Slaves – Episode 113
White slave James Cooper and black slave Michael Booker have escaped from their Mississippi plantation in order to reunite Michael with his eleven-year-old daughter Mae in Philadelphia..
Episode 113 – The Best Laid Plans
(James ducks as a bullet grazes his Confederate cap and smashes into the tree behind him..)
Cooper: Holy moley, these Union boys mean business!
McSideburns: C’mon, you three! Gen. Lee’s just over this rise. Stay low!
(The 804th make their way through a hail of gunfire and find Gen. Robert E. Lee standing next to his horse, navigating the field in front of him..)
McSideburns: (saluting) Lt. Burnside McSideburns reporting for duty, sir!
Lee: Ah, you must be the Louisiana cavalry boys.
McSideburns: Yes, sir. The 804th Louisiana Voluntary Cavalry Brigade.
Booker: Hold up, “cavalry”?
Lee: Where are your horses, son?
Cooper: (frowning, looking around) Did you ship ’em ahead?
McSideburns: (smacks his forehead) Aw crap, we forgot our horses on the boat! Crumbley, you were supposed to remind me about the horsies!
Crumbley: That’s my bad, sir.
Cooper: Can horses swim?
Lee: I guess we’ll have to settle for an infantry brigade, then. (glances at the slaves) Where are your guns, soldier?
Cooper: We were told you would have extras, sir.
Lee: I don’t have extra nothin’, son. Is there anything you boys didn’t forget?
McSideburns: Our courage, General.
Lee: (smirks) Good answer. Now get out there and kill me some Yanks.
McSideburns: Yes, sir! Move out, men!
(Somewhere in South Carolina..)
Dukesbury: Can’t believe we got a flat.
Tafford: Me neither, boss.
Dukesbury: Shut up, Tafford.
Tafford: Sure thing, boss.
Dukesbury: How long is this gonna take to repair, Rusty?
Rusty: (kneeling next to the busted wheel) I mean, it’s wood. Do you have any extra wood?
(A man in a white gown and pointy white hood approaches the men and flips up his face-flap..)
Karl: (smiling cheerily) Can I help you gentlemen?
Cooper: Lemme borrow your gun, Burnside?
McSideburns: No! I’m usin’ it! (shoots a Yankee) Besides, you’re a terrible shot anyway. (shoots a Yankee)
Cooper: Maybe we could take turns.
McSideburns: Just look for fallen soldiers and take one of their guns.
Cooper: Ew, I’m not touching a dead body!
(Lt. McSideburns motions toward an old farmhouse..)
McSideburns: Go check for supplies in there.
(Michael, James and Eloise make their way to the farmhouse through a hail of gunfire and duck inside..)
Booker: (digging through kitchen cabinets) You see anything?
Acorn: (slumping into a chair at the kitchen table, clutching her stomach) I got nothin’.
Cooper: (kicks a chair, hops up on the counter) Man, the Battle of Gettysburg sucks.
(An elderly woman trudges into the kitchen and begins scrubbing the countertop. James stares at the old lady and glances at Eloise and Michael, who shrug..)
Cooper: Uh, hello ma’am.
Mabel: Move your fanny. I gotta scrub there.
Cooper: (hops down) Yes, ma’am. We were wondering if you might have any…guns?
Mabel: Bill! We got company!
Bill: (a voice from the next room) Huh?
Mabel: I said we got company!
Cooper: We’ll just go in there, thanks ma’am.
Mabel: Suit yourself.
Acorn: (rubbing her belly, fanning herself) I’ll stay here.
(Michael and James enter the living room where an elderly man is rocking quietly in his chair, facing a blank wall..)
Cooper: Hi, sir. We were wondering if you might have any extra guns we could borrow.
(Bill gets up and heads out the back door. The slaves glance at each other and follow him outside as he slowly makes his way to a woodshed across the yard. Bullets and cannon fire fly by..)
Bill: (opens the woodshed, looks around) No guns.
Cooper: That’s alright. Thanks anyway. Are there any other farmhouses nearby we can try?
Bill: (making his way back toward the house) Nope. Town’s been evacuated.
Cooper: What about you guys? Aren’t you afraid of getting shot?
Bill: (waving a hand at the battle going on to the west) Eh, this’ll blow over. Why don’t you boys come back inside. Mabel was about to cook dinner.
Cooper: (checking his watch) It’s like three in the afternoon.
Bill: I know. We had a late lunch.
(The white-hooded gentleman finishes fixing the wagon and claps his hands together..)
Karl: There! That should do it.
Dukesbury: Much obliged, sir. What do I owe you?
Karl: (holding his hand up) The satisfaction of a job well done is my reward. So Philadelphia, eh?
Dukesbury: (nodding) We’re hoping to get there in a couple days’ time.
Karl: Shame about that colored girl losin’ her Daddy. I lost my father at a young age, I understand her pain.
Tafford: How’d you lose your Daddy?
Karl: He bought himself some bad tub wine from a feller down in Florida. Say, you know what would be faster than one horse pullin’ this wagon?
Tafford: Two horses?
Karl: Nope. Two horses.
Tafford: (frowns) That’s what I said.
Karl: How ’bout I hook my horse up and tag along with you fellas.
Dukesbury: Well that’s fine with me, mister.
Tafford: (stroking his chin) Four men on a wagon. Gonna get awfully crowded. Guess I can just shack up in the cabin with you, eh Mr. Dukesbury?
Karl: (poking his head out of the cabin) No need. I’m all set back here.
Tafford: (grumpily climbs back up onto the front of the wagon) I don’t much care for this fella, Rusty.
(Eloise and the slaves lean back in their chairs after a full early dinner at Bill and Mabel’s farmhouse..)
Acorn: Fifty-nine years of marriage. That’s really somethin’. How do you do it?
Bill: Booze, mostly.
Mabel: (playfully slaps her husband) Oh stop it, Bill. It’s all about trust. You have to find someone who you can share your deepest secrets with and know that they’ll never betray you. Like you and Jim, here.
Acorn: Oh, we’re not– Wait, how did you know?
Mabel: (pointing at Eloise’s belly) You’re beginning to show, dear.
Acorn: (looks down, blushes)
(A sopping wet Harry Tubman bursts into the farmhouse kitchen, followed by a pair of Union soldiers..)
Tubman: There they are, men. They tried to drown me and get away.
Cooper: Oh, shit.
Booker: (holding his hands up) We’re not really Rebel soldiers. We’re escaped slaves!
Cooper: Not sure that’s helping, Mike.
Soldier: That’s what they all say.
Tubman: You’ll have plenty of time to get your stories straight on the way to Washington.
Cooper: Oh boy, road trip!
Tubman: Oh it’s a road trip, alright. Right to Federal prison.
Mabel: (smiling) You boys want some okra?