FAULKNER, WILLIAM. 1897-1962.
Mimeographed Manuscript, dialogued treatment titled Drums Along the Mohawk, 248 pp, 4to, [Los Angeles], July 3, 1937, housed in blue Twentieth Century-Fox wraps bound with brads, upper cover marked "only copy," very mild toning to pages, covers with edgewear and toning. In custom clamshell box.
Provenance: Serendipity books (receipt laid in); the Richard Manney Collection.
FAULKNER'S FULL-LENGTH ADAPTATION OF EDMONDS' NOVEL. From March until mid-June of 1937 Faulkner worked on this "dialogued treatment," which includes a detailed list of characters with description, a sequence-by-sequence breakdown of location, and a 238 pp screenplay. After he turned this treatment in, Faulkner was taken off the project and Lamar Trotti and Sonia Levien took over (and earned final screen credit).
Walter Edmonds' novel of the hardships endured by settlers of the Mohawk Valley in the 1700s was a runaway bestseller in 1936. Faulkner was something of a logical choice to adapt the book, given his experience writing about rural life and tensions between cultures. The contempt evident in the short treatment (See lot 2301) is no longer present here. He apparently takes the assignment seriously, crafting the long novel into a workable three act structure. Among other things, he boils down Edmonds' long subplot of servant girl Nancy Schuyler's loss of innocence and later marriage to an Indian into a single scene: after a brave surprises Nancy at a stream, the two engage in a silent dance: "CLOSE SHOT OF BOTH -- Nancy shrinks slowly back, as the Indian lifts her shawl away and touches her hair. He takes it up and examines it with interest and admiration. He gestures and speaks to Nancy in Indian. Nancy stares at him. The Indian gestures to her to get up. She doesn't move. He takes her arm and helps her up, stands facing her, takes her hair into his hands again, speaks to her in Indian. Nancy's terror goes away. He takes a small pouch from his shoulder and hands it to her, still speaking. She takes the pouch, staring at him stupidly. He taps his chest, then he taps Nancy's speaking Indian. He hangs the pouch over Nancy's shoulder, points toward the forest, advances, stops, looks back, beckons. Nancy follows him. He looks down at her feet, speaks again, approaches, takes from the pouch a pair of mocasins, drops them at Nancy's feet. She sits down and puts them on, the Indian watching. he beckons again. She rises. He turns into the forest, Nancy following."
No copies of this treatment appear in WorldCat, though the Morgan library has later treatments by Trotti and Levien that are purportedly based on this one. This script provides the unique opportunity once and for all for scholars to determine the extent of Faulkner's contribution to the final film.