Author's Note: this is just a little ficlet about the various interpretations of the Beadle I've seen. Obviously, it's mostly based on different productions of the play, but one of them could also work for the movie.
There was a sneer beneath every smile, and Turpin may have been the only man not to know it.
He had first started looking down on the Judge during his attempted courtship of Lucy. The man was nearly ten years older than the him, yet he acted like a lovestruck idiot. The Beadle followed Turpin on his daily visits to her house, and though he professed interest in the woman, his true reason for coming was pure entertainment.
And if Lucy had been pathetic, Johanna was even worse. The girl was young enough to be his daughter, for heaven's sake...did Turpin really think she'd ever love him? He had smiled again when he sent him to the barber shop, telling him that a woman could be won over by a shave. If he believed that, there was nothing he couldn't be talked into.
Despite his size, the Beadle was a handsome man. He had never had trouble getting women into bed, without bothering with wines or force. Some may have been intimidated by his position, but he knew how to be charming, something Turpin would never learn.
Lord knew, Eleanor Lovett had needed no masked ball to forget her husband. Though she had looked at him a bit suspiciously after Mr. Lovett's sudden death...still, no questions were asked. True, she no longer opened her doors for him, but it hardly mattered. Unlike certain men, he never brooded over rejection.
Even now, he tried to tell himself that it wasn't his fault.
If he didn't do what Turpin said, his career would be over. There would be nothing left for him, and that was too much to risk. And besides, wasn't it Lucy's own fault that she'd caught his eye? Everyone knew it wasn't decent for a married woman to look so pretty, so much as if she were still a young woman. She'd flaunted herself, hadn't she, with her laces and simpering, then acted innocent when asked to go to a man's house at night. No woman could really be that foolish.
He told himself this every time he saw Johanna crying when the Judge placed his hand on her shoulder. He told himself this every time he carried out yet another arrest of an innocent man. He told himself every time he saw the wreck of what used to be Lucy on the street corner.
Sometimes he'd give her a few coins.
He lived to serve.
It was a cliche, but true nonetheless. He thought of the Judge in near-reverent terms, and took his orders exactly as they came. Part of this was to advance his own position, true, but he'd come to like Turpin immensely. No one else shared quite his own moral view of the world.
Had the feudal system still existed, he would have been its staunchest supporter. He believed that people were as good as their class, and that exploiting the poor was a contradiction in terms- after all, what else did they exist for? Likewise, Turpin ranked slightly above himself on the social ladder, and he didn't mind that a bit.
It was why he worked for him, after all. To know his superior treasured his assistance was the greatest earthly reward he could dream of. He was needed by someone. In a way, he was even loved.
And for that, there was nothing he wouldn't sacrifice.
If anyone had told him that he'd been marked for justice, he would have been utterly baffled as to why.
He'd arrested people, certainly, but wasn't it his job? Besides, they were all found guilty by men with knowledge of the law, so he'd clearly never been at fault. The Judge may have been harsh, but he was fair, and he'd never convict an innocent man.
And if that wasn't enough, he'd even gone out of his way to help poor Mrs. Barker after her husband had been transported. He'd brought her to the Judge's house, just as he'd been asked, so that she could get any help she needed from him. Of course, someone at the party had asked him to walk them home just after he arrived, so he never had found out whether she'd spoken to the Judge or not.
No one was happier about Turpin and Johanna than he was. It was like something out of a story- the lucky girl was going to marry the man who had earned her love after so many years. His heart had broken when she lost her mind, but it no doubt had been caused by that young sailor- hi interest in her was downright frightening!
Still, perhaps the lad was merely misguided. He made arrests as told, but the Beadle truly hated to think the worst of people. Even when his own throat was cut, he'd thought that the razor had merely slipped.