The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) Script

Ma! Mary! All ready? First bell's a-ringin'.

Yes, we're all ready.

Mary's comin' through the back door.

Now, son, cheer up.

We're all healthy, and we've still got meal in the barrel.

Look at that sky.

Big cracks in it like it was ice on the mill pond... a-crackin' up to show us spring's a-comin'.

If that ain't enough for a God-fearin', New Hampshire family, I want to know.

Oh, Jabez! Help! Coming!

Quiet, Shep! Quiet!

Down, Shep! Down!

He only wants you to throw a stick for him, Jabez.

I guess he's feelin' the spring air comin', too.

All right.

Get it, Shep! Mary? Jabez?

Comin', Ma. What's the matter? Anything wrong with me?

No, nothing.

Then what's the smile on your face for?

Now, Jabez. You've got a clean shave, and I've got on my Sunday best... and I'm going to church with my husband.

Almost the first time since the beginning of winter.

And if that isn't an occasion - I don't know what is.

Now, what the dickens?

Shep! Come here, Shep!

Shep! Shep, stop it!

Leave that pig alone! Come here, Shep!

Jabez, what's the matter?

I don't know. Something's wrong with the pig.

Quiet, Mr. Porker.

He's worse than a greased pig at the county fair.

Yep, his leg is broken. Get me the box, Mary.

I remember Dad used to say...

"When they were handing out hard luck, the farmer got there first."

Now, Jabez. Don't you remember your own wedding?

We said it's for better or worse. We said it's for richer or poorer.

That's what we said. Oh, your pants! They're soaked.

Let me take them. Oh.


Guess we won't be goin' to church today.

I guess we won't.

Anyway, I can read you from the Good Book.

There won't be any objection to that.

Now you won't catch cold.

Ha! I call that coddlin' a man.

Now, Ma. Seems to me you used to do it for Dad, too.

Well, always did my duty.

Mary, hold the splint tighter.

"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job;

And that man was perfect and upright -".

Consarn the consarn -

Jabez! What kind of talk is that on the Sabbath, and me a-readin' the holy word?

Sorry, Ma. This man, Job, he had troubles, didn't he? Hard luck, like me.

Now, Jabez Stone, as for what you're calling hard luck... we made New England out of it - that and codfish.

There. That'll hold him.

That's nice and warm for you.

Don't get him too close to the fire, or we'll have roast pork for supper.

Not on Sabbath you won't.

You didn't really think I'd forget, did you?

Give me the book, Ma. I'm going to read us something cheerful from the Book of Ruth.

That is, if you don't mind changing the lesson.

Land sakes, I don't mind.

I never did hold much with Job, even if he is Scripture.

He took on too much to suit me.

'Course I don't want to malign the man... but he always sounded to me like he come from Massachusetts.

Yes, Mary. You go ahead and read.

"And Ruth said in -" - There's a rig turnin' into the gate!

Who is it?

It's Tom Sharp and two other fellas.

Well, let's, uh, let's see what they want.

Jabez! Oh, Glory! My pants.

Mornin', Mary. Mornin', Tom. Come in.

Mornin', ma'am.

There's a mat there to wipe your feet on.

I'm sorry, ma'am. I plumb forgot.

Howdy, Jabez! Howdy.

This is Van Brooks, Massachusetts. Howdy.

Howdy. This is Eli Higgins. He's Vermont.


There's a mat there to wipe your feet on.

Oh, I'm sorry, ma'am. Come over to the fire. Sit down.

Little pig hurt himself? Yep. Broke his leg.

Hmm. Too bad. Had a pig one time broke all four legs.

Yep. Spoiled all the hams.

You may smoke on Sabbath in Massachusetts, but not here.

I'm sorry, ma'am.

Rains kinda hard in New Hampshire, don't it?

How's the year been in your part of the country?

Well, had a good stand o' corn.

Comin' along right nice... and then we had a hailstorm - a hailstorm in June.

Hailstones so mighty, the chickens got to settin' on 'em, thinkin' they was eggs.

Yep. Makes you wonder what in tarnation Providence was thinkin' about.

That ain't nothin'. We had a snowstorm in August.

In August? Yeah. Much obliged, ma'am.

It was so cold, a man got out in it, and it froze him solid.

All except his heart. That was frozen already.

Loan shark, eh?

Too bad it didn't happen to Miser Stevens.

Are you one of old Stevens's customers, too?

Sure am.

It's the debt and the lien and the mortgage.

Quite a problem to us farmers nowadays.

City folks has their troubles, too... but when a farmer goes bankrupt, he can't crawl out so easy.

Laws oughta be changed somehow.

We oughta have more consideration.

That's the reason the three of us met up together, Neighbor Stone.


Farmers oughta have a sort of grange, as they call it in Vermont.

What do you think, Jabez? Sound reasonable to you?

Well - Sure does, but I'll, uh...

I'll have to sleep on it a couple of nights.

That's fair enough.

Man's got a right to mull things over.

Mighty fine pie you got here, ma'am.

Would you like another piece? I sure would.

Thank you, ma'am. Thank you.

Oh, Ma. I thought we'd save that for tomorrow.

It's the Lord's will to feed strangers... even if they eat you out of house and home.

Well, you read this, Jabez. We'll drive around again in a week or so.

I was just thinking... that, uh, they might not like the idea down in Washington.

Why not? There's a bill up in Congress now... to give us a uniform law of bankruptcy.

Daniel Webster's fighting for it right now.

Black Daniel?

Yep. Biggest man in the whole United States.

Senator from Massachusetts. He's gonna be our next president, sure enough.

I know. They say when he speaks, the stars and stripes come right out of the sky.

Listen, Black Daniel.

You're only wasting your time writing speeches like that.

Why worry about the people and their problems? Think of your own.

You want to be president of this country, and you ought to be.

Inauguration day parade, bands playing, prancing horses... sun shining on the Stars and Stripes waving in the breeze... crowds cheering, "Daniel Webster... president of the United States of America."

Don't be a fool. If you go on with that speech, you'll never be president.

Be still!

"I would say to every man who follows his own plough...

"and to every mechanic, artisan, and laborer in every city in the country-

"I would say to every man, everywhere...

"who wishes by honest means to gain an honest living...

'Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing."'

"The insolvent farmers cannot even come to the seat of their government...

"to present their cases to Congress... so great is their fear that some creditor will arrest them in some intervening state."

"We talk much and talk warmly of political liberty...

"but who can enjoy political liberty... if he is deprived permanently of personal liberty?"

"If the final vote shall leave...

"thousands of our fellow citizens and their families in hopeless distress...

"can we, members of the government...

"go to our beds with a clear conscience?

"Can we, without self-reproach, supplicate the Almighty Mercy... to forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors?"

That's wonderful language Mr. Webster uses there.

It would move a stone.

If it would only move Old Miser Stevens. We've still got to pay him.

Yep. Can't get around that mortgage. I'm sorry.

It's all right, Sheriff.

I wish I could really do something for you, but you know Stevens.

He'll throw you off the farm if you don't pay him tonight.

He would!

The law's the law. Good-bye. Good-bye, Mary.

Bye, Sheriff. Bye, Sheriff.

Well, what are we going to do? We've still got my butter money.

Your butter money? Do you think I'm grudging it?

Mary, it's gone. All of it?

All of it. I had to pay the vet in full. He wouldn't have treated the horse this time.

After all, we can't very well do without a horse.

That's all right. We'll find something to pay Stevens.

If the pig hadn't broken his leg, we could have taken him.

Couldn't you take a sack of seed instead?

To save us work on the spring plowing?

You always said the field uphill needs a rest.

But if you think- I'm a farmer, Mary. Always will be.

To me, seed isn't a thing to pay debts with.

It's alive - more alive than anything.

But I guess you're right. We just got to do it.

Jabez, you ought to talk to Tom Sharp about joining the grange.

I will, Mary. Jabez.!

How'd you know to have the calf ready, Ma?

I just figured you didn't have any money.

Yes, and you figured right, consarn it!

That's a word you're too free with lately.

Consarn this and consarn that.

But it helps sometimes to say it, Ma.

All right, son, if it helps.

Jabez! What's this?

Seed alone won't do it. We'll have to throw the calf in.

But we were countin' on it.

Get up on the wagon.

His mother's bawlin'. I can't help that.

It's such a lovely calf.

You're right, Mary. It's a fine calf.

That's why old Stevens will take it for the rest of the payment.

Mary! Are you hurt?

Ma! Quick! Mary fell down!


Carry her into the house. Be careful.

No, no, no. Put her down here. It's too cold up there.

Get some water, quick.

Quiet, Shep! Quiet!

What's ailin' that dog? I don't know.

Well, keep him quiet.

Let him howl if it makes him feel good.

Consarn it! He's better off than I am.

Hush up such talk!

I mean it, I tell you. I've had more than my share.

Nothing ever goes right for me.

Now, what the dickens? The fox! The fox is in my henhouse!

Give me that gun.

Did you get him?

No, I didn't, consarn it. He got two of your hens.

Well, we'll have to do without them. You run along, get the seed. I'll tend to Mary.

That's enough to make a man sell his soul to the devil!

And I would for about two cents!

I guess nobody heard. I hope not.

Good evening, Neighbor Stone.

Who are you?

My name is Scratch.

I often go by that name in New England.

I don't have any business with you.

Do you deny that you called me?

I've known people in other states who went back on their word, but I -

I didn't expect it in New Hampshire.

You can't say that to me. I'm New Hampshire.

And if I say I called you, I did. Guess I did.

You've had a lot of bad luck these days... and yet it's all so unnecessary... when I think of your opportunities.

My opportunities?

Of course. Why, man, you have one of the richest farms in the county.


You just go about it the wrong way.

Oh, so many men do.

Hard work. That's all right for people who don't know how to do anything else.

It's all right for people who aren't lucky.

But once you're lucky, you don't have to work for other people.

You make them work for you.

Why, Mister, that sounds all right. How do I go about it?

Clever man like yourself, he can find money anywhere.

Money to pay his bills, money for his wife & children, money enough to be a rich man.

All he needs is a friend to point it out to him, like this.

Isn't real. It can't be. Oh, no. Wait.

Touch it.

Touch it. Feel it with your hand.

Jabez.! Someone's calling you, Mr. Stone.

Jabez Stone! Oh, there he is.

Howdy, Jabez.

Howdy, Jabez.! Howdy. What do you want?

We just come to ask you if you'd made up your mind to join the grange.

Grange? What grange?

That farmers association we were talkin' about the other day.

No, I don't want to join. Go away. Leave me alone.

We don't mean to force you, but it's only for your own good, neighbor.

I look out for myself! We oughta stick together.

Now, after Daniel Webster's speech.

Daniel Webster can't help me. Leave me alone.

Tell me, where did it come from?

You know the old story.

The Hessian wagon train that was ambushed on its way to Saratoga.

Some of the gold has been buried under your barn.

Yes, why shouldn't it? Yes, of course.

People forgot, or the man who knew about it died. You know how these things happen.

It's mine. It's mine. Yes.

Yes, that's right, Mr. Stone.

Oh, uh, there is just one little formality.

I would like your signature... here.


And when it's done, it's done for seven years.

It's our usual form.

Of course, we can take up the question of renewal in due time.

What does it mean here, about my soul?

Mmm. Why should that worry you? A soul. A soul is nothing.

Can you see it, smell it, touch it? No.

This soul -your soul - a nothing against seven years of good luck.

You'll have money and all that money can buy.

Upon my word, Neighbor Stone... if it were not for my firm's reputation in generous dealing, I - - No! No!

Give it to me. I'll sign.

All right.

I'm afraid I'll have to... prick your finger, Neighbor Stone.

But what's a little pain to a lucky man?

Sign here.

Afraid? No.


A firm, fair signature.

One that will last till doomsday.

I congratulate you, Neighbor Stone.

You're going to be the richest man in New Hampshire.

Well, I'll be - - Yes.

Yes. Yes, indeed.

But not now.

Not for seven years.

Oh, by the way, I almost forgot.

What is the date? April 7.


That would take us up to the... seventh day of April...


Just to remind you.

Though, of course, we'll be seeing each other in the interim.

Ah, what a beautiful sunset.

Mary! Mary!

Mary's all right again. I thought you'd gone.

What would you do if you had a pot of gold?

Oh, Jabez. Mary, what would you do?

I don't know.

I would pay our debts, and maybe I would buy a new bonnet.

Really, I think I would live quite the same.

Mary... look.

Hessian gold. I found it in the barn.

Found it in the barn, eh? Yes, Ma!

I was getting the seed, and I saw one of the boards warped up, and I stumbled... and - and there it was.

Most outlandish thing I ever heard tell.

But it's true, Ma!

Here. Take 'em in your hands and feel 'em, Ma.

Mary, Mary, you feel 'em.

Feel 'em. They're real, all right.

What's the matter? Aren't you glad?

I don't know, Jabez, but I'll try hard.

I just can't take it all in. Oh, Mary.

Hessian gold. Hmph!

Well, I hope it'll do us more good than it did the Hessians.

Ma! We'll none of us have to worry anymore. We're rich.

Well, that's comforting. Supper.

Mashed potatoes and milk.

It's not going to be mashed potatoes and milk anymore.

It's gonna be turkey and oysters. Seed corn and cattle.

A new bonnet for Mary, and a new dress for Ma.

We're going to have the best farm in New Hampshire... and I've got it right here in my hand.

That cap doesn't belong on the table.

Lord, we thank thee for this food.

Bless it to the good of our body and help us to do thy will. Amen.


♪ Nothing else to do There's nothing -

Hello, Jabez. Hello, Sheriff.

I was just talking to Stevens about a little extension on your payment.

You didn't get it, eh? Come on. We'll have another talk with him.

Who is it?

Jabez Stone.

Hello, Stevens.

Stone, you're wasting your time and mine.

I'm not gonna give you an extension.

Well, uh -

Now look here, Stevens. Uh, can't we, uh, talk that over?

It's kinda cold here. Why don't you make a fire?

I can't afford it. Nobody's paying me these days.

Stone, have you got the money?

I, uh, I managed to scrape up a bit for you.

I thought if I made kind of a part payment - - No, Stone.

In gold.

I'd like to know where you'd get it.

Well, you know, some folks are just lucky... and others pick it right out of the air, like that.

Sheriff, you're a witness. This money was paid me voluntarily.

While it doesn't satisfy the mortgage, it has become my property.

Count that one, then, and that one and that one and that one... and that and that and that and that and that.!

Sheriff, you're here to witness.

Well, that makes everything clear now.

Come along, Sheriff.

Eight, nine, ten, eleven. Eddie, that makes us all even.

Yep. It certainly was a big day for our store. Come back again soon.

Oh, Eddie! Here's one for you.


I hope I run up against a pot of.

Hessian gold one day myself, Mr. Stone.

Jabez. Jabez, what do you think of this?

Yeah, looks right elegant.

Newest thing by last fall catalog in Godey's Lady's Book.

Do you think it's too fancy? Did you say "too fancy"?

Lands to goodness, child. Not for you.

Nothing's too fancy for you. You keep it right on.

Well, maybe it wouldn't hurt to have a few roses on it.

They're right pretty, Mary.

Now may I pick out a shawl for Ma?

Sure. Go right ahead and take your time.

I'm going over to the blacksmith shop and pick up a new plow.

I'll be back in 30 minutes. I'll be waiting for you.


Eddie, where are you going with that horn?

Haven't you heard, Mrs. Stone? Daniel Webster's coming to Cross Corners.

Daniel Webster here? Aren't you going to the reception?


Martin! Hey, Martin! Where's the blacksmith?

Playing horseshoes with Daniel Webster!

With who?

Daniel Webster! Oh.

Crazy galoot, thinkin' he could take on Daniel Webster.

Daniel pitched shoes from his cradle, didn't you, Daniel?

Yep, with my granny, and she wasn't bad either.

Well, I really have to go now. The people at Cross Corners must be waiting for me.

It's really not very far, Mr. Webster.

Oh, it's you again. What do you want?

I thought, with the presidential election coming up, you might need some help.

I'd rather see you on the side of the opposition.

Oh, I'll be there, too.

That was pretty good, young man. Pretty good? That's perfect!

Ten throws, Mr. Webster? All right, 10 throws it is.

Let me take your coat, Mr. Webster.

Friends! Neighbors! I beg of you to have a little more patience!

Now, let us rehearse the parade once more. Over here.

Get in line, now, as we rehearsed.

Now, attention.!


Well, ha! You win. That calls for a drink on me.

I really must go now. Will you ride into the village with me?

Oh, certainly!

Thank you, son. Thank you.

This is a great day for me.!

Oh, Lem! Lem, will you take care of my buggy?

All right.!

Thank you!

All right, we're goin' to the village.

Daniel Webster is here.! Daniel Webster is here.!

Daniel Webster is here! Daniel Webster is here!

Daniel Webster is here.!

I guess I'm not very popular in Cross Corners.

Daniel Webster's here! Daniel Webster's here!

And look who's with him.

Well, of all the people.

Thank you for the game. Welcome! Welcome to Cross Corners.

That's it! That's it!

We are greatly honored with your presence, and I'm-

Your health, Mr. Webster. What about my friends?

Let's all have a drink, and a bumper one for the champion, Jabez Stone.

Right away, sir.! Right away.

Here's a man who knows what's good for Daniel Webster.

Medford rum.

A breath of the promised land.

And here's to the champion of the iron horseshoe, Jabez Stone.

Thank you. Here's to the champion of the whole United States...

Daniel Webster! Daniel Webster!

Where's the band? Where's the band? I don't know.

Oh. Go get them! Go get them!

Go and get 'em?

What are you lookin' for, Colonel?

What's your name? Martin Van Buren Aldrich.

My pa is the only Democrat in Cross Corners.

He said you had horns and a tail, Mr. Webster, but I ain't seen 'em yet.

You see, Martin, I only wear them when I'm in Washington.

But if you ever get down there, I'll be glad to show 'em to ya.

Gee, would you? Honest?

Of course. And you tell your father for me... that we may be on opposite sides of the fence... but I'm always glad to hear of a man who holds to his own opinion.

As long as the people do that, this country is all right.

You understand, Martin? Yes, sir. I guess so. Gee.

Speech, Mr. Webster. Speech, Mr. Webster.

They're asking for a speech, Mr. Webster.

A speech? Oh, no.

I'm a little tired, Squire Slossum.

Besides, it's so pleasant here.

The sun, the air- So pleasant in Cross Corners.

But, Mr. Webster. You talk.

Listen, folks.

Well, I don't know much about "speechifying"... but I feel it my duty to -

What's the matter with him? Cat got his tongue?

Hush up, Sarah.

Well, folks, what I want to say is, when a man like Daniel Webster visits us... we shouldn't ask him for a speech.

It's for us to speak, to tell him that we farmers thank our lucky stars... every day in the year for what he's done for us.

If anybody's gonna have corn in his crib, or hay in his barn... it'll all be due to our good friend and neighbor, Daniel Webster... who stood right up in Congress to protect us from loan sharks by a new law.

After hard work like that, well, it's only natural that Daniel Webster gets tired.

He's tired of makin' speeches. He just wants a little rest in the sunshine.

And, folks, if he chooses Cross Corners' sunshine to rest in, that's mighty fine.

And I want to say this before I quit talkin;

We'll be hoein' corn, all due, like I says, to our good neighbor, Daniel Webster.

And we'll keep on hoeing corn until he's in the White House in Washington where he belongs!

Hooray! Hooray!

Hooray! Hooray!

Hooray! Hooray!

An eloquent speech, Neighbor Stone.

I couldn't have done better myself, under the circumstances.

Thank you, Mr. Webster. Thank you.

I'd like for you to meet my wife, Mary.

Well, if it isn't little Mary Simpson from Franklin.

It is.

You've got a smart man. Hang on to him.

I'm going to try, Mr. Webster. That's just fine.

Well, I have to be getting on to Franklin before night.

Good-bye, Mary. Remember me to your mother.

Thank you, Mr. Webster.

Good-bye, Jabez. God bless you both.

Good-bye. Thank you.

Good-bye, Squire. Good-bye, everybody!


Remember, Mary, how he said it?

"Couldn't have done better myself, Jabez Stone."

It was my first speech.

I don't know what happened to me.

I just stood up, and the words came flowing like water out of my mouth.

Yes, Jabez, it was a wonderful day... but I'm glad to be home again.

Tired? Well -

Well, what is it? I'm a little worried.

There's nothing to worry about now.

Jabez, I - Mary, you just wait and see.

This is just the beginning- just the beginning of everything.

I'm going to be the biggest man in New Hampshire... and you're going to be the wife of the biggest man.

Quiet, Shep!

Don't take cold, Jabez.

There's a new moon, Mary. Yes, I know, Jabez.

There's hope and promise in it.

Planting and promise of a good harvest to come.

What is it? Nothing. Nothing at all.

Lord, we thank thee for this food.

Bless it to the good of our body and help us to do thy will. Amen.

Now, look here, son.

I'm glad to see a Stone come up in the world again... but things that grow too fast will never... You look here, Ma.

I'm not a boy anymore, and I want that understood.

I don't aim to stay a one-horse farmer the rest of my life.

Jabez, once you said we'd never change.

Never mind what I said once. Listen to what I say now. I've made up my mind.

Was that my son talking?

But what's a farmer to do, if- if he don't want to get roped in more by them loan sharks?

You don't have to go to Miser Stevens while I'm around.

Don't I? Nah.

Say, that's mighty white of you.

Not at all, Hank. I'm glad to help ya.

Thank you, Jabez. I really wouldn't need very much.

If you could just let me have some seed to start off with - enough for spring plantin'.

Seed? Easiest thing in the world. Come along. Pick out everything you need.

Sure you can spare it? Sure. I just bought some seed.

Say, about the interest - Don't you worry about that.

Leave it all to me. We won't talk business today.

You just bear this in mind:

I am not a man to get rich on other people's hard luck. Nope, not me.

Say, that's mighty fine of you, Jabez.

I've been through the mill myself, and I know just how you feel.

Here. The best seed you'll find in all New Hampshire.

Asleep, Ma. That's good. Sit down.

I feel fidgety, Ma.

Not right. Not right at all.

Lands! I'd think you were gonna have the baby, to hear ya.

Sit down. You make me nervous.

The way a man always is.

Thinks his son is the most important thing in the world.

Say that again, Ma. Oh! Made me stick my finger.

A son. Do you really think so, Ma?

Oh, get along with ya. As if it matters to a grandma.

Perhaps you have an even chance.

Queer sort of weather we're having.

Weird, like everything else.

Thank God you can always depend on New England for weather.

We've got enough for the whole United States.

A son.

An heir.


Money is a funny thing, ain't it, Ma?

I figure it depends a might on how you get it and how you spend it.

But I don't spend any.

But you should, son. That's all it's good for.

Do you really think that?

That's just common sense.

Now, a man like Daniel Webster.

Guess they pay him high for what he does... but he's worth it, and he helps others.

Makes all the difference.

I know.

But suppose a man got his money in bad ways?

Wouldn't profit him none.

You see, son, I'm old, and I've lived.

When a man gets his money in bad ways... when he sees the better course and takes the worse... then the devil's in his heart, and that fixes him.

And yet, a man could change all that, couldn't he?

A man can always change things.

That's what makes him different from the barnyard critters.

Where ya goin; Son?

Oh, come, come, Neighbor Stone.

No need to get so excited.

I wouldn't try to cut that tree down, if I were you. It means a breach of contract.

I don't care!

But you should, now that you're becoming a father.

You keep your tongue off that!

Yes, of course. Certainly. I shan't even come to christening.

It would be tactless and in wretched bad taste.

But I may send a friend of mine, just for old times' sake.

Yes, I think I'll do that. Jabez.!

Get away! Get away! Get outta here. Quick! Hurry! Get away!

Your mother. I find her rather difficult.

Hardly the type for my sort of thing.

Jabez.! Bye, Mr. Stone.


Here you are, son. I was worried about you. Look at that hail.

The crops will be ruined!

It don't matter. What's that you say?

I say it don't matter. Now, that's the way to talk.

I know you've worked hard for this crop, but we'll make out.

Make out? We'll do better than that.

I never thought I'd be glad for bad luck, but I am.

I never thought I'd be glad of a hailstorm at harvesttime, but I am.

I'm glad of the rain, the storm and the hail.

What's the matter? What are you crying about?

Ruined. All the fields ruined.

Yes, it's terrible what the hail has done to the fields... but not to my fields.

Look, Mary.! It didn't touch any of my wheat.! I'll have a rich harvest.!

Hello, Lem, Hank.

You'd think that Stone was standing good with Providence somehow.

My wheat's no more use than a last year's crow's nest.

Maybe you'll let me help you out a bit.

Seems like someone's giving us the horselaugh.

I guess you're ripe and ready now to join our grange, eh?

Wait a minute! I can make you some better terms.

Hi, boys! Howdy.!

Did ya ever see such hail? Big as bowling balls out our way.

Broke all the windows and nearly killed the cat.

I'll take cider... hard.


I'm here with an offer from Jabez Stone.

What's that?

Well, seein' as how, due to yesterday's hail... nobody's got nothing to harvest in his own field...

Jabez thought maybe you might help him harvest his.

Never worked for anybody else in my whole life...

'cept when I was a shaver... and that was for my old man.

I wouldn't do it. Well, I don't know.

I'll think it over. What's there to think about?

Here's a dollar in advance for everyone who will work forJabez Stone.

♪ Come, ye thankful people, come ♪

♪ Raise the song ofharvest home ♪

♪ All is safely gathered in ♪

♪ Ere the winter storms begin

Hurry up. Hurry up.

Ma, how is she?

You'll be a father any minute now.

Golly, Ma!

Consarn that music. Shouldn't have had the harvest dance tonight.

Fiddlesticks. She don't hear.

She's got better music than that to listen to.

There. That's what I mean.


Here's your son.

Howdy, son.

I told you you had an even chance.

Anything else, Doctor? No, just keep her warm.

Be careful, Jabez.

Dorothy. Yes, ma'am.

Fetch a hot brick. Right, ma'am.

Look here, everybody! My son!

Hey, it's a boy! Hooray forJabez Stone!

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray forJabez Stone!

That's enough. Want him to catch a death of cold?

Don't be cross with him, Ma. This doesn't happen every day.


Jabez, I have a wish. Yes, Mary, what is it?

I want to name him Daniel.

After Daniel Webster?

Yes. I wrote to Mr. Webster... and asked him to be the godfather of our first baby.

You don't mind, do you? No, I don't mind.

Why, lands! What's the matter with you, Jabez?

I should think you'd be flattered to have Daniel Webster as a godfather.

Now, go down and see what's keeping Dorothy.

Sure, Ma.

Oh! Thanks very much, Doc. Thanks for everything.

It's all right, Jabez.

Hurry up, Dorothy. What's the matter with the brick?

Mary needs it.

You're not Dorothy. No. She's gone.

She couldn't be gone. But she is.

I have taken her place.

Don't you remember?

You wrote me a letter.

Looks like my writing. It is.

I have other recommendations, too... from a very dear friend of yours.

Never mind. What's your name?


Belle? Belle Dee.

Belle Dee? Where are you from?

From over the mountain.

From over the mountain.


No, that's for me to do.

Night, Ma Stone. Good night, Dr. Simpson.

Who's she?


No, it's me.

And this will keep you warm, Mrs. Stone.

You're not resting well.

Oh, I know. It's that music.

You need your sleep.

Is there anything else you want, Mrs. Stone?

What's your name? Belle.

Thank you, Belle.

What a nice and kind girl.

Who is she? The new maid, Jabez says.

But I don't like her, and I don't think we ought to keep her on.

That's forJabez to decide.

He's the head of the family.

You all signed? Yeah, we all signed.

That's fine. Leave all your worries to me.

Have a cigar. Ah, thanks.

Go on inside and have a good time. Sure. Why not?

♪ Pop goes the weasel Swing them high and swing them low ♪

♪ People swingin' in calico ♪

♪ Here we go and do-si-do and everybody dancin' ♪

♪ Here we go The old fast wagon ♪

♪ Hard to go with the axle draggin' ♪

♪ Right foot up and the left foot down Pop goes the weasel Shall we... dance, Belle?

Oh, no, Mr. Stone. Your place is with your wife.

Everybody dancin;!


Grab your gal.! Hold her tight.!

Swing her now with all your might.!

Faster! Faster!

Faster! Faster!

Come on.! Faster.! Faster.! Swing her faster.!


Faster.! Faster.! Swing her faster.!

Faster! Faster!

Consarn it!

♪ Sleep, baby, sleep ♪

♪ The little brooks together weave ♪

♪ Baby, sleep Jabez, where are you going?

What's the matter, Neighbor Stone? Your conscience bothering you?

Ha! We take care of that. Give me your hand.

Make him go faster, Jabez. Faster! Faster!

Golly, Belle, this is wonderful.

You know, we should go sleigh riding every Sunday.

Why not every day? I can't. I got too much work to do.

Others can do it for you. That's an idea.


Hey, you! You can't fish there! That's private property!

I'm Jabez Stone! I'll have the sheriff after you!

Golly, it's fun to scare people and watch 'em run. Hey.

Look. He caught some nice ones.

Well, let's have them for breakfast.

All right.

Mornin', Mary! Brought you some fish.

I want you to cook them for breakfast.

But, Jabez, it's Sabbath. I'm going to church with Ma.

Please, won't you come with us? I want you to fix the fish.

Oh, no, she won't.

I'll not have the scorn of God in this house with the smell of fish in it... polluting up the Sabbath.

And as for you, let me tell you, young woman.

If you think you're running this house... because Mary hasn't put you in your place, you're mistaken.

But, Ma - - Don't you "Ma" me!

Let's go, Mary. The second bell's ringing.

Comin', Ma.

Good-bye, little Daniel. Take good care of him, Belle.

I certainly will, Mrs. Stone.

Jabez, you're sure you won't come with us?

I'll cook the fish myself.

It seems a little hard for your mother to get used to me... but I'm quite sure she will, in time.

Which way do you like 'em best?

Who did that?

The fella I caught fishing in my lake.

I'll get him yet.

Your friends are coming. Well, let's get ready.

Here we are. Hurry, Belle. Get the drinks.

Morning, Jabez. Ah, morning, Squire.

How are you, Jabez? Hiya, fellas.

And how's little Daniel today? By the way, Jabez... did you know that Daniel Webster was up in Franklin last week?

Without stopping at Cross Corners? That's never happened before.

I hope he has no grudge against us. Oh, no.

I had a letter from him the other day. A nice one.

I offered to lend him money for his campaign... but he thanked me and said he didn't need any.

You offered money to Daniel Webster?

Sure. I got enough.

You never know. He might be president one day.

Gentlemen, what's the game? Same limit as last Sunday?

Well, I, uh - - Ah, you'll have better luck today, Squire.

Before I forget it, here's the money I owe you.

Oh, thanks, Squire.

Cards, gentlemen.

Card, Squire? How about you, Stu? -

And I'll raise you a hundred.

Four eights, gentlemen. Now it's my deal.

And it is this kind of men of whom the Bible says...

"Either make the tree good and his fruit good...

"or else make the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt... for the tree is known by his fruit."

And now, let us pray.

Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage... save us from discord and confusion... and pride and arrogancy... and from every evil way.


Oh, Lord, hide not thy face from me... on the day when I am in trouble.

Incline thy ear unto me.

Cast out the evil spirit... and lead Jabez back into thy kingdom.

Amen. Amen.

I bet $50.

I'm out. I call ya.

Three aces. I win. Well, you win!

You know, the sheriffs lucky for a beginner.

You French?

No. I'm not anything.

On with the game, Squire.

That's all for today. You'll have to go.

Next time, as usual.

Good-bye, Jabez.

I'll see you next week.

Better luck next time, Squire.

Oh, just a losing streak.

You better be careful, Jabez. People are talking about you in the village.

The village. Hmph!

It's like the Old Nick has got into him.

Gettin'worse every year. The more he gets, seems more he wants.

The deal he made with Hank.

He used it as bait for the rest of his neighbor folk... to make them slave for him, too.

At first it seemed like out of the goodness of his heart.

Now I know different.

I used to think Miser Stevens was an ornery cuss.

He'd pinch a cent till the eagle squeals.

But now I'm thinkin' he ain't so all-fire bad, compared with Jabez.

Every year he builds a new barn, and now look at him.

Buyin' machinery and hirin' other folks to work for him.

He don't do nothin' but gamble and tend his horses.

That Hessian gold. You can blame it all on that.

That girl he's taken on as nurse for the boy, or so he says... but anybody knows who she is.

It's a miracle his wife is standin' for that sort of thing all these years.

You know what a fine woman she is.

A man likeJabez could do so much good with his money.

A strange sickness seems to have come over him.

A plague, sorta. Like the Bible tells about.

Look at the mansion he built.

Granny! What is it?

When are we going to move to the new house?

Oh, we ain't a-gonna move.

The old one's good enough for us.

But I like the new one better.

Well. It's just too bad for you, Daniel.

Strawberries. Don't grab!

Children ask for things. At least good children do.

Go and help your mother.

Now, lands to goodness. What's happened to that old hen?

Daniel, did you use that slingshot again?

I did not, Granny. Oh, yes, you did, Daniel.

I saw it from the window, and then to lie about it.

Give me that slingshot, Daniel.

It's mine, Ma. Pa made it for me, and I'm not gonna give it to anybody!

Daniel, give me that slingshot! No, I won't!

No, no, no! No! Oh!

Daniel! I've stood as much as I can bear.

Come along.

Hey.! What's going on here? What happened?

Where are you taking him? Oh, no, you won't!

I'm going to lock him up.

And why not? I'm his mother.

And I'm his father.

You're not supposed to punish my son.

Now, it's all right, Daniel.

What did he do? He lied to me again.

I did not! He never lies to me.

Now, come along, and we'll put on a nice red coat.

Shall we? Oh, yes!

Jabez, how can you let her talk like that when the boy's present?


He won't respect me anymore. Isn't that your own fault?

My fault?

Oh, Jabez, all I want is to be proud of him.

He could be such a fine boy, if only we show him how to be.

He's my son, and I like him the way he is.

Why do you always pick on the boy? If it's not him, it's me.

You don't like the way I live, my new friends, the house or anything.

But I never said that.

You don't have to. It shows in your face.

Jabez, I am worried about the way you've changed.

That was something you said you'd never do. Remember?

Oh, for heaven's sake. Leave me alone.

I'm all ready! Ah, that's fine, son. Come on.

We're gonna go fox hunting. Up in the upper pasture. Huh?


Granny, look at me.! I see ya.

Bye, Granny. Bye, Mom.

Fox hunting? A Stone going fox hunting on a weekday.

And the earth crying out for the need of him.

Now, Ma, you just try to keep hold of yourself and set a good example for me.

Me? Why, look here, Mary Stone.

I'm worried about you. Worried about me?

Well, you can just stop.

What's that?

I said you should just stop worrying.

Because I've made up my mind.

Hey there, Black Daniel!

Hello! Someone to see you, Daniel!

If it's the British minister, take him around to the pantry.

Give him a drink. Tell him to wait.

Just someone from New Hampshire!

Oh, that's different. Well, boys, I gotta see a friend.

Mary, do you mind if I indulge? Oh, of course not.

No, you wouldn't.

You're not the kind of a woman who is afraid of smoke or fire.

Now, let's talk about your affairs.

Oh, goodness, Mr. Webster.

I've done nothing but talk about that all through dinner.

Yes, you've been chatting a lot, but womanlike.

Nibbling around the edges.

But you'll forgive an old lawyer's legal mind.

I don't think you ever once came to the point.

And there is a point, isn't there?

Why, yes. It's - It's hard to put into words.

There's the matter of little Daniel's schooling... and the new house.

And there's something else that's wrong.

It gets worse year after year.

It's like a shadow growing.

L-I can't really talk about it, even to Ma.

She puts it all on Jabez, and I won't stand for that.

I've heard a lot of odd things aboutJabez.

Seems he's not making the right kind of name for himself.

Mr. Webster, you mustn't believe all that people say.

Oh, you don't have to defend him to me. I've been called names myself.

You see, all I care about is Jabez.

He was the first man I loved.

He never used to care about money.

We -We were poor as Job's turkey, and none of us minded.

Now I've seen him drive the poor from the door, and we used to be poor ourselves.

L-I've seen him hard and mean, and he isn't hard or mean.

I've heard him mock at the church bells - the bells that rang at our wedding.

All that isn't like him, Mr. Webster. It must be my fault somehow, my fault.

You know, Mary... you've talked to me as you might have talked to your father... and I think he wants me to help you a little.

We sometimes feel that we're licked in this life.

We weren't put here to be licked.

Don't you believe it.

We sometimes feel the shadows have got hold of us - the shadows of evil.

But still, it's up to us to fight.

You know, I was planning, just before you came... to make a little trip over to Cross Corners... and to get acquainted with that godson of mine and other things.

Oh, could you, Mr. Webster?

Yeah. Yeah, not bad.

Not bad at all.

Looks all right, eh, Belle? It'll give the folks something to talk about.

Now, the people, Jabez. The people. Ah, folks or people.

What's the difference among friends? Hey!

Don't tear it down again. You have to do that?

Well, uh -

I'm sorry, sir, but that's part of the fitting.

Well, as long as you have it ready for the party.

Good morning, Squire Slossum. Good morning, Belle.

May I have your hat? Oh, how do you do, Squire?

Jabez. Feel that material.

Hey, you! Look out there. You're scuffin' my carpet.

Those things cost money. Won't you sit down?

Thank you. Uh, I'm rather pressed for time, but it's very kind.

Get some wine for the squire, Belle.

Well, very elegant home you have here, Jabez.

You really think so?

Yes, but you wanted to discuss something.

Some business, I believe. Yes, yes. Won't take a minute.

Can you keep a secret? Of course.

Daniel Webster's coming to my party.

Daniel Webster?

Yes. That's the reason I wanted to talk to you.

Here's a list of the people I've invited. Look 'em over.

No, no, no. Champagne for the squire, Belle. Champagne.

All right. Well, what do you say?

They all the right kind of people, or did I miss anybody?

Well, the only person you've missed is the president.

You think that's a joke. I had him on that, too.

Only I was afraid Webster might feel insulted.

No, you keep that. That's for you.

I want you to talk up the party and to make sure that the best folks really come.

You mean you want me to go around and - - Yes, sirree.

That's the idea. You can tell 'em all about the house, but don't mention Webster.

We'll get them all here, and then I'll say...

"Look here, folks. Here's Daniel Webster, my guest of honor."

Golly, I can see their eyes pop out right now.

Are you sure he'll come? Of course I am!

Want to bet? Why not?

How much?

Five thousand. Exactly what I owe you.

Hello there, Colonel. Do you want a lift? Ho!

Well, I wouldn't mind. My name's Daniel Stone.

Not the son ofJabez Stone.

Yes, sir. Ha. Well, this is an occasion.

Come on. Giddyap, George. Come on, Jeb.

Gee, that fair.

It hasn't opened yet. No, but I can hardly wait.

Mister, tell me. Will there really be a man that eats fire?

I guess there will be, if it says so.

An-An-And "two unparalleled Circassian beauties"?

What is that? Young man, you've got me there.

Mmm. Daniel Webster will be there, too.

Mmm. A list of varied attractions.

Which one would you like to see first?

I think I'd like to begin with the fire-eater.

Well, what about Daniel Webster?

I'll see him last. And it'd serve him right.

Oh, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Don't - Don't let me ever catch you doing that again.

Why, it don't hurt.

Yes, it does hurt, and don't do it again.

You make 'em go faster. No, Daniel.

They're not racehorses. They're two good, old friends of mine.

I call them Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Most dependable team for long journeys.

Then I've got another one called Missouri Compromise.

And a Supreme Court... a fine, dignified horse, though you have to push him on every now and then.

Golly! I'd like to see all your horses.

Mmm. Maybe you can sometime.

I'm a farmer you know, and I love to show my farm.

But the thing I'd like to show you most, you'll have to see for yourself.

What's that, sir?

Well, it's high and it's wide... and it goes a long ways.

There's a wind blowing through it... and it has a blue roof over it.

It's the hills and the rivers flowing to the south... and the new states growing in the west.

Anybody can see that.

No, that's where you're wrong, Mr. Stone.

Some people live and die without ever seeing it.

They can't see the country for the money in their pockets.

They think their state is the country or the way they live is the country... and they're willing to split the country because of it!

Well, I hope you'll meet them all when you've grown up.

You'll meet the fire-eaters and the Circassian beauties.

They are part of the fair, to be sure.

But if we had to depend upon them in a permanent sort of way... this country would have stopped at the Allegheny Mountains.

But it didn't stop. I know it didn't stop.

Granny told me it didn't. Ha. No, sirree, it didn't.

And it won't, no matter what happens... as long as the people at the fair believe in freedom and union.

Well, giddyap, Constitution. We got to be getting on, Mr. Stone.

Faster, faster! Oh! Oh!

Whoa.! Ho.! Ho.!

Young man, I think you've got this coming to you!

Didn't I tell you not to do that again?

Hello, Daniel Webster. How are you?

Hello, Black Daniel.

Are you Mr. Webster?

Yes, I'm Mr. Webster, your godfather.

Now, you run along and behave yourself.

I'm sorry, Mr. Webster.

I expected to see all you folks over atJabez Stone's for the housewarming party.

I hope you didn't wait for me to lead the parade.

Well, not exactly, Mr. Webster.

We wanted to have a chat with you before we go to the party.

Would you mind having a drink with us?

Would I mind having a drink with you gentlemen?

What a question to ask Daniel Webster.

Ma. I'm leaving.

So you made up your mind to go to his party.

You're not angry with me, are you? Aw, fiddlesticks!

I might have done the same thing if it had been my husband... only I'd take the whip along.

Be sure to let me know if Daniel's there.

I won't forget.

No one here yet, huh? No. No one but she.

Consarn it! What's the matter?

Afraid you'll lose your bet with the squire?

Ah, it's not that. It - It just makes me look so -

Jabez. See? They're coming.

Daniel, I thought you were in bed. I got up, Mommy, because -

What did you do to that cat? Nothing.

She was crying in front of my window. I think she's sick.

Oh, she's probably hungry.

May I give her something to eat? Of course you may.

Oh, why don't they come?

Jabez, couldn't they play something gayer?

That's the kind of music they play for rich people.

Belle. Belle!

Belle. Who are those people out there? What do they want?

They want to see how fine Jabez Stone lives these days.

They're waiting for your guests, too.

Consarn it.! I'm paying you for playing.! So keep on playing.! Jabez.

Well, what do you think about the new house, Mary?

Is it larger than Webster's at Marshfield? What about it? You've been there.

Well, it - it's different, that's all.

What's the matter with them? Why don't they come?

He's certainly made himself the big frog in the little puddle around here, hasn't he?

That isn't the worst. Hank.

Show Mr. Webster that foul contract you got with Jabez.

You see, Mr. Webster, it all seemed so simple when it started.

Just like gettin'loans for nothin;

But when I couldn't pay him after that big hail... he was worse than all the rest of the loan sharks.

I wish now I'd listened to you, Tom, and joined the grange.

Well, I'm afraid he's got you.

All of you. Sewed up tight in his money pocket.

Well, isn't there anything you can do, Mr. Webster?

Oh, I shall do my best.

I see why you're here.

Belle. Didn't I tell you to leave her alone?

You knew nobody was coming.

I didn't. You're lying.

Lying to you? Why should I?

You know that you are in my house.

I know, and you could show me the door.

You would, too, if you weren't still hoping the guests might arrive.

You think you're smart, Mrs. Stone.

You thinkJabez will be lonely, and you can be near him again.

Looks like your big chance tonight.

But you're wrong.

You can't win him back. Not that way.

That's my problem.

Welcome, Mr. Stevens. Good evening, Mrs. Stone.

I'm so glad you came. Yes.

Good evening, Jabez. Good evening. Come in.

I'm sorry. I'm a little late. Oh, no, you're not.

That's no place for a cat. She's sick, Pa.

Never mind. Take her away.

Come on. Sit down.

Where is everybody?

I - I don't know. I can't figure it out.

I invited them all.

What a fine boy you have, Jabez.

How old is he now? About seven, isn't he?

No, not seven. I'm sure.

Well, it seems to me I remember when you paid me.

Never mind.

What's the matter with you? You look so -

Aren't you afraid? Afraid of what?

Of what happens after we die.

Are you plumb crazy, man?

What do you think happens? We're buried. That's all.

But what becomes of our souls?

Why are you afraid about something that isn't there?

Don't say that.

I know it is. I found out.

All right. So it's buried with you.

But what if one hasn't a soul anymore?

What of that?

Well, what about it? Who cares anyhow?

I do. And I think you should, too.

Stevens, what's this all leading up to?

You know something. Come on. Out with it. You know something about me.

Belle, who are these people?

They're all friends of mine. From over the mountain.

Hooray forJabez Stone.

Hooray forJabez Stone.

Thanks. Welcome. Eat, drink.

And dance!

Dance, dance, dance, dance!

Music. -

Jabez.! Mr. Webster's coming.!

Well, where is he?

That's his buggy coming up the hill, isn't it?

Mr. Stevens, let's dance.

No, no. I can't dance.

Oh, yes, you can dance with me. No, no.

No. -

Mr. Webster. I'm so glad you came.

Are you, Mary? Well, I'm glad to see you again.

Well, the party seems to be quite a success.

Welcome, Mr. Webster. This is a great day for me.

How are you?

Come on in, sir, and meet all my guests. Take the seat of honor.

Oh, that's just fine, Neighbor Stone... uh, but you see, I've got to be very careful about my seats of honor.

Where I sit, I mean. You see, the whole country has its eye on me.

Anybody in public life has that difficulty.

Even you, Jabez Stone.

They watch us carefully, our neighbors and our enemies... and they see much more than we think they do... and understand much more.

Do you know what I'm talking about?

What do you have on your mind? You, Jabez Stone.

You and a lot of poor farmers hereabouts - all good men of the earth and in trouble because of you.

Or am I wrong about those contracts?

Without me and my money, they wouldn't have anything.

They'd have a good neighbor... and that's worth more than anything else. Much, much more.

Oh, no. Not for me it isn't.

I'm sorry you can't see that.

I know you could once.

I heard you make a little speech once that I'll always remember.

And the others do, too.

They remember what a fine fellow you were.

And now they see how you've changed.

And that's why they didn't want to come here tonight.

You're as blind as a Burma bat... you and your gold pot.

Mind you, it's not the money I'm talking about. It's what you make of it.

Well, I don't know what you're talking about.

Let me tell you something. I haven't time to listen to this!

No, you haven't time for anything or anybody!

You haven't time for your mother, your wife or your child.

Oh, I see. It's you.

You. You brought Daniel Webster here!

No, she didn't.

You're trying to make a fool out of me!

You played the sneak behind my back, made up lies against me!

You can get yourself out of my house right now!

Come along, Mary.

Mommy! Daniel, you stay here!

No! No, I won't! Daniel! Daniel!

Why, you - - Jabez, please!

I don't want to talk to you!

You should have done that years ago.

Fetch me a drink.

Close the windows. Build a fire.

Feeling chilly?

Wh-Why, what's the matter, Mr. Stone? You look worried.

You promised me happiness, love, friendship.

Just a minute. I promised you money and all that money could buy.

I don't recall any other obligations.

But, uh - Well, let's, uh -

Let's look at the contract, huh?

"Sherwin, Slatterly, Stevens." I can cross him off the list.

That Miser Stevens? Yes, yes. He's an old customer.

Help me, Neighbor Stone! Help me!

That's Miser Stevens's voice.

Miser Stevens's soul. I'm sorry for the disturbance.

It can't be. He's in there dancing.

He was.

Dead? In the midst of life... one really hates to close these long-standing accounts... but, uh, business is business.

Do they all look like moths?

Well, the ones I get usually do. Yes.

Are they all so small? Small?

Oh, I see what you mean. Why, they vary.

Now, a man like Daniel Webster... if I ever got hold of him, I wouldn't be able to keep him in my pocket.

I'd have to have a special box built for him.

Even so, I imagine the wingspan would be astonishing.

Now, in your case, I'd be able to put you in my vest pocket.

No, no.! My time isn't up yet.!

Trying to break our contract, Mr. Stone?

I'm through with you!

What a headstrong fellow.

I guess you're quite prepared to suffer the consequences.

My time isn't up yet.

But you violated clause five of our contract.

I could collect right now if I chose.

Oh, no. No, no. Not now.

I have so many things to make up for.

Suddenly you seem quite desperate, Mr. Stone.

You know I'm a generous man. I'm always open to reason.

Uh, with a little security, I -

Anything, anything. You can have it all back.

The money, the house, the farm - the whole caboodle!

Oh, I'm afraid that's not the sort of security I was thinking of.

You see, there's that promising little fellow.

Your son.

No. Oh, no.

Not my son. Not him.

I'd rather go with you now no matter what happens to me.

Ah. It's not fair to bargain with you now.

I'll give you until midnight.

Until midnight, Mr. Stone, but not one minute more.

Daniel. Daniel. Daniel. Daniel!

Daniel! Daniel! Mary!

Daniel! Daniel!

Daniel.! Mary.! Daniel.!

Mary, where are you?

Oh, Lord, have mercy!


Oh, Ma.

Little Daniel. Mary.

Where are they?

Gone with Mr. Webster to Marshfield, son.

You told Mary to go.

Jabez! Are you coming with me over the mountain? Jabez!

Mary! Mary! Mr. Webster!

Mary! Oh, Mary! Jabez!

Forgive me, Mary! Forgive me!

Mr. Webster, you take care of the boy.

Oh, Jabez!

My time's up, Mary.

No, it isn't. I'd fight 10,000 devils to save a New Hampshire man.

It's here you said you closed the deal with him?

Yes, Mr. Webster. It's here where it all began.

I see.

This is where he wants to collect, too, hmm?

Here, Jabez.

Oh, Mary. Can't I stay?

No, Mary, I think you'd better go back to the house.

What love and trust can do for a husband, you've done for yours.

And, frankly speaking, in a few moments... this is not going to be any place for a lady.

Mr. Webster, you will help him then?

I'll do my best.

You must go, Mary.

Now, don't be afraid, Jabez. Remember what the Good Book says.

"Set me as a seal upon thy heart... as a seal upon thine arm; For love is strong as death."

We grow plucky women in New England.

How long do we have to wait?

Till midnight. Oh, that's fine.

Then we have time to christen a jug.

Old Medford rum. Oh, there's nothing like it.

You know, somehow or other... waiting becomes wonderfully shorter with a jug.

I saw an inchworm once take a drop of this... and he stood right up on his hind legs and bit a bee.

Will you have a nip? No, there's no joy in it for me.

Oh, come, come, now.

Just because you sold your soul to the devil... that needn't make you a teetotaler.

Hurry, Mr. Webster. Hurry while you still have time.

No, no. I never left a jug or a case half-finished in all my life.

Come in.

Ah. So we meet again, Mr. Webster.

Yes. I'm the attorney of record forJabez Stone.

Might I ask your name? Scratch will do for the evening.

Ah. May I join you?

Certainly, but be careful.

Medford rum has an uncanny habit of kicking back, even with old-timers like yourself.

Even kicked back once at you, didn't it?

Who? Me?

Oh. Not that you've ever been drunk.

No. No, indeed, Mr. Webster.

But a kind of a - an overpowering lassitude.

Or more plainly, a deep, enveloping sleep.

Why, there isn't enough old Medford rum... in the whole of New Hampshire to make me sleepy.

Talk never proved that question, Mr. Webster.

Cup for cup. What do you say? All right.

Cup for cup. Mr. Webster, don't!

Oh, don't be afraid.

Now, Mr. Stone, are you willing to give me your son... in exchange for an extension of our contract?


Surely this matter can be settled out of court without any difficulty.

My client is prepared to offer a compromise.

Ten, twenty, thirty thousand dollars. Name your figure.

I'll raise it even if I have to mortgage Marshfield.

Your spirited efforts on behalf of your client do you credit, Mr. Webster.

But if you have no further arguments to adduce, I'll take him along now.

Not so fast, Mr. Scratch.

If you have any evidence, produce it.

Of course. All open and above board, in due and legal form.

That your signature? You know darn well it is.

Hmm. This appears - uh, mind you, I say appears to be properly drawn.

But you shan't have this man.

A man isn't a piece of property.

Mr. Stone is an American citizen... and an American citizen cannot be forced into the service of a foreign prince.

"Foreign"? Who calls me a foreigner?

Oh, I never heard of the de -

I never heard of you claiming American citizenship.

And who with a better right?

When the first wrong was done to the first Indian, I was there.

When the first slaver put out for the Congo, I stood on the deck.

Am I not still spoken of in every church in New England?

It's true, the North claims me for a Southerner... and the South for a Northerner, but I'm neither.

Tell the truth, Mr. Webster, though I don't like to boast of it... my name is older in the country than yours.

Then I stand on the Constitution.

I demand a trial for my client.

You mean a jury trial? I do.

And if I can't win this case with a jury, you'll have me, too.

If two New Hampshire men aren't a match for the devil... we'd better give the country back to the Indians.

Very well. You shall have your way, Mr. Webster.

But you'll have to admit that this is hardly the case for an ordinary jury.

Be it the quick or the dead.

So it be an American judge and an American jury.

Quick or the dead.

You have said it.

May the better man win, Mr. Webster.

I'll drink to that, Mr. Scratch.

You must pardon the leathery toughness of one or two.

Mr. Webster!

Captain Kidd. He killed men for gold.

Simon Girty, the renegade.

He burned men for gold.

Governor Dale. He broke men on the wheel.

Asa, the Black Monk. He choked them to death.

Floyd Ireson and Stede Bonnet... the fiendish butchers.

Walter Butler, king of the massacre.

Big and Little Harp, robbers and murderers.

Teach, the cutthroat.

Morton, the vicious lawyer.

And General Benedict Arnold.

You remember him, no doubt.

Ajury of the damned.

Dastards, liars, traitors, knaves.

This is monstrous.

You asked for a jury trial, Mr. Webster. Your suggestion.

The quick or the dead. I asked for a fair trial.

Americans all.

Oyez, oyez, oyez.

The trial tream of the midnight court... of the state of New Hampshire in the county of Franklin is now in session.

Justice Hawthorne presiding.

Oyez, oyez, oyez.

The Devil versus Jabez Stone.

Who appears for the plaintiff?

I, Your Honor.

And for the defendant? I, Your Honor.

Are you content with the jury, Mr. Webster?

I object to General Benedict Arnold, Your Honor.

He was a flagrant traitor to the great American cause.

Objection denied.

Prosecution, proceed.


Your Honor. Gentlemen of the jury.

This case need not detain us long.

It concerns one thing alone.

The transference, barter, sale of a certain piece of property... to wit, his soul, byJabez Stone.

Now, transference, barter or sale is attested by a deed.

I offer the deed in evidence and mark it Exhibit "A."

I object! Objection denied.

I object to this jury, Your Honor.

I move it be discharged for flagrant and open bias.

Objection denied.

Mark it Exhibit "A."

I shall now callJabez Stone to the witness stand.

Jabez Stone to the witness stand.

Mr. Stone... did you or did you not sign that document?

But you tricked me into it.

You told me my soul was nothing - that I could forget all about a soul in exchange for money.

But that was a lie, a lie, a lie!

That is highly irrelevant to the case, Your Honor.

Leave out the soul. Proceed.

I should like to ask Mr. Stone... whether or not I faithfully fulfilled my part of the bargain.

Didn't I give you seven years of good luck and prosperity?

Didn't I make you the richest man in the country?

Yes, I'm the richest man in the country.

I can't see, I can't think of anything but money, money, money, money, money!

Well, I'm hardly responsible for the pricking of your wholly unnecessary conscience.

Prosecution rests.

And does the jury wish to consider the case?

Evidently it does not. Take your man, Mr. Scratch.

I protest, Your Honor! I wish to cross-examine to prove -

There will be no cross-examination in this court.

You may speak if you want to... but let me warn you, Mr. Webster.

If you speak and fail to convince us... you too are doomed.

Lost and gone.

Lost and gone. Lost and gone.

[Eerie, Hushed.

[Voice] Drag him down with us.

Drag him down with us. Lost and gone.

Lost and gone. Lost and gone.

Lost and gone. Be still!

Gentlemen of the jury.

Tonight it is my privilege to address a group of men...

I've long been acquainted with in song and story...

but men I had never hoped to see.

My worthy opponent, Mr. Scratch... called you Americans all.

Mr. Scratch is right.

You were Americans all.

Oh, what a heritage you were born to share.

Gentlemen of the jury, I envy you... for you were present at the birth of a mighty union.

It was given to you to hear those first cries of pain... and behold a shining babe... born of blood and tears.

You are called upon tonight to judge a man named...

Jabez Stone.

What is his case?

He is accused of breach of contract.

He made a deal to find a shortcut in his life - to get rich quickly.

The same kind of a deal all of you once made.

You, Benedict Arnold.

I speak to you first because you are better known than the rest of your colleagues here.

What a different song yours could have been.

A friend of Washington and Lafayette. A soldier.

General Arnold, you fought so gallantly for the American cause till -

Let me see. What was the date? 1779.

That date burned in your heart.

The lure of gold made you betray that cause.

And you, Simon Girty, now known to all as "renegade."

A loathsome word.

You also took that other way. And you, Walter Butler.

What would you give for another chance... to see the grasses grow in Cherry Valley without the stain of blood?

I could go on and on and name you all... but there's no need of that.

Why stir the wounds? I know they pain enough.

You were fooled likeJabez Stone... fooled and trapped in your desire to rebel against your fate.

Gentlemen of the jury... it is the eternal right of every man to raise his fist against his fate!

But when he does, he's at crossroads.

You took the wrong turn; So did Jabez Stone.

But he found it out in time.

He's here tonight to save his soul.

Gentlemen of the jury...

I ask you to giveJabez Stone another chance to walk upon this earth... among the trees... the growing corn... and the smell of grasses in the spring.

What would you all give for another chance... to see those things you must all remember... and often long to touch again?

For you were all men once.

Clean American air was in your lungs... and you breathed it deeply... for it was free and blew across an earth you loved.

These are common things I speak of.

Small things, but they are good things.

Yet, without your soul, they mean nothing.

Without your soul, they sicken.

Mr. Scratch once told you... that your soul meant nothing, and you believed him... and you lost your freedom.

Freedom isn't just a big word.

It is the morning and the bread and the risen sun!

It was for freedom we came to these shores in boats and ships!

It was a long journey, a hard one and a bitter one!

Yes, there is sadness in being a man.

But it is a proud thing, too... and out of the suffering and the starvation and the wrong and the right...

A free man.

And when the whips of the oppressors are broken... and their names forgotten and destroyed... free men will be talking and walking under a free star.

Yes. We have planted freedom in this earth like wheat.

And we have said to the skies above us...

"A man shall own his own soul."

Now, here is this man.

He is your brother. You were Americans all.

You can't be on his side, the side of the oppressor!

LetJabez Stone keep his soul... the soul which doesn't belong to him alone... but to his family, his son and his country!

Gentlemen of the jury, don't let this country go to the devil!

FreeJabez Stone.

God bless the United States and the men who made her free.

The jury... finds for the defendant.

Mr. Webster!

Allow me to congratulate you as one gentlemen to another, sir.

By the 13 original colonies!

You double-barreled, slab-sided, lantern-jawed, note-shaving crook!

Get out of here! And don't you ever come back to the state of New Hampshire again!

If I ever become the president of the United States - - You?

You'll never be president. I'll see to that.

Mary. Oh, Jabez!

I think we deserve a little breakfast.

Oh, Mr. Webster!

It's good to see you smile again, Mary.

Jabez? Jabez.!

Jabez, your new house is on fire!

Good. The consarn thing ought to burn.

But I'm glad you're here. There are some other things I want to settle.

Those contracts. First, let's all have breakfast.

Oh, thank you, Mary. Here they are.

Ma! Ma, there's a few more people coming.

I've seen 'em. Is there enough?

Why, certainly. We've got plenty for everybody.

Bread and butter and eggs and sausage.

What about Mr. Webster's pie?

Don't you worry. I've got it all ready.

Daniel, tell 'em to hurry up. The coffee's gettin' cold.

Yes, Granny.

Breakfast is ready!

Well, Jabez, now that you've torn up the contracts... would you like to join the grange?

Of course, Tom. I'd be glad to. From now on, we'll all work together, huh?

Please, everybody, sit down.

Well, this is a wonderful spread you have here, Mary.

You know, there's nothing better... than a good, old-fashioned country breakfast on a morning like this.

Where's Ma Stone? Oh, she'll be here in a minute.

She's got a special surprise for you.

Granny! Come on, Ma.!

There she is.!

Peach pie? Peach pie.

Well! What the devil!

Well, who laughs last?