thigh. A 
new thought occurs to him, a terrible thought, but as he has phrased 
the thought to himself, he cannot resist it. He glances at her face 
still fevered and unconscious. Quietly, stealthily, he begins to undo 
his belt buckle. He bends across her to gently separate her legs. As 
he moves his body over her, he looks towards her and to his shame and 
horror she is looking directly back at him, her eyes perfectly on his, 
perfectly focused. Quietly STEWART moves back and pulls down her gown, 
all the time keeping his eyes on her.

               You are feeling better?

ADA's lips move slightly and STEWART turns suddenly as if he has heard 
something. Slowly he turns back to ADA.

STEWART looks at ADA intently, moving closer to her bed, closer to ADA 
his eyes locked on hers.


The sound of his own voice makes him blink. He watches her as if 
listening to her speak in a voice that is so faint, and distant, that 
only with great concentration and perseverance can he make it out. As 
he watches her his face transforms; his eyes fill, his lips soften and 
his eyebrows take on the exact expression of her own.

The kerosene lamp burns fitfully, fluttering a light pulse across 
their faces. STEWART moves closer to ADA. Outside a wind bangs the 
iron roof and rubs branches against each other making a high-pitched 
see-saw sound. He leans closer still.

Sc 134EXT     STEWARTS     NIGHT     Sc 134

STEWART carrying a candle in a glass box makes his way through ghostly 
tree stumps. In his other arm he has his gun.

Sc 135EXT/INT     BAINES'     NIGHT     Sc 135

At BAINES' hut STEWART steps over the curled figure of HIRA sleeping 
on the verandah and walks through the hut towards the bedroom where a 
lit candle flickers.


In the bed lies FLORA wrapped in a blanket with BAINES beside her, axe 
in hand, both fast asleep. STEWART nudges BAINES awake with the butt 
of his rifle prodding him under the chin. BAINES wakes rudely with a 
start, frozen by the sight of STEWART and his rifle.

               Put that away, on the floor.

BAINES obeys, careful not to disturb the sleeping child. STEWART sits 
near the bed on a box, resting his gun across his knee, his face is 
glowing, he looks closely at BAINES, examining him.

               I look at you, at your face. I 
               have had that face in my head 
               hating it. But now I am here 
               seeing it ... it's nothing, you 
               blink, you have your mark, you 
               look at me through your eyes, 
               yes. you are even scared of me

STEWART laughs.

               Look at you!

BAINES watches him stiffly, disconcerted, unable to read STEWART'S 
strange mood. STEWART stares back at him.

               Has Ada ever spoken to you?

               You mean in signs?

               No, words. You have never heard 

               No, not words.


               Never thought you heard words?

BAINES shakes his head.

               She has spoken to me. I heard 
               her voice. There was no sound, 
               but I beard it here (he presses 
               his forehead with a palm of his 
               hand). Her voice was there in 
               my head. I watched her lips, 
               they did not make the words, 
               yet the harder I listened the 
               clearer I heard her, as clear 
               as I hear you, as dear as I 
               hear my own voice.

               (trying to understand) 
               Spoken words?

               No, but her words are in my 
               head. (he looks at BAINES and 
               pauses) I know what you think, 
               that it's a trick, that I'm 
               making it up. No, the words I 
               heard, were her words.

               (suspiciously) What are they?

STEWART looks up at the ceiling as if reciting something he has learnt 
by heart and means to repeat exactly as he heard it.

               She said, "I have to go, let me 
               go, let Baines take me away, 
               let him try and save me. I am 
               frightened of my will, of what 
               it might do it is so strange 
               and strong".

BAINES recovering himself eyes STEWART angrily.

               You punished her wrongly, it 
               was me, my fault.

STEWART does not answer. Finally be looks up, his eyes full with 

               Understand me. I am here for 
               her, for her I wonder that I 
               don't wake, that I am not 
               asleep to be here talking with 
               you. I love her. But what is 
               the use? She doesn't care for 
               me. I wish her gone. I wish you 
               gone. I want to wake and find 
               it was a dream, that is what I 
               want. I want to believe I am 
               not this man. I want my self 
               back; the one I know.

FLORA moves and turns in her sleep. The two men watch. Her brow frowns 
then smoothes. Her eyelids roll as her eyes dart back and forth in 


HIRA washes out the mud from FLORA's dress and angel wings in a bush 

Sc 138INT/EXT     STEWART'S          DAY     Sc 138

ADA's trunks are delivered outside STEWART'S hut by AUNT MORAG and her 
girls. ADA is led from STEWART'S hut by NESSIE. She wears a black 
dress and her arm is tied in a white sling. The light outside makes 
her blink. NESSIE smoothes her hair behind her shoulders. FLORA 
timidly peeps at her mother from behind BAINES.

Sc 139EXT     BUSH ON WAY TO BEACHDAY     Sc 139

The piano is carried on ahead while in the secrecy of the bush BAINES 
kisses ADA passionately. She looks back at him worried.

Sc 140EXT     STEWART'S HTJT     DAY     Sc 140

STEWART is fencing his new land. Suddenly be looks off in to the far 

Sc 141EXT     BEACH               DAY     Sc 141

On the beach ADA sits looking out to sea while FLORA plaits her hair 
in one thick braid behind her back. She places the bonnet carefully on 
top At the sea edge in front of them the piano is being loaded on the 

Sc 142EXT     BEACH               DAY     Sc 142

HIRA and BAINES are next to each other by the canoe. HIRA is looking 
at ADA,

               I worry for you.

               No, I love her, we will be a 
               family. I have her piano. I 
               will mend it, she will get 

               I miss you.

Sc 143EXT     AT SEA/BEACH     DAY     Sc 143

The sea is choppy and the piano is difficult to steady in the canoe. 
BAINES helps the rigging of the piano, thick rope ends coil under the 
women's feet. HIRA is left on the shore with one child and two other 
MAORI people.

Tears run openly down her big sad face as she sings her farewell to 

               He rimu teretere koc ete. Peini 
               Tere 'Ci Tawhiti 'ci Paniamao 
               He waka Teretere He waka 
               Ko koe ka tere 'ci tua whakuere 

               You are like seaweed drifting 
               in the sea BAINES.
               Drift far away, drift far 
               beyond the horizon
               A canoe glides hither, a canoe 
               glides thither
               But you though will journey on 
               and eventually
               be beyond the veil~)
                         (by Selwyn Mum)

                         MAROI OARSMEN
               Tarinaharawa - alanel tahuri 
               (It's too heavy - the canoe 
               will tip over.)

               Keite pail Kaare e titahataha 
               (It's all right! Look it's 
               nicely balanced.)

                         ANOTHER OARSMAN
               (Shrugging) Te-hau-jua-kahake 
               te pupuhi. 
               (The wind is already strong.)

                         ANOTHER OARSMAN
               Leave it - its too heavy.

               No, she needs it, she must have 


Sc 145EXT     AT SEA/BEACHDAY     Sc 145

The canoe has paddled away from the shore. FLORA leans over the edge 
of the canoe, her mouth open, her hair held back by BAINES.

               I can't

BAINES rubs her back. FLORA straightens up.

               I can't.

They retake their seats, FLORA's back to the piano, while BAINES sits 
next to ADA. He tenderly takes her good hand. ADA removes hers and 
signs to FLORA who looks at her mother then BAINES amazed.

               What did she say?

               (puzzled) She says, throw the 
               piano overboard.

               (to ADA) It's quite safe, they 
               are managing...

ADA signs again.

               (Cautiously) What?

               She says, throw it overboard. 
               She doesn't want it. She says 
               it's spoiled

               I have the key here, look, I'll 
               have it mended...

ADA mimes directly to BAINES, "PUSH IT OVER". Her determination is 

                         MAORI OARSMAN
               Ae! Peja. Turakina'. Bushit? 
               Peja te kawheha kite moana.
               (Yeah she's right push it over, 
               push the coffin in the water.) 

(softly, urgently) Please, Ada, 
you will regret it. It's your 
piano, I want you to have it.

But ADA does not listen, she is adamant and begins to untie the ropes.

               She doesn't want IT!

The canoe is unbalancing as ADA struggles with the ropes.

               All right. sit down, sit down.

ADA sits, pleased. Her eyes glow and her face is now alive.

BAINES speaks to the MAORIS who stop paddling and together they loosen 
the ropes securing the piano to the canoe.

As they maneuver the piano to the edge ADA Jocks into the water. She 
puts her hand into the sea and moves it back and forth.

The piano is carefully lowered and with a heave topples over. As the 
piano splashes into the sea, the loose ropes speed their way after it. 
ADA watches them snake past her feet and then out of a fatal 
curiosity, odd and undisciplined, she steps into a loop.

The rope tightens and grips her foot so that she is snatched into the 
sea, and pulled by the piano down through the cold water.

Sc 146INT     SEA NEAR BEACH     DAY     Sc 146

Bubbles tumble from her mouth. Down she falls, on and on. her eyes are 
open, her clothes twisting about her. The MAORIS diving after her 
cannot reach her in these depths. ADA begins to struggle. She kicks at 
the rope, but it holds tight around her boot. She kicks hard again and 
then with her other foot, levers herself free from her shoe. The piano 
and her shoe continue their fall while ADA floats above, suspended in 
the deep water, then suddenly her body awakes and fights, struggling 
upwards to the surface.

Sc 147 EXT     AT SEA BEACH     DAY     Sc 147

As ADA breaks the surface her VOICE OVER begins:

                         ADA (VOICE OVER)
               What a death!
               What a chance!
               What a surprise!
               My will has chosen life!?
               Still it has had me spooked and 
               many others besides!

ADA coughing and spluttering is pulled on to the canoe. She is wrapped 
in jackets and blankets.

Sc 148INT     SEA NEAR BEACH     DAY     Sc 148

Underwater we see the canoe bottom, its oars dipping the surface


                         ADA (VOICE OVER)
               I teach piano now in Nelson. 
               George has fashioned me a metal 
               finger tip, I am quite the town 
               freak which satisfies! I am 
               learning to speak. My sound is 
               still so bad I am ashamed. I 
               practice only when I am alone 
               and it is dark.

ADA's hands move across the piano keys, her metal finger shines in the 
dull light.



ADA paces up and down the small drawing room. There are no lights on 
only  a dim blue evening wash. Over her head she has a dark cloth, her 
voice makes low guttural sounds as it repeats the vowels.


Sc 151INT     SEA BED NEAR BEACH     DAY     Sc 151

                         ADA (VOICE OVER)
               At night! I think of my piano 
               in its ocean grave, and 
               sometimes of myself floating 
               above it. Down there everything 
               is so still and silent that it 
               lulls me to sleep. It is a 
               weird lullaby and so it is; it 
               is mine.

ADA's piano on the seabed, its lid fallen away. Above floats ADA, her 
hair and arms stretched out in a gesture of surrender, her body slowly 
turning on the end of the rope. The seaweed's rust coloured fronds 
reach out to touch her.





The wind and the low manner of their speaking makes it impossible to 
hear the exact nature of the discussion.

-'Tis a dead shore, a dead shore
-Leave her here, it's what she wanted.
-A pox on you!
-Ay very nice, leave her and be lynched for the pleasure. 
-Do what you like, I'm off this shore


ADA's finger is seen INSIDE the dark crate sounding a few notes


(i) With the MAORI language dialogue of BAINES and the MAORI PEOPLE, 
the general scheme is that only when necessary to sense or humour will 
subtitled translation be given. However for the benfit of its readers 
this script will translate everything noting what will and won't be 


(What wag that?)

-He Kehua?
(Is it a ghost)  

(iii)Many of the MAORIS have coughs, running noses and sores. 
(They have no immunity to European diseases.)

TipiKahu (boy)


Sc 19


He ahu te rarurarti
(what happened?)

I konei tonu, ka moe te koroua nei. 
(He just decided to go to sleep) 


Taiho. Kei muri pea inga rakan nei. Auc!
Tino matatoru konei.
Me haere ake ano an ki runga.

(Hold on maybe behind this clump. Gee the
undergrowth is thick here. I'll come up again.)


Kahore ne huarahi - kahorene tutae.
(No track, no shit)

Sc 29ADA's piano piece duration approximately 90 sees.

Sc 30Duet 20-30 sees

Sc 33FLORA's singing 20 sees


Sc 34HENI/MARY phrasing of National Anthem


Got safe ah gayshy Quin
Long hf a gayshy Quin
Oat shayf a Quin
Shendab Wikitoria
Har - py en a Clohria
Long to rain ourush
Got Safe ah Quin


Who is it that rumbles within?
Is it Ruaumoko, is it Ruaurnoko?
Jab, smash, jab, smash
Jab, smash, jab, smash
The Taniwha, the Taniwba.
That is within ... He!

Sc 65  The mud around the School Hall is so deep that a labyrinths of 
planks is setup to avoid it.

Sc 87 Extra dialogue


Tahi Patene ruapuri patene
Tekan patene ornatekau pwari patene
(One button, two bloody buttons.
Ten buttons, twenty bloody buttons.)
'cia Whai tarau ano ra monga patene! 
(We need pants for the buttons eh!)

He patene te kai, he patene te kai A popo ka tiko patene ahan patene 
ma nga tangata katoa.

(Buttons for food, buttons for food. Buttons for everybody. By 
tomorrow I'll be shitting buttons.)

Sc 100 Approximately 60 sec. of ADA's piano playing.