Episode Number: 2, according to broadcast order. Airdate: September 25, 1994. Director: James Contner. Writer: Kim LeMasters.
Guest Stars: Duncan Fraser (Colonel Monro) / Michael Berry (William) / Eric Keenleyside (Coughlin) / Richard Sali (Doyle) / Dave “Squatch” Ward (Sam) / K.Scott Malcolm (French Sentry).
Other Titles: In German: "Zwischen den Fronten (Teil 2)" ("Between Fronts - Part 2").
The next day Doyle, Coughlin and William pack a canoe with trading goods, and they paddle out into Huron territory, where they are attacked. Although Hawkeye and Chingachgook try to help, firing at the Huron in the pursuing canoes, the trappers cause William to fall overboard and leave him for the Huron, who drag him ashore. When they return with news of William’s capture, Elizabeth goes to Fort Bennington’s commander, Colonel Monro, to send a party to rescue William, but he is forced to refuse. He has discovered from his scouts that the French are building another fort close by, which he is ordered to attack. She then tries to persuade Taylor to rescue his brother, but he tells her he is too busy with army matters.
McKinney and Peevey see a chance to advance in their low-paying jobs by going out to find William, and when Elizabeth finds them gone, she tries to persuade Taylor to send out a search party for all three, but he again refuses, calling the boys fools. Angered by the callous manner in which he is acting, she tries to strike him, but he grabs her hand, and reminds her that she is but a civilian, there by his authority. Realizing that she may become suspicious about his manner, he then suggests that she hire the scout, Hawkeye, to search for William, in return for rum and a shiny new pot.
Hawkeye begins to question Doyle and Coughlin as to how William came to fall overboard. He saw the strange way that the men acted while in the canoe, and as Chingachgook attempts to dig an old arrowhead out of his ankle, the men begin to realize that Hawkeye does not believe their story. They almost come to blows.
Having foolishly made their way intro the forest, even though they have no woods skill, McKinney and Peevey are soon lost. Hawkeye sees them, but as they are in no danger, he lets pursue their quest. He finds a Huron brave in the woods, and learns from him that William is safe, but a captive at the French fort.
Hawkeye goes to tell Elizabeth the news of her husband, knowing that she has been asking for him. She mentions that now, besides her husband, her two assistants have disappeared. He tells her he has seen them, and if they are lucky, they will find the French fort by winter. He then tells her William is a prisoner of the French. Upset at his cavalier manner, she asks him if that is his attitude towards the helpless, like William and the boys. He replies that those who are not accustomed to the forest must learn to survive, or die. She then says she will hire him to find William, and pay him in rum and kettles. Hawkeye refuses. Then, she says, she will go to the French commander and offer him a line of credit in exchange for William. Amused at her presumption, Hawkeye leave the trading post.
Taylor, wanting to tie up any loose ends, suggests that Doyle and Coughlin hint to Elizabeth that the French fort is not hard to find, so that she may try to go herself and hopefully fall victim to the forest perils. That will leave Taylor to claim the rest of the family inheritance. They tell her the way after Hawkeye leaves.
Elizabeth, realizing that she is truly alone, is determined to rescue her husband. She loads a pack animal with trade goods for the French at their fort, and sets off to find it. Deep in the forest, Hawkeye hears a hymn being sung, and sees Elizabeth on horseback leading a packhorse. She attempts to cross a swift stream, but her horse spooks, and her packhorse pulls her into the water. Hawkeye rescues her, but the pack with the trade goods falls into the stream, and is lost.
Furious at losing the goods and packhorse, and having to be rescued again by Hawkeye, Elizabeth berates Hawkeye for spoiling her plan, and says she still intends to go to the French to ask for William’s release, trade goods or no. But Hawkeye, concerned at her foolishness, agrees to lead her to the fort.
As the British forces at the fort march out against the French, Taylor learns that Doyle and Coughlin have been questioned by Hawkeye, who is suspicious as to their part in William’s capture. He realizes that the scout and Elizabeth may yet rescue William, and promises Doyle and Coughlin land that he owns in the Hudson Valley if they kill Elizabeth and Hawkeye, so his role will not be discovered. They agree, and set out behind the army detachment that Taylor leads against the French fort.
On the trail, Hawkeye notices that Elizabeth’s horse is injured, and as he treats it, he asks her if she likes her husband. Of course, she replies, and says why he would ask such a rude question. He says he considers her quest to rescue him a fool’s errand, and is he worth it? She tells him that she saw strength in William, something that made him different from Taylor. Elizabeth then asks how he knew that it was a hymn she was singing on the path earlier. He replies that his parents were missionaries, and when she asks what caused him to be thrown out of the family, he tells her they were killed by the Huron. Abashed, her attitude towards him begins to change.
They travel on towards the fort, and Elizabeth begins to tire. Hawkeye goes to find a canoe for their escape plan, and is injured by the Huron he takes it from. Elizabeth binds the wound in his leg, and touched by his kindness, he also begins to regard her in a different way. When she asks if he was ever married, he tells her to get some rest, as he has found the fort, and they will be there soon.
That afternoon , Elizabeth and Hawkeye get close enough to the fort to see it is well guarded. As they hide in the bushes, somewhat exasperated by her repeatedly calling him “Mr. Hawkeye” he says, it’s just Hawkeye. He tries again to stop Elizabeth from going into the fort to beg for her husband’s release. Since she no longer has her supplies to trade, he hints that she will probably be raped by the soldiers, and worse, then be turned over to the Huron for torture and death. Shocked but determined, she insists she must try. But they are seen by Doyle and Coughlin, who have followed them. Doyle persuades Coughlin to try to talk to Hawkeye to distract him so that he can kill him silently with a bow and arrow, then Elizabeth.
As it gets dark, Hawkeye attempts once again to get Elizabeth to leave, but she sees that the plan of the French fort is flawed. The armory has been placed on the outside, which makes it vulnerable to an attack. She persuades Hawkeye to try to blow open the door by placing his spare powder horn on the handle, then igniting the gunpowder inside with another shot. Hawkeye reluctantly agrees, and he stealthily goes and places his powder horn on the door handle, with a small lit candle on top to guide his aim.
Just as he is about to shoot, they are interrupted by Coughlin, who greets them, claiming to have argued with Doyle and come to find William on his own. Hawkeye does not believe him, and makes him leave, but as he does, Doyle shoots at him. Elizabeth sees the movement of the bushes and cries out a warning to Hawkeye, who ducks the arrow, and Coughlin and Doyle run off into the woods. Because of his keen sense of hearing, Hawkeye is able to move, track and shoot Doyle as he tries to run away. Hawkeye lets
Coughlin escape, but picks up the dropped bow and arrows from Doyle, and returns to Elizabeth.
The candle has gone out, and Hawkeye thinks that the shot had attracted the French, but Elizabeth makes a small torch, and before Hawkeye can stop her, runs out to distract the alert sentries and puts the torch on the door. As she runs back, the guards fire at her, and she dives for cover. Hawkeye shoots and explodes his powder horn, blowing open the door, and with a flaming arrow, he ignites the gunpowder in the magazine. The night is lit by the fires of the explosion as Hawkeye covers Elizabeth with his body, then sends her back into the wood to wait. The French soldiers run out to try to extinguish the flames, and seizing his chance, Hawkeye runs towards the entrance of the fort.
Before Hawkeye can enter and find William, he is almost knocked down by McKinney and Peevey running out. Captured by the French earlier in the day, with Hawkeye and Elizabeth’s helpful distraction of the explosion, they are escaping from the fort. Hawkeye grabs McKinney and learns that they had seen William in the fort, but he was tortured and the Huron have taken him north, away from rescue. Hawkeye returns to Elizabeth, waiting in the forest, with the unfortunate news. After tearfully struggling with Hawkeye to leave and follow after William, she sees the truth that she can no longer rescue him. “I will not abandon William, I will hold to hope,” she cries. “Hold to life, Elizabeth,” Hawkeye says, and he persuades her to return to Fort Bennington.
Coughlin is running through the woods, and meets Taylor, who is scouting the fort and has seen the explosion. Breathless, Coughlin tells him that Hawkeye has killed Doyle, and, satisfied that neither Hawkeye or Elizabeth know anything of Taylor’s being involved in the capture of William, he kills Coughlin.
That night, now alone in her quarters, Elizabeth writes of the day’s turbulent events in her diary: the loss of her husband, perhaps now final, and new stirrings in her breast for Hawkeye; “With all that has occurred and my mind aching with what has happened to William, I am startled at another feeling. There is a beating in my heart, faint and gentle, yet still I can tell it is strong. It is the beat of discovery within one’s soul. It is the beat of what can never be.”
All "Hawkeye" episode synopsis are © 2001 by Mark Meader for Wonderland.
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