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The Black Cat

The Black Cat quotes

26 total quotes

Dr. Vitus Werdegast
Hjalmar Poelzig

View Quote Bus Driver: All of this country was one of the greatest battlefields of the war. Tens of thousands of men died here. The ravine down there was piled twelve deep with dead and wounded men. The little river below was swollen red, a raging torrent of blood. And that high hill yonder where Engineer Poelzig now lives, was the site of Fort Marmorus. He built his home on its very foundations. Marmorus, the greatest graveyard in the world.
View Quote Newspaper review: In Triple Murder, Mr. Alison's latest mystery thriller, he fulfills the promise shown...We feel, however, that Mr. Alison has, in a sense, overstepped the bounds of the matter of credibility. These things would never, but with a further stretch of the imagination, actually happen. We could wish that Mr. Alison would confine himself to the possible instead of letting his melodramatic imagination run away with him.
View Quote Peter Allison: [to Werdegast, about Poelzig] Well, I suppose we've got to have architects too. If I wanted to build a nice, cozy, unpretentious insane asylum, he'd be the man for it.
View Quote Joan: Karen! Not Karen Werdegast?
Karen: Yes, yes, how did you know my name?
Joan: Well I, I know your father.
Karen: Oh no, you are mistaken. My father died in prison. Herr Poelzig married my mother. She died when I was very young.
Joan: And he married you? You're his wife?
Karen: Yes.
Joan: Karen, do you understand me? Your father has come for you.
View Quote Poelzig: [about Joan] You're interested?
Werdegast: Maybe.
Poelzig: I thought so. Well I'm not. Only spiritually.
Werdegast: Spiritually?
Poelzig: Tonight, it is the dark of the moon. We shall gather and...You had better come Vitus. The ceremony will interest you.
Werdegast: Don't pretend Hjalmar. There was nothing spiritual in your eyes when you looked at that girl. You plan to keep her here.
Poelzig: Perhaps.
Werdegast: I intend to let her go.
Poelzig: Is that a challenge Vitus?
Werdegast: Yes, if you dare to fight it out alone.
Poelzig: Do you dare play chess with me for her?
Werdegast: Yes. I will even play you chess for her - provided if I win, they are free to go.
Poelzig: You won't win, Vitus.
View Quote Poelzig: [motioning to Werdegast's wife, in a glass sarcophagus] Now you see, Vitus, I have cared for her tenderly and well. You will find her almost as beautiful as when you last saw her. She died two years after the war.
Werdegast: How?
Poelzig: Of pneumonia. She was never very strong, you know.
Werdegast: And, and the child, our daughter?
Poelzig: Dead.
Werdegast: And why is she...Why is she like this?
Poelzig: Is she not beautiful? I wanted to have her beauty - always. I loved her too, Vitus.
Werdegast: Lies. All lies Hjalmar. You killed her. You killed her as I'm about to kill you!
[A black cat enters, paralyzing Werdegast with fear]
View Quote Poelzig: And this was the entrance to the gun turrets. Don't you recognize it?
Werdegast: I can still sense death in the air.
Poelzig: There is still death in the air. It is just as much undermined [with dynamite] today as ever. And this is the old chart room for the long-range guns. The guns are gone, but the charts are still here.
View Quote Werdegast: [about Joan's unusual cat-like behavior] It is perhaps the narcotic. I have seen it affect certain people very oddly. One cannot be sure. Sometimes, these cases take strange forms. The victim becomes in a sense, 'mediumistic,' a vehicle for all the intangible forces in operation around her.
Peter: Sounds like a lot of supernatural baloney to me.
Werdegast: Supernatural, perhaps - baloney, perhaps not! There are many things under the sun.
Poelzig: I shall show you your rooms.
Peter: It's strange about the cat. Joan seemed so curiously affected when you killed it.
Werdegast: That was coincidence, I think. However, certain ancient books say that the Black Cat is the living embodiment of Evil. And if that Evil enters into the nearest living thing, it is...
Poelzig: [interrupting] The Black Cat does not die. Those same books, if I'm not mistaken, teach that the Black Cat is deathless. Deathless as Evil. It is the origin of the common superstition. You know, the cat with nine lives.
View Quote Werdegast: Karen is dead.
Joan: No! I mean Karen, your daughter. Madame Poelzig.
Werdegast: What do you mean?
Joan: She's alive, here in this house! She's Poelzig's wife!
View Quote Werdegast: We are all in danger. Poelzig is a mad beast, I know. I know, I've seen the proof. He took Karen my wife and murdered her. And murdered my child.
Joan: And you let him live?
Werdegast: I wait my time. It shall be soon, very soon. Until then, I must do his bidding. That is why even my servant obeys him. Did you ever hear of Satanism, the worship of the devil, of evil? Poelzig is the great modern priest of this ancient cult, and tonight, the dark of the moon, the rites of Lucifer are celebrated. If I am not mistaken, he intends you to play a part in that ritual! A very important part. There child. Be brave, no matter how hopeless it all seems. Be brave.
View Quote Werdegast: You told Karen I had been killed...I mean you always wanted her. In the days at Salzburg before the war, always from the first time you saw her...You wanted Karen and induced her to go to America with you. I traced the two of you there, and to Spain, and to South America and finally here. Where is she?
Poelzig: Vitus, you are mad!
View Quote [to Karen] Oh, it's nothing. Only an accident in the road below. I want you to stay in this room all day tomorrow Karen. You are the very core and meaning of my life. No one shall take you from me. Not even Vitus, not even your father.
View Quote [to Peter, about his stroking Joan's hair while she sleeps] I beg your indulgence my friend. Eighteen years ago, I left a girl so like your lovely wife to go to war...She was my wife. Have you ever heard of Kurgaal? It is a prison below Amsk...Many men have gone there. Few have returned. I have returned. After fifteen years, I have returned.
View Quote [to Peter, about Poelzig's house] It is indeed hard to describe. It's hard to describe his life -- or death. It may well be an atmosphere of death. This place was built upon the ruins of the same Ft. Marmorus that our unfortunate friend, the driver, described so vividly. Herr Poelzig commanded Marmorus during the last years of the war. He is perhaps sentimental about this spot.
View Quote [to Poelzig] Do you know what I am going to do to you now? No? Did you ever see an animal skinned, Hjalmar? Ha, ha, ha. That's what I'm going to do to you now -- flay the skin from your body...slowly...bit by bit!