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- Writing for Vaudeville - 90/95 -


HARVEY: Well, you can easily take off a piece with a hammer and chisel.

MAYNARD: Why, so I can. But here's another objection. Suppose thieves come around some night and steal the statue?

HARVEY: All you have to do is to bore a hole through one of its legs, pass a chain through it and fasten to the pedestal. (FELIX works up this situation by comic mugging.)

MAYNARD: A very good idea. How much do you want for the statue?

HARVEY: Five hundred dollars.

MAYNARD: That's a lot of money, but I think I shall buy it anyhow.

HARVEY: Well, just hand over the five hundred, and the statue is yours. (MAYNARD and HARVEY move to a position in front of the statue. MAYNARD takes a roll of bills from his pocket and in handling them, drops one. As he bends forward to pick it up, FELIX pokes him with the stick, knocking him over frontwards. MAYNARD thinks HARVEY has kicked him.)

MAYNARD: (To Harvey.) What do you mean by kicking me, sir?

HARVEY: Why, I didn't kick you.

MAYNARD: If I hadn't set my heart on owning the statue, I'd call the deal off right now.

HARVEY: (Starting to get a bit angry.) I tell you I didn't kick you.

MAYNARD: Well, don't do it again. Here's your money. (MAYNARD hands HARVEY roll of bills, who counts it and lets the last bill fall on stage. In stooping to pick it up, FELIX pokes HARVEY, causing him to fall over frontwards. HARVEY thinks MAYNARD has kicked him.)

HARVEY: (To MAYNARD.) A joke's a joke, but this is going entirely too far.

MAYNARD: What on earth are you talking about?

HARVEY: You just kicked me.

MAYNARD: I didn't.

HARVEY: You did.

MAYNARD: I didn't.

FELIX: Shut up.

MAYNARD and HARVEY: (Both talking together.)

Don't tell me to shut up. I didn't tell you to shut up. Well, somebody did.

HARVEY: I'm awful thirsty.

MAYNARD: I'll go into the house and get you a glass of wine.

FELIX: Well, hurry up about it.

MAYNARD: (Thinking HARVEY spoke.) I never heard such impudence in all my life. Why, the idea!

(Exits into house.)

FELIX: Yes, the idea.

HARVEY: Well, I got the old fool's money all right.

FELIX: Where's my share?

HARVEY: (Laughing.) Now, who ever heard of a statue having mo-non-ey.

FELIX: But you promised me half of the five hundred dollars.

HARVEY: Well, suppose I did; you don't expect me to keep my word, do you? You'd be a pretty looking sight, carrying two hundred and fifty dollars around with you. Why, I'd have to lay for you in some dark alley and take it away from you. I want you to understand that I'm the wise guy of this combination and if you want any of my money, you've got to take it away from me. (HARVEY has taken a position just in front of FELIX, who is still on the pedestal. FELIX slips his hand slyly into HARVEY'S pocket and takes all the money.)

HARVEY: (Moving to centre exit.) Well, so long, Felix, so long, and remember, Felix, that money is the root of all evil.

(HARVEY exits.)

FELIX: (Holding up roll of bills.) Well, I've extracted some of the root all right, all right. (FELIX exits at right.)

(Big SINGING NUMBER by VIOLA and ladies of company.)

(Then, MR. MAYNARD enters from the house.)

GOLDIE: In behalf of all your friends who are assembled here today, Mr. Maynard, I want to congratulate you on your birthday anniversary.

MAYNARD: Ah, thank you, ladies, I appreciate your good wishes very much.

DORA: I hope you will live to be a hundred years old.

MAYNARD: (Laughing.) I hope so--but why should the Lord take me for a hundred when he can get me at 70?

(OLD BLACK JOE comes ambling in from Right to melody of "Old Black Joe.")

MAYNARD: Well, Old Black Joe, how are you feeling today?

JOE: Well, Massa, I'se got rheumatiz in the lef' shoulder--an' de lumbago in mah back--an' I don' hear very well--an' ma teeth am troubling me some--an' mah eyes is going back on me--an' mah stomach ain't as good as it used to be--but otherwise, Massa, I'se feelin' as sound as a nut.

MAYNARD: What can I do for you, Old Black Joe?

JOE: Massa, my mind ain't as clear like it used ter be, but der's one thing I ain't never forgotten, and dat is your birthday university, so I'd feel powerful flattered if you would accept these few flowers what I picked myself. (Hands MAYNARD small bouquet.)

MAYNARD: Of all the many gifts I will receive to-day, Old Black Joe, there is none that I will treasure more highly than these flowers.

JOE: Ah, thank you, Massa, thank you.

(OLD BLACK JOE exits to melody of "Old Black Joe.")

GOLDIE: I never could understand, Mr. Maynard, why you always make such a fuss about that nigger, Old Black Joe.

MAYNARD: Old Black Joe may have a black skin, but he's got a white heart and I'll cherish and protect him as long as I have a roof over my head.

GOLDIE: One would think that he had done you some great favor, Mr. Maynard.

MAYNARD: He more than did me a favor. He once saved my life.

CHORUS OF GIRLS: Tell us about it.

MAYNARD: (To melodramatic music.) It was during the days of '61, when brother fought against brother and the Blue was striving to overpower the Grey. On this very plantation, while hardly more than a lad, I was attacked and badly wounded and would have fallen into the hands of the enemy if it had not been for Old Black Joe, who, at the risk of his own life, carried me to a place of safety and nursed me back to health again.

CHORUS OF LADIES: Three cheers for Old Black Joe.

(SONG by Ladies--all exit.)

(Enter CHARLIE at centre.)

CHARLIE: I'm crazy about Viola, but I know she will never marry me unless her father gives his consent. If I only knew a way to win him over. Ah, here comes Chlorinda. Perhaps she can help me.

(Enter CHLORINDA from house.)

CHARLIE: Hello, Chlorinda.

CHLORINDA: Miss Sourgrass, if you please.

CHARLIE: What's the matter with Chlorinda?

CHLORINDA: I only allows gentlemen I'se well acquainted with to call me Chlorinda.

CHARLIE: Well then, Miss Sourgrass, do you want to earn a dollar?

CHLORINDA: What's the matter with it?

CHARLIE: There's nothing the matter with it. You see, I'm in love with Viola Maynard, but her father doesn't like me. Now, if you can fix things up so her father will accept me as a son-in-law, I will give you a dollar.

CHLORINDA: Jes leave it to me and in half an hour he'll be so tickled to see you that he'll put his arms around your neck and kiss you.

CHARLIE: That will be splendid.

CHLORINDA: The dollar, please.


Writing for Vaudeville - 90/95

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