The Ninth Gate (1999) Script

IT'S AN IMPRESSIVE COLLECTION.

YOU HAVE SOME VERY RARE EDITIONS HERE.

ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO SELL THEM ALL?

THEY'RE NO USE TO FATHER, NOT ANYMORE...

NOT SINCE HE'S BEEN THIS WAY.

HIS LIBRARY WAS HIS WHOLE WORLD.

NOW IT'S JUST A PAINFUL MEMORY.

UNBEARABLY PAINFUL.

I UNDERSTAND.

WELL, AT A ROUGH PRELIMINARY ESTIMATE...

YOU HAVE A COLLECTION HERE... WORTH AROUND $600,000.

600,000...

YES, OR THEREABOUTS.

I'VE PICKED OUT ONE OR TWO VOLUMES THAT MERIT SPECIAL ATTENTION.

THIS "PERSILES", FOR EXAMPLE, IS IMPORTANT. I'D HANG ON TO THAT.

IT WILL NEVER DEPRECIATE. IT'S A GOOD INVESTMENT.

VALUABLE?

VERY VALUABLE.

AS FOR THIS "HYPERMORACHIA DI POLIPHILO"

BY COLONNA, VENICE 1545...

I'M SURE I COULD FIND YOU A BUYER.

BUT I WOULDN'T LET THE REST GO FOR LESS THAN $500,000.

UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

IT MAY TAKE A MONTH OR SO TO PLACE THEM.

SO IN THE MEAN-TIME... I ADVISE YOU TO BE PATIENT.

A MONTH?

YES, A MONTH OR TWO.

IT DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH OF A HURRY YOU'RE IN.

YOU SEE, MORE HURRY, LESS MONEY.

OF COURSE.

WELL, THAT'S MY ADVICE, ANYWAY.

I'M SURE YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO RUSH THINGS.

BUT PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONSULT ANOTHER EXPERT...

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS YOU KNOW WHERE TO REACH ME.

INCIDENTALLY, THIS FOUR-VOLUME OF DON QUIXOTE...

IS QUITE NICE BUT NOT PARTICULARLY VALUABLE.

NOW, I COULD...

TAKE IT OFF YOUR HANDS... RIGHT AWAY.

MMM...

HOW MUCH WERE YOU THINKING OF?

OH...

I COULDN'T GO MORE THAN $4,000, $4,200 TOPS.

FINE.

YOU HERE? HELLO, WITKIN.

YOU DIDN'T WASTE MUCH TIME.

LISTEN, THERE'S A SMALL FORTUNE IN THERE...

HELP YOURSELF.

YOU'RE A VULTURE, CORSO... A VULTURE.

WHO ISN'T, IN OUR BUSINESS?

YOU'D STOOP TO ANYTHING.

FOR "QUIXOTE" BY YBARRA? YOU BET I WOULD.

UNSCRUPULOUS, THOROUGHLY UNSCRUPULOUS!

HAPPY HUNTING.


I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH WITKIN.

HE'S SPITTING BLOOD.

REALLY? WHAT'S HIS PROBLEM?

HE SAID YOU'RE A DOUBLE-DEALING, MONEY-GRUBBING BASTARD.

HE THOUGHT HE HAD THAT DEAL SEWED UP.

HE SAID YOU QUEERED HIS PITCH.

WELL, HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN QUICKER OFF THE MARK.

MAY I? SURE.

AND HE SAID YOUR EVALUATION WAS WAY OVER THE TOP...

GOT THOSE PEOPLE COMING OUT IN A RASH.

NOW THEY'RE ASKING TWICE WHAT THOSE BOOKS ARE WORTH.

LET'S FACE IT, YOU SCREWED HIM.

THAT'S WHAT IT'S CALLED.

THAT'S WHAT IT'S CALLED, YES.

HE ALSO SAID THAT YOU SNATCHED THE "DON QUI...

YBARRA "DON QUIXOTE", 1780...

ALL FOUR VOLUMES.

SON-OF-A-BITCH.

FANTASTIC.

YOU ARE THE BEST.

THAT CLIENT OF YOURS, THE SWISS...

DO YOU THINK HE'D STILL BE INTERESTED IN THIS EDITION?

I'D HAVE WITKIN ON MY ASS.

I TOLD HIM I HAD NO PART OF THIS.

EXCEPT 10 PERCENT.

20 PERCENT. THE SWISS WAS MY CLIENT.

NO DEAL.

15. FOR MY CHILDREN'S SAKE.

YOU DON'T HAVE ANY CHILDREN.

I'M STILL YOUNG. GIVE ME TIME.

10.

HEY, MAN, HOW YA DOIN'? HOW ABOUT A COUPLE OF BUCKS?

NOT TODAY!

...IN THE PRESENT CONTEXT, HOWEVER...

...AND EARLIER, IN 1580, IN "De la Demonamanie des Sorciers"

BY THE FRENCHMAN, JEAN BODIN.

BODIN WAS PROBABLY THE FIRST...

TO ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH A SYSTEM IF THE TERM "SYSTEM" MAY BE APPLIED TO THE MIDDLE AGES...

FOR CLASSIFYING...

THE CONTEMPORARY PERCEPTIONS OF EVIL.

IN BODIN, WE FIND ONE OF THE FIRST DEFINITIONS OF THE WORD "WITCH".

AND I QUOTE, "A WITCH IS A PERSON...

WHO, THOUGH COGNIZANT OF THE LAWS OF GOD...

ENDEAVORS TO ACT THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF A PACT WITH THE DEVIL."

TO ASSIST THEM IN THEIR WORK, MANY WITCHES KEPT FAMILIARS...

THAT IS TO SAY, CREATURES SUCH AS CATS OR TOADS, IN WHICH SUPERNATURAL SPIRITS OR DEMONS...

WERE THOUGHT TO RESIDE.

FOR THOSE OF YOU, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN...

WHO WISH TO DELVE MORE DEEPLY INTO THE CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT OF WITCHCRAFT...

A GREAT DEAL OF RELEVANT INFORMATION MAY BE FOUND IN NICOLAS REMES' "DEMONOLATRIA LIBRE";

AND "COMPENDUIM MALEFICAM" BY FRANCESCO MARIA GUAZO.

I SEE YOU WERE STIMULATED BY MY LITTLE TALK, MR. CORSO.

DID I SNORE?

IT'S NICE OF YOU TO ASK.

NO, NOT THAT I NOTICED.

SHALL WE GO?

DON'T YOU SLEEP NIGHTS?

LIKE A BABY.

STRANGE.

I'D HAVE BET A BRACE OF GUTENBERG BIBLES...

YOU SPEND HALF THE NIGHT WITH YOUR EYES PEELED.

YOU'RE ONE OF THOSE LEAN, HUNGRY RESTLESS TYPES...

THAT PUT THE WIND UP JULIUS CAESAR...

MEN WHO STAB THEIR FRIENDS IN THE BACK.

NOT, I SUSPECT, THAT YOU HAVE MANY FRIENDS, DO YOU, MR. CORSO?

YOUR KIND SELDOM DOES.

THAT MAKES TWO OF US.

YOU'RE RIGHT, OF COURSE.

YOUR FRIENDSHIPS DON'T CONCERN ME IN THE LEAST.

OUR RELATIONS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN STRICTLY COMMERCIAL...

AND THAT'S THE WAY I LIKE IT.

THE PROFESSIONAL AND THE PERSONAL SHOULD BE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.

LISTEN, I CAME HERE TO DO SOME BUSINESS...

NOT SHOOT THE BREEZE.

IF YOU WANT TO EXPOUND YOUR PERSONAL PHILOSOPHIES...

WRITE ANOTHER BOOK.

YOU DON'T LIKE ME, DO YOU?

I DON'T HAVE TO.

YOU'RE A CLIENT AND YOU PAY WELL.

YOU'RE PRIVILEGED, MR. CORSO.

VERY FEW PEOPLE EVER SET FOOT IN HERE.

THIS IS MY PRIVATE COLLECTION.

SOME BIBLIOPHILES SPECIALIZE IN GOTHIC NOVELS...

OTHERS IN BOOKS OF HOURS.

ALL MY OWN RARE EDITIONS HAVE THE SAME PROTAGONIST...

THE DEVIL.

MAY I TAKE A LOOK?

YES.

THAT'S WHY I BROUGHT YOU HERE.

BEAUTIFUL, AREN'T THEY?

THE SOFT SHEEN, THE SUPERB GILDING...

NOT TO MENTION THE CENTURIES OF WISDOM THEY CONTAIN.

I KNOW PEOPLE WHO WOULD KILL FOR A COLLECTION LIKE THIS.

THE "ARS DIAVILI".

YOU'LL NEVER SEE AS MANY BOOKS ON THE SUBJECT ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD.

THEY'RE THE RAREST...

THE CHOICEST EDITIONS IN EXISTENCE.

IT'S TAKEN ME A LIFETIME TO ASSEMBLE THEM.

ONLY THE SUPREME MASTERPIECE WAS MISSING.

COME...

THE "NINE GATES OF THE KINGDOM OF SHADOWS".

YOU'RE FAMILIAR WITH IT?

YES. VENICE, 1666.

THE AUTHOR AND PRINTER, ARISTIDE TORCHIA...

WAS BURNED BY THE HOLY INQUISITION...

TOGETHER WITH ALL HIS WORKS.

ONLY THREE COPIES SURVIVED.

ONE.

THE CATALOG LISTS THREE COPIES SURVIVING IN PRIVATE OWNERSHIP...

THE FARGAS, THE KESSLER AND THE TELFER.

IT'S TRUE. YOU KNOW YOUR BUSINESS...

BUT YOU'RE MISTAKEN NONETHELESS.

ACCORDING TO MY OWN RESEARCH, ONLY ONE IS AUTHENTIC.

WELL, THREE ARE KNOWN.

THAT'S THE TROUBLE.

WHERE'D YOU GET IT?

I BOUGHT IT FROM TELFER.

TELFER?

YES, HE FINALLY SOLD IT TO ME...

THE DAY BEFORE HE KILLED HIMSELF.

IT WAS GOOD TIMING.

"SILENTIUM EST AUREUM."

SILENCE IS GOLDEN.

PRECISELY.

EVER HEARD OF THE "DELOMELANICON"?

I'VE HEARD OF IT, YES. IT'S A MYTH, ISN'T IT?

A BOOK REPUTED TO HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY SATAN HIMSELF.

NO MYTH. THAT BOOK EXISTED.

TORCHIA ACTUALLY ACQUIRED IT.

THE ENGRAVINGS YOU'RE NOW ADMIRING WERE ADAPTED BY TORCHIA FROM THE "DELOMELANICON".

THEY FORM A KIND OF SATANIC RIDDLE.

CORRECTLY INTERPRETED WITH THE AID OF THE ORIGINAL TEXT...

AND SUFFICIENT INSIDE INFORMATION...

THEY'RE REPUTED TO CONJURE UP THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS IN PERSON.

YOU DON'T SAY.

ARE YOU A RELIGIOUS MAN, MR. CORSO?

I MEAN, DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE SUPERNATURAL?

I BELIEVE IN MY PERCENTAGE.

DON'T YOU GET DIZZY, STANDING THERE?

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT FROM ME, BALKAN?

I WANT YOU TO GO TO EUROPE AND INVESTIGATE.

THE OTHER TWO COPIES ARE IN PORTUGAL AND FRANCE.

I WANT YOU TO FIND...

SOME WAY OF COMPARING THEM WITH MINE...

EVERY PAGE, EVERY ENGRAVING, THE BINDING, EVERYTHING.

I'M CONVINCED...

ONLY ONE IS AUTHENTIC... I WANT TO KNOW WHICH.

THAT COULD BE AN EXPENSIVE TRIP.

THAT'S TO GET YOU STARTED. SPEND WHAT YOU NEED.

WHAT IF I FIND THAT YOUR COPY'S A FORGERY?

IT'S QUITE POSSIBLE.

REALLY?

IT DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE.

EVEN THE PAPER SOUNDS KOSHER.

EVEN SO. THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG.

YOU MEAN THE DEVIL WON'T SHOW UP?

IF ALL THREE COPIES TURN OUT TO BE BOGUS OR INCOMPLETE...

YOUR WORK WILL BE DONE. IF, ON THE OTHER HAND...

ONE OF THEM TURNS OUT TO BE GENUINE...

I'LL FINANCE YOU FURTHER.

I WANT YOU TO GET IT FOR ME, AT ALL COSTS, NEVER MIND HOW.

"NEVER MIND HOW", SOUNDS ILLEGAL.

WOULDN'T BE THE FIRST TIME YOU'VE DONE SOMETHING ILLEGAL.

NOT THAT ILLEGAL.

HENCE THE SIZE OF THE CHECK.

DO A GOOD JOB, I'LL DOUBLE IT.

THERE'S GOTTA BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH IT IF YOU'RE LETTING IT OUT OF YOUR HANDS.

I HAVE THE UTMOST FAITH IN YOU, MR. CORSO.

THERE'S NOTHING MORE RELIABLE THAN A MAN WHOSE LOYALTY CAN BE BOUGHT FOR HARD CASH.


GOOD MORNING, I'M DEAN CORSO.

I'M TERRIBLY SORRY TO DISTURB YOU AT A TIME LIKE THIS.

IT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL, MA'AM...

IF YOU COULD TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW...

ABOUT THIS BOOK.

ISN'T THIS ONE OF MY HUSBAND'S BOOKS?

RIGHT.

IT WAS IN HIS COLLECTION UNTIL VERY RECENTLY.

HE SOLD IT TO A CLIENT OF MINE.

I'M TRYING TO AUTHENTICATE IT.

HE SOLD IT, YOU SAY?

HOW STRANGE, THIS WAS ONE OF HIS MOST TREASURED POSSESSIONS.

HE NEVER MENTIONED THE SALE?

NO. IT'S NEWS TO ME.

WHO BOUGHT IT?

A PRIVATE COLLECTOR.

MAY I KNOW HIS NAME?

I'M AFRAID THAT'S CONFIDENTIAL.

I SUPPOSE HE HAS A BILL OF SALE?

NO PROBLEM THERE.

IS THIS YOUR JOB... AUTHENTICATING RARE BOOKS?

AND TRACKING THEM DOWN, YES.

YOU'RE A BOOK DETECTIVE.

KIND OF.

DO YOU RECALL WHEN AND WHERE YOUR HUSBAND ACQUIRED THIS BOOK?

IN SPAIN.

WE WERE VACATIONING AT TOLEDO.

ANDREW GOT VERY EXCITED.

HE PAID A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY FOR IT.

HE WAS A FANATICAL COLLECTOR.

SO I GATHER.

I'LL SHOW YOU.


IMPRESSIVE.

ANDREW USED TO SPEND MANY HOURS IN HERE...

TOO MANY.

DID HE EVER TRY IT OUT?

I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

THE BOOK?

DID HE EVER USE IT TO PERFORM SOME KIND OF RITUAL INTENDED TO PRODUCE A SUPERNATURAL EFFECT?

ARE YOU SERIOUS?

YES, ABSOLUTELY.

ANDREW WAS A TRIFLE ECCENTRIC, MR. CORSO...

BUT HE WASN'T INSANE.

IT'S TRUE HE'D BEEN ACTING...

STRANGELY THOSE LAST FEW DAYS.

HE SHUT HIMSELF IN HERE.

HE SELDOM EMERGED EXCEPT FOR MEALS.

THAT MORNING, I WAS AWOKEN...

BY THE SCREAMS OF THE MAID.

HE'D HANGED HIMSELF.

WHATEVER HE WAS UP TO...

I CERTAINLY CAN'T SEE HIM CHANTING MUMBO-JUMBO OR TRYING TO RAISE THE DEAD.

THE DEVIL, MRS. TELFER...

THIS BOOK IS DESIGNED TO RAISE THE DEVIL.


"SIC LUCEAT LUX..."

"THUS, LET THE LIGHT SHINE."


SON-OF-A-BITCH... WHERE'D YOU GET THIS?

BALKAN. HE WANTS ME TO RESEARCH IT.

BALKAN OWNS A "NINE GATES"?

RECENTLY ACQUIRED FROM THE LATE LAMENTED ANDREW TELFER.

TRUST BALKAN.

WHAT DOES HE NEED YOU FOR?

I DON'T SUPPOSE HE PLANS TO SELL IT?

HE WANTS ME TO COMPARE IT WITH THE OTHER TWO SURVIVING COPIES, WHICH ARE IN PORTUGAL AND FRANCE.

SO I'M OFF TO EUROPE.

COMPARE IT?

YEAH. ONLY ONE OF THE THREE IS AUTHENTIC, HE SAYS.

THIS LOOKS GENUINE ENOUGH.

CHRIST, IT'S GOT TO BE WORTH A MILLION.

TAKE CARE OF IT.

THAT'S WHY I'M HERE. I NEED YOU TO STASH IT FOR ME.

BECAUSE I'M STARTING TO SEE THINGS.

LIKE WHAT?

UNINVITED VISITORS, UNFAMILIAR FACES.

I DON'T TRUST ANYONE, NOT EVEN BALKAN.

COME TO THINK OF IT, I'M NOT EVEN SURE I TRUST YOU.

YOU KNOW I WOULDN'T SCREW YOU UNLESS THERE WAS A GOOD REASON...

MONEY, WOMEN, BUSINESS.

OTHER THAN THAT, YOU CAN RELAX.

I'LL PICK IT UP ON MY WAY TO THE AIRPORT.

SURE.

THESE ENGRAVINGS ARE TERRIFIC.

OR HORRIFIC, WHICHEVER.

SENSATIONAL...

ABSOLUTELY SENSATIONAL.


MAY I COME IN?

PLEASE SIT DOWN.

I'VE COME TO TALK BUSINESS.

MM-HMM.

YESTERDAY, WHEN YOU CAME TO SEE ME ABOUT THAT BOOK...

I WAS TOO SURPRISED TO REACT AS I SHOULD HAVE DONE.

I MEAN, IT REALLY WAS ONE OF ANDREW'S FAVORITES.

SO YOU SAID.

I'D LIKE TO GET IT BACK.

THAT COULD BE A PROBLEM.

NOT NECESSARILY. IT ALL DEPENDS.

ON WHAT? YOU.

I DON'T UNDERSTAND. THE BOOK'S NOT MINE TO DISPOSE OF.

YOU WORK FOR MONEY, I TAKE IT?

WHAT ELSE? I HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY.

I'M VERY HAPPY FOR YOU.

YOU COULD STAGE A THEFT.

I IMAGINE YOUR CLIENT IS WELL INSURED.

I'M A PROFESSIONAL, MA'AM. A PROFESSIONAL MERCENARY.

MERCENARIES WORK FOR THE HIGHEST BIDDER.

I MAKE A LIVING.

I COULD THROW IN A BONUS.

THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE SOMEPLACE.

I KNOW. IN THE MOVIES.

SHE HAD AN AUTOMATIC IN HER STOCKING.

NO AUTOMATIC.

WOULD YOU LIKE A DRINK?

WHY NOT?


OKAY, WHERE IS IT?

WHERE'S WHAT?

DON'T FUCK WITH ME!

I THOUGHT I ALREADY DID.

WAIT! WAIT! WAIT!


You have reached Bernie's Rare Books.

Please leave your message after the beep.

BERNIE. YOU THERE?

PICK UP.

BERNIE!


GIVE ME A MINUTE. I WON'T BE LONG.

YOU CAN TAKE ME ON TO KENNEDY.

NO PROBLEM, SIR.


BERNIE?

BERNIE?

OH, JESUS.

JESUS CHRIST.

BERNIE...?


NO PROBLEM?


STOP.

STOP AT THAT PHONE BOOTH, PULL OVER.

NO PROBLEM, SIR.

He isn't available at this time.

May I know who's calling?

DEAN CORSO. Would you like to leave a message?

NO. I HAVE TO TALK WITH HIM AT ONCE.

Oh, I'm afraid he's in transit.

If you care to give me your number, I'll have him return your call when he checks with us.

NO! I'M AT A PHONE BOOTH. IT'S AN EMERGENCY.

I HAVE TO SPEAK WITH HIM RIGHT NOW.

DO YOU HEAR ME? RIGHT NOW.

One moment.

Are you there, Mr. Corso?

YES. I'll patch you through.

Mr. Corso? What have you got for me?

MORE THAN I BARGAINED FOR. What do you mean?

I MEAN I QUIT.

I WANT TO RETURN THE BOOK. WHERE ARE YOU?

I'm disappointed in you, Mr. Corso.

You never let me down before.

WELL, THIS IS DIFFERENT. YOU REMEMBER BERNIE ARMSTEIN?

Armstein? The dealer?

I GAVE HIM YOUR BOOK TO STASH FOR ME, AND NOW HE'S DEAD--

MURDERED.

Because of the book?

WHAT ELSE?

I never said it would be easy. If it's a question of money...

IT ISN'T THE MONEY. I WANT OUT!

This matter means a great deal to me, Mr. Corso.

I'm not an ungenerous man, you know that.

Proceed as arranged, and you can tack another zero onto your fee.

Final call for passengers traveling to Paris...

HEY, WHERE ARE YOU... BALKAN?

BALKAN.


Buenas tardes.

DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?

YES, I DO.

I WOULD LIKE TO GET YOUR OPINION ON THIS.

WHAT A HABIT FOR A BOOKBINDER.

"THE NINE GATES..." SUPERB EDITION.

VERY RARE. THE TELFER COPY.

YES, YOU USED TO OWN IT, RIGHT?

WE USED TO, YES.

WE SOLD IT WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED ITSELF.

IT WAS TOO GOOD-- TOO GOOD TO MISS.

AN EXCELLENT SALE. AN EXCELLENT BUY.

IMPECCABLE CONDITION.

ARE YOU THE PRESENT OWNER?

NO. A CLIENT OF MINE.

I WOULD NEVER HAVE BELIEVED SHE WOULD PART WITH IT, NEVER.

SHE?

MRS. TELFER.

UH-HUH.

I UNDERSTOOD THAT...

IT WAS MR. TELFER THAT BOUGHT IT.

HE PAID FOR IT.

IT WAS MRS. TELFER THAT MADE HIM BUY IT.

HE DIDN'T SEEM PARTICULARLY INTERESTED.

AN EXCEPTIONAL SPECIMEN.

DO YOU THINK IT COULD BE A FORGERY?

A FORGERY? YOU HEAR THAT?

I TOOK YOU FOR A PROFESSIONAL.

YOU SPEAK TOO LIGHTLY OF FORGERIES.

FAR TOO LIGHTLY.

FORGING A BOOK IS VERY EXPENSIVE.

PAPER OF THE PERIOD, THE RIGHT INKS...

TOO EXPENSIVE TO BE PROFITABLE.

STILL, IT CAN BE DONE.

IT REQUIRES A GREAT SKILL, BUT, YES, I CAN BE DONE.

DO YOU THINK THAT COULD BE THE CASE HERE?

WHAT MAKES YOU ASK?

MY CLIENT WISHES TO SATISFY HIMSELF ON THE BOOK'S AUTHENTICITY. HIS NAME IS BALKAN.

BORIS BALKAN OF NEW YORK.

ALL BOOKS HAVE A DESTINY OF THEIR OWN...

AND A LIFE OF THEIR OWN.

MR. BALKAN IS A CELEBRATED COLLECTOR.

HE'S NO FOOL.

HE MUST KNOW THIS BOOK IS AUTHENTIC.

WE KNOW IT. SO MUST HE.

WE HAD THIS BOOK FOR YEARS.

MANY YEARS.

AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO STUDY IT THOROUGHLY.

THE PRINTING...

THE BINDING...

ARE MAGNIFICENT EXAMPLES OF 17th CENTURY VENETIAN CRAFTSMANSHIP.

FINEST RAG PAPER, RESISTANT TO THE PASSAGE OF TIME.

NONE OF YOUR MODERN WOOD PULP.

WATERMARKS, INK...

TYPEFACES...

IF THIS IS A FORGERY...

OR A COPY WITH MISSING PAGES RESTORED...

IT'S THE WORK OF A MASTER.

A MASTER.

HAVE YOU STUDIED THE ENGRAVINGS?

THEY SEEM TO HAVE SOME UNDERLYING SIGNIFICANCE.

BUT OF COURSE. HERE, FOR EXAMPLE...

THIS ONE COULD BE INTERPRETED AS A WARNING.

"VENTURE TOO FAR," IT SEEMS TO SAY...

"AND DANGER WILL DESCEND ON YOU FROM ABOVE."

THIS TYPE OF BOOK OFTEN CONTAINS LITTLE PUZZLES...

ESPECIALLY IN THE CASE OF SUCH AN ILLUSTRIOUS COLLABORATOR.

COLLABORATOR?

YOU CANNOT HAVE PROCEEDED VERY FAR IN YOUR RESEARCH, SEñOR.

HERE, LOOK CLOSE.

ONLY SIX OF THE NINE ENGRAVINGS WERE SIGNED BY ARISTIDE TORCHIA.

AND THE OTHER THREE?

THIS IS ONE OF THEM.

"LCF"

WHO IS LCF?

THINK.

LUCIFER?

VERY PERCEPTIVE OF YOU, SEñOR.

TORCHIA WAS BURNED ALIVE...

BECAUSE HE WROTE THIS BOOK IN COLLABORATION WITH SOMEONE ELSE.

COME ON! YOU CAN'T HONESTLY BELIEVE...

THE MAN WHO WROTE THIS BOOK DID SO IN ALLIANCE WITH THE DEVIL...

AND WENT TO THE STAKE FOR IT.

EVEN HELL HAS ITS HEROES, SEñOR.


I'VE SEEN YOU BEFORE.

HAVE YOU?

YES.

ARE YOU TRAVELING IN THIS CAR?

THE NEXT ONE.

THE SLEEPER.

I TRAVEL ON THE CHEAP.

YOU'RE A STUDENT?

SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

I LIKE TRAINS.

TRAINS I'M ON?

JUST TRAINS.

WHAT'S YOUR NAME?

GUESS.

GREEN EYES.

THAT'LL DO. WHAT'S YOURS?

CORSO.

STRANGE NAME.

ITALIAN. IT MEANS "RUN".

YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE A RUNNER TO ME...

MORE THE QUIET TYPE.

WELL...

GIVE MY REGARDS TO BALKAN. TELL HIM I'M DOING MY BEST.

BALKAN?

NEVER MIND.

SEE YOU AROUND...

MAYBE.

I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED.


¿Sí?

DEAN CORSO, MR. FARGAS.

CORSO? OH, YES. PLEASE COME IN.

PLEASE.

HOME, SWEET HOME!

YOU WON'T SAY NO TO A BRANDY, I TAKE IT?

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

WHAT HANDSOME GLASSES.

THEY'RE THE ONLY ONES I HAVE LEFT.

MUST HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.

IT WAS.

BUT OLD FAMILIES ARE LIKE ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS...

THEY WITHER AND DIE.

THERE THEY ARE, 834 OF THEM.

A PITY YOU DIDN'T SEE THEM IN BETTER TIMES.

I USED TO HAVE 5,000.

BUT THESE ARE THE SURVIVORS.

SO THIS IS THE FARGAS COLLECTION?

NOT QUITE AS I IMAGINED IT, I MUST SAY.

C'est la vie, MY FRIEND.

BUT I KEEP THEM IN PERFECT CONDITION...

SAFE FROM DAMP, LIGHT, HEAT, RATS...

I DUST AND AIR THEM EVERY DAY.

THESE ARE THE "OCCULTS".

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

NOT BAD.

NOT BAD INDEED.

AT LEAST 10 OF THEM ARE EXTREMELY RARE.

HERE, PLANCY'S "DICTIONNAIRE INFERNALE"...

FIRST EDITION, 1844.

LEONARDO FIORAVANTI'S "COMPENDI DI SECRETI", 1571...

AND THERE IT IS...

IN PERFECT CONDITION.

IT HAS TRAVELED THE WORLD FOR THREE-AND-A-HALF CENTURIES...

YET IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN PRINTED YESTERDAY.

IS IT IN ORDER?

YOU HAVEN'T DETECTED ANYTHING UNUSUAL?

UNUSUAL? NO.

THE TEXT IS COMPLETE, THE ENGRAVINGS TOO.

NINE PLUS THE TITLE PAGE, JUST AS THE CATALOG STATES.

JUST LIKE THE KESSLER IN PARIS AND THE TELFER IN NEW YORK.

IT ISN'T THE TELFER ANYMORE.

TELFER KILLED HIMSELF.

BUT HE SOLD HIS COPY TO BORIS BALKAN FIRST.

AH, BALKAN.

IF HE SETS HIS HEART ON A BOOK, NO PRICE IS TOO HIGH.

NOT THAT I WOULD EVER SELL THIS ONE...

NOT AT ANY PRICE.

IT'S STRANGE HE SHOULD HAVE SENT YOU HERE...

IF HE ALREADY HAD...

YOU HAVE IT HERE?

MAY I SEE IT?

AH, SUPERB...

BEAUTIFUL...

IDENTICAL.

TWO OF THE ONLY THREE TO HAVE ESCAPED THE FLAMES...

REUNITED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER THREE CENTURIES.

AH, YES...

LOOK AT THIS SLIGHT IMPERFECTION HERE...

THE DAMAGED "S".

THE SAME TYPE, THE SAME IMPRESSION.

INCREDIBLE.

YOU SEE?

IF IT WEREN'T FOR THIS SLIGHT DISCOLORATION ON THE BACK OF YOUR COPY...

NO ONE COULD TELL THEM APART.

IF YOU DON'T MIND...

I'D LIKE TO STAY FOR A WHILE AND EXAMINE THEM IN DETAIL.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR, MR. CORSO?

I'M NOT QUITE SURE.

SOME BOOKS ARE DANGEROUS.

NOT TO BE OPENED WITH IMPUNITY.

THAT'S VERY TRUE.


I'LL BE DAMNED.


HELLO AGAIN.

YOU DIDN'T SAY YOU WERE BOUND FOR SINTRA.

NEITHER DID YOU.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

READING.

I CAN SEE THAT.

AND BUMPING INTO PEOPLE. UNEXPECTEDLY.

YES. UNEXPECTEDLY IS RIGHT.

ARE YOU ON A BUSINESS TRIP?

IS THAT WHY YOU ALWAYS CARRY THAT THING AROUND?

IS THIS PART OF YOUR COURSE?

MY COURSE?

WINNING FRIENDS AND INFLUENCING PEOPLE.

YOU SAID YOU WERE A STUDENT.

DID I?

SO I AM. IN A WAY.

I LIKE BOOKS.

DO YOU?

HAVE YOU BEEN TRAVELING LONG?

A WHILE.

I DON'T SUPPOSE YOU EVER TRAVEL BY MOTORBIKE?

EXCUSE ME, SEñOR, TELEFONO PARA SEñOR.

FOR ME? ARE YOU SURE?

Sí, SEñOR. Sí, SEñOR.

YES? Mr. Corso?

MY GOD. HOW DID YOU FIND ME?

Made any progress?

PROGRESS? YEAH, YOU COULD CALL IT THAT.

Well?

LOOK, I CAN'T TALK HERE, I'M IN THE LOBBY.

LET ME CALL YOU BACK. WHERE ARE YOU?

Never mind that.

Get them to transfer it to your room, I'll wait.

ALL RIGHT. SEñOR?

COULD YOU SEND THIS UP TO MY ROOM, PLEASE?

YES. THANK YOU.

YOU STILL THERE? Yes.

ALL RIGHT. I'VE EXAMINED THE FARGAS COPY.

IT'S AUTHENTIC ENOUGH, AT LEAST IT LOOKS THAT WAY.

IT'S LIKE YOURS, BUT THERE ARE DISCREPANCIES.

Discrepancies?

THE ENGRAVINGS - THEY'RE NOT IDENTICAL.

IT'S LIKE, KEYS IN DIFFERENT HANDS...

DOORWAYS OPEN IN ONE COPY AND BRICKED UP IN THE OTHER...

AND THERE'S ANOTHER THING.

Yes, go on.

THE ONES THAT DIFFER AREN'T SIGNED "TORCHIA".

THEY'RE SIGNED "LCF".

YOU STILL THERE?

LCF?

LISTEN, WHERE ARE YOU, ANYWAY?

I must have that copy, Mr. Corso.

Get it for me.

THE OLD MAN WOULDN'T SELL IT TO SAVE HIS LIFE.

HE SAID AS MUCH.

Did he?

HELLO?

HELLO?


JUST A MINUTE.

YEAH?

WHAT TIME IS IT?

EARLY, BUT YOU HAVE TO GO.

GO? GO WHERE?

FARGAS'S PLACE. I ALREADY HAVE.

I THINK YOU SHOULD SEE HIM AGAIN.

WHAT IS THIS, SOME KIND OF PRACTICAL JOKE?

WHO ARE YOU?

GET DRESSED. I'LL WAIT FOR YOU OUTSIDE.


DON'T BOTHER. HE ISN'T THERE.

OH, REALLY? THEN WHERE IS HE?

OVER THERE.


GOD ALMIGHTY.

WANT TO GET INSIDE?

I HAD THOUGHT ABOUT IT, YES.


YOU WAIT HERE.


SHIT.


WELL? DID YOU FIND IT?

IT'S COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT YOU KNOW TOO GODDAMN MUCH.

WHY ARE YOU FOLLOWING ME? WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?

YOU'RE WASTING TIME.

WE'D BETTER GET OUT OF HERE.

THERE'S A FLIGHT FROM LISBON TO PARIS AT NOON.

WE SHOULD JUST MAKE IT.

WHAT'S WITH THE "WE"?

THERE ARE TWO OF US, AREN'T THERE?

WHAT HAPPENED BACK THERE?

THE OLD MAN CAUGHT SOMEONE STEALING, I GUESS.

WHAT DO YOU GUESS HAPPENED TO HIM?

HE DROWNED.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM WHO?

HE'S DEAD. WHO CARES?

I DO.

I COULD EASILY WIND UP THE SAME WAY.

NOT WITH ME AROUND TO LOOK AFTER YOU.

I SEE. YOU'RE MY GUARDIAN ANGEL THEN.

IF YOU SAY SO.

SOMEONE'S PLAYING A GAME WITH ME.

OF COURSE, YOU'RE PART OF IT.

AND YOU'RE GETTING TO LIKE IT.


HELLO, GRUBER.

HELLO, MR. CORSO. DELIGHTED TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

WE DON'T HAVE ANY VACANCIES, BUT...

I'M SURE I'LL BE ABLE TO ORGANIZE SOMETHING.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.


GOOD AFTERNOON.

I'M DEAN CORSO.

I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WITH BARONESS KESSLER.

THIS WAY.

YOU HAVE 30 MINUTES.

YES? MONSIEUR CORSO.

OH, YES, MR. CORSO. COME IN.

I'VE HEARD A GREAT DEAL ABOUT YOU.

NOTHING GOOD, I HOPE.

YOU HOPE RIGHT. Merci, Simone.

I'M REASSURED, BARONESS, BECAUSE...

IN MY TRADE, TO BE SPOKEN WELL OF...

CAN BE PROFESSIONALLY DISASTROUS.

MY GOD.

YES, THERE IT IS. THE KESSLER COLLECTION.

YOU KNOW, I KNOW YOUR CATALOG ALMOST BY HEART.

STRANGE WE HAVEN'T MET BEFORE.

YOUR NAME IS A BYWORD AMONG DEALERS AND COLLECTORS.

BUT I IMAGINE YOU KNOW YOUR OWN REPUTATION BETTER THAN I DO.

IT DOES KEEP THE WOLF FROM THE DOOR, SO TO SPEAK.

I'M SORRY, BARONESS, WERE YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMETHING?

"THE DEVIL, HISTORY AND MYTH", A KIND OF BIOGRAPHY.

IT WILL BE PUBLISHED EARLY NEXT YEAR.

WHY THE DEVIL?

I SAW HIM ONE DAY.

I WAS 15 YEARS OLD...

AND I SAW HIM AS PLAIN AS I SEE YOU NOW.

IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.

300 YEARS AGO, YOU'D HAVE BEEN BURNED AT THE STAKE...

FOR SAYING SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

300 YEARS AGO I WOULDN'T HAVE SAID IT.

NOR WOULD I HAVE MADE A MILLION BY WRITING ABOUT IT.

WHAT IS IT YOU WISH TO DISCUSS, MR. CORSO?

THERE'S A BOOK IN YOUR COLLECTION I'D LIKE TO EXAMINE, IF POSSIBLE.

IT'S "THE BOOK OF THE NINE GATES OF THE KINGDOM OF SHADOWS"?

"THE NINE GATES." AN INTERESTING WORK.

EVERYONE'S BEEN ASKING ME ABOUT IT LATELY.

IS THAT SO?

FOLLOW ME.

DO YOU TRULY BELIEVE IN THE DEVIL, BARONESS?

ENOUGH TO DEVOTE MY LIFE, AND MY LIBRARY, TO HIM.

NOT TO MENTION MANY YEARS OF WORK.

DON'T YOU?

ALMOST.

THIS BOOK DEMANDS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF FAITH.

I'M AFRAID MY FAITH IS IN SHORT SUPPLY THESE DAYS.

I KNOW THIS WORK EXTREMELY WELL.

I'VE STUDIED IT FOR YEARS.

DO YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT ITS AUTHENTICITY?

NONE WHATSOEVER.

YOU'RE SURE?

MY KNOWLEDGE OF THIS BOOK IS PROFOUND.

I WROTE A BIOGRAPHY OF ITS AUTHOR.

I'VE READ IT.

"ARISTIDE DE TORCHIA, THE DEVIL'S APPRENTICE".

EXCELLENT WORK.

A COURAGEOUS MAN.

HE DIED FOR THE SAKE OF THIS VERY BOOK, IN 1667.

WHILE STUDYING THE BLACK ARTS IN PRAGUE...

HE ACQUIRED A COPY OF THE DREAD DELOMELANICON.

THIS IS TORCHIA'S ADAPTATION OF THAT WORK...

WHICH WAS WRITTEN BY LUCIFER HIMSELF.

AFTER THEY BURNED HIM AT THE STAKE...

A SECRET SOCIETY WAS FOUNDED...

TO PERPETUATE ITS MEMORY AND PRESERVE ITS SECRETS.

"THE ORDER OF THE SILVER SERPENT."

A SECT?

A KIND OF WITCHES' COVEN.

FOR CENTURIES THEY HAVE MET TO READ FROM THIS BOOK...

AND WORSHIP THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS.

TODAY, THEY HAVE DEGENERATED INTO A SOCIAL CLUB...

FOR BORED MILLIONAIRES AND CELEBRITIES...

WHO USE ITS MEETINGS...

AS AN EXCUSE TO INDULGE THEIR JADED SEXUAL APPETITES.

I, MYSELF, BELONGED TO THE ORDER...

YEARS AGO, BUT TIME IS TOO PRECIOUS AT MY AGE.

BESIDES, MY ORGY DAYS ARE OVER.

I TOLD THEM TO GO TO THE DEVIL.

YOU MEAN IT'S ALL ABOUT SEX, OR...?

OF COURSE NOT.

THEY ARE UNDER THE ILLUSION...

THAT THEY OWE THEIR MONEY AND SUCCESS...

TO MEMBERSHIP IN THE ORDER.

DO THEY STILL MEET?

EVERY YEAR...

ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF TORCHIA'S DEATH.

THEY'LL BE MEETING VERY SOON NOW.

AND YOU SAY THEY READ FROM THIS BOOK.

NOT THIS ONE.

I TOOK MINE BACK WHEN LIANA TELFER ACQUIRED THE ONE IN TOLEDO.

VICTOR FARGAS IS AN UNBELIEVER...

HE'S ALWAYS REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE...

SO NATURALLY THEY USE THE TELFER COPY.

NOT THAT IT HAS EVER WORKED.

DID ANDREW TELFER EVER TAKE PART?

TELFER?! OH, NO, NO.

THAT CREATURE, LIANA, MARRIED HIM FOR HIS MONEY.

SHE COMES OF AN OLD AND ARISTOCRATIC FRENCH FAMILY...

THE SAINT-MARTIN'S, BUT THEY WERE PENNILESS...

SO LIANA USED HIS DOLLARS TO RESTORE HER CHATEAU...

AND BUY "THE NINE GATES".

IF HE EVER FINDS OUT WHAT HIS WIFE GETS UP TO AT THESE GATHERINGS...

HE'LL PROBABLY KILL HIMSELF.

FUNNY YOU SHOULD SAY THAT, BARONESS...

HE HANGED HIMSELF LAST WEEK.

WHO, EXACTLY, ARE YOU WORKING FOR, MR. CORSO?

MY CLIENT'S NAME IS IRRELEVANT, BARONESS.

I'M SIMPLY TRYING TO AUTHENTICATE HIS COPY...

THE ONE THAT TELFER SOLD HIM BEFORE HE DIED.

HOW STUPID OF ME. I SHOULD HAVE GUESSED.

YOU'VE OUTSTAYED YOUR WELCOME, MR. CORSO.

I WAS HOPING TO EXAMINE YOUR COPY IN DETAIL.

CERTAINLY NOT.

TELL YOUR CLIENT, WHO CAN ONLY BE BORIS BALKAN...

TO COME AND EXAMINE IT HIMSELF, IF HE DARES.

TELL HIM NOT TO SEND ANY MORE "WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING".

NOW, KINDLY LEAVE.

I'M SORRY IF I HAVE TROUBLED YOU.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.

YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GETTING INTO, MR. CORSO.

GET OUT, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.

I'M AFRAID IT ALREADY IS, BARONESS. GOOD DAY.

OUI... OUI.


THEY'RE BROKEN.

YOU SHOULD BE MORE CAREFUL.

I NEED A FAVOR, GRUBER.

CERTAINLY, MR. CORSO.

LIANA TELFER.

MAIDEN NAME "DE SAINT-MARTIN", FORTY-ISH, BRUNETTE, DISHY.

PROBABLY ACCOMPANIED BY...

A BLACK GENTLEMAN...

WITH CLOSELY CROPPED PLATINUM BLOND HAIR...

AND A MUSTACHE. I WANT TO KNOW...

IF THEY'RE STAYING HERE IN PARIS.

IT COULD TAKE A LITTLE TIME.

OF COURSE.

START WITH THE FIVE-STARS, THAT'S YOUR BEST BET.

VERY WELL, SIR.

ARE YOU FEELING ALL RIGHT?

I'VE FELT BETTER, GRUBER. THANKS.

LET ME KNOW IF YOU LOCATE THEM.

PUT THIS...

AGAINST THE BACK OF YOUR NECK.

YOU WERE REALLY GREAT DOWN THERE BY THE RIVER.

I HAVEN'T THANKED YOU FOR THAT.


ALL RIGHT, LOOK.

I THINK IT'S ABOUT TIME YOU TOLD ME WHAT'S GOING ON HERE.

SOMEONE'S AFTER YOUR BOOK.

NO KIDDING.

AND YOU, WHERE DO YOU FIT IN?

YEAH?

MAY I TAKE IT IN RECEPTION, PLEASE?

RIGHT, I'LL BE RIGHT DOWN.

YES?

Anything new?

HIS MASTER'S VOICE AGAIN.

NO, NOT MUCH ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT...

SOMEONE'S TRIED TO TAKE MY LIFE A COUPLE OF TIMES.

OH, YES, FARGAS HAS BEEN MURDERED.

Murdered? How do you know?

I SAW HIM. AND HIS COPY.

OR WHAT WAS LEFT OF IT, ANYWAY.

SOMEONE HAD SNATCHED THE ENGRAVINGS...

AND TRIED TO BURN THE REST. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF IT?

That's tragic. It's tragic.

What about Baroness Kessler? How did you get on today?

WHERE EXACTLY ARE YOU? What about her copy?

NO. WHY DO I GET THE IMPRESSION...

THAT YOU'VE BEEN BREATHING DOWN MY NECK THE ENTIRE TIME?

You're an investment of mine, Mr. Corso.

I'm merely looking after it.

THE OLD WOMAN SWEARS HER COPY'S AUTHENTIC...

BUT I DIDN'T GET A CHANCE TO EXAMINE IT CLOSELY.

SHE THREW ME OUT AS SOON AS SHE GUESSED...

THAT YOU WERE BEHIND MY VISIT.

YOU AREN'T EXACTLY IN HER GOOD BOOKS, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

You must see her again.

ARE YOU KIDDING? HAVE YOU SEEN HER SECRETARY?

Try the lunch break.

HELLO?


DO YOU HAVE A PHOTOCOPY MACHINE BACK THERE?

YES, M'SIEUR.

MAY I USE IT? OF COURSE, M'SIEUR.


OUI?

HELLO, BARONESS, IT'S ME, THE "WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING".

I THOUGHT I MADE MYSELF QUITE CLEAR, MR. CORSO.

WELL, I'VE GOT SOMETHING FOR YOU, BARONESS.

A KIND OF PEACE OFFERING.

WILL YOU ALLOW ME TO GIVE IT TO YOU?

PLEASE?


FIRST, LET ME APOLOGIZE.

I SHOULD HAVE TOLD YOU RIGHT AWAY...

THAT I'M WORKING FOR BORIS BALKAN.

IT WAS FOOLISH OF ME TO THINK THAT I COULD DECEIVE SOMEONE AS ASTUTE AS YOURSELF.

SO, PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

FLATTERY WILL GET YOU NOWHERE, MR. CORSO.

GET ON WITH IT.

RIGHT.

THESE...

...ARE FOR YOU.

WHAT IS THIS...?

WHAT IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE?

YOU SAID YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF "THE NINE GATES" WAS EXTENSIVE, BUT DID YOU EVER COMPARE YOUR COPY WITH THE OTHER TWO?

NO, WHY?

WELL, YOU SHOULD.

THESE ARE COPIES OF THE ENGRAVINGS IN BALKAN'S BOOK.

YOU'LL FIND THAT SOME OF THEM DIFFER FROM YOURS.

DIFFER?

SO YOU QUESTION MY BOOK'S AUTHENTICITY, DO YOU?

IF THAT'S YOUR PEACE OFFERING, YOU CAN TAKE IT AND GO.

MY "NINE GATES" IS ABSOLUTELY GENUINE.

I DON'T DISPUTE THAT, BARONESS.

IN MY OPINION, ALL THREE COPIES ARE GENUINE.

BUT THE FACT REMAINS, THEY DISPLAY VARIATIONS.

VARIATIONS?

IF THAT WERE TRUE, IT WOULD BE A REVELATION.

WHAT MAKES YOU SO SURE?

I'VE ALREADY COMPARED THESE...

WITH THE FARGAS ENGRAVINGS.

AND IN HIS BOOK...

THE KEYS WERE IN THE OTHER HAND.

HERE, THE DOORWAY WASN'T BRICKED UP.

AND IN THIS ONE...

THE MAN WAS HANGING BY THE OTHER LEG.

WELL?

WELL, WHAT?

LOOK CLOSELY, BARONESS.

THE TURRETS.

THREE IN YOURS...

FOUR IN BALKAN'S.

AMAZING.

I'M CONVINCED THERE'LL BE A THIRD ONE IN HERE SOMEWHERE.

THREE VARIATIONS IN THREE COPIES MAKES NINE.

COINCIDENCE, OR SOMETHING MORE?

MAYBE TORCHIA HID THE SECRET OF THE NINTH GATE...

IN THREE BOOKS, NOT ONE.

I MUST ADMIT I'M IMPRESSED.

THIS PUTS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT COMPLEXION ON THE MATTER.

YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO INVESTIGATE FURTHER, MR. CORSO.

TAKE AS LONG AS YOU NEED.

MY PERMISSION DID NOT EXTEND TO THAT, MR. CORSO.

NOBODY SMOKES IN MY LIBRARY.


BARONESS?


EXCUSE ME, THERE'S SOMETHING MISSING FROM MY ROOM.

HAS ANYONE BEEN UP THERE WHILE I WAS OUT?

ONLY YOUR WIFE, M'SIEUR.

MY WIFE? I DON'T HAVE A WIFE.

EXCUSE ME.

FOR YOU, SIR. BOOTH TWO.

YES?

What news?

NEWS? LET ME SEE.

THE GOOD NEWS...

IS THAT I GOT TO EXAMINE THE OLD WOMAN'S BOOK.

AND THREE OF HER ENGRAVINGS WERE SIGNED "LCF".

THE BAD NEWS IS THAT SOMEONE STRANGLED HER...

AND MADE A BONFIRE OF HER COLLECTION.

NOW THAT'S TRAGIC, WOULDN'T YOU SAY?

You took the words out my mouth.

YES. IT'S THE FARGAS STORY ALL OVER AGAIN.

I'M OF THE MIND THAT THEY TORE OUT THE ENGRAVINGS...

BEFORE THEY TORCHED THE PLACE.

THAT MAKES TWO SETS THEY'VE GOT.

And my copy?

WELL, I'VE LEARNED MY LESSON...

FORTUNATELY I DON'T CARRY IT AROUND ANY MORE.

OTHERWISE IT MIGHT HAVE GONE UP IN SMOKE.

Excellent. Good thinking.

Well, with two copies gone... that seems to conclude your assignment.

It only remains for you to return my book.

I'm staying at the Ritz...

You can pick up your check at the same time.

Shall we say in half an hour?

THERE'S MORE BAD NEWS.

I DON'T HAVE IT.

You don't have it?

SOMEONE LIFTED IT FROM MY ROOM.

Listen to me very carefully, Mr. Corso.

I think you may already have some idea... of the lengths to which I am prepared to go... when I want something.

Unless you recover my property in double-quick time... you'll discover just how far that can be.

WHERE IS IT?

WHERE'S WHAT?

THE BOOK, WHERE IS IT?

WOULD I BE HERE IF I TOOK IT?

HUH? YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER BY NOW.

I MUST APOLOGIZE FOR MY YOUNG COLLEAGUE, MR. CORSO...

THAT WAS UNPARDONABLE.

IS THAT HER?

NO, SIR. SHE WAS TALL, DARK HAIR...

VERY CHIC, VERY ELEGANT.

WHICH REMINDS ME, SIR.

I HAVE THE INFORMATION YOU WANTED.

THE LADY AND GENTLEMAN YOU MENTIONED...

THEY ARE STAYING AT THE PLAZA ATHENA HOTEL...

SUITE 209-211.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, GRUBER.

I OWE YOU ONE.

I NEED A TAXI, QUICK.

SEND THIS TO MR. BALKAN AT THE RITZ.

THAT'S B-A-L-K-A-N.

FAX IT, IMMEDIATELY.

CERTAINLY, SIR.

ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO BE OF SERVICE.

YOU COMING?

M'SIEUR?

WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO IF YOU SEE THEM?

PROBABLY HIDE BEHIND YOU.


THAT'S THEM. IT'S THEM.

WE SHOULD GRAB A TAXI BEFORE THEY TAKE OFF.

LET'S GO.

THEY ARE GOING.


COMING?

HOW ABOUT SOMETHING LESS CONSPICUOUS?

DON'T BE SO PICKY.

SOME PEOPLE WOULD GIVE THEIR EYE-TEETH FOR A RIDE IN THIS.


WE CAN'T SIT ON THEIR TAIL FOREVER...

THEY'RE BOUND TO SMELL A RAT.


HOW DO I LOOK?

RIDICULOUS.

SIT TIGHT.


TAKE YOUR PICK.

NO, YOU. YOU KNOW EVERYTHING.

IF YOU SAY SO.

WE LOST THEM.

WELL, NOT AT THIS SPEED.

THEY MUST HAVE GONE THE OTHER WAY.

YOU MEAN I DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING AFTER ALL?

TURN AROUND.

"THIRTY-ISH, BRUNETTE, DISHY".

WHAT WAS HER NAME AGAIN?

TELFER. LIANA TELFER.

NO, HER MAIDEN NAME.

SAINT-MARTIN.

LOOK.


M'SIEUR?

THE CHATEAU, I KNEW IT.

I SEE.

KEEP GOING.

KEEP GOING.


[conversation and laughter)

SEE THEM ANYWHERE?

NO.


SORRY TO INTRUDE ON YOU LIKE THIS.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

I'VE JUST DROPPED BY...

TO PICK UP THE BOOK YOU STOLE FROM MY ROOM.

THAT BOOK IS MINE.

WE'VE BEEN THROUGH ALL THIS BEFORE.

MY HUSBAND GAVE IT TO ME!

IT WASN'T HIS TO SELL.

HE SOLD IT TO GET BACK AT YOU. WHAT HAPPENED?

DID HE CATCH YOU WITH THAT ALBINO?

HOW DARE YOU?

KEEP AN EYE ON HER.

DON'T!

BE CAREFUL. SHE BITES.

HI.

DON'T MOVE. EITHER ONE OF YOU.

GET THE BOOK.

DON'T KILL THEM UP HERE...

YOU'LL MAKE A MESS. TAKE THEM DOWNSTAIRS.

YOU, GO FIRST.

THEN YOU.

DOWN.

OPEN THE DOOR.

WATCH OUT!

I DIDN'T KNOW YOU HAD IT IN YOU.

OCTO PORTAE ANTECEDUNT SERPENTUM...

QUI VERBUM CUSTODIT.

TIBI DAMUS FIDELITATEM, DOMINE. TIBI DEDEMUS...

CORPORA ANIMOSQUE NOSTROS.

SERPENS BESTIA EST QUAE NUNQUAM DORMIT...

BESTIA CUJOS OCULI...

VIDENTUR IN SPECULO SCIENTIAE.

YOU STAY HERE AND COVER ME.

I'M GOING DOWN.

NE TIMEAMUS NEC LAQUEUM...

NEC GLADIUM, NEC VENENUM.

INTACTI EAMUS INTER LEPRA ET PESTILENTIA CONTAMINATOS.

VERBUM QUAD ULTIMA OCCULTAT ARCANA...

EST NOVEM, TETH, ENNEA, ODED...

GLORIA SIT ADMAY...

MUMBO-JUMBO! MUMBO-JUMBO.

MUMBO-JUMBO! MUMBO-JUMBO.

LOOK AROUND YOU, ALL OF YOU. WHAT DO YOU SEE?

A BUNCH OF BUFFOONS, IN FANCY DRESS.

DO YOU THINK THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS WOULD ACTUALLY DEIGN TO MANIFEST HIMSELF... BEFORE THE LIKES OF YOU?

HE NEVER HAS, AND HE NEVER WILL.

NEVER!

YOU READ FROM HIS BOOK...

BUT YOU HAVE NO CONCEPTION OF ITS TRUE POWER.

I, ALONE, HAVE GRASPED ITS SECRET.

I, ALONE, HAVE FATHOMED THE MASTER'S GRAND DESIGN.

I, ALONE, AM WORTHY TO ENJOY THE FRUITS...

OF THAT DISCOVERY.

ABSOLUTE POWER... TO DETERMINE MY OWN DESTINY.

YOU'RE INSANE, BORIS. GIVE IT BACK TO ME.

YOU, LIANA DE SAINT-MARTIN...

YOU'RE EVEN GUILTIER THAN THE REST OF THIS PATHETIC RABBLE.

YOU HAVE AT LEAST SOME IDEA...

OF WHAT THIS BOOK CAN DO IN THE RIGHT HANDS.

YET, YOU LEND YOURSELF TO THESE FARCICAL PROCEEDINGS...

THESE ORGIES OF AGING FLESH...

CONDUCTED IN THE MASTER'S NAME.

YOU'RE A CHARLATAN!


DON'T, CORSO! DON'T!

LET IT BE.

BOO!

WHAT IS IT WITH YOU?

HE JUST MURDERED SOMEONE IN PUBLIC.

YOU'RE OFF THE HOOK...

FOR THE OTHER KILLINGS. YOU SHOULD BE GRATEFUL.

I'M ECSTATIC!

YOU'RE OUT OF A JOB. IT'S OVER. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?

YOU KNOW WHAT.


NOT TAKING ME FOR A RIDE?

YOU WERE WORKING FOR HIM ALL ALONG.

FUNNY, I THOUGHT YOU WERE.


SHIT!


MADAME?


YES... YES.

THAT'S IT.

PRECISELY.

ALL IS IN READINESS.

ONE.

FOUR.

THREE, SIX, SEVEN...

FIVE, EIGHT, TWO, NINE...

THE ENIGMA IS SOLVED AT LAST.

TO TRAVEL IN SILENCE...

BY LONG AND CIRCUITOUS ROUTE...

TO BRAVE THE ARROWS OF MISFORTUNE...

AND FEAR NEITHER NOOSE, NOR FIRE...

TO PLAY THE GREATEST OF ALL GAMES...

AND WIN, FOREGOING NO EXPENSE...

IS TO MOCK THE VICISSITUDES OF FATE...

AND GAIN AT LAST THE KEY... THAT WILL UNLOCK...

THE NINTH GATE.

CORSO!

WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTING, AN APPARITION?

YOU'RE NOT WANTED HERE, MR. CORSO. LEAVE!

I'M THE ONLY APPARITION YOU'LL SEE TONIGHT.

YOU'LL FIND A CHECK WAITING AT MY NEW YORK OFFICE.

PAYMENT IN FULL.

YOU KILLED FOR THOSE.

THEY'RE WORTH MORE THAN MONEY.

INFINITELY MORE.

BUT THEY HAPPEN TO BE MINE.

NOT YOURS.

YOU KNOW SOMETHING, CORSO?

IN SPITE OF OUR DIFFERENCES...

I HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR YOU.

I'M TOUCHED.

WE HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON, YOU AND I.

WE SHARE THE SAME PASSION.

YOU'VE DEVELOPED THE SAME OBSESSION, HAVEN'T YOU?

UNFORTUNATELY FOR YOU...

ONLY ONE OF US IS DESTINED TO FULFILL IT.

YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR DEPTH. KINDLY GO.

I'M NOT LEAVING HERE EMPTY-HANDED.

DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.

STAND ASIDE.

I CREDITED YOU WITH MORE FINESSE.

YOU HEARD ME. STAND BACK.

PUT THAT AWAY, IT'S NOT YOUR STYLE.


IT SEEMS YOU'VE FOUND YOUR PROPER NICHE AT LAST.

I LIKE THAT.

NOW...

YOU CAN WATCH.

I'M ENTERING UNCHARTED TERRITORY...

TAKING THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO EQUALITY...

WITH GOD.

YOU CAN'T COME WITH ME.

I MUST TRAVEL ALONE.

BUT YOU MAY LOOK ON...

AND MARVEL.

THAT'S VERY KIND OF YOU.

INDEED IT IS.

THERE HAVE BEEN MEN WHO HAVE BEEN BURNED ALIVE...

OR DISEMBOWELED FOR JUST A GLIMPSE...

OF WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO WITNESS.

I GIVE YOU MY ALLEGIANCE, MASTER.

I PLEDGE MYSELF TO YOU BODY AND SOUL.

LET ME FEAR NEITHER NOOSE, NOR FIRE, NOR POISON.

ERASE ME FROM THE BOOK OF LIFE...

AND INSCRIBE ME IN THE BLACK BOOK OF DEATH.

ADMIT ME...

TO THE NINTH GATE. LET IT BE SO.

LET IT BE SO... NOW!

YES.

I FEEL THE POWER SURGE THROUGH ME...

LIKE AN ELECTRIC CURRENT...

RENDERING ME CAPABLE OF ANY FEAT OF MIND OR BODY.

I'M INVULNERABLE! I'M INVINCIBLE!

I CAN FLOAT ON AIR!

I CAN WALK ON WATER!

BEHOLD! I PLUNGE MY HANDS IN FIRE.

I FEEL NO HEAT!

THAT'S JUST GREAT. GIVE US ANOTHER ONE.

SIC DEDO ME.

SIC EXEO ME!

SIC DAMNO ME!

IT'S MIRACULOUS!

I FEEL NOTHING, NOTHING AT ALL!


IS THAT IT?

IS THE GAME OVER?

FOR BALKAN, YES. NOT FOR YOU.

WHY DIDN'T IT WORK FOR BALKAN?

THE NINTH ENGRAVING WAS A FORGERY.

WHERE'S THE REAL ONE?

I WANT IT.

YOU'RE RUNNING LOW ON GAS.


OIGA!

HERMANOS CENIZA?

COMO?

HERMANOS CENIZA?

PEPE LOPEZ. RICARDO HERRERA.

SI...