INT. BEN’S DEN – LATE NIGHT
All is still. Ben steals into his den to do some late night reading.
EXT NAVY YARD – TENSAW RIVER – ALABAMA – DAY
Title: Tensaw River – above Mobile Alabama – July 1864
A solid column of smoke rises from the smokestack of a monster of an ironclad. It pulls away from shore, and chugs slowly towards a huge cradle like structure directly in its path.
ON THE PROW OF THE IRONCLAD
Lon squints ahead lining up the flagstaff with the center of the cradle. He turns and shouts up to the pilot house.
Port one degree, then straight.
Louis lifts one hand from the wheel in acknowledgement.
The vessel glides forward into the embrace of the two arms of the cradle.
Louis leans to the speaking tube and calls down the order.
The prow of the ship reaches the end of the cradle and nudges it forward with its momentum. Gasps of concern go up from the shore, then she stops.
All hands, secure lines!
Jimmy and Romeo lead engine CREW MEMBERS along both sides and tie off the lines to secure the ship to the cradle.
Lon crosses to the starboard side and waves towards shore.
Three ax blades flash up and come down, severing the hawsers that are holding the cradle down. With groaning and popping the ship rises up out of the water, born up by the flotation barrels attached to the frame of the cradle. A ragged cheer rises from the shore.
Lon leans down over the side to look.
LON (to Jimmy)
We’ve gained four feet, plenty of room to pass over the bar now.
Mr. Clay emerges from the pilot house and joins them on deck.
Excellent job, my boy.
This kind of job I like. It’s what I trained for. I’m getting fed up with being used as a pack horse.
You should know that you are making quite a name for yourself in powerful circles.
Powerful? Who? Give me their names. Let’s see them get me a command.
Listen, I hear you. I’ll see what I can do.