Episode Number: 5, according to broadcast order. Airdate: October 16, 1994. Director: Brad Turner. Writer: Steve Feke and David Levinson.
Guest Stars: Duncan Fraser (Colonel Munro) / John Novak (Captain Rochefort) / Robert Lewis (Benoit) / Barry Greene (Royce) / Francois Trujillo (Lt. Forquet) / Peter Kelamis (Yves) / Chris Newton (Michel).
Other Titles: In German: "Die Belagerung" ("The Siege").
French and Indian forces attack Fort Bennington with small cannon, but the fort is well defended by Colonel Monro’s soldiers of the 35th Regiment. Chingachgook, who has been sent out to scout the French positions, returns to the fort to tell Hawkeye that the French are bringing up a monster cannon to destroy the fort and kill all inside. Hawkeye chides Chingachgook about his story, but realizes that they may be in real danger.
He seeks out Elizabeth, who is ministering to the British soldiers wounded by cannon fire. She is afraid of the bombs falling so close that she drops a bottle, which breaks and cuts her hand. Hawkeye convinces her that whatever happens to the fort and the people inside, she will be safe. Reassured by him, she continues to nurse the men.
Colonel Monro receives a message of parley from Captain Rochefort, the officer commanding the French forces. When the Colonel and Captain Taylor Shields march out with a squad to speak to the enemy, Rochefort demands their surrender. He tells them that a 32-pounder siege cannon, powerful enough to knock down the wooden walls of Fort Bennington, is being brought from Fort Carillon to reinforce their small battery of artillery. Colonel Monro refuses to believe the news, and tells them that he has sent for help. But the scouts he had sent for help from General Pratt were caught by the Hurons, and are shown to him. Though realizing that there may be no relieving column of British troops, he tells the Captain Rochefort he will not surrender. He and Captain Shields return to the fort, and the bombardment resumes.
On the road to Fort Bennington, the cannon is being drawn by a team of horses with a small guard of French soldiers. A wheel falls off the cart, injuring one of the soldiers, and while the rest make repairs, one man is sent on ahead to tell the French commander that the cannon will arrive soon.
McKinney and Peevey are talking with others about the siege cannon coming, “big as Massachusetts,” but Elizabeth tells them not to be afraid. But she too fears for worst, and begins to pack her things to be ready to leave when the inevitable surrender happens. Hawkeye helps her, advising her to take only what is not important, but she shows him silver cups that were William’s wedding present to her. When he moves closer to help her pack them, the sudden noise of an exploding bomb drives her into his arms. Their feelings too apparent to each other, they reluctantly move apart and Hawkeye leaves.
Colonel Monro asks for volunteers to try again for help, and two colonists agree. McKinney and Peevey gives one of them a bag of wampum to offer the Hurons as a bribe if caught. The two men leave during an artillery duel; one is killed but the other makes his way clear of the French to run to Albany. Colonel Monro does not think he will make it, and talks with Captain Shields about surrendering. Captain Shields protests, but not because he is afraid. Always trying to make a profit by any means possible, he has illegally bought land from Royce, a local colonist, and knows that if they surrender, he has lost a small fortune. He seeks out the colonist, and tells him the news. Royce protests, saying that even if the British leave, the colonists will stay and fight for their homes.
Royce confronts Colonel Monro outside his headquarters, and repeats his protests. Hawkeye, who is listening, says he has a plan, but he needs someone who speaks French. He persuades Elizabeth, who is fluent in French, to take Chingachgook, disguised as a Huron, and himself to the French camp as a wounded Frenchman. She is to return to safety at the fort after the exchange, and they will then escape to find and destroy the cannon. The French put Hawkeye in a tent with other wounded soldiers, while Chingachgook goes to find weapons for their escape, Elizabeth goes for food. Benoit, a French soldier, tries to persuade her to stay with the French to be safe, but she politely refuses.
But the volunteer scout returns to tell Colonel Monro that General Pratt’s relief column is one day away. Thinking that Hawkeye’s plan will be ineffectual, he decides to surrender the fort. Captain Shields tries to dissuade him, pointing out the Colonel’s honor will be ruined, but to no avail. He then meets with Royce and demands his money back at gunpoint, and Royce reluctantly does so. The scout then thanks McKinney and Peevey for the wampum, telling them it saved his life when Hurons tried to catch him.
Hawkeye’s plan is going well, but a French soldier who hears Hawkeye speaking English to Elizabeth challenges them, and Hawkeye knocks the soldier out. As they flee the camp, Hawkeye is upset that he has to take Elizabeth with him and put her life in danger. They are chased by two other soldiers but Chingachgook knocks out the pursuing Frenchmen, saving Hawkeye and Elizabeth, who decide to start to find the cannon. They come upon it after it has been repaired, and while Elizabeth distracts the French guards, Hawkeye and Chingachgook attack them and mount the team of horses, and ride off with the cannon. They ride towards a cliff, and while the soldiers chase them, roll it over the cliff, to be smashed on the rocks below. Hawkeye and Chingachgook ride back to pick up Elizabeth, and the three ride back to the fort, where Colonel is just about to surrender to the French terms.
Hearing the cheers as Hawkeye, Chingachgook and Elizabeth ride safely through the French lines, Colonel Munro asks them if they were successful. “We destroyed the cannon,” Elizabeth says. The Colonel orders the British cannon crews to reopen fire, and the siege is broken.
Elizabeth later writes in her diary “So by insuring my safety the scout has drawn me into the war. It was a thing I feared, a place I never would have chosen to go, and yet, somehow, it was less fearful than I imagined. Perhaps, because I was there with him.
All "Hawkeye" episode synopsis are © 2001 by Mark Meader for Wonderland.
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