EXT. FRANCE – HARBOR OF NANTES – DAY
THREE MONTHS LATER
ROSS KEENAN, an elderly gentlemen with a lion’s mane of stark white hair and a twinkle in his eye strides along the riverfront, swinging his gold headed cane freely and trying to assure his young companion.
She’s a thing of beauty Captain Turner. You’ll see.
It’s just that I was never told up front that she was so–
Tosh! Hardly experimental at all any more. What with they’ve been able to do in Louisiana and Charleston.
They stop to continue their conversation, causing Lon’s men, who were following behind to bunch up on their heels.
That’s the very thing I can’t get out of my head – the Hunley – lost with all hands.
I believe that you will find my design much more stable. Designed to cross the ocean —
(casting about for his thought)
Just as good if not better than that ship out there.
The head of his cane points to the Yankee man-of-war at anchorage in the roads.
I hear that Upshur is the Captain of that frigate.
Good, I never did like him as an instructor. Be glad to teach him a thing or two.
Ross ushers them through the door into a boathouse.
INT BOATHOUSE – DAY
Ross stops in front of a long tubular object just inside, roughly the size of two locomotive boilers placed end to end, with a narrow pilot house placed amidships. It looks to be a tight fit for anyone, especially the large-boned petty officer.
You expect to get me in there?
With you in there, forget about room for any one else.
Ross only smiles and leads them into a larger area that has a boat slip.
That was my experimental model. This is what you’ll be sailing.
There in the boat slip is a larger version – at least three times the size – a big fat cigar, tapered at both ends. Ross beams with pride and excitement.
There’s no bloody sails at all.
Just think, no need to be out in the wind and rain!
She’s steam powered, isn’t she?
Aye. And then some. But that’s something else all together.
(turns to Lon)
I suppose this is as good a time as any.
Lon reads his orders under the anxious gaze of his men.