carnival is approaching the outskirts
of Milfay. Jonesy rides with Samson,
and asks his friend if he has spoken
to Management about Ben. Samson says
he has and that Management said the
boy was "expected." Jonesy
asks what that means, and Samson smiles,
saying that he's given up asking the
very same question. Later, in Lila's
trailer, Lila and Professor Lodz,
the blind mentalist, are playing a
game of Gin. Across from them, Ben
is asleep but sweating and tossing
in his feverish delirium. Lila asks
Lodz to read the boy's dreams, and
after some coaxing, Lodz complies.
Lodz places his hand on Ben's forehead,
and what he sees causes the mentalist
to thrash violently. A man running
through a cornfield, pursued by another
man, heavily tattooed. A World War
I soldier walking through a battlefield.
Many soldiers dead in a bunker. A
soldier cocks a rifle. A soldier,
minus several limbs, writhing. More
dead soldiers. And more.
collapses in Lila's arms.
to unfamiliar surroundings. He looks
down at his ankles. The shackles
have been removed. In a nearby trailer,
Sofie is combing her mother's hair.
Apollonia stares vacantly upward,
her eyes and mouth wide open. She's
catatonic, but Sofie is carrying
on a conversation with her. They're
"talking" about the newcomer.
"Mother, please. Every time
we pick up a new-- Well, he's
just a boy."
On the table behind them, several
tarot cards flutter from into
SOFIE: "I don't suppose you're
going to pick that up."
Sofie gathers up the cards, she
looks out the window and sees Ben
leave Lila's trailer. Then, she
looks at the card she's holding
in her hand: The Magician, reversed.
Outside, as Ben gets his pants off
a clothesline, he stares rather
rudely at the Gecko, a speckled-skin
man with dreadlocks. When the Gecko
calls *Ben* a freak, Ben's caught
off guard and steps backward into
a tall and deformed Giant. The Giant
slaps him out of the way, but into
Apollonia and Calladonia, who scream
at him, annoyed. Ben trips and falls
into mud. He looks up at everyone,
laughing at him. Meanwhile, Samson
joins Lodz in Lodz's trailer. Lodz
tells Samson that during the previous
night he read Ben's dreams, but
that the dreams nearly killed him.
Samson spots a bottle of absinthe
and dismisses what Lodz has said
as "Hogwash." If the boy
was dangerous, Samson reasons, Management
would know. "Would he?"
Ben is walking
down a country road. Sofie pulls
up in a truck next to him and offers
him a ride. Ben flatly refuses,
calling the carnies "a pack
of freaks." Sofie drives off
in a huff. Ben approaches a railside
encampment where victims of the
Depression have made their homes
under tents and tarps. As Ben gets
a drink from a watery runoff, he
spots a dirty and quite frail woman
rocking a baby in her arms. The
baby's father, who is sitting nearby,
tells Ben that the baby is dead
but his wife won't give it a proper
burial. Ben cautiously approaches
the mother of the dead baby.
"Ain't that a pretty baby
MOTHER: "Ssh. He's sleeping."
BEN: "What's his name?"
BEN: "Like the archangel."
MOTHER: "... He's dead. Isn't
takes the baby from her and hands
it to the father. The woman seems
enormously relieved. Now she can
let go. Ben continues walking into
the town of Milfay. He sees Sofie's
truck left unattended at the gas
station, and upon hearing yelling
and a clamor from within, he walks
inside the station. Two gas station
attendants are forcing Sofie up
against a truck, ripping her clothes.
Ben knocks one out with a piece
of wood. Sofie takes care of the
other one. Ben drives Sofie back
to the carnival. Seeing that her
blouse is torn open, he offers his
jacket to her so she may cover herself.
She thanks him.
into the carnival grounds and Jonesy
sees them get out of the truck.
He follows Sofie into her trailer
and they argue. Jonesy insists they
she cannot go into towns they visit
without asking for trouble. Sofie
slaps him and says that she wasn't
asking for anything but a tank of
gas, a soda and ten minutes to herself.
She tells him to leave. At the same
time, Samson follows Ben to the
crops at the edge of the carnival
grounds, trying to convince the
boy to stay. He offers Ben a position
within the carnival and even though
there are no wages, Ben accepts
after Samson makes a valid point:
that breaking rocks as a prisoner
of the State also pays nothing.
They sit at a table and as Ben hungrily
devours a steak, Samson tries to
get a little information out of
"What's your story?"
BEN: "I was born on a farm.
You saw it. I was raised there.
Started working it. Then the bank
come, they run me off. That's
the end of story. You satisfied
SAMSON: "Do I look simple
to you, Hawkins?"
SAMONS: "Well, that's good
because I'm not. I've been to
New York City. I've been to Chi-Town
and The Big Easy. I met Caruso
and Dempsey. I made eyes with
Theda Bera. On a bad day, I've
cracked tougher nuts than you."
gets up from the table, annoyed.