The Secret of Question Mark Cave

A troubled boy runs away to the mountains to find a magic sword to solve his problems, but discovers the only "magic" he needs is within him. (PG Family feel-good adventure.)

Rocky Mountains, 1960. SEEBEE (nickname for Percival), age 11, fancies himself a knight, although he is kicked out of The Explorers Club for failing to perform a brave deed. Worse, his own dad (FRANKIE) calls him a "nothing kid." Actually, Frankie loves his son; he just doesn't know how to connect with him, and he’s too busy watching TV to find out. Meanwhile, Seebee practices with his little wood sword.

One night, Seebee sneaks into the attic against his father's wishes and discovers several beautifully carved wood knights. He also finds the journal of his great-grandfather, Captain Cole. The journal tells the story of a “magic” sword (at least Seebee thinks it’s magic) hidden in a secret cave deep in the mountains. Seebee vows to find the sword; he's sure it will solve his problems.

That day, Seebee and GLODINA witness a bank robbery through the bank window. When the RED HAT BANDIT races towards them, Seebee tells Glodina to hide in a car for safety, but the car she chooses is the robber's car. Seebee unsheathes his little wood sword to defend Glodina in the car, but his fear paralyzes him—he's no brave knight. The bandit drives away with Glodina still hidden inside his car. Seebee high-tails it home only to do something even worse—he accidentally breaks his dad’s TV set. So Frankie breaks Seebee's cherished sword in half, breaking his heart as well.

Seebee feels dejected and powerless; but that night, he dreams that his great, great-grandfather, CAPTAIN COLE, gallops up on his horse and offers Seebee the sword mentioned in his journal. Cole says, "You have a power all your own," and Seebee awakens.

Emboldened, the boy tapes the pieces of his wood sword together. He runs away with his Explorers Club buddies to find the “magic” sword so he can use it to rescue Glodina. They overcome conflict and natural obstacles until they discover Question Mark Cave. Inside, they find Glodina (she is safe)the cave must be the bandit's hideout! A deeper search produces evidence of Captain Cole, but not the wondrous sword in his dream. Seebee is discouraged.

Just then, the Red Hat Bandit arrives. He's about to "rub out" the little band of four, but Seebee tricks the robber and the four children escape from the cave and race down the trail. But the robber is right behind, and boy is he mad!

Meanwhile, Frankie is fired. He feels dejected and powerless. Upstairs in his own secret cave (the attic), his precious wood carvings gather dust. He might carve more if his tools hadn't been stolen years ago. Enough of his troubles, he needs to find his runaway son.

Back on the trail, the bandit pursues Seebee and his friends until he catches them at a cliff that hangs over a canyon stream. There, Seebee unsheathes his taped wood sword and courageously holds the robber at bay while his friends get over the cliff to safety. When Seebee attempts to cross, the bandit catches him. In the struggle, Seebee defeats the bandit with his wood sword, and the famous Red Hat Bandit tumbles into the stream below, breaking his leg.

Seebee now realizes he doesn't need a magic sword because he has a power all his own. His dream has come true! Plus, he has performed a brave deed to get back into the Explorers Club. In fact, he's president now! When Frankie arrives, Seebee offers his portion of the "Red Hat Bandit reward" to buy a new TV to replace the one he broke. But no, Frankie can use that money to buy new carving tools. Maybe now he's brave enough to do the work he loves. His "little knight" has healed his wound.

So Frankie takes Seebee into the attic (the secret cave) and removes Captain Cole's sword from a secret hiding place! Father, like son, had once wanted to be a knight, and had journeyed to Question Mark Cave years ago and had found the ancient sword. The sword becomes Frankie’s connection with his son, the connection he has longed to find. On the front lawn for all to see, he then knights his son "Sir Percival" and gives him the sword he deserves. Seebee then "knights" Glodina his "brave princess."

Written by:
Starring Roles For:
11 year old boy
spunky ten year-old girl
40 year old man
In the Vein Of:
Stand by Me
Author Bio:
Dave Trottier has sold or optioned 10 scripts with 3 produced. He has also published 7 books (400,000 copies in print).