The Long Song (2018) s01e02 Episode Script

Episode 2

1 So, so pretty.
What are you going to call her? July.
Yes, yes, I'll take her.
Master, no! Master, please!Off! Morning, Miss July.
My, how you're all grown up.
Morning, Mr Nimrod.
You will not ruin this Christmas dinner for me, John! It's high time we had some fun.
What's going on? The slaves are burning down the plantations.
The island's ablaze.
This programme contains some scenes of a sexual nature Mama.
You have a fine son.
One more slave, so I'm takin' Mrs Mortimer! Robert Goodwin at your service.
In just a few days, slavery, that dreadful evil, will be finally abolished.
Look at her.
The loss of her mama and of her baby boy almost finished that girl.
Yet, her hair be braided neat, her dress clean, her face straight.
Only deep within them black, black eyes might you catch a flash of pain, swift as a doll with two faces.
But upon this particular evening, if you watch her close, come, you might see her smile.
Oh, what on Earth was all that noise? Big party, Missus.
Everywhere, all over the island.
For .
.
me is now free.
Of course, freedom come at a price, for the new Queen in England say that compensation must be paid to the slave owners, of course.
Come, Caroline even teach July to read and write to keep track of this big, big money coming in.
Molly! And for the slaves.
What they get? Nothing.
Not a penny.
No matter how July rise up above all the other house workers .
.
still, she get nothing.
What good be free .
.
if nothing change? Let me do it.
Go! Get out, go on, before him come.
All quite ready? All ready, Missus, all ready.
Good.
Oh, such relief.
To have a true gentleman come to us as overseer.
At last, company worth keeping.
Mrs Mortimer? There you are, Mr Goodwin.
Do take a seat.
Thank you.
I hope your accommodation is satisfactory.
It's most satisfactory, thank you.
No, my needs are few.
I've just been making my preliminary inspection of the estate.
How very industrious of you.
Bring the tea, Marguerite.
Yes, but I must say, Mrs Mortimer, the plantation is by no means running as efficiently as it could.
And the workers' accommodation, that's in a dreadful state.
Never seen such a number of miserable black people before.
Oh, is that so? I had no idea.
Since my brother died, I'm afraid I find it quite a struggle to manage the estate on my own.
Well, of course, but, in my opinion, Mrs Mortimer, the wellbeing of the workers is the key to the success of a plantation.
Really? Absolutely, Madam.
In fact, my first suggestion would be to tell the workers how fairly you intend to treat them.
Especially now they are free to leave, if they wish.
You quite Quite sure about that, Mr Goodwin? Pour the tea, Marguerite.
Milk or lemon, Master? Milk, if you please.
Yes, I believe wholeheartedly that slavery is an abomination.
The Negroes need kindness, that's what my father told me.
"Take kindness to them, Robert, "and then you will have their love and respect.
" Thank you.
Yes, my father's a man of God, you see, Mrs Mortimer.
It was his wish that I come to Jamaica and help cleanse the stain that slavery has placed upon England.
I see.
Mm!And Mrs Goodwin? Oh, my mother passed away some years ago.
I meant I don't mean to pry.
Oh! No, I've not yet taken a wife myself.
My father encouraged me to find my vocation first.
Oh, that's very wise, yes.
Leave us, Marguerite.
Yes, thank you, Marguerite.
Thank YOU, Master.
I think he found me very charming.
Mm.
His long, elegant fingers.
I bet he plays piano well.
Mmm.
He comes from a very good family.
Even has a baronet on his mother's side.
And sparkling, bluest eyes you've All right! That's enough, Marguerite! You may rinse.
He's very tall, isn't he? Very broad.
Tall and broad.
He's handsome Are you listening, girl? I was just thinking about what the overseer did say.
That we can leave, you know.
Any time we want.
Where would you go? Have you thought about that? Who would protect you? No, no, you'd starve, surely? You have a very easy life of it here, I can assure you that.
Most other workers in other plantations Marguerite! Not all the Negroes were present to hear Robert Goodwin when he did first address them.
Some already pack up and fled that plantation to seek work elsewhere.
Others were still laid up upon their beds with heads too sore to listen to no bakra man.
Come in, come in, come in.
What's going on? Come in.
Come in, come in, come in.
Him surely have some fine, fine boots upon him foot.
Not a spot of mould.
Well, good morning to you all.
Good morning.
Good morning.
Now, as you're all no doubt well aware, your mistress, Mrs Mortimer, has, by the grace of God, granted you your freedom.
Right.
Freedom! But, listen, listen.
You must remember that the houses you live in, they don't belong to you.
No, they are the property of your mistress, so, if you don't labour for your mistress, as you've done before, then you can't expect to remain in your homes.
However Him not talk truth.
Queen command we stay in our house.
Hush up.
Me want to hear.
Don't hush me.
.
.
as before, will be paid a fair wage, out of which you must pay a small rent for your homes.
Now, I know that some workers have already left and your number is depleted.
Therefore, we need those good souls remaining to work hard, so that the plantation of Amity may thrive and prosper once more for your esteemed mistress.
And let us all thank God for this blessing of freedom and prove to Queen Victoria, to the people of England, and to your mistress, that you are worthy of the kindness that's been shown to you.
Not having this from no bakra no more.
Thank you.
Thank you all for coming.
You may go.
You Do you think you have restored their best feelings towards me, Mr Goodwin? Absolutely, Madam, yes.
I am certain of it.
Marguerite! Marguerite! There you are.
Go to Mr Goodwin's house and ask if he cares to dine with me this evening.
We have beef! I know he'll be interested in beef.
But it be raining very hard.
Never mind.
You must go now, so you have time to prepare.
Rain soon stop, me go then.
It's only a little bit of rain, go now.
But me can go laterAt once! Free.
Elias! Elias, quickly! Oh, God! Get him off me! Right, there's another one under there! Quick, Elias! Right.
Right.
Right, there's another one here.
Right there.
Quick, I can see it there.
Me have them, sir.
Me have them.
Right, put them in the box, put them in the box.
Quick, quick, quick! OK, put them in the box.
Right.
Oh, just one moment.
We're just, um Just Oh, you're drenched! Master.
My missus want to know if you come tonight.
Your mistress sent you out in this storm? What could possibly be so important? Really Box full, Master.
Right, well don't leave it there, Elias! Take it away, please.
Don't leave it on the veranda like last time.
Kill them and take them very far away.
But me find plenty more.
You want to see, Miss July? Elias, for pity's sake, just take them away.
But, MasterElias! Thank you.
Now you know how ridiculous the new overseer is whenever there's cockroaches anywhere near him.
You can laugh all you like, it is terror.
Well, them just be bug-a-bugs, Master.
Plenty upon this island.
Them rose up by the rains, but them have no harm.
Don't be feared.
Well, I'm very feared of them.
Did I hear Elias call you something else? Miss July.
Is that your name? That be my true name.
Yes, Master.
Then why does your mistress call you Marguerite? I think it a pretty name for call a slave.
Oh, I see.
And may I call you Miss July? Well, then, Miss July.
What's your message? Me missus want you to come to dinner for she has beef.
Must be eat up.
Right.
Well, I haven't had beef since I arrived here, so, yes, tell your mistress that I gratefully accept her invitation to eat beef.
In her company, of course.
Yes, Master.
Oh, wait! Let me give you Let me give you this.
Thank you.
Oh, Miss July! Is it not? You're walking all the way back to Amity this hot, hot day? Miss Clara, good day to you.
You have no parasol, Miss July.
You be getting very dark.
You still working upon that plantation?Yes.
I could not abide still to be on a plantation.
The wife of a white man on a plantation? My husband would never allow it.
Your husband? But you did not hear? Mr William Walker, the attorney at Friendship plantation.
Yes, him buy me a lodging house, me husband.
A big white house on the corner of Trelawney Street, you know it? Here.
But me forget! Plantation slaves can't read.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Hello! Good day, Miss July.
Are you on an errand for your mistress? Surely be, Master.
Well, then, may I drive you back to Amity? I've finished my business here, I'm heading there now.
Yes.
Yes.
Come! Thanking you.
Good day to you, Miss Clara.
From up high in the front of that fine carriage, the world did look very, very different to our July.
And she found herself thinking how Miss Clara had come up in the world, and of how she get there.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Master Oh, no, please, please.
Me was just thinking.
Have you .
.
ever been to Scotchland, Master? Er, no, I haven't, no.
I've heard it's very beautiful, though.
Why do you ask that? My papa be from Scotchland.
Your father was a white man? Oh, yes.
Me be a mulatto, not a Negro.
And what was his name? My papa be Mr Tam Dewar.
He was the overseer here? Yes.
Yes, right.
And be a fine overseer.
And your mother? Her name be Kitty.
She She work in the first gang.
She She was tall.
And strong.
And was Tam Dewar married to your mother? Them Them both killed, Master, in the riots what did happen.
I'm so sorry, I'm so I didn't mean to upset you.
I'm sorry.
I didn't mean that.
It's all right.
Let me help you down.
Oh.
Let meOh!Oof! I have a book on Scotland.
Perhaps you would allow me to show it to you one day.
Thank you, Master.
I surely will.
What? Catching flies, Molly? This one needs mending.
And this one.
These undergarments, look.
The silk here is almost in shreds! The rats been at them, Missus.
What? Them like chew the sweaty part of theOh, stop! Just have them washed and mended.
A gentleman surely deserves the company of a lady.
Him surely do, Missus.
Water.
Put it here.
The Missus catch you in that, she go and get you lash.
Well, she not going to catch me.
Where you be going in it? Fishing.
Go and catch me a big old fish, so me never need dirty me hand no more.
What are you looking on me for? Come on, now! Goodbye! Oh, hey! Miss July.
Er Sorry, must have just Just for a moment.
Do you have a message for me? No, Master, I come to see the book.
The book? Picture of Scotchland, where my papa be from.
Oh, yes, yes.
Yes, the book.
Erm This be YOUR papa? Yes, that's right, that's him.
Huh.
Ah.
Here we are.
Let's see.
Here.
This is Scotland.
Be this where my papa live? No, I doubt it.
That's a castle.
Now, let's see if there's something more Yes.
This is probably more the sort of thing.
This be my papa's house? Well, not this one exactly, no, but something similar.
And .
.
what be these? Sheep.
And what be sheep? No, no, no.
No, I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry.
I shouldn't have done that.
No, no, it be right, Master.
No, no, no, it's very wrong.
Very wrong.
My My father would not approve, you see.
But your papa is not here.
No, he has the highest contempt for white men who abuse their position with Negroes, you see.
But me is a mulatto.
He sent me here to do good.
He will never know.
Please, July, you have to leave.
You have to leave.
I'm sorry.
You have to leave.
Why? Because you're too beautiful.
You're too good.
Why don't? You have to leave.
Please leave.
Just leave.
I will not give in to this, Father.
I will not give in to this, Father, I promise you.
Right? I won't give in to this.
I promise you I won't give in to this.
Let me whisper you a truth.
This is not the way white men usually behaved upon this Caribbean island.
For many weeks after that, Robert Goodwin did stay away from the great house .
.
until July feared she may not see him again.
Until, finally, Caroline could stand it no longer.
She demand his attention.
Oh, oh.
Missus.
What she be after? Let's go, no slacking! This is all being planted up and fertilised, and the first gang have planted 3,000 holes a day .
.
which works out at over six acres a week, which, according to my research, should give us a very healthy profit indeed, actually.
I must say, it's terribly That's just the manure.
But I guarantee you, Mrs Mortimer, at this rate, we shall have the finest sugar crop in all of Jamaica.
Oh, I think I Perhaps I'd better sit Are you all right, Madam? Are you all right? As a plantation owner, of course I am interested in management of my estate.
And yet, as a lady, sometimes I find it a bit of a challenge.
Yes, well, let's Let's get you into the shade.
Here, Missus, you can lean on me One hand's plenty, Marguerite.
July knew those blue, blue eyes of his still be hungry for her.
But what, what was he waiting for? Marguerite! Marguerite! Listen, you must know, right? I can't hide it from you.
I love you.
What? I love you.
Listen, I've made a plan that I've just this minute set into action.
What plan?It will work, I promise you it will work.
Tell me.
Tell me.
I love you.
Go, go, go.
Marguerite! Oh, there you are! What are you doing? Yes, come at once, Marguerite! Quickly.
There is so much to be done.
We must go into town first thing tomorrow morning, to the dressmaker's, of course.
And then there are cards to be printed and we need to order a cake.
The finest cake.
Isn't it the most exciting news? Oh, I didn't tell you.
I am to be married.
I am to be married to Robert Goodwin.
Oh, come, there is so much to be done.
What fool, fool dream had our July been nursing? Caroline wasted no time in becoming Mrs Robert Goodwin.
Eight letters had Robert received from his papa, urging him to take a wife and start a family.
"Only a married man might taste the joys of love," his papa say.
And having guarded his virginity all these years, now, on his wedding night, oh, how ready he was to taste them joys.
I must confess, I thought I should never again be blessed with love.
God has smiled upon me, Marguerite.
I am to be the happiest woman in the whole island.
That'll be all, Marguerite.
Master.
What are you be doing here? I think I've loved you ever since the moment I saw you.
Every scrap of love I possess, every scrap I lay before you now.
Will you have me? Sorry, sorry.
Oh, God.
Oh, my God.
Ah, ah! Ssh, ssh.
I must go get the Missus' breakfast.
No, no, no, no, you're not to leave the bed.
I must go.
No, you are not to leave this bed.
She need her food.
No.
She can feed herself.
It's true! No.
No, no, no, no.
Breakfast, Missus.
That be all? Something's come up in the mill yard, apparently.
So I'll miss breakfast, unfortunately.
But .
.
I'll be back for lunch.
All right? Go on.
Oooh! Thank you, boys.
Robert know he could not marry a Negro.
It would break his papa's heart.
But THIS arrangement would be just fine.
Move it! Aaaah! We be slaves no more! It would bring benefits to both women, pride to his papa, and pleasure to himself.
We be slaves no more.
Move! We be free now, just like you.
We dance to no lash.
Yah! Go 'long! And, of course, Robert's marriage meant that he was no longer just an overseer.
But now lord, master and owner of Amity.
I was thinking, after dinner, we could spend some time together in the music room.
I'm afraid I have work to do after supper.
I need to, erm, go over the books with Jackson.
It's been so very long since we had an evening together, husband.
It's been months.
You wouldn't see the place go to rack and ruin, would you? No, of course not.
I do think Then, perhaps tomorrow evening.
Clear these, Marguerite.
Yes, Missus.
My dear, you do know that Marguerite is not her name? What? No, her name's Miss July.
Well, I've always known her as Marguerite.
Ever since she was a tiny girl.
Nevertheless, that's not her name, is it? Her name's Miss July.
So we should address her as such.
Miss July? Am I expected to take tea with her of an afternoon? Shake her hand? Enquire about her family?! Caroline, could you speak in a lower register? Missus.
And for you, Master.
Thank you, Miss July.
Miss July? Do we have any pickle to go with this cheese? Surely, Master.
What kind of pickle you want? Erm Something hot, I think.
We only have sweet, Master.
But I can get hot pickle in the market.
Miss Essie, she have the best hot pepper pickle in town.
Does she now? Well, I'd very much like to taste her hot pepper pickle.
Come and sit with us.
What could possibly be the harm? Come and sit down.
No, no, no, no! Thank you, Master, but I must return to the kitchen.
Stop it.
Stop it.
Oh! Get off, you.
You want to play games? Now stand up.
Some sleeves.
Oh, yes, please, yes.
I look like a beekeeper.
Why are you making me your beekeeper? You can go out and work hard.
You know, I've never been happier than in this room with you.
You are my true wife, July.
And you are my big, big blue-eyed husband.
To work, then.
Got everything.
Don't be long! Come back! I miss you.
Jackson.
How's everything on my estate? Good morning, Mr Goodwin.
This field should be finished by now, surely, no? Where are the others? Since they've been freed, the lazier they've got.
Well, send someone to find them, and get them to work.
Can't afford to let things slip, even for a few days.
Savvy? Good.
No.
Yes, all right.
All right.
Come see your mama.
Who this? You never see skin so pale.
This be good medicine.
Soothe the memory of your first child.
Oh, thank God you're safe.
Oh, thank God.
The baby? A girl.
A girl?A girl.
Hello! Oh, she's perfect.
You're perfect.
It's perfect.
My My mother's name was Emily.
Do you think? Emily be a fine name.
I wish I could end my story here.
But, no.
Girls, tea time! Come in now.
Come on in and wash your hands.
Go on.
Tea? It was not long after the birth of Emily that Amity's fortunes did flounder and the trouble with the new master begin.
Now, as you know, three fields of cane are ready to be taken off, so we must work quickly to get the job done.
However, since there are fewer of you working here now, I will need you all to work seven full days a week from now on.
Seven days! That's every person over the age of ten years old, man and woman.
Understand? Must work seven days a week, otherwise the crop will spoil.
It be Christmas.
We promised time off! Yes, I know that.
But the crop is ready now, so we must harvest now.
If we wait until after Christmas, the crop will spoil.
You see?But me go see my wife.
Master, five days a week we work for you.
Five days it be.
Yes, but five days is not enough to take off a sugar crop, is it? The cane will rot in the fields.
Come, James, you are a good Negro, you know this to be true.
I tell you what, Master, every one of us in health, we work five days for you.
And we work hard.
It must be seven days.
Do you hear me, boy? Just until the crop's in.
Yes, Master, me did hear you.
But .
.
me say five days.
We must have Christmas off.
Five days only.
We work hard five days.
Remember, if you do not work when required, then you will not be paid.
If you cannot pay your rent, you cannot stay in your homes.
We build them house! Our Queen tell us we're staying with house.
Yes, but all free people, even white people in England, they all work for wages as and when required by their masters.
Look, look, I will give you some time to think this over.
But I suggest you think very, very hard.
Tell Master him think very hard.
We slaves no more.
Why you make trouble with him for? It's only till crop be over.
Don't be fooled just cos you having pickney.
Bakra all the same.
No.
Him different.
Him be good and him be fair.
Emily.
Let's have some food.
Mmm! Me thinking, husband, about the Christmas working.
Maybe it help if you just talk to the workers.
I've talked to them.
And I've always treated them well, so I don't know why they're being so disobedient.
Because, husband, it be Christmas.
The more see them family, the more work them gardens.
But I can't help that, July, the crop's ready now.
It's ready now.
Mary Ellis have her son Alfred come.
Him walk many days for see her.
First time since him taken from her.
Them been planning this for many, many months.
Yes, but they can visit them.
That's the point.
They can visit them after the crop's in.
Yes, yes.
But for that, they must trust you.
Many white masters not tell the truth.
Them tell lie.
When have I You is different.
I know you be different.
So show them.
Ezra, how are you, are you well? Well, Master? Yes, because I have a proposition for you.
If you were to work seven days a week for me, I would pay you a very good wage, and I would give you time off once you've finished.
Now, how about that, what do you say to that? No, Master, me can't work Christmas.
Me go Unity.
See me pickney.
Me must walk a long, long, long way.
Yes, yes.
Yes, that's what I'm saying.
Yes, you could, you could visit them.
After Christmas.
That's my point.
Come on, Ezra, will you not just do as I suggest? Come on, say you will and that will be an end to it.
Oh, Master, me no can go.
Mary.
Mary.
It be Peggy.
Peggy, yes, Peggy, yes, no, I know.
Peggy, of course, of course.
Now, you'd be willing to work seven days for me, wouldn't you? Yes.
You surely wouldn't let me down? Master, no.
We got Junkanoo.
Long time me plan it, Master.
Hmm? Me make special dress.
Can't work, Master, can't work.
She says she must prepare for a special party.
Dublin? Now, come on, man, you understand.
Hmm? The boiling houses must be supplied with cane, is that not correct, Dublin? This is for the good of us all.
But, Master, it be Christmas and me must go to church to praise the good Lord.
Him never go to church! He said he must go to church.
Yes, I know what he said, I know what he said.
# Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama Christmas a come, me want me lama Stop! Stop! # Christmas a come, me want me deggede # Christmas a come, me want me deggede Christmas a come, me want me deggede Wait, husband! Wait! # Not a hat pon me head Me want me lama # Christmas a come, me want me lama Christmas a come, me want me lama Go.
Go!Wait! Go, go! # Not a hat pon me head Me want me lama Not a hat pon me head Me want His father's quite wrong, you know? I told him.
Negroes, they cannot be reasoned with.
He's tried everything he can to treat them fairly, and look how they repay him.
His father's never even met a Negro.
They will never be civilised.
And they won't rest until every planter in Jamaica is ruined.
Husband? Hmm? Come in now.
You work too hard.
You must rest.
How can they be so ungrateful? Come.
See Emily, come.
No, July.
I'll make those niggers beg to work for me.
I'll make them beg.
Though the wind be calm that night and the sky be clear, July did feel a great storm coming.
Let's put the past behind us, right? And let's come together.
Me no have to serve you no more.
We stop work and we paying no more rent! No more rent! May God protect and help us this day as we do thy work.
Come on! Yah! Yah! Where be the Master? Master in east field.
Him not right, Miss July.
He does not want to see you.
He said so himself.