Having escaped Italy, Isabella is smuggled into Palestine on Christmas Eve 1943. With the help of a young Arab boy, she eventually reaches a Moshav farming coop where she is employed until she becomes mixed up with Jewish terrorists.
PORT OF JAFFA, CHRISTMAS EVE, 1943
The ship carrying Isabella docks in Jaffa. Two British Sailors get aboard. They are greeted by Adair, the ships Irish Captain.
(jokingly as he looks around)
So what are you bringing from Cyprus. Gorgeous sirens.
(looking at his list)
Oh no, only the dry stuff my friend! Not much actually. Only Indian tea and rice for Trans-jordan. We're here to pick up a load of citrus bound for Southampton.
Pretty hairy journey to clear up ones tea cup! (looking at back at the dock) Here are your crates. They were dropped here this morning. Don't they grow lemons in Cyprus?
Well, not as juicy as yours apparently. We would like to load tonight and sail tomorrow. Try to be back home for the new year.
Well I'm afraid that this will not be possible my friend. The port will close as of 9 pm... (looking at his watch) in less then half an hour. So no loading or unloading until Monday 6 am.
Well those lemons can't sit here in the sun for 2 more days... they'll get spoiled before we even embark them.
If you'd been stuck in this shit hole like us for the past 4 years, dealing with Jewish terrorists and Arab thief, you'd understand that Christmas is a holly mark that intend to respect and that the only thing we'll do for the next 2 days, is drink loads of beer and stuff ourselves with turkey. Not count boxes of tea and bags of rice.
We'll clear your crew and seal off the ship (looking at his watch)... We have to carry a preliminary inspection and stamp the passports. How many aboard? Any Germans or Italians?
No, three Indian hands and a Portuguese mechanic. Let me get him to escort you while I get my things in order.
INTERIOR, SHIP CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS
The Captain unlocks the door to his room and finds Isabella hiding behind it.
Are they gone?
No, Joao is walking them through the ship. You have to hide here until Monday.
He removes a plank from the wall where gold bars and guns are stashed.
Get in here fast and wait at least 2-3 hours before getting out.
I don't have a watch.
(getting her to hurry)
Count to 10,000. And don't forget to replace the plank properly....
(getting inside as Captain close the wall)
OK. But what do I do next... for 2 days.
Can you swim?
So wait till just before dawn then crawl to the side of the ship, opposite to the dock towards the back. Let your self hang... and jump! (he continues fix the plank) If you get caught, don't tell them you were aboard this ship, don't tell them you're Italian either...
But what do I tell them?
(short of ideas)
That you had a fight with your lover and that you wanted to die.
(with her thick Italian accent)
Well tell them in Hebrew...
I hardly know any Hebrew...
Neither do the Brits.
What about my trunk?
We'll find a way
Knocks on the door.
(low to Isabella)
And don't you even think of stealing my gold!
More knocks on the door.
(walking towards the door and opening it to find the two British Sailors and Joao.) Ready folks! Would you care to taste some fine Irish whiskey while doing the paperwork.
Too late for paperwork tonight. We'll just hold on to your passports until the unloading inspection. (looking at his watch and colleague) but we won't say no to the whiskey.
Stuck behind the wall, Isabella is trying not to breath too hard as the 4 men are drinking in the Captain's quarters.
PORT OF JAFFA, DAWN, CHRISTMAS DAY, 1943
Isabella throws a bundle of goods wrapped in her clothes from the ship onto the deserted dock. She walks to towards the back, hangs on the side of the ship and drops in the water. She swims to an iron ladder, climbs onto the dock, picks up her bundle and takes refuges next to the citrus crates. She unwraps the bundle from which she grabs a dress, a pair of shoes and a sweater. As she pulls off her wet closes, she hears a cracking noise behind where she finds Yasser, a 15 years old boy hiding.
(in broken Hebrew, surprised, covering her breast)
What are you doing here!
(in Arabic, scared)
What? I only took five or six!
He shows her the reverse of his shirt which holds a dozen oranges.
(in Hebrew then Italian, gesturing)
Yasser realizes that Isabella is naked and that she seems as surprised by their encounter as he is. He glances at her in awe, the turns around shyly.
(in Italian then English as she quickly dresses up)
What are you doing here? Hey you can turn around now. What's you name?
(in broken English)
Yasser. My name is Yasser, Madam Lady.
(in English, extending her hand)
Don't call me Madam, my name is Isabella.
Why you no clothes? Here danger for lady. Too many British Soldiers and thieves.
I need to get to the center of town. Tell Aviv. Can you show me how to get there... Without being seen leaving the port?
You Jewish lady?
Well, I'm Italian and also Jewish. And you, are you from here?
(half in English and Arabic)
I'm from desert. I Bedouin.
How old are you.
(in Arabic, showing with his fingers)
JAFFA, CHRISTMAS DAY, 1943
Isabella and Yasser are walking through the busy streets of Jaffa. Isabella is surprised to see mostly Arabs people and Signs in Arabic.
This is Tel Aviv?
No Lady Isabella. This Jaffa. Arab old city. Tel Aviv Jewish city long walking over there.
People in the streets of Jaffa offer assistance to the couple as the make their way towards Tel Aviv. They buy food, are invited for tea and asked questions about their connection and journey. As they continue their journey, Isabella becomes more and more fearful of European looking people and entrust her faith with Yasser. Although, she doesn't stand out, she becomes paranoid and hides at the sight of British Soldier and Police.
A couple of nuns ring a bell next to their convent to gather funds.
Isabella and Yasser spend the night in a Christian convent as she passes for Catholic Italian and pretends that Yasser works for her. Yasser has to spend the night in separate quarters locked away from the nuns.
TEL AVIV, DECEMBER 26, 1943
As they get close to Tel Aviv, Isabella is being directed to a Moshav looking for workers. She convinces the driver to take Yasser along as he also needs work. The driver reluctantly accepts.
CITRUS ORCHARD, AVIHAYIL MOSHAV, PALESTINE, 1943
Isabella convinces the Moshav's managers to hire Yasser although they try to find excuses not to hire him (age, language...)
Both are put to work the next day.
CITRUS ORCHARD, AVIHAYIL MOSHAV, PALESTINE, 1944
During the winter months, the moshav workers are subjected to hard work, building irrigation systems and getting the land ready for the spring. Isabella grows more and more concerned at the possibility being pregnant. She asks the moshav manager permission to hike a ride to Tel Aviv to send a letter to Anastasio in Australia:
Avihayil, January 6, 1944
My love. My love. My love.
I hope and prey that you made it safely to Australia.
Will you believe me if I told you that I swam to reach the promised land.
A young Arab boy was here like the messiah when i landed and guided me to a farm where I found some work.
It is harsh work but everyone is treating me nicely.
I have no news from you.
I miss you every day and every minute.
I miss sculpting your body and fainting by your side after love.
You are my God, my only God and I am carrying our child.
I hope and prey that this war will end so we could be together again.
I hope and prey although I feel that hope has vanished and that God is a is a ghost.
I love you, my love.
NOTE FOR FUTURE EPISODE IN TIME 1
THIS LETTER WILL NEVER MAKE IT TO PERTH, AUSTRALIA, AND ISABELLA WILL RECEIVE IT BACK FROM THE BRITISH POST MANY YEARS AFTER THE WAR. THE SHIP CARRYING IT SANK BY A GERMAN U-BOAT OFF YEMEN. IN 2010, TREASURE HUNTERS DISCOVERED TWO SEALED BOXES FROM THE ROYAL MAIL WITH STACKS ON UNOPENED LETTERS. THEIR CONTENT WAS SURRENDERED TO THE ROYAL MAIL WHICH REDISTRIBUTED IT TO THE ADDRESSEES. AS THEY COULD NOT TRACK ANASTASIO IN AUSTRALIA, THEY FOUND THE ADDRESSER, ISABELLA IN ISRAEL. ON HER DEATH BED, SHE ENTRUSTED THE LETTER TO HER CHERISHED GRANDSON, URI, WHO USED ALL IS CONNECTIONS TO TRACK DOWN ANASTASIO (DEAD), PAT (DEAD) AND CARLA.