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Literature Discussion -



Screenplay By Phillip Ghee (USA)

Chapter Three



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Professor Alagore' Easton is the class (Proctor or preceptor?) for the freshman group of seminary students which include Braxton and Jared. Although not yet their Instructor. The professor has been monitoring Jared's progress and his capacity for scholarly endeavors. He sees something special in him and believes with proper rearing, he has the potential to become an exceptional priest, possibly even Vatican bound. He would hate to see this incident to mar the career of what he sees as a prodigy in the making. Professor Easton has a great deal of influence at the college. Because of this, Easton is able to sidestep the prescribed methods for dealing with infractions such as those that have been attributed to Braxton and Jared.

He arranges for an informal disciplinary hearing rather than the usual formal appearance of
the students before the Dean's Board of Review mandated for such infractions. He will serve as sole disciplinarian in the matter.

Jared is upset and confused; He is struggling with his level of loyalty to Braxton.
Jared feels that he has a moral obligation to render the truth regarding Braxton's exploits the night of the break-in. Jared also wants to clear his name from this matter.

Although Jared never considered Braxton to be your typical candidate for a Seminary Program, he has never doubted what he thought, albeit off-track, Braxton's sincere desire to serve God. Now angered, he confronts Braxton on this issue and for his reason for enrolling in the Seminary Program.

As the young men wait in the outer office awaiting their fate deeper insight is given into the compelling factors which has lead each boy lead each boy to pursue study in the Seminary Program.

Braxton had been awarded an athletic scholarship. However he sustained an injury which made continuation of that scholarship dubious. He still could have pursued a career in coaching or some other sport related endeavor but, rather then live in the shadows of someone else victories, he decided to distance himself from the athletic program.

Braxton isn't a dunce however; he has never seriously applied himself to the disciplined areas of academic studies. Braxton is not a quitter or a loser yet he would rather leave the game then be just the average guy. Braxton is an achiever, a winner, a survivor and, he plans to complete his college education despite his inability to completeathletic program.

Braxton feels that he had been shot down in the prime of his life. He feels that he has somehow inherited the same fate as his father only on a different level. Unlike his father, Braxton plans to ultimately win, in the end. Braxton tells Jared the story of his father. His father had been a pilot during the first Gulf War. His childhood home was full of photographs, medals and military memorabilia echoing his father's heroism. His father had returned home from the war, a quadriplegic. His mother still loved him. In the initial years after his return, she tried to make a home for him. Eventually his father's physical as well as mental condition deteriorated to such a point where she could no longer care for him. He died when Braxton was just four years old.


 We see Braxton as a child: scenes of Braxton as plays with his toy army men. He would play war games, on the floor, in front of a makeshift (over the top) shrine honoring his father. Via narration, Braxton recounts how on Sundays his mother would dress him in his best clothes. They would take a long ride into the country and finally arrive at a gothic styled building. The building is gray and damp. The child is repulsed by the unpleasant odors and morbid and mostly elderly faces. The building is a Veterans Administration Convalescent Home. Braxton recalls how his mother would bring him into a room. There he would see this thing, this grotesque toy of a man, no bigger than he. His mother would coerce Braxton to kiss the thing. She would tell him that it was his father. But how could that be? Braxton was too young, he couldn't understand the connection. At home, the pictures of handsome man, hung up all around the shrine; she also referred to as his father. Most often Braxton would put up such a struggle that his mother would allow him to leave the room. Braxton would go play in the hospital's courtyard.


There was a Priest assigned to the Veterans Convalescent Home. Braxton's mother had surrendered her devotion to God the first day she set foot in a Veterans Hospital. Braxton was never introduced to the functions of Church or Clergy. Young Braxton assumed the priestly attire as just another type of military uniform. The uniform was not colorful like the ones his father wore in photographs, yet it commanded respect. He noticed how people bowed their heads and lowered their voices whenever this military man passed. Braxton noticed how the women looked at the man. How they would give him their full attention. The men kept their eyes lowered at the presence of this man. Wishfully, Braxton loved this man. He was beautiful just like the pictures on the shrine. Braxton pretended this was his father. He was on a secret mission and that is why he could not live with or talk to Braxton and his mother. Often in his childhood games of fantasy, Braxton would pretend that he himself was that mysterious man.
Unlike the other women, his mother always seemed to avoid this man. On their return trips to home, Braxton would often beg his mother to buy him toy soldiers, dressed in the black uniform, with the white thing around their necks.. This wish went unfulfilled.

When the question is thrown back at Jared, he is not so open. He hints that his father was not the type of man one can be proud of but does not go into details. He tells Braxton about his concern for people. He pities them. He thinks it cruel that humans must incur so much pain, as well as inflict so much pain on each other, in their efforts and often misdirected attempts to make life livable.

It had always puzzled him how people could love at all, considering the quagmire of pain and disappointment, called humanity, they are divinely delivered into.

Professor Easton arrives. He is on a tight schedule. The boys expect a grueling session of questions and dramatic appeals for confessions to ensue. Easton quickly puts them at ease. He is not there to play prosecutor nor is he there to hear confessions. Much like Braxton theorized earlier, since they are first year students, Easton is prepared to not pursue the issue.

There will however be consequences for their actions. Easton glances at his watch. He notices the time. He leaves the boys in the reception area and proceeds to change in the inner office. Through a partially closed door, he informs them of the nature of the punishment. Although presently rushed, he assures them that he has put a great deal of thought into the matter. He informs them that he has taken special steps so that this incursion will not show on their student record as a’ Disciplinary Action'.

Part of the boy's punishment is that they will have to sacrifice their Saturdays and report to his house. There they will assist him in the cataloging of artifacts.

Professor Easton is an accomplished archeologist. He has managed to gather quite a collection of artifacts. As he emerges from the inner office, the boys see him for the first time in his collar and priestly attire. Professor Easton is lean and statuesque. He is dignified, emulating both power of authority and the personified grace of compassion. His silver gray hair appears almost serene, combed straight back, without a hair out of place. Both boys appear awestruck. In their own way, each of the boys views him with a new found admiration. Easton now sits on a pedestal, in both Braxton’s and Jared’s eye.

Easton, dismisses the boys. Jared asks for permission to speak to Easton privately. Braxton gives him a disapproving look. Back in the office, he shares with Easton that it was he that made the phone call fingering Braxton. Easton does not allow Jared to continue. He places a comforting arm around his shoulder. He informs Jared that he believes it was his destiny to do such. He escorts back into the outer office. Braxton first gives Jared a puzzled look but quickly converts himself into giving out high five.


              ANOTHER MATTER.

Continued next week...


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