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NT. RICHELIEU'S DUNGEONS - DAY
We track across the ghastly dungeon, full of screams and moans, to find PASSEPARTOUT being stretched on the rack by the Torturer-- who suddenly stops and looks at him, puzzled.
What's the matter with you? Why aren't you yelling?
Because this is wonderfulness. So good for the muscles. Not too much more, of course - but oh - there goes a crampitude I haven't been able to get rid of for years. Have you ever tried this yourself?
Are you balmy?
So you've no idea how good it feels?
It doesn't feel good, it -
You're full of tension, I can see it. Feel the back of your neck: isn't that stiff?
The Torturer looks at him suspiciously and
then massages the back of his neck.
It IS stiff. Give me two minutes to massaginate you and I can have those knots right out of there.
The Torturer hesitates.
Go on - you'll feel a new man.
The Torturer knits his brows and comes to a. decision. He looks around to make sure the coast is clear, and then starts to undo Passepartout. As Cardinal Richelieu appears beside him.
Suggestible little fellow, aren't you, Nerval? We'll have to deal with
that, won't we?
Don't you realise that no-one escapes from the dungeons of Richelieu, Monsieur?
Not even if they know how to work the engines of the Cardinal's chariot?
So - you know how fast the chariot will go?
Of course. It goes
(He manages to click his fingers)
From where to where?
Into the past.
Or into the future.
(Thinking about this)
The Cardinal picks up a red hot poker.
Have you any idea what I do to people who lie to me?
Why would I lie?
The Cardinal looks at him thoughtfully. Why would he lie?
The future, you say. I'd like to hear about the future.
There's a respectful cough beside the Cardinal, and he looks round into the face of a frightened-looking servant.
The King has arrived, Your Eminence. He's
asking to speak to you.
He's in your study, Cardinal. He said it's urgent.
The Cardinal takes another look at PASSEPARTOUT and makes up his mind.
Take him off the rack. Keep him locked up till I've decided what to do with him.
And he throws the poker back in the brazier.
Let's go and see what His Majesty wants.
INT. RICHELIEU'S DRAWING ROOM - DAY
KING LOUIS XIII is seated on Richelieu's chair on Richelieu's dais at the far end of Richelieu's reception room. It's a commanding position, and Louis, a slight, nervous youth of twenty, needs all the confidence he can muster to face his feared adviser.
Which means he is somewhat taken aback when Richelieu comes through a hidden door in the wall and speaks right into his ear.
Your Majesty - what an honour it is to welcome you to my humble home. How may I assist you?
(His voice cracking slightly)
By allowing me to show my people that I am the King.
But Your Majesty, everyone knows you are the absolute ruler of France -
No, Cardinal, everyone knows YOU are the absolute ruler of France. Me - they laugh at as if I were your puppet.
No, sire -
Even my own wife despises me. Or at least they tell me she does: I never see her. But all this is going to change. My twentieth birthday is coming up in two days. I have called a meeting of all the nobles in France, and all the Ambassadors of all the great powers, and I'm going to make a speech.
Sire - is this wise? You know how you dislike speaking in public -
I hate speaking in public, but I've got to do it, otherwise I'm not a king - I'm just a boy. In my speech I intend to call for peace negotiations between all the nations of Europe.
You Majesty! I've spent years setting the Austrian Hapsburgs against the Spanish Hapsburgs and Danes against the German -and at last it's all playing into our hands!
You hands, Cardinal. Not mine. Not France's. But as of my birthday - I'm becoming King in reality, and not just in name.
But Sire -
The invitations have been sent out. I do hope you'll come.
And with that, he marches out, his fingernails digging into the palms of his hands as he concentrates on keeping his dignity.
Oh yes, Your Majesty, I'll be there.
(His face lighting up)
And I'll bring something quite wonderful with me!
INT. TAVERN - NIGHT
The guardsmen are searching a filthy tavern, hauling patrons out of their seats and slapping them around. They each take particular pleasure in kicking a drunk snoring on the floor as they pass.
They're not here. Too filthy even for fugitives.
The landlord, frozen in place with a jug of wine, consciously represses a reply. The guardsman deliberately smashes the jug with the handle of his sword and leaves, watched, by the angry, silent patrons.
A curse on the Cardinal. What does he take us for, animals?
Mules. He said mules are better off labouring till they die instead of getting any rest - and we're his mules.
Not for long, I hope.
Phileas, Rebecca, Jules and Dumas emerge from unlikely hiding places all over the tavern: inside barrels, between rafters, even, in the case of Dumas, disguised as a seat - someone was sitting on his knees.
Thank you, gentlemen. Your help was
(He throws a coin on the counter)
To your health.
(Raising a glass)
And the confusion of the Cardinal!
General approbation as the landlord begins to fill everyones' mugs.
(To his companions)
We're up against a formidable foe.You realise if we don't get that machine back, we could be stuck in this unsanitary hellhole forever?
And if we don't get Passepartout out of the Cardinal's clutches soon he'll never iron the Times for you again.
The solution is obvious.
(They look at him)
Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan.
With them, anything is possible.
But - didn't you - make them up, old chap?
Certainly not. I copied the whole story out of D'Artagnan's memoirs. He was a real man. And a real hero.
But how on earth are we going to find him in this rabbit warren of a city?
D'Artagnan? You want D'Artagnan?
You know where he is?
The Landlord points to the snoring drunk.
Not - the musketeer? Friend of Porthos, Athos and Aramis? Finest swordsman in all France?
Laughter ripples across the tavern.
I begin to worry if those memoirs of his were entirely accurate.
EXT. RIVERSIDE - NIGHT
Jules and Phileas are walking along, supporting a staggering D'ARTAGNAN.
The others? Oh, forget about the others. They're just a bunch of drunks. Except for Aramis, and he's a - he's a - what's the word? Chap who wears a long black dress.
Yes, poor fellow. Can't get a church, though. Fallen foul of the Cardinal.
It's the Cardinal we've got to deal with. We need your help.
Oh, yes, any time. Sign a petition, spread scurrilous rumours, that kind of thing.
No: we need your strong right arm, D'Artagnan. Your brilliance with a sword.
What brilliance with a sword?
You wrote about it in your memoirs. At some length.
My dear chap ... I was writing for money.
A man after your own heart, DUMAS.
But I believed you! And thousands of my readers believed me!
But you weren't alone, D'Artagnan: you were one of the musketeers - the king's best defence against the Cardinal and his men.
They've reached a once grand, now shabby-looking building.
Ah, the musketeers. You've come to the right place. Musketeer headquarters.
He kicks open the door.
INT. MUSKETEER HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT
The dark, decrepit room is littered with ragged, dispirited men lying about in the tatters of musketeer uniform.
Here they are. All ready for action.
Disbanded us, didn't he? Best way to defeat a crack unit, you know: stop paying them.
I say, you wouldn't have a bit of bacon on you, would you? Just a little piece, doesn't need to be very clean.
Let me introduce you to Porthos. Ever heard of him? Well known dandy and gourmet in his day. Day's past, eh, Porthos? Yesterday's men, we are.
Day before yesterday's, D'Artagnan. Moldy cheese, that's what we are.
Don't have any of that, do you?
INT. RICHELIEU'S DUNGEONS - NIGHT
Passepartout, loaded with chains, is working on the time machine as Richelieu comes down the dungeon steps and materialises unnervingly beside him.
Tell me about the weapons of the future.
Our weapons? They are terrible! They become more explosive with every year that passes.
sigh of satisfaction)
I was thinking they might. Get in.
Get inside the machine. You and I are going on a little trip.
INT. MUSKETEER HEADQUARTERS - DAY
JULES is inserting lighted torches in the iron holders in the walls, gradually illuminating the dark room. REBECCA and PHILEAS are lifting the fallen furniture back into position, throwing rubbish and broken chairs into the fireplace, and generally making the place look less like a pig-sty.
DUMAS and Porthos come through the door, carrying a large hamper from which they hand out fruit, bread and cheese. As the musketeers fall to ravenously, REBECCA lights the fire and stands on a bench to address them.
Musketeers: the Cardinal, your enemy, has in his hands a device which could change the face of history. We must take it from him before he cuts a swathe of destruction across all Europe. We cannot do it alone. Will you help us?
Nobody responds: they all keep eating.
If the Cardinal has this device, the King will be utterly eclipsed, and France will be crushed in the Cardinal's hand.
Still no response.
Every schoolchild in the world has heart of the musketeers and their bravery! What's happened to it?
D'Artagnan - your impetuous courage kept me awake at nights. Your romance, your daring thrilled me to the core!
It's still there: I can see it in your eyes - they are not defeated.
(She places her hand on Porthos' chest)
And you, Porthos: you still have within you the heart of a lion: I can feel it beating.
(She takes Athos' hand)
Athos: wise, steady, true: this hand has not lost its cunning. Has it?
(To all the company)
And it's the same for all of you. You think you are finished: you are not. You think your great days are behind you: they are not. Your greatest adventure is yet to come!
(She whips the sword she took from the guardsman)
All for one and one for all!
The musketeers look at each other
uncertainly - and then at the back of the room a figure appears in clerical
black, removing a priest's hat.
Fair words, my friends. I think we should listen to them.
Aramis! You came back! I thought you were off preaching to the poor.
What had I to tell them? That life has nothing to offer but dirt, hunger
and fear of the Cardinal? That they should lie down and accept their lot? How
can a musketeer - even an ex-musketeer - tell them that? This young woman is
right: we're not finished unless we agree to be finished.
(Brandishing a sword)
Long live the musketeers! One for all and all for one!
And suddenly all the musketeers have their swords in the air.
All for one and one for all!
(Softly, to REBECCA)
Well done, Sis. I think.
END OF ACT TWO
Continued on Page3
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