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Birdie Steptoe: [after finding Willa's body] They'll think it was me. They'll think it was poor old Uncle Birdie. Ah, if you could have seen it, Bess, down there in the deep place, with her hair waving soft and lazy like meadow grass under flood water, and that slit in her throat, like she had an extra mouth. You're the only human mortal I can go to, Bess. If I go to the law, they'll hang it on me. Sweet heavens, save poor old Uncle Birdie.

John Harper: [hitting Powell with the doll] Here! Here! Take it back. Take it back. I don't want it. It's too much. Here! Here!

Ben: First, swear you'll take care of little Pearl, guard her with your life, boy. Then, swear you won't never tell where the money's hid, not even your Mom.
John: Yes, Dad.
Ben: Do you understand?
John: Not even her?
Ben: You got common sense. She ain't. When you grow up, that money will belong to you. Now, stand up straight, look me in the eye. Raise your right hand, now swear. 'I'll guard Pearl with my life,'...'And I won't never tell about the money.'...You Pearl, you swear too. [Pearl nods]

Ben: What religion do you profess, Preacher?
Powell: The religion the Almighty and me worked out betwixt us.
Ben: I'll bet.
Powell: Salvation is a last minute business, boy...If you's to let that money serve the Lord's purpose, He might feel kindly turned towards ya...Now don't you think the Lord might change his mind if you was to... [Ben falls asleep]

Powell: The night before your father died, he told me what he did with that money. That money's at the bottom of the river, wrapped around a twelve-pound cobblestone.
Willa: I feel clean now. My whole body's just a-quivering with cleanness.

Powell: Good evening, John. Your mother and I are getting married tomorrow in Sisterville. She wants me to be a daddy to you and your sister.
John: You ain't my dad, you'll never be my dad.
Powell: When we get back, we're all going to be friends and share our fortunes together, John.
John: [shouting] You think you can make me tell, but I won't, I won't, I won't! [slaps a hand over his mouth]
Powell: Tell me what, boy?...We aren't keeping secrets from each other, are we, little lad?...Well, it don't matter. We've got a long time together, boy.

Willa: Harry?
Powell: I was praying.
Willa: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know. I--I thought...
Powell: You thought, Willa, that the moment you walked in that door, I'd start to paw at you in that abominable way that men are supposed to do on their weddin' night. Ain't that right now?
Willa: No, no, no. [She crosses her hands over her breasts]
Powell: I think it's time we made one thing perfectly clear, Willa. Marriage to me represents the blending of two spirits in the sight of heaven. Get up, Willa. Get up! Now go look at yourself yonder in that mirror. Do as I say! Look at yourself! What do ya see, girl? You see the body of a woman, the temple of creation and motherhood. You see the flesh of Eve that man since Adam has profaned. That body was meant for begettin' children. It was not meant for the lust of men. Do you want more children, Willa?
Willa: I-I, no.
Powell: It's the business of this marriage to mind those two you have now, not to beget more.
Willa: Yes.
Powell: All right, you can get in bed now, stop shiverin'.
Willa: [praying] Help me to get clean, so I can be what Harry wants me to be.

Powell: Where's the money hid?
John: [after hitting Powell on the head with a hairbrush] Pearl, you swore you wouldn't tell. You swore, you swore, you swore!
Pearl: You hit Daddy with a hairbrush.
Powell: Now you see, we just can't have anything to do with John. You and me will go on down to the parlor, girl.

Powell: John was just plum bad through and through.
Pearl: John's bad.
Powell: Yes, John's bad.
Pearl: Tell me another secret about my dad.
Powell: Oh no, your turn.
Pearl: All right, what secret shall I tell?
Powell: Where's the money hid?
Pearl: John said...
Powell: [shouting] Where's the money hid? You tell me, you little wretch, or I'll tear your arm off!

Powell: John made a sin. John told a lie. The liar is an abomination before mine eyes. [takes out his knife]
Pearl: It's in my doll. It's in my doll!
Powell: [laughs] The doll. Why sure. The last place anyone would think to look.

Rachel: What's wrong, John?
John: He ain't my Dad!
Rachel: No, and he ain't no Preacher, neither.

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