“New York? So what brings you to Iowa, Mr. Hull?”
“On my way west, Reverend, I hear there’s gold for everyone. Thought I’d stop in and see my sister before I strike it rich. I didn’t expect to find a revival going on here.”
“Watch that ‘root of all evil...’ Hmmm, New York... I know a good Methodist preacher there by the name of Titus Sinks. You don’t happen to know...”
“Let me stop you there, Reverend,” George said, holding his hand up firmly.
“I take it you’re not a church-going man, Mr. Hull?”
“No, Reverend, I’m not.”
“Shoulda’ guessed... New York after all... you ever even opened a bible, Mr. Hull?”
“Oh, yes indeed I have, Reverend.”
“And what did you find there?”
“I don’t want to offend, but mostly a load of superstition... sprinkled with some good advice here and there, I’ll grant you!”
“Superstition?! Good advice?! Why, every word is the word of God!”
“Now surely you don’t believe that, Reverend... I mean... every word?”
“Every word the truth!”
“Talking snakes? Two of every animal? Even the part about... giants?”
“I assume you’re referring to Genesis, Mr. Hull, chapter six, verse four: There were giants in the earth in those days... yes, yes I do. I’m sure it’ll eventually be proven, even to atheists like you.”
George believed him. Not about the bible, but he believed that the reverend believed. That he really believed. And the gears started turning in his head.
On October 16, 1869, workers digging a well in Cardiff, New York came upon an amazing discovery. The petrified remains of a ten-foot-tall man – a giant! The Cardiff Giant. And despite the laughing dismissal of every scientist who examined the gypsum carving, George Hull still collected over $30,000 in viewing fees from the unwavering public.