Episode Number: 12, according to broadcast order. Airdate: January 15, 1995. Director: George Bloomfield. Writer: Jon Boorstin.
Guest Stars: Robert Wisden (Augustus Hale) / Roger R. Cross (Enjol) / Topaz Hasfal-Schou (Mary) / Danny Virtue( Stokes) / David Mackay (Private Holland) / Mark Abbott (Huron #1) / Dave “Squatch” Ward (Sam Denko) / Simon Baker (boy) / Fred Mckenzie (Queeg) / Milton Murrill (Pappy).
Other Titles: In German: "Vogelfrei" ("Outlaw").
In the woods near Fort Bennington, three negro slaves, who are chained together, are being urged on by a group of white slave catchers, led by a man named Augustus Hale. One of the negroes, an old man named Pappy, cannot travel further, unlike the other two, a young man and woman. Seeing his condition, Hale dismounts, and begins to unlock the old mans’ chains. Thinking he is to be set free, the old man begins to thank his captor, but sees the white man draw a pistol. There is no bounty on him and as the two young slaves look on in horror, Hale kills Pappy, then order his men, Queeg and Stokes to drag the body into the bushes. As they do, the two slaves make a break for freedom into the woods. Hales orders his men after them.
Chingachgook, who has been hunting, has also heard Hale’s shot, and comes upon the two slaves, who have ducked back on their pursuers. As the male slave rises and walks toward Chingachgook, fingering his chains as a weapon, one of the slave catchers finds them, and aims a pistol at Chingachgook, exclaiming that he has recaptured the slaves, and now he will take an Indian scalp. The male slave swings his loose chains and knocks the white man unconscious, and Chingachgook leads them off to his village and safety.
In the Delaware camp, Hawkeye sits talking with Chingachgook, as the two slaves warily eat their first hot meal in many days. Chingachgook says his people think that the two are evil gods, because their skin is black. Hawkeye tells him that they are people, and come from over the big river, from a land called Africa. Chingachgook says that they have come here unwanted, like the white men, to stay, and calls them black white men. Hawkeye agrees that they did come, but as slaves, and tells an amazed Chingachgook that the white man’s law says they will remain slaves, sold many times, as will their children, because of the color of their skin. Chingachgook, knowing that in his culture, slaves can win their freedom if they are brave, does not understand this unfair law of the white man.
At Fort Bennington, Elizabeth is planning to visit the Delaware camp to teach the children to read English. But Hawkeye stops her from going, so that she will not learn about the runaway slaves. “The children are waiting for me and I do not intent to disappoint them,” she says. “The children can manage without you today,” Hawkeye says, and leaves. Upset by his strange and secretive nature, and that he will not confide in her, she does not go. Meanwhile, Hale has come to the fort, and introduces himself to Captain Taylor Shields in his office, and asks for a squad of soldiers to help him search for the runaways. Shields says his men cannot be spared, but as Hale turns to leave, begins to suggest that perhaps a few men could be spared for a small price, but he is interrupted by his orderly, Private Holland, who tells Shields that Colonel Munro wants to see at once. Hale, seeing that he cannot get help from Shields at present, asks if there is a guide, and before Shields can reply, his orderly blurts out the name of Hawkeye. An annoyed Taylor, who has lost another chance to make a profit, tells Hale that Hawkeye can sometimes be found at the trading post, as his abashed orderly quickly leaves.
In the trading post, Elizabeth is trying to hang some furs while precariously standing on a small stool, when she loses her balance and falls…into the arms of Hale, who has entered unnoticed. They introduce themselves, and Hale asks if Elizabeth has seen anything of a pair of runaway slaves, and asks the whereabouts of the scout, Hawkeye. Elizabeth instantly becomes cool, and when asked by Hale if he has offended her, she says “I believe slavery to be a sin, and yes, it does offend me.” Even though she is from Virginia, she tells him she does not condone slavery, as Hawkeye enters the post. Looking at him, Elizabeth begins to understand why he did not want her to come to the Delaware camp, as she introduces Hale to the woodsman. Hawkeye is offered a handsome sum to hunt them, but he refuses, and Hale leaves.
Elizabeth confronts Hawkeye about her suspicions. “Hawkeye, you could have told me that the slaves were in the Delware camp,” she says. Realizing that she is upset, he gently attempts to mollify her. “Did you think I would tell someone?” she says. “Not intentionally, I just didn’t feel you needed to know. It was none of your affair,” he says. “Is it yours?” Elizabeth sarcastically asks. “Not in the beginning, but yes, it is now,” Hawkeye replies. “Forgive me, but I thought that matters of importance to you….were also matters of importance to me,” she says, hurt by his manner. “Some matters, yes, but not in all, “ Hawkeye says, as he leaves the trading post.
Back in the Delaware camp the male slave is anxious, and tells the woman that they should go. She replies that they don’t know the land, and that Hale will recapture them. Drawing him to her, she soothes his fears by singing to him like a mother to a frightened child, and says that she doesn’t care what happens to them as long as they are together. Chingachgook enters the hut, and tells them that because they saved his life, he will help escape. Seeing the uncertainty in the slaves eyes, he adds that if they do not wish his help, they may stay the night, safe in his camp. “You have my word, I am a Delaware chief, I am called Chingachgook. Standing up and facing him, the slave proudly answers, “I am called Enjol.”
Hawkeye and Chingachgook talk to Sam Danko, the blacksmith, and ask him for tools to break iron shackles. Sam gives Hawkeye a file and chisel, but Taylor sees this and deducts that the slaves are in the Delaware camp. He goes to Hale with a squad of soldiers, and asks Hale if there is a reward for someone who would know where the slaves were? Hale acknowledges that he would pay 50 pounds sterling, but Taylor demands 100 pounds. Hale agrees, and Taylor tells him that he suspects that the runaway slaves are at the Delaware camp, and he will send his soldiers with Hale to overpower the native if the need arises.
At Chingachgooks’ camp, Hale demands the right to search for the slaves. As the soldiers menacingly point their muskets and bayonets at the Delaware, who move to fight them, Chingachgook waves his men back. But one of Hales’ men has slipped around the back of the camp, and comes out with the Mary, the female slave. Enjol emerges from a hut and sees his companion captured by the white men. Thinking them betrayed by the Delaware, he screams at the helpless Chingachgook “you gave your word,” and swings his shackles at Hale, striking him in the face. Enjol runs off into the forest, followed by a furious Hale. Enjol is about to loose himself in the woods, but trips on a log, and Hale pulls a pistol to shoot him in revenge. As he aims his weapon, he feels Hawkeye’s rifle against his side. “You don’t want to throw away good money like that, do you Mr. Hale?” says Hawkeye, and Hale reconsiders his actions.
Outside Fort Bennington Enjol and Mary are shackled to a post for all to see. Hale, nursing his cut face, asks Denko the blacksmith to repair the iron chains, but Denko refuses. “I ain’t doing the devils work, not for any price” Sam says. He meets Elizabeth coming to speak to Hale, and they both recognize a common disgust at the sight of two human beings treated so. Elizabeth says to Hale “I have a proposition for you. I want to buy their freedom” and asks for a price. Hale is amused, asking if she has any idea what a male slave like Enjoi would be worth. “I don’t know how to put a price on a human being,” Elizabeth says, and leaves in anger.
At the Delaware camp Chingachgook is furious at having to let the slaves be recaptured. Hawkeye tries to calm him, and points out that too many innocents would have been hurt. He says that the slaves won’t stay in the fort forever, and that will be their time to act. Hawkeye then goes to Taylor and bursts into his office. He berates Taylor, and tries to convince him that the Delaware could go to war because of what Taylor has done. Taylor defends his actions, but Hawkeye makes him realize his error, and leaves.
Outside the fort, Hale is confronted by Taylor as he is about to leave. He reminds Hale that he is owed 100 pounds sterling, and Hale reluctantly pays him. Angered by the loss, Hale takes his whip to Enjol. Elizabeth tries to stop the torture, but is roughly held back by one of Hale’s men. Later as the two women nurse the slave, Mary explains that “Angel” as she calls Enjol, is an African prince. Their master was going to sell him apart from her, so they ran away. “But it ain’t right for a woman to be away from her man,” she cries. “I guess I’d rather be dead than have my angel taken away from me,” as she calls him, and Elizabeth is moved by their situation, as well as by her helplessness in not knowing William’s fate.
The slave catchers make ready to leave, as Elizabeth tries to give them food and water for the journey. Mary thanks her, saying “why you’re the kindest woman I ever met.” “I wish I could do more…..God Bless you both” Elizabeth replies as they leave. But Hawkeye and Chingachgook stalk them, awaiting the time to strike. When Hale orders a halt to camp for the night, his two men stand guard as he sleeps. Hawkeye and Chingachgook “persuade” them to leave and never come back. Then Hawkeye and Chingachgook run through a group of Hurons and make them chase them, leading them to the sleeping Hale’s camp. The Huron stop and look down menacingly at a rudely awakened Hale. Hawkeye and Chingachgook tell the Huron that they since both sides have found this bounty, they will bargain, and Hale is momentarily relieved, thinking that Hawkeye and Chingachgook will save him. But Chingachgook says that the Huron can take it all, the white man, his horses, his belongings, all they want are the two black white men, who as they are chained, cannot be worth much. Horrified, Hale asks what will happen to him. “Here among the Huron, a slave can earn his freedom,” Chingachgook says, as Hale realizes that the situation is totally reversed, and watches as Hawkeye and Chingachgook leave him to his well-deserved fate.
Back at Fort Bennington, Hawkeye goes to see Elizabeth. She is still upset by her keeping the secret about the slaves, and tells him “Hawkeye, I understand why you chose not to tell about the runaways, but…I didn’t want to put you in a difficult position” he finishes for her. “I understand that,” she says, “it’s just that… you would have liked to have made that choice yourself,” he again interrupts her. “You see,” as he awkwardly tries to comfort her, “my whole life I have made decisions alone…and it’s hard including another person” she then finishes for him. “But on the other hand,” she says, smiling at him, letting him know she forgives him, “it’s not impossible” and he realizes that their unspoken love is still strong between them.
At the Delaware camp, Hawkeye watches as Chingachgook helps lead Mary and Enjol away to safety, and wishes them Godspeed. Later, in her diary, Elizabeth writes “ we gave Mary and Enjol directions to a sanctuary in Boston where they could live in freedom. I pray they will find their way in safety, but I find bittersweet comfort in Mary’s words, that they would rather die together free than live separately in captivity. I understand. I can only pray that they have the good fortune to find others to help them, other with hearts as brave and spirits as strong as the Delaware chief, and his white brother, Hawkeye.”
All "Hawkeye" episode synopsis are © 2001 by Mark Meader for Wonderland.
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