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Jane Eyre Movie Script

Writer(s) : Moira Buffini

Genres : Drama, Romance

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                                  JANE EYRE



                                  Written by

                                 Moira Buffini                        
                         
                         
                         
                           Adapted from the novel by

                               Charlotte Bronte
                         
                         
                         
                         
                                                           2ND DRAFT
                                                      6TH MARCH 2008


          EXT. A MIDSUMMER DAWN. THORNFIELD - THE GROUNDS.
                         
          First light. Jane Eyre is running across a meadow, flushed
          and breathless; the hem of her plain, black dress soaked
          with dew. She carries a shawl and has a small bag of
          belongings over her shoulder.
                         
          She trips, falls to her knees; looks back. Expressive eyes,
          open features. She is desperate. We see the house she is
          running from; a Jacobean battlemented mansion.
                         
          Her need to escape is so great that she crawls forward
          until she is able to raise herself to her feet. She runs.
                         
          She reaches an antique stile by a brook. She lifts herself
          on to it. She lands on the road. And runs.
                         
                         
          I/E. DAY. A ROADSIDE/COACH.
                         
          The sun is higher in the sky. Jane exhausted, now running
          down a main road. Her spirts lift at the sight of an
          approaching coach. She flags it down.
                         
          Jane empties her purse into the driver's hand. He looks at
          her money then suspiciously back at her. A terse nod
          indicates she can get in.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane sinks into a dark corner. Her fellow passengers look
          shocked by her dishevelled appearance at such an early
          hour. She undertakes a tremendous effort not to betray her
          emotional state. She doesn't sob, she doesn't howl -
          although her breathing threatens to. Slowly, unable to bear
          the day, she closes her eyes.
                         
                         
          EXT. EVENING. WHITCROSS.
                         
          Sunset. A whitewashed, stone pillar set up where four roads
          meet on a barren moor. The coach driver opens the door.
          With a curt nod he indicates that Jane must get out.
                         
          She looks around, dismayed. In each direction there is open
          moorland for as far as the eye can see. The driver sets off
          at a good pace - glad to be rid of such a passenger. Jane
          puts her hand to her side for her bag of belongings. It is
          not there.
                         
          She runs as fast as she can after the coach. It is receding
          towards the horizon. She comes to a halt, objectless, lost,
          alone. She pulls her knitted shawl around her.
                         
          She leaves the road and sets off across the moor, into the
          gathering dark.
           Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 2.
                         
                         
          EXT. NIGHT. THE MOOR.
                         
          Jane is on her knees by a strange overhanging rock. The
          night sky is awesome; the universe is all around her. She
          is trying to calm herself with a prayer.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. THE MOOR.
                         
          Jane lies on a great rock, soaking up the heat of the sun.
          She is like someone numb with pain. She watches a lizard
          crawl over the rock. She is mesmerised.
                         
                         
          EXT. TWILIGHT. THE MOOR.
                         
          Jane squats in the heather and eats bilberries as the light
          fades. She hungrily licks the juice from her hand.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAWN. THE MOOR.
                         
          Jane is asleep in the heather, her shawl wrapped around
          her. A red-haired child in a white nightgown lies by her
          side, watching her. It is Helen Burns.
                         
          Helen reaches out. She touches Jane's hand. Jane wakes. She
          sits up. She is alone.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. BY A RIVER.
                         
          Jane is crouched on a rock watching the waters go by. The
          sky is overcast. The first big drops of rain land on the
          stones. Jane makes no movement.
                         
          A raven lands on a rock nearby. Jane is suddenly filled
          with a wild rage. She picks up a stone and hurls it at the
          bird with a raw cry. The gesture exhausts her. She watches
          the bird wheel away, as the rain starts to pour.
                         
                         
          EXT. TWILIGHT. A FARM BY A WOOD.
                         
          It is raining hard. Jane sees a small girl come out of the
          farm with some leftovers. She drops them into a pigpen.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane leaning into the pigpen. She picks a stiffened mould
          of porridge out of the mud. She lets the rain wash it. She
          eats it ravenously.
                         
                         
          EXT. NEXT DAY. A WOOD.
                         
          It has stopped raining. Jane is huddled under a tree. She
          is shaking, shuddering. The life has gone out of her eyes.
           Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 3.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. THE EDGE OF THE WOOD.
                         
          The moors rise away above her to the horizon. Jane looks up
          at the sun starting to set. The clouds are red and gold.
                         
          She sees a small red-haired girl in a white nightgown
          walking barefoot on the moors ahead of her. The girl turns,
          looks back at Jane. With her last strength, Jane follows.
                         
                         
          EXT. EVENING. THE MOOR.
                         
          Dark clouds are banking up; the rain starts again. Jane is
          struggling through a marsh. Her boots are stuck.
                         
          She falls. Her hand disappears into mud; her face pressed
          against the earth. She doesn't move. She has reached the
          point of despair.
                         
          The girl's bare feet walk close by, as if waiting for her.
          Jane looks up. Where the child should be, she sees a light
          shining across the moor. Jane starts crawling.
                         
                         
          EXT. NIGHT. THE MOOR/MOOR HOUSE.
                         
          Jane is toiling on through the lashing rain towards the
          light. It has become a window. A brief flash of lightning
          shows her a low stone cottage. Helen Burns is sitting on
          the gate.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane is crawling through the narrow garden. On her knees,
          she peers through a window.
                         
          On either side of a bright little fire sit two young women.
          They look exactly like Jane; slight, neat, dressed in
          black. One, Diana, has her hair slightly curled and hides
          her gentle eyes behind spectacles. The other, Mary, is very
          young; no more than seventeen. Each has a book on her knee.
          They are talking intimately.
                         
          They look so close, so loving and the room looks so cosy
          that it pains Jane considerably.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane knocking at the door. Hannah, an old servant answers.
          She is suspicious; Jane looks like a wretch.
                         
                          HANNAH
           What do you want?
                         
          Jane manages to find her voice.
                         
                          JANE
           Shelter.
           Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 4.
                         
                         
                          HANNAH
           I can't take in vagrants. Here's
           a penny. Now take it and go.
                         
                          JANE
           I have no strength to go.
                         
                          HANNAH
           You can move off. And if there
           are others with you tell them we
           are not alone. We have a
           gentleman here, and dogs.
                         
                          JANE
                          (DESPERATE)
           But I must die if I am turned
           away.
                         
          The door slams shut. Jane lets out a hopeless wail.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           God help me. I will die.
                         
          She turns away, her hope gone. As she collapses, she finds
          herself supported by a strong pair of black-clad arms.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           All of God's creatures must die.
           But not prematurely - and not on
           my doorstep I hope.
                         
          Jane is lifted up. She finds herself looking into the face
          of the handsomest man she has ever seen; St John Rivers. He
          lifts her over the threshold into the warmth of Moor House.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. MOOR HOUSE - THE KITCHEN.
                         
          A fire is roaring in the stove. Hannah is bent over it.
                         
                          HANNAH
           We've had a beggar woman come, Mr
           Rivers. I sent her - For shame!
                         
          Hannah falls silent as she sees Jane.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           You did your duty in excluding
           her. Let me do mine in admitting
           her.
                         
          He sets Jane down before the hearth. She can barely stand.
          She is soaked to the bone, filthy with mud. Her skin has a
          ghastly pallor. Diana and Mary enter.
                         
                          DIANA
           St John, who is it?
           Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 5.
                         
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I don't know; I found her at the
           door.
                         
                          HANNAH
                          (GUILTILY)
           I thought her one of the gypsies
           from the cross.
                         
                          MARY
           She's as white as death.
                         
          Jane can hold herself up no longer. Diana moves forward.
          She and St John catch Jane and help her into a chair. The
          rain hammers on the windows.
                         
                          DIANA
           Hannah, some water.
                         
                          MARY
           She's worn to nothing. She looks
           like a spectre. St John, if you
           hadn't taken her in, we would
           have fallen upon her dead body in
           the morning.
                         
                          DIANA
           Mary.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           She's no vagrant; I'm sure of it.
                         
                          HANNAH
           There's milk and bread for you.
                         
          Jane tries to mouth her thanks. She sips the milk. Eats a
          mouthful of bread. Diana kneels at her side.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Ask her her name.
                         
                          JANE
           I - I am J -
                         
          Jane cannot speak. She's incapable of uttering her own
          name. She hears John Reed's voice calling from far away.
                         
                          JOHN REED
           Jane Eyre!
                         
                          DIANA
           Please, tell us how we may help
           you.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Can we send for anyone? Who are
           your people?
           Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 6.
                         
                         
          The questions are deeply troubling to Jane. She is losing
          consciousness.
                         
          She sees an image of a small girl of ten, running away
          through a great darkening room. Jane tries to follow her.
          The action draws her up out of the kitchen chair.
                         
          She hears John Reed's voice again.
                         
           JOHN REED (V.O.)
           Jane Eyre! Where are you?
                         
          Jane, panicked, looking for somewhere to hide, passes out.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. GATESHEAD - A GRAND RECEPTION ROOM.
                         
          Rain hammers against the windows. Jane aged ten, looking
          hunted, runs in looking for somewhere to hide.
                         
          She springs behind a curtain. John Reed enters; a fourteen
          year old, his stomach bursting out of his fancy clothes. He
          is holding a riding crop as if it is a sword.
                         
                          JOHN REED
           Come out, rat. I know you are in
           here. Come out now and I won't
           punish you.
                         
          Jane watches him pass by her. He practises a perfect lunge.
                         
           JOHN REED (CONT'D)
           Rat.
                         
          He exits. Jane breathes a sigh of relief. She slowly pulls
          the curtain across, making the window a private sanctuary.
          There is a book lying on the seat. She opens it.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane is sitting cross-legged, completely absorbed in her
          book - a beautifully drawn picture of a cormorant. She runs
          her finger over it. We hear the sound of great waves
          plunging on to a shore.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. AN ARCTIC COAST.
                         
          Jane, aged ten, is sitting cross-legged on an isolated
          rock, her eyes locked with those of a stooping black
          cormorant. St John's voice comes from a long way away.
                         
           ST JOHN (V.O.)
           Diana, Mary help me get her
           upstairs...
                         
          The cormorant raises its wings like a great black cloak.
          Jane watches as it takes off and flies away.
           Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 7.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. GATESHEAD - THE WINDOW SEAT.
                         
          Jane has her eyes closed. A great Atlantic wave hits the
          sash window behind her, drenching it with foam and brine.
          Suddenly the curtain is pulled back. John Reed stands in
          front of her. Jane shrinks back.
                         
                          JOHN REED
           I have been looking for you these
           last ten minutes.
                         
                          JANE
           What do you want?
                         
                          JOHN REED
           Say forgive me, Master Reed.
                         
                          JANE
           I have done nothing wrong. Master
           Reed.
                         
          John grabs the book.
                         
                          JOHN REED
           Who gave you permission to read
           my book?
                         
                          JANE
           I wasn't aware it was yours.
                         
                          JOHN REED
           Everything in this house is mine.
           You're lucky to live here with
           gentleman's children like us.
           Your father had nothing. You
           should go and beg.
                         
          Jane stares him out. John can sense her contempt. He belts
          her with the book. Jane hits her head on the window clasp,
          drawing blood. She is shocked.
                         
           JOHN REED (CONT'D)
           That's for the look you had on
           your face. You bad animal.
                         
          Jane snaps. She throws herself upon him, the rage in her
          released; pummelling, scratching, hurting him in any way
          she can. She is barely coherent.
                         
                          JANE
           Wicked and cruel - you are a
           slaver - a murderer -
                         
                          JOHN
           I shall tell mother -
                         
                          JANE
           I hate you John Reed. I hate you -
           Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 8.
                         
                         
          John is flabbergasted. Like all bullies, he is terrified.
                         
                          JOHN
           Mamma! Mamma! There's a rat! Rat!
                         
          Jane bites him. Hard. At that moment, Mrs Reed appears on
          the scene. John screams. We see Mrs Reed's shocked face.
          She is an overweight woman pushing forty in a bright,
          elaborate dress.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. MOOR HOUSE - A BEDROOM
                         
          Dinah and Mary are gently taking Jane's soaking clothes
          off; one at each side of her. Jane is distressed,
          approaching a delirium. She resists them.
                         
                         
          INT. DUSK. GATESHEAD - THE RED ROOM.
                         
          Jane is carried in and set down on a footstool by two
          servants, Miss Abbot and Bessie - one at each side of her.
          She is still resisting.
                         
                          BESSIE
           For shame, hitting your master.
                         
                          MISS ABBOT
           If you don't sit still you must
           be tied down!
                         
          The fight goes out of Jane. She sits, defeated. Bessie,
          young and plump, quickly wipes her bleeding forehead. She
          has some compassion. Miss Abbot has none.
                         
                          BESSIE
           What we do is for your own good.
           If you are passionate and rude
           like this, your Aunt Reed will
           send you away.
                         
                          MISS ABBOT
           You're worse than us servants. We
           work for our keep; you do
           nothing. Pray for forgiveness
           Miss Eyre or something bad will
           come down that chimney and fetch
           you away.
                         
          The door slams. They are gone. Jane slowly grips the edge
          of the stool. The room is chill, silent. Red walls and
          curtains, murky in the fading light.
                         
          In front of Jane, a stone fireplace gapes like a mouth.
          Beside it, a full length looking-glass in which her pale
          reflection stares out. Behind her, a bed supported on
          pillars of mahogany, hung with red.
           Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 9.
                         
                         
          The piled up pillows and mattresses glare in cold white.
          Jane's breathing is the only sound in the room.
                         
          A sudden gust sends rain pelting against the windows like
          fingernails. A distant moan of wind seems to breathe out of
          the black hearth. Jane reverts her nervous gaze to the
          pitted mirror. Her eyes lock on the small figure trapped in
          the mirror's visionary hollow; her white, bleeding face,
          her eyes glittering with fear.
                         
          It is a phantom. The eyes are black, the skin a deathly
          grey. Blood. Jane's breathing becomes choked with terror.
          She can't get her breath. We hear blood rushing through her
          ears. It sounds like the beating of great wings.
                         
          Slowly, a light appears over her. It may be something
          shining in from outside. But to Jane it seems as if it is
          surrounding her, enveloping her. The figure in the looking
          glass opens its mouth. The scream, held in so long, finally
          rips from Jane's throat.
                         
                         
          INT. DUSK. GATESHEAD - THE FIRESIDE.
                         
          At the sound of the scream, Mrs Reed, slumbering, almost
          jumps out of her skin.
                         
                         
          INT. DUSK. GATESHEAD - THE KITCHEN.
                         
          Miss Abbott almost drops the tea tray she is carrying.
                         
                         
          INT. DUSK. GATESHEAD - A CORRIDOR.
                         
          Jane is banging on the door, screaming, hysterical with
          terror. Bessie rushes to the door and unlocks it. Jane
          flies into her arms.
                         
                          BESSIE
           Miss Eyre what is it?
                         
                          JANE
           Bessie!
                         
                          BESSIE
           Have you seen something?
                         
                          JANE
           There was a light.
                         
          We see Bessie's own fear as she glances into the dark room.
          Mrs Reed is storming towards them, furious.
                         
                          MRS REED
           Bessie, I gave orders that she
           was to be left in the red room
           until I came.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 10.
                         
                         
                          BESSIE
           But she screamed so loud ma'am.
                         
                          MRS REED
           It is play-acting. Let her go. I
           know your tricks Jane Eyre and I
           abhor such artifice. Loose
           Bessie's hands, child.
                         
          Mrs Reed prises Jane away from Bessie as she speaks.
                         
           MRS REED (CONT'D)
           You will now stay here an hour
           longer.
                         
                          JANE
           No - Aunt, have pity -
                         
                          MRS REED
           And only when you are perfectly
           submissive will I let you out.
                         
                          JANE
           Please - I cannot bear it -
                         
                          MRS REED
           Silence. This violence is
           repulsive.
                         
                          JANE
           I shall be killed -
                         
                          MRS REED
           Get back!
                         
                          JANE
           Have mercy, have mercy I beg you -
                         
          Mrs Reed throws her back into the room, slams the door and
          turns the key. We hear Jane's unspeakable howls of terror,
          her anguished bangs upon the door.
                         
          Bessie is looking at Mrs Reed aghast. Mrs Reed withers her
          with a frozen glare.
                         
                         
          INT. DUSK. GATESHEAD - THE RED ROOM.
                         
          We see Jane in her distress, hitting her head on the door.
          She falls back. On the floor, her arms and legs move beyond
          her control. She is having a fit. When it is over, we see
          Jane unconscious. She is lying in a pool of ghostly light.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. MOOR HOUSE - A BEDROOM.
                         
          Through the light, Jane sees Mary and Diana Rivers at her
          side.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 11.
                         
                         
                          MARY
           She's awake.
                         
          St John approaches in his parson's collar, blocking out the
          light as he looks down. Jane gazes at him remotely.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I'm sure we'll find she's simply
           had a misunderstanding with her
           people. I hope she's not done
           anything deplorable; there's
           nothing so sad as a fallen young
           woman.
                         
                          MARY
           Look at the suffering in her
           eyes. They're like dark pools -
                         
          Diana smiles at Mary's tendency to over-dramatise.
                         
                          DIANA
           She has a peculiar face; I rather
           like it.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           She's not at all handsome.
                         
                          DIANA
           She's so ill, St John.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Ill or well, she'll always be
           plain.
                         
          Jane's eyes slide away from him and close.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. GATESHEAD - THE MORNING ROOM.
                         
          A bright morning. A huge clergyman dressed in black is
          staring down at Jane, blocking out the sun. We see him from
          her POV; his expansive chest, dramatic facial hair, huge
          flared nostrils, frowning brows. He is Brockelhurst, the
          epitome of grim.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST
           There is no sight so sad and so
           deplorable as that of a wicked
           little girl. Do you know, Jane
           Eyre, where the wicked go after
           death?
                         
                          JANE
           They go to hell.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST
           And what is hell, can you tell me
           that?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 12.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           A pit full of fire.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST
           And should you like to fall into
           that pit and be burning there
           forever?
                         
                          JANE
           No sir.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST
           What must you do to avoid it?
                         
                          JANE
           I must keep in good health and
           not die.
                         
          Mrs Reed is by the fireside in an ultra-feminine dress. She
          puts down her tea cup in irritation.
                         
                          MRS REED
           I've been her sole benefactress
           and her kindest friend. But she
           shows no gratitude and brings
           nothing but discord into my
           house.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST
           What is her parentage?
                         
                          MRS REED
           She's an orphan. Her mother was my
           late husband's sister. On his
           deathbed he exhorted me to care for
           her. I have always treated her as
           one of my own.
                         
          Jane silently revolts against this lie.
                         
           MRS REED (CONT'D)
           If you accept her at Lowood school
           Mr Brocklehurst, keep a strict eye
           on her. Her worst fault is a
           tendency to deceit. I'm sorry to
           tell you that Jane Eyre is a liar.
                         
          Jane's eyes flash with outrage.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST
           All liars will have their portion
           in the lake burning with fire and
           brimstone. She shall be watched,
           Mrs Reed.
                         
                          MRS REED
           I wish her to be made useful, to
           be kept humble.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 13.
                         
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST
           You can rest assured dear lady
           that we mortify our girls in the
           sentiments of vanity and pride.
           They are taught to be quiet,
           plain and modest.
                         
          A passion of resentment is forming in Jane.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST (CONT'D)
           We shall root out the wickedness
           in this small, ungrateful plant.
                         
          Mrs Reed smiles sweetly.
                         
                          MRS REED
           And as for its vacations, it must
           spend them all at Lowood.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. GATESHEAD - THE ENTRANCE HALL.
                         
          Jane is climbing the staircase. John Reed blocks her way.
                         
                          JOHN
           So, Rat, you're being sent away.
           It's as I thought; you're not fit
           to associate with me.
                         
          Jane snaps. She cries out:
                         
                          JANE
           You are not fit to associate with
           me!
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. GATESHEAD - THE MORNING ROOM.
                         
          Mrs Reed is at her desk. Jane appears in front of her.
                         
                          JANE
           You said I was a liar. Well I am
           not. If I was, I should say that I
           loved you and I don't. I dislike
           you the worst of anybody in the
           world except John Reed. He is a
           liar, not I.
                         
                          MRS REED
           How dare you speak in this manner.
                         
                          JANE
           I'll never call you Aunt again as
           long as I live and if anyone asks
           how I liked you I'll say that the
           very thought of you makes me sick.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 14.
                         
                         
                          MRS REED
           You wouldn't dare.
                         
                          JANE
           I'll remember how you thrust me
           back into the Red Room and locked
           me there to my dying day. Even
           when you knew it was haunted and I
           begged to be let out. People think
           you are good but you are bad and
           hard-hearted and I'll let everyone
           at Lowood know what you have done!
                         
                          MRS REED
           Children must be corrected for
           their faults.
                         
                          JANE
           Deceit is not my fault!
                         
                          MRS REED
           But you are passionate.
                         
                          JANE
           My Uncle Reed is in heaven and can
           see all that you do and think; so
           can my mother and father. They know
           how you hate me and wish me dead.
           They can see. They see everything
           you do and they will judge you, Mrs
           Reed.
                         
          Mrs Reed has turned quite pale. Jane blazes with victory.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. GATESHEAD - THE GATE HOUSE.
                         
          Bessie is waiting with Jane while her belongings are loaded
          onto a public coach, its top laden with passengers.
                         
                          BESSIE
           You're such a queer, solitary
           little thing. If only you could
           make yourself more appealing.
           Perhaps if you tried smiling from
           time to time, people would find
           you more pleasant -
                         
                          JANE
           Don't scold me Bessie. I know you
           dislike me -
                         
                          BESSIE
           I don't dislike you Miss; I'm
           fonder of you than of anyone.
                         
                          JANE
           You don't show it.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 15.
                         
                         
                          BESSIE
           Miss Jane -
                         
          Jane throws her arms around Bessie and embraces her with
          great force. Bessie returns the embrace, surprised, moved.
          Jane gets into the coach. Bessie looks up at the driver.
                         
                          BESSIE (CONT'D)
           You take good care of her.
                         
          Jane's small, pale face peers out of the coach window,
          watching Gateshead recede. She doesn't cry. But Bessie
          can't stave off her tears.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. LOWOOD - THE HALL.
                         
          Jane, half asleep is carried out of a coach and into a
          howling gale. She is taken under a stone inscription:
          `Lowood Institution'. She is set down in front of a woman
          with striking features and intelligent eyes; Miss Temple.
          She bends down and looks into Jane's face.
                         
                          MISS TEMPLE
           What's your name, child?
                         
                          JANE
           Jane Eyre.
                         
                          MISS TEMPLE
           You are very young to be sent
           alone, Jane Eyre.
                         
          She gently touches Jane's cheek with her finger. Jane
          manages the ghost of a smile.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. MOOR HOUSE - A BEDROOM.
                         
          Jane is lying back against clean white pillows. Her hair
          brushed and neatly plaited. Diana and Mary are full of
          kindness but St John's face is cold, dispassionate.
                         
                          JANE
           My name is Jane Elliott...
                         
                          MARY
           Jane Elliot.
                         
                          DIANA
           Where do you come from, Miss
           Elliott?
                         
          Jane gives no answer.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Who can we send for to help you?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 16.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           No one.
                         
          There is an intake of breath from Mary.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Do you mean to say that you are
           absolutely without home and
           without friends?
                         
                          JANE
           Yes sir.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           How did you come to be roaming
           the moors, Miss Elliott?
                         
                          DIANA
           Don't upset her, St John. She
           must not be interrogated so.
                         
                          JANE
           Mr Rivers, you and you sisters
           have done me a great service, the
           greatest man can do - you have
           rescued me from death.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           How are we to help you if we know
           nothing about you?
                         
                          JANE
           I'll tell you as much as I can. I
           am an orphan; brought up a
           dependent; educated in a charity
           school where I passed six years
           as a pupil and two as a teacher.
           I left a year since to become a
           private governess -
                         
                          MARY
                          YES -
                         
                          JANE
           A good situation, where I
           remained until...
                         
                          MARY
           Diana, didn't I say so? Didn't I
           say she was a governess?
                         
                          DIANA
           We did wonder. We mean no offence
           but you have a certain look. Mary
           and I work as governesses too.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 17.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           (with great interest)
           Do you?
                         
                          MARY
           We are currently trying to teach
           ourselves German, so we may find
           better positions.
                         
                          JANE
           You're not working at present?
                         
                          DIANA
           We came home only for our
           father's funeral.
                         
                          MARY
           He died three weeks ago.
                         
                          JANE
           I am very sorry to hear it.
                         
          St John has no patience with the change of subject.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Why did you leave your place of
           employment?
                         
          Jane sinks back in the pillows.
                         
                          JANE
           I... It was a catastrophe.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           What did you do?
                         
                          JANE
           I am free from any blame, sir. I
           was happy.
                         
          Jane is deeply distressed.
                         
                          DIANA
           That's enough for now, St John.
                         
                          MARY
           You must rest, Miss Elliott.
                         
          The name sounds strange to Jane.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Why did you start?
                         
                          JANE
           Because that is not my name.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 18.
                         
                         
                          DIANA
           You haven't given us your real
           name?
                         
          Jane shakes her head.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Why not?
                         
                          JANE
           Because I must not ever be found.
                         
          Diana and Mary glance at each other, fascinated.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. MOOR HOUSE - THE BEDROOM
                         
          Jane is dressing herself. She stops, weakly holding the
          back of a chair for support, looking out of the window at
          the sun setting over the hills.
                         
           ST JOHN (V.O.)
           Merciful Jesus, enlighten thou me
           with the brightness of thine
           inward light...
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. MOOR HOUSE - THE STAIRS
                         
          Diana is helping Jane down the stairs.
                         
           ST JOHN (V.O.)
           And take away all darkness from
           the habitation of my heart...
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. MOOR HOUSE - THE PARLOUR
                         
          St John is praying over Jane, Diana and Mary as they sit at
          the table. Mary catches Jane's eye, gives her shy smile.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Join me to thyself with an
           inseparable band of love... For
           thou, even thou alone, dost
           satisfy him that loveth thee...
                         
          Jane finds herself staring at St John, who prays ardently.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           And without thee all things are
           vain and empty. Amen.
                         
          St John opens his eyes and looks searchingly at Jane. She
          immediately looks down.
                         
           JANE, MARY, DIANA
           Amen.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 19.
                         
                         
                          DIANA
           Welcome to our table, Miss
           Elliott.
                         
                          JANE
           I'd appreciate it if you called
           me Jane. It is my own name.
                         
                          MARY
           It's wonderful to see you on your
           feet, Miss Jane.
                         
          Jane turns her attention to St John.
                         
                          JANE
           I trust I will not be eating long
           at your expense, Mr Rivers.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           You wish to be independent of my
           charity?
                         
                          JANE
           I wish to work, sir. Show me how
           to work or how to seek work;
           that's all I ask.
                         
                          DIANA
           You're not fit enough to work.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           My sisters have always taken
           pleasure in keeping injured birds
           but I'm more inclined to put you
           in a way of keeping yourself -
           and shall endeavour to do so, if
           that's what you wish.
                         
                          JANE
           With all my heart, sir.
                         
                          DIANA
           It's a shame she has no choice of
           helpers, St John, and must put up
           with such crusty people as you.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           This school you were at, Miss
           Elliot, this charitable
           institution; what did it prepare
           you for?
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          We see a bundle of sharp twigs come down on a girl's bare
          neck, like a whip.
                         
                          CUT TO:
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 20.
                         
                         
          Jane flinches at the memory.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           Was it a thorough education?
                         
                          JANE
           Most thorough.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. LOWOOD - THE HALL.
                         
          Miss Scatcherd's bitter life is in her face and voice.
                         
                          MISS SCATCHERD
           Burns, Helen Burns!
                         
          Jane, aged ten, looks up. She is wearing a brown stuff
          frock with a puritanical cap like all the other girls.
          Silence reigns in the school hall.
                         
          A red haired girl of about thirteen stands up; Helen Burns.
          Miss Scatcherd holds up an apron in which a hole has been
          mistakenly cut.
                         
           MISS SCATCHERD (CONT'D)
           You're a slattern and a disgrace!
                         
          Helen Burns undoes the back of her dress. The punishment is
          given; a dozen sharp, stinging whacks with the birch twigs.
                         
          Jane is appalled. But to her astonishment and awe, Helen
          Burns doesn't cry; she barely changes her expression. As
          the strokes go on - seven, eight, nine - Helen seems like
          one in a trance. Jane is deeply affected.
                         
          On the eleventh stroke, the door bursts open and a visiting
          party walks in: the Brocklehurst family. Miss Temple
          escorts two young girls dressed in peacock finery and two
          smart, bombastic ladies. Mr Brocklehurst follows. Helen's
          punishment is forgotten as the students rush to their feet.
                         
          Jane, in a panic, drops her slate and breaks it.
          Brocklehurst's eyes sweep the room. They land on her.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST
           I might have known. The new girl.
           Step forward, Jane Eyre.
                         
          Filled with dread, Jane steps forward.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST (CONT'D)
           It is my duty dear children, to
           warn you that this girl is not
           one of God's own lambs.
                         
          We see the look of frustration on Miss Temple's face.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 21.
                         
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST (CONT'D)
           She is a castaway and an alien in
           his flock and you must be on your
           guard against her. For this
           child... is a liar!
                         
          He points to a tall stool. Jane stands on it.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST (CONT'D)
           This is the pedestal of infamy -
           and you'll remain upon it all
           day. You'll receive no sustenance
           and no comfort, for you must
           learn how barren is the life of
           the sinner. Children, I exhort
           you to shun her, exclude her,
           shut her out from this day forth.
           Withhold the hand of friendship
           and deny your love to Jane Eyre,
           the liar.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. LOWOOD - THE HALL - LATER.
                         
          The hall is empty but for the small figure of Jane, high on
          her stool, feeling her isolation like pain. Across the room
          is the slightly bigger figure of Helen, hunched, the back
          of her dress still open, the skin on her neck raw. The sun
          is setting. At last Jane starts to sob.
                         
                          HELEN
           Come now, don't cry.
                         
                          JANE
           You're not allowed to speak to
           me. I must be shunned.
                         
                          HELEN
           Mr Brocklehurst is not a God.
           He's not liked or admired here -
                         
                          JANE
           He said I was a liar.
                         
                          HELEN
                          JANE -
                         
                          JANE
           I am not a liar!
                         
                          HELEN
           If your own conscience approves
           you, then so will I.
                         
          Jane is deeply gratified.
                         
                          JANE
           How do you bear it?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 22.
                         
                         
                          HELEN
           Bear what?
                         
                          JANE
           Being struck.
                         
                          HELEN
           I'm a trial to Miss Scatcherd.
           She hits me to improve me.
                         
                          JANE
           If she hit me I would get that
           birch from her hand and break it
           under her nose.
                         
                          HELEN
           You'd just be punished even more.
           It's part of life here.
                         
                          JANE
           I have always been excluded and
           alone and hated. Miss Abbott used
           to call me an ugly little toad.
                         
          Helen approaches Jane.
                         
                          HELEN
           You're not ugly. Do you know what
           is inside you?
                         
                          JANE
           What?
                         
                          HELEN
           The spark of your spirit, the
           principle of light and thought,
           pure and bright, as perfect as
           anything created.
                         
                          JANE
           What do you mean?
                         
                          HELEN
           Your soul. Your soul is beautiful,
           your soul has value - more value
           than anything on earth.
                         
                          JANE
           Is that true?
                         
                          HELEN
           Yes. God sees your beauty. Even
           as you stand on that stool, there
           is an invisible world around you,
           a kingdom of spirits. It is
           everywhere. Angels see your pain.
           Angels know your innocence.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 23.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           Angels?
                         
          Helen smiles a wide smile.
                         
                          HELEN
           Do you not believe in angels?
                         
          They hear the door. Helen runs back to her place; cowers.
          Miss Temple appears in a shaft of light at the door.
                         
                          MISS TEMPLE
           Come here, Girls.
                         
          The girls approach, dreading more punishment.
                         
           MISS TEMPLE (CONT'D)
           I shall investigate Mr
           Brocklehurst's claims against
           you, Jane. And unless they are
           proved, you will be exonerated.
                         
          Miss Temple looks over her shoulder.
                         
           MISS TEMPLE (CONT'D)
           Also, I understand you girls
           have had no food today.
                         
          She quickly presses a slice of hard cake into each girl's
          hand and walks away. Jane and Helen look at one another,
          deeply moved by her kindness.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. MOOR HOUSE - THE GARDEN / MOORS.
                         
          Jane stands between Diana and Mary high above Moor House.
          They are dressed similarly in bonnets and cloaks. They
          watch a hawk dive, their heads moving in unison. Their eyes
          land upon Moor House.
                         
                          MARY
           We've lived here all our lives but
           the house must be shut up now.
                         
                          JANE
           Why?
                         
                          MARY
           We can't afford to keep it on.
           Diana and I will return to our
           charges in a few days and St John
           will go to his parsonage.
                         
          Down below them, St John leaves Moor House and walks
          towards the village. Jane watches him.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 24.
                         
                         
                          DIANA
           It'll be a hard parting for us. We
           may not see him again for years.
                         
                          JANE
           Why ever not?
                         
                          MARY
           He means to be a missionary. He's
           going to India to do Gods's work.
                         
                          JANE
           Can he not do God's work here?
                         
                          MARY
           This quiet parish will never do for
           him; he almost raves in his
           restlessness. It breaks our hearts.
                         
                          DIANA
           St John burns with talents and
           ambition. But he lacks the means
           for advancement here. Our poverty
           thwarts him at every turn and so he
           has chosen to lay all his gifts on
           God's altar.
                         
                          MARY
           We've tried to persuade him to
           stay but in some things our
           brother is - he is -
                         
                          DIANA
           Inexorable as death.
                         
                          MARY
           We are now without father. We'll
           soon be without home and brother.
                         
          Jane feels a powerful compassion for them.
                         
                          JANE
           In one thing you are fortunate.
                         
          She looks over at the horizon.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           You have each other.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. LOWOOD - THE GROUNDS. SPRING.
                         
          Jane is looking at the high wall which is the horizon of
          her world at Lowood. Her eyes come to rest on the main
          door. Two men are carrying a small coffin out of the
          school. Brocklehurst follows it with a menthol-soaked cloth
          over his mouth and nose. He becomes aware of Jane's eyes on
          him. He looks away.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 25.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. LOWOOD - THE DORMITORY.
                         
          Jane is creeping down a corridor in her night dress. She
          peers in through the dormitory door. It has been turned
          into a sanitarium. Camphor and vinegar are being burnt.
          Jane can hardly look at the sick girls.
                         
          Miss Temple, pale with exhaustion, is speaking intimately
          to Madame Pierrot, the French mistress. Jane overhears.
                         
                          MISS TEMPLE
           This is the result of semi-
           starvation and neglected colds;
           Brockelhurst's idea of mortifying
           their bodies to save their souls.
                          TYPHUS -
                         
          Miss Temple can't say more.
                         
                          MADAME PIERROT
           Write to the governors. You must.
                         
          Jane creeps on.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. LOWOOD - MISS TEMPLE'S ROOM.
                         
          Jane opens the door. A small bed has been set up at the
          foot of Miss Temple's. In it lies Helen Burns. A candle is
          set on a table at her side. Jane takes her hand.
                         
                          JANE
           Helen.
                         
                          HELEN
           Is it you, Jane? Have you come to
           say goodbye?
                         
                          JANE
           You're cold.
                         
                          HELEN
           I'm very happy. I am going home.
                         
                          JANE
           Back to your father?
                         
                          HELEN
           My father has a new wife. He'll
           not miss me much.
                         
                          JANE
           Then where?
                         
                          HELEN
           To my future home, where all is
           light. I am going to God.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 26.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           No...
                         
          Jane is devastated. She climbs into bed next to Helen. For
          a moment, they hold each other. Jane's tears silently fall.
                         
                          HELEN
           Don't be sad. I will escape great
           suffering by dying young.
                         
                          JANE
           No...
                         
                          HELEN
           I don't have any talent to make
           my way in life. I should be
           always at fault. But God is my
           friend. He loves me.
                         
                          JANE
           Then he must save you.
                         
                          HELEN
           He is saving me.
                         
          Jane cannot articulate her distress at Helen's words.
                         
                          HELEN (CONT'D)
           I feel like I could sleep now. I
           like to have you near -
                         
                          JANE
           I won't leave you.
                         
                          HELEN
           You're so warm and alive. Jane,
           you have a passion for living.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. LOWOOD - MISS TEMPLE'S ROOM.
                         
          We see Miss Temple looking down at the bed in the dazzling,
          morning light. Jane, waking, has her small arms around
          Helen, as if fiercely protecting her. Helen is ashen, her
          eyes open, staring at some unseen thing. She is dead. Miss
          Temple lifts Jane away.
                         
                          MISS TEMPLE
           Jane...
                         
          Jane realises what has happened. We hear the sound of her
          distress begin. She is inconsolable.
                         
                          JANE
           No, no, no -
                         
           MARY (V.O.)
           Jane?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 27.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. MOOR HOUSE - THE PARLOUR.
                         
          Jane is staring out at the Autumn rain. She surreptitiously
          wipes her tears away and smiles up at Mary.
                         
                          JANE
           Have you something for me to do?
                         
                          MARY
           You are doing something already.
           May I see?
                         
          Jane hands her a book. She has drawn a bride.
                         
                          JANE
           That's Miss Temple on her wedding
           day. She was my teacher; a great
           influence on me. Under her
           guidance I became a teacher too.
                         
          Mary turns the page. It shows a sketch of St John Rivers.
          Mary gasps in delight. She takes the book straight to St
          John, who is diligently working at his desk.
                         
                          MARY
           St John -
                         
                          JANE
           No, Mary, please -
                         
                          MARY
           See how skilled Jane is.
                         
          St John looks at the sketch of himself. He is quite taken
          aback. He looks over at Jane, who is quite embarrassed.
                         
                          MARY (CONT'D)
           She is better than any drawing
           master we have ever had.
                         
          For a moment, St John seems to be weighing up whether to be
          insulted or not.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           How fierce I am, Miss Elliott.
                         
                          JANE
           Mr Rivers, I wondered if you had
           yet heard of any work that I
           could do.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I found you a situation some days
           ago but I've delayed telling you
           because the work is lowly and I
           fear you'll scorn it.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 28.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           I shan't mind what I do.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           As I am poor and obscure, the
           help I can offer is of the
           meanest sort.
                         
                          DIANA
           St John, what are you going to
           offer her? Not washerwoman, I hope?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           When I took over the parish two
           years ago it had no school. I
           opened one for boys; I now intend
           to open one for girls. The school
           mistress will have a two-roomed
           cottage paid for by local
           benefactors and she will receive
           fifteen pounds a year. You can see
           how humble, how ignoble it is.
                         
          On the contrary, Jane is deeply gratified.
                         
                          JANE
           Mr Rivers, I thank you heartily
           and I accept with all my heart.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           But you comprehend me? It's a
           village school - cottagers
           daughters. What will you do with
           all your fine accomplishments?
                         
                          JANE
           I will save them until they are
           wanted. They will keep.
                         
          Jane smiles at him. St John is impressed.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. MORTON - THE SCHOOL ROOM.
                         
          Jane is at the blackboard in a freshly painted school room.
          In front of her are about twenty village girls, aged from
          six to sixteen. They are hanging on her every word.
                         
          Jane is writing a neat line of 'a's.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. MORTON - JANE'S COTTAGE.
                         
          Jane's first home is like a doll's house. She walks through
          it from the whitewashed bedroom with its little single bed,
          through the parlour with its tiny fireplace into the
          scullery kitchen. She retraces her steps back into the
          parlour. She turns round and surveys it.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 29.
                         
                         
          Silence but for the crackling of the fire and the blowing
          of the wind. She feels glad, grateful, but very, very
          alone. She hears Brocklehurst's voice.
                         
                          BROCKLEHURST
           I hear you are to leave us, Miss
           Eyre.
                         
          She spins around as if he is there.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. A CHURCHYARD.
                         
          Brocklehurst is at the church door; Jane looking at him
          coldly. She holds a bunch of wild flowers.
                         
                          JANE
           Yes. Excuse me.
                         
          She walks into the graveyard. There are over forty small
          graves marked with wooden crosses, each bearing a child's
          name. One of them says Helen Burns. Jane lays down her
          flowers.
                         
          She looks up at Brocklehurst. He cannot meet her eye.
                         
          We hear the voice of Mrs Fairfax.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (V.O.)
           If Jane Eyre of Lowood School...
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. MORTON - JANE'S COTTAGE.
                         
          Jane tries to quell her great unhappiness. She springs into
          action, straightening her furniture, stoking her fire.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (V.O.)
           ...Who advertised in the Yorkshire
           Herald, possesses the acquirements
           mentioned...
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. A ROADSIDE.
                         
          Jane, younger and more hopeful, with her belongings in a
          small trunk, awaits an approaching public coach.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (V.O.)
           ...And if she is in a position to
           give satisfactory references, a
           situation can be offered where there
           is but one pupil, a little girl
           under ten years of age and where the
           salary is thirty pounds a year.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 30.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. MORTON - JANE'S COTTAGE.
                         
          Jane is in her scullery putting all her energy into
          scrubbing dishes.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (V.O.)
           Jane Eyre is requested to send
           references and all particulars to
           Mrs Fairfax at Thornfield Hall.
                         
          Jane closes her eyes, trying to banish her thoughts. It is
          no good. The memories crowd in.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE GROUND FLOOR.
                         
          A smiling lady dressed in black approaches her through the
          darkness - Mrs Alice Fairfax.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           How do you do, my dear? What a
           long and tedious journey you must
           have had of it. John is quite the
           slowest driver in the county. You
           must be cold to the bone.
                         
                          JANE
           Are you Mrs Fairfax?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Indeed I am; come and warm
           yourself in here.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax leads Jane up the dark corridor and into a cosy
          parlour. Leah, a young maidservant, follows.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           Your poor hands must be quite
           numb; here, let me help you.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax undoes the ribbon on Jane's bonnet. Jane is
          taken aback, unused to motherliness of any kind.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           Leah, make a little hot port and
           cut a sandwich or two.
                         
          Leah eyes Jane with great curiosity. She hurries away.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Draw nearer the fire. John is
           taking your trunk up to your room.
                         
          Knitting apparatus lies abandoned on a fireside chair. Mrs
          Fairfax moves it and gestures for Jane to sit.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 31.
                         
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           I've put you at the back of the
           house; I hope you don't mind. The
           rooms at the front have much
           finer furniture but they are so
           gloomy and solitary I think.
                         
          Jane can't help noticing that every surface is covered in
          lace, embroidery, or fine crochet. The whole room is an
          advertisement for Mrs Fairfax's skill at handicrafts - and
          testament to the hours she has spent alone.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           I'm so glad you are come. To be
           sure this is a fine old house but
           I must confess that in winter one
           can feel a little dreary and
           alone. Leah is a very nice girl
           and John and Martha good people
           too, but they are servants - and
           one cannot talk to them on terms
           of equality.
                         
                          JANE
           Am I to have the pleasure of
           meeting Miss Fairfax tonight?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Who?
                         
                          JANE
           Miss Fairfax - my pupil?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Oh you mean Miss Varens; Mr
           Rochester's ward. She is to be
           your pupil.
                         
                          JANE
           Who is Mr Rochester?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Why, the owner of Thornfield.
                         
                          JANE
           I thought Thornfield Hall
           belonged to you.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           (bursting into laughter)
           Oh bless you child, what an idea.
           To me? I am only the housekeeper.
                         
                          JANE
           Forgive me -
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 32.
                         
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           There is a distant connection
           between Mr Rochester and I - his
           mother was a Fairfax - but I'd
           never presume on it. Heavens, me,
           owner of Thornfield?
                         
          She continues to laugh. A bashful smile is playing on
          Jane's lips. Mrs Fairfax is beginning to thaw her.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE HALL / STAIRCASE.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax is carrying a lamp across the great hall; the
          only light. Jane can perceive grandeur looming out of the
          darkness; Jacobean fireplace, coat of arms, head of a stag.
          Very gloomy, eerie. Her breath is vaporising in the cold.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           We shall have a cheerful house
           this winter...
                         
          As Jane follows Mrs Fairfax up the stairs, light is thrown
          on portraits of dour, craggy, long dead ancestors.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           With Miss Varens here - and with
           you - we'll have quite a merry
           time of it.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - A LONG GALLERY.
                         
          Dark heavy drapes, another striking portrait. A dark,
          voluptuous woman in an 18th Century gown, ruby lipped, one
          full breast exposed. Jane glances away, taken aback by the
          woman's bold expression and her nakedness.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           I'm sure that last winter - and
           what a severe one - if it didn't
           rain it snowed and if it didn't
           snow it blew a gale - last winter
           I declare that not a soul came to
           the house from November to
           February.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax leads Jane through the wood-panelled darkness.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           I got quite melancholy night
           after night alone. When spring
           finally came I thought it a great
           relief that I hadn't gone
           distracted.
                         
          She opens the door to a small but delightful room.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 33.
                         
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           Here.
                         
          Jane looks in: a fire burning, a lamp lit by her bed, a
          soft quilt, pale chintz curtains.
                         
                          JANE
                          OH -
                         
          She is utterly speechless. Her eight years of physical
          discomfort and hardship are over.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Good night, my dear. I hope
           you'll be comfy.
                         
                          JANE
           Thank you.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax can see how affected she is - and how hard she
          is trying to button it down.
                         
                         
          INT. NEXT MORNING. THORNFIELD - JANE'S BEDROOM.
                         
          Jane opens the curtains. She draws her breath in at the
          sight of the grounds. They are beautiful.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE DRAWING ROOM.
                         
          Jane enters a magnificent room. Mrs Fairfax is dusting.
                         
                          JANE
           What a beautiful house.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Mr Rochester's visits here are
           always unexpected. He doesn't
           like to arrive and find
           everything all swathed up, so I
           keep it in constant readiness.
           Now, come and meet Miss Varens.
           Did I mention she was French?
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE LIBRARY.
                         
          Adele Varens, an exquisitely dressed child of eight, is
          chatting animatedly to Jane and Mrs Fairfax. At her side is
          Sophie, her nurse - a desperately shy and lonely girl.
                         
                          ADELE
                          (IN FRENCH)
           Sophie has been crying because no
           one understands. Nobody can speak
           to us except for Mr Rochester and
           he has gone away.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 34.
                         
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Would you ask her about her
           parents? Mr Rochester's neglected
           to tell me anything about her.
                         
                          JANE
                          (IN FRENCH)
           Where did you live Adele, before
           you came to Thornfield?
                         
                          ADELE
                          (IN FRENCH)
           With Maman - but she is gone to
           the Holy Virgin now.
                         
                          JANE
           Her mother has passed away.
                         
                          ADELE
                          (IN FRENCH)
           Maman used to teach me to dance
           and say verses. When gentlemen
           came to see her I used to dance
           for them or sit on their knees
           and sing. May I sing for you now?
                         
                          JANE
                          (IN FRENCH)
           Well - that would be lovely.
           (To Mrs Fairfax)
           Adele is going to show us her
           accomplishments.
                         
          Adele adopts a lovelorn pose. She sings an operetta song; a
          forsaken lady plotting vengeance on her lover. Her high
          voice warbles with pretended emotion. The effect is rather
          weird. Jane and Mrs Fairfax watch, open-mouthed.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           How very French...
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - MRS FAIRFAX'S PARLOUR.
                         
          Adele's song continues as a voiceover. Mrs Fairfax is
          finishing a shawl. Jane is showing Adele pictures of little
          objects that she has sketched. Adele names them in English.
                         
          The song ends. Jane gives Adele a sketch of herself.
                         
                          ADELE
           Me! It is me!
                         
          Mrs Fairfax shakes out the finished shawl and puts it round
          Jane's shoulders, departing before Jane can protest.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Here. For you.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 35.
                         
                         
          Jane is delighted at the kindness of the gift.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE LONG GALLERY
                         
          Jane holds a candle, the shawl around her; the moaning
          sound of a gale outside. She holds her candle up to the
          portrait of the voluptuous woman.
                         
          She stares at it curious, both as a girl and as an artist.
          She brings the candle close, to see how the brushwork has
          achieved the effect of flesh. She hears a low, knowing
          laugh in the darkness behind her. She is startled.
                         
                          JANE
           Who's there?
                         
          Her own huge shadow is the only thing that moves. She hears
          the laugh again. She follows it through the darkness, alert
          with fear. A door clicks shut at the end of the corridor.
                         
          To her relief Jane sees Mrs Fairfax approach with a lamp.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Who sleeps up here?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           No one. This part of the house is
           quite empty, except for you and me.
                         
                          JANE
           I heard someone.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           You can't have done.
                         
                          JANE
           A laugh. Someone laughed.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax flounders for a second.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Oh - that must be Grace Poole.
           She likes to sit up here with her
           sewing. Rather an eccentric soul.
           (She shouts sharply)
           Grace? Grace!
                         
          A door opens. Jane sees a broad-faced woman with slow,
          intelligent eyes. She looks as if she has just woken up.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           Miss Eyre has heard a laugh.
                         
          Grace looks at Jane with sly curiosity. She leaves the
          sewing room and opens a door through which a flight of
          steep steps are revealed. Grace climbs them and disappears.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 36.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE LEADS.
                         
          Jane is on the turreted roof, looking up at the cawing
          rooks - and down at the view; a white, frosted wilderness.
                         
          Jane senses a presence behind her. She quickly turns. Mrs
          Fairfax is coming through the rooftop door.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           I thought I might find you up here.
           I've been waiting to pour our tea.
                         
                          JANE
           I'm not in need of tea, thank you.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax approaches, concerned.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           What is it, child? You've been
           here three months now and I'm
           worried that the position is not
           enough / to occupy your -
                         
                          JANE
           Oh, Mrs Fairfax, no. I'm so
           thankful to be at Thornfield.
           Please don't think I'm so
           ungrateful as to be discontented.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           But it's a quiet life, isn't it?
           This isolated house; a still doom
           for a young woman...
                         
          Jane looks out at the view once more.
                         
                          JANE
           I wish a woman could have action
           in her life, like a man. It
           agitates me to pain that the sky-
           line over there is ever our
           limit. I long sometimes for a
           power of vision that would
           overpass it. If I could behold
           all I imagine... I've never seen
           a city, never spoken with men.
           I've never even seen a town of
           any size. And I fear my whole
           life will pass, without ever
           having...
                         
          Mrs Fairfax's troubled look makes Jane fall silent. Mrs
          Fairfax looks as if she is about to say something - then
          puts on her practical face, the moment of intimacy gone.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Well now - exercise is a great
           cure for anything, they say.
                          (MORE)
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 37.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           I have some letters to post; will
           you take them?
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. A FROZEN MEADOW.
                         
          Jane is walking with purpose, carrying a bundle of letters.
          The exercise is lifting her spirits. The sun is sinking,
          turning the frost gold.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. A FROZEN WOOD.
                         
          A brook runs close to the path; half frozen. Its slow
          trickle is the only sound to be heard. Jane moves slowly,
          acutely aware of everything around her.
                         
          Further into the wood, the brook has frozen right across
          the path. Jane slips on it as she passes. The noise of her
          feet echoes. She steadies herself.
                         
          She gazes at a huddle of snowdrops, their heads bowed. A
          crystal drop of water runs to the end of a snowdrop and
          begins to freeze as she watches. It is held suspended as if
          the whole winter is contained in it.
                         
          The moon is mounting the sky. Jane hears a sound like the
          beating of wings. The blood is rushing through her ears.
                         
          Her trance is broken by the figure of a great dog - which
          glides past her so close it almost knocks her off her feet.
          The beating is loud; not wings she realises, but the rush
          of an approaching horse. It is almost on top of her before
          she can move. Her shocked, pale face, her black garments
          startle both horse and rider.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What the deuce -
                         
          The rider gets the horse under control and continues, only
          to have his horse slip on the ice. Both man and horse fall
          with a crash. The dog begins to bark, until the hills echo
          with the sound. The horse is on one side; the man is lying,
          trapped beneath it on the ice; Edward Fairfax Rochester.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Hellfire.
                         
          Jane is confounded.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Pilot, get down! GET DOWN I SAY!
                         
                          JANE
           Can I do anything, sir?
                         
          Rochester stares at her; a tiny black figure, surrounded by
          darkening frost, the low moon behind her.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 38.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Get back.
                         
          Jane doesn't move. Rochester turns to his horse.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Mesrour. Mesrour.
                         
          With much stamping and clattering, the horse clambers to
          its feet. Rochester seems relieved.
                         
          He tries to stand himself. His ankle will bear no weight.
          He lets out an involuntary cry. It echoes:
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Damnation.
                         
                          JANE
           Are you injured, sir?
                         
          Rochester looks at her once more. He manages to get himself
          off the ice. He sits on a nearby stile. Jane approaches
          him. She now has the moon on her face. She begins to look
          less like a phantom and more like a girl.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           If you are hurt and want help I
           can fetch someone from the
           village. I'm on my way there to
           post a letter.
                         
          Rochester looks as if he doesn't believe her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Where do you come from?
                         
                          JANE
           Thornfield Hall.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Whose house is that?
                         
                          JANE
           Mr Rochester's.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Do you know Mr Rochester?
                         
                          JANE
           No, I've never seen him.
                         
          Rochester is trying to place her. She is a puzzle to him.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You're not a servant there...
                         
                          JANE
           I am the governess, sir.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 39.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           The governess.
           (A slow smile)
           Deuce take me, I had forgotten.
                         
          Examining Jane once more, he laughs a low laugh.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           The governess.
                         
          Jane does not like to be laughed at.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Have you got an umbrella I can
           use as a stick?
                         
                          JANE
           No.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Then try to get hold of his
           bridle and lead him to me.
                         
          Jane doesn't like his imperious tone. She looks at the
          horse; huge, trampling, nervous. Rochester is amused.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           If you would be so kind...
                         
          Jane obeys. She endeavours to catch the bridle but the
          horse rears away. Jane falls on the ice. Rochester bursts
          out laughing. Jane picks herself up.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Perhaps it would be easier to
           bring me to the horse. Come here.
                         
          Jane resists.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Forgive me. I must beg of you to
           come here.
                         
          Jane approaches. Rochester instantly leans all his weight
          on her. She almost crumples under it; the first time she
          has ever touched and been touched by a man. She holds him
          up. And walks him closer to his horse.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Mesrour.
                         
          The horse approaches him. Rochester calms it. He springs
          into the saddle, grimacing as he wrenches his sprain.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Thank you.
           (He bows.)
           Now, make haste with your letter.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 40.
                         
                         
          Rochester's spurred heel makes the horse start and rear.
          Jane steps back. The horse bounds away, the dog rushing in
          its traces. All three disappear.
                         
          Jane doesn't move until the sound of hooves has faded away.
          Her face is flushed, her eyes glitter in the dark.
                         
                         
          I/E. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE FRONT ENTRANCE/HALL.
                         
          Jane runs up to the front door. She pushes it open. To her
          amazement, there is a fire burning in the stone fireplace.
          The whole hall is lit. The double doors are open into the
          library. Mrs Fairfax is hurriedly approaching.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Mr Rochester is here.
                         
                          JANE
           Oh?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Go and change your frock; he wishes
           to meet you.
                         
                          JANE
           I have to change?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Oh yes - I always dress for the
           evening when Mr Rochester is here.
                         
                          JANE
           But all my dresses are the same.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
                          (DESPERATELY)
           You must have one that is better?
           He's in a terrible humour; the
           doctor has been. His horse fell
           in Hay lane and his ankle is
           sprained.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax anxiously hurries back into the library. A
          large dog wanders out. Jane finds herself looking at Pilot.
          She smiles.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE LIBRARY.
                         
          Jane enters. Rochester is in front of a superb fire - one
          foot bandaged and supported on a stool. Pilot is at his
          feet - and so is Adele, gazing adoringly at him.
                         
          Rochester is looking through Jane's portfolio of sketches
          and watercolours. Jane feels utterly exposed - as if her
          diary is being read. Mrs Fairfax timidly interrupts.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 41.
                         
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Here is Miss Eyre, Sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           (Without looking up)
           Let her sit.
                         
          Jane sits. Rochester continues to study her work.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I have examined Adele and I find
           you've taken great pains with
           her. She's not bright, she has no
           talents - yet in a short time
           she's made much improvement.
                         
          Adele is gazing at him uncomprehending, her face radiant.
                         
                          JANE
           Thank you.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You've been resident here three
           months?
                         
                          JANE
           Yes, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           And from whence do you hail;
           what's your tale of woe?
                         
                          JANE
           Pardon?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           All governesses have a tale of
           woe; what's yours?
                         
                          JANE
                          (SLIGHTLY INSULTED)
           I was brought up by my Aunt, Mrs
           Reed of Gateshead, in a house far
           finer than this. At ten years old
           I went to Lowood school where I
           received as good an education as
           I could hope for. I have no tale
           of woe, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Where are your parents?
                         
                          JANE
           Dead.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Do you remember them?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 42.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           No.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           And why are you not with Mrs Reed
           of Gateshead now?
                         
                          JANE
           She cast me off, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Why?
                         
                          JANE
           Because I was burdensome and she
           disliked me.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Lowood; that's a charity school,
           isn't it?
                         
                          JANE
           Yes.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           How long did you survive there?
                         
                          JANE
           Eight years.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           No tale of woe...
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           I daily thank providence for
           sending us Miss Eyre. She's a
           kind and patient teacher and an
           invaluable / companion -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Don't trouble yourself to give
           her a character. I'll judge for
           myself. She began by felling my
           horse.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Sir?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I have her to thank for this
           sprain.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax looks at Jane, bewildered. Rochester lifts one
          of her watercolours.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Adele has brought me these; are
           they yours?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 43.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           Yes sir.
                         
          A swollen sea. A cormorant, a golden bracelet held in its
          beak. A girl's arm coming out of the water, white and
          deathly, her drowned figure underneath.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Where did you get your copies?
                         
                          JANE
           Out of my head.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           That head I now see on your
           shoulders?
                         
                          JANE
           Yes sir.
                         
          He turns the next. The top of a hill. An expanse of
          twilight sky. Rising up, a girl's shape, her forehead
          crowned with a star, red hair flowing; Helen Burns.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Who's this?
                         
                          JANE
           The evening star.
                         
          Rochester gives her a direct gaze.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Why did you bewitch my horse?
                         
          Jane cannot reply.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE NURSERY.
                         
          Jane is by the blackboard, where she is writing sums.
                         
                          ADELE
           Tonight I will have my cadeaux.
           He always bring me a cadeaux.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax breathlessly enters.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Sorry to disturb. He's asked for
           your art.
                         
          Jane looks at her in disbelief.
                         
                          JANE
           What for?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 44.
                         
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           He wishes to have it.
                         
                          JANE
           Why?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           To show to his company, I should
           think. Is this it here? Thank you.
                         
          Jane watches helplessly as Mrs Fairfax takes her portfolio.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE HALL/LANDING.
                         
          Jane is crossing the landing holding Adele's hand.
          Downstairs, the library doors swing wide open. The sound of
          male laughter can be heard; gentlemen walk out into the
          hall. Rochester follows, walking with a stick.
                         
                          ADELE
           Monsieur!
                         
          All eyes turn upon the landing. Jane tries to find a shadow
          to back into but there are none. Adele curtsies.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Ah, there she is...
                         
          It is unclear whether he is referring to Adele or Jane. He
          makes a bow. The men are staring at Jane with great
          curiosity. It makes her uncomfortable. She tugs Adele away.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE DRAWING ROOM.
                         
          A box tied with ribbons sits on the table.
                         
                          ADELE
           Ma boite, ma boite!
                         
          Rochester is leaning against the mantelpiece, drinking.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Take it away you genuine daughter
           of Paris and amuse yourself with
           disembowelling it.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           We'll open it together, shall we?
                         
          Mrs Fairfax kindly leads Adele away. Jane is about to cross
          the room with them.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Miss Eyre. Sit there.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 45.
                         
                         
          He gestures to a chair by the fire. Jane obeys. She studies
          Rochester. He is intent on Adele, who is pulling a pink
          satin dress out of the box.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I'm not fond of children.
                         
                          ADELE
           Oh Ciel! Que c'est beau!
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Nor do I particularly enjoy
           simple-minded old ladies. But you
           might suit me - if you would.
                         
                          JANE
           How, sir?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           By distracting me from the mire
           of my thoughts.
                         
          Adele, irrepressible, runs across the room embracing the
          dress. She drops on one knee at Rochester's feet.
                         
                          ADELE
           Monsieur, je vous remercie mille
           fois de votre bonte...
                         
          She looks up, seeking his approval.
                         
                          ADELE (CONT'D)
           That is how Maman used to say, is
           it not?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Precisely.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Let's try it on, shall we?
                         
          Adele skips off with Mrs Fairfax.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
                          (TO HIMSELF)
           And that is how she charmed my
           English gold out of my English
           breeches pocket.
                         
          Rochester notices how keenly Jane is observing him.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Your gaze is very direct, Miss
           Eyre? D'you think me handsome?
                         
                          JANE
           No sir.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 46.
                         
                         
          Rochester laughs.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           I was too plain; I beg your pardon.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What fault do you find with me? I
           have all my limbs and all my
                          FEATURES -
                         
                          JANE
           Mr Rochester, it was a blunder.
           I ought to have replied that
           beauty is of little consequence -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Now you stick a knife under my
                          EAR -
                         
                          JANE
           You have other qualities, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Just so; other qualities... When
           I was your age I was a felling
           enough fellow. I might have been
           insulted then. You're blushing
           Miss Eyre.
                         
                          JANE
           Not at all.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           And though you're not pretty any
           more than I am handsome, I must
           say it becomes you.
                          (HE LAUGHS)
           And now I see you're fascinated
           by the flowers on the rug.
                         
          Jane senses his mockery.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I'd like to draw you out. Come,
           speak to me.
                         
                          JANE
           What about, sir?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           The choice of subject is entirely
           yours.
                         
                          JANE
           How can I introduce a subject
           when I don't know what'll
           interest you?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 47.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           The fact is, Miss Eyre, I don't
           wish to treat you like an
           inferior.
                         
                          JANE
           Yet you'd command me to speak?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Well I probably have a right to
           be a little abrupt and exacting
           on the grounds of my superiority
           in age. There must be twenty
           years between us and a century's
           advance in experience.
                         
                          JANE
           I don't think you have a right to
           command me just because you're
           older. Your claim to superiority
           depends on the use you've made of
           your time and experience.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I've made indifferent use of
           both. And this is why I sit,
           galled by my own thoughts - and
           order you to divert me. Are you
           very hurt by my tone of command?
                         
          Jane smiles.
                         
                          JANE
           There are few masters who'd
           trouble to enquire whether their
           paid subordinates were hurt by
           their commands.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Oh yes... paid subordinate; I'd
           forgotten the salary. Well on
           that mercenary ground, will you
           consent to speak with me as my
           equal - without thinking that the
           request arises from insolence?
                         
                          JANE
           I'd never mistake informality for
           insolence, sir. One, I rather
           like. The other, nothing free
           born should ever submit to - even
           for a salary.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Humbug. Most free-born things
           would submit to anything for a
           salary. But I mentally shake
           hands with you for your answer.
                          (MORE)
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 48.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Not three in three thousand
           schoolgirl governesses would have
           answered me as you've just done.
                         
                          JANE
           You've clearly not spent much
           time in the company of schoolgirl
           governesses. I'm the same plain
           kind of bird as all the rest,
           with my couple of accomplishments
           and my common tale of woe.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I envy you.
                         
                          JANE
           How?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Your openness, your clear
           conscience, your unpolluted mind.
           If I were eighteen I think we truly
           would be equals. Nature meant me to
           be a good man, one of the better
           kind and as you see, I am not so.
                         
                          JANE
           Are you a villain then, sir?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I'm a trite commonplace sinner,
           hackneyed in all the dissipations
           that the rich and worthless try
           to put on life.
                          (HE SIGHS)
           When I was your age, fate dealt me
           a blow. I was - cursed with a
           burden to carry through life. I
           lacked the wisdom to remain cool
           and I turned desperate. Dread
           remorse, Miss Eyre. It is the
           poison of life.
                         
          Rochester takes in her open, compassionate face.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           And since happiness is denied me,
           I've a right to get pleasure in
           its stead. And I will get it,
           cost what it may.
                         
                          JANE
           Then you'll degenerate still more.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Are you preaching to me?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 49.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           I'm reminding you of your own
           words; remorse is the poison of
           life.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           But, Miss Eyre, if the pleasure I
           was seeking was sweet and fresh;
           if it was an inspiration; if it
           wore the robes of an angel of
           light... what then?
                         
                          JANE
           I don't know. To speak truth, I
           don't understand you at all.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           My heart has long been a charnel
           house. Perhaps it'll transform
           into a shrine.
                         
                          JANE
           Sir, I find the conversation has
           got out of my depth.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You're afraid of me because I
           talk like a sphynx.
                         
                          JANE
           I'm not afraid.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Yes you are.
                         
                          JANE
           I've simply no wish to talk
           nonsense.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           If you did it would be in such a
           grave, quiet manner that I would
           mistake it for sense. Do you
           never laugh, Miss Eyre?
                         
          This question cuts Jane to the quick.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Only rarely, perhaps. But you're
           not naturally austere, any more
           than I'm naturally vicious. I can
           see in you the glance of a curious
           sort of bird through the close set
           bars of a cage: a vivid, restless,
           resolute captive. Were it but free,
           it would soar. Cloud high.
                         
          Jane opens her mouth to speak - but she cannot.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 50.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE GROUNDS. SPRING.
                         
          Jane is playing battledore and shuttlecock with Adele. Her
          playing is full of energy, very free. Her cheeks looks
          almost rosy. It is spring.
                         
                          JANE
           Just as it turns to come down -
           that's when you hit it.
                         
          Adele serves. The game continues apace. Rochester wanders
          out of the open double doors of the library. He watches.
                         
          Something lands at his feet. A rook's feather. He looks up
          at the battlements. A shape disappears, too fast to see.
          Rochester's features cloud over with an expression of shame
          and detestation. He stands in a terrible inner conflict.
                         
          Jane notices him - she misses her shot.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Mademoiselle has got to rest.
                         
                          ADELE
           Because I start to win!
                         
                          JANE
           Have mercy, Adele. Play with
           Pilot for a while.
                         
          Rochester is leaning over the balustrade, his head bowed.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Is our game disturbing you, sir?
                         
          He looks up. A hard and cynical expression has mastered his
          countenance, something resolute. Jane is taken aback.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           On the contrary. I like your game.
           I like this cold, hard day. I like
           Thornfield.
                         
          Rochester picks up the black feather. He starts to walk
          across the grounds at a fast pace. Jane follows.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I've been arranging a point with
           my destiny, Miss Eyre. My destiny
           stood up there by that chimney,
           like one of the hags who appeared
           to Macbeth. 'You like Thornfield?'
           She said. 'Like it if you dare'.
           Well, I dare. It's felt like a
           plague house for years -
                         
          He turns, the whole house now in his sights. He shouts:
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 51.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           But Thornfield is my home and I
           shall like it!
                         
          Adele is running after them.
                         
                          ADELE
           Mademoiselle - Il faut jouer -
                         
          Rochester snaps at her with shocking ferocity.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Get back! Keep at a distance
           child, or go in!
                         
          Adele's face crumples into tears. Rochester sees Jane's
          shock at his outburst. He walks away.
                         
          Jane isn't sure whether she has been dismissed or not.
          Adele has run back to Pilot. Jane watches her. She suddenly
          finds Rochester is back at her side. He walks her along.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           She's the daughter of an opera
           dancer, Celine Varens. Celine was a
           beauty and she professed to love
           me. Her ardour was so great that,
           ugly as I am, I believed myself her
           idol. So I installed in her in a
           hotel, gave her servants, gowns
           cashmeres, diamonds - in short, I
           was an idiot.
                         
                          JANE
           To fall in love, sir?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You've never felt love, have you
           Miss Eyre? Your soul still sleeps.
                         
                          JANE
           Does it?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You're still floating gently in
           the stream of life, unaware of
           the rocks ahead waiting to dash
           you to pieces.
                         
                          JANE
           Were you dashed to pieces, Mr
           Rochester?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Not by Celine. How can one ever
           truly love a woman one has paid
           for?
                          (MORE)
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 52.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           It ended when I visited her
           unexpectedly one night and caught
           her with her handsome, charmless
           lover. I overheard her waxing
           lyrical on all my defects - she was
           mercenary, heartless, senseless.
           The whole intoxication fell away
           like a dream. I left her money to
           support the little French floweret
           over there, whom she swore blind
           was mine. I see no proof of my grim
           paternity in her features; I think
           Pilot is more like me than she.
                         
                          JANE
           But you took her on?
                         
          Adele is curled up, seeking comfort from the dog.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Some years later, I heard that
           Celine had abandoned the brat,
           disappeared to Italy and left it
           destitute. So I lifted it from the
           mud and slime of Paris and brought
           it here, to grow up clean in the
           wholesome soil of an English
           country garden. My one good work in
           a sea of countless sins.
                         
          Jane is looking at Adele full of compassion.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           You listen, Miss Eyre, as if it was
           the most usual thing in the world
           for a man like me to tell stories
           of his opera-mistresses to an
           inexperienced girl like you. Adele?
                         
          Adele looks up. Rochester speaks graciously.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Forgive me; for keeping Miss Eyre
           from your game for so long.
                         
          Adele is immensely gratified by his apology.
                         
                         
          INT. DUSK. THORNFIELD / THE RED ROOM.
                         
          Jane, aged ten, is walking along the long gallery. She
          opens a door and finds herself in the Red Room.
                         
          She stares into the mirror, searching the pale face of her
          reflection, as if trying to find an answer. A murmur seems
          to come down the gaping chimney; a woman's deep sigh.
          Jane's throat tightens with fear. Something moves in the
          shadows behind her.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 53.
                         
                         
          She scans them, her eyes full of terror. Jane knows beyond
          all doubt that something is there. She hears a low laugh.
          It seems to be right next to her. She tries to scream -
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - SECOND FLOOR.
                         
          Jane wakes. Her curtains are open; moonlight spilling in.
          She hears it again; the laugh from her dream, right outside
          her door - low and deep.
                         
                          JANE
           Who's there?
                         
          Footsteps run away. Jane springs out of bed and pulls the
          door open. A door shuts at the end of the corridor.
                         
          There is a single candle burning in its holder on the rush
          matting, flickering in the draft. Jane picks it up. She
          notices something else - a curling wreath of grey smoke.
          She follows its trail through the pitch darkness. It is
          coming thickly from a half-open door at the front of the
          house - Rochester's.
                         
          Jane rushes in. Rochester's bed is on fire; the hangings,
          the curtains, all are alight. The flames are leaping.
          Rochester is asleep. She shakes him.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Wake up! Wake up! Sir!
                         
          Rochester only stirs. The smoke has stupefied him. Jane
          pulls the burning sheets off - then stops; he is naked. She
          takes his basin and douses the bed - soaking him.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Who's there?
                         
                          JANE
           It is I, Jane Eyre, sir.
                         
          Jane takes the ewer and throws water on the curtains. She
          pulls the soggy fabric from its rail and smothers the
          burning couch. When all the flames are out, she rushes to
          the windows and opens them. Smoke billows out. She stands
          in the moonlight, coughing.
                         
          Rochester is sitting up, staring at her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What in the name of all the elves in
           Christendom have you done with me?
                         
                          JANE
           For heaven's sake get up. Somebody
           has plotted something; you must
           find out who. I'll light the lamp -
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 54.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Light the lamp at your peril.
                         
          Rochester is springing out of bed. Jane turns away,
          mortified - having caught sight of his silhouetted shape.
                         
                          JANE
           I heard a laugh outside my door
           loud enough to wake me. I opened
           it. Someone was running towards
           the third floor.
                         
          Rochester is putting on a dressing gown, lighting the lamp.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           And a candle was left burning in
           the middle of the floor. Shall I
           fetch Mrs Fairfax, sir?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What the deuce can she do?
                         
                          JANE
           Then I'll wake John and Martha.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Not at all. Stay here. You're
           shivering.
                         
          Rochester gets his coat and puts it round her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I have to go to the third floor.
           Don't make a sound. Sit there. I
           shan't be long.
                         
          He goes. Jane looks at his ruined chamber; The blackened
          drapes on the four poster bed, the fireplace, the huge
          wardrobe. It is not unlike the red room.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - ROCHESTER'S ROOM.
                         
          Half an hour later. First light. Jane is in an armchair.
          She has snuggled up in the coat. She takes in a breath,
          smelling its owner. She nuzzles her head against it. She
          closes her eyes, running her fingers down the lining.
                         
          She looks up. Rochester is watching her. His expression is
          peculiar. She holds the coat closely around her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Did you see anything when you
           opened your chamber door?
                         
                          JANE
           Only the candle on the ground.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 55.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           But you heard a laugh?
                         
                          JANE
           Yes.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Have you heard that laugh before?
                         
                          JANE
           There's a woman who sews here;
           Grace Poole - She laughs in that
           way, I think.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Just so. Grace Poole - you have
           guessed it. Well, you're no
           talking fool; please say nothing
           about this.
                         
                          JANE
                          BUT -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I will account for this state of
           affairs. Go back to your room and
           say nothing.
                         
                          JANE
           Yes, sir.
           (She takes off his coat)
           Good-night.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Is that how you're going to leave
           me?
                         
                          JANE
           You said I should go.
                         
          Rochester approaches her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Jane, fire is a horrible death. You
           have saved my life. Don't walk past
           me as if we were strangers.
                         
                          JANE
           What am I to do then, sir?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           At least... shake hands.
                         
          Rochester holds out his hand. Jane takes it. They shake.
          Rochester wraps Jane's hand in both of his.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 56.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I have a pleasure in owing you my
           life.
                         
                          JANE
           There is no debt.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I knew you would do me good in some
           way. I saw it in your eyes when I
           first beheld you. Their expression
           did not - did not strike delight
           into my very inmost being so, for
           nothing. People talk of natural
           sympathies... You.
                         
          Rochester is drawing her slowly closer. Jane, disconcerted,
          is trying to resist.
                         
                          JANE
           Good night then, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           So you will leave me?
                         
                          JANE
           I'm cold.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Go.
                         
          At last, he relaxes his grip. She backs away. She goes.
                         
                         
          INT. DAWN. THORNFIELD. JANE'S ROOM.
                         
          Jane is keeling on the windowsill, looking out at the
          rising sun. She is lit by its glowing rays; inspired. It's
          a rare feeling that prompts her mood, as new and unfolding
          as the day itself - happiness.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - ROCHESTER'S ROOM.
                         
          Jane looks in to see Leah and Martha cleaning the soot from
          the woodwork and windowpanes. To her amazement, Grace Poole
          is there, calmly sewing rings to new curtains.
                         
                          GRACE
           Good day to you, miss.
                         
                          JANE
           What's happened here?
                         
                          GRACE
                          (CANNILY)
           Only master reading in his bed
           last night.
                          (MORE)
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 57.
                         
                          GRACE (CONT'D)
           Fell asleep with his candle lit
           and the curtains got on fire.
           Managed to put it out with the
           water from his stand.
           Did you not hear anything, miss?
                         
                          JANE
           I did. I heard a strange laugh.
                         
                          GRACE
           It's hardly likely the master
           would laugh when he was in such
           danger. Perhaps you were dreaming.
                         
                          JANE
           I was not.
                         
                          GRACE
           Then you didn't think of opening
           your door and looking out?
                         
          Jane is infuriated. She turns on her heel.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - MRS FAIRFAX'S PARLOUR.
                         
          Jane walks in. Their meal is laid out.
                         
                          JANE
           Has Mr Rochester not sent for us
           today?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Why, he's gone away. Were you not
           aware? He left after breakfast.
                         
          Jane takes this piece of news like an invisible shock.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           He's gone to The Leas, Mr
           Eshton's place, about ten miles
           from here. I believe Blanche
           Ingram is there. She's a great
           favourite of his.
                         
                          JANE
           Oh?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           I saw her two years ago when Mr
           Rochester had a party here. Oh,
           she was a beauty; I daresay the
           most elegant girl I've ever seen.
           So tall, with raven hair cascading
           down her back; I don't know how
           she'd had it done. She sang a duet
           with Mr Rochester. They made a
           lovely harmony.
                          (MORE)
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 58.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           I was quite surprised he didn't
           make a proposal. Perhaps that is
           his intention now.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE NURSERY.
                         
          Jane is at the window, brooding. Outside the rain is
          pouring. Adele, dressed in yellow frills, is concerned.
                         
                          ADELE
           Qu'avez vous mademoiselle?
                         
                          JANE
           (without looking at her)
           Nothing. Speak in English,
           please.
                         
          Jane turns, expecting to see Adele.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. MORTON - THE SCHOOL ROOM.
                         
          Jane finds herself in front of her class. They are looking
          at her expectantly. She looks back at them curiously. Eager
          faces, plain rural clothes. She has quite lost her place.
                         
                          JANE
           Thank you, girls. You may go.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. MORTON - THE SCHOOL ROOM.
                         
          Jane is tidying up at the end of the day. The classroom is
          empty. Her life is bare. It shows on her face. She looks
          up. St John Rivers is watching her from the door.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Do you find the work too hard?
                         
          Jane immediately puts on a sprightly face and continues
          clearing up.
                         
                          JANE
           Not at all. I'm getting on very
           well.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Do you feel the solitude an
           oppression?
                         
                          JANE
           I hardly have time to notice it.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Then perhaps your accommodations
           have disappointed you. They are
           in truth scanty enough -
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 59.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           A few months ago I had nothing. I
           was wretched. Now I have a home
           and work; free and honest. I
           wonder at the goodness of God and
           at the generosity of my friends.
                         
          St John approaches her; speaks intimately.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           What you had left before I met
           you, I don't know. But I counsel
           you to resist firmly every
           temptation to look back.
                         
                          JANE
           It's what I mean to do.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           We can overcome every kind of human
           weakness. A year ago I was myself
           intensely miserable. I considered
           my life was so wretched that it
           must be changed - or I would die.
           After a season of darkness and
           struggling, light broke. I heard my
           call from God. Put your trust in
           him, Jane. Let him lead you to your
           future.
                         
                          JANE
           Thank you.
                         
          St John is turning to go.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Why were you intensely miserable?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           A year ago, I was weak enough to
           fall in love.
                         
          Jane moves involuntarily towards him.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           Don't pity me; I have no compassion
           whatsoever for you. I regarded this
           love as a fever of the flesh; not a
           thing that would ever touch my
           soul. I scorned the weakness,
           fought hard against it - and won.
                         
          Jane is incredulous. St John is at her desk. It is covered
          in her drawings. He glances through them.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 60.
                         
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           I could have listened to
           temptation, sunk down in the silken
           snare and known a feverish and
           delusive bliss. I could have
           squandered my future upon it.
                         
                          JANE
           You could have been happy.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           A slave in a fool's paradise? I'd
           rather my life had purpose -
                         
          St John suddenly snatches up a piece of paper.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           Is this yours?
                         
                          JANE
           Yes.
                         
          His eyes, in an instant, seem to take in everything about
          her. He opens his mouth to speak - then checks himself.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           What's the matter?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Nothing in the world.
                         
          He folds the paper and takes it.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           Good night.
                         
          He goes. Jane looks after him, puzzled.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE HALL.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax approaches Jane with a letter in her hand.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           He's back in three days he says -
           heavens that's Thursday - and not
           alone. He gives directions to
           prepare all the best rooms. I'm to
           get more staff from the George
           Inn. The ladies will bring their
           maids, the gentlemen, valets. We
           must accommodate them all.
           Supplies to be got; linen, the
                          MATTRESSES -
                         
          Mrs Fairfax has worked herself up into quite a panic.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 61.
                         
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           I'll get started. I'll go to the
           George. No, I'll tell Martha...
                         
          Jane can sense that the old lady is overwhelmed.
                         
                          JANE
           May I assist you, Mrs Fairfax?
                         
          We see Mrs Fairfax approach Jane in a rush of gratitude.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE SECOND FLOOR.
                         
          Jane wears a housekeeper's apron over her dress. She enters
          Rochester's room with an armful of bed linen. It has been
          returned to its former glory. Adele is jumping up and down
          on the bed. Sophie is trying to coax her off it. Jane gives
          Sophie the sheets.
                         
          Adele leaves the room with Jane and skids all the way down
          the newly polished gallery in her stockinged feet. Jane
          can't help smiling.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE KITCHENS.
                         
          Jane sets down several bottles of wine on the kitchen table
          in order to dust them. The kitchen is a hive of activity -
          except for one lone figure sitting quietly in a chair by
          the fire, smoking a pipe; Grace Poole. Leah and one of the
          hired under cooks are talking abut her.
                         
                          UNDER COOK
           She gets good wages, I'd guess?
                         
                          LEAH
           Wish I had as good; not one fifth
           what Mrs Poole receives.
                         
          Jane affects not to listen, but is keenly interested.
                         
                          LEAH (CONT'D)
           And she's laying it all by. I
           shouldn't wonder if she's saved
           enough to keep her independent.
                         
                          UNDER COOK
           She's a good hand, I daresay.
                         
                          LEAH
           Not everyone could do it, that's
           for sure, not even for the money.
                         
                          UNDER COOK
           No wonder the master relies on
                          HER -
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 62.
                         
                         
          Leah notices Jane's curious glance. She nudges the under
          cook. Jane, picks up the bottles and carries them away. As
          she passes she hears:
                         
           UNDER COOK (CONT'D)
           Doesn't she know?
                         
          At that moment, Adele rushes in.
                         
                          ADELE
           They're here! They're here!
                         
          Mrs Fairfax tries to get her apron off. She becomes
          flustered. Jane helps her.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Thank you.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax and Adele go. Jane looks out of the window.
                         
          Her attention is focussed on two equestrians who lead the
          arriving party; Rochester and Blanche, the dark beauty at
          his side. She is laughing at something. The sun shines
          behind her. Jane is dazzled. She turns away.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE SECOND FLOOR.
                         
          Jane comes up the back stairs and on to the gallery, just
          as the ladies start to issue from their rooms. She stands
          back in a dark corner.
                         
          There is an approach of chatter; a subdued vivacity. A
          flurry of multicoloured silks, lace and velvets go by. They
          descend the staircase as noiselessly as a bright mist.
                         
          Jane steps out. She walks right into the path of Blanche
          Ingram, who is dressed in white. They both startle.
                         
                          JANE
           Excuse me, miss.
                         
          Blanche gives her a look of ice. Rochester is at the top of
          the stairs.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Good evening.
                         
          They both turn. Rochester has seen Blanche, not Jane. He
          offers her his arm, his gaze full of admiration. Jane sinks
          back into the shadows.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           May I?
                         
          Blanche lays her gloved hand on Rochester's arm, barely
          touching him. They glide away.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 63.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE HALL.
                         
          Adele and Jane sit on the stairs, listening to Blanche and
          Rochester sing. Their voices thrill. Jane is trying not to
          feel. But when Rochester hits an exceptionally beautiful
          note, she involuntarily closes her eyes.
                         
          Adele leans into Jane. She is crying.
                         
                          JANE
           What is it, darling?
                         
                          ADELE
           She sing like Maman.
                         
          Jane, full of compassion, takes Adele back to her room.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE SCHOOLROOM.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax enters in a great hurry.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Tonight. He wants you both in the
           drawing room after dinner.
                         
          Adele leaps up, delighted. Jane is crestfallen.
                         
                          JANE
           Not me, surely.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           It's his particular wish.
                         
                          JANE
           He was being polite.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           I'm instructed to tell you that
           if you resist, he'll come up and
           get you himself. You needn't stay
           long. Just let him see you and
           then slip away. Don't worry; no
           one'll look at you.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE DRAWING ROOM/HALL
                         
          Jane is delivering Adele into the centre of the company.
                         
                          JANE
           May I present Miss Adele Varens?
                         
                          ADELE
           Bon jour, mesdames, monsieurs.
                         
          Jane finds it hard to get a proper impression of the
          guests, as she cannot raise her eyes to look at them.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 64.
                         
                         
          Adele makes a dainty curtsey - pink frock, hair in
          ringlets, little lace gloves. In the midst of the crowd is
          Blanche.
                         
                          BLANCHE
           Why, what a little puppet.
                         
                          LADY INGRAM
           (mutton dressed as lamb)
           Is this your ward, Mr Rochester?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Yes.
                         
                          LOUISA ESHTON
           (English rose; nineteen)
           What a love of a child.
                         
          Adele blissfully disappears into a moving sea of dresses.
          Only one guest is still looking in Jane's direction;
          Blanche. Her lip curls in distaste.
                         
          Jane backs into a nearby window seat; always her place of
          refuge. She closes her eyes. A great Atlantic wave hits the
          sash window behind her, drenching it with foam and brine.
                         
          When she opens her eyes, Rochester is in her line of
          vision, standing out in a crowd of unmanly men. He senses
          her gaze; glances at her. Jane looks down, pulling her work
          on to her lap; a beaded purse. She does not lift her eyes
          from the beads, fully feeling the humiliation of her class -
          and of her love. Blanche sidles up to Rochester.
                         
                          BLANCHE
           I thought you weren't fond of
           children?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You're right; I'm not.
                         
                          BLANCHE
           Then what induced you to take
           charge of that little doll?
                         
          Rochester turns away from Jane.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           She was left on my hands.
                         
                          BLANCHE
           Why don't you send her to school?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           She has a governess.
                         
          Jane glances up; sees Rochester's back to her, throws her
          eyes down, once more.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 65.
                         
                         
                          BLANCHE
           You should hear mamma on the
           chapter of governesses. I had
           half a dozen in my day - all
           detestable, ridiculous incubi -
           were they not, mamma?
                         
                          LADY INGRAM
           Did you speak, my lily flower?
                         
                          BLANCHE
           I said governesses.
                         
          The reaction is instant.
                         
                          LADY INGRAM
           Oh, don't mention them; the very
           word makes me nervous! I've
           suffered a martyrdom from their
           incompetence and caprice. I thank
           heaven we're now done with them.
                         
                          BLANCHE
           I have just one word to say of
           the whole tribe; nuisance.
                         
          Jane's fingers sew. Only the briefest flash of her eyes
          towards the company shows her mortification. Blanche has
          started playing a brilliant prelude on the piano.
                         
                          BLANCHE (CONT'D)
           We shall have music - and new
           subject, if you please. Signor
           Eduardo, what shall it be?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Donna Bianca, I give you beauty.
                         
                          BLANCHE
           Beauty? Why there's nothing new
           to be said. I give you back male
           beauty. Mamma, what's your idea
           of male beauty?
                         
                          LADY INGRAM
           My son, of course.
                         
                          LORD INGRAM
           Hear hear.
                         
                          BLANCHE
           Oh, Tedo's quite typical of the
           young men of today. They're so
           absorbed in the pursuit of
           fashion that they've forgotten
           how to be men at all.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 66.
                         
                         
                          LORD INGRAM
           I say -
                         
                          BLANCHE
           A woman who neglects herself is a
           blot on humanity. But a man
           should pay no heed to his looks.
           (Glancing at Rochester)
           A man should possess only
           strength and valour. He could be
           a gentleman or a highwayman. His
           beauty lies in his power.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           So a Levantine pirate would do
           for you?
                         
                          BLANCHE
                          (QUIETLY)
           As long as he resembled you.
                         
          Rochester laughs loudly. Jane is heading for the door.
                         
                          BLANCHE (CONT'D)
           I am serious. To my mind, a man
           is nothing without a spice of the
           devil in him.
                         
          Jane closes the door on Blanche. She breathes in fresh air,
          nauseous. Blanche's splendid prelude drifts out.
                         
          Rochester comes into the hall from the other door. Jane
          instantly bends down and pretends to be tying her shoe.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Why did you leave the room?
                         
                          JANE
           I am tired, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Why didn't you come and speak to
           me? I haven't seen you for weeks.
           It would have been normal and
           polite to wish me good evening.
                         
                          JANE
           You seemed engaged, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What have you been doing while
           I've been gone?
                         
                          JANE
           Teaching Adele.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You look pale.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 67.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           I am well.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You're depressed; your eyes are
           shining with tears. What's the
           meaning of this?
                         
          Jane catches sight of Mrs Fairfax, who is watching them
          with an expression of unease. Rochester glares at her.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           A gentleman has arrived to see
           you, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Who?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           He says he's travelled a long
           way, from Spanish Town, Jamaica -
                         
          Rochester seems winded.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           And indeed I think he must have
           come from some hot country because
           he won't take off his coat.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Spanish Town...
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Mr Richard Mason. He says you're
           old friends. I've put him in the
           morning room.
                         
          Rochester cannot speak.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           Have I done wrong?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Not at all. Please tell him I'll
           see him directly.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax goes.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Oh Jane - Jane. This is a blow.
                         
                          JANE
           Can I help you sir?
                         
          In the drawing room, Blanche's prelude finishes to
          enthusiastic applause. Rochester has Jane's hand.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 68.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Jane, if all those people came and
           spat at me, what would you do?
                         
                          JANE
           Turn them out of the room sir, if
           I could.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           And if they cast you out for
           adhering to me?
                         
                          JANE
           I should care nothing about it.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You'd dare censure for my sake?
                         
          Jane is frightened of his passion.
                         
                          JANE
           For the sake of any friend who
           deserved it.
                         
          Rochester lets her hand go. He steps back. He goes to the
          morning room. Jane peers through the door, worrying how her
          last words have given offence.
                         
          She sees a man rising to meet Rochester; handsome but gaunt
          and painfully thin. His smile doesn't reach his eyes - as
          if his soul is not quite his own.
                         
                          MASON
           Fairfax...
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Richard. How the devil are you?
                         
          They embrace, Rochester doing a fine impression of delight.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. LOWOOD - THE HALL.
                         
          Jane is standing on the pedestal of infamy, ten years old.
          Helen Burns is walking towards her with something in her
          arms. The rising sun is all around her.
                         
                          HELEN
           He is yours.
                         
          Jane looks down at the bundle. In it, is a newborn boy.
          Jane looks up to ask Helen for help. But Helen has gone.
                         
          Jane alone with her burden, teeters on the stool. The baby
          starts to cry. Jane panics.
                         
          The crying becomes deafening, terrifying. It is not a
          baby's cry but a human scream.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 69.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - JANE'S BEDROOM/ THE GALLERY.
                         
          Jane wakes, hearing a savage, sharp shriek of such power
          and intensity it seems to tear the night in two.
                         
          Overhead, the sounds of a struggle begin - a deadly one.
          Jane hears footsteps rush past her door. She starts to pull
          on her dress. She hears a man's voice from above:
                         
           MASON (O.S.)
           Help! Rochester, for God's sake
           come!
                         
          A great stamp on the floor above; something falls with a
          thud; silence. Jane grabs her candle and leaves her room.
                         
          The guests likewise are all issuing from their rooms; some
          with candles, some stumbling into the dark. The gallery is
          filling with terrified ladies and shocked gentlemen. Their
          shadows dance grotesquely on the walls.
                         
                          LADY INGRAM
           Oh what is it?
                         
                          BLANCHE
           Who is hurt?
                         
                          LORD INGRAM
           Where the devil is Rochester?
                         
          Rochester comes forth from the door at the end of the
          gallery, holding a candelabra.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I'm here, be composed.
                         
          Blanche flies towards him like a banshee.
                         
                          BLANCHE
           What awful event has taken place?
                         
          She embraces him. Rochester patiently removes her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           A servant has had a nightmare,
           that's all. She's an excitable,
           nervous person and has taken a
           fit with fright.
                         
          Jane, the only person behind Rochester, sees by the light
          of her candle that his dressing gown is trailing blood.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Now I must see you back into your
           rooms because until the house is
           settled, she can't be properly
           looked after.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 70.
                         
                         
                          BLANCHE
           Is there anything I might do?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Miss Ingram, ladies, please
           return to your nests like the
           doves that you are. You'll take
           cold for certain if you stay in
           this icy gallery any longer.
                         
          The candles flicker and fade as the guests make their way
          back to their rooms. Rochester sees Jane.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Come this way. Make no noise.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE THIRD FLOOR.
                         
          Rochester stops by a low door. He puts a key in the lock.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Be steady. I need you.
                         
          He unlocks it. A room hung with tapestries; a four poster
          bed with its curtains half drawn. One part of the tapestry
          is hooked up over a hidden door - which lies open to an
          inner chamber. A dull, sickly light shines out.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Wait.
                         
          He goes to the inner chamber. A grim laugh greets him.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Thank you, Mrs Poole.
                         
          He locks the door. Jane shudders. He goes to the bed.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Here. Bring the candle.
                         
          Jane obeys. Richard Mason is lying, one arm and all the
          linen soaked in blood. Jane controls her reaction and makes
          herself useful. Rochester is cleaning the wound.
                         
                          MASON
           Am I dying?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           No.
                         
                          MASON
           She bit me - while the knife was
           in - Bit me -
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 71.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           It was folly to attempt the
           interview tonight and alone.
                         
                          MASON
           I thought I might have done some
           good.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           It makes me impatient to hear
           you.
                         
                          MASON
           She sucked the blood. Said she'd
           drain me - like a vampire -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Think of her as dead, dead and
           buried. Say nothing!
                         
          Mason is silenced. Rochester puts the bloody sponge into
          Jane's hand.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I am going for a doctor. I must
           leave you here with him. Sponge
           the blood away when it returns.
           Give him water if he wants it. Do
           not speak to him for any reason.
           And Richard - on pain of death -
           do not speak to her.
                         
          Rochester takes the candelabra. He is gone. Mason is
          staring at Jane. There is something about the pupils in his
          eyes that she finds deadly, chilling.
                         
          She dips the sponge in the bloody water and wipes away the
          trickling gore.
                         
          She hears a low moan. She looks over at the door to the
          inner chamber, aching to know the mystery behind it. Mason
          makes her start by taking her wrist. He is trying to say
          something. Jane puts her finger to her lips. She is begging
          him not to speak.
                         
                         
          INT. DAWN. THORNFIELD - THE THIRD FLOOR.
                         
          Rochester and Dr Carter are carrying Mason down the stairs.
                         
                          DR CARTER
           I only wish I could have got here
           sooner. He'd not have bled so much.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Jane, make sure the way is clear.
                         
          Jane looks out on to the gallery. She is pale, drawn.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 72.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE GROUNDS.
                         
          A carriage waits. Rochester lifts Mason in to Dr Carter.
          Jane hands in Mason's great coat. She stands back.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I'll ride over tomorrow to see
           how you do. Goodbye, Richard.
                         
                          MASON
           Fairfax - Let her treated as
           tenderly as may be -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I do my best and have done it and
           will do it!
                         
          The carriage goes. Jane prepares to go inside but Rochester
          walks her towards the orchard.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Come, Jane. That house is a
           dungeon, don't you feel it?
                         
                          JANE
           It seems to me a splendid
           mansion, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           It is slime and cobwebs.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAWN. THORNFIELD - THE ORCHARD.
                         
          The orchard is a different world; the dawn light
          illuminating dewy trees. Rochester is silent. Jane is
          trying to fathom him.
                         
                          JANE
           Will Grace Poole stay here now?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Oh yes, don't trouble your head
           about her.
                         
                          JANE
           But sir -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Grace Poole is not the danger.
                         
          He walks off, pulling the heads off flowers as he passes.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           You've noticed my tender feelings
           for Miss Ingram?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 73.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           Yes sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Keep vigil with me again, the night
           before I marry. For now you've met
           my lovely one and you know her.
           She's a rare one, isn't she?
                         
                          JANE
           Yes sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           A strapper, a real strapper; big
           and buxom...
                         
          He throws a cankered rose across the orchard. Jane manages
          to articulate her anxiety.
                         
                          JANE
           I'd do anything for you sir,
           anything that was right.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
                          (GENTLY)
           And if I ever bid you do what was
           wrong, you'd turn to me, quiet
           and pale and say 'I cannot do
           it.' And you'd be as immutable as
           a fixed star.
                         
          Rochester, gazing at her, seems to have decided something.
          He turns a corner and is gone. Jane is left alone. We hear
          the sound of a blow.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. GATESHEAD - THE WINDOW SEAT.
                         
          The brutal face of John Reed, aged fourteen, triumphant
          after hitting Jane.
                         
                          JOHN
           That's for the look you had on
           your face.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE BILLIARD ROOM.
                         
          Jane enters as Rochester helps Blanche to line up a shot.
          He is leaning intimately over her. She coyly permits him.
                         
                          JANE
           Excuse me, sir.
                         
          Jane has ruined Blanche's shot.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 74.
                         
                         
                          BLANCHE
           Does that creeping creature want
           you?
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE LONG GALLERY.
                         
          Rochester has followed Jane out of the billiard room.
                         
                          JANE
           If you please, I want leave of
           absence for a week or two.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What to do?
                         
          Jane shows him the letter.
                         
                          JANE
           This is from my old nurse, Bessie.
           She says my cousin John Reed is
           dead. He ruined himself and has
           committed suicide. The news has so
           shocked his mother, my Aunt, that
           it's brought on a stroke.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What good can you do her?
                         
                          JANE
           She's been asking for me. I
           parted from her very badly and I
           can't neglect her wishes now.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Promise me you won't stay long.
                         
                          JANE
           Sir, it seems you are soon to be
           married.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What of it?
                         
                          JANE
           Adele should go to school.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           To get her out of my bride's way
           who might otherwise trample her?
                         
                          JANE
           And I must seek another situation.
           I intend to advertise.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 75.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           At your peril you advertise. Trust
           it to me. I'll find you a good
           situation in time.
                         
          He is on the point of returning to the billiard room.
                         
                          JANE
           And sir? Forgive me but I have had
           no wages as yet.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           How much do I owe you?
                         
                          JANE
           Fifteen pounds.
                         
          Rochester looks in his wallet.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Here's fifty.
                         
                          JANE
           That's too much.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Take your wages.
                         
                          JANE
           I cannot.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Then I only have a ten.
                         
                          JANE
                          (TAKING IT)
           Now you owe me five.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Just so. Come back for it quickly.
           Meantime, I shall safeguard it in
           here.
                         
          He taps the wallet, which is in his breast pocket.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Do you trust me to keep it, Jane?
                         
                          JANE
                          (SMILING)
           Not a whit, sir. You are not to
           be trusted at all.
                         
          Rochester strides away, grinning. Jane turns.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 76.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. GATESHEAD - BESSIE'S PARLOUR.
                         
          Bessie, now housekeeper, is moving forward to meet Jane.
                         
                          BESSIE
           Bless you! - I knew you'd come.
                         
          They embrace.
                         
                          JANE
           Bessie... I'm not too late? How
           is Mrs Reed?
                         
                          BESSIE
           She may linger yet a while. She's
           spoken of you daily. At first we
           couldn't tell what she was saying
           but when her speech came clear we
           heard 'Jane Eyre, get Jane Eyre.'
                         
                          JANE
           Shall I see her now?
                         
                          BESSIE
           I'll take you up directly. But look
           at you. What a lady you've become.
           Why you're almost pretty.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. GATESHEAD - MRS REED'S BEDROOM
                         
          Jane takes her aunt's hand. Mrs Reed looks very near death.
                         
                          JANE
           Aunt Reed? It is Jane Eyre. You
           sent for me, and here I am.
                         
          Mrs Reed, with an effort, pulls her hand away from Jane's.
                         
                          MRS REED
           No one knows the trouble I have
           with that child. Such a burden.
           Left on my hands. Speaking to me
           like a fiend. The fever at
           Lowood. She should have died!
                         
                          JANE
           Why do you hate her so?
                         
                          MRS REED
           Her mother. Reed's sister - his
           beloved. When news came of her
           death he wept like a fool. Sent
           for the baby. Sickly thing - not
           strong like mine. But Reed loved
           it. Kept it by his bed. Made me
           vow to bring the creature up. Why
           did he not love mine?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 77.
                         
                         
          The words are a revelation to Jane. Mrs Reed gazes at her.
                         
           MRS REED (CONT'D)
           Who are you?
                         
                          JANE
           I am Jane Eyre, Aunt.
                         
                          MRS REED
           You. Is there no one in the room?
                         
          Jane motions Bessie to go.
                         
                          JANE
           We are alone.
                         
                          MRS REED
           I've twice done you wrong. I
           broke the vow I made to Reed -
                         
                          JANE
           Please, don't think of it -
                         
                          MRS REED
           I am dying; I must get it out!
                         
          Mrs Reed indicates a box on her bedside table.
                         
           MRS REED (CONT'D)
           Open that box. Take out the
           letter. Read it.
                         
          Jane obeys. She reads the letter aloud.
                         
                          JANE
           'Madam, will you have the goodness
           to send me the address of my
           niece, Jane Eyre. I desire her to
           come to me at Madeira. Fortune has
           blessed my endeavours and as I am
           childless I wish to adopt her and
           bequeath her at my death whatever
           I may have to leave. Yours, John
           Eyre, Madeira.'
                         
          Jane is stunned.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           This is dated three years ago.
           Why did I never hear of it?
                         
                          MRS REED
           Because I wrote and told him you
           had died of typhus at Lowood
           school. You fury. You were born to
           be my torment. I'll never forget
           how you turned on me and raged.
                          (MORE)
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 78.
                         
           MRS REED (CONT'D)
           You called the names of the dead
           down upon me. I was afraid.
                         
                          JANE
           Forgive me.
                         
                          MRS REED
           You cursed me.
                         
                          JANE
           I would have loved you if you'd
           let me.
                         
                          MRS REED
           My life has been cursed.
                         
                          JANE
           Please, let us be reconciled.
                         
          Mrs Reed shrinks from Jane's touch. Jane wipes her tears.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Then love me or hate me as you
           will. You have my full and free
           forgiveness. Now ask for God's -
           and be at peace.
                         
          Mrs Reed's eyes close.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. GATESHEAD - THE RED ROOM.
                         
          The morning sun is pouring in. Jane goes to the bed. She
          puts her hand upon it, gently, as if thanking her uncle for
          all he did. She notices a picture on the wall. A miniature
          of a brown-haired woman with elfin eyes.
                         
          Jane takes it off the wall. Bessie comes in.
                         
                          JANE
           My mother.
                         
          Bessie nods. A tear rolls down Jane's face. She clasps the
          picture, looking round the room.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Why ever was I so afraid?
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. A ROADSIDE.
                         
          A coach pulls up in the lane near Thornfield. Jane gets
          out. We hear her voice.
                         
           JANE (V.O.)
           My dear uncle, some years ago, my
           Aunt Reed mistakenly informed you
           that I had died.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 79.
                         
                         
          EXT. EVENING. A SUMMER WOOD.
                         
          Jane is walking through the wooded glade where she first
          met Rochester. All is green and verdant and bathed in
          sunset light. There seems to be life everywhere.
                         
           JANE (V.O.)
           I am writing to tell you that I
           am very much alive and living at
           Thornfield Hall, where I am
           currently governess to the ward
           of Mr Edward Fairfax Rochester -
                         
           ROCHESTER (O.S.)
           There you are.
                         
          Jane turns. Rochester is sitting on the stile where they
          first met. For a moment, her every nerve is unstrung.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Just like one of your tricks to
           steal into your home along with
           the twilight. Where the deuce
           have you been this last month?
                         
                          JANE
           I have been with my aunt sir, who
           is dead.
                         
          Rochester laughs.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           A true Janian reply. If I dared
           I'd touch you, to see if you were
           real...
                         
          Jane puts out her hand. Rochester takes it. He helps Jane
          over the stile.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Go home - stay your wandering
           feet at a friend's threshold.
                         
          Jane lets go of his hand.
                         
                          JANE
           Thank you Mr Rochester. I'm
           strangely glad to get back again to
           you. Wherever you are is my home.
                         
          Jane, knowing she has said too much, turns and runs over
          the fields towards Thornfield.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - MRS FAIRFAX'S PARLOUR
                         
          Jane is on a low seat, Adele nestling close to her.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 80.
                         
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           We're expecting the announcement
           very soon. He went down to London
           only last week to buy her a new
           carriage.
                         
                          JANE
           Then we must accept it. He'll
           soon bring home his bride.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax nods.
                         
                         
          EXT. TWILIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE ORCHARD
                         
          Jane is alone, drinking in the beauty of the evening -
          looking at the gardens as if she may never see them again.
          She turns a corner and sees Rochester staring intently at
          something. His back is to her. She is about to tiptoe away.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Come and look at this fellow, Jane.
                         
          Jane approaches, wondering how he has sensed her presence.
          Rochester is looking at a huge moth.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Look at his wings. He looks West
           Indian - I have never seen one
           like him, here. There; flown.
                         
          They watch the moth as it flies towards the house.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Thornfield is a pleasant place in
           summer, isn't it?
                         
                          JANE
           I'll be sad to leave it.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Yes, but it can't be helped. I
           soon hope to be a bridegroom.
                         
                          JANE
           Have you found me a new situation,
           sir?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           A situation, yes of course. It's
           the least I can do for a faithful
           paid subordinate such as yourself.
           You're to undertake the education
           of the five daughters of Mrs
           Dionysus O'Gall of Bitternut Lodge,
           Connaught.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 81.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           Connaught?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You'll like Ireland. They're such
           warm-hearted people, they say.
                         
                          JANE
           It is a long way away, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           From what?
                         
                          JANE
           From here. From you.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           We've been good friends, Jane
           haven't we? But with the Irish sea
           between us you'd soon forget me.
                         
          Jane's great distress escapes her.
                         
                          JANE
           I wish I could. I wish I'd never
           come here. I love Thornfield -
           I've lived a full life here. I've
           not been trampled on or petrified
           or buried with inferior minds.
           I've talked face to face with what
           I reverence, with what I delight
           in. I've known you Mr Rochester -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Then why must you be torn from me?
                         
                          JANE
           Because of your bride.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I have no bride.
                         
                          JANE
           But you will have.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Yes, I will.
                         
                          JANE
           Then I must go.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You must stay.
                         
                          JANE
           Do you think I could stay to become
           nothing to you? Am I an automaton,
           a machine without feelings?
                          (MORE)
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 82.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Do you think that because I am
           poor, obscure, plain and little
           that I am soulless and heartless?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
                          JANE -
                         
                          JANE
           I have as much soul as you and full
           as much heart. I'm not speaking to
           you through mortal flesh. It's my
           spirit that addresses your spirit
           as if we'd passed through the grave
           and stood at God's feet, equal - as
           we are.
                         
          Rochester takes Jane in his arms.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           As we are.
                         
          Jane struggles away from him.
                         
                          JANE
           Let me go.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
                          NO -
                         
                          JANE
           I'm a free human being with an
           independent will, which I now
           exert to leave you.
                         
          Rochester releases her. She stands in front of him.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Then let your will decide your
           destiny. I offer you my hand, my
           heart and a share of all this.
                         
          He gestures towards the house, the land. Jane is stunned.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I ask you to pass through life at
           my side. Jane, you are my equal
           and my likeness. It is you I
           intend to marry.
                         
                          JANE
           Are you mocking me?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Do you doubt me?
                         
                          JANE
           Entirely.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 83.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You have no faith in me?
                         
                          JANE
           Not a whit.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You little sceptic.
                         
                          JANE
           Your bride is Miss Ingram -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What love have I for Miss Ingram?
           What love has she for me? I
           caused a rumour to reach her that
           my fortune was lost and got
           instant coldness. I wanted to
           make you jealous, to move you to
           love me. It's you - you strange,
           unearthly thing. I love you as my
           own flesh. You - poor and obscure
           as you are - please accept me as
           your husband.
                         
          Jane begins to believe him.
                         
                          JANE
           Are you in earnest?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I must have you for my own.
                         
                          JANE
           You wish me to be your wife?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I swear it.
                         
                          JANE
           You love me.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I do.
                         
                          JANE
           Then sir, I will marry you.
                         
          They embrace.
                         
          Neither Jane nor Rochester moves. Darkness is almost
          complete. Still the intensity of the embrace is held.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           It will atone. It will atone.
                         
          A sheet of lightning momentarily lights up the sky. Some
          moments later a distant rumble of thunder.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 84.
                         
                         
          I/E. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE FRONT HALL
                         
          It is teeming with rain. Rochester and Jane run to the
          front entrance. He holds his jacket around her. Lightning.
          They reach the dry hearth inside. Thunder. They are both
          euphoric, breathless, laughing.
                         
                          JANE
           I must go.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Good night. Good night.
                         
          He kisses her. They kiss again. Jane will not let him go.
                         
                          JANE
           Good night.
                         
          As Jane runs upstairs she sees Mrs Fairfax, deeply shocked.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - MRS FAIRFAX'S PARLOUR
                         
          Jane wears a lilac gown. Mrs Fairfax is very concerned.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Have you accepted him?
                         
                          JANE
           Yes.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Well I never would have thought.
                         
          Jane is hurt.
                         
                          JANE
           Am I a monster? Is it so
           impossible that Mr Rochester
           should love me?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           No, I've long noticed that you were
           a sort of pet of his. But you're so
           young and so little acquainted with
           men. I don't want to grieve you
           child, but let me put you on your
           guard. Gentlemen in his position...
           Let's just say they're not
           accustomed to marry their
           governesses. Until you are wed,
           distrust yourself as well as him.
           Please, keep him at a distance -
                         
          Jane has heard enough. She turns away.
                         
                          JANE
           Thank you.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 85.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE HALL
                         
          Jane, walking through, finds herself in Rochester's arms.
          She laughs as he raises her off the ground.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Is this my pale elf? This sunny
           faced girl with the radiant eyes?
                         
                          JANE
           It is I, Jane Eyre sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Soon to be Jane Rochester.
                         
                          JANE
           It can never be, sir. Human
           beings were not meant to enjoy
           complete happiness on this earth.
           It's too much like a fairy tale.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
                          (KISSING HER)
           Let the fairy tale begin.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. A HABERDASHER'S SHOP.
                         
          Rochester is rolling out reams of beautiful silks. Jane
          gets more uncomfortable as she looks at them.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           This morning I wrote to my banker
           in London to send certain jewels.
           In a day or two I hope to pour
           them into you lap -
                         
                          JANE
           Oh, no sir -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I will put the diamond chain
           around your neck myself -
                         
                          JANE
           I don't want jewels -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I'll dress you in these satins -
                         
                          JANE
           Then you won't know me. I'll not
           be Jane Eyre any longer but an
           ape in a harlequin's jacket. Put
           them away.
                         
          Jane pushes the silks away.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 86.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Well for cool native impudence
           and pure innate pride, you
           haven't your equal.
                         
                          JANE
           I'm naturally proud. And hard and
           flinty. You ought to know what
           sort of bargain you've made while
           you've still got time to rescind
           it. I want only one thing from
           you, Mr Rochester.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           And what's that?
                         
                          JANE
           Your regard.
                         
          Jane puts her arm through Rochester's. He smiles.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           It's your time now, little tyrant
           but it'll soon be mine and when I
           have seized you, to have and to
           hold, I'll attach you to a chain,
           like this...
                         
          Rochester flicks his watch into the air.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - MRS FAIRFAX'S PARLOUR.
                         
          A summer gale. The moan of the wind sounds almost human.
          The light is sickly, nightmarish.
                         
          A great box sits on the table, which Jane is opening.
          Adele, Sophie and Mrs Fairfax are all looking on. Jane
          pulls out a pearl coloured wedding gown. She is dismayed at
          its opulence.
                         
          She holds it up to herself. Adele starts to play with the
          great veil. She wraps it round herself. She becomes caught
          in it, tangled, distressed.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - JANE'S BEDROOM.
                         
                          JANE
           Adele?
                         
          Jane wakes. There is a candle alight at the end of her bed.
          Her eyes focus. Her wardrobe is open. Jane is unnerved.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Adele, is that you?
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 87.
                         
                         
          A form emerges, a woman, tall and gaunt, with thick, black
          hair hanging down her back. She is dressed in a nightgown -
          like a shroud. Over her head, she wears Jane's bridal veil;
          a phantom bride.
                         
          Jane is paralysed with terror.
                         
          The form takes the veil and slowly tears it in half;
          bruised arms, dirt, predatory nails, neglect. The last
          thing to be revealed is the woman's face, pale and ghastly.
          Her eyes are glittering with hatred.
                         
          The figure takes the candle and bends down to Jane. Her
          intention looks deadly. Jane's breath catches. She cannot
          breathe.
                         
          The figure moves closer, then blows out the candle.
          Darkness.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - JANE'S BEDROOM.
                         
          Jane wakes, lying half out of the bed. The veil is over
          her. She flings it away from her face. Jane sits, her
          terror dawning. Her breath comes in great dry sobs. She is
          shocked to find herself still alive.
                         
                         
          EXT. EVENING. - THORNFIELD - BY THE GATES
                         
          Jane is waiting, pale with anxiety. A man on horseback
          approaches, a great dog at his side; Rochester. He is
          grinning.
                         
          He pulls Jane up on the horse in front of him. She curls
          into his arms, desperate for his comfort and his strength.
          Rochester senses something is wrong. He slows the horse.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What is it?
                         
                          JANE
           I'm afraid.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - JANE'S BEDROOM.
                         
          Rochester holds the torn veil in his hands. He is aghast.
          He cannot think what to say.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Jane, this is the only explanation.
           It must have been half-dream, half-
           reality. A woman did enter your
           room last night and that woman was -
           must have been - Grace Poole -
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 88.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           It was not Grace Poole.
                         
          Rochester keeps talking over her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You know how strange she is. What
           did she do to me? To Mason? In a
           state between sleeping and waking -
                         
                          JANE
           I was not asleep.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You noticed her entrance and her
           actions but you've ascribed to
           her an appearance different from
           her own. That was your nightmare -
                         
                          JANE
           I know what I saw.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I see you'd ask why I keep such a
           woman in my house. When we've been
           married a year and a day, I promise
           I'll tell you. Are you satisfied
           Jane? Do you accept my solution?
                         
          Jane clearly doesn't. Rochester takes her in his arms.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Dear God. It was only the veil...
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - ADELE'S ROOM.
                         
          Jane is in an unadorned pearl wedding gown.
                         
                          ADELE
           Mademoiselle...
                         
          Adele gives her a small bouquet. Jane hugs her, very moved -
          as if she is leaving her childhood behind. She turns to go.
                         
                          SOPHIE
           Please, you must look.
                         
          Jane gazes stupefied at the stranger in the mirror.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE HALL.
                         
          Rochester is waiting at the bottom of the stairs for Jane.
          She slows when she sees him. She finds she cannot speak.
          Neither can he.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax is by the door. Jane can't find words for her.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 89.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Come.
                         
          Rochester grips her hand. They quit the house.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE GROUNDS.
                         
          Rochester, grimly resolute, is striding at a pace Jane can
          hardly follow. Her satin shoes are muddy. She is becoming
          breathless. A rook flies over their heads, cawing.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE CHURCH.
                         
          Rochester is striding purposefully towards a small church
          of ancient design. Jane stumbles. Rochester is contrite.
                         
          Jane tries to collect herself. She looks up to the sky. The
          rook wheels around the spire. She takes Rochester's hand.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THE CHURCH
                         
          At the altar, Jane glances at Rochester. He is looking
          straight ahead at the clergyman, Wood.
                         
                          WOOD
           I require and charge you both, as
           ye will answer at the dreadful
           day of judgement when the secrets
           of all hearts shall be revealed,
           that if either of you know any
           impediment why ye may not be
           lawfully joined together in
           matrimony, ye do now confess it.
                         
          There is not a sound. Rochester still doesn't look at Jane.
          The clergyman prepares the rings.
                         
                          WOOD (CONT'D)
           Edward Fairfax Rochester, do you
                          TAKE -
                         
          A commotion at the back of the church. Two men rapidly
          enter. One of them Briggs, hurries up the aisle.
                         
                          BRIGGS
           The marriage cannot go on. I
           declare the existence of an
           impediment.
                         
          Rochester moves, shaken.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Proceed.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 90.
                         
                         
                          BRIGGS
           The ceremony is quite broken off.
           An insuperable impediment to this
           marriage exists.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Proceed.
                         
                          BRIGGS
           Mr Rochester has a wife now
           living.
                         
          Wood is utterly dismayed.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
                          (SHOUTS)
           Where is your proof?
                         
          Briggs starts to read out a document.
                         
           BRIGGS (O.S.)
           I affirm and can prove that Edward
           Fairfax Rochester was fifteen years
           ago married to my sister, Bertha
           Antoinetta Mason at St James
           church, Spanish Town, Jamaica.
                         
          Jane looks at Rochester. She forces him to look at her. He
          denies nothing; defies everything.
                         
                          BRIGGS (CONT'D)
           The record of the marriage will be
           found in the register of that
           church - a copy of it is now in my
           possession. Signed, Richard Mason.
                         
          Rochester turns to Briggs.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           That does not prove that my wife
           is still living.
                         
                          BRIGGS
           She was living two months ago.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           How do you know?
                         
                          BRIGGS
           I have a witness to the fact.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Produce him or go to hell.
                         
          The figure by the door steps out of the shadows. It is
          Richard Mason. Rochester flies down the aisle, a groan of
          rage escapes him. He lifts his arm.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 91.
                         
                         
                          MASON
           Good God -
                         
                          WOOD
           Sir, you are in a sacred place -
                         
          Mason flinches away. Rochester swallows his rage.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           What have you to say?
                         
                          MASON
           She is at Thornfield Hall. I saw
           her there in April. I'm her
           brother.
                         
          A grim smile contorts Rochester's lips. He turns towards
          Jane. She remains where she was abandoned - at the altar -
          tiny, under he vaulted arch. The bouquet falls from her
          hand. Rochester walks to her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           This girl knew nothing. She
           thought all was fair and legal.
           She never dreamt she was going to
           be entrapped into a feigned union
           with a defrauded wretch.
                         
          A tiny breath is the only noise Jane utters. Rochester
          pulls her from the altar to his side.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Come, Jane, come all of you and
           meet Mrs Poole's charming
           patient. Come and meet my wife.
                         
          The sun outside is blinding. Jane closes her eyes.
                         
                         
          I/E. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE ENTRANCE / HALL
                         
          Rochester enters pulling Jane after him, her hand still in
          his iron grip. Wood, Mason and Briggs follow.
                         
          Mrs Fairfax, Adele, Sophie, Martha and Leah are waiting.
          Adele runs forward. Rochester stops her in her tracks.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Get back! Do not come near! Go,
           all of you - keep your
           congratulations - they come
           fifteen years too late!
                         
          Adele has crumpled into frightened tears. Mrs Fairfax has
          her hand over her mouth, pale with shock. Jane meets her
          eye as Rochester pulls her up the stairs. A revelation.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 92.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE THIRD FLOOR.
                         
          The tapestried room. Rochester glances at Mason. He unlocks
          the inner door with one hand; the other won't let go of
          Jane. Grace Poole sits by a strongly guarded fire, stirring
          something in a pot.
                         
          Rochester leads Jane and the men into the room. There is no
          window, no furniture except for Grace's chair; only a
          mattress on the floor.
                         
                          GRACE
           Sir, you can't be bringing folk
           in here. It's madness.
                         
          Bertha Antoinetta Mason stands, amazed at the sight of her
          visitors. She wears a white shift. There are black rook
          feathers twined in her hair; her only ornament.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           This clothed hyena is my wife.
                         
          Bertha's pose is dignified, her expression grows
          triumphant. She approaches Rochester - her eyes locked with
          Jane's. Jane gazes: fear, disgust, compassion.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I was duped into marriage with
           this lunatic fifteen years ago.
                         
          Briggs and Wood are deeply repelled.
                         
                          WOOD
           Let us go. We have seen enough.
                         
          Bertha puts her arm through Rochester's; lays her head on
          his shoulder; smiles at Jane, magnanimous in her victory.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           My own demon, Bertha.
                         
          With shocking speed and strength Bertha lays her nails into
          Rochester's cheek. He struggles with her.
                         
          Grace assists Rochester. They do not hit; they subdue.
          Bertha's attack is effectively contained. They have her on
          her knees, her arms behind her.
                         
          Bertha lifts her head and screams. If a scream could
          express the agony of a whole soul then this would. Jane
          turns on her heels. She stumbles, finds the door, exits.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE SECOND FLOOR.
                         
          Jane is coming down the stairs. Briggs is at her side.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 93.
                         
                         
                          BRIGGS
           You, madam, are clearly not to
           blame. Your uncle will be glad to
           hear it.
                         
          Jane looks at Briggs, only dimly comprehending him.
                         
                          BRIGGS (CONT'D)
           You wrote to your uncle, did you
           not? To inform him you were going
           to marry Mr Rochester? Mr Mason
           was staying with him when your
           letter came.
                         
          Briggs gets only a blank look of puzzlement from Jane.
                         
                          BRIGGS (CONT'D)
           Mr John Eyre has been the Madeira
           correspondent of the Mason trading
           house for some years. You can
           imagine his distress when Mason
           revealed the real state of matters.
                         
          Jane starts walking towards the sanctuary of her room.
                         
                          BRIGGS (CONT'D)
           He would have come himself but
           I'm sad to tell you that his
           health is in mortal decline. He
           implored Mr Mason to prevent this
           false marriage and referred him
           to me for assistance. I only hope
           that he survives long enough to
           hear that you are safe.
                         
          Jane opens her door. She turns to Briggs.
                         
                          JANE
           Thank you.
                         
          She shuts the door on Briggs and on the world.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - JANE'S BEDROOM.
                         
          Jane sits on her bed. She mechanically starts taking off
          the blond square she has worn as a veil.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane, standing in stillness with the pearl dress crumpled
          around her feet.
                         
                          CUT TO:
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 94.
                         
                         
          Jane has taken a black stuff dress off its hangar. She
          slowly puts her arms around it, as if it is her old self.
          She holds it, her eyes staring at nothing.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane in her underclothes, sitting down on the bed. She
          closes her eyes.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. A DRY RIVER BED.
                         
          Jane lies curled up on a rock at the bottom of a dried-up
          river bed. All of nature is suspended in stillness.
                         
          Far away, we hear the sound of a flood loosened in the
          remote mountains. We hear the sound of the torrent
          approach.
                         
          Jane doesn't move. She has no will to flee. The sound of
          rushing water pounds in her ears. She lies, waiting to be
          dashed away. We see the flood approach and hit. A dazzling
          whiteness of water and foam.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - JANE'S BEDROOM.
                         
          Jane's room is entirely unchanged except for the fact that
          it is full of river water from floor to ceiling. Her
          bedding, furniture and belongings all sit in the room as
          normal - underwater.
                         
          The light shines murkily in through the window to reveal
          Jane floating, suspended. Her hair and her garments trail
          out. She is alive. But she is drowned.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - JANE'S BEDROOM.
                         
          The moon has risen. Jane is lying in an exhausted doze on
          the bed. She wakes; sits up. She is faint. She recovers
          herself. She knows what she must do.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane, dressed in black in the silver light, putting her
          brush, comb and brooch in a bag. She looks in her purse.
          She has some coins.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. THORNFIELD - SECOND FLOOR.
                         
          Jane unbolts her door, takes a step out of her room, and
          stumbles into Rochester's arms. He has been keeping guard.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
                          JANE -
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 95.
                         
                         
          His cheek has been cut by Bertha's nails.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Five minutes more of that death-
           like hush and I'd have forced the
           lock.
                         
          He examines her face. He is desperate.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           No tears. Your heart has been
           weeping blood. Forgive me.
                         
          Rochester buries his head in Jane's arms. She automatically
          comforts him.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           How could I? I am a worthless
           sinner. Don't spare me. Rain your
           tears up on me.
                         
                          JANE
           I cannot.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I deserve a hail of fire.
                         
          Jane extricates herself from his embrace.
                         
                          JANE
           I'm tired and sick. I need some
           water.
                         
          Rochester perceives Jane's inanition. He carries her down
          the gallery. Jane clings on to her bag of belongings. She
          has nothing else left.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. THORNFIELD - THE LIBRARY.
                         
          Rochester has lain Jane in front of the fire. She forces
          herself to eat. Rochester gives her wine. She sips.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           How are you now?
                         
                          JANE
           Much better, sir. I shall be well
           again soon.
                         
          Rochester paces away to the fire. He comes back. Stoops his
          head down to Jane to kiss her. She turns her head away.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I know you. You are thinking.
           Talking is no use; you are
           thinking how to act.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 96.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           All is changed, sir. I must
           change too.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Yes. There is no doubt that we
           both must change. I was wrong
           ever to keep you here; this
           narrow stone vault with its one
           real fiend. I'll shut it up. I'll
           pay Mrs Poole two hundred a year
           to care for its inmate and then
           no one will be harmed when she is
           prompted to burn people, to stab
           them, to bite the flesh from
           their bones -
                         
                          JANE
           Sir - you speak of her with hate -
           it is cruel. She cannot help
           being mad.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           It's not because she's mad that I
           hate her. If you were mad do you
           think that I'd hate you?
                         
                          JANE
           I do.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Then you know nothing about me,
           nothing about the way I love. Your
           mind is my treasure - and if it
           were broken it would be my treasure
           still. You are my sympathy, my
           better self, my angel. I will wrap
           my whole existence round you. Let
           us leave here tomorrow. Come with
           me - as my wife.
                         
                          JANE
           No.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I'll pledge you my fidelity -
                         
                          JANE
           You can't.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You'll live a happy, most
           innocent life -
                         
                          JANE
           I must leave you, sir.
                         
          Rochester cannot take this in.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 97.
                         
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Don't you love me?
                         
                          JANE
           I do love you - But I mustn't
           show it or speak it ever again. I
           must begin a new existence -
           strange scenes among strange
           faces. I must part from you.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Must be a part of me; that's what
           you mean. You are my wife, Jane.
           In truth -
                         
                          JANE
           You have a wife already.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I was tricked, duped into wedlock
           with that demon-hate, that harlot,
           that succubus upstairs. My father
           wanted her money and so I was sent
           to Spanish Town and the match was
           made. I hardly spoke with her. I
           was dazzled, ignorant, raw. My
           senses were besotted and I married
           her - gross, grovelling mole-eyed
           blockhead that I was.
                         
          Rochester sits, staring at the fire.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I lived with her for four years.
           She dragged me through all the
           degrading agonies which attend
           those bound to the intemperate and
           unchaste. Her excesses developed
           germs of madness and the doctors
           shut her up. One night, unable to
           bear her screaming hate and knowing
           I could never be rid of her, I put
           a gun to my head to kill myself.
                         
          Jane is both appalled and moved.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I would have pulled the trigger,
           died in that tropical place but for
           a breeze which blew in from the sea
           and smelt of home. With it, I came
           to my senses. Bertha Antoinetta
           Mason had abused my long suffering,
           sullied my name, outraged my honour
           and blighted my youth. It was
           enough. At that moment, as I
           decided to live, she ceased to be
           my wife.
                          (MORE)
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 98.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Only my father and brother knew of
           the marriage and by then they were
           both dead. I let my connection with
           her be buried in oblivion and I
           brought her here. I have seen that
           she's cared for as her condition
           demands and that is all that God
           and humanity asks.
                         
                          JANE
           I earnestly pity you, sir.
                         
          He sees that Jane is silently crying.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Jane, it's not pity that I see in
           your face. It's not pity -
                         
                          JANE
           Do not say it -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           It is love.
                         
                          JANE
                          STOP -
                         
          They are holding each other.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I was wrong to deceive you. It was
           cowardly. I should have appealed to
           your spirit - as I do now - should
           have opened my life, described my
           hunger for a better existence -
           shown you my chains. I give you my
           life. I give you my pledge. Please,
           be my wife.
                         
                          JANE
           I can not.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You would be my equal.
                         
                          JANE
           How?
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I would make it so.
                         
                          JANE
           You once told me that hiring a
           mistress is the next worse thing
           to buying a slave.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Not my mistress -
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 99.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           I would not degrade you by having
           you live with a slave.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I said wife, my wife -
                         
                         
          Jane tries to rise. Rochester keeps hold of her hand. He
          gently pulls her down again. Comforts her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Do you really mean to leave me?
                         
                          JANE
           I do.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Jane...
                         
          He kisses her gently, lovingly.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Do you mean it now?
                         
                          JANE
           I do.
                         
          He runs his hands over her, with great tenderness. Jane
          offers no resistance.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           And now?
                         
          Jane nods.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Oh Jane...
                         
          Rochester lays her down.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           What friends would you offend by
           living with me? Who would be
           injured? Who would care?
                         
          Jane is almost lost. She speaks in a small voice.
                         
                          JANE
           I would.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Jane, it would not be wicked to
           love me...
                         
                          JANE
           It would be to obey you. I care
           for myself.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 100.
                         
                         
          Jane's resolve grows. She resists.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           The more alone, the more friendless,
           unsustained I am, the more I must
           respect myself -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Will you listen to me?
                         
                          JANE
           I must listen to myself -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Will you hear reason?
                         
                          JANE
           Let me go -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Because if you won't I'll try
           violence.
                         
          Jane instantly stops resisting. She looks at him with utter
          shock. He is above her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           I could bend you with my finger
           and thumb; a mere reed you feel
           in my hands.
                         
          Jane neither moves nor speaks.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           But your eye; resolute, free. What
           ever I do with this cage I cannot
           get at you. And it is you, soul,
           that I want. Why don't you come of
           your own free will here, to my
           heart? Oh come, Jane, come -
                         
                          JANE
                          (CRYING OUT)
           God help me!
                         
          All the life seems to go out of Rochester. He lets Jane go.
          She pulls herself away from him. She stands. He remains,
          his face buried.
                         
          She goes to the door. Rochester turns his eyes to her.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You have never called me by my
           name. My name is Edward.
                         
          Jane cannot speak it. She turns away.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 101.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAWN. THORNFIELD - THE GROUNDS.
                         
          First light. Jane is running; flushed, breathless, her
          dress soaked with dew. She has her bag of belongings over
          her shoulder. She trips; falls to her knees.
                         
          She looks back. For a moment she seems paralysed. She
          returns her gaze to the route ahead. Her need to escape is
          so great that she crawls forwards until she is able to
          raise herself to her feet.
                         
          She reaches the stile; lifts herself on to it; puts her
          arms around the post. She holds it, as if it were beloved.
          Her eyes close. We hear the sound of a winter blizzard.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. JANE'S COTTAGE.
                         
          Jane opens her eyes. She is sitting at her fireside.
          Outside, a snowstorm howls. On her knee is a sketchbook.
          She looks down at it.
                         
          Rochester's dark eye is beginning to appear on her paper.
          She puts a line through it; scribbles it out, blinding him.
          She stands up, trying to escape her thoughts. She whispers:
                         
                          JANE
           Edward.
                         
          There is a loud knock on the door. Jane starts.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane opening the door. Rochester is there, standing in the
          frozen hurricane and howling darkness.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Jane.
                         
          Jane pulls him inside. She falls into his arms. They
          embrace passionately. Jane is actively pulling him towards
          her, delirious with love and longing.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          The exact same shot of Jane opening the door. St John
          Rivers is there, having waded through the drifting snow.
                         
                          JANE
           Mr St John - What on earth brings
           you away from your hearth on a
           night like this? Has anything
           happened? There's no bad news I
           hope?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           How easily alarmed you are.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 102.
                         
                         
          He takes off his cloak; stamps the snow off his boots.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           The snow was up to my waist at
           one point.
                         
                          JANE
           You are recklessly rash about
           your own health.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Nonsense.
                         
          St John's eyes alight on Jane's charcoal drawing. Jane
          snatches it away too late. There is a moment of silence.
                         
                          JANE
           Why are you come?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           An inhospitable question.
                         
                          JANE
           I mean on a night like this -
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I got tired of my mute books and
           empty rooms. Besides I've been told
           half a story and I'm most impatient
           to find out the end.
                         
                          JANE
           Please...
                         
          Jane motions to St John to sit. He doesn't. She becomes
          increasingly uneasy as he speaks.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Twenty years ago, a poor curate
           fell in love with a rich man's
           daughter and married her. She was
           disowned by her family and two
           years later the rash pair were both
           dead. They left a daughter which
           charity received into her lap - as
           cold as that snow drift I almost
           stuck fast in. Charity carried the
           friendless thing to the house of
           its rich maternal relations. It was
           reared by an aunt-in-law; I come to
           names now - Mrs Reed of Gateshead.
                         
          Jane starts. She is on her feet.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           Mrs Reed kept the orphan ten years
           and at the end of that time she was
           sent to Lowood school.
                          (MORE)
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 103.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           It seems her career there was very
           honourable. She became a teacher
           like yourself, and left it, like
           yourself, to be a governess. She
           undertook the education of the ward
           of a certain Mr Rochester -
                         
                          JANE
           Mr Rivers! -
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I can guess your feelings but hear
           me to the end. Of Mr Rochester's
           character I know nothing but he
           professed to offer honourable
           marriage to this young girl and at
           the very altar she discovered that
           he had a wife yet alive. His
           subsequent conduct is a matter of
           pure conjecture but when the
           governess was enquired after it was
           discovered that she had fled
           Thornfield Hall and no trace of her
           has since been found. Now isn't
           that an odd tale?
                         
                          JANE
           Since you know so much, perhaps
           you can tell me how he is.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Who?
                         
                          JANE
           Mr Rochester; how is he?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I'm ignorant of all concerning him.
                         
          St John opens his pocket book and removes a piece of paper.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           Well, since you won't ask the
           governess's name, I must tell
           you. I have it written down here
           in black and white.
                         
          He hands her the paper. On it are doodled the heads of some
          of her pupils. She has absently written Jane Eyre in the
          margin several times.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           A solicitor named Briggs wrote to
           me of a Jane Eyre. I knew a Jane
           Elliott. This paper resolved my
           suspicion into certainty.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 104.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           The solicitor - Mr Briggs - does
           he have any news of Mr Rochester?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Are you not going to enquire why
           he has gone to such lengths to
           find you?
                         
                          JANE
           What does he want with me?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Merely to tell you that your uncle,
           Mr John Eyre of Madeira, is dead;
           that he has left you all his
           property and that you are now rich.
                         
                          JANE
           What?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           You are rich; quite an heiress.
                         
          Silence. Jane is flabbergasted.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           Your fortune is vested in the
           English funds; Briggs has the
           will and all the necessary
           documents. You can enter on
           immediate possession.
                         
          At last, Jane looks questioningly up at him.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           Your forehead unbends at last; I
           thought you were turning to
           stone. Perhaps now you will ask
           how much you are worth.
                         
                          JANE
           How much am I worth?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Oh a trifle. Twenty thousand
           pounds - but what of that?
                         
          The news literally takes Jane's breath away.
                         
                          JANE
           Twenty thousand pounds?
                         
          St John begins to laugh at Jane's reaction. She has never
          seen him laugh before.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 105.
                         
                         
                          ST JOHN
           If you'd committed a murder and
           I'd found you out, you could
           scarcely look more aghast.
                         
                          JANE
           There must be some mistake. It's
           two thousand, surely.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           It's twenty. You look desperately
           miserable about it, I must say.
                         
          Jane still cannot take it in. She frowns in disbelief.
                         
                          JANE
           Why did Mr Briggs write to you?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           You see, that is the strange thing.
           It makes me wonder what power or
           providence led you to our door.
           Your name is Jane Eyre.
                         
                          JANE
           Yes.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Then I'm you namesake. I was
           christened St John Eyre Rivers.
                         
                          JANE
           St John Eyre -
                         
                          ST JOHN
           My mother had two brothers, one was
           a clergyman, your father, the other
           was John Eyre of Madeira. Mr Briggs
           wrote to inform us that the
           clergyman's daughter was lost. I
           have been able to find her out;
           that is all.
                         
                          JANE
           Your mother was my father's
           sister?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Yes.
                         
                          JANE
           My uncle John was your uncle
           John?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           That is correct.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 106.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           So you, Diana and Mary -
                         
                          ST JOHN
           We are cousins, yes.
                         
          Jane is deeply moved.
                         
                          JANE
           Oh, I am glad! - I am glad!
                         
          She throws her arms around St John. Tears of happiness
          start to flow. He, finding it peculiar to be held, gently
          tries to calm her.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Here you are neglecting essential
           points to pursue trifles. You were
           utterly downhearted when I told you
           that you were rich and now, for a
           matter of no moment, you are
           deliriously happy.
                         
                          JANE
           Of no moment? You have sisters and
           maybe don't care for a cousin but I
           have nobody. I have been alone,
           always. And now three relations are
           born into my world full grown. Oh, I
           am glad. You, who saved my life -
                         
                          ST JOHN
           You must try to tranquillise your
           feelings.
                         
          Jane finally releases him, still radiant with joy.
                         
                          JANE
           Write to Diana and Mary. Tell
           them to hand in notice and come
           home. They will have five
           thousand each and so will you.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I've told you the news too quickly.
           You're confused.
                         
                          JANE
           Don't put me out of patience,
           cousin. I am rational enough.
           Twenty thousand divided equally
           between the nieces and nephews of
           our uncle, gives five to each.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           This is acting on first impulse.
           You don't know what it is to have
                          WEALTH -
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 107.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           And you cannot imagine - family -
           I never had a home. I never had
           brothers and sisters -
                         
          A terrible thought occurs to her.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           You are not reluctant to own me,
           are you?
                         
          St John takes her hand. She has surprised and moved him. He
          looks at her, seeing her anew.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Jane, I will be your brother.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. SPRING - THE MOORS.
                         
          Jane, Diana and Mary are running over the moors. Mary has a
          kite. They are as delighted as children.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. MOOR HOUSE - THE KITCHEN.
                         
          Jane is sitting at the table letting Diana style her hair.
          They all have new summer dresses on. There is a lightness
          to all three as if a great weight has been lifted from
          their shoulders.
                         
          Diana is setting Jane's hair into curls like her own. Jane
          looks at herself in the mirror; softer, gentler, different.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. MOOR HOUSE - THE PARLOUR.
                         
          The girls each have a candle. St John kisses Mary. He
          kisses Diana.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Good night.
                         
                          DIANA
           You call Jane your sister but you
           don't treat her as such. You should
           kiss her too.
                         
          Jane turns to Diana, embarrassed.
                         
                          JANE
           Di, you are very provoking.
                         
          As she turns back, she finds St John's face right in front
          of her. He kisses her. A kiss with no warmth; an
          experiment. He examines its effect. He is satisfied.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 108.
                         
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Good night.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. MOOR HOUSE - JANE'S BEDROOM.
                         
          Jane closes the door. She puts her hand across her lips.
          The icy kiss has agonised her with the full force of her
          loneliness. She curls up in a ball, desperate.
                         
                         
          EXT. EVENING. MOOR HOUSE - THE GARDEN.
                         
          A glorious summer sunset. Jane is digging at a flower bed,
          putting all her passion into the task. She is flushed with
          exertion. St John watches.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           You are wasted here.
                         
                          JANE
           Am I not being useful?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           You should look beyond Moor
           House, beyond the selfish calm
           and comfort of affluence.
                         
                          JANE
           Beyond to what?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I go to India in six weeks.
                         
                          JANE
           So soon? -
                         
          St John draws Jane away from her work.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I can see what your gifts are and
           why they were given. Come with me.
                         
          Jane is utterly crestfallen.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           God and nature intended you for a
           missionary's wife. You are formed
           for labour not for love. I want
           to claim you - not for my
           pleasure but for God's service.
                         
                          JANE
           I'm not fit for it. I have no
           vocation.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           You're far too humble.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 109.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           St John have mercy. I feel my
           mind shrinking -
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Don't be afraid. You are diligent,
           faithful, docile, courageous,
           gentle and heroic. Cease to
           mistrust yourself. I trust you
           unreservedly. Let me give you time
           to think. But know this; in you, I
           recognise a fellow soul, a soul
           that would revel in the flame and
           excitement of sacrifice.
                         
          Jane is chilled to the bone by his words. St John leaves
          the garden and walks away over the moors.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane leaning against the garden wall, trying to think,
          trying to compose herself. The sun is setting.
                         
                         
          INT. NIGHT. MOOR HOUSE - THE PARLOUR.
                         
          Jane carrying a candle, opens the door. St John is at the
          table working by lamp light. The moon shines brightly in.
                         
                          JANE
           I used to long for a life of
           action, to overleap the horizon, to
           move in the world of men. Maybe God
           is giving me this. And what is
           there for me here? Pain and longing
           for what can't be. I don't know how
           long I would survive in India. My
           frame isn't strong. But I'll go
           with you, if I may go free.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Free?
                         
                          JANE
           You and I had better not marry.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Why not?
                         
                          JANE
           Because I am your sister.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           But you'll go with me.
                         
                          JANE
           Conditionally - as your curate.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 110.
                         
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Jane, I don't need a curate; I
           need a wife.
                         
                          JANE
           I must have my heart and mind
           free, my own self to turn to. I
           couldn't become part of you -
                         
                          ST JOHN
           A part of me you must become or the
           whole bargain is void. How can I, a
           man not yet thirty take out to
           India a girl of nineteen, unless
           she is my wife? Don't offer God
           half a sacrifice. He must have all.
           And undoubtedly enough of love
           would follow to make the union
           right, even in your eyes.
                         
          Jane is shocked.
                         
                          JANE
           Enough of love?
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Yes, quite enough.
                         
                          JANE
           St John, I scorn your idea of
           love. I scorn the counterfeit
           sentiment you offer and I scorn
           you when you offer it!
                         
          St John is mortified. A slow rage begins to boil in him.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I've uttered nothing that
           deserves scorn.
                         
                          JANE
           Forgive me but the very name of
           love is an apple of discord
           between us. My dear cousin,
           please abandon your scheme of
           marriage.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           No; and if you reject it, it's
           not me you deny but God.
                         
          Jane is stung. St John has turned from her. His face is icy
          in the moonlight.
                         
                          JANE
           Do not be angry with me please.
           It makes me wretched. I want us
           to be friends.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 111.
                         
                         
                          ST JOHN
           We are friends. I hope we can be
           more.
                         
                          JANE
           I cannot come as your wife.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Why this refusal? It makes no
           sense!
                         
                          JANE
           If I were to marry you, you'd
           kill me. You're killing me now.
                         
                          ST JOHN
                          (FURIOUS)
           I'd kill you? I am killing you?
           Your words are violent, unfeminine
           and untrue -
                         
                          JANE
           You'd kill me without drawing any
           blood or receiving on your
           conscience any stain of crime.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           What nonsense is this?
                         
                          JANE
           You'd experience no pain - but I
           tell you it would kill me!
                         
                          ST JOHN
           Why?
                         
                          JANE
           Because I would inevitably come to
           conceive love for you, because you
           are so talented and good, because
           there is such grandeur in your
           look. You wouldn't want this
           strange and torturing love; if I
           showed it you would find it
           unbecoming. And my lot would be
           wretched.
                         
                          ST JOHN
                          (UNDERSTANDING HER)
           Jane...
                         
                          JANE
           You're a good man, but you forget
           the feelings of little people. We'd
           better keep out of your way lest
           you trample us.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 112.
                         
                         
          St John's anger has faded. He is compassionate. This is far
          harder to resist.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           I wouldn't trample you. You'd
           walk at my side towards God's
           altar. He'd be your solace,
           heaven your reward. We seek to do
           the greatest work, to open
           death's gates, to save souls.
           Love God Jane, love God.
                         
          St John puts his hand on her forehead; Christlike. Jane is
          falling under his power.
                         
           ST JOHN (CONT'D)
           Give up your heart to Him. He is
           love.
                         
          Jane falls to her knees. St John's face is angelic.
                         
                          JANE
           If I were sure; if I were certain -
                         
          She suddenly hears a voice: Rochester's; clear, urgent.
                         
           ROCHESTER (O.S.)
           Jane! Jane! Jane!
                         
          She springs away from St John, crying:
                         
                          JANE
           Oh God, what is it?
                         
          She looks wildly about the room; rushes to the window.
                         
                          ST JOHN
           What have you heard? What can you
           see?
                         
          Jane glances at him, seeing him for what he is; a cold,
          controlling man. She shouts:
                         
                          JANE
           I am coming!
                         
          She runs out, leaving St John aghast, behind her.
                         
                         
          EXT. NIGHT. THE MOOR.
                         
          Jane runs on to the moors.
                         
                          JANE
           Wait for me!
                         
          She looks all around her at the moonlit landscape.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 113.
                         
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Where are you?
                         
          The moors send her question back in an echo. We see Jane's
          face. Her path is clear.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. WHITCROSS MOOR.
                         
          Jane is waiting for the coach at the crossroads where she
          arrived, almost a year before. It comes pounding towards
          her. She hails it. This time, the coachman respectfully
          descends to take her bag and help her on. She is so
          confident and so changed that he doesn't recognise her.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE GROUNDS.
                         
          Jane is walking through the orchard. It is wild, neglected.
          Its untended state worries her. She looks up. Rooks are
          circling, cawing.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane finds herself at the side of the house. The ground is
          pitted with weeds. The windows are dark. She half runs
          round to the front. What she sees takes her breath away.
                         
          The great walls and battlements are blackened with fire.
          Windows gape on a hollow shell. The inside of the house has
          collapsed. Through the hanging door, only its charred
          remains can be seen. Weeds grow through utter devastation.
          Jane gazes in horror and distress.
                         
                         
          I/E. DAY. MRS FAIRFAX'S COTTAGE
                         
          Jane knocks on the door. Mrs Fairfax opens it.
                         
                          JANE
           They sent me from the inn. I've
           been up at the house -
                         
          Jane can say no more.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Come in, come in.
                         
                          JANE
           Is he dead?
                         
          Mrs Fairfax takes Jane in her arms.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           No, no. Mr Rochester still lives.
                         
          Jane is crying tears of relief.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 114.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           Tell me - please -
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Why did you run away in the night
           like that? I would have helped. I
           would have helped.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. MRS FAIRFAX'S COTTAGE
                         
          Mrs Fairfax has sat Jane on a settle near the fire.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           He sought you as if you were a lost
           and precious jewel. He didn't rest.
           And as days turned into weeks and
           no word came, he grew quite savage
           in his disappointment.
                         
                          JANE
           He stayed at Thornfield?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           Didn't leave the house...
                         
                         
          I/E. DAY. THORNFIELD - THE FRONT DOOR/GROUNDS.
                         
          Rochester, unshaven and unkempt is standing at his
          threshold.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (V.O.)
           Shut himself up like a hermit. He
           only went out at night, when he
           walked like a ghost through the
           grounds.
                         
          We see what he is looking at: an open carriage piled with
          luggage, into which Mrs Fairfax is helping Adele. Leah and
          Sophie are already sitting inside, dressed for a journey.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           He'd have no one near him. Adele
           was sent off to school. He placed
           me here. Only John and Martha
           stayed - and Mrs Poole of course.
                         
          Adele looks back at Rochester with tears in her eyes. He
          walks across the dark hall and slams the library doors.
                         
                         
          EXT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - THE ORCHARD.
                         
          Rochester, in his shirt sleeves, is looking at the tree
          where Jane promised him her hand - now dying, cleft by
          lightning. The rising moon inhabits the sky.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 115.
                         
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (V.O.)
           It was harvest time when it
           happened. No one knows how she
           got out.
                         
          Rochester hears a cry from the top floor. He sets off, a
          look of finality on his face.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - THE KITCHEN.
                         
          Grace Poole is asleep, her empty jug of gin beside her.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (V.O.)
           My theory is that when Mrs Poole
           was asleep, having taken too much
           of the gin and water...
                         
          Rochester takes Grace's keys.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - THE THIRD FLOOR
                         
          Rochester opens the door to the inner chamber.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (V.O.)
           ... The mad lady must have stolen
           her keys and let herself out.
                         
          Bertha Antoinetta Mason, standing in the last patch of
          daylight thrown down from her skylight, sees that it is
          Rochester. She calmly walks towards him.
                         
          Rochester graciously bows, indicating that she may leave.
          Bertha glides past him. She is free.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - THE GALLERY
                         
          Bertha walks past an elegant vase. She tips it to the
          floor. It smashes. Rochester pays it no heed.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - THE LIBRARY.
                         
          Rochester has stood Bertha at his desk. A case of jewels is
          open before her. She has put on a tiara, a diamond
          necklace, bracelets. She is gazing at a ruby brooch. She
          turns to Rochester. His expression is calm, resigned.
          Bertha begins to laugh.
                         
          She takes the candelabra from the table. She admires
          herself in the mirror; her white shift, the black feathers,
          the jewels. She holds up the candelabra and sets the huge
          curtains alight.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 116.
                         
                         
          Rochester is impassive; he does nothing to stop her. As she
          passes, Rochester realises he is bleeding. She has run the
          brooch pin across him.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - THE HALL/STAIRS.
                         
          Bertha knocks a lamp onto the floor. The oil springs into
          flames, licking the tapestries and the paintings. Rochester
          sees his ancestors begin to burn.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - THE SECOND FLOOR
                         
          The conflagration is growing. Rochester sees Bertha leaving
          Jane's room. As he passes, he sees everything inside it
          being consumed by fire. He can't bear to look.
                         
                         
          EXT. EVENING. THORNFIELD - THE LEADS.
                         
          Bertha is watching the rooks. Rochester goes to the edge of
          the roof. Bertha looks at him. The invitation is clear.
          Rochester is ready to die.
                         
          Bertha sees the rooks wheeling away. She runs at the edge
          of the roof. Rochester sees her intention too late. He puts
          out his arm to stop her.
                         
          For the perfect fraction of a second, Bertha flies.
          Rochester sees her fall; almost falls himself - saves
          himself.
                         
          Life reawakens in him. Behind him, he sees Grace Poole,
          coughing, crawling up through the door.
                         
                          GRACE
           Antoinetta?
                         
          Responsibility floods over him. He goes to her side, lifts
          Grace, helps her down the stairs.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (V.O.)
           He didn't leave the house until
           everyone was out. Some say it was a
           just judgement on him for having
           her confined there all those years
           but for my part, I pity him.
                         
                         
          INT. DAY. MRS FAIRFAX'S COTTAGE
                         
          Jane is deeply affected.
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           He's alive child, but many think
           he'd be better off dead.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 117.
                         
                         
                          JANE
           Why?
                         
                          MRS FAIRFAX
           When he was taken out from under
           the ruins, a beam had fallen in
           such a way as to protect him,
           partly - but his eye was taken
           out and his left hand so crushed
           that he lost it. The other eye
           inflamed and - he is blind. He's
           blind.
                         
          Tears fall from Jane's eyes.
                         
           MRS FAIRFAX (CONT'D)
           I know... it's a terrible thing.
                         
                          JANE
           I had dreaded worse. I'd dreaded
           he was mad.
                         
          A great sense of urgency is coming over her.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           Where is he?
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. FERNDEAN - THE GROUNDS.
                         
          Jane is walking through forest, along a grass grown track.
          Her pace is fast; her journey almost at an end. She comes
          to a pair of rusting iron gates hanging open between
          granite pillars. She walks through them.
                         
          She finds herself in front of a decrepit Elizabethan manor
          house; no garden, just a sweeping semi circle of meadow
          grass, which someone has cut at with a scythe. Jane stops.
                         
          Standing on the threshold is Edward Fairfax Rochester. He
          is in his shirtsleeves. He stands strong, stalwart,
          brooding. His hair is still raven black. He is looking
          sightlessly around his domain, with the concentration of a
          hawk. His strength is undiminished.
                         
          He walks fifteen paces from the house. It brings him into
          the middle of the semicircle of grass. He is close enough
          for Jane to see his scarred eyes. She walks towards him,
          silent.
                         
          A few drops of rain begin to fall. Rochester puts out his
          right hand to feel them. He raises his face up to the sky
          as if he is looking for something from there. He is
          absolutely still; his expression, serene.
                         
          Jane is very close. She steps on a twig. It breaks with a
          loud crack, shattering the silence. Rochester is
          immediately on guard, his expression turning wary.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 118.
                         
                         
          He suddenly swipes the air with his left arm; the ruin of
          it passing an inch from her face. Jane steps back.
          Rochester swipes again. She holds her breath.
                         
          He seems satisfied at last that nothing is there. He turns
          and walks fifteen paces back to the house. He disappears
          into the dark interior.
                         
          Jane starts to breathe again.
                         
                         
          EXT. DAY. FERNDEAN - THE SIDE ENTRANCE.
                         
          Jane lightly taps on the side door. Martha opens it; she is
          astonished. Jane puts her finger over her lips.
                         
                         
          INT. EVENING. FERNDEAN - THE DRAWING ROOM.
                         
          Rochester is in an armchair in front of his fire. Pilot is
          at his feet. Jane carries in a tray with a candelabra and a
          jug of water.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I can see the candles, Martha, at
           your side like a luminous glow.
           And the fire; a red haze.
                         
          Pilot notices Jane. He leaps up with a whine, wagging his
          tail, madly. Jane spills half the water. She cannot help
          finding it funny. Her entrance has been ruined by the dog.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Martha?
                         
          Jane giggles. Rochester's face falls.
                         
                          ROCHESTER (CONT'D)
           Martha, is that you?
                         
                          JANE
           Martha is in the kitchen, sir.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Who's there?
                         
                          JANE
           Pilot knows me. Will you have
           some more water? I've spilt half
           the glass.
                         
          Rochester stands, holding out his hand.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           If you are real, touch me.
                         
          Jane touches his fingers; puts her hand in his. Rochester
          pulls her into his arms.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 119.
                         
                         
           ROCHESTER,
           Her hand, her shape, her size.
                         
                          JANE
           And her voice.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Jane Eyre - Jane Eyre.
                         
                          JANE
           My Edward, I am Jane Eyre: I have
           found you out. I am come back to
           you.
                         
          For some while neither is able to speak.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You're not lying dead in some
           ditch? Not an outcast among
           strangers?
                         
                          JANE
           I've been with good people; far
           better than you, quite more
           refined and exalted.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
                          (DELIGHTED)
           She insults me -
                         
                          JANE
           And I'm an independent woman. My
           uncle in Madeira died and left me
           five thousand pounds -
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           This is real. This is practical.
                         
                          JANE
           I'm here. I'm home. I am where I
           love best.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          Jane curled on Rochester's knee by the fire. He is running
          his fingers over her face, feeling its contours.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           You're altogether a human being,
           Jane?
                         
                          JANE
           I conscientiously believe so,
           sir.
                         
          She is running her hands through his hair.
          Jane Eyre adapted by Moira Buffini March 2008 120.
                         
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           But I see that you're turning
           into a lion. It's time someone
           undertook to rehumanise you.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           I'm a sightless block -
                         
                          JANE
           I know.
                         
          She kisses his eyes.
                         
                          JANE (CONT'D)
           And the worst of it is, I'm in
           danger of loving you too well for
           this, and making too much of you.
                         
                          ROCHESTER
           Am I hideous, Jane?
                         
                          JANE
           Very. But you always were, you
           know.
                         
          A smile cracks Rochester's face.
                         
          Jane runs her fingers over it, feeling its contours.
                         
          He holds her.
                         
          Silence falls.
                         
                         
                         
           THE END.