The Project Gutenberg eBook, Three Plays, by Zora Neale Hurston
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Title: Three Plays Lawing and Jawing; Forty Yards; Woofing
Author: Zora Neale Hurston
Release Date: November 29, 2005 [eBook #17187]
Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THREE PLAYS***
E-text prepared by Charlene Taylor and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net/) from page images generously provided by the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/)
Note: These plays have been transcribed from original manuscripts. There are pencilled notations possibly by Ms. Hurston herself. These pencilled notations have been transcribed as *[Handwritten:(text)], with the exception of things that were clearly corrected typing mistakes. Uncorrected typographical errors were left as in the original. Words which were underlined in the text are enclosed by underscores ("_").
Images of the original pages are available through the
American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress.
For "Lawing and Jawing" see
For "Forty Yards" see
For "Woofing" see
Lawing and Jawing
Zora Neale Hurston
LAWING AND JAWING
by Zora *[Handwritten: (Neale)] Hurston
PLACE: Way cross Georgia
SCENE: Judge Dunfumy's Court.
PERSONS: Judge Dunfumy, Officer Simpson and another, Jemima
Flapcakes, Cliff Mullins, John Barnes, two lawyers,
a clerk, a pretty girl and her escort.
SETTING: Usual court-room arrangement, except that there is a
large red arrow pointing off-stage left, marked
ACTION: At rise everybody is in place except the Judge. Suddenly the CLERK looks off-stage right and motions for everybody to rise. Enter the JUDGE. He wears a black cap and gown and has his gavel in his hand. The two POLICEMEN walk behind him holding up his gown. He mounts the bench and glares all about him before he seats himself. There is a PRETTY GIRL in the front row left, and he takes a good look at her, smiles, frowns at her escort. He motions the police to leave him and take their places with the spectators and he then raps vigorously with his gavel for order.
Hear! Hear! Court is set! My honor is on de bench. You moufy folks set
(He glares at the boy with the pretty girl)
All right, Mr. Whistle-britches, just keep up dat jawing now and see
how much time I'll give you!
I wasn't talking, your honor.
JUDGE Well, quit looking so moufy. (to CLERK) Call de first case. And I warn each and all dat my honor is in bad humor dis mawnin'. I'd give a canary bird twenty years for peckin' at a elephant. (to CLERK) Bring 'em on.
Cliff Mullins, charged with assault upon his wife with a weapon and
disturbing the peace.
(As CLIFF is led to the bar by the
officer, the JUDGE glares ferociously
at the prisoner. His wife, all
bandages, limps up to the bar at the
JUDGE So youse one of dese hard-boiled wife-beaters, huh? Just a mean old woman-Jessie! If I don't lay a hearing on you, God's a gopher! Now what made you cut such a caper?
Judge, I didn't go hunt her. Saturday night I was down on Dearborn
Street in a nasty ditch *[Handwritten: nasty ditch crossed out in
pencil, (buffet flat)]—
A nasty ditch? *[Handwritten: A nasty ditch crossed out in pencil,
Aw, at Emma Hayles' house.
Oh, yes. Go on.
CLIFF Well, (Points thumb at wife) she come down dere and claim I took her money and she claimed I wuz spending it on Emma.
And dat's just whut he was doing, too, Judge.
CLIFF AW, she's tellin' a great big ole Georgia lie, Judge. I wasn't spendin' no money of her'n.
WOMAN Yes he was, Judge. There wasn't no money for him to git but mine. He ain't hit a lick of work since God been to Macon. Know whut he 'lowed when I worry him 'bout workin'? Says he wouldn't take a job wid de Careless Love Lumber Company, puttin' out whut make you do me lak you do, do, do.
So, you goes for a sweet-back, do you?
Naw suh, Judge. I'd be glad to work if I could find a job.
How long you been outa work?
You been takin' keer of dis man for seventeen years?
WOMAN Naw, but he been so mean to me, it seems lak seventeen years.
Now you tell me just where he hurt you.
Judge, tell you de truth, I'm hurt all over.
(Rubs her buttocks)