Sign In

Access advanced features by signing in to your user account.

The Lost Boys (complete scripts)

The following is an orginal piece by Andrew Birkin

EXT. FROZEN LAKE - SCOTLAND - 1867. DAY

FADE UP on a WHITE SCREEN, gradually resolving into a LOW

ANGLE UPSHOT of snow falling from a bleak winter sky.

Presently a SOUND rises above the low moan of the wind: a

sharp, jarring sound from behind us.

A shape suddenly flashes past us - the head and body of a BOY

who seems to be flying away from us until lost from view in

the mist.

TITLE:

SCOTLAND, JANUARY 1867

A sudden discordant CHORD jabs the moaning wind, followed by

the rushing and swishing as the Boy again looms out of the

mist, flies past us and is gone. The pattern repeats several

times: the stabbing, jarring CHORD, the crescendo of SOUND,

the fragmentary glimpse of the Boy against the sky, his arms

outstretched, bird-like, skimming fast and low, eyes ablaze.

As the SHOTS widen, we gradually realise that the Boy is not

flying at all, but skating on a frozen lake. The whole winter

landscape is bleached white to the point of surrealism.

The tempo of SOUND and vision builds as the Boy skims faster

and faster -

-- until suddenly his shadow looms huge across the ice - he

pitches forward - the ice rears up towards us -

-- as his head strikes the surface, the whole FRAME

shattering like shafts of black lightning.

CUT TO BLACK.

INT. TENEMENTS COTTAGE - PARLOUR. 1867. DAY

A darkened room, the blinds drawn. In foreground, the dim

shape of an open coffin, standing on a table.

Presently a door opens and a shaft of light falls across the

coffin, revealing a dead child of twelve, DAVID Barrie. He is

a boy of wayward grace and beauty, with golden blond hair and

a soft, mocking smile, haunting and enigmatic.

A small six-year-old boy, JAIMIE (JAMES) Barrie, approaches

the coffin from the open door, glancing cautiously over his

shoulder to make sure he is not being followed.

In contrast to his dead brother, Jaimie is a somewhat ill

formed child: his body squat, truncated, with a head too

large for his wiry body, his eyes baggy and puffed about the

edges. He's wearing "mourning blacks" and has a black arm

band on his sleeve.

Jaimie climbs up on a chair and leans over the edge of the

coffin, staring at the dead boy's smile with a look of

bewildered fascination.

JAIMIE

(a whisper)

David ...

Jaimie leans forward, strokes the boy's hair, whispers to him

in a strong Scots' dialect -

JAIMIE (CONT'D)

I 'ain 'ee, David - I 'ain 'ee.

Someone calls from the passage beyond the room.

JANE ANN (O.S.)

Jaimie? Where are 'ee Jaimie?

Jaimie glances round, then hurriedly climbs down from the

chair and hides under the table.

His elder sister, JANE ANN, enters the room. She is about 17,

and speaks in the same Scots' dialect, her voice hushed in

the presence of her dead brother.

JANE ANN (CONT'D)

Far hae ye gotten tae?

From Jaimie's nervous POV, Jane Ann moves about the room,

searching for him.

JANE ANN (CONT'D)

Are ve in here hoddin?

Jaimie cowers, tries to suppress a cough but fails. Jane Ann

bends down and discovers him hiding under the table.

JANE ANN (CONT'D)

Jaimie! Coom out o' there at eence!

Jaimie crawls out from under the table, and is dragged to his

feet by Jane Ann -

JANE ANN (CONT'D)

(sharply)

James Barrie, think black burnin'

shame o' yersel'! Does yer deed

brither no' mean naethin' tae ye

ava?

Jaimie glances at the coffin, then looks down at the floor.

JAIMIE

I wasna daein' nae hairm.

(pause)

Why do he smile so?

Jane Ann falters briefly, then shoes Jaimie towards the door.

JANE ANN

Ben the hoose wi' ye before mither

hears 'ee.

Jaimie pauses, then suddenly bolts from the room. Jane Ann

follows him out, closing the door behind her.

CAMERA HOLDS on the dead boy in the foreground coffin, his

smile still visible in the semi-darkness.

EXT. TENEMENTS COTTAGE & WINDOW. 1867. DAY

FOUR MEN carry David's coffin from the cottage. As they pass

foreground, CAMERA HOLDS on Jaimie's face, watching them

through a chink in the window blind beyond them.

A pause, then he turns away, the blind falling back across

the pane.

INT. TENEMENTS COTTAGE - STAIRS & BEDROOM. 1867. DAY

Jaimie sits huddled at the foot of a narrow staircase, head

tucked between his knees. A door opens on the landing above.

DOCTOR

(O.S., barely audible)

Mak shure she taks thae ilka twa

hoors. Ye maur gar her tak a richt

diet.

JANE ANN (O.S.)

We've baith tried, faither an' me,

but we canna win through till her

ava. We feels liksen she's no'

aiven there inside her ain body.

Jaimie squeezes himself up tight against the wall as Jane Ann

and the Doctor pass him on the stairs.

DOCTOR

Well that's nae uise ava. If she

keeps on brakkin' her hert,

there'll be nae betterment. Tell

her she maun puit a stoot hert till

a stey brae.

CAMERA remains on Jaimie as the Doctor leaves the house,

closing the door behind him.

Jane Ann is about to walk back upstairs when she notices that

her young brother is crying.

JANE ANN

Fat's vrang, Jaimie?

JAIMIE

She disna care a docken aboot me.

She minds aboot naebody but David.

JANE ANN

Fa?

JAIMIE

Mither. She hes nae thocht for

naebody but David.

Jane Ann sits down on the stair beside him. A pause, then a

thought comes to her.

JANE ANN

Ben ye gae tae her, Jaimie. Gae

ben. Gaeng ben an' tell her she has

anither laddie left.

Jaimie looks up at his sister; she smiles reassuringly,

wiping away his tears.

JANE ANN (CONT'D)

Awa' ye gae noo ... Gaeng an' tell

her that. Gar her harken til ve,

Jaimie.

Jaimie hesitates a moment, then goes upstairs. He knocks

gently at a closed bedroom door. There is no reply. He

glances back down at Jane Ann, who waves him on -

JANE ANN (CONT'D)

Ben ye gae!

A pause, then Jaimie timidly opens the door and squeezes

inside, shutting it fast behind him.

The room is in semi-darkness, lit only by the thin rays of

sunlight filtering in between the drawn curtains. A long

pause, then a thin, listless voice whispers from the shadows -

MARGARET OGILVY

Is that you?

Jaimie peers into the darkness, dimly discerning the figure

of his mother, MARGARET OGILVY, lying in bed. She gazes ahead

of her as if in a trance, clutching at a small white

christening robe.

MARGARET OGILVY (CONT'D)

(an anxious whisper)

Is that you?

Margaret Ogilvy continues to gaze blankly at the void before

her, as if addressing someone else. Jaimie is evidently hurt

by her question, and tears brim in his eyes -

JAIMIE

(almost ashamed)

No, it's no' him - it's just me.

A beat, then Margaret Ogilvy turns to him, holding out her

arms.

MARGARET OGILVY

Jaimie ...

Jaimie runs to his mother's arms, sobbing his heart out.

MARGARET OGILVY (CONT'D)

Oh, Jaimie, Jaimie! Dinna ye ever

laive me! Ye maun never laive me, my

lief aliene. I canna dae wantin' ve!

JAIMIE

I'll never laive ye, mither - no'

ever! I'll gar ye laugh the way he

did, an' whustle the way he did,

an' plaise ye jeest like himsel'.

I'll be him to ye forever, I'll aye

dae'd!

Margaret Ogilvy clings to her son, rocking him back and

forth.

MARGARET OGILVY

Aye, laddie - but no' forever.

JAIMIE

(hotly)

Dae'd aye, mither!

MARGARET OGILVY

No, Jaimie. One day ye maun grow up

an' become a man, but he'll stay my

bairn forever.

Jaimie responds with a look of anguish, slowly transforming

into one of grim, silent resolve.

FADE OUT.

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS. 1897. DAWN

FADE UP on the deserted Kensington Gardens in the autumn of

1897. THEME MUSIC filters in over a series of dawn images, a

montage of anticipation, conveying the mystery of the Gardens

during Lock-Out Time: an elusive sanctuary from the urban

sprawl of London, devoid of human intrusion.

Each image lingers into the next, ending with the MAIN TITLE

over a pair of parish boundary markers: two worn stones, said

to mark the graves of two children who fell out of their

perambulators while their nurse was looking the other way.

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS - MAIN GATES. 1897. DAY

The dawn tranquility ends with the unlocking of the park

gates, allowing patrons to enter the Gardens: morning

STROLLERS, NURSES wheeling perambulators, CHILDREN on their

way to school.

Conspicuous among the arrivals are two spectacularly

attractive young boys, GEORGE and JACK LLEWELYN DAVIES, aged

eight and seven respectively. They are dressed in white fur

coats and bright red tam-o'-shanters, and both carry large

wooden hoops.

Their eagerness to reach the Gardens is held in check by

their nurse, MARY HODGSON, who wheels their baby brother

Peter in an ornate perambulator.

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS. 1897. DAY

Once inside the Gardens, Mary Hodgson relinquishes her rein

on George and Jack, allowing them to join the other children

rolling hoops along the Broad Walk.

Watching them from the other side of the Broad Walk is a

small pocket-size edition of a man - J M BARRIE. He is barely

five foot tall, and though now in his mid-thirties he looks

older, a gnomish creation huddled inside an overcoat several

sizes too big for him.

His wife, MARY BARRIE, accompanies him: a slight, attractive

woman, scarcely taller than her husband. They are both

dwarfed by the presence of their huge St. Bernard dog,

PORTHOS, who bounds to and from Mary, fetching sticks. But

Barrie's attention is held by the children, particularly

George ...

George and Jack rejoin Mary Hodgson, who has been conversing

with another nurse on the business of babies. As they turn to

leave, Barrie catches George's eye. The boy smiles at him,

then saunters off.

Mary Barrie senses her husband's preoccupation, but not the

object of his gaze; he answers her mild curiosity by pointing

his stick at some inconsequential diversion. Mary Barrie

smiles, throwing another stick for Porthos.

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS - MAIN GATES. 1897. DAY

Mary Hodgson buys Jack a balloon from a portly BALLOON WOMAN

stationed outside the park gates. George stands nearby,

already equipped with a large blue one. His attention is once

again caught by the strange little man in the large overcoat:

Barrie, leaving the Gardens with Mary on his arm and Porthos

by his side.

Barrie pauses a moment in response, then slowly raises one

eyebrow at him while simultaneously lowering the other.

Again George smiles: the careless, faintly arrogant smile of

one who knows his own charm.

The others in both groups remain unaware of the silent

exchange: Mary Hodgson leads her two charges off down the

road in one direction while Mary Barrie accompanies her

husband and Porthos in the other.

INT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GARDENS - HALLWAY. 1897. DAY

The hallway of a large, upper-middle class London house.

Presently George and Jack can be heard arguing in the street

outside as they approach.

GEORGE (O.S.)

I wanted the red one!

JACK (O.S.)

Well you can't, so snubs!

GEORGE (O.S.)

I'm the eldest, so it's mine!

JACK(O.S.)

Who says?

GEORGE (O.S.)

I do. It's my mess of pottage,

that's what Miss Fairfax says -

George opens the front-door with an air of righteous

superiority, followed by Jack and Mary Hodgson, who hauls in

the pram from the pavement while the two boys continue to

squabble over their balloons -

GEORGE (CONT'D)

She says the eldest always has a

birthmark ...

MARY HODGSON

(slight Northern accent)

That's enough, George. If you won't

talk sense, don't talk at all.

The boys' mother, SYLVIA LLEWELYN DAVIES, wanders out from

the adjoining morning-room. Formerly a Du Maurier before her

marriage, she is a woman of unconventional beauty. Her mouth

is quite crooked, her nose tip-tilted, her eyes grey,

searching, and very mischievous.

There is something wistful, almost tragic, in her expression,

particularly when she smiles, which is often, "as though the

mystery and sadness and serenity of the moon were in it".

Sylvia greets her boys with vague nonchalance -

SYLVIA

Hello boys.

GEORGE

'llo mother -

(to Jack)

- so if you don't mind I'll have my

birthmark now...

George snatches the balloon from Jack, and Mary Hodgson hands

it back to him as promptly -

MARY HODGSON

(to George)

Any more of that, my young man, and

you'll get a smacked b.t.m.

SYLVIA

Are these two being as plaguey as

usual, Mary?

(to George and Jack) )

Go and say hello to your father.

George and Jack disappear into the morning room where their

father, ARTHUR LLEWELYN DAVIES, is standing by the fireplace,

barely visible. He is a young barrister, recently called to

the Bar; his good looks are no less striking than those of

his wife and children, though his manner is inclined to be

stiff and a little severe.

Arthur's background of intellectual austerity is in marked

contrast to Sylvia's gay and somewhat Bohemian upbringing,

though they have both adapted well to each other's nature,

and are still very much in love.

While George and Jack pay their respects to Arthur, Sylvia

continues to talk to Mary Hodgson, the two conversations

being OVERLAPPED -

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

I'll be taking George and Jack down

to Ramsgate for the week end, so

will you be sure to have their suit

cases packed for Friday morning?

MARY HODGSON

Very good, Mrs Arthur.

SYLVIA

Thank you, Mary.

ARTHUR (O.S.)

Had a good day at school?

JACK (O.S.)

Passable. Did you get him off?

ARTHUR (O.S.)

After a fashion.

GEORGE (O.S.)

You mean he's not going to swing?

ARTHUR (O.S.)

No, my boy, he's not.

Sylvia goes into the morning-room, turning back to Mary

Hodgson on her way in -

SYLVIA

Oh, and Mary I wish we didn't have

to leave the pram in the hallway -

there's no room for my flowers.

MARY HODGSON

Very good, Mrs Arthur.

ARTHUR

(to Sylvia, lightly)

I think the pram more beautiful

than the flowers.

Sylvia closes the morning-room door behind her.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - BARRIE'S STUDY. 1897. DAY

A large, studio-styled drawing-room, overlooking the

Bayswater Road and the Kensington Gardens beyond. Barrie sits

at his desk, writing a letter; he is accompanied by two

inseparable companions: his pipe and his cough. This latter

affliction, the result of an early illness, has given his

voice a deep, grating resonance, at times almost a growl.

Barrie's accent is still markedly Scots, but ten years of

living among London society have produced curious anomalies,

certain words being pronounced with a correctness that would

do most Englishmen credit. He writes, or rather scrawls, with

his right hand, dragging the pen across the paper in a series

of compact, illegible jerks.

Porthos lies beside him on the floor, his mournful eyes

focussed on a well-chewed doll several inches from his nose.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Dear Sir, Thank you for the copy of

your article about my works. Your

estimate of the importance of my

stories and plays is a ridicul...

is an absurdly high one, and does

more credit, my dear sir, to your

heart than to your head. But it is

all very kind.

Barrie re-stokes his pipe from a tin of John Cotton #1

tobacco, padding down the level with a match-box. The

refuelling ceremony over, he continues the letter, his tone

reflecting the ambiguous modesty of one who can afford to be.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

And now turn your pen to an author

of real worth, such as Ibsen, whom

I assure you is a mighty man. Yours

Sincerely, J M Barrie.

While Barrie finishes the letter, Mary Barrie coasts into the

room, laden with shopping parcels. Barrie takes no notice of

her whatsoever, and it is left to Porthos to greet her.

Mary Barrie deposits her parcels on the sofa with

characteristic flamboyance. As a former provincial actress of

average talent, she still retains traits of her old

profession. A degree of somewhat self-conscious exuberance

attempts to mask her deep frustration resulting from three

years of singularly unfulfilled married life.

For this her husband is almost entirely to blame. Her

tolerance and patience towards him has been remarkable, and

it is perhaps these qualities that led a contemporary to

describe her as being "commonplace, second-rate, and

admirable."

Barrie continues with his correspondence, seemingly oblivious

to his wife's presence. She takes off her hat, adjusts her

hair in the looking-glass, talking all the while.

MARY BARRIE

Oh, what an exhausted day! I've

never seen so many people in

Whiteleys ... Can't think what they

were all doing there. It's like

Ascot week - in September!

Mary returns to the sofa, fooling with Porthos.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

Darling Porthos - yes, yes, my

darling ...

(to Barrie)

Do you think it's all to do with

the Jubilee?

(no response)

I suppose it must be. Well at the

risk of sounding unpatriotic, I

can't wait for London to return to

normal.

Mary punctuates her chatter with nervous giggles. She wanders

over to Barrie, kissing him on his hair, as of habit.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

Finish the chapter?

Barrie pauses in his writing, but again makes no reply.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

(sensing his mood)

What is it, Jim?

Barrie responds by handing her a magazine opened at a

particular page. Mary takes it from him, well aware of its

contents.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

(defensively)

Well?

BARRIE

I thought we'd agreed, no

interviews.

MARY BARRIE

Well it wasn't an interview. He

just asked me a few questions,

that's all.

Barrie makes no response, carries on writing.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

Oh, Jim...

(a nervous giggle)

A few harmless questions about

gardening - why make such a fuss?

BARRIE

(sharply)

I do not wish....

(softer)

I do not wish to have our lives

paraded in public.

MARY BARRIE

Good God, you're a fine one to

talk! What do you spend your entire

life doing?

BARRIE

I've never given an interview in my

life.

MARY BARRIE

Well there wouldn't be much point -

there's nothing left to interview.

You spread us like jam on every

page you write.

BARRIE

That's my affair.

MARY BARRIE

And what about me? You might at

least warn people -

(imitating his accent)

"You needn't say anything, but

anything you do say may betaken

down and used as grist to my mill."

A pause, then Mary relents -

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

Oh, I'm sorry. Darling, the fact is

I was as angry as you when I read

the article. I asked him not to

refer to me as an actress. I said

I was your wife ... and a very

loving one at that.

Mary puts her arm around Barrie, but he remains cold.

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS. 1897. DAY

Late afternoon, and the Gardens are beginning to empty as

Lock-Out Time approaches. A military Brass Band can be heard

playing in the far distance.

Barrie strolls among the trees bordering the Broad Walk,

jotting down ideas into a little notebook, while Porthos pads

behind him, snuffling rabbit-holes.

In the background, a group of children race their hoops along

the Broad Walk. George and Jack are again conspicuous,

distinguished from the common herd by their loosely-cut blue

blouses, high-laced boots and bright red tam-o'-shanters.

Suddenly Porthos spots a rabbit; he bowls after it across the

Broad Walk, swiftly entangling himself in Jack's hoop. Jack

falls over, and the resulting pile-up of boys and hoops

enables George to win the race.

George and Jack return to Mary Hodgson, who is sitting on a

bench, minding their baby brother Peter in his pram while

talking to another NURSE.

Porthos saunters back to Barrie, who has watched the incident

with mild amusement - though his reactions and moods are hard

to gauge since he rarely smiles. Side by side, Porthos is

almost as the height of his master; standing on hind legs,

the dog is taller by several inches.

While Mary Hodgson tends to Jack's scraped knee, George

stands idly by.

His attention is caught by the singular spectacle of Barrie

and Porthos in the distance: the dog is on his hind legs,

waltzing with his master, his front paws resting on Barrie's

shoulders as they move out of sight behind an old oak tree.

Round the back of the tree, Barrie kneels on the ground and

produces a clockwork soldier from his pocket while Porthos

watches with a melancholy air, his huge tail wagging in

anticipation. Barrie winds up the spring, then releases the

soldier to its fate. Porthos watches as it marches towards

him - as does George, who has crept up unnoticed by Barrie -

or so he thinks.

Suddenly the great hound pounces on the soldier: he paws it

into the air, then proceeds to dismember it limb from painted

limb, until it is reduced to mechanical shreds and tatters.

Porthos pauses a moment to survey the carnage, then catches

sight of George, standing behind Barrie on the gnarled roots

of the oak tree, and lets out a low, menacing growl.

GEORGE

(defiantly, to Porthos)

You're not going to bite me, so you

needn't think it.

Porthos growls louder.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

(to Barrie)

He's not going to bite me.

The growl becomes a bark.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

(faltering)

Is he going to bite me?

BARRIE

(without turning round)

Not unless you ask him agreeably.

GEORGE

(nonplussed)

Why not?

BARRIE

Because he's uncommon fussy about

whom he bites. He doesn't just bite

any old whippersnapper.

GEORGE

(deflated)

Oh. Am I a whippersnapper?

Barrie is still kneeling on the ground. He turns slowly round

to regard George, who is standing above him, leaning against

the tree. Barrie looks at him a moment, then slowly raises

one eyebrow while lowering the other.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

How d'you do that?

Barrie produces a pocket-dictionary from his overcoat.

BARRIE

Let's see ... Whinny - Whip -

Whipper - Whippersnapper. Hmm.

(reading)

"Small boy; young and insignificant

person; presuming or intrusive

child. Orig. unkn."

(snaps dictionary shut)

Couldn't have written it better

myself. Well, small boy, does that

answer your question?

GEORGE

No, small man, it does not. You

still haven't told me how you do

that thing with your - your you

know - your thingamajig.

BARRIE

Pluck out the heart of my mystery,

would you? Very well, I'll tell you

- but on one condition.

GEORGE

Yes?

Barrie glances about him, as if to make sure that no one is

eavesdropping.

BARRIE

Have you a good memory?

GEORGE

No. I mean yes.

BARRIE

And you come here every day?

GEORGE

Most days - except for Thursdays -

that's Mary's day off. Now go on,

show me how you.....

BARRIE

(interrupting)

Mary?

GEORGE

She's our nurse. Now show me how

you do it.

BARRIE

Just a minute - we haven't struck

our bargain yet. Now listen to me

carefully. The next time you're in

the Kensington Gardens, just before

Lock-Out Time, I want you to leave

four safety-pins, a piece of choco

late, and an acorn wrapped up in a

penny stamp, under this root - this

one here, just by the rabbit-hole.

GEORGE

What for?

BARRIE

Don't ask questions, boy - just do

as I say.

GEORGE

But what d'you want them for?

BARRIE

(lowering his voice)

Did I say they were for me?

George stares at Barrie, puzzled but intrigued.

MARY HODGSON

(calling, O.S.)

George?

GEORGE

Coming!

(to Barrie)

Alright. Now tell me how you do it.

BARRIE

Very well. But this was taught me

by a pirate, by the name of Swarthy

- as villainous a creation as one

could ever hope to meet in the

South China Seas - and if you

should ever cross his path, God

forbid, don't tell him that I.....

Barrie breaks off as Mary Hodgson calls out again -

MARY HODGSON

(calling sharply)

George!

GEORGE

Co-ming!

MARY HODGSON

You'll be locked in for the night

if you don't come right this

minute!

BARRIE

Go on then, I'll tell you some

other time.

(George hovers)

Go on, run along. If they catch you

in here after Lock-Out Time,

there's no saying what mischief

they'll do to you.

GEORGE

They?

MARY HODGSON

(impatiently)

George! I'm not going to call you

again.'

GEORGE

Co-ming!

(to Barrie) )

Aren't you coming too?

BARRIE

Er, no - I've, er - some matters to

attend to.

GEORGE

But it's Lock-Out Time.

BARRIE

Just so. Now good-night to you.

Barrie turns to walk away, but forgets his walking-stick.

George picks it up and hands it to him.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(as to a servant)

Thank you.

Barrie whistles to Porthos, and the two set off south across

the Gardens towards the distant trees. George watches him go,

then glances down at the large root, resembling the entrance

to some underground tunnel.

MARY HODGSON

(calling)

You'll get no tea if you don't come

right this instant!

George runs back to Mary Hodgson, who is standing pram in the

Broad Walk, ready to leave.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

It's high time you learnt to do as

you're told. Who was that anyway?

GEORGE

Oh, just a man with a dog.

(to Jack)

Come on, I'll race you to the

gates!

George and Jack race their hoops towards the gates, watched

by Barrie from a distance. He pauses a moment, then takes out

his little pocket note-book and jots down an idea.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Story about a boy who disappears?

Hmm. The reader never knows who or

what he was.

Barrie tucks his notebook back in his pocket, then turns and

walks away with Porthos into the gathering twilight.

INT. 88 PORTLAND PLACE - DINING ROOM. 1897. NIGHT

A New Year's Eve dinner party at the home of SIR GEORGE

LEWIS, the most distinguished society lawyer of the day.

The annual occasion is one of the highlights of the season,

and the GUESTS consist of fashionable actors and actresses,

artists, writers, musicians, lawyers and politicians.

Guests are seated at numerous small tables, drinking coffee

and liqueurs. Barrie dominates the conversation at his own

particular table, which includes Mary Barrie, Sir George and

LADY LEWIS, and a MR and MRS JOHN ARDEN. He is evidently in

fine humour, lolling back in his chair and smoking a cigar

instead of his pipe.

BARRIE

(breezily)

I was absolutely sure I'd hate it,

and when we arrived in New York I

had to hide in my cabin there were

so many reporters. It was only when

Charles Frohman told me they'd come

to see Ellen Terry that I consented

to leave the boat at all. Rather

red-faced too, I can assure you.

Mary Barrie rocks with laughter.

MARY BARRIE

Between you and me, Lady Lewis,

they looked on him as rather a

swell. Except that his socks didn't

match, I'm happy to say.

BARRIE

Mind you, they were rather struck

by the beauty of my voice. Strange

to relate, I've only ever met one

other person who loved my voice -

(indicating Mary Barrie)

- and I'm sure you can all guess

who that is.

Barrie's implication is clear enough, but the effusive Mrs

Arden takes the remark as an invitation to speculate.

MRS ARDEN

(brightly)

Your mother?

There is a brief titter of laughter, swiftly curtailed by a

paralysing raised eyebrow from Barrie.

MRS ARDEN (CONT'D)

(perceiving her blunder)

I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to

offend - it's just that I read your

delightful book all about her and I

- uh - well ...

Mary Barrie casts the unfortunate woman a scowl lest she make

matters any worse. Barrie's exuberant mood has vanished at a

stroke, and he now graces the dinner-table with the silence

of a tomb. Mary tries to brighten the atmosphere.

MARY BARRIE

I, er - I remember when I was an

actress, I once told a reporter I'd

been starring in London for six

weeks, and when I read what he'd

written next day he'd put "Mary

Ansell has been starving in London

for six weeks"!

(adding)

And I didn't think anybody knew!

Everyone laughs with relief, except Barrie, who stirs his

coffee in silence, his whole body rotating with the motion of

the spoon. While the background conversation continues,

Barrie notices a BALD-HEADED MAN sitting at another table. He

fishes out his ubiquitous notebook from his waistcoat pocket -

BARRIE (V.O.)

"Tommy and Grizel". Revise. Bald

headed man with few hairs carefully

spread over his head like fiddle

strings.

MRS ARDEN

(to Barrie)

I hear you're, er - you're writing

a sequel to "Sentimental Tommy"?

Barrie continues to write without looking up from his

notebook.

BARRIE

Am I?

MRS ARDEN

(soldiering on)

Oh do tell, does Tommy marry

Grizel?

Barrie finishes the note, all the while surveying the GUESTS

at the table behind.

BARRIE

I haven't the faintest idea.

MRS ARDEN

Oh, do let them - I'm sure they're

absolutely made for each other!

While Mrs Arden prattles on, Barrie's attention is caught by

a lady sitting with her back to him, at a slight angle -

SYLVIA Llewelyn Davies. She is listening politely to a guest,

while at the same time surreptitiously slipping some of the

after-dinner chocolates into her silk reticule. Arthur is

further along the table, separated from her by another guest.

MRS ARDEN (O.S.) (CONT'D)

I read "Tommy" three times, simply

couldn't put it down. John's read

it too, haven't you, dearest? I

think it's a real masterpiece.

Barrie watches Sylvia, intrigued by her pilfering. Mrs Arden

leans forward -

MRS ARDEN (CONT'D)

I mean it.

BARRIE

(watching Sylvia)

I didn't contradict you, ma'am.

Barrie leans back on his chair so that he can whisper to

Sylvia -

BARRIE (CONT'D)

You're being watched.

Sylvia looks momentarily embarrassed, then smiles.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Who are they for?

SYLVIA

For Peter.

BARRIE

A bird?

SYLVIA

A boy.

BARRIE

Baby boy?

SYLVIA

Ten months.

BARRIE

Then I was right: they're for a

bird.

SYLVIA

Really?

BARRIE

But of course. All babies are birds

if they did but know it.

SYLVIA

You seem to know a lot about it.

BARRIE

You could say I'm something of an

authority.

SYLVIA

You have children yourself?

BARRIE

Yes, one or two. No, I exaggerate.

One.

SYLVIA

A boy?

BARRIE

A dog.

SYLVIA

I see. And that makes you an

authority?

BARRIE

Oh, decidedly. I've always held

that boys and dogs have much in

common - only dogs have a keener

sense of humour.

The GUEST sitting between Sylvia and Arthur leaves the table,

allowing Arthur to hear Sylvia's conversation with Barrie.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

What else can I tell you?

SYLVIA

(after giving it thought)

What do you say to a boy when he

won't take his Castor Oil?

BARRIE

Oh, that's easy. Just tell him

he'll squeak if he doesn't. He

might even rust up altogether.

SYLVIA

(laughing)

Now why didn't I think of that?

ARTHUR (O.S.)

Because you're not a writer.

SYLVIA

I'm sorry - this is my husband,

Arthur.

Arthur stands up to shake hands with Barrie.

ARTHUR

(pleasantly) )

Llewelyn Davies, how d'you do.

BARRIE

Barrie.

SYLVIA

(to Barrie)

I'm Sylvia - Llewelyn Davies. You

know my brother?

BARRIE

Do I?

SYLVIA

Gerald du Maurier?

Sylvia indicates where GERALD DU MAURIER is sitting at a

nearby table with his escort, ETHEL BARRYMORE.

BARRIE

Ah yes. No, I've never had the

pleasure.

SYLVIA

Would you like me to introduce you?

BARRIE

No, no. To tell you the truth, I

don't get on too well with actors.

Better off with dogs.

SYLVIA

And children.

The other Guest returns to his seat between Arthur and

Sylvia, allowing Sylvia and Barrie to resume talking between

themselves.

BARRIE

Oh, not all children by any means.

Some of them rank as arch-enemies.

Usually the ones I care for most.

I've always held boys to be at

their finest when at their most

heartless.

SYLVIA

But you don't have any of your own?

BARRIE

Well, yes and no. Yes, I have a boy

- a rather depraved one I'm happy

to say - but he's not exactly mine.

SYLVIA

You've adopted him?

BARRIE

You could say that. At any rate he

calls me father from time to time,

and it rather melts me to hear him

say it, especially in the toy shop,

when I go in to buy Porthos a toy -

that's the dog. And of course the

shop-keeper thinks I'm George's

father, so I'm always in a constant

tremble whether to linger that I

might have more of it, or snatch

him away before he volunteers the

information, "Actually, he's not

really my father."

Sylvia lowers her voice from Arthur, who is now engaged in

conversation with the Guest between them.

SYLVIA

Tell me, this boy of yours. George.

Does he have any brothers?

BARRIE

Yes, two.

SYLVIA

Jack and Peter?

BARRIE

(with growing curiosity)

That's right.

SYLVIA

And you meet them in the Kensington

Gardens with their nurse?

BARRIE

Every day, except Thursdays...

SYLVIA

... which is her day off?

BARRIE

Correct.

Sylvia leans forward.

SYLVIA

(lowering)

Mr Barrie, I'm sorry to be the one

to have to tell you this, but your

boy's father is sitting next to me.

Sylvia gently tips her chair back, affording Barrie an

unobstructed view of her husband.

Arthur smiles pleasantly at Barrie, unaware of their

conversation. The brief silence is broken by the chimes of

midnight.

SIR GEORGE LEWIS (O.S.)

Ladies and gentlemen, may I propose

a toast. To the Queen, to the

Empire, and to all of you here, for

a very happy and prosperous 1898!

The GUESTS raise their glasses, chorusing "Happy New Year" to

each other, followed by applause.

INT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GARDENS - HALLWAY. 1898. NIGHT

Arthur is about to remove Sylvia's cloak after returning from

the New Year's Eve dinner party: instead, Sylvia puts her

arms around his neck, slowly turns him round and kisses him.

They are interrupted by a discreet cough from Mary Hodgson as

she comes down stairs.

MARY HODGSON

Happy New Year, Mr and Mrs Arthur.

SYLVIA

Happy New Year, Mary.

ARTHUR

Happy New Year ...

SYLVIA

Is anything wrong?

MARY HODGSON

No, only Master George - he pulled

out that tooth of his and he

couldn't get to sleep so I've had

to give him a draught.

SYLVIA

Oh, I hope he hasn't spoiled your

evening too much.

MARY HODGSON

Not at all, I was only doing the

mending. Would either of you like a

cup of something?

SYLVIA

Not for me, thank you Mary. I'll

just go up and see that George is

alright.

Sylvia goes to the stairs.

ARTHUR

(to Sylvia)

You might be needing this...

Arthur produces a sixpence from his waistcoat pocket, hands

it to Sylvia.

SYLVIA

I won't be a moment.

Sylvia takes the sixpence, goes upstairs.

INT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GARDENS - NIGHT NURSERY. 1897. NIGHT

George lies asleep in bed, his thumb in his mouth, his hand

curled about his nose. Jack lies in the next bed, their baby

brother Peter in a cot by the window.

Sylvia tiptoes over to George's bed, gently lifts his pillow,

extracts a small white tooth from under it and replaces it

with the sixpence, then kisses him softly on the forehead.

GEORGE

(sleepily)

Mother?

SYLVIA

Shhh - go back to sleep.

GEORGE

Did you get tipsy?

SYLVIA

Just nicely, thank you.

(kisses him)

By the way, I met a friend of

yours.

GEORGE

Who?

SYLVIA

Your friend ... Mr Barrie.

GEORGE

Hmm?

SYLVIA

The man you meet in the Kensington

Gardens.

GEORGE

Hmm?

SYLVIA

The man with the dog.

GEORGE

Oh... him.

SYLVIA

Did you know he's a very famous

writer?

GEORGE

No. But he can wiggle his ears.

Sylvia smiles, tucks his back to sleep.

SYLVIA

Happy New Year, darling.

As she walks back to the door, a plaintive cry -

GEORGE

Don't shut the door.

Sylvia goes, leaving the door ajar. George closes his eyes.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - STUDY. 1898. NIGHT

Barrie and Mary Barrie return from the New Year's Eve dinner

party in high spirits, to be greeted by an equally buoyant

Porthos, who slobbers Mary with affection -

MARY BARRIE

Porthos! Oh my darling, Happy New

Year old thing - Happy New Year!

Porthos almost knocks her over in passion

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

(laughing)

That's enough, Porthos!

(to Barrie)

I think he's been drinking too!

While Mary continues her affectionate doggy-talk, Barrie

takes off his coat and tie, and slumps down on the sofa.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

(to Porthos)

Have you been celebrating with your

little girl-friend next door, hmm?

Darling Porthos, what would I do

without you, eh?

(to Barrie)

How about a little nightcap?

BARRIE

(yawning)

I don't think my eyebrows could

take another drop.

MARY BARRIE

Oh come on - we can sleep till

luncheon, it's New Year's Day.

Mary brings a bottle of cognac and a glass over to the sofa.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

Tomorrow I thought we might go for

a drive in the country. Sir George

was telling me about a cottage he's

found near Farnham with a lake ...

it sounds just the place I've been

looking for, and I thought we might

go and look at it tomorrow?

BARRIE

(teasing)

You and Sir George, eh?

MARY BARRIE

Don't be silly, darling - you and

me.

She kisses him briefly, pours out a glass of cognac to share

between them, then settles down next to him.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

And who were you flirting with?

BARRIE

(vaguely)

Oh ... just a friend of a friend.

Mary Barrie raises the glass to Barrie's lips. He takes a

sip, but no more.

MARY BARRIE

What friend?

BARRIE

You don't know him.

MARY BARRIE

Her husband?

BARRIE

No.

MARY BARRIE

(giggling)

She is married ...?

BARRIE

Respectably.

A pause. Mary puts her arm round Barrie's shoulders, tries to

kiss him passionately. It is clearly an ordeal for him, and

after a dispirited attempt, he pushes her gently away. Mary

is evidently familiar with his moods and pours another drink.

MARY BARRIE

Well? Who is she?

BARRIE

(spelling it out)

If you must know, she is one Sylvia

Llewelyn Davies, the wife of one

Arthur Llewelyn Davies ... the

daughter of one George Du Maurier,

brother of one Gerald Du Maurier.

MARY BARRIE

But we don't know the Du Mauriers.

BARRIE

I didn't say we did.

MARY BARRIE

You said she was a friend of a

friend.

A long pause, then Barrie looks away.

BARRIE

I was referring to her son.

MARY BARRIE

Ah.

(pause)

And - uh - how old is her son?

BARRIE

He tells me he's just chimed six of

the clock, but - well, you know how

boys lie about their age.

Mary Barrie hesitates a moment, then starts to laugh in her

giggly, nervous manner.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

What's so funny?

MARY BARRIE

You.

A long pause. Barrie gets to his feet.

BARRIE

I think I'd better have another go

at that chapter ...

(mumbling to himself)

Poor Tommy ... poor Tommy ...

(to Mary)

Yes, you pop up to bed - I'll be up

later.

MARY BARRIE

You know you don't have to have it

finished for another six months.

BARRIE

I know, but I'm in the mood.

Barrie wanders away to his desk, leaving Mary alone on the

sofa.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

I can only write when I'm in the

mood.

Mary raises her eyebrow. She remains seated a moment, staring

blankly at the empty cognac glass. Then, with a resigned sigh

she re-corks the bottle and returns it to the sideboard.

Barrie sits at his desk, sorting through a confusion of

manuscripts, letters and bills until he finds the manuscript

he is working on: "Tommy and Grizel".

Mary Barrie wanders past, kisses him as of habit on the top

of his hair, then leaves the room.

A long pause before Barrie begins to write.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Poor Tommy! He was still a boy, he

was ever a boy, trying sometimes,

as now, to be a man ... but always

when he looked round, he saw his

boyhood holding out its arms to him

and calling him back to play. He

was so fond of being a boy that he

could not grow up.

Barrie pauses to reflect on his own observation, idly running

his pencil along his bottom lip.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

In a younger world, where there

were only boys and girls, he might

have been a gallant figure. Ah, if

he could have loved in this way, no

one would have been more loved than

she. He knew it was...

(beat)

He knew it was tragic that such

love as hers should be given to

him, but what more could he do than

he was doing? ...

LAP DISSOLVE:

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS. 1899. DAY

George kneels by the roots of the old oak tree, burrowing

with his hand into a dark hole, "the entrance to old

Solomon's Cave, leading to the fairies' Winter Palace" -

BARRIE (V.O.)

... He could not make himself anew,

and boys cannot love. Oh, is it not

cruel to ask a boy to love?

George extracts something from the cave, wrapped up in a

large dock leaf. He hides it in his pocket, then runs back to

the Broad Walk where Barrie and Jack are walking behind Mary

Hodgson and her pram, carrying a cricket-bat and wickets, and

accompanied by Porthos.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(to Jack)

... you'll have to go a long way

before you catch up with my bowling

analysis for last year. It was the

most spectacular of the season: 3

overs, 283 runs, 3 wides, and no

wickets.

George shows Barrie his day's haul from the cave: a large,

juicy caterpillar.

GEORGE

I think it's just another Tiger

Moth, but it might be a Death's

Head. Can I put it in your pocket?

BARRIE

Yes, but mind it doesn't go to

sleep in my pipe like the last one

did. I wondered why the tobacco

tasted so strange.

JACK

Ugh!

BARRIE

Not unpleasant, mind. I'm told that

in Arabia it's considered a rare

delicacy.

George moves closer to Barrie, out of Jack's earshot.

GEORGE

There was something else too.

George unwraps the dock-leaf to reveal a set of Pan Pipes.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

I found them in Old Solomon's Cave.

D'you think the fairies left them

for me?

JACK

(chipping in)

Left what?

GEORGE

Nothing.

JACK

Well what is it?

George looks at Barrie for his approval.

GEORGE

(to Barrie)

Shall I?

Barrie nods, and George shows Jack the Pan Pipes.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

The fairies left them. They often

leave things for me...

JACK

(ever the skeptic)

Fairies!

BARRIE

You don't believe in them I take

it?

JACK

No. Why, should I?

BARRIE

Well that's up to you of course,

but I can tell you this: every time

a boy says "I don't believe in

fairies" there's a fairy somewhere

in the world that falls down dead.

GEORGE

He's right you know.

JACK

(rubbing his hands)

Oh lummy, then I must have killed

tons of them. Let's have a look.

Barrie watches as George shows Jack the pipes.

BARRIE

(knowledgeably)

Yes, they're Pan Pipes - they've

certainly been left by the fairies.

Who knows, they might even have

been left by the Great God Pan

himself.

JACK

Wait a minute, those aren't Pan's

pipes, look - they're Peter's ...

they're the ones Peter got in his

stocking at Christmas.

BARRIE

All right, Peter Pan's then.

GEORGE

Who's Peter Pan?

BARRIE

(no idea)

Who's Peter Pan? Why everybody

knows who Peter Pan is.

GEORGE

Well I don't - and I think you've

just made him up.

JACK

And I think you stole those pipes

from our nursery!

BARRIE

Absolute poppycock.

JACK

How'd they get here then?

BARRIE

Well, I - er - I expect ..

Barrie has a convenient coughing spasm to give himself time

to think up a plausible answer.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

I daresay - er - Peter left them

behind when he flew back.

GEORGE & JACK

(together)

Flew?!

BARRIE

O ye of little faith! Why do you

think your loving parents put bars

on the nursery windows? To keep you

from flying away of course.

GEORGE

But we haven't got bars on our

windows.

BARRIE

Ah, well, there you have it. You

see, all children were birds once,

and I expect Peter's still got

itchy shoulders and likes to fly

about o' nights.

JACK

But we can't fly!

BARRIE

Therein the tragedy: you've lost

your faith. The only reason that

birds can fly and we can't is

because they have perfect faith ...

for to have faith is to have wings.

Barrie reacts favourably to his own maxim and jots it down in

his notebook.

JACK

(sing-song fashion)

I don't think I believe you.

BARRIE

And why not, pray?

JACK

Well how can a bird turn into a

baby?

BARRIE

How can a caterpillar turn into a

butterfly?

GEORGE

(to Jack, victorious)

So snubs, Mister Know-it-all!

Jack thumps George, and they run off fighting by Porthos.

Barrie watches them a moment, then takes out his notebook.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Childless man meets boy in Gardens,

à la George and self. Scheme to

burrow under his mother's influence

- take him from her, make him

utterly mine. I work hard to retain

his love, but soon he'll grow out

of me. Important to stress this,

the knowing that it can't last. ...

INT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GARDENS - MORNING ROOM. 1899. DAY

As Barrie's notebook V.O. continues, he observes Sylvia

sewing a new tam-o'-shanter. George sits nearby at the tea

table, talking incessantly to her, while Jack stuffs himself

with chocolate alphabetical biscuits, despite Mary Hodgson's

disapproving looks.

Barrie sits to one side, his notebook observations OVERLAPPED

with George's almost inaudible background chatter.

BARRIE (V.O.)

The boy's mother - use Sylvia as

model, a woman who will always look

glorious as a mother. Nose tip

tilted, crooked smile. A woman to

confide in. No sex in this - we

feel it in both man and woman.

All the secrets of motherhood you

feel behind those calm eyes.

GEORGE

(a gabbled monologue)

Mr Barrie showed us some graves in

Kensington Gardens where Peter

Pan's buried some children who fell

out of their pram when their nurse

wasn't looking, and he says that

sometimes Peter takes dead children

a part of the way so's they won't

be frightened, but best of all he

likes to dance on their graves and

make them laugh. Oh, and Mr Barrie

says it's not true what father said

about how people have babies, he

says they're little white birds who

live on Bird Island before they

turn into babies ...

Barrie's VOICE-OVER FADES, and George becomes more audible -

GEORGE (CONT'D)

... and Peter was a white bird too,

only his mother barred the windows

and that's why - Hey, Jack's eaten

all the G's - they're my favourites!

MARY HODGSON

Well you shouldn't talk so much.

GEORGE

(to Jack)

Well you jolly well watch out!

Jack takes no notice and continues stuffing.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

(to Sylvia)

So anyway, he flew away to

Kensington Gardens 'cos he didn't

want to grow up and work in a

boring office and things...

George's voice fades as Barrie continues his notes -

BARRIE (V.O.)

Could call my story about George

"The Little White Bird".

George thinks book all about him -

mother sees through this, knows

it's all about me.

GEORGE (O.S.)

... he just wants to be a little

boy like Mowgli and have fun. So he

lives on Bird Island in the

Serpentine with the Lost Boys and

Old Solomon Caw - he's the old crow

who gives people babies ...

George's voice takes over as Barrie's VOICE-OVER fades.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

So if you want to have a baby, you

write to him and ask for a bird.

That's how people have babies... Mr

Barrie says so.

Sylvia walks over to George to measure the tam-o'-shanter on

him for size. We now see that she is six months' pregnant.

SYLVIA

Perhaps if I gave the letter to Mr

Barrie, he might deliver it for me?

BARRIE

I shall see that he gets it in

person.

GEORGE

But if you want a girl this time,

for heaven's sake don't ask for one

or he'll send you another boy.

(to Barrie)

What sort of bird shall we choose

for her?

(to Sylvia)

Mr Barrie says I was a robin 'cos

I'm such a gallant fellow...

Sylvia tries to measure George -

SYLVIA

Hold still a moment!

(beat)

And what sort of bird was Peter?

GEORGE

Oh, Peter's different - you see

he's only half human - that's when

he lives in our nursery - but the

other half lives on the island, and

Mr Barrie says that one day he

might fly away altogether, so's he

can stay a boy for ever and always.

But it's too late for me and Jack -

MARY HODGSON

(correcting him)

Jack and I.

GEORGE

(correcting her)

Jack and me. We're done for.

MARY HODGSON

Now less talking and finish your

tea.

GEORGE

But I've finished. Can I get down

please? I want to show mother my

caterpillars.

MARY HODGSON

Then say your grace first.

GEORGE

(swiftly)

Thanks for the tea.

MARY HODGSON

That wasn't much of a grace.

GEORGE

Wasn't much of a tea either -

Jack's eaten it all.

SYLVIA

If you go on stuffing like that,

Jack, you'll be sick tomorrow.

JACK

(cheerily)

I'll be sick tonight.

Barrie responds to the line while Jack goes on stuffing.

MARY HODGSON

(to Jack)

And you'll be the one who clears up

the mess.

George goes over to Barrie, slips his hand in his pocket and

takes out the matchbox. Jack notices that Barrie is writing

in his notebook; he gets down from the table and goes over to

him while George shows Sylvia his caterpillar.

JACK

(to Barrie)

What you writing?

BARRIE

Oh, just something you said.

JACK

Something funny?

BARRIE

It might raise a smile in the

gallery. Might even pay you for it.

JACK

(eagerly)

How much?

Mary Hodgson reacts to Barrie's indulgence, but says nothing.

BARRIE

What do you think it's worth?

JACK

(imitating Scots' accent)

At least a shillin'.

Barrie considers.

BARRIE

Tell you what I'll do, I'll make

you a sporting offer. I'll give you

a shillin', now, and there's an end

of it, or I'll pay you a halfpenny

for every night of the play I use

it in. The choice is yours.

JACK

(to Sylvia)

Mother?

SYLVIA

Yes, dearest?

JACK

What do you think?

SYLVIA

Well that depends on whether you

think Mr Barrie's play is going to

be a success or not.

JACK

Oh.

(to Barrie)

In that case I'll take the money.

BARRIE

Wise fellow.

Barrie hands Jack a shilling as Arthur comes into the room,

dressed in his shirt-sleeves.

ARTHUR

Sylvia dear, you haven't seen my

cuff-links, have you? The blue and

gold ones? I could have sworn I

left them on the dressing table.

(greeting Barrie stiffly)

Mr Barrie.

SYLVIA

(casually)

Jimmy's been out with the boys in

the park - he's just dropped in for

a cup of tea.

ARTHUR

(flatly)

Ah. Yes. Yes, my cuff-links ...

can't think what on earth I did

with them.

SYLVIA

Have you looked in the sewing-room?

ARTHUR

Good idea.

Arthur turns to leave.

ARTHUR (CONT'D)

Evening boys.

GEORGE & JACK

(together)

Evening father.

Arthur pauses a moment in the doorway.

ARTHUR

Sylvia dear, don't you think you

ought to be getting ready? You know

what the traffic can be like.

Arthur leaves the room.

MARY HODGSON

(to George and Jack)

Yes, and you too, boys - time for

Bengers and bed.

GEORGE

(to Barrie)

Will you come up and tell us a

story?

BARRIE

(bellowing)

Get up stairs, you thundering

curmudgeons, or I'll kick you round

the room!

George and Jack bolt from the room in a flash, followed by

Mary Hodgson.

SYLVIA

(laughing)

I must try that myself next time.

(pause)

Would you like to have a drink? I'm

quite sure you could do with one

after those two all afternoon. They

can be quite a handful, especially

George.

(goes to sideboard)

I only hope the next one's a girl

for a change.

BARRIE

But why? You seem so good at boys,

and after all, this is the age of

the specialist.

SYLVIA

(smiling)

Whisky?

BARRIE

Thank you.

SYLVIA

But Arthur would so dearly love to

have a girl though. You know what

fathers are like.

A moment of brief awkwardness as Sylvia remembers that Barrie

has no children himself.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

Did you have any brothers and

sisters yourself?

BARRIE

Yes, one or two. No, eight or ten,

I forget which. But anyway all of

us living in the one wee cottage.

SYLVIA

(handing him whisky)

Your poor mother!

BARRIE

Well at least she had a bed to

herself - we children had to take

it in turns. It was the same with

the sugar - one lump between eight

of us.

(Sylvia laughs)

No, really. Mother used to tie the

lump from a piece of string and

hang it from the ceiling, then at

tea-time we children would swing

the lump and dunk it from cup to

cup, always starting with the

eldest. I think I must have been

about ten years of age before I had

my first taste of sugar, which is

probably why I've had a sweet tooth

ever since. David had....

(breaks off; a pause)

I'm sorry ...

(sits down)

David was Mother's favourite son,

but he was killed in an accident

when he was twelve.

SYLVIA

How dreadful.

BARRIE

Oh, not really. Not much happens to

us after we're twelve. But it was a

terrible blow to my mother.

INT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GARDENS - HALLWAY. 1899. DAY

Arthur comes downstairs, dressed in evening clothes. He

pauses by the looking-glass at the foot of the stairs to

adjust his tie, reacting to Barrie's voice emanating from the

morning-room.

BARRIE (O.S.)

The only method I devised to make

her forget about David was to get

her to tell me stories about her

own girlhood. Indeed I learnt so

much about hers that the other day

when George was asking me about my

childhood I found myself telling

him about hers instead of mine.

INT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GARDENS - MORNING ROOM. 1899. DAY

Sylvia sits near Barrie, sewing the tam-o'-shanter.

BARRIE

You know I sometimes wonder if I'll

ever be able to write a story

without that little girl wandering

confidently through its pages. But

of course I never really made her

forget about David. After all, he

had the advantage.

SYLVIA

Why?

BARRIE

Because.

(pause)

Because when I grew rusty and

became a man, he was still a boy of

twelve. I always....

Barrie breaks off as Arthur enters the room.

SYLVIA

(to Barrie, gently)

Go on.

BARRIE

There's no more to tell.

ARTHUR

I trust I'm not interrupting?

SYLVIA

Of course you're not, darling.

ARTHUR

You were right about the cuff

links. Under the things on the

ironing board. Can't think how they

got there.

SYLVIA

I expect you left them in your

shirt.

ARTHUR

Yes, I expect I did.

(stiffly, to Barrie)

And - how's Mrs Barrie?

BARRIE

Oh, she jogs along, thank you.

SYLVIA

You must bring her round to dinner

one evening.

BARRIE

(without enthusiasm)

Yes. Yes, well - er - if I'm going

to tell those boys a story, I'd

better be cutting along.

SYLVIA

I'll come and help you.

BARRIE

No, no - please. I don't want to be

a trouble, and I know the way.

(to Porthos)

Come on, old fellow.

Barrie leaves the room, followed by Porthos who pads out

behind him.

Arthur pours himself a drink.

SYLVIA

(reflectively)

Oh - poor Jimmy ...

ARTHUR

What's so poor about him?

SYLVIA

He was telling me about his

childhood ... about his brother

David and his mother.

ARTHUR

(wryly)

"Margaret Ogilvy".

SYLVIA

He told you too?

ARTHUR

Not personally, but for the modest

price of four shillings you can buy

the whole heart-breaking story at

any railway bookstall. I gather

it's made him a small fortune.

SYLVIA

(a shade disillusioned)

Oh. Still, I can't see anything

wrong in making a small fortune

from one's own memoirs. Papa did

very nicely out "Trilby".

Arthur walks over to the fireplace, preoccupied and uneasy.

Sylvia continues her sewing.

ARTHUR

I suppose you invited him in?

SYLVIA

Why, do you mind?

ARTHUR

Well it is beginning to get a

little out of hand, isn't it.

SYLVIA

Not that I've noticed.

ARTHUR

I mean all this following the boys

round like a sort of lap-dog. If

he's so fond of children, why

doesn't he have a few of his own?

SYLVIA

I expect there are reasons.

ARTHUR

I don't doubt it.

SYLVIA

But why should it matter to you?

ARTHUR

Because it does matter, that's why.

I get little enough time with the

boys as it is, and I....

(flustered)

Besides, what right has he got,

wandering in here day in and day

out as if he owned the place?

SYLVIA

I invited him in.

ARTHUR

Well you didn't yesterday because

yesterday I was the only one here.

SYLVIA

Yesterday you invited him in.

ARTHUR

Well - one tries to be civil.

Sylvia gets up, but her pregnancy makes movement difficult.

Arthur helps her to her feet.

SYLVIA

I really don't see what you're

making such a fuss about, I mean

Jimmy's a friend of the boys,

they're friends of his - it all

seems perfectly reasonable to me.

ARTHUR

Well it doesn't to me. Nor to one

or two other people, come to that.

To be perfectly frank, they find

the whole thing rather odd.

SYLVIA

What's so odd about it, for

heaven's sake?

ARTHUR

You know perfectly well what I

mean. I mean odd. Unhealthy.

SYLVIA

I'm none too sure that I do know

what you mean, but if it's what I

think you mean, then I'd say you

were being a very poor judge of

character -

(gently)

- which I know you not to be.

ARTHUR

(retreating)

Well no, I'm not suggesting

anything like that of course.

(pause)

Oh, I daresay he's a decent enough

sort of fellow really, I just wish

he wouldn't carry on as if ...

well, as if he owned them.

SYLVIA

(smiling)

Arthur dear, you've got it all

quite wrong. He doesn't own them.

They own him.

INT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GARDENS - NIGHT NURSERY. 1899. DUSK

Barrie kneels between George and Jack, saying their prayers

beside George's bed, while Mary Hodgson lights the night

lights. Peter is asleep in his cot under the window.

[Note: It is this nursery that is to become the model for the

Darling Nursery in "Peter Pan"; the set should therefore bear

a close resemblance to Barrie's description, given at the

beginning of Act I.]

GEORGE & JACK

(allegretto)

... deliver-us-from-evil-for thine

is-the-Kingdom-the-power-and the

glory-for-ever-and-ever-Amen.

GEORGE

(an afterthought)

Oh yes, and please God grant me a

pair of knickerbockers.

An initial laugh from Barrie turns into a coughing spasm, and

the two boys slap him hard on the back.

BARRIE

(spluttering)

Careful, or you'll knock my false

tooth out!

GEORGE

Well it'll serve you right. Mother

says you smoke far too much, and

one day you'll cough yourself into

a thousand pieces.

BARRIE

Aye, though it won't be the cough

that carries me off, but the coffin

they carry me off in. I remember my

father always used to say that, and

then he'd say, "if you go on

coughing like that, Jaimie, you'll

cough your insides out." Of course

I never took any notice, and one

day do you know what he did? He

went down to old Tammas the butcher

and he bought up six pounds of

sheep's innards. Then that night he

stole into my room and put them on

my pillow, so that when I woke up

the next morning I'd think I'd

coughed my insides out.

GEORGE

(wide-eyed)

Did you?

BARRIE

Well, I went down to breakfast

looking michty white, and my father

said to me, "Well, Jaimie, did you

nae cough out your insides last

night?" And I said, "Aye, father,

that I did, but with the grace of

God and the help of a tea-spoon I

put them all back again."

George and Jack laugh uproariously at Barrie's anecdote, told

in his customary deadpan fashion.

MARY HODGSON

Shhh - less noise or you'll wake up

Peter. Come on now, into bed the

pair of you.

GEORGE

Oh, but Mr Barrie was going to tell

us another story.

MARY HODGSON

Bless me, child - how many more do

you want?

GEORGE

As many as he'd like to tell us ...

Nurse.

MARY HODGSON

Any more of your pert replies young

man and you'll find my Gregory

Powder on the end of your tongue.

Sylvia enters the room -

SYLVIA

It's all right, Mary - I'll see

them into bed.

MARY HODGSON

Very good, Mrs Arthur. They've said

their prayers and they're all ready.

Barrie's voice LAPS OVER as he jots down George's remark in

his notebook.

BARRIE (V.O.)

George praying: "Oh, God, grant me

a pair of k-nickerbockers."

MARY HODGSON

(to Sylvia)

Good night, Mrs Arthur.

SYLVIA

Good night, Mary.

Mary leaves the room and Sylvia turns to her boys.

JACK

(sniggering)

Mrs Arthur!

GEORGE

(to Sylvia)

Oh, Mrs Arthur, Mr Barrie's been

telling us the most awfully grizzly

stories. Please can't he stay and

tell us just one more?

SYLVIA

I'm quite sure he's had enough of

you both for one evening.

Sylvia goes to kiss Jack, but he disappears under the

bedclothes.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

Don't I get a kiss?

JACK

(reluctantly)

Oh, all right.

Jack reappears from under the sheets and offers up his cheek

for a kiss.

JACK (CONT'D)

But if father tries it, I'll kick

him.

GEORGE

Are you going out for long?

SYLVIA

No, no - and you'll be quite safe.

Nothing can harm you once the night

lights are lit ... despite what Mr

Barrie might have told you.

JACK

(hiding under sheets)

I'm not scared.

Barrie and Sylvia move towards the door, followed by Porthos.

SYLVIA

Sweet dreams.

GEORGE

Night, mother. Night old Crock.

INT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GDNS - LANDING. 1899. DUSK

Barrie and Sylvia leave the nursery -

BARRIE

(to Porthos )

Come on, old boy - come on.

Porthos squeezes round the door, Barrie purposely closing it.

SYLVIA

No, I always leave...

BARRIE

Shhh...

Barrie holds the door closed, awaiting the plaintive cry -

GEORGE (O.S.)

Don't shut the door!

With a gleam of satisfaction, Barrie obligingly re-opens the

door, leaving it slightly ajar.

BARRIE

It's nectar to my ears.

Barrie and Sylvia move along the landing towards the stairs.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

By the by, Mary and I are thinking

of buying a cottage in the country,

somewhere for Porthos to grow in -

which he seems to do about six

inches a night - and we were

wondering whether you'd perhaps all

like to come down in the summer?

Barrie and Sylvia walk away, CAMERA HOLDING on the empty

landing and the door to the Night Nursery.

SYLVIA

(O.S., her voice receding)

Well that sounds marvellous, but it

would depend on Arthur's work ...

The CAMERA moves slowly in on the Night Nursery door.

GEORGE (O.S.)

Psst ... Jack?

JACK (O.S.)

Hmm?

GEORGE (O.S.)

D'you think he'll be all right?

JACK (O.S.)

Who?

GEORGE (O.S.)

Peter of course. You don't think

he'll fly away?

JACK (O.S.)

Course not. Go to sleep.

GEORGE (O.S.)

Alright. But don't blame me if he

does.

No response from Jack.

INT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GDNS - NIGHT NURSERY. 1899. DUSK

The nursery is lit by the glow of the night lights, the

flames flickering in the soft breeze from the open window.

Presently Jack pokes his head above the sheets and looks

cautiously about.

JACK

(an anxious whisper)

George?

(urgently)

George!

GEORGE

(sleepily)

Mmm?

JACK

Mary's left the window open. P'raps

you'd better close it.

George sighs, then gets out of bed and tiptoes over to the

window, checking to see that Peter is still in his cot.

From the street below comes the distant sound of "Good

nights" and the front door closing.

George steps up on tiptoe to close the window, pausing to

look down at the street -

EXT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GDNS - WINDOW & STREET. 1899. DUSK

George gazes wistfully down from the window.

From his POV he sees Barrie walking slowly away down the

street, a lonely figure with only Porthos for company.

George remains at the window a moment longer, watching

Barrie's receding figure, then turns and is gone, the curtain

falling back across the panes.

SLOW FADE OUT.

EXT. BLACK LAKE COTTAGE & DRIVE. 1901. DAY

FADE UP on Black Lake Cottage on a blazing summer's day: a

large country retreat surrounded by a pine forest.

A sign on the front lawn reads: "PERSONS WHO COME TO STEAL

THE FRUIT ARE REQUESTED NOT TO WALK ON THE FLOWERS".

The front door opens and George, Jack and Peter (now aged 4)

stride out of the cottage, dressed for the kill in their

knickerbockers and red tam-o'-shanters. George carries a

black axe and a large bow, his shirt bulging with arrows,

while Jack wields a menacing red hatchet. Peter follows

behind with Barrie, the former armed with a garden rake, the

latter with a camera mounted on a tripod.

The party set off into the forest, with Porthos bounding

after them; Sylvia stands in the porch, holding her newest

arrival, Michael, as she waves good-bye to them.

From an upper window of the cottage, a resigned Mary Barrie

also watches them leave.

EXT. BLACK LAKE & WOODS. 1901. DAY

[Music over] PORTHOS leads the way down a narrow forest

track, followed by Barrie and the BOYS.

CAPTION:

THE BOY CASTAWAYS OF BLACK LAKE ISLAND

[Note: Captions to appear like the dialogue cards in a silent

movie.] Barrie and the BOYS reach the shore of Black Lake.

The lake is only a few feet at its deepest, but in the hazy

heat of summer it resembles a South Seas lagoon, surrounded

by pine trees.

CAPTION:

A RECORD OF THE TERRIBLE

OF THE BROTHERS

DAVIES IN THE SUMMER OF 1901

Barrie directs George, Jack and Peter into position by the

edge of the lake, then photographs them, their weapons raised

in the air. This is the first of a series of SEPIA PHOTO

GRAPHS interpolated throughout the Black Lake sequence that

follows, and are based on Barrie's originals.

CAPTION:

CHAPTER I:

WE SET OUT TO BE WRECKED

Barrie stands on the shore of a little cove, setting up his

camera, while George and Jack row towards him in a punt,

pointing out to Peter the sea-monsters that lurk beneath the

surface in the form of tree-roots.

As the punt glides into the cove, Barrie hails them -

BARRIE

Ralph, Jack and Peterkin, I salute

ye! Welcome to the Coral Island!

Barrie photographs the boys cheering in the punt, then

prepares for a second photograph as George and Jack clamber

along a tree-root to the shore -

GEORGE

(falling in)

Mary's going to kill us!

Barrie photographs Jack as he follows George into the lake.

In a clearing in the forest, Barrie helps the boys build a

Marooner's Hut.

CAPTION:

CHAPTER II:

WE SET ABOUT THE BUILDING OF A HUT

Barrie's participation in the boys' adventure is occasionally

punctuated by fleeting moments of self-awareness: the

introspection of a writer unashamedly intrigued by the enigma

of his own nature.

CAPTION:

CHAPTER III:

AFTER THREE WEEKS OF INCESSANT

TOIL, THE HUT APPROACHED COMPLETION

The boys pose in front of their Marooner's Hut for the

benefit of Barrie's camera, Jack swigging on an empty bottle

of ale, George puffing at Barrie's pipe.

JACK

(to Barrie, vaguely)

What you going to do with all these

pictures?

George, Jack and Peter prowl through the "haunted groves of

Black Lake", distant flecks of red and white glinting like

flashes of sunlight through the dark undergrowth.

CAPTION:

CHAPTER IV:

DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO THOSE

PRIMEVAL FORESTS

George leads his brothers along a forest track.

PETER

(pointing)

There's a crocodile's thing there.

GEORGE

What thing?

JACK

You don't get crocodiles here

anyway.

GEORGE

Shh ... I think Mr Barrie's around

here somewhere. Let's try and

ambush him.

The boys sneak on past CAMERA, unaware that Barrie is

observing them from the branches of a tree overhead.

Barrie hangs coconuts on pieces of string from a tree, then

hurries out of sight as the boys approach.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

Look - coconuts!

JACK

Coconuts don't grow in England,

silly.

PETER

I thought coconuts grew on sticks.

George jumps up to try and reach them.

CAPTION:

CHAPTER V:

WE GO CRAZY FROM WANT OF FOOD

While the boys strain to reach the coconuts, Barrie

photographs them, unobserved from behind a tree.

Late afternoon, and the boys are kneeling beside a camp-fire

outside their Marooner's Hut, trying to light it by rubbing

sticks together.

GEORGE

How d'you do it, Mr Barrie?

BARRIE

Oh, it's easy enough ... once you

get the trick of it -

Barrie already holds a stick in his hand, with a match

covertly hidden between his finger and the stick. He kneels

down, takes another stick, then proceeds to amaze George and

Peter by rubbing them together and producing a flame to

ignite the tinder.

JACK

It's a trick!

BARRIE

Did I say otherwise?

George gazes at Barrie in wonder and hero-worship, the flames

of the camp-fire sparkling in his eyes.

CAPTION:

CHAPTER VI:

MARY'S BULLYING WAYS

Barrie photographs the boys dancing round the blazing camp

fire, waving their axes and whooping like savages. He glances

at his watch.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Now then, what are we going to do

about Mary Hodgson? She'll be along

any minute for Peter.

JACK

I know, let's dig a trap - like

those ones they use in India for

tigers!

The boys set to work at once, digging a pit near the Hut.

GEORGE

(to Jack)

Not too deep, otherwise we'll never

get her out.

JACK

Alright, just deep enough so she

falls in and breaks her legs.

BARRIE

Then you can eat her for breakfast.

JACK

Ugh! She'd taste like an old boot.

The boys cover over the trap with branches and leaves as

PORTHOS barks in warning at Mary's arrival in the distance.

MARY HODGSON

(calling)

Come on, Peter - time for bed!

GEORGE & JACK

(over-acting)

Come and look at what we've found,

Mary! Quickly, over here ...

Aware that something is afoot, Mary Hodgson humours the boys

by following them along the track.

MARY HODGSON

What is it?

GEORGE

Come and look!

Showing commendable sportsmanship, Mary Hodgson walks

straight into the trap. Her satisfying shriek is followed by

cries of delight from the boys as Barrie photographs her -

CAPTION:

CHAPTER VII:

TRAPPED!

INT. BLACK LAKE COTTAGE - VERANDAH. 1901. NIGHT

Barrie sits alone at the table on the verandah, working by

the light of an oil-lamp. He is evidently stumped, and

doodles with his pencil on the blank paper before him.

INT. BLACK LAKE COTTAGE - SITTING-ROOM. 1901. NIGHT

Sylvia, Arthur and Mary Barrie sit quietly, reading

newspapers and magazines, the silence broken only by the

rustling of pages and Barrie's cough from the verandah.

Presently a clock chimes midnight. Arthur looks up, catches

Sylvia's eye, signals that he wants to go to bed. Sylvia

nods, resumes her reading a moment, then gives a polite yawn.

SYLVIA

(glancing at watch)

Oh, look at the time. I hadn't

realised it was that late.

(to Mary Barrie)

Well if you'll excuse me, I think

I'll be going to bed.

ARTHUR

Yes, I think I'll be doing the

same.

Arthur gets up, ready to follow Sylvia from the room.

SYLVIA

(to Mary Barrie)

We won't disturb Jimmy - would say

goodnight for us?

MARY BARRIE

Of course. Goodnight, sleep well.

ARTHUR

(a little stilted)

Good night.

As they leave the room, Arthur puts his arm tenderly around

Sylvia's shoulder. Mary Barrie watches them from the corner

of her eye, but pretends to go on reading. The door closes

softly. She carries on reading a moment, then puts down her

magazine, turns and looks towards the open verandah doors.

INT. BLACK LAKE COTTAGE - VERANDAH. 1901. NIGHT

Barrie still searches for an idea, doodling the while on a

piece of paper. Then something comes to him. He screws up the

page and starts afresh.

BARRIE (V.O.)

"The Little White Bird", Chapter 19.

When George was eight we had ... When

David was eight we..... no, when

David was six we had a tremendous

adventure together. It was this: He

passed the night with me. We had

often talked of it as a possible

thing, and at last his mother

consented to our having it. For a

while we played with my two medals;

then, at twenty-five past six, I

placed my hand carelessly on his

shoulder, like one a trifle bored by

the dull routine of putting my boys

to bed, and conducted him to my

private chamber. There was an extra

bed in it tonight, very near my own,

and on the mantelpiece a tumbler of

milk. David offered me his foot, as

if he had no longer use for it, and I

knew by intuition that he expected me

to take off his boots.

While Barrie continues writing, Mary emerges from the sitting

room onto the verandah. She puts her arm tenderly around

Barrie's shoulders, as Arthur did to Sylvia, but Barrie makes

no response to her. A pause, then she kisses him on his hair,

as of habit, and leaves as silently as she came.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

I took them off with all the coolness

of an old hand, then I placed him on

my knee and removed his blouse. This

was a delightful experience, but I

think I remained wonderfully calm

until I came somewhat too suddenly to

his wee braces, which agitated me

profoundly. I do not think it wise to

proceed any further with the public

disrobing of David. Soon the night

nursery was in darkness, but

presently I heard a brave little

voice squeaking at me -

INT. BLACK LAKE COTTAGE - BEDROOM. 1901. NIGHT

Barrie sits on the edge of his bed, half undressed, holding

his notebook in his hand. Instead of writing, he gazes OFF

CAMERA. As his thoughts continue, CAMERA PULLS slowly back to

reveal the object of his gaze: Mary Barrie, asleep in her own

single bed.

GEORGE

(V.O., sleepily)

Is it going on now?

BARRIE (V.O.)

Is what?

GEORGE (V.O.)

The adventure.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Yes, David. You're not frightened,

are you?

GEORGE(V.O.)

Am I not, father?

BARRIE (V.O.)

I don't know.

A pause.

GEORGE (V.O.)

I don't take up very much room.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Why David, do you want to come into

my bed?

GEORGE (V.O.)

Mother said I wasn't to want it

unless you wanted it first.

A long pause.

BARRIE

(V.O., softly)

It's what I've been wanting all the

time ...

DISSOLVE INTO:

BLACK LAKE. 1901. DAY

Barrie sits with Sylvia on the shore of Black Lake, reading

to her from his manuscript of The Little White Bird -

BARRIE

(brightly)

"It's what I've been wanting all

the time," said I, and then without

more ado David flung himself at me.

For the rest of the night he lay

next to me ..."

(to Sylvia)

Or "on me and across me"?

SYLVIA

When George sleeps with me, he

usually ends up at the bottom of

the bed with his feet on the

pillow, but Jack's much easier -

BARRIE

(interrupting) )

No, no - that's fine.

Barrie alters his manuscript -

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(mumbling)

"Sometimes his feet were at the

bottom of the bed, and sometimes on

the pillow."

SYLVIA

Why are you so fond of George?

BARRIE

Aren't you?

SYLVIA

Of course, but I am his mother.

BARRIE

I never would have guessed - you're

not the mothering type.

SYLVIA

I'm glad to hear it.

BARRIE

You wear your children like a

necklace ... and George is your

brightest pearl. He's so

deliciously depraved, so

delightfully heartless, just like

his mother.

George, Jack and Peter play on the far side of the lake.

GEORGE

(calling)

Come on, Mr Barrie!

Peter's all tied up and ready to

walk the plank. Father doesn't want

to be a pirate, so it's got to be

you!

BARRIE

(to Sylvia)

Heigh-ho.

Sylvia smiles, watching Barrie as he gets up and prepares to

do battle with the boys.

CAPTION:

CHAPTER XIII:

THE PIRATE CAPTAIN SWARTHY

CAPTURES Peter.

Captain Swarthy, alias Barrie in a pirate's pom-pom, his face

blackavized with burnt cork, creeps up on Peter, who sits

like a lamb ready for the slaughter in the punt, bound and

gagged, awaiting his fate with a bemused expression.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(over-acting)

Ah-ha, me little beauty - I've

caught you alone at last!

Barrie prods him with a wooden sword -

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Best prime steak of boy - what more

could a crocodile want?

Suddenly George and Jack spring out from the bushes, armed

with wooden swords.

CAPTION:

CHAPTER XIV:

TIMELY ARRIVAL OF George AND Jack

George and Jack engage Barrie in a swordfight, while Sylvia

stands behind Barrie's camera mounted on its tripod, ready to

take a photograph.

The ensuing skirmish is also watched by Arthur and Mary

Barrie, who stand on the far side of the lake.

ARTHUR

(causally)

I must say if I were you I'd live

here all the time.

MARY BARRIE

Oh, if it were up to me I would.

But Jim gets restless after a few

days and can't wait to get back to

London.

ARTHUR

(watching the swordfight)

He seems quite at home to me.

MARY BARRIE

Ah, but he has the boys.

In the background, George and Jack overpower Barrie and bring

him to his knees.

ARTHUR

You don't mind, do you? I mean

about the boys?

MARY BARRIE

No, not really. At least they take

his mind off his depressions. I try

to help him, but there's nothing I

can do. I've been married to Jim

seven years now, and not once have

I even come close to finding the

key to him. And yet they seem to

have found it without even having

had to look.

(smiles)

I don't know. Perhaps I try too

hard.

Mary Hodgson approaches, wheeling Michael in his pram, and

Mary Barrie discontinues the conversation.

On the far side of the lake, George passes sentence on the

defeated Captain Swarthy.

GEORGE

(to Barrie)

Captain Swarthy, you have been

sentenced to walk the pa-lonk. The

sentence will now be...

BARRIE

(protesting)

My dear boy, I...

GEORGE

(interrupting)

Silence! The Great White Father has

spoken.

George and Jack prod Barrie onto the plank, which has been

rigged up over the punt, then George turns round to make sure

Sylvia is ready to take the photograph -

GEORGE (CONT'D)

Mother, have you cocked it?

SYLVIA

Oh, I'm sorry,...

Sylvia cocks the camera's shutter.

BARRIE

(to Sylvia)

Right, are we ready now? I'm not

doing this thing twice.

SYLVIA

Yes, ready.

Barrie turns on the boys, prodding him with their swords.

BARRIE

(over-acting)

Back, back, you pewling spawn! I'll

show you now the road to dusty death!

Barrie walks along the plank.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(dramatically)

O fame, fame, thou glittering

bauble - farewell!

Barrie hovers on the edge of the plank, looks at the murky

water.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(no longer acting)

On second thoughts, I'm not even

doing it once ...

Barrie coughs apologetically, then steps off the plank and

sits in the punt.

GEORGE

Cowardy cowardy custard!

JACK

That's not fair ... it's not

cricket!

EXT. BLACK LAKE - PATH. 1901. DAY

Arthur and Mary Barrie walk along the path back towards Black

Lake Cottage.

ARTHUR

Did Sylvia mention that we're

thinking of moving from London?

MARY BARRIE

(apprehensively)

No ... Where to?

ARTHUR

Well nothing's been decided yet -

we're still in two minds about it -

but I've got my eye on a house in

Berkhamsted. It's not too far from

London, and there's a good school

for the boys.

A pause.

MARY BARRIE

This has nothing to do with Jim,

has it?

ARTHUR

Good heavens no. No, no, I've been

thinking about it for a long time,

and with the boys growing up I

think it'll be much better for

them. Taken all in all.

Mary looks apprehensive.

EXT. BLACK LAKE. 1901. DAY

CAPTION:

CHAPTER XV:

AN END TO CAPTAIN SWARTHY AS

WE STRING HIM UP

George, Jack and Peter lynch a stuffed dummy of

Captain Swarthy from a gallows-tree overhanging the lake. The

dummy is made from one of Barrie's old suits, stuffed with

straw, and his old fishing hat.

GEORGE

Let's hope the vultures get him!

The boys celebrate the death of Captain Swarthy with Three

Cheers, endorsed by Sylvia, who stands with Barrie to one

side. Only Barrie remains silent, as if aware of the ironic

significance of his own effigy hanged before him.

DISSOLVE INTO:

Black Lake at twilight, silent, deserted, still.

FADE OUT.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - BARRIE'S STUDY. 1903. DAY

A thin drizzle obscures the Kensington Gardens beyond the

window of Barrie's study.

Barrie sits alone at his desk, sorting through his morning

mail. He spots an envelope in a familiar hand and opens it.

It is from George, though the sound of his VOICE indicates

that it has now broken.

GEORGE (V.O.)

Dear Mr Barrie, How are you, old

crock? We are having a very jolly

time, and we wish you were here,

though I've got a shocking cold. I

hope you enjoyed yourself at BLACK

LAKE COTTAGE. Is the new motor-car

finished yet? I've put Black Lake

Cottage in capital letters because

wherever you live must be a very

capital place. You must come down

soon to Berkhamsted and see us. Our

new baby brother is called Nicholas,

but we call him Nik-o. He is very

jolly and squeaks at Michael's

canary. He is also very fat. Mother

says I was as fat as him when I was

a baby - I don't think! Michael has

drawn you a picture of a pirate. It

is not very like one.

Barrie pauses to look at the picture.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

How is the play about Peter Pan?

Have you finished it yet? I hope

you haven't spoilt it with any

soppy stuff about girls. From your

story-listener, George Llewelyn

Davies. P.S. I expect a letter.

Barrie folds the letter carefully, regretful at having

finished it. He opens a drawer in his desk to add it to a

pile of similar letters, then changes his mind and reopens

the envelope.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

(identical V.O.)

Dear Mr Barrie, How are you, old

crock? We are having a very jolly

time, and we wish you were here...

Barrie breaks off, clutching the letter to him.

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS & SERPENTINE. 1903. DAY

Barrie wanders through Kensington Gardens with Porthos,

passing familiar spots previously enjoyed with George.

BARRIE (V.O.)

My dear George, All hail to the

five! I am still an old crock - not

so bad in the daytime, but my

confounded cough is a demon o'

nights, and I wonder you don't hear

it in Berkhamsted. You are so

right, if I don't see you soon, you

will have outgrown me in body as

well as in mind.

Barrie sits on a bench by the Serpentine, watching some boys

sailing their stick-boats in the water.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Sometimes when I'm walking in the

Kensington Gardens I see a vision,

and I cry Hooray! There's George!

And then Porthos barks joyously and

we run to the vision, and then it

turns out not to be George but just

another boy, and I cry like a

watercart, and Porthos hangs his

sorrowful tail.

Barrie walks with Porthos along the Broad Walk near the old

oak tree.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

As for the play about Peter,

methinketh it no great shakes, but it

awaits your inspection nonetheless.

I fear the odd girl or two has crept

in while I had my back turned, but I

assure you that she will meet with a

cruel fate - unless the devil in

Peter steers my pen on a wayward

course. I shall be showing it to Mr

Frohman next month, so wish me luck.

Your humble servant, J.M.B.

P.S. Dear George, I am very fond of

you, but don't tell anybody.

Barrie looks round for Porthos, who is snuffling at the

rabbit hole where George once found the Pan pipes.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Come on, old boy. Come on. No, you

won't find anything there.

Porthos pads reluctantly back to Barrie, and the two set off

for home, the CAMERA holding them as they walk away across

the Gardens.

SYLVIA (V.O.)

My dear Jimmy, Poor darling Porthos

- it's like having lost one of the

family. George and Jack were heart

broken at the news, but Peter and

Michael are very jealous as they

think he's gone to the Never Never

Land to live with Peter Pan. ...

INT. SAVOY GRILL - FROHMAN'S CORNER. 1904. DAY

Barrie's American producer, CHARLES Frohman, sits at his

regular corner table in the Savoy Hotel's Grill Room, reading

a manuscript entitled "The Great White Father".

Frohman, known to some as "the Beaming Buddha of Broadway",

is, at 44, the most successful theatrical manager of the day.

"This Niagara of a man", wrote Barrie of him later, "was like

a force of Nature: they could have lit a city with him.

Because we were the two shyest men in the world, we got on so

well and understood each other so perfectly."

This shyness, like Barrie's, is often concealed beneath a

veneer of extroversion, and his balding head, Jewish nose,

corpulent body, and lips permanently astride a cigar place

him in further danger of being portrayed as a caricature of

the archetypal impresario he undoubtedly was.

While Frohman waits for Barrie, Sylvia's VOICE-OVER continues

from the previous scene -

SYLVIA (V.O.)

All the boys are keeping their

fingers crossed for your meeting

with Mr Frohman, except for my

doodle Nico, who prefers to cross

his toes. But as Mr Frohman is such

a boy after your own heart, I'm

sure he will love the play.

Barrie enters the Grill Room, dressed in his huge overcoat

and a muffler wound about his neck - a somewhat incongruous

spectacle in the present setting. He stands behind Frohman a

moment, reading over his shoulder, then coughs loudly.

FROHMAN

(expansively)

Jimmy! How good to see you again

Barrie sits down, putting another manuscript on the table

beside him.

FROHMAN (CONT'D)

Sorry I haven't been able to see

you earlier, but I've had constant

meetings ever since I arrived.

How've you been keeping?

BARRIE

Oh, pretty much my usual self -

though I wish I were a lot of other

people. I've been a bit under the

weather lately with some ailment

that only sheep seem to have had

before. Mind you, I've always been

haunted by the sneaking suspicion

that I am a sheep.

The HEAD WAITER comes over.

FROHMAN

What'll you have?

BARRIE

(to the waiter)

Oh, whisky and soda please, Edward -

(to Frohman)

"Know thyself", as Descartes used

to say.

Frohman laughs, produces a cable from his breast-pocket.

FROHMAN

Well here's a tonic that might

cheer you up. Just came in from New

York. You've broken your own

record, Jimmy: Opening week for

"Crichton" 18% up on "Quality

Street", up on "Little Minister".

Congratulations.

Barrie nods without enthusiasm. He points to the manuscript

Frohman has been reading.

BARRIE

Well yes, but I showed him the

script ... it had a most

unfortunate effect on him.

FROHMAN

Really? What happened?

BARRIE

(dourly)

He died. Listen, if you'll put it

on, I'll give you this other play

for nothing to cover your losses -

"Alice Sit-by-the-Fire"...

Barrie indicates the second manuscript, but Frohman

interrupts him.

FROHMAN

Jimmy, Jimmy ... if I like a play,

I'll put it on. If you like a play,

I'll put it on whether I like it or

not. But why are you so anxious to

see it produced?

Barrie shrugs.

BARRIE

I don't know, Charles. It's just

become a sort of dream child of

mine, that's all I know. I didn't

plan it, it just wrote itself.

(pause)

Oh, you don't like it, I can tell.

Frohman maintains his business-like approach a moment longer,

then presses the manuscript to his chest, patting it with

delight.

FROHMAN

(the Beaming Buddha)

Sheer madness!

(beat)

Of course we couldn't use real

children, I mean Peter will have to

be played by a girl -

BARRIE

No, no - I don't want it turned

into a pantomime.

FROHMAN

Jimmy, if I thought it was a

pantomime, I wouldn't be

interested. Don't forget, we

Americans don't understand English

pantomimes. No, they're your laws,

not ours, and the law here is that

no child under twelve can act on a

public stage after 9 p.m. Besides,

having a girl play Peter might give

the show an extra little - utz?

BARRIE

(a knowing smile)

You mean 'utz' Maude Adams?

FROHMAN

(nodding)

I'm thinking Broadway, not just

London.

(pause)

Oh, there is one thing I don't

like. This title, "The Great White

Father". Can't we just call it

"Peter Pan"?

BARRIE

Yes, fine. "Peter Pan ...

(musing)

... Or the Boy Who Couldn't Grow

Up".

FROHMAN

Couldn't? Or Wouldn't?

BARRIE

(shrugging)

Don't ask me, I'm only the author.

FROHMAN

Yes, but isn't it the point that

Peter doesn't want to grow up, not

that he can't? Why that's what's so

appealing about him.

BARRIE

(smiling)

Alright, wouldn't.

Frohman crosses out "The Great White Father" and substitutes

"Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" on the front of

the manuscript.

FROHMAN

(while writing)

And how's Mary keeping these days?

The HEAD WAITER brings Barrie's whisky.

BARRIE

(abstractly)

Oh, she jogs along -

(to waiter)

Thank you, Edward -

(to Frohman)

But she rather misses Porthos. He

was my wedding present to her.

(sighs to himself)

But heigh-ho, thus wags the world.

(raises glass)

Well ... here's how.

Barrie and Frohman toast each other, then set down to the

business of going through the script together. The remainder

of Sylvia's letter LAPS OVER their conversation -

SYLVIA (V.O.)

George is going to his new school

next week, so you will think of me

when I have to cut his curls. How

he's longing and longing for the

moment. My Michael grows more

beautiful every day, which will

delight you, I know. He also has

appalling dreams, which will please

you even more.

(pause)

Oh Jimmy, we must surely be the

happiest family in the world!

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - STUDY. 1904. NIGHT

Barrie paces about his study, evidently nervous at the

prospect of his forthcoming ordeal. Both he and Mary Barrie

are in evening dress, ready to leave.

The only sign of Porthos is a large painting of him, hanging

above the fireplace. He has been replaced by a huge shaggy

Newfoundland dog, LUATH, who lies by the fire.

BARRIE

(glancing at his fob)

What on earth can have happened to

them?

MARY BARRIE

(calmly)

Oh, I expect they've been held up

in the traffic.

BARRIE

I can see it's going to be a night

of disasters, I can feel it

already. "If you believe in

fairies, clap your hands" ... Poor

Nina, they'll laugh her off the

stage. Oh, I must have been half

witted to think I could pull it

off. It's not even the play I set

out to write.

MARY BARRIE

(laughing)

It never is, dear.

BARRIE

If only I'd had the...

Barrie breaks off at the sound of voices outside.

MARY BARRIE

That'll be them.

Mary Barrie goes to the door as George bursts in ahead of the

others. He is dressed up for the occasion, his hair cut short

and brushed flat with a parting. Barrie registers a look of

shocked realisation at the stranger before him.

BARRIE

(disbelieving)

George ...?

GEORGE

Hello, old crock - sorry we're a

bit late.

(preening himself)

How am I looking? Rather a knut,

don't you think?

BARRIE

Yes, yes - quite the coming chap. I

shall have to look to my laurels...

Sylvia has entered the room, followed by Peter, now aged

eight, and Michael, last seen as a baby, but now nearly five.

He is stunningly beautiful, with long blond curls and

haunting eyes. Unlike George's boyish brightness at the same

age, Michael has an almost tragic wistfulness that reflects

"the poet in him, there since birth."

Barrie's disappointment on seeing George is replaced by

captivation at the sight of Michael.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(to Sylvia)

Is this really Michael?

MICHAEL

Of course I'm really Michael. Did

you escape too?

BARRIE

Escape?

MICHAEL

When we were being chased by that

man.

Barrie looks at Sylvia in bewilderment.

SYLVIA

(smiling)

I warned you, Michael's dreams are

as wayward as your own.

BARRIE

Ah, but of course -

(to Michael)

You mean the man that looked like

... like this.

Barrie pulls a hideous face, which makes George and Peter

roar with laughter. But Michael remains unmoved, gazing up at

Barrie with an enigmatic expression, almost reminiscent of

Barrie's dead brother David.

A pause; Barrie glances round at the others.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

But - but where's Jack - and

Arthur?

SYLVIA

I'm afraid Arthur's got another of

his toothaches - it's rather a bad

one, I'm afraid, and ... well, he

didn't want to spoil the evening,

and Jack decided to stay with him.

GEORGE

(whistling)

Ho, hum!

SYLVIA

No, no - really. He was so

disappointed, but his jaw's been

giving him rather a lot of pain

lately, and.....

BARRIE

(only half believing)

Yes, oh I'm sure. Well I, er -

(turning to the boys)

Boys, I don't want to make a speech

or anything, but I - well I just

want you to know that if the play's

a failure, the fault is entirely

yours.

GEORGE

(indignantly)

Why us?

BARRIE

Because. Because you're the real

authors, it had nothing to do with

me. All I did was rub the five of

you violently together to make a

flame. That's all Peter is ...

(a crack in his voice)

Just the spark I got from you.

Barrie coughs to disguise his emotion.

GEORGE

I had nothing to do with Wendy!

Mary Barrie laughs loudly.

BARRIE

No, I admit she's a spark from an

entirely different quarter, for

which I offer my humble apologies.

MARY BARRIE

(to Sylvia)

He'll wallow on for hours if we

give him the chance.

(to Barrie)

Come along, Jim the executioner

awaits.

George and Peter lead the way out, followed by Sylvia and

Mary Barrie. Michael and Barrie stay behind a moment.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

(O.S., to Sylvia)

I'm so sorry about Arthur ... it's

nothing serious, I hope?

SYLVIA

(O.S., barely audible)

Well we don't really know. He's

seeing a specialist about it next

month, but I - well I don't suppose

it's anything too serious ... just

rather a nuisance, that's all.

A pause, then Michael holds out his hand to Barrie, who

obliges him by putting his top hat on the boy's head. Michael

takes him by the hand and leads him from the room. As he does

so, a voice LAPS OVER -

WENDY

(O.S., from stage)

... and pen cannot describe the

happy scene over which we now draw

a veil.

A pause, then the SOUND of a boy moaning in pain.

WENDY (O.S.) (CONT'D)

What is it, Peter? Where's the

pain?

PETER PAN (O.S.)

It isn't that kind of pain, Wendy.

INT. DUKE OF YORK'S THEATRE - BOX. 1904. NIGHT

Barrie stands at the back of the Royal Box, watching the

first performance of "Peter Pan" with impassive apprehension.

Seated in front of him are George, Michael, Sylvia, Peter and

Mary Barrie.

PETER PAN

(O.S., from stage)

Wendy, you're wrong about mothers.

I thought like you that the nursery

window would always be open, so I

stayed away for moons and moons,

and then I flew back home, but the

window was barred. My mother had

forgotten all about me, and there

was another little boy sleeping in

my bed.

CAMERA moves in slowly on Mary Barrie's reaction.

WENDY (O.S.)

Peter, what are your exact feelings

for me?

PETER PAN (O.S.)

Those of a devoted son, Wendy.

WENDY (O.S.)

I thought so.

PETER PAN (O.S.)

What is it you want me to be?

WENDY (O.S.)

It's not for a lady to tell.

INT. EGERTON HOUSE - NIGHT NURSERY. 1904. NIGHT

Arthur sits by a cradle in the night-nursery of the family's

Berkhamsted home, Egerton House. He appears to be in some

pain, touching his cheek occasionally while watching his

fifth son, Nico, asleep in the cradle.

Presently the door opens and Mary Hodgson enters.

MARY HODGSON

Excuse me, Mr Arthur, but it's time

for Nico's feed.

Mary Hodgson goes to the cradle -

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

Would you care for something too?

ARTHUR

No thank you, Mary.

Mary Hodgson lifts Nico from his cradle.

MARY HODGSON

(cautiously)

I don't, er - wish to speak out of

turn, but I do understand how you

feel.

ARTHUR

Do you, Mary?

MARY HODGSON

I think so... I mean it must be

very hard for you at times.

ARTHUR

One grins and bears it.

MARY HODGSON

It can't be easy for Mrs Barrie

either.

Arthur hesitates.

ARTHUR

I was referring to the toothache.

MARY HODGSON

Yes of course. I'm... I'm sorry if

I spoke out of turn.

Mary Hodgson leaves the room with Nico. CAMERA HOLDS on

Arthur as he turns and stares blankly at the empty cradle.

WENDY

(V.O., from stage)

What's wrong, Peter?

PETER PAN

(V.O., from stage)

It is only pretend, isn't it,

Wendy?

WENDY (V.O.)

Is what pretend?

PETER PAN (V.O.)

That I am their father?

CLOSE SHOT: Barrie, standing at the back of the Royal Box.

WENDY

(O.S., from stage)

But they're our children, Peter -

yours and mine.

PETER PAN (O.S.)

Yes, but not really.

WENDY (O.S.)

Not if you don't wish it.

PETER PAN (O.S.)

I don't.

MIX TO:

SHOOTING from the back of the stage towards the audience,

Peter Pan (played by Nina Boucicault) lies on his back in

foreground, fast asleep. From this angle, back-lit against

the footlights, he is reminiscent of George at Black Lake,

lying on the hillside, one leg arched, his head resting on

his arm.

The spotlight representing Tinkerbell suddenly flashes into

CAMERA from the back of the theatre, then dances over Peter

Pan's face, awakening him.

PETER PAN (CONT'D)

Who's that?

The Orchestra responds with a tinkling sound on the

triangles.

PETER PAN (CONT'D)

Oh, Tinkerbell...

(tinkles)

What's that?

(tinkles)

The Redskins were defeated? Wendy

and the Lost Boys captured? I'll

rescue them, I'll rescue them!

Peter Pan leaps for his dagger, then runs to his grindstone

to sharpen it. Tinkerbell alights near a bottle of medicine

on a table and tinkles out a warning.

PETER PAN (CONT'D)

Oh, that's just my medicine.

(tinkles)

Poison? Who could have poisoned it?

I promised Wendy I'd take it, and

take it I will as soon as I've

sharpened up my dagger.

In the Royal Box, Michael leans anxiously forward, totally

absorbed by the play. Peter, however, seems rather bored, and

amuses himself by slowly tearing up the programme and

dropping the bits over the edge of the box onto the audience

below.

PETER PAN (CONT'D)

(O.S., from stage)

Why Tink, you've drunk my medicine!

(tinkles)

It was poisoned and you drank it to

save my life? By why, Tink? I don't

mind dying. Oh, Tink, dear Tink,

please don't die ...

Michael turns to George -

MICHAEL

(whispering)

What's the matter?

GEORGE

She's dying.

MICHAEL

But why?

(to Sylvia)

Why's she dying?

SYLVIA

(whispering)

Listen and you'll find out.

Barrie grows visibly apprehensive as Peter Pan turns to the

audience to make her plea -

PETER PAN

Her light is growing faint, and if

it goes out, that means she's dead.

Her voice is so low I can scarcely

tell what she's saying.

(weak tinkles)

She says ... she says she thinks

she might get well again if

children believed in fairies. Well

do you believe in fairies?

Total silence from the audience. Barrie closes his eyes.

PETER PAN (CONT'D)

Oh, say quick that you believe!

Don't let poor Tinkerbell die! If

you believe, clap your hands.

George raises his eyebrows.

PETER PAN (CONT'D)

(urgently)

Come on, clap your hands.. if you

believe!

Another long silence. Then Michael begins to clap his hands,

very slowly, but with steady conviction.

PETER PAN (CONT'D)

That's it ... louder, louder!

Peter and George join in, followed by Sylvia, Mary Barrie,

and others in the audience.

PETER PAN (CONT'D)

Oh, you do believe, you do!

Barrie gradually opens his eyes as the belief spreads

throughout the house, the clapping growing louder and louder.

PETER PAN (CONT'D)

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank

you! And now - to rescue Wendy!

Peter Pan runs from the stage to a standing ovation of

cheering, whistling and applause from the audience.

SHARP CUT TO:

INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR. 1905. DAY

The level of SOUND from the previous scene suddenly CUTS OUT,

to be replaced by the chill silence of a bleak hospital

corridor.

Barrie and Sylvia stand outside the door of one of the

private rooms. Presently the door opens and a doctor, Rendel,

steps out.

DR RENDEL

(to Sylvia)

You can come in now, Mrs Davies,

but only for a moment.

BARRIE

(to Sylvia)

Would you rather I waited outside?

DR RENDEL

I think it would be better, if you

don't mind.

Rendel opens the door and Sylvia goes inside.

INT. HOSPITAL - ARTHUR'S ROOM. 1905. DAY

Sylvia enters the room, then stops and stares ahead of her.

Only the back of Arthur's head is visible to the CAMERA, but

from Sylvia's expression it is clear that he is much

disfigured. There is a brief look of shock on her face, then

she braces herself and moves slowly towards him, followed by

Rendel at a discreet distance.

SYLVIA

(a whisper)

Oh my darling ... please don't cry.

DR RENDEL

I'm afraid he can't help it, Mrs

Davies. Regrettably his tear-ducts

have had to be removed.

A pause. Sylvia leans forward, wipes the tears away from

Arthur's face with her handkerchief, then kisses him on the

forehead. Still we cannot see Arthur's face - only the look

of agony in Sylvia's eyes.

INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR. 1905. DAY

Barrie stands alone in the corridor. The door opens and

Rendel leaves the room, ushering Barrie to one side.

DR RENDEL

I'm afraid that the growth had

spread somewhat further than we

originally diagnosed, and we've

therefore had to remove most of the

upper jaw as well as the palate. I

fear that as a result Mr Davies

will be unable to talk again. Of

course there's always the

possibility of fitting some sort of

artificial jaw, but - well, to be

quite frank, the results are hardly

worth the expense.

BARRIE

I'm not interested in expense. I

want Mr Davies to have the finest

medical treatment available,

whatever the cost.

DR RENDEL

I see. Well if ...

Rendel breaks off as Sylvia emerges from the room. She gazes

at Barrie with a look of bewildered incomprehension,

oblivious to Rendel, who returns to Arthur's room.

SYLVIA

(a whisper)

They've... ruined my darling's

face. They've rui.......

Sylvia clutches at Barrie, sobbing on his shoulder.

CAMERA HOLDS them in LONG SHOT, clinging to one another,

alone in the bleak white corridor.

SLOW FADE OUT

[END OF PART ONE]

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS. 1906. DAY

[MAIN TITLES appear over a series of dawn images of

Kensington Gardens, as at the beginning of Part One.]

Barrie wanders along the edge of the Serpentine, jotting down

ideas in his notebook.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Peter Pan. New scene at end of

play. Years later, Peter flies back

to the nursery, still a boy - heart

broken to find Wendy grown old.

Peter really the ghost of a boy who

dies in childhood, à la David,

comes back to search for his

mother, finds her an old woman,

doesn't recognise her.

Barrie pauses by the oak tree where he first met George in

1897. He looks at the gnarled roots, an idea coming to mind.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

A statue of Peter Pan? Could

immortalise him for generations,

long after play buried and

forgotten.

(pause)

If I paid for it, could this be

deducted from tax?

Barrie ponders a moment, then puts his notebook in his pocket

and wanders off towards the Bayswater Road.

INT. EGERTON HOUSE - NIGHT NURSERY. 1906. DAY

The night nursery is in semi-darkness, lightening as Mary

Hodgson moves from window to window, letting up the blinds.

In foreground, Michael - now aged six - lies asleep in bed.

MARY HODGSON

Michael ..

Michael sleeps on, one arm drooped over the edge of the bed',

the other curled about his head.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

Come along, Michael ...

She gives him a little shake, and Michael stirs.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

Come on, wake up - the doctor'll be

here any minute, so we must get you

washed and scrubbed.

Michael opens his eyes. He is suffering from scarlet fever,

and his face is as pale as alabaster. Mary Hodgson takes a

thermometer from her pocket.

MICHAEL

(sleepily)

I had such a funny dream, Mary. I

dreamt I saw father's ghost in the

garden, but that wasn't the funny

thing, the funny thing was he

wasn't a ghost at all -

MARY HODGSON

I should hope not.

MICHAEL

No, I mean he was real and I was

the ghost, because when he came to

touch me he went right through me

and fell in a river, and I couldn't

swim so I...

MARY HODGSON

(brandishing thermometer)

Open wide -

Michael's account is curtailed by the thermometer being put

in his mouth. Mary Hodgson sits on the edge of the bed, takes

two letters from her pocket while holding Michael's pulse.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

You and your dreams ... I wonder

you know half the time whether

you're awake or asleep.

MICHAEL

(eyeing letters)

Are they for me?

MARY HODGSON

No talking and I'll read them to

you.

Mary Hodgson puts the second letter down on the bed, opens

the first.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

(brightening)

Ah, it's from your father. "Dear

Michael, I do hope the scarlet

fever has fled and that you will

soon be up and well again. I wonder

if your doctor is as kind and as

good as mine? I have three pretty

nurses Hodgson, who is worth all of

mine put together.

I have been in hospital so long now

that it almost seems like home. ...

While Mary Hodgson continues reading, Michael eyes the second

letter, addressed to "Michael Esquire, Esq., Egerton House,

to look after me, but you have dear Mary Berkhamsted." He

edges a furtive hand towards it without Mary seeing him.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

Mr Barrie manages to come and see

me almost every single day. He is

sitting with me now, reading a

newspaper. Don't you think Mr

Barrie is a very good friend to us

all? ...

Mary Hodgson's tone becomes somewhat frosty at the mention of

Barrie, but Michael isn't listening: having opened the second

envelope, he tries to decipher the letter, written in looking-

glass writing.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

Now good-bye, my dear boy, and see

you very soon. From your

affectionate father."

(folds letter)

There now, wasn't that a nice

letter? You must write back as soon

as ... Oh, Michael! You haven't

been listening to a word!

MICHAEL

(thermometer in mouth)

Yes I have. Will you read me this

one?

MARY HODGSON

I said no talking.

MICHAEL

It is from Uncle Jim.

Mary Hodgson picks up the letter, ignoring Michael's tease.

MARY HODGSON

So I see.

She takes a hand-mirror from the bedside table, angles the

letter into it.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

(reading frostily)

Dearest beloved Michael,

The Rose is red,

The violet blue,

Honey is sweet

And so are you.

J. M. Barrie.

Mary Hodgson folds the letter without comment, takes the

thermometer from Michael's mouth.

MICHAEL

Is it normal?

MARY HODGSON

(reading thermometer)

No. Now take off your nightshirt.

Mary Hodgson goes to the wash-stand, fills a basin from a

pitcher of water. She glances back at Michael, who is

surreptitiously re-reading Barrie's letter.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

I said take off your nightshirt.

MICHAEL

Why do I have such bad dreams,

Mary?

MARY HODGSON

I don't know to be sure. I've never

had a bad dream in my life, except

when I've had to do your mending.

Mary Hodgson returns to the bed, carrying the basin of water.

MICHAEL

(baiting her)

Uncle Jim has nightmares.

MARY HODGSON

I dare say he does - and I

shouldn't wonder if he's not to

blame for some of yours too.

MICHAEL

Why?

Mary Hodgson helps Michael off with his nightshirt.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

(persisting)

Why, Mary?

MARY HODGSON

Why ask me? You know him far better

than I do. Oh, just look at the

state of your neck! And to think I

only washed it a few hours ago.

MICHAEL

Can I write back to him?

MARY HODGSON

You shall write to your father

first. After that you can write to

whomever you like.

Mary Hodgson leans Michael's head forward, starts to scrub

his neck.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - BARRIE'S STUDY. 1906. DAY

Mary Barrie sits beside CHARLES Frohman, showing him a

presentation copy of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. A tea

tray is on the table beside them; on the sofa is a silver

framed mirror in its wrapping paper, evidently a gift.

MARY BARRIE

It's only the Peter Pan chapters

reprinted from "The Little White

Bird", but I think Arthur Rackham's

illustrations are rather fine,

don't you?

FROHMAN

Oh, superb. When do I get my copy?

MARY BARRIE

You'll have to wait until Christmas

... this is an advance copy from

the publishers - it only arrived

this morning.

FROHMAN

For your wedding anniversary? What

a kind thought of Jimmy's.

An awkward pause.

MARY BARRIE

Yes. Yes, wasn't it. But then Jim's

always known how to spoil me.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - PASSAGE OUTSIDE STUDY. 1906. DAY

Barrie arrives back from a walk in the park with LUATH. He

hangs up his coat and hat, brightening as he recognises

Frohman's voice emanating from the study.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - STUDY. 1906. DAY

Barrie enters the room as Frohman talks to Mary Barrie.

Without interrupting, he goes over to MARY, kisses her on the

cheek, as of habit, then salutes Frohman in Napoleonic style.

FROHMAN

(to Mary Barrie)

...

we opened "Napoleon and Josephine"

in Omaha on a Monday and I called

it a tragedy. On Tuesday I called

it a comedy. On Wednesday I called

it off.

(Mary laughs)

Moral of the story: there's no such

thing as bad towns, only bad plays

... isn't that right, Jimmy?

BARRIE

First rule of the American Theater:

an audience is never wrong.

(to Frohman)

You remember when you put on "Romeo

and Juliet" in the Bronx, they

cried out for the author?

(to Mary Barrie)

Not wishing to disappoint so

discerning an audience, Charles -

in his modesty - stepped forward

and took the bow.

FROHMAN

Whereupon they showered me with

rotten matzo-balls.

Mary Barrie roars with laughter.

MARY BARRIE

(in an effort to compete)

Oh, I know! I remember once when I

was an actress I was playing

Rosalind in

"As You Like It", and the actor

playing Touchstone...

Barrie interrupts his wife's anecdote with a violent spasm of

coughing, followed by a pause.

FROHMAN

(to Mary Barrie)

Yes, and?

MARY BARRIE

Oh it doesn't matter. Wasn't a very

good story anyway.

(to Barrie)

Look what Charles brought us for

our Wedding Anniversary - isn't it

sweet of him?

Mary Barrie passes Barrie the silver-framed mirror.

FROHMAN

(to Barrie)

They tell me that twelve years is

meant to be Silk and Fine Linen,

but I see you've broken the rules

too. I trust you've dedicated the

opus to her?

BARRIE

Opus?

FROHMAN

"Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens".

Mary Barrie hurriedly picks up the Presentation Copy.

MARY BARRIE

I was showing Charles the book

before you arrived.

Barrie takes the book rather aggressively from MARY.

BARRIE

Oh, yes. It's... the illustrations

are rather fine, don't you think? A

cut above the text anyway.

Another awkward pause. Frohman senses the atmosphere.

FROHMAN

Well I, er - I'd better be getting

back to rehearsals ... before my

cast start re-writing your lines.

Frohman overlaps thank-yous and farewells to Mary Barrie

while Barrie talks -

BARRIE

Oh, it wouldn't surprise me if they

did. Actors always presume to know

their parts better than the author

who conceived them. The fact that

Shakespeare was an actor always

seems to me the strongest argument

in favour of Bacon having written

the plays.

CAMERA remains on Mary Barrie as Barrie conducts Frohman from

the room. She picks up the copy of Peter Pan in Kensington

Gardens, flicks abstractedly through the pages.

FROHMAN

(O.S., to Barrie)

You know you may be right. I got a

cable this morning from New York

about "Quality Street".

Apparently old Mildred Morris is

demanding that her name go above

the title with Maude Adams. I ask

you, how does one deal with such

prima-donnerism?

BARRIE

(O.S., barely audible)

Simple. Give her what she wants.

"Charles Frohman presents Maude

Adams but Mildred Morris in James

M. Barrie's 'Quality Street'."

(Frohman laughs, O.S.)

See you at Friday's rehearsal.

Mary Barrie looks a trifle bitterly at the Dedication printed

at the front of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. A pause,

then Barrie returns to the room. Mary Barrie replaces the

book on the table, dusting it unnecessarily.

MARY BARRIE

I trust I haven't left any dirty

fingermarks.

BARRIE

I'm sorry, Mary, it's just that I -

I'll get you your present tomorrow.

MARY BARRIE

(mildly)

I shouldn't bother yourself.

BARRIE

I just completely forgot.

MARY BARRIE

You always do - but no matter.

Barrie tries to put a reconciling arm around her, kisses her

on the cheek despite her effort to evade him.

BARRIE

Anyway, thank you for not... you

know.

MARY BARRIE

There's nothing to thank me for. I

did it for my sake, not yours.

Mary Barrie picks up Frohman's present and the wrapping

paper, goes to the door.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

I'll be leaving early for Black

Lake tomorrow, so I probably won't

see you before Monday.

I've left all the household

instructions with Mrs Benson.

BARRIE

(returning to his desk)

Fine, fine.

Mary Barrie hovers in the doorway.

MARY BARRIE

Oh, there is one small thing you

can do for me - I mean if you

really want to give me a present.

BARRIE

Yes?

MARY BARRIE

The way you kissed me just then.

The way you always kiss me. I'd be

so grateful if you never did it

again.

MARY exits, leaving Barrie alone. He stands at his desk a

moment, preoccupied, fingering bits of paper, then sits down.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - PASSAGE OUTSIDE STUDY. 1906. DAY

Mary Barrie stands outside the door, her hands trembling as

she clutches the silver-framed mirror, the tears welling up

in her eyes despite her efforts to conceal her feelings.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - STUDY. 1906. DAY 53.

Barrie sits at his desk, pondering over a blank sheet of

paper.

BARRIE (V.O.)

It's been my fault since the

beginning, you should have married

a better man than me. But can't we

make a fresh start? Try and pick up

the pieces?

(pause)

She says no. Love is not a broken

jug but spilt wine, you can't pick

up that. Too late to talk of love,

she no longer wants it. Her

revulsion when he touches her, etc,

but still keeps up the pretence in

front of others. Not for his sake,

but a woman's vanity.

Barrie begins to write, the emotion in his voice gradually

fading as a storyline begins to materialise.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

In Act one, audience might think

she is to be a sweet, long

suffering wife. Husband also thinks

he can do without her - his success

all his own making. Not until Act

Three, when she leaves him, does he

realise truth: that behind every

man stands a woman in the shadows -

wife, mother, etc. Every woman

knows this, but a man must learn it

by experience.

INT. NURSING HOME - ARTHUR'S ROOM. 1906. DAY

Sylvia sits by Arthur's bedside, reading him a letter written

in a childish hand. Arthur's face is still partially bandaged

from is latest operation, and he now wears a brown patch over

one eye. Three other visitors are also in the room: EMMA DU

MAURIER (Sylvia's ageing mother), CROMPTON LLEWELYN DAVIES

(Arthur's younger brother), and Jack, now aged 12, who is

making a model boat.

SYLVIA

(reading letter)

I am quite well thank you but Mary

says I am not and she says I must

stay in bed for another week and I

have got an acorn and Mr Barrie has

got a cold and he has sent me

another poem ...

While Sylvia continues reading, Barrie enters the room with

George (now aged 13). Since everyone knows one another, and

hospital visits have become a routine, there ere no

introductions, merely nods of the heed.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

... and I am very lonely and I wish

I was in hospital with you and

please come home before I am grown

too old end now I must write to Mr

Barrie from Michael.

(folds letter)

Hello Jimmy, we've just been

hearing all about you from our

Berkhamsted correspondent.

EMMA DU MAURIER

Poor Michael, he must be so lonely

down there et Egerton House all on

his own. Don't you think you ought

to go and spend a night there,

Sylvia dear? After all, a mother's

place is with her children.

SYLVIA

(briskly)

I know that, Mummy - and a wife's

place is with her husband, and I

intend staying here with Arthur.

Sylvia beckons to George, who is carrying e parcel.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

George -

(to Barrie)

Oh Jimmy, I'm afraid as Michael

isn't any better, I don't think

he'll be able to come to London for

Peter Pan this year. He's

dreadfully disappointed, but the

doctor wants him to stay indoors

for at least another month.

(to George)

George, darling -

Sylvia points George to his father's bedside - a duty he

clearly finds awkward. Crompton end Jack are sitting either

side of the bed.

GEORGE

(stilted)

Hello, father ... Hello, Uncle

Crompton.

(to Arthur)

Are you feeling any better?

Arthur's reply is incomprehensible, and he resorts to writing

his answer on a note-pad.

CROMPTON

(to George)

The new operation on the palate has

helped the pain, but he won't be

able to speak properly until the

artificial jaw's been fitted.

GEORGE

(blankly)

Oh.

Arthur continues writing, and Crompton reads the note aloud

to George -

CROMPTON

He wants to know how ... you're

getting on with ... ah, your

scholarship for Eton.

Jack chuckles.

GEORGE

Er, well I'm swatting like a fifth

wrangler, but I'm not very hopeful.

(to Arthur)

Here's a present for you -

George hands Arthur the parcel in order to change the

subject. In the background, Barrie gets ready to leave.

BARRIE

(to Sylvia)

Tell Arthur I'll be in to sit with

him tonight.

SYLVIA

You're sure it's no trouble?

BARRIE

You know it isn't.

(to Emma du Maurier)

Goodbye, Mrs Du Maurier -

INT. NURSING HOME - CORRIDOR OUTSIDE ROOM. 1906. DAY

As Barrie leaves the room, a thought occurs to him. He

beckons to Sylvia -

BARRIE

By the bye, how big is the nursery

at Egerton House?

SYLVIA

I haven't the faintest idea. Why?

BARRIE

I mean roughly?

SYLVIA

Oh I don't know - I suppose about

the same size as your study at

Leinster Corner. Why?

BARRIE

Oh, just a passing thought.

(smiles)

It's passed. See you later.

INT. NURSING HOME - ARTHUR'S ROOM. 1906. DAY

Sylvia returns to the room to find Arthur unpacking the

parcel given to him by George. It contains the presentation

copy of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens admired by Frohman.

SYLVIA

What is it?

GEORGE

It's from ... well it's meant to be

from me, but really it's from Uncle

Jim. It's a special copy before you

can get it in the shops.

SYLVIA

Oh, it's beautiful -

GEORGE

I don't think so - he's cut out all

the best bits.

Arthur glances through the illustrations, flicking backwards

through the book towards the printed dedication.

CROMPTON

Which bits?

GEORGE

All the bits about me and Uncle Jim

in The Little White Bird.

CAMERA moves into Arthur'S POV of the printed dedication.

SYLVIA (O.S.)

Well I think it's beautiful - and

so like Jimmy to think of it ...

don't you think, dearest?

Arthur makes no reply to Sylvia as the CAMERA ZOOMS slowly in

on the printed dedication:

TO Sylvia AND Arthur LLEWELYN DAVIES

AND THEIR BOYS (MY BOYS)

CAMERA ZOOMS into EXTREME CLOSE UP on the bracketed words (MY

BOYS) until the brackets are lost on either side.

SLOW DISSOLVE:

INT. EGERTON HOUSE - NURSERY. 1906. DAY

The words MY BOYS hold a moment over a CLOSE UP of Michael,

gazing steadfastly ahead of him, almost into CAMERA.

BARRIE

(O.S., dramatically)

There's none can save you now!

CAMERA PULLS slowly back to reveal Michael sitting cross

legged on his bed in the manner of a young Rajah, watching a

performance of Peter Pan in his nursery and never smiling

throughout.

GEORGE

(O.S., as Peter Pan)

There's one who never fails!

BARRIE

(O.S., as Captain Hook)

Who's that?

CAMERA PULLS right back as George, playing Peter Pan, leaps

into SHOT, his sword drawn -

GEORGE

Peter Pan, the Avenger!

Barrie, dressed as Captain Hook, recoils in mock terror as

George advances on him, then retreats to the safety of his

Pirate Crew, which includes Frohman playing Smee.

The nursery has been converted into the deck of the Pirate

Ship, with the AUDIENCE sitting at the far end, grouped

around Michael's bed. They include Sylvia, Mary Hodgson with

Nico (now aged 4) on her lap, a few members of the STAFF

(MINNIE the Cook, AMY the Parlourmaid, BESSIE the Under

Parlourmaid), Peter (now aged 10), and Jack. Each holds a

programme specially printed for the occasion:

PETER PAN

IN MICHAEL'S NURSERY,

February 20th, 1906.

BY COMMAND OF MICHAEL,

MR. CHARLES FROHMAN PRESENTS

SCENES FROM PETER PAN

BY J.M. BARRIE

Although the adults in the AUDIENCE seem to be enjoying the

play, Peter and Jack look singularly bored by it all, and are

flicking rubber-bands at each other.

George, as Peter Pan, advances on Barrie's Captain Hook -

BARRIE

(to the pirates)

Cleave him to the brisket!

GEORGE

(to the Lost Boys)

Down, boys, and at them!

During the ensuing conflict, the adults in the AUDIENCE try

to enliven the proceedings by calling out a variety of tame

exhortations to the combatants on stage. Michael, however,

remains dark, dour and impenetrable throughout.

Suddenly Nico jumps down from Mary Hodgson's lap and enters

the fray -

MARY HODGSON

Nico - come back!

NICO

But I want to kill pirates too!

Frohman, as Smee, rescues Nico from the confusion, lifts him

onto his shoulders and lends him a club, which Nico puts to

immediate use on the head of an unsuspecting PIRATE. Mary

Hodgson hurries over.

NICO (CONT'D)

(in joyous transport)

Look, Mary - I've killed a pirate!

MARY HODGSON

Oh, Nico, it's horrible!

NICO

No it isn't - I like it, I like it!

Nico's unscripted line raises a cheer from the AUDIENCE.

GEORGE

(to the Lost Boys)

Put up your swords, boys. This man

is mine!

George and Barrie face each other for the final conflict.

BARRIE

(with curling lip)

So, Pan, this is all your doing?

GEORGE

Aye, Jas Hook, it is all my doing.

FROHMAN

He's Napoleon!

GEORGE

That's who I am, I'm Napoleon ...

he was little too!

BARRIE

Proud and insolent youth, prepare

to meet thy doom!

GEORGE

Dark and sinister man, have at

thee!

As George and HOOK fight their duel, the CAMERA moves past

them to favour Peter and Jack, who are now flicking rubber

bands at AMY's backside.

Sylvia catches sight of Jack and scowls at him, afraid that

Barrie might see; but Jack merely fires the rubber-band at

George. As George moves to avoid a second attack, CAMERA

HOLDS on Barrie, who has been watching them. In a brief

moment of realisation, he sees that the two boys have

outgrown both Peter Pan and him.

George has his foot on Barrie's sword.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

(prompting him)

It's your turn, Uncle Jim.

BARRIE

(wearily)

Hmm? Oh, I suppose so

Barrie picks up his sword, but has lost interest in the game.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(mechanically)

Er, 'tis some fiend fighting me -

er, Pan, who and what art thou?

GEORGE

(expansively)

I'm the sun rising, I'm the poet

dreaming, I'm joy, I'm youth, I'm

eternal youth!

Background SOUND FADES as Barrie's notebook voice LAPS OVER -

BARRIE (V.O.)

"What Every Woman Knows". Revise to

include a character who fails to

develop normally, whose spirit

remains young in an ageing body,

constantly upset when some outward

proof suddenly jabs at his inward

conviction of perpetual youth.

Normal SOUND resumes as George prompts Barrie again -

GEORGE

Come on, Uncle Jim ...

BARRIE

Oh, yes - er ... To't again!

GEORGE

Cut me in pieces, and every piece

will run at you. The littler I am,

the more terrible!

George lunges at Barrie, and succeeds in prodding him to the

end of the plank, where Barrie's chauffeur, ALPHONSE, is

holding the head of a papier-mache crocodile at the ready.

BARRIE

(grandly)

Back, back, you pewling spawn!

(quietly, to Michael)

I'll show you now the road to dusty

death.

(turns back to George) )

Pan, no words of mine can express

my utter contempt for thee!

GEORGE

James Hook, thou not wholly

unheroic figure, farewell.

With a final contemptuous sneer, Barrie projects himself into

the yawning jaws of the crocodile. A cheer goes up from the

AUDIENCE and CAST alike.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

Floreat Etona!

As the curtains are drawn across Michael's relentless frown,

Nico cries out -

NICO

Oh, curtain, curtain - please don't

come down!

DISSOLVE INTO:

INT. NURSING HOME - ARTHUR'S ROOM. 1906. NIGHT

The presentation copy of "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens"

lies discarded on a bedside table, a water-jug on top of it.

Nearby, Crompton reads to Arthur from a volume of Matthew

Arnold's verse. As he reads, Arthur mouths the words from

memory.

CROMPTON

(very quietly)

... where Sorhab lay dead,

And Rustum and his son were left alone.

But the majestic river floated on,

Out of the mist and hum of that low land

Into the frosty starlight, and there moved,

Rejoicing, through the hush'd Chorasmian waste,

Under the solitary moon; until at last

The long'd-for dash of waves is heard, and wide

His luminous home of waters opens, bright

And tranquil, from whose floor the new-bathed stars

Emerge, and shine upon the Aral Sea.

A pause, then Crompton closes the book. Arthur tries to

smile, squeezes his brother's hand in gratitude.

FADE TO BLACK.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - MARY'S WORKROOM. 1906. DAY

FADE UP on Mary Barrie, sand-papering an enamel dish in a

small workroom equipped for her enamelling hobby. Several

finished ornaments are arranged on a display rack behind her.

A knock at the door, and LUATH stirs from under the table.

MARY BARRIE

Come in?

The housekeeper, MRS BENSON, opens the door.

MRS BENSON

Excuse me, Mrs Barrie, but there's

a Mr Gilbert Cannan called to see

Mr Barrie.

MARY BARRIE

Oh, very well. Will you show him in

here?

MRS BENSON

Very good, ma'am.

Mary Barrie continues her work. Presently MRS BENSON ushers a

young man in his mid 20's, GILBERT Cannan, into the room.

MRS BENSON (CONT'D)

Mr Cannan, ma'am.

MRS BENSON goes, leaving Cannan alone with Mary Barrie.

MARY BARRIE

I'm afraid my husband's not in.

CANNAN

Oh, well he asked me to leave the

Committee's report for his

inspection.

(shaking hands)

I'm the Committee's secretary,

Gilbert Cannan.

MARY BARRIE

For Captain Scott?

CANNAN

Captain Scott?

MARY BARRIE

You're from the Antarctic

Committee?

CANNAN

No, no - the Censorship Committee.

Mary Barrie tries to conceal her ignorance of Barrie's

affairs.

MARY BARRIE

Oh. Ah, yes. Forgive me, but my

husband's on so many committees

these days that I get a bit

confused by them all. Unfortunately

he's gone down to Eton for the day.

CANNAN

You have a boy there?

MARY BARRIE

No, no - just a friend of my

husband's. He's sitting some sort

of scholarship exam. The friend,

that is.

MARY gives a characteristic giggle. Cannan smiles.

CANNAN

I see. Well, perhaps you'd be kind

enough to give him these. Your

husband, that is. He'll be needing

them at dinner tonight.

MARY BARRIE

Tonight?

CANNAN

The Home Secretary.

MARY seems totally in the dark.

CANNAN (CONT'D)

He is having dinner with him

tonight, isn't he?

MARY BARRIE

Er, yes - oh, of course, it's

Friday, isn't it. How silly of me,

I was thinking it was Thursday. Er,

yes. Yes, we are.

The "we" is somewhat pointed. Cannan observes her nervous

smile, then hands her a file of papers.

CANNAN

Well these are the amendments he

wanted in here - I've marked them

in pencil - and this is the Draft

Proposal. If there are any

problems, I'll be at the Royal

Court Theatre all afternoon.

MARY BARRIE

Fine. I'll give them to him as soon

as he gets back.

CANNAN

I'd be much obliged.

As Cannan collects up his briefcase, he notices the enamel

ornaments.

CANNAN (CONT'D)

Is this your work?

MARY BARRIE

Oh, a hobby really. I do it in my

spare time.

CANNAN

Your husband has a very talented

wife, if I might say so.

MARY BARRIE

(caught off-guard)

Oh ... thank you.

CANNAN

(shaking hands)

Goodbye, Mrs Barrie.

MARY BARRIE

Mrs Benson will see you out.

Mary Barrie rings the house-bell as Cannan leaves.

EXT. ROAD & COUNTRYSIDE. 1906. DUSK

A 1906 Lancia bumbles along the Windsor-London road, driven

by Barrie's chauffeur, ALPHONSE.

INT. LANCIA - TRAVELLING. 1906. DUSK

Sylvia gazes impassively out of the window while Barrie,

aware of her mood, talks breezily in an effort to cheer her.

BARRIE

You know the only time I really

feel a foreigner in England is when

I try to understand your Public

School system. It completely

defeats me. Did you see George's

face when he went in to face the

examination firing-squad? He had

"Floreat Etona" written all over

his smile. He's already in love

with Eton, and they haven't even

let him in yet.

Sylvia makes no response. Barrie pats her knee reassuringly.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Don't you worry about George. He'll

do very well for himself, you'll

see.

SYLVIA

(vacantly)

"Don't kiss me, mother, there's a

sport. And whatever you do, don't

blub." Do you know I haven't cried

since that day in the hospital when

I broke down on your shoulder and

cried like a baby? I've got no

emotion left. I'm dried up. Numb.

BARRIE

Of course you're not. Your heart

beats brave as ever, you...

SYLVIA

(interrupting sharply)

Oh, Jimmy, for God's sake stop

being so sympathetic all the time!

I need you to shake me to my

senses, not suffocate me with

kindness. I can't laugh. I can't

cry. I'm just a vegetable,

vegetating in self-pity.

Sylvia's outburst takes Barrie unawares. He turns away from

her as if hurt and gazes out of the window in silence.

BARRIE

I remember once ... perhaps I've

told you already - no, I don't

think I did ... I remember there

was a couple living in Scotland

who'd been happily married for, oh,

forty years or so. And then one day

the wife died. Of course the

husband was miserable, distraught.

Well the undertaker came, and she

was laid out in her coffin, and

then they carried her down the

stairs and along the garden path.

And as they were just going through

the gate, the coffin struck the

gate-post. Presently they heard

this knocking sound coming from

inside the coffin, so they put it

down and opened it up, and ...

well, you can imagine the husband

was overjoyed to find that his wife

was still alive.

Sylvia listens without reaction, somewhat puzzled at the

purpose of the story.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Well so anyway they lived on

happily for another four or five

years, and then the wife died

again. Undertaker came - laid her

out in the coffin - carried

downstairs, along the garden path.

And just as they were going through

the gate, the husband lent across

to the undertaker and said, "Eh,

mind that post."

A long pause, then Sylvia begins to laugh. She laughs

uncontrollably, the tears pouring down her cheeks; then the

laugh turns to a cry, and she breaks down, sobbing, burying

her face in her hands.

With her face still covered, she holds out a hand to Barrie.

He takes it in his own. But there is no anguish in his

expression, only relief at the sight of her tears.

EXT. ROAD & COUNTRYSIDE. 1906. DUSK

The Lancia rumbles on into the gathering gloom of London.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - STUDY. 1906. NIGHT

Mary Barrie hovers by the fire while Barrie glances through

the documents left by Gilbert Cannan. He is half-dressed for

dinner, trying to do up his cuffs while reading.

MARY BARRIE

You might have told me you were

having dinner with the Home

Secretary. I felt such a fool not

knowing.

Barrie continues reading.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

What's it all about, anyway? I

didn't even know you were

interested in censoring plays.

BARRIE

(without looking up)

The Committee is for the Abolition

of Censorship.

MARY BARRIE

Well there you are. That Mr Cannan

must have thought I was a complete

idiot.

Barrie makes no response.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

(persisting)

Isn't there anything I could do?

BARRIE

(without looking up)

Yes, pass the ink will you?

MARY passes him the inkwell. While continuing to read, Barrie

blacks the worn cuffs of his Jacket with ink, as of habit.

MARY BARRIE

The richest writer in the country,

and he has to black his cuffs with

ink.

Still no response from Barrie.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

I meant isn't there anything I

could do to help you with this

Committee work?

BARRIE

You can try and read this chap's

handwriting if you like - it's

worse than mine.

MARY BARRIE

(responding)

Would you like me to type-write

them out?

BARRIE

You can't type-write.

MARY BARRIE

I could learn - on the machine I

gave you. You never use it.

BARRIE

(shrugging)

If it amuses you.

Barrie finishes the last page of the Committee's proposal,

deposits it on the desk, folds up a few of his own notes and

stuffs them in his pocket.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

I'll be sitting up with Arthur

tonight, so don't bother to wait up

for me.

Barrie puts on his Jacket, dusts it down, stokes the pockets

with tobacco, then goes to the door.

MARY BARRIE

Can I really?

BARRIE

Can you really what?

MARY BARRIE

Type-write those papers?

BARRIE

I just said you could ... but I

can't for the life of me think why

you should want to.

MARY BARRIE

(simply)

To be of use to you.

Barrie looks at her, mildly bemused, then kisses her briefly

on the cheek.

BARRIE

Good-night, dear.

Barrie leaves the room.

Mary Barrie goes to a cupboard, pulls a chair over, climbs up

and reaches for the top shelf. She lifts down a large case

and carries it across to Barrie's desk. It contains a

typewriter, rarely used and dusty with age.

INT. NURSING HOME - ARTHUR'S ROOM. 1906. NIGHT

Arthur lies asleep in bed. Sylvia sits beside him, writing a

letter by the light of a small bedside lamp.

SYLVIA

(voice-over)

For June the 16th, my Michael's 6th

birthday. We shall all be coming

home on Thursday, in Mr Barrie's

motor-car if it is fine, and I will

bring my present to you then. I

want so to tell you about father,

who is so brave, and you will be so

proud that you are his son. I don't

like being away from you on your

dear birthday, but it will not be

long now.

As Sylvia continues writing, the CAMERA PULLS BACK slowly

into LONG SHOT, bringing Barrie into foreground CLOSE UP. He

too is writing, but is sitting in deep shadow.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

Oh, my little Michael - won't it be

fine when we are all together

again! Father does so want to be

back with his sons. He still cannot

talk properly, and when he comes

home you will have to guess what he

is saying, as Mary does for Nico.

Mr Barrie is here with me, and he

is writing too. Don't you think he

is a very good friend to all of us?

He is our fairy prince - much the

best fairy prince that ever was

because he is real. I expect he is

inventing some more funny stories

to give you to read ...

BARRIE (V.O.)

Arthur talking to me about death.

Spoke about great difference in

dying when you have children - you

yourself living on in them, not

going out completely. Could work

this into story of dying man who

yearns for a second chance to live

life over again. Perhaps he has no

children of his own. Curse of his

life could be that he has never

"had a woman". Blames women for

this, but really his own fault - a

black spot within him, there since

birth. Could be a play about two

men, each trying to overcome some

accursed thing inside them. One a

physical disease, à la Arthur, the

other mental or spiritual. Each

tries to fight it ...

(a wry smile)

... but it gets us both in the end.

INT. SAVOY GRILL ROOM. 1907. DAY

Barrie, Mary Barrie and GILBERT Cannan work at Frohman's

Corner Table, drinking coffee after a working lunch. The

table is strewn with documents. MARY takes occasional notes.

CANNAN

But it's political support we

really need, and I just don't see

how we're going to get it.

BARRIE

Well the Home Secretary assured me

that if we could find enough

eminent authors to support the

petition, he'd be prepared to lay

it before the Commons for debate.

So I suggest that our next move is

to draw up some sort of formal

document stating our case, and we

put it out on a circular basis.

CANNAN

The only problem there is steering

a middle course - how to get the

maximum amount of support without

having to compromise. Granville

Barker feels that the best...

Cannan breaks off as George walks over to the table.

GEORGE

Two o'clock, Uncle Jim - Mother's

waiting outside in the car.

BARRIE

(a wink at George)

"For this relief, much thanks" ...

(to Cannan)

Gilbert, this is George Llewelyn

Davies. George, this is Gilbert

Cannan - an author of some talent,

unlike my good self.

GEORGE

How d'you do. Hello, Mrs Barrie.

MARY BARRIE

Hello, dearest.

(to Cannan, a whisper)

George is the one who started it

all.

CANNAN

Started what?

BARRIE

The longest story I shall never

write.

Barrie gets up from the table.

MARY BARRIE

(to Cannan)

His father's been in hospital, but

well, today's the great day, isn't

it George?

GEORGE

(to Cannan)

We're taking him home in Mr

Barrie's motor-car.

MARY BARRIE

You will give him my fondest love,

won't you? And to your mother.

GEORGE

Yes, of course.

BARRIE

(to Cannan, overlapped)

Well let's draw up something along

those lines anyway, and then we can

discuss it with Frohman and

Granville Barker.

CANNAN

Fine, I'll leave it with Mary. Good-

bye, George.

Barrie and George leave the Grill Room.

MARY BARRIE

(calling to Barrie)

Goodbye, dearest - I'll see you...?

BARRIE

Anon.

Mary Barrie watches them go, then reacts to Cannan's gaze and

quickly looks away.

[CANNAN

What did you mean about George

"starting it all"?

MARY BARRIE

Well - he says he'll never write

it, but he's been writing it ever

since he first met him. Did you

ever read The Little White Bird?

CANNAN

(dryly)

I can't say that I have.

MARY BARRIE

Oh. Well, it's all there. A lonely

bachelor meets a boy in Kensington

Gardens and wins him by telling him

stories about Peter Pan.

CANNAN

Which was George?

MARY BARRIE

The boy in the Gardens.

CANNAN

And Peter Pan?

MARY BARRIE

Ah, there you have me. I don't

think even Jim knows where he came

from.

CANNAN

Was this before you were married?

MARY BARRIE

Oh no. No, we'd been married four

or five years by then.

CANNAN

But no children of your own?

MARY BARRIE

(an evasive giggle)

No ... No, we decided against it.

I, er, I didn't hear what Jim said

just then?

CANNAN

About what?

MARY BARRIE

About the petition?

CANNAN

I'd rather talk about you.

MARY BARRIE

(mildly embarrassed)

There's nothing to talk about.

CANNAN

How did you first meet him?

MARY BARRIE

Oh ... I've forgotten.

(pause)

I think he wanted me to be in one

of his plays. He wanted a flirt.

CANNAN

And were you?

MARY BARRIE

(a nervous smile)

I got the part.

CANNAN

Why did you give up acting?

MARY BARRIE

Oh... I don't know why you're

asking me all these questions?

CANNAN

I'm interested.

MARY BARRIE

For one of your books?

CANNAN

What book?

MARY BARRIE

Gilbert, I've been married to a

writer for too long not to know the

tricks of the trade. You jot us

down in little notebooks, then pull

us out on Christmas Day to decorate

your trees.

CANNAN

You're the one who's been doing the

jotting.

Mary Barrie has been concealing her nerves by doodling in her

own notebook. Cannan leans across and takes her hand.

CANNAN (CONT'D)

Alright. I, Gilbert Cannan, do

hereby solemnly swear that I shall

never knowingly jot you down in

anything, so help me God.]

EXT. EGERTON HOUSE & GARDEN. 1906. DAY

A large walled garden, with an imposing Elizabethan house in

the background: Egerton House.

Peter kneels by an ornamental pond in foreground, fishing in

clandestine fashion for goldfish with a piece of string tied

round his finger. Michael watches in fascination as he hooks

a struggling goldfish from the pond.

SYLVIA

(calling, O.S.)

Peter, Michael!

Michael glances round as Peter hides the fish.

MICHAEL

Father!

Michael and Peter abandon the struggling goldfish and race

across the lawn to greet Arthur, who is being wheeled along

the terrace by Sylvia, George and Jack.

As Michael approaches Arthur, he notices his father's facial

disfigurement for the first time.

ARTHUR

(barely comprehensible)

Hello, dear boy.

MICHAEL

(awkwardly)

Hello, father.

(to Sylvia)

Where's Uncle Jim?

SYLVIA

He'll be along in a minute.

Father's got his birthday present

for you.

MICHAEL

Oh. Thank you.

Arthur fumbles under his travelling-rug and extracts a small

parcel which he gives to Michael. While Michael unwraps it,

Peter edges forward.

PETER

Can I show you my rats, father?

GEORGE

No you can't - I haven't shown him

my butterflies yet.

Michael unwraps his present: a small, leather-bound edition

of Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner. He flicks through

the pages in search of illustrations, but finds none.

ARTHUR

I wanted to give you an edition

with Dore's plates, but your mother

thought they might give you

nightmares.

Arthur talks with the aid of an artificial jaw, and his words

are almost incomprehensible at times.

MICHAEL

(to Sylvia)

Give what?

SYLVIA

Give you nightmares, darling.

MICHAEL

Oh. Why?

SYLVIA

Because they're very ... oh, it

doesn't matter. Now why don't you

wheel father round the garden -

then you can show him all the

flowers that have come up while

he's been gone.

NICO

(calling, O.S.)

Michael!

Michael turns to see Nico standing with Barrie in the garden

porch. Barrie carries a camera-case and tripod, while Nico

struggles with a huge parcel.

NICO (CONT'D)

Look what Uncle Jim's brought you!

MICHAEL

(straining to run)

Oh - please ... may I go and open

it?

SYLVIA

Well no, darling, I mean I really

think you ought to ...

ARTHUR

(interrupting gently)

No, let him go if he wants to.

SYLVIA

Very well then - off you go.

Michael races off towards Barrie, abandoning Arthur's present

in his lap. Sylvia looks hurt by Michael's unintentional

heartlessness, but Arthur understands.

JACK

(irritated)

Why's he call him Uncle Jim?

GEORGE

Well why not?

JACK

But he's not our uncle.

ARTHUR

(cautioning)

Now Jack ...

(trying to smile)

I think Uncle Jim suits him very

well.

Arthur watches as Barrie scoops up Michael in his arms,

swinging him round and round.

ARTHUR (CONT'D)

(to the other boys)

Now then, which of you boys is

going to show me round the garden?

JACK

I will, father!

GEORGE

No, we all will. Come on, let's

show him the Blackcap's nest first,

and then I'll show him my

butterflies -

PETER

(overlapping)

No, I was first - I want to show

him my rats!

George and Jack wheel Arthur off along the garden path, with

Peter squeezing in between them. Sylvia watches them go, then

turns to the porch where Michael has unpacked his present.

MICHAEL

Look, mother - look what Uncle

Jim's given me!

Michael holds up a hand-made replica of Peter Pan's stage

costume, complete with dagger and sword.

SYLVIA

(without enthusiasm)

Well that's lovely, darling.

MICHAEL

May I put it on?

SYLVIA

Of course you can ... but let Nico

help you.

Michael and Nico run indoors, leaving a downcast Sylvia alone

as Barrie walks over.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

There's been some rather bad news,

I'm afraid. I haven't told Arthur

yet.

BARRIE

(anxiously)

What is it?

SYLVIA

George. He's failed his scholarship

to Eton.

BARRIE

Oh, is that all ... I thought it

was something to do with Arthur.

SYLVIA

(irritably)

Well of course it's to do with

Arthur. He can't possibly afford

the school-fees.

Sylvia walks away. Barrie pauses, then walks with her.

BARRIE

Aren't you forgetting my promise?

SYLVIA

Oh, no. No, Jimmy - the operations

were one thing, but if you start

paying for the boys schooling as

well, I ... I don't think Arthur

could bear that.

Sylvia sits on a garden bench while Barrie remains standing.

BARRIE

Do you know how much money Peter

Pan has made since it first opened?

SYLVIA

What's that got to do with it?

BARRIE

Just over half a million pounds,

and that's not including America.

Now you tell me this, where would

Peter be if it hadn't been for

George? Don't you think he deserves

his share of the spoils ... even if

it is only to send him to school?

SYLVIA

But what about the others? We can't

just send George to Eton - it

wouldn't be fair on the others.

BARRIE

Oh, don't you worry - I'll get my

money's worth out of them yet.

You'll see.

MICHAEL

(O.S., calling)

Dark and sinister man, have at

thee!

Barrie turns to see Michael dressed as Peter Pan at the top

of the steps, brandishing his sword and ready to do battle.

At the far end of the garden, Arthur watches as Michael

engages Barrie in a mock duel. George, Jack and Peter are

grouped round Arthur's wheelchair.

ARTHUR

I don't know what we'd have done

without Mr Barrie. He's been so

kind and generous.

JACK

(aside, to Peter)

We'd have done all right.

ARTHUR

What was that, Jack?

JACK

Nothing, father.

ARTHUR

I think it was something. Peter?

PETER

Yes, father?

ARTHUR

Would you like to show me your rats

now?

PETER

(eagerly)

Shall I get them?

ARTHUR

You shall.

Peter runs off, leaving Arthur alone with George and Jack. In

the background, Nico joins Michael against Barrie.

ARTHUR (CONT'D)

Jack, I want you to listen to me.

Don't think I don't understand how

you feel about Mr Barrie. No one

understands that so well as I do,

because it's how I felt about him

myself. The only thing we ever had

in common was our mutual love for

you boys, and no father likes to

share his children with another

man. But I have heard so much from

him that is wise, and good, and

true, that I have come to regard

him as a brother. His love for you

boys is my one great comfort when I

think of the future after I'm gone.

GEORGE

But ... but you're better ...

Mother said so ...

ARTHUR

There's always a chance, but ...

JACK

(on the verge of tears)

It's not true, father! Say it's not

true!

ARTHUR

Believe me, I'd howl if I thought

it would do any good. But I want

you to be brave, as I am feebly

trying to be brave. We mustn't

think of ourselves, we ... we

mustn't ...

Arthur grips onto George and Jack, unable to continue without

breaking down. The two boys are already reduced to tears.

At the other end of the garden, Barrie lines Michael up for a

photograph, posing him as Peter Pan, the lust of battle in

his eye.

BARRIE

(to Michael)

Remember, you're Captain of the

Lost Boys ... the boy who struck

Hook from the lists of man! That's

it - that's better ... now look

straight into the camera, and let's

hear that drum beating inside you!

Barrie returns to his camera, mounted on a tripod, and

disappears under the black hood. Nico stands beside him,

wearing his hat.

As the shutter clicks: a sepia photograph of Michael as Peter

Pan, his sword raised, his eyes blazing with energy.

EXT. LEINSTER CORNER - WINDOW. 1907. DAY

From outside the window: Barrie stares vacantly at the rain,

his mind far away.

CANNAN (O.S.)

We, the undersigned, protest

against the present censorship of

plays, an office instituted for

political, and not the so-called

moral ends to which it has been

perverted ...

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - STUDY. 1907. DAY

Barrie continues to stare blankly out of the window while

Cannan reads out the Petition to Frohman and two other

committee members: J E VEDRENNE and HARLEY GRANVILLE-BARKER.

Mary Barrie sits beside Cannan at Barrie's desk, handing him

the pages of the typed draft as he reads. The emphasis of the

scene, however, remains on Barrie, and most of Cannan's

dialogue is heard OFF CAMERA.

CANNAN

... an office authoritarian in

procedures, opposed to...

FROHMAN

(interposing)

Autocratic.

CANNAN

Autocratic, yes - much better.

(changes draft)

Autocratic in procedure, opposed to

the spirit of the Constitution,

contrary to common justice and to

common sense -

MARY BARRIE

(overlapped)

That's the bit I like!

Barrie remains totally detached from the Committee, staring

out of the window, preoccupied with his own thoughts.

CANNAN (O.S.)

We assert that the Censorship has

not been exercised in the interests

of morality, and that the public

through their representatives are

the best judges of their own

morals...

Cannan's voice fades as Barrie's LAPS OVER -

BARRIE (V.O.)

The Lovely Moment. Finest dream in

the world. That it is early

morning, and I am out on a highland

road.

It is a time before I knew anything

of the world, and its pain, and

sorrow. I am a boy again. Everyone

I have loved is still alive. It is

the morning of my life.

Cannan's voice resumes in the background, but the CAMERA

remains on Barrie, staring out of the window.

CANNAN (O.S.)

... and to these ends they claim

that the office of Censorship shall

be abolished. The following authors

have already promised their

support: J M Barrie, Harley

Granville-Barker, Gilbert Cannan,

Joseph Conrad, John Galsworthy -

While Cannan continues, the telephone rings. Frohman answers.

CANNAN (CONT'D)

Thomas Hardy, Anthony Hope,

A E Housman, Henry James, John

Masefield, A E W Mason, W Somerset

Maugham, George Meredith ...

Frohman passes the telephone to Barrie -

FROHMAN

(to Barrie, overlapped)

It's Sylvia - for you ...

Barrie takes it from Frohman, a note of premonition already

in his voice as he speaks -

BARRIE

(into phone)

Jimmy ...

Barrie listens in silence to the news of Arthur's death while

Cannan drones on in the background.

CANNAN (O.S.)

Gilbert Murray, George Bernard Shaw,

Algernon Swinburne, H G Wells, and W

B Yeats. We hope that you too will

lend your support by signing the

enclosed petition and returning it

at once to: J M Barrie, Leinster

Corner, Lancaster Gate, London West.

Yours truly, etc., etc.

Barrie hangs up the telephone, tears welling in his eyes.

CANNAN (CONT'D)

Does that sound better to you,

Jimmy?

INT. EGERTON HOUSE - NURSERY. 1907. DAY

The nursery has been stripped of furniture, with only a few

tea chests and skeletal beds awaiting removal.

The door opens, and Sylvia drifts into the room, Ophelia

like, dressed in black and wearing a black veil. She moves

towards the window, oblivious to her surroundings. All colour

is burnt out by the back-light from the window.

SYLVIA (V.O.)

My dearest Jimmy,

I think of you so often, and I

know how you loved Arthur, and that

helps me in my sorrow. You will

love me always, won't you, and help

me to live through the long, long

years. How shall I do it, I wonder?

It all seems so impossible. We were

so utterly and altogether happy,

and that happiness is the most

precious thing on earth. I am so

grateful to you, and I will show it

one day I hope, but just now I am

full of deadly pain and sorrow, and

I often wonder I am alive.

(pause)

I always sleep with my George now,

and it comforts, more than I can

say, to touch him, and I feel

Arthur must know. He will live

again in them, and that must be my

dear comfort till I go to him at

last. How we longed to grow old

together ... Oh my dear friend, it

is all so utterly impossible to

understand. The boys are loving and

thoughtful, but they have all got

to grow up, and be men, and for

Arthur's sake I must fight that

fight too.

(pause)

I think of him almost always now as

he was, before the tragic illness,

when God gave him the finest face

in the world.

SLOW FADE OUT.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1908. DAY

FADE UP on the drawing-room of the Llewelyn Davies family's

new London home overlooking Campden Hill Square. Sylvia, no

longer wearing black, is arranging curtains with the help of

Mary Hodgson. From upstairs comes the sound of someone

belting out Yip-i-addy-i-ay-i-ay on the piano.

MARY HODGSON

(holding up curtain)

Is that alright, Mrs Arthur?

SYLVIA

I think that's about right, Mary.

MARY HODGSON

(flinching at noise)

I sometimes wonder if those boys

ever realised that the soft pedal

wasn't built into a piano for

nothing.

SYLVIA

(smiling)

Let Jack play the piano as loud as

he likes. Now let's try these red

ones ...

A hollow note in Sylvia's tone belies her apparent emergence

from her grief. There is a knock on the front-door: Mary

Hodgson glances through the window.

MARY HODGSON

It's Mr Crompton Llewelyn Davies.

Shall I show him in?

SYLVIA

Please, Mary.

Mary Hodgson goes out into the hall while Sylvia continues

arranging curtains.

CROMPTON (O.S.)

Good morning, Mary.

(calling)

Morning, boys.

PETER & MICHAEL

(O.S., calling)

Morning, Uncle Crompton!

Crompton enters the drawing-room alone, Mary Hodgson closing

the door behind him.

CROMPTON

Morning, Sylvia.

SYLVIA

(pleasantly)

Morning, Crompton.

CROMPTON

How's the move going?

SYLVIA

(indicating curtains)

I think they fit rather well, don't

you?

CROMPTON

Yes indeed - I remember them well.

SYLVIA

Would you like some coffee?

CROMPTON

Oh, no thank you. I only stopped by

for a moment to see how you were

settling in.

Evidently Crompton has stopped by for other reasons as well.

CROMPTON (CONT'D)

I, er ... I was having lunch with

brother Maurice yesterday, and he

brought up the subject of the boys'

future. Have you had any thoughts

on the problem?

SYLVIA

What problem?

CROMPTON

Well, on how you're all going to

manage?

SYLVIA

Oh, we're managing very well.

CROMPTON

I meant financially. Five boys are

quite an expense, particularly if

they're going to Eton, and poor

Arthur can't have left you with

very much.

SYLVIA

He left me with everything I need.

As far as the money's concerned,

Jimmy Barrie's offered to pay for

the boys' education.

CROMPTON

Doesn't that rather compromise

things?

SYLVIA

I don't see why. He enjoys paying

for them.

CROMPTON

Well - the suggestion is that we

brothers set up a trust fund for

you and the boys ...

SYLVIA

(interposing)

I don't see that that's necessary.

CROMPTON

But it would make you independent.

SYLVIA

(firmly)

I've always been independent. All

my life.

Crompton has little alternative but to abandon the subject.

CROMPTON

Well. As long as you know what

you're doing. Still, if ever you

find the boys becoming too much of

a handful ... next holidays, for

instance?

SYLVIA

That's very thoughtful of you, but -

well actually next holidays Jimmy

Barrie's invited us to Switzerland.

CROMPTON

Ah. Well perhaps the summer then.

SYLVIA

Perhaps.

Sylvia laughs tentatively.

CROMPTON

(smiling)

Do you remember the boys' pleasure

when Arthur used to take them to

the theatre?

(pause)

Penny seats, then on to the A.B.C.

for supper.

(gets up)

Goodbye, Sylvia. I'll see myself

out.

Crompton goes, leaving Sylvia to think about his oblique

warning.

INT. SUITE - GRAND HOTEL, CAUX - SWITZERLAND. 1909. DAY

Barrie and Michael sit opposite each other in the opulence of

the Grand Hotel, Caux, playing a game of draughts. Michael,

now aged nine, has already won several games - and a pile of

Swiss francs off Barrie.

A Hotel WAITER clears away the remnants of their room-service

lunch in the background.

BARRIE

(moving his piece)

One, two, buckle my shoe -

(to the waiter)

Er, Garçon - what time does the

afternoon post usually arrive?

WAITER

Excusez-moi, monsieur?

MICHAEL

(without looking up from

the game)

Il veut savoir à quelle heure

arrive la poste.

WAITER

Eh bien, monsieur, la poste arrive

à seize heures et demie.

MICHAEL

Merci.

(to Barrie)

He said, er ... half-past four.

Your turn.

The Waiter leaves the room. Michael watches Barrie's move,

realising that Barrie is again going to lose.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

I hope you've got enough money to

pay me.

BARRIE

Oh, a Scotsman's never short of

ways of making money. I remember

once I charged a boy a shilling a

day to do his mourning for him. His

mother had just died, and he was

finding it rather uphill work to

look solemn - especially as the

football season had just started.

So I volunteered to do his mourning

for him. ...

While Barrie talks, Michael makes his triumphant move.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Every day before school I used to

swap my green Jacket for his black

one, and then I'd go and stand in a

corner of the yard and squeeze my

fist into one eye like this, and

the tears would come out of the

other, while he ran gaily off to

play football - it's your turn.

Barrie lets out a mock groan as he sees that Michael has won.

MICHAEL

That's another ten francs you owe

me. Do you want another game?

BARRIE

Uh-huh.

MICHAEL

Can you afford it?

BARRIE

No.

Barrie pays across ten francs to Michael's pile of winning

while Michael sets up the pieces for another game.

MICHAEL

(vaguely)

I love crying ... it makes me go

all misty inside. But nothing much

makes me cry any more. I used to,

lots. But not any more.

BARRIE

Bet I can make you cry.

MICHAEL

I bet you can't.

BARRIE

Ten francs?

MICHAEL

Done.

Barrie jots down something in his notebook.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

Am I for a story?

BARRIE

No no, just a thought.

MICHAEL

About me?

BARRIE

About your father.

MICHAEL

You can't make me cry about him. I

thought I would forever, but I

didn't at all except for a bit.

No response from Barrie, who continues writing.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

Mother still cries though, doesn't

she.

(pause)

Do you love her?

BARRIE

Of course I love her.

MICHAEL

(a teasing smile)

More than Mrs Barrie?

BARRIE

You shouldn't ask questions like

that.

MICHAEL

But you said I could ask you

anything in the world.

BARRIE

When was I so rash?

MICHAEL

When we were playing the Game.

BARRIE

Ah, but that was only in the Game.

MICHAEL

Well let's play the Game now - I'm

bored of winning draughts all the

time.

(pause)

Anyway, what have you written down?

BARRIE

(reading)

Michael said, "Did father leave me

anything in his Will?" I said,

"Yes. Disease of the liver."

MICHAEL

You never said that.

BARRIE

I will next time.

MICHAEL

Come on, let's play the Game.

Michael picks up a little red book: My Confession Book; he

turns to a blank page, his pen poised for Barrie's answers.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

(reading question)

"Who do you like best?"

BARRIE

Best of whom?

MICHAEL

Well, me and Nico and Peter and

Jack and George.

BARRIE

I suppose all the...

MICHAEL

(interrupting quickly)

Oh, and you're not allowed to say

"all the same".

Barrie puffs on his pipe a moment, pondering Michael's

conceit.

BARRIE

Jack.

MICHAEL

Liar.

BARRIE

Peter.

MICHAEL

Liar.

BARRIE

Well if you know the answer, why

ask the question?

Michael writes "Michael" in the book.

MICHAEL

I just like to hear you say it.

BARRIE

(a raised eyebrow)

You flatter yourself.

MICHAEL

(reading question)

"What's the most exciting thing

that has ever happened to you?"

BARRIE

(taking his time)

Hmm. The most exciting thing

that ever happened to me was ...

(pause)

Something beginning with 'M'.

Michael thinks he knows the answer in one, but plays

innocent.

MICHAEL

Money?

BARRIE

Besides money.

MICHAEL

Mother?

BARRIE

Warmer.

MICHAEL

(lighting up)

Me... Michael!

BARRIE

(relishing his vanity)

Your conceit appalls even me.

MICHAEL

But it is me, isn't it? Oh, do say

it's me ...

(whispering)

I won't tell anybody.

BARRIE

Well, alright, though it pains me

to confess it. Yes, me is the most

exciting thing that ever happened

to me. Not you, mind. Me.

MICHAEL

(deflated)

Oh. But at least I'm the second

most exciting thing, aren't I?

BARRIE

Oh no. No, no - the second most

exciting thing that ever happened

to me was when I was a boy, and a

school friend of mine came running

up to the house one day and told me

that an old man who used to give us

sweeties had slit his throat with a

razor, and if I came quickly I

should see the blood.

MICHAEL

(wide-eyed)

And did you?

BARRIE

I most certainly did. It was just

about the most thrilling thing I'd

ever seen. There was enough blood

to keep us in black puddings for

six months.

Michael laughs.

'BARRIE

And now it's my turn. Why didn't

you go skiing with the others?

MICHAEL

To be with you. Till death us do

part.

BARRIE

Then hold out your wedding finger.

MICHAEL

Why?

BARRIE

So I can blow a smoke ring on it.

MICHAEL

But we're both boys.

Michael holds out his finger, and Barrie blows a smoke-ring

over it.

BARRIE

You speak for yourself.

MICHAEL

You're a boy too.

BARRIE

No, I fear I'm what is commonly

known as grown up.

MICHAEL

Well you're not common, and you're

definitely not grown up. You're

old, but you're not grown up.

You're ... you're one of us.

A pause.

BARRIE

How do you know?

MICHAEL

Because. Because if you were really

grown up, I don't think you'd waste

all your money on a boy like me.

Michael grins cockily.

BARRIE

You presume to know me very well.

MICHAEL

(blithely)

Inside out.

(ad-libbing)

Without a doubt

Is how I see

The mystery

Of J.M.B.

(preening his feathers)

Quite the coming poet, ain't I?

BARRIE

Hmm. To be a poet is a great thing,

But to be a poet

And not to know it

Is the most glorious thing in the

world.

(pause)

Besides, there's no money in

poetry.

Michael gathers up his winnings.

MICHAEL

Maybe not. But there's plenty of

poetry in money.

BARRIE

(a sigh)

Heigh-ho.

The door opens and George, Cannan and Mary Barrie enter the

room, laden with skiing equipment.

Mary Barrie is in high spirits, laughing and talking with

Cannan as George comes over to Barrie.

He is now 15, and is suffering from a certain degree of

adolescent boorishness, as well as a sprinkling of spots.

GEORGE

Hello, Uncle Jim - we've had an

absolutely spanking time! Gilbert

the Filbert took us all lugeing on

Mont Rochers, and then we drove

over to Montreux for lunch ... I

got a bit tipsy!

BARRIE

Where's your mother?

GEORGE

She's downstairs in the billiards

room with the others. Come on,

we're going to have a Slosh

Tournament.

BARRIE

No, I've still got a lot of work to

do ...

(pointedly)

And so has Mr Cannan.

GEORGE

Well don't be long.

Barrie's mood has changed from the moment the others

returned. Michael too has grown moody, resenting the

intrusion. He sits close beside Barrie as George leaves and

Cannan comes over.

CANNAN

Has there been any news?

BARRIE

(indifferently)

Yes - Mr Frohman's telegraphed to

say that the Lord Chamberlain has

banned Granville-Barker's play, so

I suppose we'd better draft some

sort of a reply.

Mary Barrie utters a cry of delight.

CANNAN

Oh, that's wonderful!

BARRIE

(contemptuously)

Really.

(to Michael)

Go on, you'd better go with George.

I'll be down later.

MICHAEL

Oh, can't I stay with you?

BARRIE

(with intentional sadism)

You'd be wasting your time, there's

no money in it.

Barrie abandons Michael and joins Cannan and Mary Barrie.

CAMERA remains on Michael, a storm brewing. He glares at the

ground a moment, then suddenly flings the draught board on

the floor, scattering the pieces hither and thither.

MARY BARRIE

Michael! What's the matter?

MICHAEL

(at Barrie)

I don't want your money ...!

Michael pulls the money from his pocket, slams it down on the

table, turns round and walks out of the room, kicking the

door as he goes. A pause.

MARY BARRIE

(to Barrie)

What's the matter with Michael?

BARRIE

(with quiet pride)

It's the poet in him.

(a shrug)

Just a game we play.

INT. DINING ROOM - GRAND HOTEL - SWITZERLAND. 1909. NIGHT

Seated clockwise around an oval dining-room table are Barrie,

Mary Barrie, Cannan, Peter, Jack, George, Nico, Sylvia, and

Michael - sitting next to Barrie.

Peter and Nico are tucking into their puddings while Michael

still struggles with his fillet-steak. George and Jack look

particularly stylish: George in evening dress, Jack in his

Osborne Naval Cadet uniform.

Both Michael and Barrie seem to be detached from the general

conversation; occasionally one whispers to the other while

the background chatter continues OFF CAMERA.

GEORGE

But why's he banned the play?

CANNAN

Lord knows, he doesn't have to give

a reason.

MARY BARRIE

The Lord Chamberlain only likes

nice comfortable plays set in nice

comfortable homes. The moment you

write about real life, he bans it.

CANNAN

"Anything likely to corrupt or

deprave, or otherwise cause a

breach in the preservation of good

manners" - in other words, anything

likely to expose the hypocrisy of

society.

Michael yawns. Barrie winks at him.

CANNAN (CONT'D)

(to the Wine Waiter)

Garçon, je vous prie - deux

bouteilles du Krug dix-neuf cent

deux.

BARRIE

I've already ordered.

CANNAN

I know, but this is a celebration,

and tonight it's on me.

(to George)

You'd like champagne, wouldn't you?

GEORGE

Oh, ra-ther!

JACK

Me too, please.

NICO

And me!

The others laugh patronizingly, except for Barrie and Michael

SYLVIA

(to Nico)

You're going to bed as soon as

you've finished. Michael, hurry up

or there'll be no time for any

pudding.

CANNAN

(to the wine-waiter)

Alors, garçon - deux bouteilles.

BARRIE

(to the wine-waiter)

Is that the best you have?

WINE WAITER

It is a very fine champagne,

monsieur.

BARRIE

That's not what I asked.

WINE WAITER

Well, naturally it is not as Le

Veuve Cliquot '92 - "The Widow" -

that is the best there is. But Le

Krug is an excellent choice.

While Barrie talks to the Wine Waiter, Sylvia again urges

Michael to finish his food.

MICHAEL

Come on, Michael - Nico's nearly

finished his pudding.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

But I don't want any more.

SYLVIA

Well just finish the meat then.

(to Peter)

Have you nearly finished, Peter?

Michael pulls a long face; he catches Barrie's eye and gives

him an imploring look. Barrie responds by spiriting the steak

onto his own plate, but Sylvia spots him -

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

No, Jimmy - please don't do that.

BARRIE

But I'm paying for it.

SYLVIA

I don't care. Michael, do as you're

told and finish it up.

BARRIE

(at Michael)

Heigh-nonny.

The Wine Waiter is getting impatient.

WINE WAITER

(to Cannan)

Alors, monsieur, deux bouteilles du

Krug?

CANNAN

Oui, mais sur la chambre cent

quatorze.

WINE WAITER

Bien, monsieur.

As the Wine Waiter moves away, Barrie summons him back.

BARRIE

Waiter, change that to two bottles

of The Widow - '92 - and charge it

to my room as usual.

WINE WAITER

Very good, monsieur. Deux

bouteilles du Veuve Cliquot.

The Wine Waiter hurries away before anyone else decides to

change the order. Cannan looks somewhat put out by Barrie's

display of one-upmanship.

CANNAN

But Jimmy, I wanted to pay for it.

MARY BARRIE

Let's just celebrate, shall we?

Mary Barrie touches Cannan's arm: she knows her husband too

well to risk further argument.

SYLVIA

I know I must be wrong, but I can't

believe that Mr Barker's got much

to celebrate about if they've just

banned his play.

MARY BARRIE

Oh, he's as keen as anyone to see

an end to censorship. The play's

just the means.

BARRIE

(to Mary Barrie)

Which just goes to show how little

you know about writers.

MARY BARRIE

Oh, but .... I mean Gilbert

wouldn't mind -

(turning to Cannan)

Would you? If it was your play?

CANNAN

Well - I suppose not, if it helped

the cause.

Sylvia senses the atmosphere.

SYLVIA

Come on, Nico - let's leave these

revolutionaries to their schemes

and get you ready for bed.

NICO

Oh? Why's it always me? Just

because I'm the youngest.

SYLVIA

It isn't only you - Peter, Michael,

you too, time for bed.

While Michael and Peter get down from the table, Jack notices

that Mary Barrie has her hand on Cannan's lap; he whispers it

to George, pointing discreetly, but Sylvia, ever observant,

spots him -

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

(a sharp warning)

Jack.

The incident goes unnoticed by Barrie, who is more intent on

retaining Michael at the table.

BARRIE

(to Sylvia)

Can't Michael stay a bit longer?

SYLVIA

No, Jimmy, it's not fair on the

others.

MICHAEL

(to Barrie, imitating him)

"Heigh-ho". Good-night, Uncle Jim.

BARRIE

Good-night, Michael.

(vaguely)

Night Peter, night Nico.

Michael follows Peter, Nico and Sylvia from the room.

MARY BARRIE

You know Jimmy, Sylvia's right -

you really shouldn't spoil Michael

so much. It's not good for him.

BARRIE

And since when have you been an

authority on bringing up children?

INT. CORRIDOR - GRAND HOTEL - SWITZERLAND. 1909. NIGHT

Peter, Michael and Nico coast along the corridor, followed by

Sylvia.

PETER

I wonder why Uncle Jim's in such a

bad mood.

MICHAEL

He's not in a bad mood. He's just

not in a good mood, that's all.

While the boys walk on ahead, Sylvia pauses by a table to

steady herself, then collapses to the floor.

PETER (O.S.)

Mother!

Peter runs back to Sylvia -

PETER (CONT'D)

What's the matter?

(calling)

Michael! Help me - quickly!

SYLVIA

It's alright, Peter - I'm fine.

Michael and Nico come running up.

NICO

Mother - are you drunk?

PETER

Don't be so stupid, Nico!

Nico promptly bursts into tears.

PETER (CONT'D)

Oh for heaven's sake, stop it!

Michael - quickly - go and fetch

Uncle Jim...

SYLVIA

No, Peter - I'm alright - really -

just a bit dizzy, that's all...

PETER

Go on - quickly!

Michael runs off down the corridor.

INT. SUITE - GRAND HOTEL - SWITZERLAND. 1909. NIGHT

Sylvia lies on the sofa, wrapped in a travelling rug. Barrie

sits by her while Cannan, George and Jack remain by the door.

SYLVIA

Don't leave me ...

BARRIE

I'm still here.

Mary enters in the background.

MARY BARRIE

I've put the boys to bud and

they're sound asleep.

Barrie nods, but without turning from Sylvia.

CANNAN

Come on, boys ... George, Jack -

INT. CORRIDOR - GRAND HOTEL - SWITZERLAND. 1909. NIGHT

Cannan leads George and Jack from the suite.

JACK

I think one of us should stay with

mother.

GEORGE

She'll be alright, she's got Uncle

Jim.

JACK

I know, but I still, don't like to

leave her.

CANNAN

The doctor's given her a sleeping

draught, so there's nothing more we

can do. Let's just leave her to

sleep in peace.

Jack reluctantly complies, and follows George and Cannan down

the corridor. A pause, then Mary Barrie also leaves the

suite, closing the double-doors behind her.

INT. SUITE - GRAND HOTEL - SWITZERLAND. 1909. NIGHT 76.

Several hours later. Barrie maintains his vigil beside

Sylvia, sitting in an arm-chair. She stirs in her sleep.

SYLVIA

(murmuring)

Don't leave me ...

Barrie leans forward, about to touch her arm reassuringly.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

Arthur - don't leave me here

without you ...

Barrie reacts, slowly subsiding back into his place.

SLOW FADE INTO:

EXT. BLACK LAKE. 1909. DAY

A thin drizzle moves across Black Lake in a fine mist,

creating hazy tones of grey. Barrie ambles along the water's

edge, clad in an old raincoat. There is little here to remind

him of the idyllic days of the Boy Castaways in the summer of

1901; only the bedraggled corpse of Captain Swarthy remains,

dangling from the tree by the edge of the lake.

BARRIE (V.O.)

My dearest Sylvia,

I hear from George that you are

feeling a little better these days,

but I don't believe it, and that

saddens me more than I can say. How

I wish you were all down here at

Black Lake, which is where you

belong. I feel the boys are all

growing up without my looking on,

and I grudge every blank day

without them. I can't picture a

summer's day that does not have

Michael skipping in front of it.

That is summer to me. All the five

know me as nobody else does, and

the bland indifference with which

they accept my moods and tantrums

is the most engaging thing in the

world to me. ...

INT. BLACK LAKE COTTAGE - SITTING ROOM. 1909. DAY

Barrie sits at his desk in Black Lake Cottage, addressing the

envelope.

BARRIE (V.O.)

To be able to help you and them is

my main reason for going on, and my

greatest pride is that you let me

do it.

(a knock at the door)

My censorship work continues as

dreary as ever now that Frohman is

back in New York, but I dare say

the end is in sight.

Ever your loving servant,

J. M. B.

Another knock at the door.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Yes, come in.

The door opens and the Black Lake gardener, Hunt, timidly

enters. Barrie folds up the letter to Sylvia and puts it in

the envelope.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(glancing round)

Ah, Hunt. You wanted to see me?

HUNT

Er, that's right, sir.

Barrie remains preoccupied with the letter, putting the stamp

on the envelope, sealing it down, etc., while Hunt shuffles

into the room.

BARRIE

Well, what is it?

Hunt is evidently in a state of considerable agitation,

fumbling his cap between his fingers.

HUNT

Well sir, it's like this sir.

BARRIE

Why don't you sit down, Hunt.

HUNT

Thank you, sir. Well I likes to

take a pride in me job, same as how

I expect you does, sir. What I mean

is, I like to do me best, sir.

BARRIE

I'm sure you do. If I had the same

green fingers with my pen as you

have with your flowers, I'd be a

happier man.

HUNT

Oh, well that's very kind of you,

sir. But you see, it seems like

your wife - Mrs Barrie that is - it

seems she don't share your generous

sentiments, sir, seeing how she's

had cause to criticise my work near

on every time she's down here.

BARRIE

Well I'm sure she doesn't mean...

HUNT

(doggedly pressing on)

It's all my fault, sir - that's the

way she sees it - and I gets the

blame for the Lord's mistakes as

well as me own.

If it's not the change in the

weather, then it's them moles

diggin' up the North Lawn, and if

it's not the moles, then it's...

BARRIE

(cutting in)

Yes, yes - well I'll have a word

with her when she comes down at the

weekend.

HUNT

Oh. Well, er - thank you, sir.

Barrie returns to his correspondence, but Hunt continues to

hover about like some bird of ill omen.

BARRIE

Was there something else, Hunt?

HUNT

Well yes, sir, as a matter of fact

there was. You see the wife and me

have been doing a bit of talkin',

and she thinks there's one or two

things been happenin' in the house

that you ought to know about. Sir.

BARRIE

What sort of things?

HUNT

Well, you'll forgive me sir, but

may I speak frankly?

BARRIE

I'd be obliged if you would, Hunt.

HUNT

Well, sir, it's about Mrs Barrie

and that Mr Cannan, sir. They've

been down here together.

BARRIE

Yes, I'm well aware of that. Mr

Cannan has my full permission to

come down here and work whenever he

wants.

HUNT

Yes, I know that sir, but what I'm

tryin' to say is that Mrs Barrie

has been, well - shall we say

takin' certain liberties with her

marital vows ... if you get my

meaning, sir.

A pause. Barrie remains absolutely calm.

BARRIE

(very quietly)

Are you trying to tell me that Mrs

Barrie and Mr Cannan have been

making love together?

HUNT

(much relieved)

Thank you, sir - that's exactly

what I've been tryin' to tell you.

The wife's known about it for a

good many months. I knew she had

somethin' on her mind, and the

other evening I asked her what it

was, and she said it was about the

way that Mr Cannan had been

carrying on with Mrs Barrie. Then

she started pouring the whole story

out, how she'd gone into Mrs

Barrie's bedroom one morning and

found her and Mr Cannan in...

BARRIE

(interrupting gently)

Yes Hunt, that's ... thank you,

Hunt there's no need to say any

more.

HUNT

It's the truth, sir.

BARRIE

I dare say, but I don't wish to

hear any more.

(pause)

Now if you'll excuse me.

HUNT

Yes, sir, of course, sir.

Hunt backs slowly towards the door.

HUNT (CONT'D)

I, er - I just would like to say

how very sorry we are, the wife and

me. Very sorry indeed, sir.

Barrie nods, but makes no reply. Hunt leaves the room,

closing the door behind him.

A pause, then Barrie exhales a long, weary sigh.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - STUDY. 1909. DAY

Barrie stands in the doorway of the study, still wearing his

raincoat but hatless, his hair soaking wet. Mary Barrie

stands at the far end of the room, her back to the fireplace.

BARRIE

(trembling)

I don't believe you.

MARY BARRIE

It's the truth.

BARRIE

(emphatically)

No!

MARY BARRIE

Yes. I am in love with Gilbert, and

he is in love with me. We have made

love together not once or twice but

repeatedly over the past two years.

Barrie looks totally bewildered. He wanders into the room as

if in a daze. For once, Mary Barrie is in command of her

emotions, remaining calm but firm as she proceeds.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

I'm sorry, Jim. I mean I'm sorry

you had to find out like this. I

should have had the courage to tell

you myself long ago. But you must

have known ...?

BARRIE

(incredulous)

I knew nothing ... you're my wife!

MARY BARRIE

In name only. We haven't been

married for years. I've tried, Jim.

Maybe I didn't try hard enough, I

don't know.

Barrie sinks into an armchair. A long pause.

BARRIE

Alright. But the past is the past,

and if you promise never to see

Cannan again, I'll forget it ever

happened.

MARY BARRIE

But I don't want to forget it. I

want a divorce.

BARRIE

(a bemused echo)

A divorce ...?

MARY BARRIE

Gilbert and I want to get married.

BARRIE

(a derisive laugh)

But you're twice his age ... it's

unthinkable!

MARY BARRIE

Not to us.

Barrie suddenly flares up -

BARRIE

(yelling)

I won't hear of it!

MARY BARRIE

Why not?

BARRIE

Because... because you're my wife!

MARY BARRIE

(calmly)

That's no answer. You don't love

me.

BARRIE

(outraged)

Don't tell me whether I love you or

not. I'm telling you, I love you!

MARY BARRIE

If you really loved me, you'd care

a little for my happiness.

BARRIE

(angrily)

Of course I care!

MARY BARRIE

Then let me go, Jim. Give me a

divorce.

BARRIE

But a ... a divorce means scandal.

I mean think of Cannan if you won't

think of me.

MARY BARRIE

Gilbert and I know perfectly well

what it would mean, but we're

prepared to take the consequences.

Barrie hesitates a moment, visibly trembling.

BARRIE

(with finality)

Well I'm not.

Barrie turns and marches out of the room.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - MARY'S WORKROOM. 1909. NIGHT

Mary Barrie sits at a desk in her workroom, typing up notes

for the Censorship Committee. There is a sheepish knock at

the door. MARY reacts, but continues typing.

A pause, then the door opens and Barrie enters. His mood has

completely changed: no longer the autocratic husband, he is

filled with remorse and self-pity. MARY remains on the

defensive, uncertain of his motives. He clears a space on the

chair beside her and sits down.

BARRIE

(very quietly)

I've been thinking, Mary. I've been

thinking it all over. You're right,

of course - we never should have

married in the first place. I said

that at the time, but you wouldn't

believe me.

MARY BARRIE

Oh, I know it's my fault as much as

yours ...

BARRIE

It's not your fault. It's my fault.

I knew I should never get married.

I've known that ever since I was

old enough to know what marriage

was all about. I used to have

nightmares about it ... I used to

run in screaming to my mother's

room and tell her I dreamt I was

married. But she liked you. It made

her happy to see us together. She

thought you'd be good for me. You

thought so too, didn't you. Thought

you could change me. But I knew you

couldn't, and I couldn't change

myself. Did try, did try.

Mary Barrie puts her arms round Barrie, like a mother

consoling her son.

MARY BARRIE

Jim ... it's not your fault. It's

nobody's fault.

A pause.

BARRIE

You must marry Cannan. He's young.

He's got talent. He's a man.

(pause)

I'm just a stopped clock - though

even a clock gets it right twice a

day. I've never got it right in my

whole life.

MARY BARRIE

Nonsense, dearest - you're the most

successful writer in Britain ...

BARRIE

The richest, that's all. Cannan's

the success, and he hasn't got a

penny to his name.

Barrie smiles at the irony, then a thought occurs to him.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

How's he going to look after you?

MARY BARRIE

Oh, we can manage between us.

BARRIE

No, you must have money. I won't I

can't stand by and see my wife go

without. I must see you're provided

for.

MARY BARRIE

We wouldn't dream of it -

BARRIE

No, I insist. It's the least I can

do ... the least. And you must

think of the children. There will

be children, won't there?

MARY BARRIE

We hope so.

BARRIE

(beginning to break)

Well then ... I must see they have

the best ... they must have the

be... the be... the best... best...

Barrie breaks down completely, sobbing like a child in MARY's

arms.

INT. LEINSTER CORNER - STUDY. 1909. DAY

Mary Barrie stands by the window, talking to Cannan on the

telephone. In foreground, Barrie sits in his armchair, gazing

blankly ahead of him.

MARY BARRIE

(into phone)

... no, not until after lunch. No,

just the two of us - we're going

round to see Sir George at eleven.

(pause)

Yes ... yes, alright, I'll tell

him. No, of course not. Bye.

Mary Barrie hangs up.

MARY BARRIE (CONT'D)

(to Barrie)

Gilbert says he'll have the

Committee report finished by this

afternoon, so I'll bring it back

with me. He also wanted me to thank

you.

BARRIE

(vacantly)

Thank me? For what?

MARY BARRIE

Well ... for being so

understanding.

Mary Barrie gathers up her papers, then goes to the door

BARRIE

(flatly)

Give up Cannan.

MARY BARRIE

What?

BARRIE

I said, give up Cannan.

MARY BARRIE

But Jim - I mean I thought we'd

agreed -

BARRIE

We agreed nothing.

(imploringly)

Please Mary - I can't stand the

loneliness if you leave me.

MARY BARRIE

You won't be lonely. You've got

plenty of friends. You've got

Sylvia.

BARRIE

(bemused)

What's Sylvia got to do with it?

MARY BARRIE

Well, she's always meant far more

to you than I ever have. You'll

still have her, and if we get

divorced, then I don't see why you

and she can't ... well -

BARRIE

(affronted)

But Sylvia's a married woman.

MARY BARRIE

Jim - Arthur's been dead for over

two years!

BARRIE

That makes no difference

whatsoever! Sylvia is devoted to

Arthur, and I am devoted to her

devotion. I would no more think of

coming between Sylvia and Arthur

than I'd contemplate Cannan coming

between us!

MARY BARRIE

(floundering)

But Jim, I ... we've... I mean I...

BARRIE

Mary, I beg of you. Promise that

you'll never see Cannan again, and

I'll forgive you for everything.

MARY takes a grip on her position.

MARY BARRIE

Haven't you understood? I don't

want forgiveness. I want to marry

Gilbert, and nothing less than a

divorce will do.

BARRIE

(shouting)

I will not allow it!

(contemptuously)

Oh alright, run away with him, be

his mistress, do what you like. But

I will not grant you a divorce.

MARY BARRIE

(bracing herself)

I do not intend to be his mistress.

I shall be his wife, and there's

nothing you can do to stop me.

A pause, then Barrie suddenly lurches forward, almost

grovelling before MARY.

BARRIE

(desperately)

Please, Mary - please ...

MARY BARRIE

(pulling away)

I'm sorry Jim, but I've made up my

mind. If you won't grant me a

divorce, then I shall apply to the

court for an annulment.

BARRIE

(confused)

But... but you can't.

MARY BARRIE

(with quiet finality)

I could always say that our

marriage has never been

consummated.

Barrie looks stunned, at last comprehending his defeat.

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS. 1910. DAY

LONG SHOT: Barrie and Michael wander through Kensington

Gardens towards the oak tree where Barrie first met George.

BARRIE

... I thought we might put the

Peter Pan statue about here

somewhere. I gave Mr Frampton some

of those old photographs I took of

you dressed up as Peter Pan, so it

should bear a striking resemblance

to the Devil in you.

MICHAEL

(flattered)

Is the Devil in me?

BARRIE

Especially when you smile.

Barrie and Michael approach the base of the tree.

MICHAEL

Do you mind awfully, being dwarfed?

BARRIE

(indignantly)

I'm not a dwarf.

MICHAEL

No, I don't mean that, I mean

divorced.

A pause.

BARRIE

Perhaps over there would be better,

by that cave where I used to hide

things for George.

MICHAEL

Don't you love her any more?

BARRIE

(coughing)

I don't want to talk about her.

Michael slaps Barrie on the back to stop him coughing.

MICHAEL

You shouldn't smoke so much, it's

very addictive.

BARRIE

So are you.

Barrie sits on the gnarled roots of the oak tree while

Michael saunters about.

MICHAEL

(teasing him)

Not for always I shan't be. One day

I shall grow up - quite soon, I

daresay - and then I shall be just

'Like everyone else, and then

you'll get bored of me and find

another boy to love.

BARRIE

Did I get bored of George?

MICHAEL

You found me.

(pause)

Perhaps ... Perhaps if I got bored

of you first? That would be

amusing, wouldn't it.

BARRIE

Hilarious.

MICHAEL

Did Mrs Barrie get bored of you?

BARRIE

(sharply)

I told you, I do not wish to talk

about her.

MICHAEL

Oh, alright. But don't go and sulk.

BARRIE

I'm not sulking.

MICHAEL

Yes you are. I can always tell. You

go all moody, and that's really

boring. If you don't snap out of

it, I shall go home ...

(imitating Mary Hodgson)

... so you can please yourself.

BARRIE

Yes, nurse.

A pause.

MICHAEL

Anyway, what cave?

BARRIE

Hmm?

MICHAEL

You were saying - about a cave

where you used to hide things for

George.

BARRIE

Oh, that. Yes, Old Solomon's Cave,

leading to the fairies' Winter

Palace ...

Barrie points to the rabbit holes where George found the Pan

pipes. Michael takes a look.

MICHAEL

(airily)

All I can see ... are a lot of

rabbit holes.

Michael walks away from the tree, leaving Barrie alone.

BARRIE

(a sigh)

Heigh-ho.

MICHAEL

(calling, O.S.)

Come on, old crock - let's see if

we can't get you out for a duck.

Barrie pulls himself to his feet, plods after Michael's

leadership.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1910. DAY

Sylvia lies on the sofa, dressed in a black gown and wrapped

in her travelling-rug. Mary Hodgson is in attendance; so too

is Sylvia's mother, Emma du Maurier.

SYLVIA

(to Emma)

I'm sorry, Mummy, but I've made up

my mind.

EMMA DU MAURIER

I suppose we have Jimmy Barrie to

thank for this little brainwave?

SYLVIA

It was my decision, not his, and

I'm doing it for my sake as well as

the boys. London gets so stuffy in

August, and I wouldn't dream of

letting a little thing like this

stand in my way.

EMMA DU MAURIER

But dear child, you're ill, you...

Mary Hodgson shoots Emma a warning glance, but too late.

SYLVIA

Ah, so I'm ill, am I? At last! And

yet you've all been insisting that

there's nothing to be worried

about.

The door opens and Barrie enters.

EMMA DU MAURIER

(hurriedly)

Jimmy, would you please persuade

Sylvia to abandon this absurd

notion of going off into the wilds

of Devon for the summer?

SYLVIA

Mummy, I'm the one who decides what

I do, not Jimmy or anyone else, and

that is that.

Sylvia turns to Barrie and changes the subject -

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

(brightening)

Jimmy ... I had the sweetest letter

from George this morning, saying

you'd sent him some "topping

phizzes" of Dorothy Dicks and Lily

Langtry. He also said to tell you

that...

(looks for letter)

Now where is it, I had it a moment

ago...

EMMA DU MAURIER

Sylvia dear, can we not resolve one

thing at a time?

SYLVIA

There's nothing more to resolve,

Mummy.

(finds letter)

Ah, here we are -

(reading to Barrie)

"Tell Uncle Jim I played for the

2nd XI today and got three wickets,

so am consequently feeling rather

bucked." Then he says, oh yes - can

you send him a new pair of army

boots, size as he's grown out of

his old pair and needs new ones for

his Field Day. Also could you take

him down a few tins of ham when you

go down to Eton on Sunday as he

claims to be on the verge of

starvation - apparently you know

the sort he likes ...

EMMA DU MAURIER

Sylvia?

SYLVIA

Yes Mummy?

(to Barrie)

Oh, and do listen to this next bit -

(reading from letter)

"My newest pair of socks are an

absolute poem, such an exquisite

shade of blue, dontcherknow, and

very à la mode. Taken all in all, I

think I'm rather a coming chap, so

tell Uncle Jim to beware on Sunday.

I'm absolutely burning for the...

Emma DU MAURIER loses patience and leaves the room,

followed by Mary Hodgson. Sylvia's buoyant mood evaporates.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

(tailing off)

... for the holidays."

(pause)

Have you talked to Dr Rendel?

BARRIE

(vaguely)

Uh-huh.

SYLVIA

What did he say?

BARRIE

He said, if Sylvia wishes to go to

the country, then Sylvia must have

what she wishes.

SYLVIA

But what did the x-ray photographs

show?

BARRIE

(evasively)

Oh, you don't want to take any

notice of x-rays. I remember I once

had my throat x-rayed ... I think

it's now selling as a picture

postcard of the Swiss Alps.

Barrie sits on the corner of the sofa, pats her knee

reassuringly.

SYLVIA

Jimmy, you're the only one I trust.

What did Doctor Rendel say?

BARRIE

I've just told you, he...

SYLVIA

(interrupting)

It's cancer, isn't it.

BARRIE

Of course it isn't cancer ...

SYLVIA

(overlapping)

Then why's everyone being so

secretive? Why is dear Mummy making

such a fuss about my leaving

London? Why have I got to have a

nurse? Why ... oh, why can't

someone just once, Jimmy, just for

once treat me as an adult and tell

me what's wrong?

BARRIE

(patiently)

Because, Sylvia, they don't know

what's wrong.

SYLVIA

Of course they know. Rendel knows,

Mummy knows, Mary knows.

(smiles)

You know.

(laughs)

It seems that I'm surrounded by

loving friends who are all

desperately trying to avoid the one

word I long to hear.

(pause)

I sat by Arthur's grave the other

day and I whispered it, again and

again, until it sang through my

mind. Do you think I'm frightened

of dying?

Nico calls out from the garden Square outside.

NICO

(O.S., calling)

Uncle Jim!

BARRIE

(quietly, to Sylvia)

No. Not for yourself.

NICO

(O.S., calling)

Hurry up, Uncle Jim! Michael says

we need you to be a fielder.

BARRIE

(calling from the window)

Don't I have any choice in the

matter?

NICO

(O.S., calling)

Oh, no - Michael's already decided

for you. Come on!

Barrie looks at Sylvia, shrugs helplessly.

SYLVIA

(smiling)

Go on.

BARRIE

Heigh-ho.

Barrie leaves the room. A pause, then Sylvia gets up slowly

from the sofa, walks across to the window, and watches as

Barrie joins .the boys in a game of cricket in the Square.

SYLVIA (V.O.)

As I may die now at any time, I

should like to set down a few of my

wishes. I hope this house will be

kept up for the boys, with Mary

Hodgson - whom I trust with all my

heart - looking after them. J.M.B.

I know will do everything in his

power to help them, to advise, to

comfort, and to sympathise in all

their joys and sorrows. ...

EXT. ASHTON FARM APPROACH ROAD - DEVON. 1910. DAY

A horse-drawn Landau rumbles along a forest road. Seated in

the open carriage are Barrie, Mary Hodgson, Sylvia, and her

five boys: George, Jack, Peter, Michael and Nico.

SYLVIA (V.O.)

I do not want my Michael to be

pressed at all at work. He is not

very strong, and his nightmares

worry me, but he is sensitive and

very intelligent. Great care must

be taken with him. Mary Hodgson

understands, and of course J.M.B.

knows and will be careful and watch

him. I believe that all my boys

will become good and brave men,

seeing that they are Arthur's sons

and understand how very much they

were beloved by him and Sylvia, his

altogether faithful and loving

wife. ...

EXT. ASHTON FARM - DEVON. 1910. DAY

The Landau draws up outside an old, secluded farmhouse,

Ashton Farm, to be met by the CARETAKER. Sylvia is lifted

down from the Landau by George and Jack, and transferred into

a bath-chair.

SYLVIA (V.O.)

I hope from my soul that they will

all marry, and be tender husbands,

and have children, and live long

and happily, and be content to be

poor if it should be so. I do not

wish any of my boys to look at me

when I am dead. Let them remember

me at my best, when I could look at

them.

That must have been the best time

always, because I love them so

utterly. ...

George and Jack wheel Sylvia inside the farmhouse, followed

by Peter, Michael, Nico, Barrie, Mary Hodgson, and the

CARETAKER.

INT. ASHTON FARM - SYLVIA'S BEDROOM. 1910. DAY 86.

Sylvia lies in bed, reading over her Will. Barrie keeps vigil

in a chair by the window, making notes.

SYLVIA (V.O.)

I should like all my dear one's

love letters to be cremated with

me, and lie with me and Arthur in

the Hampstead churchyard next to

beloved Papa. I do not want any of

my boys to go to my funeral, nor do

I want it to be made into a long

and gloomy day for them.

(pause)

Of one thing I am certain: that

J.M. Barrie will always...

(correcting herself)

... that J.M. Barrie, the best

friend in the whole world, will

always be ready to advise my boys,

out of his love for ...

BARRIE (V.O.)

Death.

(pause )

Strange how everyone fears it

except the dying. Perhaps this is

the secret of the Mona Lisa's

smile? Release from the dungeon

world, return to freedom not known

since childhood.

(pause)

Child being born as mother dies?

Could work this into my ghost

mother story. They pass each other

in their different voyages, the one

landing, the other setting sail.

And which voyages with t he most

confidence, the dying or the child?

We are never so confident between

times ... It all seems so easy at

the beginning and the end.

The door opens and George and Peter enter the room, dressed

for a fishing expedition. Michael follows behind them, but

hovers uneasily in the doorway.

GEORGE

(breezily)

Hello, mother.

SYLVIA

(brightening)

Well! What a pair of dashing young

rakes!

GEORGE

Oh, tosh! We thought we'd go off

and do a spot of fishing down by

the mill ... see if we can't catch

that old bull-trout we saw

yesterday.

SYLVIA

Aren't Nico and Jack going with

you?

PETER

No, Nico's out playing with the

farmer's son.

GEORGE

(smirking)

And Jack's out playing with the

farmer's daughter.

SYLVIA

(laughing)

Well I always knew Jack had an

adventurous spirit - something they

obviously don't encourage at Eton.

GEORGE

Oh, indeed they do, mother - but

they also teach us good taste. Have

you seen her? I'd rather catch

trout any day.

While George and Sylvia talk, Peter surreptitiously snaffles

a handful of Sylvia's Nestor Egyptian cigarettes from a pink

box lying on the dressing table. Barrie's attention remains

on Michael, standing apprehensively in the doorway.

BARRIE (V.O.)

I remember how Michael once danced

to chapel bell tolling the funeral

of another child.

George leans forward and kisses Sylvia goodbye -

GEORGE

Bye, mother.

SYLVIA

Goodbye, darling. Bye, Peter have a

good day's fishing.

GEORGE

Bye, Uncle Jim.

George and Peter walk to the door, where Michael is still

standing.

SYLVIA

Michael? Aren't you going to kiss

me goodbye?

Michael moves hesitantly towards her.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

What's the matter?

Michael hovers by the bed, then suddenly puts his arms round

her. From Barrie's POV it is reminiscent of a scene from his

own childhood.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

(to Michael)

What is it, darling?

A pause, then Michael whispers to her.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

Oh, my Michael, there's nothing to

be frightened of. I'll be well

soon.

MICHAEL

Do you promise?

SYLVIA

I promise.

Michael turns away to hide his tears.

MICHAEL

Bye, mother.

SYLVIA

Oh, don't say goodbye like that.

Let me see my Michael smile.

Michael smiles weakly.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

That's more like it. Now off you go

with the others.

Michael still hovers, not wishing to leave her sight.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

(firmly )

Off you go.

As Michael leaves, Barrie sees what Sylvia cannot: the tears

running down his face. He closes the door behind him. A long

pause.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

(quietly, to Barrie)

Jimmy, can you pass my mirror.

Barrie passes the mirror to her. She holds it up to her face,

tries to brighten her complexion, straighten her hair, then

realises the futility. She lays the mirror by her side.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

((with calm finality)

Don't let my boys see me again.

EXT. RIVER OARE - DEVON. 1910. DAY

Late afternoon. George, Peter and Michael pick up their

fishing tackle and the day's catch - six small trout - then

set off for home.

EXT. ASHTON WOODS & TRACK - DEVON. 1910. DAY

Michael sits on a tree-trunk by the side of a woodland track,

reading At the Back of the North Wind. Occasionally he

glances along the track to make sure no one is coming. A thin

wisp of smoke rises from the bushes beyond him, where George

and Peter are hiding.

GEORGE

(O.S., almost inaudible)

Now try again ... but you must draw

it in, right down into your lungs,

then hold it there - like I did -

for three or four seconds, then let

it out slowly, not all at once.

That's the style ... that's my lady

Nicotine!

Suddenly Michael reacts to something -

MICHAEL

(calling)

Ca-ve!

Behind the bushes, Peter splutters smoke from his lungs as

George hurriedly stubs out the cigarette.

GEORGE

Bugger it!

George and Peter duck down behind the bank as the rhythmic

sound of marching feet approach.

Presently a Company of HIGHLAND SOLDIERS appear along the

woodland track. The setting is almost the same as that at

Black Lake when George, as a small boy, had watched a distant

Company of soldiers marching along a similar woodland track.

Then it had been vague shapes in the distance.

Now the SOLDIERS are closer, though the wistful look in

George's eye remains the same. He lies flat on his stomach

next to Peter, watching the SOLDIERS as they pass by, their

feet marching through foreground between George and us.

As the last of the SOLDIERS pass, George skulks in parallel

with them through the bushes, followed by Peter and Michael.

They reach the main woodland track, the CAMERA HOLDING on

George's faraway gaze as he watches the SOLDIERS march away.

EXT. ASHTON FARM & HILL - DEVON. 1910. DUSK

George and Peter join up with Jack at a point where the track

rises over the brow of a hill. Michael walks on ahead of

them, deep in his reading. Beyond the hill lies Ashton Farm.

Michael reaches the brow; he looks up from his book, then

notices something.

Michael's POV: all the blinds are drawn across the windows of

the farmhouse. In LONG SHOT, Barrie appears in the porch, his

arms hanging limp, his hair dishevelled, wild-eyed.

MICHAEL

(a whisper)

Mother ...

Michael starts running towards the house, dropping his

fishing-rod and book as he runs. CAMERA HOLDS in LONG SHOT as

he reaches Barrie in the porch.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

(accusingly)

But she promised, Uncle Jim - she

promised!

Michael breaks down in near hysteria, banging his head with

his fist as if trying to wake himself from a nightmare.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

(barely audible)

Oh, Uncle Jim, say it's not true!

Please, mother, wake me up mother,

wake me up, wake me up, wake me up!

Michael looks despairingly at Barrie, then impulsively throws

his arms round him and clings to him.

INT. ASHTON FARM - SYLVIA'S BEDROOM. 1910. DUSK

The room is in semi-darkness. CAMERA remains in LOW ANGLE

throughout the scene, HOLDING on the lifeless figure of

Sylvia in foreground, lying in bed, arms resting by her side.

Presently a cry disrupts the stillness: an eerie, Banshee

wail coming from the stairs outside -

BARRIE

(O.S., crying out)

Ja-ck! No, Jack - please! She

didn't want you to see her ...!

JACK

(O.S., defiantly)

I'm going to see my mother!

BARRIE (O.S.)

No, Jack, I beg of you ...!

The door opens and Jack enters. He stands for a moment in the

shaft of light from the landing outside, then walks slowly

over to the bed. Barrie follows him into the room, carrying

Michael in his arms.

In foreground, Jack kneels beside his mother. He kisses his

own hand, then lays it gently on her forehead. Beyond, George

and Peter file into the room, followed by Mary Hodgson, who

holds Nico in her arms, shielding his eyes.

Jack lowers his head, as if praying, then notices something.

JACK

(simply)

What's this? This ring?

Jack indicates a diamond and sapphire engagement ring on

Sylvia's finger.

BARRIE

It's an engagement ring, Jack. I

gave it to your mother.

(pause)

Please Jack - try to understand.

Jack gets up, the tears brimming in his eyes. He starts to

back away - away from Sylvia, away from Barrie.

JACK

Oh, I understand alright.

Jack looks round at his brothers, standing somewhat

sheepishly in the background, then rounds on Barrie.

JACK (CONT'D)

Congratulations, Uncle Jim. Now

you've finally got us where you

wanted us!

Jack turns and marches out of the room. Barrie responds to

Jack's accusation with a deep, anguished moan of pain.

Beyond them, Mary Hodgson shepherds George, Peter, Michael

and Nico from the room, leaving Barrie alone with his

lifeless Sylvia.

SLOW FADE OUT.

[END OF PART TWO]

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS. 1913. DAY

[MAIN TITLES appear over a series of Kensington Gardens dawn

images, as at the beginning of Parts One and Two]

Barrie and Michael, now aged 13, stand beneath umbrellas,

looking up at Sir George Frampton's statue of Peter Pan,

newly erected in May, 1912.

MICHAEL

Doesn't look much like me, does he.

BARRIE

No, I fear something's been lost in

the translation. It doesn't show

the Devil in him.

Michael smiles as they walk away along the tow-path by the

edge of the Serpentine.

MICHAEL

You're going to miss me something

shocking when I go to Eton.

BARRIE

How do you know?

MICHAEL

Mary says so.

BARRIE

Oh, does she indeed. And what other

pearls of wisdom has Mary got to

offer?

MICHAEL

She thinks you spoil me. She says

my socks cost you twelve-and-six

... a pair.

BARRIE

Hmm. Well for her information - and

yours - I shall miss your socks far

more than I shall miss you. That

dazzling creature Michael has

already gone whistling down the

wind, but your socks are as

glorious as ever.

MICHAEL

I trust you're not becoming

sentimental?

BARRIE

At twelve-and-six a pair?

Michael laughs, CAMERA HOLDING as they walk away through the

rain.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1913. NIGHT

A large portrait of Sylvia hangs above the fireplace in the

darkened drawing-room.

BARRIE (V.O.)

My dearest Sylvia,

Three years since those last days

at Ashton, and time again to give

you an account of the boys'

progress, though I am certain

enough that you have your eye on

them still, even in death. ...

Barrie sits at a small bureau at the far end of the room,

writing a letter.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

George is up at Cambridge, and has

now come to twenty years. When I

first saw him, I told you he was a

gorgeous boy, and long afterwards I

discovered that you thought I'd

been singularly happy in my choice

of adjectives. May all turn out as

you and Arthur would have wished.

It rests mainly with him, but I

like to try and help. ...

Barrie pauses as he hears an indistinct sound from somewhere

in the house.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

All the boys greeted my baronetcy

news with utter contempt...

(rethinks it)

...with heartless derision, which

naturally enough delighted me

enormously. Peter and Jack are both

away on training, and Michael is

about to start at Eton, so soon I

shall be alone again, with only

doodle Nico for company ...

MICHAEL

(calling, O.S.)

Come out!

Barrie reacts to the cry with anxious familiarity. He gets up

and goes to the door.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - STAIRS & LANDING. 1913. NIGHT

Michael stands at the top of the stairs in his nightshirt,

walking in his sleep and shouting at some unseen foe.

MICHAEL

Come out so's I can see you! You

shan't frighten me ... nothing

frightens me!

Barrie climbs the stairs towards him. It is a sight he has

evidently witnessed many times.

BARRIE

It's alright, Michael - there's no

one there ...

MICHAEL

(ignoring him)

Through the water, spinning water -

I can see him - yes, there he is -

Come out and take me!

MARY HODGSON (O.S.)

Michael?

Barrie reaches Michael, guides him back along the landing -

BARRIE

There, there, it's alright ...

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - MICHAEL'S BEDROOM. 1913. NIGHT

Barrie leads Michael back to his bed -

MICHAEL

White mists spinning in ... Can't

see him any more - all going misty

white ...

Mary Hodgson enters the room, a shawl wrapped about her

shoulders.

MARY HODGSON

I can manage, Sir James. He often

gets these nightmares.

BARRIE

(tersely)

I'm well aware of that.

(to Michael)

Come on, Michael - you're quite

safe now.

MICHAEL

Spinning mists, take me down ...

Can't swim - try - can't ... Deeper

down, down ...

Barrie guides him back into bed and tucks him in while Mary

Hodgson stands by, irritated by Barrie's apparent

encroachment on her domain.

BARRIE

(to Michael)

There we are, in we get. All over

now, it's all gone.

Barrie strokes Michael's forehead, and the boy closes his

eyes. A pause, then Barrie walks back to the door.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(to Mary Hodgson)

I think I'll sit with him for a

while - I'll just get a newspaper.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - STAIRS & HALLWAY. 1913. NIGHT

Barrie walks downstairs, followed by Mary Hodgson.

MARY HODGSON

But Sir James, I understood you

were returning to the Adelphi.

BARRIE

I can just as easily work here.

Besides, I like sitting with

Michael. I think he rather likes it

too.

MARY HODGSON

I dare say, but the boys are my

responsibility.

BARRIE

Our responsibility.

Barrie goes back into the drawing-room, leaving Mary Hodgson

on the stairs. She hesitates a moment, then reluctantly

returns to her own bedroom.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1913. NIGHT

Barrie collects a newspaper, and is about to leave when he

remembers his letter to Sylvia. He walks over to the bureau,

picks up the letter and takes it over to the fireplace.

Kneeling by the fire beneath the portrait of Sylvia, Barrie

tucks the letter into the flames.

BARRIE (V.O.)

The only ghosts who creep back into

this world are dead young mothers

returning to see how their children

fare. ...

CAMERA moves in on the letter as it catches fire,

DISSOLVING INTO:

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - MICHAEL'S BEDROOM. 1913. DAY

CLOSE SHOT: Michael asleep, lit by the early morning light

filtering in between the curtains. Barrie's VOICE-OVER

continues without a break from the preceding scene.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Would Sylvia recognise Michael if

she were to come back now? Michael

thinks I'm being sentimental,

doesn't see that the boy in him is

already dead; in its place: a

stranger.

Barrie sits in a chair at the foot of Michael's bed, writing

in his little notebook while observing Michael asleep.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

If Michael had died at twelve, he

would have stayed a boy forever,

just as David did.

(an idea)

Hmm. Could work this into my Mary

Rose story. Yes, mother dies, comes

back to look for her boy. She's

still as young as the day she died,

but her boy has grown up - she

doesn't recognise him, à la Peter

Pan and Wendy.

MICHAEL

(O.S., sleepily)

Uncle Jim?

Barrie glances up to find Michael looking at him.

BARRIE

Good morning.

MICHAEL

Was I at it again?

BARRIE

You were. Can you remember any of

it?

MICHAEL

Only you.

(pause)

Why do I have such nightmares?

BARRIE

Oh, it's a sign of great

imagination - one of the many

prices one must pay for genius. I

myself suffer from them constantly.

MICHAEL

(smiling)

I hope I won't get them at Eton.

BARRIE

You won't.

MICHAEL

Why not?

BARRIE

Because I won't be there to inspire

them.

Barrie pinches his toes at the bottom of the bed as Mary

Hodgson enters, followed by Nico, now aged ten.

MARY HODGSON

Good morning, Michael.

(a nod to Barrie)

Sir James.

NICO

(brightly)

'Morning, Uncle Jim -

(to Michael)

Mary says you were walking in your

sleep last night...

MARY HODGSON

Nico! What did I just tell you? Now

run along downstairs and help Amy

lay the breakfast. Come along,

Michael, you too - we've got a lot

to do if we're going to get you off

on time.

Barrie gets up, winks at Michael, then starts to follow Nico

from the room.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

(to Michael)

I've packed your overnight

suitcase, but I seem to be a grey

sock short. Can't find it anywhere.

You haven't seen it, have you, Sir

James?

BARRIE

No, no.

Barrie lifts his trouser-bottoms: he is wearing one black

sock, one grey one. Without further comment, Barrie coasts

from the room.

MARY HODGSON

(irritated, to Michael)

Come on, no dawdling. And don't

forget to scrub your neck.

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - STUDY. 1913. DAY

Barrie returns to his Adelphi Terrace flat, overlooking the

River Thames. A small hallway leads into an enormous panelled

study, filled with a sprawling assortment of chairs and

sofas, bookcases and shadowy corners.

The walls and ceiling are stained dark brown, and the only

light source is from seven panoramic windows, which give it

the appearance of a Captain's cabin on board a sailing ship.

A huge fireplace cavern, or inglenook, dominates one end of

the room, housing a threadbare sofa, a wooden settle

opposite, and a large mound of smoking ash between them.

Many of the objects in the study have been seen in Barrie's

previous homes at Leinster Corner and Black Lake Cottage, but

there are now many more photographs of Sylvia and her boys.

Three photographs in particular hang between the inglenook

and the main bookcase: George in his Eton Cricket XI, Michael

aged 12 fishing in the Outer Hebrides, and Nico in prep

school uniform.

Barrie wanders along the hallway and into the study, followed

by his manservant, BROWN, who wears the clothes and

expression of an undertaker.

BROWN

Mr Frohman telephoned from New

York, Sir James - he'll ring again

tomorrow. Oh, and the Editor of The

Times, to remind you about your

article on Captain Scott ... he'd

be grateful if you could send it

over some time tomorrow.

BARRIE

Thank you, Brown.

Barrie takes off his shoes, replaces them with carpet

slippers, then settles himself in an armchair as BROWN brings

him a whisky and the evening paper.

BROWN

I believe Mrs Brown has some

haddock prepared for your supper.

BARRIE

Er - no thank you, Brown.

BROWN

Very good, Sir James. Will you be

requiring anything further tonight?

BARRIE

No thank you, Brown.

BROWN

Then I'll bid you good night, sir.

BARRIE

Good night.

BROWN goes, leaving Barrie alone. He glances through the

paper, then deposits it on the floor and stares at his desk,

situated in the middle of the room. The study is in silence,

broken only by the faint sound of tugs hooting on the river,

and the distant chimes of Big Ben.

A long pause. Barrie waits for the last chime of the hour to

die away; then, with a heigh-ho sigh, he gets up and walks

over to his desk.

In LONG SHOT, Barrie sits down, searches for a clean sheet of

paper amid the debris, and starts to write, but without

enthusiasm.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(mumbling)

I've always had a passion for

adventurers, and Captain Scott was

no exception. He was also my

friend.

A pause, then Barrie screws up the sheet of paper, dispatches

it into the wastepaper basket, and starts again.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Almost every Briton alive feels

prouder these days because, er -

because of a scrap of paper, found

miles away in a snow-bound

tent; prouder because of what...

no, prouder because he knows that

the breed lives on ...

With growing frustration, Barrie consigns his second attempt

to the wastepaper basket. He glances round the room for

inspiration, then pauses, his attention caught by the

photograph of Michael aged 12, hanging on the wall.

He turns back to his desk, extracts a sheet of writing-paper,

and begins to write, his apathetic mumblings now replaced by

the intimacy of VOICE-OVER -

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Dearest Valentine,

I believe that when Daniel Defoe

was describing his desert island,

he was describing ... London

without Michael.

HOLD a BEAT as Barrie looks up, almost into CAMERA.

INT. SAVOY GRILL ROOM - FROHMAN'S CORNER. 1914. DAY

Barrie and George, now aged 20, sit at Frohman's Corner

Table, drinking coffee after lunch. George looks at several

snapshots of a Scottish shooting lodge, Auch Lodge, while

Barrie talks.

In the background, sitting at the table behind them, are TWO

ARMY OFFICERS.

BARRIE

But he's an Oppidan scholar - top

of his division - Captain of the

Under Fourteen-and-a-Halfs - more

prizes in one year than you and

Peter put together ... then why's

he so miserable?

GEORGE

Oh, he'll settle in yet.

BARRIE

Yes, but a year! You took to Eton

your first day.

GEORGE

I know, but then I'm not Michael.

BARRIE

That's what his tutor keeps saying -

if only Michael were more like

George.

GEORGE

Ah, but I'm an eternal optimist.

BARRIE

All lazy men are.

GEORGE

Well thank God he's not, otherwise

you'd have two abandoned young

debauchees on your hands instead of

one. I say, this Auch Lodge place

looks quite a spot. What's the

fishing like?

BARRIE

Excellent in August, if we were

going in June, and excellent in

June as we're going in August. You

know, I'm wondering ... I wonder if

his health isn't to blame in some

way - he's always been on the frail

side.

GEORGE

There was nothing very frail about

him up at Ammhuinsuidh when he

landed that salmon. If you ask me,

Uncle Jim, you worry far too much

about him. What date are we going

up to Scotland?

BARRIE

But he needs me.

GEORGE

Does he?

BARRIE

Of course he does, otherwise why

would he write to me every day?

GEORGE

(surprised)

Every day?

BARRIE

Every day.

GEORGE

And you write back to him?

BARRIE

Every day.

GEORGE

August the what?

BARRIE

August the first. Why, does that

strike you in some way?

George makes a note of the date in his 1914 diary.

GEORGE

(writing)

Yes, I think it does rather. And

I'm not altogether sure I think

it's a good thing.

BARRIE

Why not?

GEORGE

Oh, I don't know. When I was at

Eton, I was far too busy getting on

with my life there to get homesick.

It was hard enough to get me to

write to mother once a week, let

alone every day. And yet I'm sure

she preferred it that way. She

never was the clinging type.

BARRIE

I cling to no one against their

will.

GEORGE

No, but you have a way of bending a

boy's will. You can be like a Black

Spider to a trout when you want to

be.

George smiles affectionately.

BARRIE

(flattered)

I never hooked Jack.

GEORGE

You never wanted Jack. But you

hooked me - hook, line and sinker.

BARRIE

No no, it was you who hooked me -

you, and your depraved ways, and

your heartless smile. I could have

gazed at that smile all day, but

you used to wrinkle up your nose

and say, "Mr Barrie, why do you

look at me so?"

GEORGE

(lightly)

I should have kicked you instead.

BARRIE

You did. Very hard. But then you

were always kicking me.

(pause)

Always loved to be kicked by you.

Barrie touches George's wrist, smiles at him wistfully. There

is an almost perfect understanding between them, and although

George might be critical of Barrie at times, it is always

mellowed by a deep affection for him.

GEORGE

(glancing at diary)

Now if we're going up to Scotland

on the first, can I go off to Italy

for a couple of weeks in July when

I get back from Cambridge? Micky

Lawrence knows a friend we can stay

with near Venice.

BARRIE

Yes, by all means.

The HEAD WAITER hands Barrie the bill.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(signing bill)

Of course I'm fooling myself ... He

doesn't need me.

GEORGE

Oh, I expect he does. Uncle Gerald

says you've got Gaby Deslys to play

Rosy Rapture in your new review.

Have you met her yet? I think she's

an absolute poem!

Barrie hands the bill back to the HEAD WAITER.

HEAD WAITER

Thank you, Sir James.

BARRIE

(almost to himself)

He writes to me, but he's no longer

writing to me. He runs to me, but

he's no longer running to me. I can

tell. He seems to be running to me,

but he's actually running along a

road that is carrying him still

more rapidly in the opposite

direction.

George makes no response. His attention has been caught by

the TWO ARMY OFFICERS; he watches them as they leave the

Grill Room, the familiar wistful look in his eye.

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - STUDY. 1914. DAY

Barrie, Michael, Nico, George, and Charles Frohman sit at one

end of Barrie's Adelphi study, watching GABY DESLYS sing a

ragtime duet - Some Sort of Girl - with the song's composer,

JEROME KERN, at the piano.

Gaby is the phenomenon of her day, a French music-hall star

whose blatant sex-appeal and scandalous private life more

than compensate for her limited talent.

Frohman follows her performance from a script entitled Rosy

Rapture, Or The Pride of the Beauty Chorus. He has aged

considerably since his last appearance in 1906, and now has

to move about with the aid of a stick.

George stands behind Barrie, who is seated between Michael

and Nico. He is evidently captivated by Gaby's appeal, and

she in turn plays up to his admiring gaze, moving her body

provocatively and pursing her lips at him. Nico shares

George's enthusiasm, but Michael looks thoroughly bored.

George claps loudly at the end of the song. So too does Nico,

but Michael remains unimpressed, and goes back to reading a

newspaper lying on the ground at his feet.

FROHMAN

Tell me, Gaby, do you intend

performing like that in front of an

audience?

GABY

(pronounced French accent)

You do not like, Monsieur Frohman?

FROHMAN

Sure, but then I'm not the Lord

Chamberlain. He can be pretty

narrow-minded about your sort of

talent, and if you go performing

like that on a London stage, you

won't be needing a producer -

you'll be needing a lawyer.

GEORGE

I'll be your lawyer, Gaby.

GABY

Merci, Georges.

Frohman consults his script.

FROHMAN

Now we can skip the next bit of

business and go straight onto

"Which Switch...

(gets tongue-tied)

Switch Which?

NICO

(all-at-once)

"Which Switch is the Switch, Miss,

for Ipswich?"

FROHMAN

Or words to that effect.

GABY

Can we not have the bit of

business?

FROHMAN

But we don't have Leon

Quartermaine.

GABY

Peut-être Georges ...?

George looks eager, but a little shy.

NICO

Oh go on, George!

GEORGE

But I don't know the words.

GABY

You can read from Monsieur

Frohman's script.

Gaby takes the script from an amused Frohman and hands it to

George.

GEORGE

Alright, I'll do my best.

While George follows Gaby back to the piano, Barrie glances

at Michael.

BARRIE

What think you, O dour, dark and

impenetrable one?

NICO

(eagerly)

Topping!

BARRIE

I was referring to Michael.

(pause)

Well?

MICHAEL

It's not really your sort of thing,

Uncle Jim.

BARRIE

Perhaps you'd care to address your

complaints to the producer?

FROHMAN

Oh, don't look at me, Michael - it

wasn't my idea. But I must confess

that I share Nico's enthusiasm for

Mam'selle Gaby Deslys.

MICHAEL

She's alright, I suppose, if you

like that sort of thing. Personally

I'm a vegetarian.

Michael returns to his newspaper as George and Gaby continue

the performance.

GEORGE

(reading from script)

"Ah, Miss Rapture I presume."

GABY

"I'm so sorry to have kept you

waiting, but I was having a few

cherries."

GEORGE

"Quite so. All take ten minutes

while Rosy Rapture has her

cherries."

Gaby offers George her bag of cherries.

GABY

"Have one?"

GEORGE

"No.

Gaby puts the stalk of a cherry in her mouth and offers it to

him again.

GABY

"Have one?"

George is sorely tempted to take the cherry with his own

mouth -

NICO

(calling, O.S.)

Go on, George!

George goes back to reading from the script.

GEORGE

"Go on, you baggage, give them the

music cue."

Gaby smiles seductively at him.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

"What's that meant to be?"

GABY

"It's my Number Two smile."

GEORGE

"Who wants your Number Two smile?

Give me your Number Three pout."

Gaby pouts.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

"That's better. You can certainly

pout, my girl, but it's about all

you can do, so hang on to it."

GABY

That was very good, Georges - très

bien.

Gaby kisses George as Jerome Kern plays the intro to the

refrain of Same Sort of Girl. Barrie watches them.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Gaby telling me of her lovers - "It

costs so little, and it gives them

so much pleasure."

(pause)

George when a little boy in the

Kensington Gardens, holding my hand

and asking me what love was. Told

him then, couldn't now. How best to

advise him when I made such a mess

of my own marriage? Better not to

advise, let youth go its own way.

EXT. GLEN ORCHY & RIVER KINGLASS - SCOTLAND. 1914. DAY

A hazy, LONG FOCAL CLOSE SHOT of George, standing in the

River Kinglass in waders, fly-fishing for trout.

As George's voice LAPS OVER with an entry from his fishing

diary, CAMERA PULLS SLOWLY BACK to include first Michael,

then Nico, both fly-fishing from the river bank under the

guidance of their ghillie, JOHNNY MACKAY.

GEORGE (V.O.)

Sunday, August 2nd, 1914. A fine

and windy day, with sun till 4

o'clock. After lunch we fished the

Kinglass and had rather an after

noon of it. I caught 65 trout on

Zulu, Michael caught and Nico 15.

CAMERA PULLS right back to include Barrie in foreground,

sitting somewhat mournfully on the river bank by his worm

rod, writing.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Uncle Jim hooked one, but lost him

soon after, taking the fly and cast

with him; went back to using worm.

George's VOICE-OVER is replaced by Barrie's, writing his

annual letter to Sylvia.

BARRIE (V.O.)

My dearest Sylvia, Four years now,

and once again I offer you an

account of the boys' progress under

my hopelessly inadequate

guardianship. I say inadequate

because no one knows so well as I

how irreplaceable a mother is to a

growing boy. However, I try as best

I can, and they are my main reason

for going on.

MARY HODGSON

(O.S., calling)

George ... Michael ... Nico, lunch

everybody!

The BOYS leave their fishing and join Mary Hodgson for a

picnic lunch. While Barrie's VOICE-OVER continues, Johnny

Mackay teaches Michael and Nico how to cook trout by wrapping

them in small parcels of wet newspaper, then putting them in

the campfire to cook till the paper burns through.

The scene is reminiscent of the picnic at Black Lake in the

summer of 1901; as before, Barrie is an observer rather than

a participant.

BARRIE (V.O.)

George has now come to 21 years,

and I think you and Arthur can be

well proud of your eldest born. He

had a long summer's day, and I turn

round and find he's a man. But oh

the man, and oh how I long to have

him with me at all times, helping

me guide the destinies of the other

four. He is such a comfort, and so

level-headed, yet such fun to be

with. ...

Barrie turns to see George lying on his back, one leg arched,

his head resting on his arm as he gazes up at the sky,

chewing on a blade of grass.

It is almost exactly the same image as the one Barrie

photographed at Black Lake, when George, aged 8, had lain on

the idle hill of summer at Black Lake. Though no longer a

boy, George's wistful, faraway gaze remains the same.

EXT. RIVER KINGLASS & BRIDGE - SCOTLAND. 1914. DAY 102.

George fishes on his own at the end of the day. The river is

very still, and the Orchy Bridge in the background is clearly

reflected in the water.

SHOOTING from on the bridge towards George, we see the

reflection of TWO MEN as they lean over the side and watch

him cast out into midstream.

Barrie, Michael, Nico, and Mary Hodgson approach from the

distance as George packs away his rod and gear. They are

walking along a narrow path next to the river.

LOW ANGLE: George joins Barrie and the others, walking under

the bridge towards CAMERA. They pass by in foreground, the

CAMERA tilting up and PANNING with George, then HOLDING as he

walks out of SHOT. In the background is the bridge, and we

now see that the TWO MEN leaning over the side are soldiers

in uniform. A brief pause, then they turn away and are gone.

EXT. GLEN ORCHY & RIVER KINGLASS - SCOTLAND. 1914. DAY

Early morning, and the BOYS have resumed their fishing higher

up the river, despite the wind and rain.

GEORGE (V.O.)

Tuesday, August 4th, 1914. A vilely

wet and windy day. Michael and I

fished the Kinglass in the morning

with trout rods. In the afternoon

we fished Michael's pool under the

railway bridge. I caught four

little chaps, Michael got 22. God!

Barrie shelters beneath the trees, continuing his letter to

Sylvia. Michael fishes a short distance away.

BARRIE (V.O.)

All the boys have outgrown me in

size, except for doodle Nico. Jack

and Peter I rarely see these days,

and it is Michael who is now the

real business of my life. He has

become more reserved than ever, and

I think few have suffered the loss

of a mother as he has done. He

continues to be persecuted by

nightmares, and I am in a constant

tremble when thinking about him,

which is ever a day and night

affair.

CLOSE SHOT: Michael, back-lit by the sparkling water.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

It will be no surprise when I tell

you that he has the true stuff of

the poet in him, and my proudest

boast is that he rejects most of my

own literary efforts as sentimental

humbug. He and George are as

different as two brothers can be,

yet they are as vital to me as my

cough and my pipe. My constant fear

is that...

MICHAEL

(calling, O.S.)

Peter!

Barrie breaks off as first Michael, then George and Nico

abandon their fishing and run towards PETER, who has emerged

from the trees behind Barrie. He is now 17, tall and rather

gaunt, and is wearing his Eton O.T.C. uniform.

PETER

(to Barrie)

Hello, Uncle Jim.

BARRIE

(surprised)

Peter ...

Peter dumps a large kit-bag onto the ground as George,

Michael and Nico hurry over.

GEORGE

(to Peter)

We weren't expecting you till

Friday. How did you get off Camp so

early, you old dog?

PETER

We broke up as soon as we heard the

news.

BARRIE

What news?

PETER

Well surely you've read the papers,

haven't you?

BARRIE

We haven't seen a newspaper since

we got here.

PETER

Oh. Well, for what it's worth,

we've been at war with Germany for

the past twenty-four hours.

A moment of bleak silence. Barrie and George gaze at each

other with unspoken premonition. The silence is broken by an

exultant cheer from Nico, O.S. -

NICO (O.S.)

Hoo-ray!

A pause, then George turns slowly away and walks back down to

the river watched by Barrie. The SOUND of marching LAPS OVER.

INT. WINCHESTER RIFLE DEPOT - BROWNLOW'S OFFICE. 1914. DAY

The marching continues, emanating from the parade ground

beyond the window of a recruiting office. Lieut. Col. the

Hon. J. R. Brownlow, D.S.O., Commander of the 6th Special

Reserve Battalion of the King's Royal Rifles, sits at his

desk, handing a young RECRUIT an application form.

BROWNLOW

Right, fill it in, get it signed by

your father and post it back here.

Next.

The RECRUIT takes the form, gives a brisk salute and leaves.

Brownlow resumes some paperwork, and is still writing when

George and Peter present themselves before him. They stand

for a moment in silence, then George gives a polite cough

BROWNLOW (CONT'D)

(without looking up)

Well?

GEORGE

Well sir, we were told by Major

Thornton to come and see you about

getting a commission in the King's

Royal Rifles. Sir.

Brownlow looks up, but without interest.

BROWNLOW

Bungler Thornton at Cambridge, eh?

What's your name?

GEORGE

Llewelyn Davies, sir.

BROWNLOW

School?

GEORGE

Eton, sir. Macnaghten's House.

BROWNLOW

Eton, eh? Play any games?

GEORGE

Yes, sir. Fives Choices, and I was

in the Cricket XI. Lord's, 1912.

BROWNLOW

Don't seem to remember you.

GEORGE

Well actually I scored 59 ... and I

did pull off quite a good catch. A

high left-hander actually.

Brownlow becomes visibly more interested.

BROWNLOW

What did you say your name was?

GEORGE

Llewelyn Davies, sir. Well, just

Davies at Eton. George Davies.

BROWNLOW

George Davies ... but of course!

Yes, yes - I remember it well.

Fantastic catch, absolutely first

class. Why the devil didn't you say

so before?

GEORGE

I'm sorry, sir.

BROWNLOW

Well, with a record like yours, I

shouldn't have any difficulty in

getting you a commission. Here you

are - take one of these, fill it

in, get it signed by your father,

then send it back here. Mark it for

my personal attention.

Brownlow hands George the form.

GEORGE

Well, thank you, sir - very decent

of you. Actually we don't have a

father ... I mean he's dead. Will

Sir James Barrie be alright? He's

our Guardian.

BROWNLOW

(the penny dropping)

Oh, so you're one of the lucky

Peter Pan boys adopted by Sir

James?

Peter winces.

BROWNLOW (CONT'D)

Well, of course - Sir James Barrie

will do splendidly.

GEORGE

Thank you, sir.

George moves aside, and Peter presents himself. Brownlow's

genial attitude reverts back to cool indifference.

BROWNLOW

And what have you got to say for

yourself, m' boy?

PETER

Well, sir - actually, I'm his

brother. Peter Davies.

Peter delivers the statement as if this qualification alone

should be enough to land him a commission.

BROWNLOW

Ah, the real Peter Pan, eh?

PETER

(cringing)

No, sir - Peter Davies.

BROWNLOW

I see. Eton too?

PETER

Yes, sir. Scholarship actually.

BROWNLOW

Hmm. Bit of a youngster for this

sort of game, aren't you?

PETER

Seventeen, sir.

BROWNLOW

Well, let's see. I'm afraid you

won't be able to join your brother

just yet, but there's no reason why

you shouldn't start training.

(hands over form)

Fill it in, then send it back here

with your brother's.

PETER

Thank you very much, sir.

Peter salutes smartly, then turns and walks with George to

the door.

BROWNLOW

(O.S., calling)

Next.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - GEORGE'S BEDROOM. 1914. DAY

Barrie stands by the window in the background, reading to

George from a script entitled Der Tag.

In foreground, Mary Hodgson packs George's old Eton trunk for

the Front, aided by Nico. The room is adorned with school

trophies: Eton House Caps, Cricket Caps, group photographs,

etc., as well as photographs of Sylvia and Arthur.

BARRIE

(reading expansively)

"In the past, your Imperial Majesty

- but in the past alone lies

Britain's greatness!"

MARY HODGSON

(to Nico)

Where are the pyjama bottoms? I've

only got the tops. Look in the

cupboard, will you?

NICO

Oh lor! I hope we didn't pack them

in Michael's Eton trunk.

Barrie raises his voice to drown out Mary Hodgson

BARRIE

(reading)

And the Emperor says, "Yes, England

has grown dull and sluggish: a

belly of land, overfed, no dreams

to keep her alive. Britain's part

in the world's making is done. 'I

was' is her epitaph." And then Miss

Vanbrugh comes forward as the

Spirit of Culture and indites him:

"You are wrong, 0 Emperor. England

was grown degenerate, but you have

made her great again. She fought

you at Crecy, and Agincourt, and

Waterloo, with all her dead to help

her ...

MARY HODGSON

(to Barrie)

Excuse me interrupting, but I want

to explain something to George.

(to George)

Now these are for putting inside

your socks - I've packed you six

pairs - and these are for the

outside, so don't get them muddled

up. Oh, and the man at the Army &

Navy says you should stuff plenty

of straw in your boots.

BARRIE

Haven't you packed him any straw?

GEORGE

He's only teasing you, Mary.

MARY HODGSON

I know. Come on, Nico - some of us

have still got work to do ...

Mary Hodgson coasts out of the room, followed by Nico. A

pause, then George turns back to Barrie.

GEORGE

Is that it?

BARRIE

More or less. Why, do you think

it's too short?

GEORGE

No, no. Bit short on humour,

though.

BARRIE

The Prime Minister asked me to

write a stirring patriotic play,

not a comedy.

GEORGE

With all due respect, I think the

Prime Minister is wrong. But if you

must write a patriotic piece, can't

you write it on a sugar-lump? It'd

make it much easier to swallow.

Barrie flicks through the pages of the script, then dumps it

in the wastepaper basket.

BARRIE

Neigh-ho. There's another

consignment for the basket whence

no traveller returns.

(pause)

I don't know ... what on earth am I

going to do without you? I'll be

like the Titanic without the

iceberg.

GEORGE

(lightly)

You'll just have to grin and bear

it till I get back.

BARRIE

I suppose so. Not much grinning

though.

Barrie picks up George's revolver, lying on the bed, and

fingers it abstractedly.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Seems only the other day your

mother was taking bows and arrows

out of your hands and scolding me

for buying you penny pistols ...

GEORGE

Now don't start getting

sentimental.

George gently takes the revolver from Barrie, puts it on his

bedside table.

Barrie coughs in an effort to conceal his emotion.

BARRIE

I heard a story the other day from -

E. V. Lucas I think it was - about

a French general who asked for some

volunteers for some dangerous

mission or other, and the whole

Company stepped forward. So he

picked out three men and gave them

their orders. And they were just

setting out when he called them

back and said, "Since when have

brave men departing to the post of

danger omitted to embrace their

father?"

George looks at Barrie, but without comment.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Yes, well it's a bit sentimental

for my taste of course, but er

well, it's a good story.

GEORGE

They were French, after all.

BARRIE

Yes, I said so. But it's a good

story though.

GEORGE

Why did you tell it to me?

BARRIE

Because it's a good story.

GEORGE

No other reason?

Barrie coughs, turns away.

BARRIE

No, none that I can think of. Well

I'd better leave you to get

changed.

Barrie goes to the door.

GEORGE

What for?

BARRIE

Because ... Because I've booked a

table at the Savoy, so you can

kindly do me the honour of buckling

on your armour for the occasion.

Barrie pauses in the doorway, fighting back his emotions. He

turns and looks at George.

A pause, then George picks up Barrie's pipe from the bed and

aims it at him as if it were a pistol.

GEORGE

(very gently)

Face.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - STAIRS & HALLWAY. 1914. NIGHT

A ragtime gramophone record can be heard blaring from one of

the upstairs rooms. Presently George comes downstairs,

dressed in his brand-new Second Lieutenant's uniform. He

pauses in the hall to adjust his tie in the looking-glass.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1914. NIGHT

George enters the drawing-room to find Barrie talking to a

female visitor, her back to CAMERA.

BARRIE

Ah, George ...

(to the visitor)

Allow me to introduce you to Second

Lieutenant George Llewelyn Davies

of the King's Royal Rifles -

The visitor turns round, and George lights up to see it is

Gaby Deslys, dressed in an extravagant evening gown.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Lieutenant Davies ... Mam'selle

Gaby Deslys ...

GABY

Bon soir, Georges.

GEORGE

Gaby ...

(to Barrie)

But why didn't you tell me?

BARRIE

It was meant to be a surprise ... a

sort of going-away present, as it

were. Just ask for Mr Ferraro at

the Savoy - he'll take care of

everything.

GEORGE

But aren't you coming?

BARRIE

The table is for two.

GABY

Viens, Georges -

Gaby extends an arm to George to escort her from the room.

BARRIE

The taxi's waiting outside. I, er -

I don't suppose I'll still be here

when you get back, so I'll bid good

night to the pair of you.

George pauses in the doorway.

GEORGE

Uncle Jim ... you're a poem.

George winks at Barrie, then leaves the room with Gaby on his

arm. Barrie remains by the fireplace, the portrait of Sylvia

hanging above him on the wall.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - GEORGE'S BEDROOM. 1914. NIGHT

Mary Hodgson puts the finishing touches to George's trunk,

checking the contents against a list. She sees that something

is missing, goes to the chest-of-drawers and searches them.

In the bottom drawer she finds the missing item: a pair of

grey flannels.

As she takes them out, something drops onto the floor:

George's little red tam-o'shanter from the days of Black

Lake. She kneels to pick it up, her hands trembling, then

bursts into tears.

The door opens and Barrie wanders into the room. Mary Hodgson

hurriedly pulls herself together, wipes her eyes with the tam

o'-shanter and puts it back in the drawer. She takes the pair

of grey flannels to the trunk, folds them neatly and packs

them inside.

Barrie says nothing, walks across to George's bed, sits down

on it and stares aimlessly at the photographs of Sylvia and

Arthur on the bedside table. Mary Hodgson leaves the room,

not wishing Barrie to see her emotion. A long pause.

BARRIE (V.O.)

One-act play to go with Gaby's

revue might be about George's first

appearance in uniform of Second

Lieutenant, a new word to us. Scene

where his trunk is being packed for

the Front - mother flustering,

sentimental. Father also in a

shiver about his boy, but hides his

emotion from him as he knows it

will embarrass him. Wants to

embrace him, etc.

Barrie gets up and wanders over to George's trunk, surveys

the contents, gently touches the neat rows of khaki shirts.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Perhaps son feels the same way

about his father, but can't show

his fondness for him as it's "not

the done thing".

(pause)

Son leaves for the Front. End it

here?

Barrie notices a book poking out from under a pile of vests.

He takes it out, his hand trembling slightly, opens the

cover. The flyleaf bears the handwritten information:

George Llewelyn Davies, to himself.

December 9th, 1914.

Barrie closes the book: a recently bought copy of The Little

White Bird.

Barrie holds the book a moment, closes his eyes. A pause,

then he replaces it under the pile of vests. He closes the

lid of the trunk, which bears George's name in black paint.

The large letters "ETON COLLEGE, WINDSOR" are still visible

under the newer address, painted over it in smaller letters:

"4TH BATTALION RIFLE BRIGADE, 80TH BRIGADE, 27TH DIVISION,

B.E.F."

Barrie takes a deep breath, checking his emotions. In

contrast to his earlier VOICE-OVER, he concludes his notes

with a statement of cold fact, devoid of sentiment.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Play leaves us with certain feeling

that the father will never see his

son alive again.

SLOW FADE INTO:

EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS & SERPENTINE. 1914. DAY

LOW ANGLE UPSHOT: The Peter Pan statue, fringed with snow and

silhouetted against a bleak, December sky.

GEORGE (V.O.)

Dear Uncle Jim,

I've got some spare time now from

the old trenches routine, so I'll

try and tell you a bit of what it's

like out here. ...

Barrie sits alone on a bench between the Peter Pan statue and

the Serpentine, huddled inside his overcoat and reading a

letter from George.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Last night I prowled round a ruined

chateau in the moonlight. It was

really nothing but a shell, with

all the rooms battered to bits.

There was a little shrine out in

the garden, practically untouched

by gunfire. On the altar, just in

front of the figure of Christ,

there was a Tiger Moth. In the old

days I would have caught the little

chap for my collection, but I

suppose the moonlight made me feel

a bit romantic. To a sentimental

fellow like myself, it had a rather

striking effect, and almost made me

forget I was a soldier.

(pause)

The fear of death doesn't enter so

much as I expected into this show,

so don't you get worried about me.

Of course there's always the chance

of stopping a bullet, but I am far

too timorous a man - and I am a man

now, I think - to run any more risk

than I must. Has Gaby's revue

opened yet? How I'm longing to see

it!

Your affectionate George.

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - STUDY. 1915. NIGHT

The vast, ship-like study is in semi-darkness, lit by a desk

lamp and the glowing embers of a log-fire in the inglenook.

The resulting gloom makes the room seem even larger than it

is, emphasizing Barrie's loneliness as he sits at his desk,

writing to George.

BARRIE (V.O.)

My dear George, Oh, how I wish I

could have been on the prowl with

you round that ruined chateau,

though my own feeling about the

moon is that it was at its best at

Black Lake, because we had so many

lovely moons there together in the

old days. However, I trust your

best moons are still to come.

(pause)

Mr Frohman is sailing from New York

to help with Gaby's revue, which is

in sore straits without you. I only

wish you could be sailing home too.

I have sent you a few things from

Fortnum & Mason's in one of their

hampers, which should arrive within

the week. Your Uncle Guy is

fighting near Ypres, and thinks you

are only a few miles from him.

Wherever you are, I hope you see

near your bed the flowers I want to

place there, and a new book by

Compton Mackenzie which I read

aloud to you! I shall be so anxious

till I get another letter from you -

you should see how I plunge through

my mail looking for them, quite as

if I were the young lady!

Your loving

J. M. B.

P.S. How I wish I was your ghillie.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1915. DAY

Barrie sits next to Michael, listening to him reading

George's latest letter to Nico and Mary Hodgson.

MICHAEL

(reading)

... The Fortnum & Mason's goods

have just arrived - boxes and boxes

of them! We are a grateful party of

officers, and shall be in clover

for the next six days. We had an

awful tramp up to the trenches last

night, through a sea of mud. Oh,

Lord, it was muddy! I had to go

along behind, and by mistake I got

into a commu... comm...

(to Barrie)

I can't read it, commun ...?

BARRIE

Communications Trench -

MICHAEL

Communications Trench, which was

full of liquid mud and dead ...

dead Germans.

NICO

(impulsively)

Hoo-ray!

Michael flinches.

BARRIE

(to Michael)

Go on.

MICHAEL

(reading)

By Jove, when I get home I shall

never get up in the mornings at all

... I shall be frightfully idle!

Mary Hodgson laughs.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

On the whole then, dear Uncle Jim,

there's nothing for you to get

anxious about. It's an amazing show

but I take every precaution I can,

and shall do very well, you'll see!

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - STUDY. 1915. DAY INTO NIGHT

Late afternoon. Barrie gazes out of the window with a look of

utter desolation. The letter that follows as VOICE-OVER

emerges over the course of several hours; it is a montage of

thoughts, articulated at an almost painful crawl.

BARRIE (V.O.)

My dear George, We have just heard

that Mr Frohman was among those

drowned in the Lusitania outrage.

He was the shyest man I ever met,

and therefore my closest friend,

apart from you boys. But he had

reached a time in life when the

best things have come to one, if

they are to come at all, and he had

no children, which is, after all,

the best reason for caring to live

on after the sun has set. ...

Early evening. Barrie stares at a photograph of Frohman on

the piano.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

When they offered him a place in

one of the lifeboats, he refused,

with those words so lightly spoken

by you as a small boy: "Why fear

death? To die will be an awfully

big adventure." ...

Night. Barrie sits in the inglenook, gazing at the fire.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Of course I don't need this to

bring home to me the danger you are

always in, but I do seem to be

sadder today than ever, and more

and more wishing you were a girl of

instead of a boy, so that I could

say the things to you that are now

always in my heart. I don't have an

iota of desire for you to get

military glory. I just have the one

passionate desire that we may all

be together again once at last ...

The fire is almost out. Barrie now sits at his desk, writing.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

There may be some moments when a

knowledge of all you are to me will

make you a little more careful, so

I can't help going on saying these

things. I have lost all sense I

ever had of war being glorious. It

is just unspeakably monstrous to me

now. Your loving J. M. B.

SLOW FADE OUT.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - MICHAEL'S BEDROOM. 1915. NIGHT

The SCREEN remains BLACK for a moment, gradually FADING UP on

the darkness of Michael's bedroom. It is late at night, and

Michael is fast asleep.

Presently the front door can be heard opening and closing,

followed by another door being opened and movement on the

stairs. Suddenly the silence is shattered by a chilling,

Banshee wail -

BARRIE

(O.S., crying out)

Mi---- chae---- llll----!

A brief pause, then Michael opens his eyes, but remains

absolutely still. Barrie's frenzied cry is followed by other

voices and the sound of approaching footsteps.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(O.S., wailing)

They'll all go, Mary ... Peter,

Jack, Michael, even little Nico -

this terrible war will get them all

in the eee---nnnd!!

Barrie is so distraught as to be barely comprehensible.

Michael sits up very slowly, staring at the door as it swings

open. Barrie stands in the doorway, silhouetted against the

landing light beyond. He remains motionless a moment, a limp,

dishevelled, broken creature, clutching a telegram.

Barrie moves slowly towards Michael's bed, then sits down. He

turns to Michael, who already has tears brimming in his eyes,

and holds out the crumpled telegram to him. Michael looks at

it without taking it, then buries his face in his pillow.

In the background, Mary Hodgson stands in the doorway,

weeping. Nico appears beside her, bleary-eyed and shivering

in his pyjamas.

NICO

What's happened? What's the.....

Nico breaks off, intuitively knowing the answer from the

sight of MARY's tears. She clutches him to her as he too

bursts into tears.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1915. DAY

Peter, Michael and Jack (now aged 20) sit at a table, sorting

through a pile of letters and telegrams of condolence. Both

Peter and Jack are in uniform: Peter as a 2nd Lieutenant,

Jack as a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. While Michael

opens the mail, Peter reads out the sender's name to Jack,

who notes it down.

Barrie sits to one side in an armchair, wrapped in his grief,

and takes no notice of the monotonous proceedings.

PETER

Irene Vanbrugh and the Cast at the

Coliseum. ... the Millington-Drakes

... Josephine Mitchell-Innes. ...

Gilbert and Mary Cannan. ... Mr and

Mrs Hugh Lewis, Eiluned, Medina and

Peter. ... the King and Queen at

Sandringham. ... Uncle Crompton and

Aunt Moya. ... Lloyd George ...

Thomas Hardy ... Aunt Gwen. ...

While Peter continues to read, Michael reacts to the

handwriting on an unopened envelope. It is addressed in

pencil, and bears a rubber-stamped crown with the words

"PASSED BY No. 2315 CENSOR"

Michael recognises the handwriting. He pauses a moment, then

gets up and takes the letter to Barrie. Peter notices the

action, but carries on reading.

PETER (O.S.) (CONT'D)

Elizabeth, E. V. and Audrey Lucas.

... Uncle Gerald, Aunt Muriel,

Daphne and Angela ... Pauline Chase

... the Management and Cast at the

Duke of York's ... H. G. Wells. ...

Michael hands the letter to Barrie and returns to the table.

PETER (CONT'D)

Lady Scott. ... Nina Bouci...

JACK

(interrupting, to Michael)

What was that?

PETER

(cautioning Jack)

Jack.

(continuing with letters)

Nina Boucicault. ... The Quiller-

Couches. ... Gaby Deslys. ... Hugh

Macnaghten. ... Roger Chance. ...

old Milky. ...

While Peter continues reading off the names, Barrie gazes at

George's handwriting on the envelope Michael has given him.

He hesitates a moment, then opens it with trembling hands. It

contains two little sheets of paper, written in pencil.

PETER (O.S.) (CONT'D)

Sir Arthur and Lady Ponsonby. ...

Golding Bright. ...

Charles Scribner. ... the Duchess

of Sutherland. ...

Peter's voice fades as George's LAPS OVER -

GEORGE (V.O.)

Dear Uncle Jim,

I have just got your letter about

Mr Frohman. You say it hasn't made

you think any more about the danger

I am always in, but I know it has.

Do try not to let it. I take every

care of myself that can decently be

taken, and if I am going to stop a

bullet, why should it be with a

vital place? But arguments aren't

any good. Keep up your heart, Uncle

Jim, and remember how good an

experience this is for a chap who's

been very idle before. Lord, I

shall be proud when I'm home again,

and talking to you about all this.

That old dinner at the Savoy will

be pretty grand! The ground is

drying up fast now, and the weather

far better. Soon the spring will be

on us, and the birds nesting right

up in the firing line ...

Barrie breaks off, unable to go on reading, and clutches the

letter to him. Peter's voice resumes in the background -

PETER (O.S.)

Fred and Katie Oliver. ... Maude

Adams. ... Denis Mackail. ... Will

Meredith. ... Aunt Gwen ... Maurice

Hewlett. ... A. E. W. Mason. ...

Johnny Mackay. ...

Barrie gets up and walks from the room without a word.

PETER (CONT'D)

A. A. Milne ... Charlie Tennyson

... Hodder & Stoughton. ... James

Robb ... Ellen Terry ...

Peter pauses as he hears the front door closing.

JACK

What was that all about?

PETER

A letter from George.

MICHAEL

I think I'd better go and ...

PETER

I think you better had.

Michael goes, leaving Peter and Jack alone. Peter turns to

the window where Barrie can be seen walking down the steps.

PETER (CONT'D)

I wonder if it's even remotely

occurred to him what we have lost.

JACK

I shouldn't think so for a minute.

Still, one can't help feeling sorry

for him, poor little devil.

Michael joins Barrie outside, puts his arm round him in an

effort to console him.

PETER

Michael's the one I feel sorry for.

JACK

Why Michael?

PETER

It's all on his shoulders now.

FADE OUT.

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - STUDY. 1917. DAY

SLOW FADE UP on the darkened inglenook of Barrie's Adelphi

study. The wooden settle is empty, the fire almost out.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Beyond the darkness is a great

ingle-nook, in which is seated on a

wooden settle a man of about fifty.

Through the greyness we see him in

the glow of the fire, trying to

read his newspaper. He is a

wistful, pathetic, lonely old man.

During Barrie's VOICE-OVER, the CAMERA PANS slowly round the

inglenook and out into the study. Barrie sits nearby at his

desk, gazing at the empty inglenook, as if picturing himself

in it. He has a pencil in his hand, a manuscript before him.

In the background, at the far end of the study, a young woman

is kneeling on the floor, sorting through a pile of papers.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

In the darkness, something happens.

A well-remembered voice says,

"Father". He looks into the

greyness from which the voice

comes, and he sees his dead son.

"I've come to sit with you a bit,

father. I say, don't be startled,

or anything of that kind." It is

the gay, young, careless voice of

old. "What's the matter, father?

Haven't you got over it yet? I got

over it so long ago. I do wish you

people would understand what a

little thing death is." "Tell me

how it is, Dick." "Well, it's like

a mist - a sort of veil that's

drawn between the living and the

dead. But when you've been out at

the Front for a bit, you can't

think how thin the veil seems to

get. I don't remember being killed.

I don't remember anything - till

the quietness came ...

Barrie pauses as MICHAEL, now aged 17, comes into the room.

He is wearing a fisherman's jersey and a pair of old baggy

trousers, unlike George's fondness for dressing as a "knut".

Nor is Michael remotely Etonian, though his manner is, on

occasion, inclined towards arrogance. In the words of his

Housemaster, "he never means to be rude, but he is too clever

not to see the weak points in others." He has a tendency to

disguise his extreme sensibility and reserve with a veneer of

laconic humour, and his moods, like Barrie's, are often hard

to gauge.

Instead of greeting Michael, Barrie takes his manuscript of A

Well-Remembered Voice into the inglenook and curls himself up

on the wooden settle. This apparent indifference is, of

course, only a facade.

Barrie watches Michael from the corner of his eye as the

latter strolls over to the woman kneeling on the floor - a

certain LADY Cynthia ASQUITH. Like Sylvia, Cynthia has an

elusive beauty that makes her look younger than her present

age of 30 - the same age as Sylvia when Barrie first met her

in 1897.

Michael watches her a moment as she sifts through a confusion

of manuscripts, letters, old photographs, and uncashed

royalty cheques. She appears to be trying to sort them into

various categories, one of which is a wastepaper basket,

already overflowing. The largest pile consists of letters

from Michael to Barrie.

MICHAEL

(to Cynthia)

It's about time someone threw them

all away. He never reads them.

Cynthia looks up with a slight start. They have evidently not

been introduced, but Barrie, tucked away in his inglenook,

makes no attempt to do so.

CYNTHIA

Hello.

MICHAEL

Hello.

Cynthia glances in Barrie's direction for an introduction,

but receives none.

CYNTHIA

You must be Michael?

MICHAEL

I have that dubious distinction.

CYNTHIA

(shaking hands)

I'm Cynthia - Cynthia Asquith.

MICHAEL

(shaking hands)

Uncle Jim's new secretary?

CYNTHIA

I have that dubious distinction.

MICHAEL

Well I should start by burning all

those letters.

Barrie calls out from the inglenook, but without looking up

from his script.

BARRIE

Lady Cynthia, I want nothing to be

touched if they came from those

bottom drawers.

Michael shrugs a smile at Cynthia, then wanders over to the

ingle-nook, picking up a drawing-pad on the way.

MICHAEL

(teasing)

They're only from me.

BARRIE

(to Cynthia)

Nothing's to be touched from those

bottom drawers.

CYNTHIA

Don't worry, I won't.

Barrie continues writing, or at any rate appears to do so.

Michael enters the inglenook, dipping his head to avoid

bumping it on the chimney beam, then settles down on the sofa

opposite Barrie, opens his drawing-pad and begins to sketch.

During the ensuing conversation, neither Barrie nor Michael

look up from their respective distractions, and each is as

nonchalant as the other.

BARRIE

(vaguely)

Where've you been all day?

MICHAEL

(vaguely)

With Roger.

BARRIE

Roger who?

MICHAEL

Roger Senhouse.

BARRIE

Do I know him?

MICHAEL

He came to dinner last holidays.

BARRIE

Can't say I remember him.

MICHAEL

He certainly remembers you. You

never spoke a word to him all

evening.

BARRIE

Didn't I?

MICHAEL

You know you didn't. Poor Roger

said it was the most terrifying

encounter of his life.

BARRIE

Poor Roger. But then all your

friends say that, don't they.

MICHAEL

The ones that don't know you.

Barrie shifts his position, well aware that Michael is

sketching him.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1917. DAY

Jack, dressed in Naval uniform, sits in the drawing-room,

impatiently waiting for Michael. Mary Hodgson sits at a table

nearby, contemplating her move in a game of L'Attaque, which

Nico (now aged 14) has temporarily abandoned in order to play

Jack his new jazz record.

NICO

(to Jack)

I just got it this morning - it's a

real wheeze!

Nico puts on the record, despite Jack's obvious disinterest.

The resulting blare deafens Mary Hodgson.

MARY HODGSON

Oh, Nico - must we? I can't

possibly concentrate with that din

going on like that.

(to Jack)

He's doing it on purpose because he

knows I'm winning.

NICO

Come on, Mary - show Jack how you

can Quick Step ...

MARY HODGSON

No, I'm ready to make my coup de

grace or whatever Michael calls it.

MARY is about to move her piece, but Nico intervenes, hauling

her to her feet.

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

(laughing)

Nico, unhand me!

NICO

Come on, don't be shy ... Jack's

dying to see you dance!

Mary Hodgson has no alternative but to join Nico in a lively

Quick Step, mercifully curtailed by the doorbell.

MARY HODGSON

Thank heavens for that! I don't

think I could have lasted another

minute...

(going to the door)

And take that thing off or I'll

bring my Gregory Powder out of

retirement!

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - HALLWAY. 1917. DAY

Mary Hodgson comes out into the hallway and goes to the front

door. The ragtime music stops abruptly, allowing Michael's

voice to be heard outside.

MICHAEL (O.S.)

I'm sowing the seeds of a career

such as Raphael, Velasquez, Lippo

Lippi, and other famoso

charivarios.

MARY opens the door and Michael enters, followed by an

Etonian friend, ROGER Senhouse.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

Vast intellects have begun eodem

modo, haven't they Mary?

Michael kisses MARY on the cheek.

MARY HODGSON

(lightly)

Have you two been drinking?

MICHAEL

I regret not. We stopped by the Red

Lion, but it was closed.

MARY HODGSON

Well just so we've both got the

same story, I told Sir James that I

forgot to give you the message.

MICHAEL

What message?

MARY HODGSON

About going to rehearsals for "Dear

Brutus".

MICHAEL

Oh, blast - I clean forgot!

MARY HODGSON

No you didn't - I forgot to tell

you.

MICHAEL

Bless you Mary.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

Oh, and Jack's here ... he's been

waiting here an hour to see you.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

(surprised)

Jack?

MARY points to the drawing-room door.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1917. DAY

Jack gets up as Michael enters the room.

MICHAEL

(warmly)

Jack! I thought you were floating

about in the North Sea somewhere.

JACK

I was, but I managed to get three

days sick-leave.

MICHAEL

Yes, well we all know about sick-

leave. Did you bring her with you?

JACK

Bring who?

MICHAEL

Your inamorata.

JACK

Who?

MICHAEL

Your fiancee.

JACK

Oh, you mean Gerrie. But we're not

engaged yet.

MICHAEL

(pointedly)

So I understand. Well, welcome back

to little old New Babylon. Have you

seen Uncle Jim yet?

JACK

Yes, I had lunch with him to talk

about Gerrie and things, but he

spent most of the time talking

about you.

MICHAEL

How fearfully dull.

JACK

Yes, it was rather. So was the cold

haddock.

Jack seems nervy and on edge, eyeing ROGER Senhouse, who has

remained standing in the doorway.

MICHAEL

Oh, I'm sorry ... Roger, this is my

brother Jack -

(to Jack)

Jack - Roger Senhouse, a friend of

mine from Eton.

SENHOUSE

How do you do.

Jack nods, but makes no effort to shake hands, and Senhouse

senses the atmosphere.

SENHOUSE (CONT'D)

(to Michael)

Well I, er - I think I'd better be

going. Don't forget "Boris Godunov"

tomorrow night. We have to be there

by six thirty.

MICHAEL

Yes, well I'll see what he says.

Why not ring me in the morning -

I'll be at the Adelphi flat.

SENHOUSE

I'd rather you telephoned me ... I

never know what to say to him.

MICHAEL

You say, "Good morning, Sir James -

May I speak to Michael." He won't

bite you - not down the telephone

at any rate.

(pause)

Oh, alright - I'll ring you.

SENHOUSE

Thanks. Goodbye, Jack ... 'bye,

Nico.

NICO

'Bye

Michael escorts Senhouse out into the hall.

JACK

(to Nico)

Hop it for a mo, will you.

NICO

Why?

JACK

I want a word with Michael. Please?

Nico shrugs, leaves the room as Michael returns, shutting the

door behind him. A pause.

JACK (CONT'D)

You know I really can't blame your

friend - the Little Baronet's

enough to freeze anyone's blood. I

don't know how you put up with him.

MICHAEL

I don't put up with him. I'm fond

of him.

JACK

I wish I could say the same. But

then of course you didn't have to

stand by and watch him trying to

take father's place, worming his

way into mother's affections.

MICHAEL

Oh, nonsense!

JACK

Is it? You were too young, you and

Nico - you didn't see what went on.

MICHAEL

George did, and he never resented

Uncle Jim.

JACK

No, well George always swam with

the tide. I'm not saying anything

against George - he was one of

God's own - but Peter and I were

always more independent, and that's

one thing the Bart can't stomach.

You just wait and see what happens

when you want to get married.

MICHAEL

Ah, so that's it.

JACK

(flaring up)

You're damn right it is! I mean

what right's he got trying to tell

us how to run our lives? He spent

most of lunch moaning on about

Peter living with this married

woman - Vera whatever-her-name-is.

Well if Peter wants to live with

her, why the devil shouldn't he?

And if I want to get married, why

the devil shouldn't I? It's time

someone told...

Mary Hodgson pokes her head round the door -

MARY HODGSON

Tea's ready.

JACK

(angrily)

Kindly don't interrupt!

MARY looks momentarily stunned by Jack's outburst.

MICHAEL

(interceding)

Thank you, Mary - we'll be up in a

minute.

MARY leaves the room, shutting the door sharply behind her.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

(to Jack)

Was that really necessary?

JACK

She's got no right interrupting

like that.

MICHAEL

She has every right. She's one of

us.

JACK

Not to me she isn't. It's bad

enough having to go down on all

fours to the Bart...

MICHAEL

All fours for what?

JACK

Permission to marry, of course.

MICHAEL

You're twenty-one, you don't need

his permission.

JACK

I know, but ... well, I want my

Gerrie to have the best, and I

can't give her that on a Naval

salary.

MICHAEL

Ah ... the money.

JACK

Just a few hundred to get started,

that's all. What's a few hundred to

the Bart? He's so infernally

wealthy it's like a flea-bite to

him.

MICHAEL

How long's he want you to wait?

JACK

Till the war's over - which could

be another twenty years the way

things are going. And of course

Mary and Gilbert Cannan breaking up

hasn't exactly confirmed his faith

in marriage either. Look, couldn't

you have a word with him? He takes

your advice on just about

everything, and if you tell him to

let us get married, well ... we can

almost start writing out the

invitations.

MICHAEL

I won't tell him anything, but I'll

have a talk with him if you like.

JACK

Thanks, old pal.

Michael considers a moment.

MICHAEL

Supposing he does agree. Where

would you both live?

JACK

Why here of course. I mean it's our

house, isn't it?

(sensing a doubt)

Oh, don't worry, Michael - you and

Gerrie will get on like a house on

fire - she's the absolute cat's

pyjamas!

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - STUDY. 1917. NIGHT

Michael stands in the inglenook, chucking a cricket-ball from

hand to hand in a preoccupied fashion. Barrie stands nearby,

puffing hard on his pipe, deep in thought.

BARRIE

Well I suppose ... yes, I suppose

they could always live round at

Campden Hill Square.

MICHAEL

I don't think that would work, not

with Mary there.

BARRIE

Oh?

MICHAEL

She and Jack don't exactly see eye

to eye, you know that. And besides,

there wouldn't really be room once

Jack starts a family.

BARRIE

But you're hardly ever there,

except in the holidays.

MICHAEL

Couldn't you buy them a house as a

wedding present?

Barrie ponders a moment, then brightens as an idea dawns.

BARRIE

Wait a minute ... yes, I think I

have the perfect solution. Why

don't you come and live here?

There's plenty of room for you -

and Nico. We could turn the spare

bedroom into a Billiards Room ...

you could even have your own study!

Michael looks less than enthusiastic, but makes no comment.

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - LANDING & LIFT. 1917. DAY

Jack emerges from the lift-cage opposite the front-door to

Barrie's flat, accompanied by his fiancee, GERALDINE GIBB, a

rather shy but exceedingly pretty nineteen-year-old. Both she

and Jack have dressed up for their forthcoming ordeal.

JACK

Now the main thing is, don't look

nervous.

GERRIE

I'm not nervous.

JACK

Just keep your fingers crossed that

the Bart's in a good mood. God, but

I'd rather face the whole German

Navy if it wasn't for my Gerrie.

Jack presses the doorbell.

JACK (CONT'D)

And remember - don't be nervous.

GERRIE

I'm not nervous.

JACK

(not listening)

And don't forget, he's very shy -

so don't think he doesn't like you

just because he doesn't smile. He

never smiles.

BROWN opens the front door -

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - ENTRANCE HALL & STUDY. 1917. DAY

Jack enters the flat, followed by Gerrie.

JACK

Evening, Brown.

BROWN

Good evening, Jack ... Miss Gibb.

GERRIE

Good evening, Brown.

BARRIE

(calling, O.S.)

Jack ... Come on in.

Jack and Gerrie walk along the short entrance hall to be met

by Barrie in the study.

JACK

(stiffly)

Hello, Uncle Jim. This is, er -

this is Miss Geraldine Gibb.

Gerrie, this is Sir James Barr...

well, Uncle Jim.

GERRIE

How do you do.

Barrie extends a hand to Gerrie, making the most of his role.

BARRIE

Well, well. I always knew there was

one matter on which Jack could make

no mistake, and I'm delighted to

see that my judgement was right.

Jack seems slightly taken aback by Barrie's benevolent

attitude.

Michael stands behind Barrie, preoccupied and moody.

JACK

(to Gerrie)

And this is my brother Michael.

GERRIE

How do you do, Michael.

MICHAEL

How do you do.

While Barrie talks to Gerrie, escorting her to one side, Jack

moves across to Michael.

JACK

(aside)

I say, are things as rosy as they

look?

MICHAEL

They are for some.

Barrie calls across to Michael -

BARRIE

Michael? Could you telephone the

Savoy and book a table for us?

Michael nods without enthusiasm, goes across to the desk,

picks up the telephone. In the background, Barrie talks to

BROWN -

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Oh, Brown - would you tell Mrs

Brown that we'll be dining out

after all?

BROWN

Very good, Sir James.

MICHAEL

Hello, Operator? Could you get me

the Savoy Grill please?

(pause)

Good evening, I'm calling on behalf

of Sir James Barrie to reserve his

usual table for eight o'clock.

In foreground, Michael hangs up, CAMERA HOLDING on him as

Barrie turns to Jack and Gerrie.

BARRIE

Well now, I've been giving a little

thought to the matter of - er - to

the matter of which we spoke, and I

think I've come up with a solution.

While Barrie talks, BROWN passes round the drinks.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(taking whisky)

Thank you, Brown.

Barrie raises his glass to Jack and Gerrie, eyeing Michael's

despondent mood but pretending to ignore it.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(toasting)

Well now ... Here's how.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1917. DAY

Mary Hodgson stands by the fireplace, trembling with anger as

she clutches a note in Barrie's handwriting. Michael stands

close by, trying to pacify her.

MARY HODGSON

How dare he!

MICHAEL

Please, Mary - try and make it

work, for my sake if for no one

else's ...

MARY HODGSON

I'd do anything for you, Michael -

but not this. I've run this house

on your mother's instructions since

the day she died, and I'm not

prepared to start taking orders

from Jack's wife or anyone else -

and that includes Sir James Barrie!

(reading letter)

"Mrs Davies will now be in charge

of Campden Hill Square, and I

expect you to work to her

instructions ... There's only one

Mrs Davies I serve, and that's Mrs

Arthur!

MARY indicates the painting of Sylvia above the fireplace

MICHAEL

Look, Mary, they're going to be

here any minute ... won't you at

least make an effort?

MARY HODGSON

Why should I make an effort? When

has Sir James ever made an effort

for me?

MICHAEL

He does care for you, Mary - in his

own queer way he does care.

MARY HODGSON

Well he's got a mighty queer way of

showing it! Of course he doesn't

care. He resents me, always has

done ever since he first set eyes

on me in Kensington Gardens. I

always stood between him and you

boys - yes, and stood up to him

too!

(waves letter)

Why didn't he come and tell me all

this to my face? I'll tell you why -

he wouldn't dare, for fear of what

I'd tell him. Yes, and there's many

a home truth I could tell him that

would find its mark ...

The front doorbell rings, O.S., but MARY ignores it -

MARY HODGSON (CONT'D)

He might be the most successful

writer in the country, but to me

he's nothing more than a self

centred little...

NICO

(calling, O.S.)

Come on, they're here!

Nico (now aged 14) pokes his head round the door -

MICHAEL

All right, Nico - we're coming.

Nico disappears and Michael turns to MARY.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

Mary - I beg of you. Tread care-

fully.

Michael kisses MARY on the cheek as Jack enters the room,

followed by Nico and Gerrie.

JACK

(cheerily)

Now then, Mary - no getting away

from it this time, eh? I'd like you

to meet my wife, Gerrie -

Jack beckons Gerrie forward -

JACK (CONT'D)

Gerrie, this is Mary Hodgson, our

altogether faithful and loving

nurse ...

GERRIE

(pleasantly)

Hello, Mary - I've heard so much

about you from...

As Gerrie comes forward to shake hands, Mary Hodgson marches

straight past and out of the room. Jack storms out after her -

JACK

(shouting)

Mary!

CAMERA HOLDS on Michael as he lowers his head.

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - STUDY. 1918. DAY 123.

Barrie sits at his desk, writing a letter. In the background,

Cynthia ASQUITH hangs up her hat and coat in the hallway.

CYNTHIA

Morning.

BARRIE

(without looking up)

Morning, Cynthia.

Barrie continues writing in foreground.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(voice-over)

My dear Mary, As I think you find

it easier, I am answering your note

with another. I suppose I must

accept your resignation very

sorrowfully as the wisest step in

circumstances that are very

difficult. ...

Cynthia enters the room beyond, then looks behind her.

CYNTHIA

(coaxingly)

Come on ...

A little boy, Michael Asquith (aged 4) hovers in the doorway.

CYNTHIA (CONT'D)

Come on, Michael - there's nothing

to be afraid of ...

As Barrie hears the name Michael, he looks round to see

Cynthia's son.

CYNTHIA (CONT'D)

(to Barrie)

I brought my Michael along this

morning to help me lick the

envelopes and stick on stamps. You

don't mind, do you?

BARRIE

No, no.

Michael Asquith follows his mother to her desk at the far end

of the study. Barrie credits the boy with a passing glance,

then continues his letter to Mary Hodgson.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

No one knows what -

(crosses out)

No one knows, no one could know so

well as myself, what you have been

to the boys, except indeed the boys

themselves, particularly Michael -

The name Michael again prompts Barrie to glance at Michael

Asquith -

-- who is, in turn, looking at him. Barrie slowly raises one

eyebrow at him - the same trick he used on George to first

captivate him.

Michael Asquith grins, nudges Cynthia, but by the time she

looks up, Barrie has returned to his writing.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

... particularly Michael and

Nicholas, who came into our hands

when they were so very young. I

earnestly hope that you will

continue to see them in future, and

be their friend throughout life.

Cynthia shows Michael how to stick stamps onto envelopes, but

the boy is more interested in Barrie, who is again raising an

eyebrow at him. As Barrie's VOICE-OVER continues, he beckons

to Michael, who walks over to him.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

As Jack's ship is based in

Edinburgh, he and his wife are to

rent a house there for the duration

of the war. I have therefore

decided to sell Campden Hill

Square, and the proceeds will be

divided up among the boys. ...

MICHAEL ASQUITH

(O.S., overlapping)

Are you writing a story?

Barrie looks up to find Michael Asquith standing by him.

BARRIE

Well ... before the war - which is

my new way of saying 'Once upon a

time' - I could write any number.

But now I've forgotten the way.

MICHAEL ASQUITH

I can tell stories. Lots of them

BARRIE

Can you indeed.

MICHAEL ASQUITH

Yes ...

(points at envelope)

Can I lick it for you?

Barrie hands him the envelope.

BARRIE

You can.

Michael licks down the envelope, despite there being no

letter inside.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(nonchalantly)

Good stories?

MICHAEL ASQUITH

(cockily)

Course they are.

Barrie offers Michael another empty envelope to lick down.

MIX TO:

Cynthia works at her desk, answering a pile of letters.

Presently she looks up to see that Michael has consumed

several dozen envelopes, and has a stack of shillings to his

credit.

In CLOSER SHOT, Barrie waits with baited breath.

BARRIE

And?

Michael holds out his hand, and Barrie gives him another

shilling and an envelope.

MICHAEL ASQUITH

Well then he hears it coming up

behind him ... tick-tock, tick-

tock, tock-tick ...

(licks envelope)

... and course he thinks it's the

crock coming to get him, but it's

not really the crock at all. Shall

I tell you who it is?

BARRIE

You shall.

Barrie hands over another shilling and an envelope.

MICHAEL ASQUITH

Thank you.

(licks envelope)

I'll tell you who it is ... it's

Peter Pan!

BARRIE

(astounded)

It's not!

MICHAEL ASQUITH

Yes it is. You see clever Peter

thinks that if Captain Hook can...

CYNTHIA

(calling across)

Come along, Michael, and leave Sir

James to work.

MICHAEL ASQUITH

But I'm telling him a story ...

CYNTHIA

Do as you're told and come along.

Barrie shrugs apologetically at Michael.

BARRIE

Heigh-ho ...

(hands him money)

You can tell me the rest next time.

Michael gathers up his earnings and reluctantly walks back to

Cynthia. With equal reluctance, Barrie resumes his letter.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Michael and Nicholas are coming to

live here with me at the Adelphi,

though Michael will soon be joining

up to fight. You can imagine how I

tremble at the thought, but I only

fall into line with ... with so

many mothers. ...

Barrie pauses a moment, as if reflecting on the notion. His

right hand seems to be causing him some pain;

being ambidextrous, he switches to his left hand to finish

the letter. Despite the poetic sentiment, there is an

insincerity in Barrie's tone as he rattles through to the

end.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

These are days of such universal

suffering that we need the courage

of flowers to go on as usual, and

we, er ...

(all in one breath)

... we're all part of a darkened

world yours sincerely J.M.B.

Barrie scrawls the final "J.M.B." and chucks the pencil aside

in one continuous movement. A pause, then he looks up at

Michael Asquith, winks at him.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - MICHAEL'S BEDROOM. 1918. DAY

Michael's bedroom has been stripped bare of furniture and car-

pets, reminiscent of the empty nursery at Egerton House.

Michael stands in the doorway, gazing at the bits of rubbish

scattered about the floor.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - LANDING & STAIRS. 1918. DAY

Michael walks slowly downstairs, preoccupied and dejected.

As he reaches the hallway, stacked with tea-chests, ROGER

Senhouse emerges from the drawing-room, holding a few of

Michael's drawings.

SENHOUSE

I found these lying on the floor in

there.

Michael shrugs without reply.

INT. 23 CAMPDEN HILL SQUARE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1918. DAY

Michael wanders into the empty drawing-room, glances across

at the wall above the fireplace where the portrait of Sylvia

once hung.

There is now only a ghostly rectangle of white, surrounded by

the darker, faded wallpaper.

A pause, then Senhouse enters the room behind Michael.

SENHOUSE

I suppose I ought to feel sorry for

you. But I don't. You should never

have given in to him.

MICHAEL

Didn't have much choice.

SENHOUSE

Of course you did. I know how you

can fight when you want something

badly enough. You've got a will-

like adamant, but when it comes to

J.M.B., you let him lead you like a

lamb to the slaughter.

MICHAEL

Why should you care.

SENHOUSE

Because I'm fond of you.

MICHAEL

So is Uncle Jim.

SENHOUSE

He only cares about himself. If he

really loved you, he'd let you go

instead of suffocating you.

Michael dismisses the remark with a contemptuous mutter.

SENHOUSE (CONT'D)

You don't need him - you've got

all the makings of a genius...

MICHAEL

(overlapping him)

Rubbish ...

SENHOUSE

Hugh Macnaghten says you're the

most talented boy he's ever had at

Eton ...

MICHAEL

I wouldn't go by him ... but even

if he's right - which I seriously

question - might not some of it be

due to Uncle Jim?

SENHOUSE

I doubt it. You're a talented

family - George du Maurier,

Crompton, Theodore ...

Michael walks away from Senhouse -

SENHOUSE (CONT'D)

Barrie's no genius - except at

making pots of money.

He's just got a good nose for third

rate public taste, that's all.

Michael turns on him -

MICHAEL

Uncle Jim's writing may not be

everyone's cup of tea, but third

rate he is not. Nor second-rate.

Nor first-rate. He stands alone.

Unlike your Bloomsbury friends, he

owes nothing to any other writer or

any other school. That, in my

humble opinion, is true genius, and

is not to be belittled by the

fashionable opinions of you and me.

SENHOUSE

I thought you didn't like his

plays.

MICHAEL

It's Uncle Jim I love, not J. M.

Barrie

SENHOUSE

Well I for one think he's a morbid

little man, and the sooner you

break away from him the better.

It's an unhealthy relationship -

and I'm not the only one who thinks

so.

MICHAEL

What's so unhealthy about it?

SENHOUSE

I don't exactly know, but it ..

well it goes beyond the bounds of

ordinary affection.

Michael smiles, turns away and looks out of the window.

MICHAEL

Would you call our affection

ordinary? Yours and mine for each

other?

SENHOUSE

(hesitantly)

Well I ... Yes - yes, I would.

MICHAEL

How dull we must be, you and I.

(pause)

Yes, you're right.

Uncle Jim's love for me does go

beyond the bounds of ordinary

affection.

Michael turns and looks Senhouse in the eye.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

And so does my love for him.

INT. SAVOY GRILL - FROHMAN'S CORNER. 1919. NIGHT

CLOSE SHOT: A plaque on one of the pillars of the Savoy Grill

commemorating Charles Frohman:

IN MEMORY OF

CHARLES FROHMAN

THE MAN WHO NEVER BROKE HIS WORD

1860-1915

ERECTED BY HIS FRIEND J. M. Barrie

TO COMMEMORATE THE MANY HOURS

SPENT TOGETHER AT THIS TABLE

Barrie and Peter sit together at Frohman's table. Peter is

but a shattered remnant of his former self, still suffering

from shell-shock - "little more than a ghost who had come

through the furnace."

Both Peter and Barrie sit for a while in silence, gazing

vacantly at the gaiety around them. Although the war is now

over, Peter is dressed in Army uniform.

BARRIE

How we've all wished to live on to

see what peace would be like. But

what is it like? Very silent it

seems to me, now that we realise

the dead are not just dead for the

duration of the war. I still dream

about George you know.

PETER

(a touch of sarcasm)

Yes ... so I read in The Times.

BARRIE

The Times?

PETER

The play you wrote about him. I

read the review.

BARRIE

Oh, that.

A pause. Peter finishes a large glass of cognac.

PETER

I'm afraid I can't share your

sentiments about death, Uncle Jim.

You write about dying as if it were

a love affair. You wouldn't think

that if you'd been out there, among

all the slime, and bodies, and bits

of bodies. "To die will be an

awfully big adventure" ... you

think it was an adventure for

George? Drifting through that misty

veil of yours? Is that how you

think George died? Well ... at

least there's comfort in the lie I

suppose - and bugger it all, I'm

sure George is past caring. Perhaps

I'm a romantic too - I'd give

anything to change places with him.

Barrie lays his hand gently on Peter's wrist.

BARRIE

I so want to help you, Peter. Won't

you come back and live with us?

PETER

What you need is a constant

companion, and I can never be that.

Besides, you already have one.

BARRIE

Michael? Oh, no - he's already

growing out of me, I'm well aware

of that.

PETER

I meant George. You've got him

where you want him, can't you see

that? He'll never grow away from

you now.

BARRIE

(shocked)

You really think that I... that I

wouldn't give everything to have

him back ...?

PETER

Yes, I think you would. But I think

you'd be wrong. George is closer to

you now than he ever could have

remained in life ... and will

become more so as time goes by.

Barrie reflects the thought subjectively ... then a glint in

his eye, and the notion becomes objective: a theme for story.

BARRIE

And what about us? Can't we become

closer too?

PETER

I think we're already closer than

either of us realise.

Peter extends a hand in friendship, but Barrie's mind is

already elsewhere.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Why is my heart not broken? If I

had been a man of any real feeling,

my heart would have broken long

ago, just as Mother's did. I have

passed through the Valley of the

Shadow, but have come out into the

sunlight again. I suppose it is all

to the good that as the years go

by, the dead should recede farther

from us ...

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - STUDY. 1919. NIGHT

SHOOTING from inside the darkened inglenook from the unseen

Barrie's POV, gazing out at the empty study.

BARRIE (V.O.)

... Mary Rose belongs to the past,

and even if we could drag her back,

I think it would be wrong. No one

should ever come back from the

dead, however much they have been

loved.

OVERLAPPED with Barrie's VOICE-OVER, we hear the lift gates

opening and closing, voices and laughter as Michael and

Senhouse enter the study.

CAMERA remains inside the inglenook, watching Michael and

Senhouse in LONG SHOT. Michael turns on the lights, goes to

the far end of the study, followed by Senhouse. Both boys are

wearing 'L' plates around their necks.

MICHAEL

(barely audible)

... but did you see the look on

that woman with the pram?! I'd say

she was going faster than we were.

Not feeling too shaken up, are you?

SENHOUSE

It's only the third time I've ever

been on a motor-bike.

MICHAEL

(laughing)

Really? It was my second. You look

as if you could do with a drink.

SENHOUSE

Couldn't we have one down at The

Anchor?

MICHAEL

I said I'd do some work with Uncle

Jim, and he'll be back from dinner

any minute.

CAMERA continues to observe Michael and Senhouse from the

inglenook. Michael goes to a drink cabinet while Senhouse

glances about the study, clearly uncomfortable.

SENHOUSE

Gives me the creeps, this place -

like being cooped up in a

mausoleum. Can I put on a record?

Michael points to a pile of records with a nod while he

extracts a bottle of wine from the wine-rack.

MICHAEL

Chateau Le Crock, 1912 ... that

should cauterise your tonsils.

Michael uncorks the bottle as Senhouse puts on a jazz record -

My Baby's Arms.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

What a hideous noise.

SENHOUSE

Your record.

MICHAEL

Nico's ... he's the Jazz King, not

me. Try that one -

Michael points to another record and Senhouse changes it.

CAMERA remains in LONG SHOT throughout, the only movement in

foreground being thin wisps of smoke from the O.S. inglenook,

drifting through FRAME.

The jazz has now been replaced by the haunting, eerie theme

of Norman O'Neill's incidental music to Mary Rose.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

Do you think we'd ever survive a

trip to Paris, you and I?

SENHOUSE

I'd feel much happier in a car.

Couldn't you persuade him to buy

you one for...

(reacting to music)

What on earth is this? Goodbye

Ragtime?

MICHAEL

Mary Rose.

SENHOUSE

Mary who?

MICHAEL

You wouldn't know her.

SENHOUSE

How do you know?

MICHAEL

Because I know you.

SENHOUSE

(nonplussed)

Go on, try me.

Michael hesitates a moment, his attitude towards Senhouse as

ambivalent as ever.

MICHAEL

Alright, I'll tell you.

(nonchalantly)

She's a girl who disappears on a

Scottish island and stays the same

age while the rest of the world

grows old. And then one day she

leaves the island to search for her

son, but when she finds him, she

doesn't recognise him.

SENHOUSE

Hmm. And the music?

MICHAEL

It's the island calling her back.

If she stays away, she'll grow old

like her son ...

SENHOUSE

But if she boogies back to the

Never Never Land, she'll stay an

ickle boy for ever and ever, thanks

to Sir Jazz Band B?

MICHAEL

(lightly)

I said you wouldn't know her. What

were you saying before?

SENHOUSE

About what?

MICHAEL

Couldn't I persuade him to

something?

SENHOUSE

Oh yes - buy you a car so we could

drive to Paris in reasonable

comfort.

MICHAEL

It was hard enough getting the

motor-bike. He dreamt I was killed

in an accident the night before he

bought it, and nearly cancelled the

order.

SENHOUSE

What convenient timing.

MICHAEL

(lightly)

Yes, wasn't it ... particularly

since I had just woken up from

the same nightmare.

A pause, broken by the sound of a suppressed cough in the

foreground inglenook.

Senhouse reacts with a slight start as he sees a movement

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

Uncle Jim?

From Michael's POV: Barrie holds up a hand from where he has

been sitting, tucked out of sight in the settle.

MICHAEL (CONT'D)

I thought you were out at dinner?

BARRIE

(mildly)

Yes, so did I.

Barrie continues to browse through a manuscript without

further explanation or apology. Michael walks towards the

inglenook, but Senhouse stays where he is, somewhat unnerved

by Barrie's presence.

MICHAEL

I brought Roger back for a drink.

BARRIE

You missed quite a day at

rehearsals. Thomas Hardy turned up

to see how we were getting on. He

was wearing that old felt hat of

his, and one of the staff thought

he was a newspaper man and tried to

throw him out. ...

Barrie totally ignores Senhouse, who picks up his coat and

walks out of the flat -

BARRIE (CONT'D)

It was only due to Nico's stirling

efforts that he wasn't forcibly

ejected from the theatre.

The front door slams shut. Michael turns to find Senhouse

gone, but Barrie takes no notice.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(casually)

I've been having another go at Act

Three, but it's been uphill work

without you.

Michael doesn't respond.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

I've put in one or two odds and

ends that await your inspection.

Barrie indicates a second manuscript, lying on the sofa

opposite the settle. Michael glances at it impassively.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

Oh, by the bye ... I had another

word with Gilmour about a little

something beginning with 'M' I saw

advertised in the newspaper. A

Morris? Two-seater? Hmm?

(Michael sighs)

Not interested.

MICHAEL

What's the point in giving me a

motor car if you won't let me go

anywhere?

BARRIE

(with mock surprise)

I've never stopped you going any-

where. You can go where you like.

MICHAEL

To Paris?

BARRIE

To Paris if you must.

MICHAEL

But you said the other day.....

BARRIE

(interrupting)

I know, I know - but that was the

other day.

Michael regains a measure of enthusiasm.

MICHAEL

You really mean it?

BARRIE

If it amuses you.

MICHAEL

It would only be for August.

BARRIE

Fine, fine ... now can we get on

and read through the scene?

MICHAEL

(elated)

The whole play if you like.

Michael picks up the second manuscript and settles himself

into the sofa opposite Barrie.

BARRIE

(vaguely)

Did you say the summer holidays?

MICHAEL

Well, August.

BARRIE

Oh, what a pity. Still ...

(reading script)

Let's start from the top of page

shall we?

MICHAEL

(sensing a catch)

What's the pity?

BARRIE

Well, it was just that ... well,

I've taken a place in Scotland for

the summer holidays.

An island actually - off the west

coast...

(shrugs)

But of course if you'd rather go

skiing with the others ...

Barrie smiles at his own ironic reference to the Swiss

holiday of Michael's childhood.

MICHAEL

(flatly)

You never told me.

BARRIE

Naturally. It was meant to be a

surprise. But no matter - page 94.

Michael turns moodily to the page, Barrie watching him from

the corner of his eye.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

(casually)

Of course you could always bring

Roger too. I mean you can bring

whoever you like - we've got the

whole island. It's a regular

Robinson Crusoe island, by all

accounts. Eilean Shona - "the

island that likes to be visited."

(sighs)

But heigh-ho ... page 94: "1 am

Mary Rose."

A pause, then Michael reads reluctantly.

MICHAEL

"Who are you looking for?"

BARRIE

"I don't know. I knew once, but

I've forgotten. It was such a long

time ago. I'm so tired of being a

ghost."

MICHAEL

"Can't you see who I am?"

BARRIE

"Nice man."

MICHAEL

"Is that all you know about me?"

BARRIE

"Yes."

MICHAEL

"I dare say being a ghost is worse

than seeing one?"

BARRIE

"Yes." Now this next bit's new.

MICHAEL

"They say there are ways of laying

ghosts, but I'm so ignorant."

BARRIE

"Tell me."

MICHAEL

"All I know about ghosts for

certain is that they are unhappy

because they can't find something,

and then once they've found the

thing they want, they go away happy

and never come back. Can't you see

that I'm your son?"

(looks up)

Oh, no - I don't think he should

say that. The audience will know

I'm your son ...

Barrie looks hard at Michael a moment, then smiles and chucks

him the pencil -

BARRIE

Yes, yes - cross it out. Much

better.

Michael crosses out the line.

MICHAEL

So -

(resumes reading)

"Can't you see who I am?"

BARRIE

"Nice man."

MICHAEL

"Too tired to know or care?"

BARRIE

"Yes."

(looks up)

Now the island begins to call to

Mary Rose -

Barrie gets up, acting out the part to Michael -

BARRIE (CONT'D)

She rises, crosses stage right and

moves to the window as if drawn by

the music calling to her ...

Barrie stands at the edge of the inglenook, gazing out at the

darkened study beyond.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

What a night of stars!

A pause; Michael smiles tenderly at him.

EXT. EILEAN SHONA - SCOTLAND. 1920. DAY

EXTREME LONG SHOT: Barrie and Michael wander along the bleak,

deserted shoreline of Eilean Shona, a rugged island off the

west coast of Scotland.

In CLOSER SHOT, Michael helps Barrie clamber across the

rocks. He is now over sixty, slightly stooping at the

shoulders: a somewhat wizened creature in Michael's shadow.

BARRIE (V.O.)

My dear Lady Cynthia, We have now

been on our desert island a whole

week, and a wild, rocky, romantic

island it is too - a real spying

ground for what really became of

Mary Rose. ...

EXT. EILEAN SHONA HOUSE - SCOTLAND. 1920. DAY

Barrie sits alone on the verandah of Eilean Shona House,

continuing his letter to Cynthia. He now writes solely with

his left hand.

Beyond, Michael, Nico, Senhouse, and a GROUP of HOUSE GUESTS -

all Etonian contemporaries of Michael and Nico - stroll

across the lawn towards the house, laughing among themselves.

BARRIE (V.O.)

We are a very Etonian household

here, and there is endless shop

talked, during which I am expected

to be merely the ladler out of

soup. If I speak to one of

Michael's friends, they shudder and

edge away, and are evidently a

merrier crowd without me. Even

Michael seems more dark and dour

and impenetrable these days. He has

the oddest way of alternating

between surprising intimacy and

extraordinary reserve. No medium.

I think few have suffered from the

loss of a mother as he has done.

...

As Barrie continues, the GUESTS cross the verandah and enter

the house. Michael pauses in the doorway, smiles at Barrie,

then follows the others inside, leaving him alone.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

I do my best for him, but I have no

real experience - as Wendy says to

the Lost Boys. ...

EXT. EILEAN SHONA - SCOTLAND. 1920. DAY

LONG SHOT: Michael strides out ahead of Barrie along the

windswept cliff top, both silhouetted against a grey sky.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Michael has again been drawing

sketches of me, and they are more

than enough; indeed, if I believed

they did me justice, I would throw

myself from our highest peak. I

have an uncomfortable feeling that

his sketches of other people are

rather like them. Do my letters

seem aged? I certainly feel so

here. ...

EXT. EILEAN SHONA HOUSE - SCOTLAND. 1920. DAY

Michael and the other HOUSE GUESTS play a game of croquet on

the lawn in front of the house. Barrie sits in the

background, watching them from the verandah.

BARRIE (V.O.)

If only my Michael were the same

age as your Michael - oh, what a

time we'd be having together! We

should make great play of putting

this letter in a bottle and letting

it be picked up, à la Crichton

castaways. ...

CLOSE SHOT: Barrie, watching Michael in the distance.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

When I think of my Michael at the

age of your Michael, I know that

those were the last days in which I

was alive.

A pause, then Barrie gets up and walks to the verandah steps.

In foreground, Michael lines up his mallet with the ball. He

catches sight of Barrie watching and calls out to him -

MICHAEL

Come on, Uncle Jim ... come and

take my turn.

Barrie shakes his head with a wave of the hand, turns and

goes inside the house.

Michael shrugs, strikes the ball and sends it through the

hoop, to a cheer from the others.

As Nico takes his turn, Michael moves aside. Presently

Senhouse joins him.

SENHOUSE

(aside, to Michael)

Did you ask him?

MICHAEL

(watching game)

Yes.

SENHOUSE

And?

Michael hesitates.

MICHAEL

(watching game)

And nothing. He wants more time to

think about it.

SENHOUSE

Well don't let him ... he'll only

procrastinate, and then it'll be

too late.

MICHAEL

(irritably)

Yes, alright, alright.

Michael moves away, as resentful of Senhouse's pressure as he

is of Barrie's domination.

While the croquet game continues in foreground, Michael

wanders back to the house.

INT. EILEAN SHONA HOUSE - DRAWING-ROOM. 1920. DAY

Barrie sits by the window, working at a small desk. Michael

enters the room from the verandah, and Barrie looks up in

mock surprise.

BARRIE

Ah, Michael - the very person!

Listen, come here ... I think at

last I've got hold of an idea for

my St Andrews' Address ...

Michael makes no response.

BARRIE (CONT'D)

I'm wondering whether Courage might

not be a bad subject?

(pause)

What think you?

MICHAEL

(vacantly)

Mmm.

BARRIE

I mean the courage needed by the

youth of today to demand its say

in the running of the country ...

the courage to get up and...

MICHAEL

(interrupting)

Uncle Jim?

BARRIE

Yes?

Michael takes a deep breath.

MICHAEL

Why won't you let me go to Paris?

Or at least let me put my name down

for the Sorbonne? If I don't do it

soon, I won't stand a chance of

getting in. Why won't you let me

go?

Barrie gets up from his desk, taking his time.

BARRIE

Well now, I've talked it over at

great length with Lady Cynthia, and

she agrees with me that you should

wait until after you've got your

finals.

MICHAEL

But they're not for another two

years!

BARRIE

I know, but Lady Cynthia.....

MICHAEL

(interrupting)

What's Lady Cynthia got to do with

it?

BARRIE

A second opinion -

MICHAEL

(forcibly)

Well my second opinion thinks I

should leave Oxford now ... so

let's leave out second opinions.

BARRIE

Alright then, my opinion says you

should wait until you've got your

M.A. I didn't leave Edinburgh

University until I had mine.

MICHAEL

(muttering)

Much good it did you ...

BARRIE

What?

MICHAEL

I said, much good it did you - you

said so yourself.

BARRIE

That's not the point. The point is

that your father and mother would

have wished it.

MICHAEL

How do you know? Mother always

told me she hoped I'd follow in

Grandfather du Maurier's footsteps

which I seem to remember took him

off to Paris. George Morrow said

he'd publish my drawings in Punch

if I...

BARRIE

(interrupting)

Mr Morrow was my introduction, not

your Grandfather's. Besides, you

can just as easily submit drawings

from Oxford.

MICHAEL

But I want to study Art ... and the

Sorbonne's the only place where

they know how to teach it.

Barrie has a convenient coughing spasm, giving himself time

to think up another argument.

BARRIE

Listen to me, Michael. A year ago

you wanted to study the Classics.

Then you wanted to study Music.

Then you wanted to study Poetry.

Then you wanted to study History.

And now you want to study Art. How

do you know that in a month's time

you might not want to study

Politics, or Freudian Psychology -

God forbid! - or - or....

MICHAEL

Mediaeval Fen Drainage? It's

entirely possible. But right now I

want to go to Paris and study Art.

You let Jack have his way ... why

won't you let me have mine?

Suddenly Barrie flares up -

BARRIE

You've always had your way,

Michael! You asked for a car, I

gave you a car - you asked for a

cottage, I gave you a cottage ...

(shouting)

If you asked me for my life, I'd

give it to you - willingly!

Barrie's sudden outburst is reminiscent of his loss of

control with Mary Barrie when she asked for a divorce. Like

Mary, Michael responds with gentle firmness.

MICHAEL

(quietly)

I don't want your life, Uncle Jim.

Michael turns and walks out of the room, leaving Barrie

alone. He gazes after him a moment, still trembling with

emotion and anger. But the anger is directed against himself.

EXT. EILEAN SHONA - HEIGHTS. 1920. SUNSET

In a series of DISSOLVES, Michael climbs the rocky slopes to

the highest point on the island: a granite tor, over 600 feet

above sea level.

The view from the top presents a spectacle of awesome

grandeur: the western isles of Scotland, stretching towards

the distant horizon.

Michael sits beneath the tor and gazes out to sea. A pause,

then he takes out a scrap of paper and begins to write. As

his voice LAPS OVER, the CAMERA PULLS slowly away from him on

an extended ZOOM -

MICHAEL (V.O.)

Throned on a cliff, secure, Man saw the sun

hold a red torch above the farthest seas,

and the fierce island pinnacles put on

in his defence their sombre panoplies;

Foremost the white mists eddied, trailed, and spun

like seekers, emulous to clasp his knees;

till all the duty of the scene seemed one

led by the secret whispers of the breeze.

The sun's torch suddenly flashed upon his face

and died; and he sat content in subject night

and dreamed of an old dead foe

that had sought and found him;

a beast stirred boldly in his resting-place;

and the cold came; Man rose to his master-height,

shivered, and turned away;

but the mists were round him.

LONG SHOT: Michael stands and confronts the dying light, then

slowly turns away into the shadow of twilight.

FADE BLACK INTO:

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - STUDY. 1921. NIGHT

Barrie sits alone in the inglenook, reading through a letter.

As his voice LAPS OVER, he folds it, puts it in an envelope

and seals it.

BARRIE (V.O.)

My dearest Michael,

Back again at the flat, and

thirsting nightly to have you with

me, now and at all times. I was

very gratified by your last letter,

and glad that you understood how I

felt about you staying on at

oxford.

(pause)

But my feelings were wrong. I

really have no right to hold you

there against your will. ...

Barrie takes the envelope, goes to the hat-stand, puts on his

hat and coat.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Since I have chosen "Courage" for

my Rectoral Address, I suppose the

Rector of St Andrews should start

by practising it himself. If Paris

is where your heart lies, then

Paris it must be, and I'm thinking

that Paris will be the very place

to spend your 21st birthday next

holidays.

My gift will keep you there in

happiness for many months, though

the time while you're away will be

loneliness personified to me. ...

Barrie turns out the lights in the flat one by one.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

I seem to have been waiting an

eternity for you to become 21, so

that we could get closer and closer

to each other without any words

being needed ... though indeed I

think we are as close in love as

two friends can be. ...

The lights all out, Barrie walks down the short hallway to

the front door, CAMERA HOLDING him in LONG SHOT.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Had lunch with your Uncle Gerald

today, and told him what a joy and

a pride you are to me. Of course I

never tell you such things ... No,

no - I keep it dark! Now for the

post -

(very quietly)

- and then the night only.

Your loving J.M.B.

Barrie leaves the flat, closing the front door behind him.

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - LANDING & LIFT. 1921. NIGHT

Barrie locks the front door, then crosses to the lift and

presses the button, as of habit.

As the lift rumbles into view, a MAN appears from the

shadows. Barrie barely notices him as he steps into the lift.

MAN

Sir James Barrie?

BARRIE

(gruffly)

Yes?

MAN

I wonder if you could spare a

few moments. My name's Hobson, from

the Daily Mail, and I was wondering

if you could give me a few more

details ...?

Realising the man is a REPORTER, Barrie closes the lift cage

door in his face.

REPORTER

Could it have been suicide?

BARRIE

(irritably)

What on earth are you talking

about?

REPORTER

Well, I mean the ... the drowning.

Barrie looks at him, stunned.

REPORTER (CONT'D)

Oh, I say - I'm most dreadfully

sorry, I thought ... I mean we

thought ...

The REPORTER breaks off as Barrie slowly opens the lift cage.

BARRIE

(stonily)

Go on.

Acutely embarrassed, the REPORTER fumbles for his notebook.

REPORTER

(consulting notes)

Well, er - it seems that two

undergraduates were drowned this

afternoon in Sandford Pool outside

Oxford ... they were found together

in each other's arms ...

As the REPORTER continues, Barrie stumbles out of the lift

and back to the door of his flat -

REPORTER (CONT'D)

One of them has been identified as

Michael Llewelyn Davies, the

adopted son of Sir James Bar....

The REPORTER breaks off as Barrie fumbles for his key and

unlocks the door. In doing so he drops his letter to Michael.

The REPORTER picks it up and hands it to him.

REPORTER (CONT'D)

(with genuine sympathy)

Sir James ... I am most dreadfully

sorry ...

Barrie is like a man in a trance, oblivious to the REPORTER's

words. He takes the letter from him, turns and disappears

back inside the flat, closing the door behind him.

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - STUDY. 1921. DAY

Cynthia ASQUITH stands in foreground, answering an incessant

stream of telephone calls.

Peter, Jack, Nico, and several other RELATIVES and FRIENDS

hover about the study in silence. There is no sign of Barrie.

CYNTHIA

(into phone)

9674 Gerrard? No, I'm afraid Sir

James is indisposed.

(pause)

Yes, yes of course I will. Thank

you, goodbye.

Cynthia hangs up, jots down the name of the caller. The

telephone rings again.

CYNTHIA (CONT'D)

(into phone)

9674 Gerrard? No, I'm afraid Sir

James is indisposed.

(pause)

Yes, of course I'll tell him. Thank

you, goodbye.

Again Cynthia hangs up and makes a note of the caller; again

the telephone rings.

CYNTHIA (CONT'D)

9674 Gerrard? No, I'm afraid Sir

James is indisposed ...

INT. ADELPHI TERRACE - BARRIE'S BEDROOM. 1921. DAY 138.

The room is in semi-darkness, the blinds drawn. Michael's

coffin stands on a table by the window, barely visible.

Barrie keeps a silent, motionless vigil beside it, crumpled

in a chair, his hand resting on the coffin lid.

In the background, Cynthia can be heard answering the

telephone calls.

CYNTHIA

(O.S., barely audible)

9674 Gerrard? No, I'm afraid Sir

James is indisposed. Yes, indeed

I'll tell him. Thank you, goodbye.

A brief pause, then the telephone rings again, O.S., to be

answered by Cynthia in the same mechanical fashion.

In foreground, Barrie gazes at the coffin. He has had no

sleep for three days and nights. His eyes are rimmed with

heavy dark circles. But there are no tears.

Possibly he is remembering that other coffin of half a

century ago - the coffin of his brother David. Whatever his

thoughts, there is no voice-over to reveal them.

A long pause, then Barrie exhales a deep, weary sigh that

seems to drain him of all breath. Slowly the sigh is

OVERLAPPED by the sound of waves breaking on a shore ...

DISSOLVING INTO:

EXT. MARGATE BEACH. 1922. DAY

A small boy - Michael Asquith (now aged 8) - stands by a rock

pool with a shrimping net. Nico is nearby, also shrimping,

but the shoreline is otherwise deserted.

Michael empties the contents of his net into a bucket, then

picks it up and runs back up the beach to where Cynthia and

Barrie are sitting in the shelter of the cliffs.

Barrie sits in a beach-chair, wearing a sun-hat and writing

in his notebook. His cough appears to be as troublesome as

ever, but although he has aged considerably, he seems to have

acquired a certain serenity. He has "passed through the

Valley of the Shadow", and has come out, if not into the

sunlight, then at least into the glow of twilight.

Michael runs over to Barrie and shows him his catch. Barrie

squints into the bucket, passes some complimentary remark.

Michael laughs, then goes over to show Cynthia.

CAMERA remains on Barrie, slowly moving in on him as he reads

through his notes to himself.

BARRIE (V.O.)

Some disquieting confessions must

be made in printing at last the

play of Peter Pan ... among them

this - that I have no recollection

of having written it. Of that,

however, anon.

(pause)

What I want to do first is to give

Peter to the five, without whom he

never would have existed. I hope,

my dear sirs, that in memory of

what we have been to each other,

you will accept this dedication

with your friend's love. ...

As Barrie continues, the CAMERA HOLDS on him, never cutting

away to other angles. Occasionally a tremble in his voice or

expression reveals his deeper emotions, but for the most part

he manages to retain a dour control of himself.

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

The play of Peter Pan is streaky with

you still, though none may see this

save ourselves. A score of acts had

to be left out, and you were in them

all. I suppose I always knew that I

made Peter by rubbing the five of you

violently together, as savages with

two sticks produce a flame. That is

all he is - the spark I got from you.

Some of you were not born when that

story began, and yet were hefty

figures before we saw that the game

was up. Do you remember our

Marooners' Hut in the haunted groves

of Black Lake, and the St Bernard dog

who so frequently attacked you, and

the literary record of that summer,

"The Boy Castaways", which is so much

the best and the rarest of this

author's works?

(pause)

What was it that made me eventually

give to the public in the thin form

of a play that which had been woven

for ourselves alone? Alas, I know

what it was. I was losing my grip.

One by one as you swung monkey-wise

from branch to branch in the wood

of make-believe, you reached the

Tree of Knowledge. Soon you knew it

only as the vanished wood, for it

vanishes if one has to look for it. A

time came when I saw that George, the

most gallant of you all, ceased to

believe that he was ploughing woods

incarnadine, and with an apologetic

eye for me derided the lingering

faith of Peter ... When even Michael

questioned gloomily whether he did

not really spend his nights in bed.

In these circumstances I suppose was

begun the writing of the play of

Peter Pan. That was a quarter of a

century ago, and I clutch my brows in

vain to remember whether it was a

last desperate attempt to retain the

five of you for a little longer, or

merely a cold decision to turn you

into bread and butter. You had played

with Peter until you tired of him,

and tossed him in the air, and gored

him, and left him derelict in the

mud, and then went on your way

singing other songs ...

Barrie's voice rises with emotion; a pause, then he takes a

firmer grip on himself -

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

... and then I stole back, and

sewed some of the gory fragments

together with a pen-nib.

(pause)

I talk of dedicating the play to

you, but how can I prove it is

mine? Any one of you five brothers

has a better claim to the

authorship than most, and I would

not fight you for the cold rights.

For cold they are to me now, as

that laughter of yours in which

Peter came into being, long before

he was caught and written down.

There is Peter still, but to me he

lies sunk in that gay Black Lake.

Barrie lays down the notebook on his knee. A pause, then an

afterthought comes to him. He picks it up again and writes

something in the margin -

EXTREME CLOSE UP of Barrie as he writes, his voice also

closer and more intimate -

BARRIE (V.O.) (CONT'D)

It's as if years after writing

Peter Pan, its true meaning comes

to me - my own desperate attempt to

grow up ... but can't.

Barrie looks down at his own realisation. There is no

emotion, only the weary resignation of a heigh-ho sigh.

A brief pause, then Barrie gets up and walks away, leaving

his notebook and pipe on the chair.

Nico and Michael can be seen in the distance, walking back up

the beach together further along the shore.

Michael sees Barrie and runs towards him. Barrie also starts

to trot towards the boy, holding out his hand to him.

The two join hands, and together they lead each other away to

the distant sea.

* * *

User
Comments

Add Comment
New User

Tom Owen

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla.

Post Date - 10.10.2019 | Report
New User

Tom Owen

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla.

Post Date - 10.10.2019 | Report
New User

Tom Owen

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla.

Post Date - 10.10.2019 | Report
J M Barrie Logo Sign In