The Secret River (2015) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

1 Yeah? You'll be hanging by the jurisdiction of the Governor of New South Wales.
Mind the sting! - Second lot.
- Oh, get out! Get out of there! Move your backs! Come on.
I said move it! To be handed over to the jurisdiction of the Governor of New South Wales.
Will! Will! Will! Sal Will! Move! Get up! Stand up straight.
Eyes in for the Governor's man.
Governor's man gets first pick, then gentlemen, seconds.
Will! Straighten yourselves! Heads up! Palms open.
Will! Show your teeth.
Will! Show your hands to Mr King.
River hands.
I know 'em where I've seen 'em.
Waterman? No, Thames.
A Thames man is good enough for me.
I'll take him.
William Will! Theft.
Sentenced to hang, commuted to transportation for life.
Will! You are hereby assigned to Mr Alexander King.
Will! Bound over to him as his servant.
Oh, William.
William! Sal! Hey Hold it! Hold it! You're no good to me with broken ribs! Get away from him! Get away! It's us, Will.
Who are you? I'm his wife! Come on.
It's alright, my darling.
It's me.
Will? Will, it's us.
Sal Hey.
Look, it's our new one.
Born at sea.
I named him Dickie - after Da.
Willie.
Willie, it's Da.
He don't know it's me, Sal.
He don't know it's me.
Here.
This letter, it's all you need to know.
Says here William Thornhill is to be assigned to his wife.
Take a look at who signed it too.
A woman accompanying her felon of a husband, I've never heard of it.
Well, now you have! Signed by Lord Hannebury.
Takes a special whore to get special favours.
I'll give you something, what'll you give me? Oh, you piece of You shut your gob! Shut it, Sykes.
My name's Alexander King, Mrs Thornhill.
I need a man what knows his way around a boat - a big boat.
Will rode the Thames from when he was a lad.
Mr King Yes, alright, Mr Grouse.
He may be her husband, but she's his master now.
Take those chains off.
I'll pay you for his services.
In rum.
Will's as good a waterman as ever was.
Coin or nothing.
Rum's the only currency in this godforsaken place.
It fuels the colony, like a horse runs on oats.
You get your husband fit and well, come and see me.
Well thank you, Mr King.
Come here.
Whoa! Will! Will Darling Come here.
Blankets and a week's victuals - the extent of King George's obligations.
Well, where do we go? Where do you go? There.
That's where.
Will! William Which way's home, Will? What direction? I don't know.
Got no Pole star to guide me.
No bear .
.
and every night the world was so big.
It's not like London, not this place.
The important thing is we're together.
I don't know how you done it, Sal.
Letters.
Up the line.
You know that.
'To the King .
.
from the man of quality.
' I done what I had to do, Will.
I weren't gonna let them hang you.
The important thing is .
.
Willie and Dickie got a father .
.
and I got a husband.
And promise me you'll never ask me that again.
God, Sal, what've I done? Be off! Be off, I said! Go to the devil.
This way for good work.
Alright.
I'll see you later.
Coming through! It's a colony of thieves, and none bigger than the Master of Customs, hey, Thornhill? Alright, Mr King.
We ship to the end of the world, naught changes but our master's uniforms.
How is that, Mr King? Back home it's the silk-clad, high-born feeding off the backs of the lowly.
Here, it's the trumped-up foot sloggers in red jackets.
Given time, and a new Governor, things might be put right.
Not for lifers like me, I wager - more likely pigs'll sprout wings and fly.
So job done, Mr King.
You're a grand worker, Thornhill.
Too grand.
I have nothing more for you till the next fleet.
Come back then.
Right, drink up, gentlemen.
And others.
Home to your wives.
God help 'em.
Ma On the bench there, Willie.
Dickie! Where are you going? Come back here! Willie, come here.
Take this and hide it.
Quick, go on.
Go on.
Right, you lot, come on.
Bugger off.
Thank you for your custom.
Hold on.
Go on.
You too, Scabby Bill.
Shoo! Go on.
No more broth today - shutting up shop.
Come on.
Breeding more convict scum, aye? Last time I saw a mouth like that it was feeding from a trough.
I'll plant you a good freeman's seed.
Get off me! Leave me ma alone! You watch yourself.
I am a free settler.
And so are my boys.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Free but not above the law.
The I sell's Jamaican.
It's my husbands wages.
Means you got your cut already.
You won't mind giving us a tot, then? That's thievery, plain and simple.
Just to be sure it ain't rot gut from some poxy still.
If it weren't for you lot running the rum trade there'd be no poxy stills.
Willie, get me two clean pannikins.
Rum.
Rum! Fuck off, you black bastard.
Rum! Climb back up your tree! Rum.
It's quite the lurk, innit? Right.
There you are.
Small reward for serving in this shite hole.
Jamaican, like I told ya.
Now, bugger off! What're you doing? Hey! Hey, that's legal! Leave it! That's my husband's earnings! I'll tell my Da! He'll get the law onto you! We are the bleedin' law, my lippy little sparrow.
Mm.
It's good.
There's a shipwright at Cockle Bay, makes skiffs.
Reminded me of the way Da started when he went.
Only wants £11.
Only? No, I've done my sums - we've got near enough.
The sooner you get a skiff of your own, the better.
We'll make our pile like everyone else and go home.
Get us a little house in the borough.
There's no going home.
Isn't that right, Da? Don't believe everything that Da says, Willie.
Rum Corp come round again, didn't they, Ma? Right.
Put that wood on fire, Willie.
Dickie, sit by the fire, we're going to have a little singsong.
Come on.
Chop, chop! I'm sick to death of the drunks and the bleedin' Rum Corp.
It is no place for kids to be growing up.
It matters nowt how sick and tired you are, love.
There's no going home.
See this, Dickie? Willie found it right before we come out, didn't you, Willie? Right by Pickle Herring Stairs.
It's a bit of old roof tile from London.
Now, see how they fixed it? Through that hole there? Now, we'll take it back to Pickle Herring Stairs by and by.
My word, we will - right back where it come from.
Your remembering of London ain't the same as mine, Sal.
One bad winter's all it were.
No, we were starving.
We were on the bones of our arse.
Willie, he was thin as a match - fading to nothing in front of our very eyes.
You with child again and not a farthing in my pocket.
It was not what you thought it was.
We'll get us that house in the borough.
For the term of me natural life, Sal.
It's no good pretending otherwise.
You'll get yourself another boat.
Sal And you'll have apprentices to row for ya.
So as you can be idle in our own house.
With a maid.
With a maid.
To bring us To bring us muffins in bed.
And carry in the coal.
Mm.
Yeah.
And me wrapped up in a paisley shawl.
Yeah, like Lady Muck.
Come here! William Thornhill! Who's there? Just when I thought there weren't a decent waterman in the whole bleedin' colony.
Thomas Blackwood.
I know that name.
Mrs Thornhill.
The fastest waterman on the Thames.
Held a record once.
Mm.
Nine years that record were mine - two hours and one minute from London Bridge to Chelsea.
It's under two hours now, and my man broke it.
With a near gale blowing behind him.
What do you want? Well, I wouldn't mind a tot of whatever it is you've got over there.
It's too good to be given away.
So .
.
what got you transported to the end of the Earth? None of your business, Thomas Blackwood.
And rightly so.
To you, Mrs Thornhill.
How come I haven't seen you? Steer clear of the town, mostly.
Some round here never let a man forget his past.
Got meself a good boat - back and forth, lugging food to town and supplies to farmers up North.
It's a good earner.
I had convict servants - useless as dog shit.
Don't know port from starboard.
Same again, if you don't mind.
Where up North? The Hawkesbury.
Could do with help, but.
The Hawkesbury River? It's a fine, deep river.
Plenty of water.
Yeah, plenty of blacks too.
You're not going anywhere near the Hawkesbury River, Will.
Blacks don't bother you.
That's not what I heard.
They're not like the blacks around here - they're too drunk to throw a spear.
You leave them alone, they leave you alone, simple as that.
The Hawkesbury's the place to make your pile in a hurry.
No, you're not going, husband, that's flat.
But Mr King's got no work for me till the next fleet.
I'm not gonna make a pile sitting round here, am I? She's got this idea about making a pile and going back home.
A man who's worn the King's leg iron has got next to no hope.
Well, strange as it is, that's something my dear wife is deaf to.
Don't make fun of me just because we've got company.
I didn't say it couldn't be done, now.
If you wish to make your pile, your wife is not as silly as you're making out.
Takes a special kind of pardon is all.
And what kind of pardon would that be? There's a man of the cloth - a Reverend Pine.
Got a way with words, you might say.
He likes a good brandy more than most.
The better the brandy, the better the words.
For a quart, he'll send a letter up the line vouching your good character and sighting your service to church and community.
A gallon, he would discharge the devil himself.
Couple above! The last one did that went overboard.
Sunk without a cry.
Well, it ain't exactly the Thames, is it? Thank God for that.
They call this Broken Bay.
The River comes in yonder.
A man could sail around for days and never find his way in.
It's alright, the tide's our friend.
We just need to point the way is all.
Almost there.
This is it.
Our Hawkesbury! Best hidden river in the world! You can be your own master up here .
.
slave to no-one but the tide.
Where are they, then? The only time you see a blackfella is when they want you to.
They've seen us.
There.
Take a look.
They're passing the word upriver.
Thornhill .
.
Smasher Sullivan.
He burns the oyster shells for lime.
And does a lot of mischief besides.
Blackwood! Will, stay on that oar.
Blackwood, wait! I need barrels for my lime! We're racing the tide, Smasher! I got a load needs transportin'! Been sittin' a month! Well, Saggerty's waiting! Fuck Saggerty! And his pigs.
Blackwood! Keep sharp.
Don't be a bastard, Blackwood! The further up-river we go, the better.
We won't be spending the night anywhere near Smasher Sullivan.
Fuck you! # Two maids in white aprons # Ring your bells at Saint Catherine's # Oranges and lemons # Ring your bells at Saint Clement's # When will you pay me? # Ring your bells at Old Bailey # When I am rich Ring your bells at Fleet Rum.
No.
Rum.
No! No rum rum! Get out, Scabby Bill! Go on, get out! Here, take this.
Go on, get out of here.
Rum! Get out! Out! Out! Go on, now! When's Da coming back? Soon, Dickie.
Soon.
It's alright.
Scabby Bill's buggered off now and disappeared under a bush.
Alright, come on.
It's time for bed.
But, Ma, we ain't finished.
We was up to Stepney.
Oh.
Right.
# Pray, when will that be? # Ring your bells of Stepney # I do not know # Ring your great bells of Bow # Here comes a candle to light you to bed Here comes a chopper to chop off your head! Chip, chop! Chip, chop! The last man's dead.
Ooh! My boat had a false bottom for .
.
smuggling, thievin'.
Some bugger informed.
Blew the gab on me.
Someone blow the gab on you? I've often wondered.
What was your crime? Trying to feed my family.
Ah, yes.
As innocent as the child unborn.
Helped meself to some planks of Brazilwood one moonless night.
Worth a penny, I'd bet.
£5.
It's a wonder you didn't hang for it.
Oh, I near did.
If it weren't for my Sal See, she ain't one to let such get in her way.
Not even the hangman? No.
Stubborn, you might say.
How'd she manage that? A, um a letter .
.
up the line.
Mm.
You see, her da took me in off the street .
.
and apprenticed me like his own son.
He gifted me his boat as mine and Sal's wedding present.
We had a house down in Swan Lane.
Lost it.
What happened? The Thames froze.
We stopped earning.
It was the same year our da died.
Of course the, ah, the bailiffs, they come after the lot, don't they? House .
.
then it's your boat In over his head, he was.
Just one too many bad winters.
Aren't they all? See, she forgets.
Maybe she don't wanna remember.
I dunno.
Memory's a funny thing in a place like this.
Yeah, but I ain't forgotten.
What's worse .
.
having something and losing it or not having it to begin with? Easy come, easy go.
Willie! No, Dickie, come back here! Boys! Clear off! Go on! Shut it, Chimney Chops.
Willie! Dickie, come away from there.
Go on! Fuck off! Get your filthy black arses out of here.
Where the fuck have you been, Blackwood? Now, now, don't be like that, Saggerty.
I'll leave them pigs of yours to rot.
I sees you've got yourself another lackey.
Thornhill, Saggerty.
Mine took off - bolted into the bush.
Thinks he's gonna walk to China.
Savages'll eat him first.
They're not cannibals.
Well, they set up camp yonder again, a whole tribe of them.
Thievin' bastards took six bags of my wheat while I was washing.
Well, that'll teach you to wash.
Wife and babies.
Sun got 'em.
Dickie? They're not gonna lay eggs if you're staring at 'em all day.
I got 100 acres back yonder - at first bank.
Blackwood's Lagoon - not bad for a convicted lag.
Blackwood's Lagoon.
How'd you manage that? Well, when I first got me pardon I settled me backside on a piece of land and put a crop in.
It's how you stake your claim out here.
What, simple as that? Ain't nothing in this world just for the taking, now.
But, yes, simple as planting a stick in the ground.
Look sharp, man.
Lord Loveday, free settler.
Likes to think himself a lord in his boots.
Better than us convict scum.
Doesn't make much difference out here, though - we've got our own land and .
.
everybody's shit smells the same.
What'd you say to them? Ah, the usual how-do-you-dos.
You sounded just like one of them.
Well, you pick it up by and by .
.
if you're interested.
Shovels in the exit.
Come on.
Here.
You're from Bermondsey, then.
That far away, I'll never set foot in it again! Though his wife wishes it were otherwise.
Oh, the sooner she stops fretting the better, you tell her.
We've got to make a life here now.
You tell her that.
Alright.
Do you know the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, Reverend Pine? In Bermondsey.
My ma and da are buried there in the church yard.
Brothers and sisters too - the little ones.
My Will and me, we'd meet there when we was young.
Will, he loved to sit inside that church.
And seeing them huge windows with the light blasting in, oh Will, he said he could feel God was right there in that place by the river.
Right there, in that special place.
I seen you looking back there.
I know what you're thinking.
Is that so? Round here, you don't just take something.
It's a matter of give a little, take a little.
It's the only way.
Otherwise, you're dead as a flea.
I ain't got no argument with that.
Good.
Dickie? I've got a surprise for you.
Hello! Da! Ah! Haven't you all got bigger! Been gone too long.
He's got the farmers over a barrel, Sal.
I mean, without his boat, their crops may as well rot in the ground.
He's got his own land too.
A convicted lag - 100 acres.
Can you believe it? Blackwood's Lagoon, he calls it.
And he ain't the only one.
Here, Dickie.
Taste that egg you've been waiting to drop.
Spent days staring at it, he has! Blackwood wants me to go again.
Well, I don't! No, Da! Can I come? They missed you, Will, and so did I.
Sal, it ain't like no country you've ever seen.
It's powerful, like a beauty all its own.
What about the blacks, then? I didn't see one! Alright, a few.
A few.
They're just fishing, minding their own business.
They're quiet as mice! Why did you take so long? I'll try and be quicker next time.
No next time.
No, your da's not going anywhere.
Good shot! It's like something out of a dream, Sal.
The way the light bounces off it, it's changing all the time.
It's We ought to grab it before some other bugger does.
Will, I ache when you're away from me something terrible.
And the boys, they miss you in their own way, especially Dickie - he don't understand.
And we're doing alright.
You'll soon have enough to buy your own boat so as you can work the cove.
But there's too many working the cove as it is.
We're lucky, Will! Think how lucky we are.
You could be dead right now, the boys without a father and me without a husband.
All's I care about is we're together .
.
even if we got nothing.
That's all I care about.
You understand that, don't you? Yeah, I understand.
Stephen Compte.
Donald Myles.
Richard Edwards.
William Blakemore.
Susannah Pettit.
Rebeccah Foster.
George Manning.
Thomas Barnaby.
Robert Moreland.
William Thornhill.
For good conduct, character, for sobriety and industry and service to the Church, it is by virtue and in pursuance of the power vested in me that I do unconditionally remit the remainder of your term and hereby pronounce you absolutely pardoned.
It means we can go home one day.
Oh, is that what it means? You and your gammon! You know exactly what it means.
It means you got no excuse now.
He's not going! The packet trade's been good to me, and there's only so much you need in life.
I got all I need up river with none of the aggravation.
Fine for some.
I'm selling the boat.
I need someone I can trust.
How much? Let him finish.
Folk up river - good, hard-working people - come to rely on me.
A man with a boat who can handle the currents can do well for himself.
Enough of that.
I'll give you £10 for the boat.
It's worth more than that! Will is looking to work the cove.
Make our pile that way and go home.
The Hawkesbury's the only place to make your pile fast, Mrs Thornhill.
How much do you want, Mr Blackwood? £30.
The business comes with it.
Nah, I don't want your business, just your boat.
I'll give you £12.
Don't say anything, Will.
Alright.
£15 is my final offer.
Take it or leave it.
Well.
Thank you, Mrs Thornhill.
I'll leave it.
Ow! Willie! Ow! Hey, hey, hey! Willie, what are you doing? Ow! I'll give you a good flogging! Give me that! But it's my turn, Ma! Now, that's enough of that! Now, you play at something else.
Where are you going, Ma? The Corps giveth, the new Governor taketh away.
Wants the colony to sober up.
The rum trade's finished.
He's sending them back.
That's no good to me, Mr King.
How are we to get by if I can't sell rum? Hard coin for hard work done.
Not as comforting as rum, mind, but such is life.
Thank you, Mr King.
You strike me as a capable woman, and you, Thornhill, as good a worker as any.
It might not appear as such, but those who banished you here have gifted you a new world - a clean slate, a rare opportunity.
And how do you figure that? That child in your belly, Mrs Thornhill, be it a boy or a girl, will grow up knowing nought of London and its prejudices.
Not if I have a say in it.
Hear the man out.
Let him finish.
In this new place, a man and woman of industry can thrive, unshackled to their station back home.
Think on what is needed here but can't be got.
Fill that need and you will survive.
Close the door on your past and you will prosper.
Think on that.
We could set ourselves up on the river - run the packet trade from there, the way Blackwood's done.
Pay off the boat in no time.
I'm not going, and that's flat.
You said you wanted out of it for the boys' sake.
So do I.
Home's what I meant, not the bleeding Hawkesbury, and you know it! Hold your tongue! Don't say anything, for once.
Just listen.
I've never known anyone to own a yard of land, Sal, not even your da.
See, look - when you've got your own place, you can weather any storm, batten down till things get better, and no-one can take it away from you - no-one.
Think of that - us on our own land, us! All we got to do is plant a crop and it's ours.
Ours, Sal! Crop? Yeah.
You don't know one end of a turnip from another, Will Thornhill.
Nah.
I won't do it - not out there in that terrible wildness.
I won't.
Ma, Ma! Got enough for home now, Willie? The waves are coming in.
Look, look.
You're right, OK? I don't know one end of the turnip from the other.
What I do know is five years and the packet trade will see us right.
Five years - that's all I'm asking.
Then we'll sell up, and we'll take the first boat home, as God is my witness.
We'll get our house, cash on your knocker You know, armchair by the fire .
.
a maid to carry in the coals and all the good white bread you can eat and then the Bow Bells telling us the time of day.
You got your mind made up, ain't you? Is your heart set on it? Five years.
Five years, it's all we need.
Five years? That's all I'm asking.
Alright, five years, then.
Not until I get this baby out safe and sound.
Five years, I promise.
I promise - five years.
Five years! Alright.
Just remember, but - you don't pick turnips off a tree.
Turnips off a tree! What's wrong with you? Sh, sh, sh.
It's alright.
Look over there.
That's it! In there.
That's the Hawkesbury - best hidden river in the world.
You'd be surprised, the way it grows on ya.
You and your gammon, Will Thornhill.
Da! Look.
Willie said the blacks are going to eat us.
Willie! Don't let them eat me, Ma! It's alright, Dickie.
They're not going to eat you.
There's not enough meat on you, lad.
Are there any blacks where we're going, Da? I didn't see one.
That's it.
There.
That's our own bit of land, Sal.
Mine.
William Thornhill's! There you go.
Now tie that.
Put it through.
Got the tent up, Ma.
Da lit a fire.
Yeah.
Snug as a flea in a dog's ear.
Come see, Sal.
We, ah .
.
we got a billy going too.
Nice cup of tea will do us all good.
So, this is it .
.
this place you've been dreaming of? Yeah.
This is it.
It's, ah .
.
Thornhill's Point.
I know what you're thinking.
'God help us' is what I'm thinking.
I'm hungry, Ma.
Here.
Willie, give us a hand.
This way, Ma.
Here.
That'll keep you warm.
Week at a time, you'll be gone.
What if something happens when you're not here, what will we do? I'm going to get Willie a skiff.
I'll teach him to row.
He'll look after youse.
Willie? I'll, um .
.
get you a convict servant or two.
Won't waste no time there.
We'll be right, Sal.
It's how others started - they started with nothing.
It won't be so bad.
I'll build you the house that you always wanted.
Not where I've been wanting, but.
Five years.
That's all I'm asking - five years.
Five years? As God as my witness.
It won't seem like no time at all.
No.
No, Will, no time at all .
.
as long as it ain't for the term of me natural life.
Think of it, Sal - the Thames was just like this once - before them Romans come along.
How about that? You see, down there, that's where Christchurch would be.
And our little track up to Swan Lane See that, over there? That's just like going up St-Mary-at-Hill there.
How steep it is.
And, erm, around there, that's Hay's Wharf where your da taught me to row.
And, well, right there, there's Watermen's Hall, just where it always was.
It still is, Will.
Trouble is, we ain't.
Now, get us a fire going so as I can feed these kids before you go off to Mermaid Row for a pint.
See, your ma's trying to be funny.
Hear that? That's the bells of St Martin's! Might they be watching us, Da? The savages? Alright, come on.
Work to do.
Come on! See where them daisies are growing? What's that tell ya? They like the sun? That's right.
Good spot to grow corn.
You need sun to grow corn - I know that much.
At least that's one thing, Farmer Will.
Dickie, what do you say we plant some seeds? Show your ma how to grow corn? I want to plant some seeds, Da.
Yeah.
But first we've got to prepare a patch - turn the dirt, don't we? Da! What is it? Some bugger's been here, digging.
Someone's been here.
No.
No-one's been here.
Yes, they have! No, they ain't.
It's just It's just wild hogs or moles, something like that.
I ain't seen moles.
Shut your gob! Run and get a hoe.
A spade as well.
Go on! Both of you.
Someone's been here.
No-one's been here.
Ma! Don't spear us now, fellas.
We ain't got We ain't got much here for you.
Will, give 'em something! It's alright, Sal.
Old boy, you're making no sense.
No sense whatsoever.
Not a blinking word.
So, erm Here.
Go on, take this.
It's, erm Argh, it's money.
Will! Here! Some These are some of our victuals, this - salted pork.
You eat it.
Yeah, yeah.
You thieving, cunning Come here, Willie.
Get back here! Give me the spade.
Give me the spade.
Just give me the spade.
Give me the spade.
Will? Will, just give it to him! Give me the spade! Easy, easy, easy! Easy! Alright? You can have it, alright? Take it.
Go on.
You can have it.
You can have it, here.
It's yours.
Go on.
Why didn't they spear us, Da? Sh, sh, sh.
They ain't got no call to spear us.
Innit that right, Will? Erm, they've buggered off now.
They was just passing through, is all.
Come on.
Get back.
Come on.
It's alright.
5 times 50 is? It's 250.
250 plus 5 times 2 is? 260? Right.
So five years minus a week is how many left, Willie? 259 weeks.
That's right.
Ain't it, Will? It's crooked.
No, it's not! From here, it ain't.
Look.
I was dreaming of Cobham Hall .
.
where Ma used to work.
I remember she took me once.
I saw them lions on the gateposts she always told me about.
Damask tablecloth, she'd say - even in the servants' quarters.
And silver scissors for cutting nothing but a sprig of grapes for the sideboard.
Fancy that! Scissors for nothing but grapes.
What happens when it rains? Well, it's not perfect .
.
but it's a start.
I can see the stars through them holes.
Well, then, we'll always have our bearings, won't we, Lady Muck? This is my home-brewed poteen.
Thank you.
Housewarming gift, like.
Please.
Please sit.
Mm.
Them them daisies down there Yams, I call them.
Ain't hardly none left.
They come out easy, don't they? Mm.
The blacks eat 'em like we eat taters.
They give me a couple when I first come.
I gave them some flour.
Lumpy sort of things they are, like monkeys' balls.
Pretty good eating, all round.
Sweet-like, and mealy once they've been in the coals a while.
You dig them up to plant your corn, it means they go hungry.
That's why they were upset, Will! Erm, they come when we first arrived.
We haven't seen them since, but.
Well.
Mrs Thornhill.
I suppose you've got to work it out your own way now.
Keep in mind, but - you can't just help yourselves.
If you take a little, you've got to give a little.
It's the only way.
Thank you for the liquor, Thomas Blackwood.
Er, it's just his way.
He talks in bleeding riddles, don't he? Here.
I think I'll wait for your corn, thanks very much.
It's this bleeding heat.
Tits are as tight as a drum and she won't stop fretting.
You're burning up, Sal.
You stay on the river, alright? Two bends in, this is Cat-Eye Creek.
Mrs Herring's way up.
You tell her your ma's got the fever.
Go.
Shh.
No! No, no, no, no.
Not yet.
You've got to keep her suckling.
It's the only way.
There's a physician over at Green Hills.
I can catch the tide and be back with him before nightfall.
He don't bother with them that come here at His Majesty's pleasure.
Includes the likes of us.
Come on, Sal.
Come on.
Here you are.
It's alright, Mary.
It's alright.
North.
North, Will.
What's that, my darling? Bury me facing north .
.
where home is.
There won't be no burying.
You hear? There's no burying.
Lord, I never ask for much .
.
not even when I was fit to hang.
Just get my Sal through this .
.
and I'll keep my promise to her.
I will.
Five years, and I'll take her back to London.
Is Ma going to die? No .
.
she ain't.
Eels.
Blacks swear by them - for women troubles.
They're not fools.
Come on.
It's good for you.
Come on, Sal.
Come on, now.
I used to jelly them when I was in Eastcheap, Grantley Street - you know, there by All Hallows.
I know it.
Stickley's Draper round the corner.
That's right.
Open up, now.
Come on.
Open up, now.
That's it.
A bit more now.
Come on, just a little bit more.
Ma! Sal! Milk's flowing again.
How long have I been lying in there like a lump? Five days.
Five days? I done the marks, see? Good boys! Sal.
Sal! Farmer Will! I see you, Willie! I see ya! Aaah! Thornhill! I got a load of lime needs transporting.
Been waiting.
Any day, Smasher.
Mr Sullivan's come a'visiting.
Brought us some rum and oranges, Will.
Jamaican - none of that Thomas Blackwood rotgut.
Call me Smasher, like everyone.
Smasher was telling me how he was transported for having a box that fell off the back of a wagon, and he was caught just as he was returning it to its owner.
But no-one believes a poor man, do they, Thornhill? And I was telling him about our little house in Swan Lane and Da' finding you a'sleeping in his wherry, homeless, thin as a twig.
My word, it does a man's heart good to have a yarn.
Keeps you from going dilly in this God-forsaken place.
That, it does, Smasher.
That, it does.
You do a fine johnnycake, Mrs Thornhill.
Thank you.
Take that coat off, you must be boiling.
Blacks come calling on you yet, Thornhill? Once, yeah.
You be careful.
There are all sorts of stories up and down the river about their mischief.
Scalped two men alive by South Creek.
Took a child out of its cradle, slit its little throat and sucked it dry up at Green Hills.
Dickie, go find Willie and feed the hens.
Go on.
Didn't see none of it personally, like, mind you.
Spoke to a man reckoned he had.
Swore it were no word of a lie.
And he heard they cut open a white woman down at the cow pastures, got the baby out of her womb and ate it.
That'll do, Smasher! He'll have us scared out of our bloomin' wits.
You ain't got nothing to worry about, Mrs Thornhill, so long as your husband keeps his gun at hand.
I've got my three barking irons ready to shoot any black-arse comes near my place.
And a whip.
Now, a whip is a mighty handy thing to have around your average black.
Dogs too.
Winnie, here - I trained her up to go for black skin.
She's good at it too.
Aren't you, girl? She's a beauty.
Who's a clever girl? # Oh, don't deceive me # Oh, never leave me How could you use a poor maiden so? My word, he can spin a yarn.
Gammon, if ever I heard it.
Cock and bull.
Heard it from this one or that one.
Never seen none of it for himself.
Come.
# Oh, never leave me # How could you use a poor maiden so? # Early one morning Just as the sun was rising I don't want you to go.
I have to start earning, don't I? Pay off the boat.
You won't be gone long? No.
It's our life for a while.
What's that? It's nothing.
Take care of your ma, Willie.
Got a blacks' camp along from me, and they don't look like they're going neither.
Let them go about their ways like they always done.
You won't never be welcome, but they might just leave you alone.
Dickie.
It's alright.
I mean, they're just like us.
Planned on being here five years - make enough coin so as we can go home.
And what'd be the point of that, Sal? It's time we had a little parlez-vous with the savages.
Did you see that, Da? My word, that's a good trick! 100 acres! That's my pardon! If we're not gonna give then they're gonna take it back.
All of it.
Go to hell, Smasher! Useless as dog shit! This is my place now! My place! You can have the rest!