THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
INT CHARLIE’S CABIN NIGHT
Charlie stokes the wood fire and stirs the contents of a cast iron soup pot dangling over the flames.
His cabin is a simple, homespun place with hand-made furniture and gunnysacks for curtains.
Natty sits at an oak table, a bowl of soup in front of her.
She watches with amazement as The Wolf lets Charlie scratch his ears.
He doesn’t like most people.
Not usually. I mean…Well…
He likes you.
I generally get on with the 4
legged creatures. It’s the 2
legged ones give me trouble.
Charlie spoons more soup into Natty’s bowl and nods at The Wolf
What do you call him?
Natty looks at The Wolf then at Charlie and shrugs.
No name? Lobo’s a good name for
a wolf. Kind of common though.
John Henry’s not bad. Yeah. I
kind of like that . John Henry.
Her eyes wander the cabin and dwell on the delicate, hand-carved animal sculptures on the mantle. She looks back at Charlie whose exterior seems such a contradiction to his inner self.
He can see the question in her eye.
You going to ask?
Natty shrugs, turns away, then looks back.
Were you born like that?
No. Barn fire. I went back for
the horses. Got most of them out.
Is it hard talking about it?
Naw. Most people don’t ask.
They just whisper behind your back.
They can’t help it. But that’s
why I like the wild ones.
They’re not so particular. Like
our friend down there. John
The Wolf pricks his ears and wags his tail and Natty and Charlie laugh.
EXT CHARLIE’S DAWN
Natty, Charlie and The Wolf sit on the porch, listening to the quiet of the dawn.
A deer comes to feed in the clearing and Natty wraps her hand anxiously in the fur around The Wolf’s neck. Charlie shakes his head.
He’s okay. He won’t hurt her.
Charlie nods and Natty loosens her grip.
People think wild is evil, but
that’s not true. Look at you
two. You’ve got something
special. Trust. That’s more
than most civilized folk give
each other. Even kin.
Charlie’s words set Natty thinking. About Sol. She drifts far away, fighting with herself, struggling with her doubts.
Charlie watches her curiously. He hesitates a beat then talks again.
They’ll be looking for you.
You could turn yourself in.
They won’t be so hard on you.
And I can look after John Henry.
Until you get out.
Natty looks at Charlie and shakes her head. There’s resolve in her eyes.
I’m going to Seattle. I’ve got
She looks at him anxiously, doubtfully.
You won’t turn me in, will you?
I’ll give you a ride to River
Bend. At least it’s a start.
Natty smiles her appreciation to Charlie.
END Part 20
Part 21 Monday. (Hopefully, maybe Tuesday!)
A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.