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Three Plays Lawing and Jawing; Forty Yards; Woofing   By: (1901?-1960)

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First Page:

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 bin/query/S?ammem/hurstonbib:@field(TITLE@od1(LawingandJawing)) For "Forty Yards" see bin/query/S?ammem/hurstonbib:@field(TITLE@od1(FortyYards)) For "Woofing" see bin/query/S?ammem/hurstonbib:@field(TITLE@od1(Woofing))


Lawing and Jawing Forty Yards Woofing


Zora Neale Hurston


by Zora [Handwritten: (Neale)] Hurston

TIME: Present

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 "To Jail."

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.

JUDGE Hear! Hear! Court is set! My honor is on de bench. You moufy folks set up! (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!

BOY 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.

CLERK (Reading) 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 same time.)

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?

CLIFF 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)]

JUDGE A nasty ditch? [Handwritten: A nasty ditch crossed out in pencil, (Buffet flat)]

CLIFF Aw, at Emma Hayles' house.

JUDGE 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... Continue reading book >>

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