‘Chieftain’s Caves’, Part Two, Chapter 6

bagpipes

6. Locked in the Cellar

SCENE #58 – INT – BILLETING ROOM, EILEAN DONAN CASTLE – NIGHT
In the billeting room of Eilean Donan Castle, Henry plays pool on his own at the snooker table. He has a glass of malt to drink from. Henry soon putts a ball with his cue into one of the holes. He then reaches for his glass of malt and takes a mouthful from it. Henry lets out a contented sigh before he plays again. As he makes another strike at the snooker table with his snooker cue, the door opens as the Doctor enters.

HENRY
(cheerfully) “Ah! Is that you, Hugo? Come back for another…” (realises; put-off) “Oh. It’s you.”

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “Apologies for not being appropriate company.” (Pause) “May I come in?”

HENRY
“If you must.”

Henry continues playing pool at his snooker table whilst the Doctor strides in, observing him.

DOCTOR
“No need to ask me for a drink. I barely have whisky.”

HENRY
“Good.”

Henry continues playing, ignoring the Doctor as he makes another putt for one of the snooker table holes. Moment of silence ensues.

HENRY
(disgruntled) “What was it you wanted to see me about, Doctor? Make it quick! I’m anxious to make this putt!”

DOCTOR
“I think you know what it is I want to talk to you about, Chief MacDonald.”

HENRY
“Oh? Do I indeed?”

DOCTOR
“It’s about what happened on Falkirk.”

HENRY
(bitterly) “I’m busy! I threatened you before! You don’t wish me to threaten you again?!”

DOCTOR
“You don’t seem to realise, Mr. MacDonald! Your Scottish heritage is being tampered with!”

HENRY
(dismissively) “Bah!”

DOCTOR
“And I think you’ve had some part to play in it!” (Pause) “This castle for instance!”

Henry then makes a miss with his putt. He slams his cue angrily on the snooker table before turning to the Doctor.

HENRY
(angrily) “What about this castle, Doctor?!”

DOCTOR
“Eilean Donan. That’s its name! And as far as my Scottish history is concerned, Eilean Donan Castle was owned by the MacRae clan. It was never a MacDonald castle!”

HENRY
“Well it’s our castle now! And we MacDonalds are very proud of it! Does that not satisfy you?!”

DOCTOR
“Absolutely not! Not according to my book!”

HENRY
“We MacDonalds drove those scurvy MacRaes out of this castle before they could shout ‘help’! We fought all over the battlefields and we took over their castle instantly!”

DOCTOR
“Very patriotic and courageous, I’m sure. But that’s hardly part of Scottish history or culture!”

HENRY
“I don’t care about history, Doctor! I’m a laird of MacDonald! And I seek to take what is mine!”

DOCTOR
“Then I’m very sorry for you, Mr. MacDonald! Because the situation of the battles of Falkirk is more serious than you realise! Those soldiers have been taken out of their time zones and put into battles which have been altered exponentially!”

HENRY
“All I care about is winning my battle with the Mackintoshes, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“Really?! And what battle would that be, out of curiosity?”

HENRY
(bitterly) “I have no intention of sharing that with a Sassenach hiker!”

DOCTOR
“You have no right to put men’s lives into battle for the sake of your petty feud! War is an error in humanity! Alright, it helps if you wish to secure the freedom of your own country or planet! But in the case of…”

HENRY
(interrupts) “Precisely! Freedom, Doctor! That’s what we’re fighting for! Freedom! Complete and utter survival of the MacDonald clan! Freedom for Scotland!!”

DOCTOR
(angrily) “This isn’t freedom, MacDonald! This is a prison upon which you and your family are trapped in…as well as Scotland! You just don’t realise it!”

HENRY
“Wallace, Doctor! He fought for freedom! He fought the English so that we could be left alone in peace to have our own Scottish ways!”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Wallace fought for freedom, yes! But he did it so that he could secure the well-being of his own Scottish people!”

HENRY
“That’s exactly what I’m doing!”

DOCTOR
“No, Henry! You’re wrong! You’re letting men from Falkirk and Culloden from different time zones to fight for you as well as for the Mackintoshes! You’re living out your fantasies! You’re letting your selfish ambitions get in the way!”

HENRY
(bellows) “You’re wrong, Doctor! You’re completely and utterly wrong!”

The Doctor and Henry face each other as there is bitter rivalry between them.


SCENE #59 – INT – CORRIDOR, EILEAN DONAN CASTLE – NIGHT
Meanwhile with Nyssa, she’s turned around the corner down the south wing of Eilean Donan Castle. Nyssa then comes to a stop as she realises Jeremy is nowhere to be seen.

NYSSA
(surprised) “Oh. A dead end!””

Nyssa remains still for a moment as she contemplates where Jeremy has gone to. She then spots something out of the corner of her eye.

NYSSA
(realises) “Hold on a minute!” (Pause) “There’s a door on my left! It’s ajar! Perhaps he went inside!”

With that, Nyssa makes her way over to the door. The door creaks as she opens it and makes her way inside.

NYSSA
(quietly) “This must lead into the cellar!”


SCENE #60 – INT – CELLAR, EILEAN DONAN CASTLE – NIGHT
Nyssa enters the cellar as she sees Jeremy at the bottom of the stairs and approaching an iron maiden in the room.

JEREMY
(quietly) “Right, Iona! Here I come, lass!”

Jeremy opens the iron maiden door, which creaks before he enters inside. After a few moments, Nyssa goes down the stairs to reach the bottom.

NYSSA
“Hmm. I wonder why Jeremy entered that iron maiden.”

With that, Nyssa makes her way over to the iron maiden. She attempts to open it, as the iron maiden door opens and she finds it empty.

NYSSA
(surprised) “He’s gone! He can’t have just disappeared!”

Moment of silence as Nyssa thinks.

NYSSA
“It must be a false back in there!”

Nyssa tugs her hand inside the iron maiden’s casing and feels her way on each side.

NYSSA
(perplexed) “No sign of a catch anywhere.”

Nyssa then cries out, as she feels a surging pain.

NYSSA
(in pain) “There are spikes in that iron maiden! They were sharp! They nearly cut my thumb off!”

Another moment of silence as Nyssa wonders what to make of this new discovery. Just then, the cellar door upstairs closes shut. Nyssa turns round to see.

NYSSA
(stunned) “What? What?!”

Nyssa makes her way back upstairs to reach the cellar door as someone locks it from outside.

NYSSA
(cries) “Hey! Let me out!”

Someone then walks off as Nyssa tugs at the door in an attempt to open it, before she realises she’s locked in.

NYSSA
(cries) “Somebody let me out!” (Pause; calls) “Doctor? Doctor?!”

No response. Nyssa tugs again at the door again, frustrated. But the door won’t budge and Nyssa eventually gives up. She sighs annoyed before she walks back down and sits at the bottom of the stairs.

NYSSA
(annoyed) “Face it, Nyssa! You’re going to have to spend the night in the cellar!”

With that, Nyssa tries to make herself comfortable for the night.


SCENE #61 – INT – BILLETING ROOM, EILEAN DONAN CASTLE – NIGHT
Back in the billeting room of Eilean Donan Castle, the Doctor and Henry continue their argument.

DOCTOR
“Please, Mr. MacDonald! Scotland is in danger! Don’t you care about your own home land?!”

HENRY
(proudly) “I care about a lot of things with regard to Scotland, Doctor! Dear God, Scotland has been my career, my good man! I think about its morals; its principles; its heritage; its traditions…”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “And its people? Do you care about the people?”

HENRY
“Of course I do!”

DOCTOR
“Then do something for the people of Scotland! Save those soldiers!”

HENRY
“They will not die, sir!”

DOCTOR
“Chief MacDonald! I used to have a friend who fought in the Battle of Culloden! Jamie McCrimmon was his name! And I wouldn’t like to lose him if he was found dead in a fight that wasn’t meant for him! As well as for the others!”

HENRY
“Then I shall have to be pretty careful watching you, Doctor! For I’m always ready for anyone who dares to challenge me! Those men will not die!”

DOCTOR
(intrigued) “You seem very sure about that! I wonder why that is!”

HENRY
“I don’t have to explain anything to you, Doctor! I fight my own wars and no one else’s! It’s not right for you to interfere with my affairs!”

DOCTOR
(bitterly) “Mr. MacDonald, you are a very obstinate and ignorant man!”

HENRY
(arrogantly) “And you sir are a very dull one! I maybe drunk but I shall be sombre in the morning!”

DOCTOR
(agitated) “A friend of ours, Mr. MacDonald! A friend named Billy! He’s lost out there and he may be lost in one of your wars! I know that Nyssa would be very upset about losing a close friend not to mention a companion! And I would feel the same if I knew someone wasn’t going to be considerate about anyone else!”

HENRY
“My matters are very important to me, Doctor! I haven’t time to look for the people who are lost!”

DOCTOR
(angrily) “So you’d let a young man die out there on the moors of Scotland for the sake of your fights!”

HENRY
“I would! A laird has a right to preserve his matters!”

DOCTOR
“To think about his own pleasures before his own community?! His lands? His luxury? His deer-stalking? Shooting? Fishing? Hunting? Entertainment?” (Pause) “Those are just petty things, MacDonald! Nothing’s more important than the value of human life for your information!”

HENRY
“You’ve said enough, sir! If you dare threaten me with such words as ‘petty’ Doctor, I shall get very angry with you…and you will regret seeing the hospitable mask of Henry MacDonald unmasked!”

Just then, the door opens as Maggie enters.

MAGGIE
“Henry, my dear? What’s the matter? I heard shouting as I came down the corridor!”

HENRY
(quivers) “I feel unwell, my dear. If you pardon me, I shall be going to bed! I really don’t feel well! I feel shivery!”

Henry leaves the billeting room as he passes the Doctor and then his wife. Once Henry has gone, Maggie turns to the Doctor.

MAGGIE
(concerned) “Please tell me my husband hasn’t been rude to you, Doctor. He hasn’t threatened to throw you down into the dungeons again, has he?”

Moment of silence.

DOCTOR
“We both shared a difference of opinion I’m afraid, Mrs. MacDonald.” (Pause) “A difference of opinion.”

The Doctor then leaves the billeting room. Once the Doctor’s gone, Maggie eventually leaves after she turns the lights off in the billeting room.


SCENE #62 – EXT – EILEAN DONAN CASTLE, SCOTLAND – DAY, MORNING
Next morning, bagpipes are played as the music echoes across the moors and through the breeze and the hills. This is the wake-up call by the pipers for the chieftain, as the song is both jolly and melancholy at the same time.


SCENE #63 – INT – CELLAR, EILEAN DONAN CASTLE – DAY, MORNING
Inside the castle, Nyssa has slept in the cellar for the whole night. She wakes up, feeling uncomfortable from her restless sleep. The bagpipes’ music cause her to wake up as Nyssa groans, struggling to wake up fully. She listens to the Scottish music being played in the background.

NYSSA
“Nice music. Let’s hope the day is as good as it may seem!”

Just then, something creaks which makes Nyssa gasp slightly. Nyssa looks to where the creaking is coming from, before she eventually calms down.

NYSSA
(realises) “Ah! The iron maiden’s opening!”

The iron maiden opens as Jeremy comes out. Jeremy shuts the iron maiden door behind him, before making to head for the stairs as he sighs away.

NYSSA
(cheerfully) “Good morning, Jeremy.”

JEREMY
“Morning.”

Jeremy then staggers as he is startled to see Nyssa sitting there before him. Nyssa gradually stands and makes her way over to him.

JEREMY
(startled) “I…how…how did you get there?”

NYSSA
(casually) “Simple…and logical. I followed you in.”

JEREMY
“What are you doing here?”

NYSSA
(casually) “Oh nothing much. I have been lying against this wall for approximately six hours. I had a good sleep, thank you. Although I could have done with some more. Of course, I could have slept in my bed if it weren’t for the fact my curiosity got the better of me and I was locked in.”

JEREMY
(startled) “Locked? You mean that we can’t…”

NYSSA
(interrupts) “Now, Mr. Jeremy. We do have some time before it becomes evident we’re missing. So I suggest you make the most of your time by answering a few questions by me!”

JEREMY
“I…”

NYSSA
(reassuringly) “Don’t worry. I won’t be hard on you.”

Nyssa stands up to Jeremy whilst he’s utterly bewildered.


SCENE #64 – INT – BANQUETING HALL, EILEAN DONAN CASTLE – DAY, MORNING
At the same time that morning, Henry MacDonald is about to have his breakfast in the banqueting hall. He selects the breakfast items from the containers available to him and puts them onto his plate. Henry then takes his plate over to the dining table and sits down in his chair. He takes a sip of orange juice and sighs contentedly.

HENRY
(contented) “Hmm! I must compliment the cook later!”

Henry chuckles before tucking into his breakfast. As he eats away, he then realises he’s not alone as Salvador appears before him. Henry drops his knife and fork on the table, startled to see Salvador.

SALVADOR
(charmingly) “Please! Don’t let me stop you and your breakfast, Chief MacDonald.”

HENRY
(annoyed) “Do you have to creep in like that?!”

SALVADOR
“I told you before as I’ve told my other clients, MacDonald! I do not make myself known or announced!”

HENRY
(frustrated) “Well. you could display a few proper manners!”

SALVADOR
“I merely came here to give you a reminder.”

Henry eventually gets back to eating his breakfast, but feeling uneasy as Salvador watches him.

HENRY
“What have you to say, sir?”

SALVADOR
“About our agreement.”

HENRY
“What about it?”

SALVADOR
“That it’s all gone to plan! The Doctor and his young friend are unharmed?”

HENRY
(realises) “Oh! That matter!” (Pause) “Yes! They’ve been treated well. My wife’s seen to that!”

SALVADOR
“Then make sure you see to it, MacDonald! If you show further hostility towards them, the Doctor will grow more suspicious! I don’t know want him knowing about our campaign!” (Pause) “Have you planned much for today?”

HENRY
“Kilwhillie has offered Ches of Roid to visit and consider the property of Knockacolly! Hopefully it should go according to plan!”

SALVADOR
“Then make sure you do things delicately! If the Doctor joins you, you must conduct matters in reasonable bounds! It is important that the financial status you have must be maintained! Is that clear?”

HENRY
“Well, I don’t quite…”

SALVADOR
(stresses) “Is that clear, Mr. MacDonald?”

HENRY
(gradually) “Yes, Mr. Salvador.”

SALVADOR
“As management executive, it is my job to make myself clear to you! So that you know what the consequences would be, if you desist from failing to listen to me” (Pause) “The property you seek…shall be yours soon!”

HENRY
(eagerly) “Will it really be mine to keep?”

SALVADOR
“I have an agent who will help in our transactions! It is my agent you must trust in!”

HENRY
“And who is your agent, might I ask?”

SALVADOR
“You’ll find out! You will see her for yourself!”

HENRY
“Her? Who’s she?”

Salvador then disappears from sight as he laughs away.

HENRY
(baffled) “Uh…hang on! Wait!”

But it’s no use as Salvador is gone. The door then opens as Maggie, Hugo, Ches and the Doctor enter. Henry then continues eating his breakfast, acting as if nothing has happened.

MAGGIE
“Oh! You’re down here already, Henry!”

HENRY
(casually) “Ah! Maggie, my dear! Yes! I wanted to start with a fry up before we get onto the main business of the day! Remind me to send my compliments to the cook!” (cheerily) “Ah! Hello, Hugo! Couldn’t get back to your estate last night?”

HUGO
“I had an early start myself, Henry! Went out to check on that property we discussed!”

HENRY
“Right! Good show!” (to Ches) “And good morning to you, Roid! I hope you’re ready for the day!”

CHES
“Oh I am! That I am! And I’m sure Cari would love this property that Hugo is about to offer to us!”

MAGGIE
(reassuringly) “We’ll find her! Don’t worry, Mr. Roid!”

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “I’m here too, Mr. MacDonald!”

HENRY
(grumbles) “Oh yes. I see you.”

MAGGIE
“Did you have a pleasant sleep, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “Oh, can’t complain! Had lots to think about though!”

HUGO
“Bad move that, sir. Not enough sleep can ruin a healthy routine…as well as a healthy appetite!”

DOCTOR
“I happen to be capable of many things, Hugo Kilwhillie! Food for ‘thought’ is all I need!”

CHES
“And what exactly have you been thinking about, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(ignores Ches) “By the way! Whilst I mention it, has anyone seen Nyssa this morning?”


SCENE #65 – INT – CELLAR, EILEAN DONAN CASTLE – DAY, MORNING
Meanwhile, Nyssa has been interrogating Jeremy in the cellar. The cellar door then unlocks and opens as the Doctor enters.

DOCTOR
(relieved) “Nyssa! There you are! I was wondering what happened to you!”

NYSSA
“Doctor! About time! I was thinking that cellar door wouldn’t open!”

DOCTOR
“Well Mr. MacDonald said Toker or Stevie must have locked you in! Said he wouldn’t have doors unlocked during the night and wasn’t to know you might be in here!”

NYSSA
“A likely excuse.”

The Doctor slowly makes his way downstairs to meet Nyssa and Jeremy at the bottom.

DOCTOR
“Jeremy! Good to see you too!” (to Nyssa) “Nyssa, how come you happen to be with Jeremy in this cellar?”

NYSSA
“I followed him down here, Doctor! Last night! That’s how I came to be locked in here!” (Pause) “Good to see you by the way! Have you been alright?”

DOCTOR
(to Nyssa) “Yes! Good to see you too, Nyssa! I’ve been fine!” (to Jeremy) “Though I did have a bout with your father last night, Jeremy! About the current situation of Scotland and its civil war! He didn’t take to me, I’m afraid.”

The Doctor arrives at the bottom of the stairs to meet up with Nyssa and Jeremy.

JEREMY
“My father doesn’t take to anyone I’m afraid, Doctor.”

NYSSA
“Doctor, I’ve discovered something which maybe of some interest to you!”

DOCTOR
(intrigued) “Really?! Tell me, Nyssa! I’m all ears!”

NYSSA
(to Doctor) “I found Jeremy going into this iron maiden when I came in here! There’s a secret compartment behind there that allows you to go through a tunnel to the other side of the castle! Jeremy told me that it leads directly to the castle belonging to the Mackintosh clan!” (to Jeremy) “Cawdor Castle I believe you said it was, Jeremy?”

JEREMY
“I sometimes go down there to meet with my fiancée Iona.”

DOCTOR
“Your fiancée?! You’re getting married then!”

JEREMY
“Against my father’s wishes! To the daughter of Augustus and Lucy Mackintosh! And my clan is fighting a war against them!”

DOCTOR
(realises) “Ah! I see.”

NYSSA
(interjects) “Jeremy has also been telling me that the passageway leads into some caves!”

JEREMY
(realises) “Ah! I believe I asked you not to mention that, Miss Nyssa.”

NYSSA
“But you did say when I interrogated you Jeremy, that the caves hold a special source of power that your father can access but no-one else can!”

JEREMY
“Yes! I try to avoid going down to those caves! There maybe a power source there, but I for one am not likely to get myself lost in those dark dank wet caves! I used to be told when I was six about some horrible horrors that dwell in there! I wouldn’t like to venture there for my own funeral!”

DOCTOR
(intrigued) “Interesting! Caves that hold a power source!”

NYSSA
“Do you think that this connects to anything that we find rather unusual about Scotland, Doctor? The power source that Jeremy spoke of could be responsible for drawing people out of their time zones!”

JEREMY
(abruptly) “That cannot be true!”

NYSSA
“But it is a possibility!” (to Doctor) “Isn’t it, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“You couldn’t access the caves from your end then, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“I tried. But the door inside the iron maiden was secured before I could even get in! And…there were the spikes!”

JEREMY
“It has a one way mechanism for opening the compartment.”

Jeremy then shows them inside the iron maiden.

JEREMY
“You see this key here?” (Pause) “I use it to detract the spikes within that maiden and the door opens for me! I lock it when I’m inside the compartment!”

DOCTOR
“You think there’s something wrong with Scotland don’t you, Jeremy?”

Moment of silence.

JEREMY
“I have been worried about my father, Doctor. He’s not as fit as he used to be. And he seems to have fallen into black moods.” (Pause) “These battles seem to have brought some vitality and life into him! And I don’t know how he’s been able to engineer all of it!” (Pause) “I don’t want Scotland to be at risk by some barmy man who can’t think much about his own people! As future laird, I want to be of some help!”

DOCTOR
(delighted) “Well that’s good! Perhaps you can help us!”

JEREMY
“How?”

DOCTOR
(to Nyssa) “Nyssa! I overheard a conversation at the breakfast table! The MacDonalds are taking a party to a place called…Knockacolly. Apparently the Racta visitor, Mr. Roid, is wishing to buy some property!”

NYSSA
“I don’t see the relevance, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Neither do I. But I intend to find out! I’m going to join them on this trip!”

NYSSA
“You think something’s going to happen when you get there then?”

DOCTOR
“No! I may be able to learn more about the Scottish heritage and see how altered it is through the conversations that those people make.”

JEREMY
“Probably dull, I imagine.”

DOCTOR
(to Nyssa) “You stay with Jeremy, Nyssa.” (to Jeremy) “Jeremy, you said you wanted to help us?”

JEREMY
“Yes?”

DOCTOR
“Nyssa needs your help with something! That’s why she followed you in here!”

NYSSA
(realises) “Oh yes!” (to Jeremy) “I was looking for you Jeremy, because we wondered if you could provide us with a map of Scotland.”

JEREMY
(baffled) “A map of Scotland?”

Jeremy listens as Nyssa is about to explain.


SCENE #66 – EXT – TORRIDON, SCOTLAND – DAY, MORNING
Meanwhile, somewhere on the moors of Torridon, Macmillan and Buchanan have pitched tents up on a hill. They’re having breakfasts as Macmillan writes some poetry and Buchanan comes out of the tent, bringing a cup of tea for his friend.

BUCHANAN
“Here’s your tea, Alan! If you want it.”

MACMILLAN
“Thank you, James.”

Buchanan places the cup of tea next to Macmillan as he sits on a deck chair.

BUCHANAN
“I don’t know why you bother writing those poems of yours! People won’t read them! They just think it’s useless nonsense!”

MACMILLAN
“I write these poems to relax the mind!” (Pause) “My mind certainly was relaxed when we met those two people the other day!”

BUCHANAN
“Aye! In the meantime, what are we to do with ourselves? We’ve moved far up into the north and cannot stay here, exposed to those who stalk these hills!”

MACMILLAN
“What have you in mind, James?”

BUCHANAN
“I still intend to go back to Glasgow! I have a lot to say to the Scottish council when I hand in my report!” (Pause) “What do you plan to do?”

MACMILLAN
(gradually) “I shall remain here for the time being and decide what is to be done with the chieftain’s land as well as its chieftain” (Pause) “I shall head for those caves nearby!”

BUCHANAN
“What? Are you mad, laddie? Not those caves surely!”

MACMILLAN
“I won’t venture far into them if that’s what’s worrying you! I shall find shelter a few metres into the first cave!”

BUCHANAN
“It’s beside the point how far you go into those caves! You know that the caves are dangerous! Remember the stories?!”

MACMILLAN
“Exactly! They’re just stories, my friend! Just like my poems are poems!”

BUCHANAN
“Never mind about your dratted poems, Alan! Those caves aren’t worth considering sheltering in! There’s more to them than we both know!”

MACMILLAN
“I shall be careful, James! You just concern yourself on getting back to Glasgow! I’ll be fine!”

Moment of silence.

BUCHANAN
“Well as a matter of fact, laddie…I think I will stay a wee while with you before I go back! Just in case something crops up!”

Just then, thunderclouds rumble above in the sky.

MACMILLAN
“Something has cropped up!”

BUCHANAN
“I don’t like the look of them! They’re so black!” (Pause) “Let’s make for those caves now!”

Thunderclouds rumble again in the sky before rain pours down and hits them.

MACMILLAN
“Aye! Let’s make it quick before we get drenched! Come on!”

Macmillan and Buchanan make a run for it as the rain plummets down on them. A while later, they come across the caves before them. They stop for a moment to take a look at them.

MACMILLIAN
“There they are, Buchanan! Those caves were closer to us than we expected!”

BUCHANAN
“I do not like the look of them! We were warned against going in there!”

MACMILLIAN
(insistently) “Out of this rain while we can! I do not care whether there are dangers in there!

Macmillan and Buchanan run forth as they enter the caves.


SCENE #67 – INT – DINING ROOM, CAWDOR CASTLE – DAY, MORNING
At Cawdor Castle, Gussie and Lucy Mackintosh sit at the dining table in the dining room as they have their breakfast. The door opens as Badger the butler enters.

BADGER
“Excuse me, sir! But your guests are waiting outside!”

GUSSIE
“Thank you, Badger. Do show them in.”

BADGER
“Yes, sir.”

Badger leaves the dining room as he goes to fetch the guests.

LUCY
“Now don’t lose your temper with them, dear. We do not know what their reason is for being here.”

GUSSIE
“Very well, Lucy. I shall try to be tolerant with them.”

LUCY
(hushes) “Hush. Here they come now!”

Gussie and Lucy attentively as Badger escorts the guests Billy and Cari into the dining room.

LUCY
(cheerily) “Welcome to you both! I hope we haven’t kept you waiting.”

BILLY
“No. Thank you very much, Mrs…”

LUCY
“Mackintosh. Lucy Mackintosh. And this is my husband, Gussie!”

CARI
“How do you do?”

GUSSIE
“Charmed, I’m sure. Please be seated!”

Cari and Billy make their way forward to sit at the dining table.

CARI
“Billy? Will you oblige?”

BILLY
“Oh yes! Yes, of course!”

Billy does the honour as he pulls a chair out for Cari to sit on. He pushes it in once Cari’s sat down at the dining table. Billy then goes over to sit on another chair at the dining table.

LUCY
“We apologise for the inconvenience we may have caused you both! We are hospitable people, we Mackintoshes!”

GUSSIE
“Well, we try to be.”

BILLY
“That’s alright! One night in the dungeons was a little uncomfortable for my liking.”

CARI
“I dare say! I found mice running up my skirt!”

GUSSIE
“But you must admit your entry into the grounds of Cawdor Castle was rather unconventional.”

BILLY
“Yes! We can explain…”

GUSSIE
(interjects) “Oh by the way! Welcome to Cawdor Castle!”

BILLY
“Oh. Thank you!” (Pause) “Uh…what I was about to say was, we were lost in some place called Falkirk and we were trying to find a way back.”

CARI
“We found this transmat unit and got inside it! We hoped it would get us to Eilean Donan Castle!”

BILLY
“And before we knew it, we ended up here! Unintentionally I might add.”

GUSSIE
“Eilean Donan?” (Pause) “Yes. That would be where the MacDonalds live.”

BILLY
“Yes. I understand you don’t get on well with them, sir.”

GUSSIE
“Are you both residing with people of that calibre then?”

CARI
“Billy isn’t. But I am! My husband and I are guests of the MacDonalds.”

GUSSIE
“I see.” (clears throat) “I am not like Henry MacDonald who is so brash and obstinate! He and his clan have been against ours for many generations! And he won’t accept a truce or ceasefire!”

CARI
“I happen to find Mr. MacDonald very agreeable and hospitable, Mr. Mackintosh!”

GUSSIE
(thinks) “Maybe.” (Pause) “I won’t try to dissuade you from your views, Mrs. Cari. You and your friend are guests here. And I should very much like you to stay with us for a while longer.”

BILLY
“That’s very kind of you, Mr. Mackintosh. But I’m trying to find my friends…”

Just then, Billy gets interrupted as the door opens and Iona enters.

LUCY
“Ah! There you are, Iona! Did you sleep well?”

IONA
(coldly) “Yes, Mother. I slept well thank you.”

Iona is somewhat altered in her manners and behaviour which disturbs Billy and Cari.

GUSSIE
“I hope you’re going to behave properly after what happened yesterday!”

LUCY
“Gussie, don’t!”

GUSSIE
“Is that the morning paper you have there?”

IONA
(coldly) “It is.”

GUSSIE
“Well! Bring it over for me will you, dear? Come on!”

Iona goes over to her father before she hands him the newspaper.

IONA
(coldly) “Here you are, father.”

GUSSIE
“Now sit down and eat some breakfast!”

Gussie opens the newspaper and flicks through the pages.

LUCY
“Iona, dear. This is Mr. Walker and Mrs. Cari of Roid! They came onto our ground by accident last night! Via one of the transmats!”

IONA
(coldly) “Good morning to you both. I hope you are well.”

BILLY
“Uh…yes. We’re well. Thank you. Nice to meet you.”

CARI
“Yes. Sure nice meeting you, Miss Iona.”

IONA
(gradually realises; shocked) “It’s you! I recognise your face! You boy, you!”

BILLY
“Who me?”

CARI
“You’ve seen Billy before then, have you?”

IONA
“I…I…”

Iona then gets interrupted as Gussie lets out a gasp of horror.

GUSSIE
(gasps) “Great Scott!”

LUCY
(concerned) “What is it, Gussie dear?”

GUSSIE
“Last night’s battle was a shambles! The Scotsmen of Wallace’s armies won at Falkirk! But our armies lost the battle at Falkirk with the Redcoats at the same time! The Jacobites failed!”

LUCY
“Oh my! How distressing!”

Whilst Gussie becomes distraught…

BILLY
(whispers; to Cari) “They’re talking about the Scottish civil war they’re having with the MacDonalds, I suppose.”

CARI
(whispers; to Billy) “Yes, Billy. And it doesn’t seem to be going well at their end!”

BILLY
(puzzled; whispers; to Cari) “I wonder why Miss Iona keeps staring at me! She seemed sure she’s seen me before. But I never saw her before in my life!”

CARI
(whispers; to Billy) “Well that’s peculiar, isn’t it?!” (Pause) “Hang on! Where’s she heading off to?”

They watch as Iona leaves the dining room.

GUSSIE
(calls) “Hang on, girl! Where do you think you’re going?”

IONA
(coldly) “I must leave you, Father.”

GUSSIE
(protests) “Now see here!”

IONA
(coldly) “I must leave you now! I have other things to do!”

GUSSIE
(protests) “You can’t just walk out…”

But it’s too late as Iona has already left the dining room.

GUSSIE
(grunts) “That girl really needs sorting out, Lucy dear! Haven’t you tried talking to her?!”

LUCY
“I’ve tried talking to her, but she wouldn’t listen!” (Pause) “She seems…altered somehow.”

Hearing this, Billy and Cari become curious and apprehensive.


SCENE #68 – EXT – EILEAN DONAN CASTLE, SCOTLAND – DAY, MORNING
Meanwhile, outside at the main gate of Eilean Donan Castle, Henry MacDonald, Hugo Kilwhillie and Ches of Roid make ready to set off for Knockacolly. Maggie sees them off.

HENRY
“Are we all set, men?”

HUGO
“Aye! We are, Henry!”

CHES
“Raring to go! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for me! Shame Cari can’t be with us!”

MAGGIE
“Well, I’m sorry I can’t be with you! Someone needs to keep this house in order…and that someone has to be me!”

HENRY
“The way I see it chaps…we make for Knockacolly!” (to Ches) “Then at noontime, we’ll have our lunch before we show you around the place, Roid! Then we shall be able to offer you the variety of choices of property which Hugo has in store!”

The Doctor then turns up and approaches to meet them.

DOCTOR
(calls) “Excuse me?! Excuse me, Mr. MacDonald?!”

MAGGIE
(realises) “Oh look, Henry! It’s that Doctor fellow again!”

HENRY
(annoyed) “Oh no! Not that that terrible bore again! Quickly, lads! Let’s make a dash for it!”

MAGGIE
“I think he wants to talk to you, dear!”

HENRY
“Well that’s rather unfortunate, because I’m busy!”

The Doctor eventually meets up with them.

DOCTOR
“Excuse me, Mr. MacDonald? I’d like to accompany you, if that’s alright! To Knockacolly!”

HENRY
(shocked) “Certainly not! This business is between Hugo Kilwhillie, Mr. Roid and me! You’re not to intervene!”

MAGGIE
(interjects) “Oh come on, Henry dear. Let him go with you! Give him a chance to prove himself!”

HENRY
“Prove himself for what, dear?”

MAGGIE
“That he’s not a threat to you! And to your lands!”

HENRY
“What makes you think he’s a threat to me and my lands, Maggie?”

MAGGIE
“Because of the way you behaved last night! I heard you and him arguing before I came into the billeting room!” (stresses) “In case you haven’t forgotten.”

Moment of silence as Henry becomes disgruntled.

DOCTOR
“Don’t worry, Mr. MacDonald! I’ll try not to be any trouble!”

HENRY
(disgruntled) “That remains to be seen!”

HUGO
“Oh do let’s get on with it, Henry! I’m pressed for time!”

CHES
“Yeah! An extra opinion is better than anything, isn’t it?!”

DOCTOR
(to Ches) “Precisely, Mr. Roid!” (to Henry) “I’m encouraged that you happen to have fine intelligent company from Racta, Mr. MacDonald!”

Moment of silence as Henry becomes more disgruntled.

HENRY
(disgruntled) “Oh very well! He can come with us if he wants to!”

MAGGIE
“Thank you, Henry.”

DOCTOR
(pleased) “Splendid! You won’t regret it, Mr. MacDonald!”

HENRY
(disgruntled) “I’m regretting it now, man!”

MAGGIE
“Where’s your friend Miss Nyssa?”

DOCTOR
“Oh she’s with your son Jeremy! She wanted to do some research on Scotland! Jeremy agreed to help her out! Nyssa’s terribly interested!” (distracted; fascinated) “Is that a vintage Daimler I see of yours, Mr. MacDonald?”


© Tim Bradley, 2017

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‘Part Two, Chapter 5’ of ‘Chieftain’s Caves’

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