Sample Sales Coverage (Cont'd):  Fall Creek / Page 3

SYNOPSIS (Second Page)

The trial begins, with the Indians in the courtroom observing the proceedings.  Caleb appears with Lute, who confesses to the judge that he was one of the killers.  The other prisoners are removed and Lute takes the stand and states that he thinks Clasby lied to him about Indians stealing his horses.  The two of them lead Red Deer and Tall Tree off to look for the missing horses, turned on them, and shot them dead.  Lute shot Red Deer and finished him with a knife at Red Deer’s request.  Stuart cross-examines, offering the idea that Lute was too drunk to clearly recall the incident.  After a recess, Johnny takes the stand, admitting that he killed a half-breed squaw, and his erratic behavior reveals that he is mentally disturbed.  Old Wood proudly testifies that he and the defendants murdered the Indians, with his part being that of killing a woman and a child.  Stuart states that the defendants were only following the tradition of killing Indians to protect themselves.

When Caleb is with a group of neighbors at his place, one of them attacks Black Antler when he appears.  Caleb steps up to protect Black Antler and he is attacked by the group.  Fort rides up and jumps into the foray, but he, Caleb, and Black Antler are beaten badly.  Hannah fires a rifle and breaks up the fight.  Hannah goes off with Fort and they consummate their growing attraction with some physical affection, all along being spied upon by Clasby.

The trial proceeds with Benson testifying that, as a young boy, he witnessed his grandfather’s vicious demise at the hands of Indians.  Stuart uses the testimony to sway the jury.  Fort cross-examines, pointing out that Benson killed four Indians, a woman and three children.  Fort surprisingly calls Ben to the stand who was at the massacre and says he witnessed Benson lead the shooting and viciously murder Folded Feather.  Stuart dramatically chooses not to cross-examine Ben, disparaging his testimony by stating that he is only a child.  Fort produces the bloodstained leggings of Folded Leaf.

In a conversation with Johnston, the judge states that no court has ever handed down a judgment against a white for killing Indians.  Clasby spies on the jail in the town.  The judge adjourns the court and the jury begins its deliberation.  Caleb points out the campfires of the Indian warriors who are perched on a hill above the town.  The jurymen argue, conflicted about sentencing their neighbors to death, but knowing that such an act will spare their settlement from the wrath of the Indians.  The jury reaches a unanimous decision and Lute, Old Wood, Johnny, and Benson are found guilty of first-degree murder.  The judge sentences all four men to die by hanging.

Caleb visits the prisoners at the jail, telling Lute that his wife gave birth to a baby boy.  Lute implores Caleb to help him escape in order to go to Ora and be with her and his new baby, promising Caleb that he will return.  Caleb overcomes the guard and Lute escapes as an alarm is sounded.  Johnston reprimands Caleb, citing that, once the Indians hear of Lute’s escape, they will attack.  Caleb offers to let the court hang him, taking the place of Lute if he does not return. 

Lute makes his way through a blizzard towards home as a posse rides off after him.  Lute manages to elude the posse and it gives up the search.  Fort rides to Lute’s place and informs his family that Lute is headed there.  A wolf attacks and mauls a weakened Lute who fights it off as he huddles in a cave.  Clasby surreptitiously tells Benson through a jail wall that he will ride in during the hanging and rescue him.  While Ora and the baby are asleep, Fort and Hannah make love.  With his feet in tatters, Lute crawls for his life and is nearly done in by the wolf when Lone Pawn and another Indian, BENT ARROW, appear, with Bent Arrow killing the wolf with an arrow.  Lone Pawn puts his own moccasins on the mutilated feet of Lute and the two Indians return him to the jail, where is given opium.  Lone Pawn and Bent Arrow carry Ora and her baby into town.  She visits Lute in jail and introduces him to his new son.  They make love.  As the Indians watch the town from above, Caleb sits with the two Woods as Old Wood states that he accepts his sentence, being that he has cheated the Indians.  The next morning, the hanging ceremony proceeds.  Lute, even with useless feet, proudly jumps out of a chair before he is hanged.  Old Wood, resigned to his fate, is hanged.  Benson yells out, expecting Clasby to appear and rescue him, but instead, a horse carrying Clasby’s tortured, naked body gallops up to the gallows, along with another horse, the spectacle being brought about previously by Black Antler and his warriors.  Benson curses everybody before he is hanged.  Hannah runs onto the gallows and sticks her hand in a pot of burning coals, imploring the Indians on the ridge to spare Johnny.  Chief Lone Pawn signals to the settlers below that he is honoring Sarah’s wish.  Lone Pawn leads the Indians away as the Judge takes full responsibility for Johnny and the boy is released.  Caleb leads Johnny away as the rest of the settlers disperse, leaving Black Antler observing the disappearing throng.

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