Alias Nick Beal (1949)
Nick Beal: The last time I was here was quite exciting. City was on fire. Picked up quite a lot of recruits that night. Made quite a transportation problem.
Bum: Yes brethren, every word is true. I've walked in the darkness, glory be. I've wrestled the Devil and thrown him. I've pinned his shoulders to the mat. Yes, I've pinned his shoulders to the mat.
Nick Beal: I wonder if he knows it's two falls out of three?
Joseph Foster: Sit down, sit down, gentlemen. The furniture's reliable.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: Would you object, Joseph?
[to running for governor]
Joseph Foster: I don't know. It's a bit sudden.
Joseph Foster: I sound like a girl receiving a first proposal, don't I?
Rev. Thomas Garfield: We have an old-fashioned custom here, Mr. Beal. Every afternoon at the end of the day, someone reads the boys a passage from the Bible. And whenever it's possible, we try to have someone different read. It makes them realize that the Bible belongs to us all. Would you like to read?
Nick Beal: Me? What do I know about things like that?
Rev. Thomas Garfield: That doesn't matter. I've marked the passage. It's one of the psalms of David.
Nick Beal: No. It's your book. Read it yourself.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: All right. The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend unto the hill of the Lord, or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart, who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face. Amen.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: Oh, Mr. Beal. I've been trying to place your face for over a month now.
Nick Beal: Maybe you'd better give up.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: Did anyone ever paint your portrait?
Nick Beal: Yes. Yes, Rembrandt in 1655.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: You've changed, Joseph.
Joseph Foster: How?
Rev. Thomas Garfield: Well, your clothes, for one thing.
Joseph Foster: Oh, well, what are clothes?
Rev. Thomas Garfield: And there are rumors about you and Miss Allen. I know I shouldn't mention them, or the story that you and Martha are estranged. Is it true?
Joseph Foster: Well, in a way... What's my personal trouble got to do with it?
Rev. Thomas Garfield: They're all indications of change. Then there's the influence that this Nick Beal seems to have over you.
Joseph Foster: Influence, nothing. He loaned me some money and I'll pay it back, and that's all.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: I wonder. Have you signed anything with him, any sort of contract?
Joseph Foster: Of course not. What are you driving at?
Rev. Thomas Garfield: I don't know exactly, but there's something strange about him, something eerie.
Joseph Foster: It's a pose to impress people.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: How did he get out of your house the night we were there? Why was he afraid to read the Bible?
Joseph Foster: Are you serious?
Rev. Thomas Garfield: I know I can't be, but I am. And there's another thing - somewhere I've seen a portrait of him, a medieval drawing or woodcut. I'm trying to remember where.
Joseph Foster: A drawing as what?
Rev. Thomas Garfield: Lucifer.
Joseph Foster: We're in the 20th century, Tom. Nobody's believed in such things since the Salem witch burnings. Besides, aren't there a few items missing? Where's the tail and the horns? Where's the smell of sulfur and brimstone? And where's the contract you're talking about, signed in blood and promising the delivery of one slightly used soul?
Rev. Thomas Garfield: Maybe the devil knows it's the 20th century too, Joseph.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: Behind the decision of every man, I've found there's generally a woman.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: The island of Almas Perdidas. There's no such place listed in the atlas or on this globe.
Joseph Foster: Well, that's the way the contract reads.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: But if the island doesn't exist, I'm sure the contract is invalid.
Joseph Foster: Tom, the thing is I signed in good faith. I gave my word, in effect. The last six months, I've been acting selfishly, in bad faith. Well, I'm through doing that. I'm through going against my conscience.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: Your conscience tells you to go with Beal? Why don't you talk to Martha?
Joseph Foster: She's gone away somewhere. Besides, if this is what you're hinting at, if there's something strange about it, I don't want to involve her.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: Then you admit the possibility?
Joseph Foster: I don't know.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: Do you know Spanish?
Joseph Foster: No, I...
Rev. Thomas Garfield: I wondered if you knew what the translation of the island of Almas Perdidas was. The island of Lost Souls. Strange, isn't it?
Joseph Foster: But that can't be.
Rev. Thomas Garfield: I know. As you once said, it's the wrong century for superstition, for werewolves, vampires, and devils, for evil enchantments and black magic. But Joseph, I do know this: Spiritual problems exist today just as they did in earlier centuries. The battle between good and evil still goes on. We all fight it, every day of our lives. When you found the courage to renounce the governorship, you expiated your sins. You confessed. You washed yourself clean. That was your battle, and it was with yourself, not with Beal. He can't make you go anywhere or do anything if you're no longer willing. Don't you realize, Joseph, you've already won. Forget Beal. Go to Martha who remembers you as you were, as you still are. She still loves you. The two of you can make a fresh start together. She's at my house.
Joseph Foster: Thanks, Tom.