Book by Flournoy Miller & Aubrey Lyles

Music by Eubie Blake

Lyrics by Noble Sissle



Jim Williams, proprietor of the Jimtown Hotel


Jessie Williams, his daughter


Ruth Little, her chum


Harry Walton, candidate for Mayor


Board of Aldermen


Grocery Clerk


Mrs. Sam Peck, suffragette


Tom Sharper, political boss


Steve Jenkins, candidate for Mayor


Sam Peck, another candidate for Mayor


Jack Penrose, detective


Rufus Loose, war relic


Strutt, Jimtown swell


MayorÕs doorman


Uncle Tom


Uncle Ned


Old Black Joe


Secretary to Mayor


Four Harmony Kings




dancing and singing CHORUSES referred to as


TIME: Election Day.


PLACE: Jimtown in Dixieland.

Act 1


Scene 1: [A Street in Front of the Jimtown Hotel]





Election Day, Election Day,

ThatÕs the day when everybodyÕs happy,

ThatÕs the day when everybodyÕs glad.

Election Day, Election Day,

ThatÕs the day when you forget

All the aches and pains you have had.


You gather at the election polls,

And there you stand in line.

Although the day be dark and cold,

Still you never mind.

You are thinking of the politicians whom last year you trusted,

And when they got into positions, promises they busted.

You will try not make the same mistake—

This Election Day. Hooray!

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

(looking to stage right)


(Enter supporters of Steve Jenkins right.)



We stand for everything that we can get.

Our man is for the country going wet.

WeÕll bring back the whiskey, beer, and gin.

We know that Steve Jenkins will win.



The gang of Steve Jenkins, a lame and hungry bunch,

TheyÕre going to bring back the five-cent beer and lunch.

If heÕs elected, it sure will be a sin.

We hope that heÕll never, never win.

(following Steve Jenkins supporters as they exit right)


(looking towards left)

Hooray! Hooray!

What crowd is this a-coming . . .

Hooray! Hooray!

With whistling fife and drumming?

LetÕs clear the way for a great big demonstration.

They will carry the day with a riotous consternation.


(Enter left Mrs. Peck and Mr. PeckÕs supporters. Onions is one supporter and carries a drum.)



Me, him, and she,

She, him, and me,

WeÕre the ones who will elect

For our Mayor, we will have Sam Peck.

You will agree that me, him, and she

Will take Õem, make Õem, shake Õem, break Õem,

Just we three.



Gee, but they are funny,

ÒShe, him, and me.Ó

ItÕs worth lots of money such a sight to see.

Poor CoxÕs Army ainÕt

One, two, three.

With a bunch of hecks like old Sam PeckÕs

ÒMe, him, and she.Ó


(The two stanzas above repeat. Mrs. Peck and supporters exit.)


(Enter Harry WaltonÕs supporters right.)



WeÕre for Harry Walton, here we come.

WeÕll vote for Harry Walton, our favorite son.

And with banners blowing, we will soon be showing

(If we keep step with the hep hep and rattle of the drum),

Honor is our motto, bright and grand.

Justice is the platform on which we stand.

And since we are in it, we are going to win it.

Harry Walton is the man.

He is the man for whom we all will stand.


(Mr. Williams appears on hotel step.)


CHORUS. (addressing Mr. Williams) Speech! Speech!


JIM WILLIAMS. Friends and citizens of Jimtown.—It is useless for me to attempt to tell you what kind of a man Harry Walton is and that he is the right man for the Mayor, for no doubt you all know him as well as I. In fact, we have watched him grow from boyhood.


CHORUS. (interrupting) He is the man!


JIM WILLIAMS. (continuing) His honesty, integrity, and efficiency make him the logical man for the office, and it is the solemn duty of each and every citizen of Jimtown to vote for him, for heÕs all right.


CITIZEN. WhatÕs the matter with Harry Walton?


CHORUS. HeÕs all right!


JIM WILLIAMS. WhoÕs all right?


CHORUS. Harry WaltonÕs all right! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!


WeÕre for Harry Walton, here we come.

WeÕll vote for Harry Walton, our favorite son.

And with banners blowing, we will soon be showing

(If we keep step with the hep hep and rattle of the drum),

Honor is our motto, bright and brand.

Justice is the platform on which we stand.

And since we are in it, we are going to win it,

Harry Walton is the man.


(The chorus repeats the stanza above. Dance. The chorus exits.)


JESSIE. (following father center stage) Father, your speech was brief but to the point, and you are right. Harry is the man.


JIM WILLIAMS. Well, daughter, no doubt some may say that my efforts in his behalf are prompted by the fact that he is to become my son-in-law, but my only motive is to see the right man in the right place.


JESSIE. And Harry is the right man.


JIM WILLIAMS. Well (laugh), I trust my daughter is looking at it through unbiased eyes and not because she is to become the future Mrs. Harry Walton.


(Ruth Little approaches.)


JESSIE. (rebuking) Oh, Father!


JIM WILLIAMS. Oh, did I tell on you?


(He exits slowly into hotel.)


RUTH. Oh, I see after Harry is elected there seems to be a certainty that there is going to be a little wedding.

JESSIE. Oh, no, Ruth.


RUTH. Oh, thatÕs all right. I have known it right along. But—(very independently) none of that wedding stuff for me, kid.


JESSIE. Why not, Ruth?


RUTH. Because IÕm simply too full of jazz.


(Jessie follows father into the hotel.)


SONG: ÒIÕm Simply Full of JazzÓ



Everybody thinks IÕm crazy.

They say IÕve gone plum mad.

Everybody thinks IÕm crazy,

Lost all the sense I ever had.


When they see me shake, it makes them shiver.

When I do a break, it makes them quiver.

But IÕm not insane. IÕm not to blame.

The cause of it all isnÕt in my brain.


(Jazz Jasmines enter and assist in song and dance.)


Just because I like to do a wiggle

In a regular Salome style,

Just because I like to do a liÕl wriggle,

Like on the Hawaiian isle . . .


ÕCause I kick like a donkey, jump way back,

ÕCause I act like a money, and ball the jack,

And like Miss Minnie, I do the shimmy,

Keep my shoulders shaking until you hear them crack . . .


Just Õcause you see my feet a-shufflinÕ

Just because I act like a razz,

ÕCause I seem a little hazy, I ainÕt crazy.

IÕm just full of jazz, jazz, jazz,

Simply full of jazz.


(Enter right Harry Walton followed by Onions. Mr. Williams appears on hotel step.)


ONIONS. I want to see you.


HARRY WALTON. (stopping short center stage) What do you want?

ONIONS. What I want to explain to you is—that simply because I happen to be working for Jenkins and Peck in that grocery store—ainÕt no sign that I got to vote for neither of them.


HARRY WALTON. What can I do about that?


JIM WILLIAMS. (interrupting) Just a moment, Harry. Possibly I can enlighten the gentleman.


HARRY WALTON. I hope you can.


ONIONS. Proceed with the illumination.


JIM WILLIAMS. A vote, my friend, is every citizenÕs sacred right and should be cast conscientiously using, of course, your best judgment as to the man who stands for the best principle.




ONIONS. And for the one that we feels is to benefit us the most.


JIM WILLIAMS. Why certainly.


ONIONS. (to Harry) There you is. I knows you heard dat.


HARRY WALTON. Why of course I heard that.


ONIONS. Well, I figgers that for $5.00 you is the best man.


HARRY WALTON. (perplexed) What do you mean?


ONIONS. Well to make it plain, if you give me $5.00, I knows you is the best man. Therefore, I votes for you. You canÕt beat that.


HARRY WALTON. I donÕt care for your kind of a vote. Thank you.


ONIONS. (picking up basket and making hasty exit to hotel) I done asked that man for too much money. I can see dat right now. (meets Jessie on step)


JIM WILLIAMS. Harry, how is the election coming along?


HARRY WALTON. Glad to say it is coming along quite well.


JIM WILLIAMS. ThatÕs fine and dandy. My boy, it behooves you to win, for if you are beaten by either of those ignoramuses, Steve Jenkins or Sam Peck, who would run our town just as they run their grocery store, I shall never consent to you becoming my son-in-law.

(Jessie listening.)


HARRY WALTON. (reproachfully) Why, Mr. Williams!


JIM WILLIAMS. (walking to hotel) That's final. (goes into hotel)


JESSIE. (making sure father has gone, then crossing to Harry)—Harry, you canÕt lose. Jenkins or Peck beating you, why the idea is absurd.


HARRY WALTON. (down-heartedly) I know, Jessie, but suppose . . .


SONG: ÒLove Will Find a WayÓ



Come, dear, and donÕt let our faith weaken.

LetÕs keep our love fires burning bright.



Your love for me is heavÕnly beacon,

Guiding me through loveÕs darkest night.



DonÕt start minding or fault-finding,

No matter how dark oneÕs path may grow.



Fate wonÕt hurry. Well, donÕt worry.

WeÕll just keep our hearts aglow.



Love will find a way, though skies now are gray.

Love like ours can never be ruled.

CupidÕs not schooled that way.

Dry each tear-dimmed eye.

Clouds will soon roll by.

Though fate may lead us astray,

My dearie, mark what I say:

Love will find a way.


(They repeat the chorus and exit right.)


TOM SHARPER. Good morning, Mrs. Peck.


MRS. PECK. Good morning.


TOM SHARPER. Have you any influence over your husband at all?


MRS. PECK. Why, of course. I am his wife.

TOM SHARPER. Why donÕt you get him to withdraw from this race then?


MRS. PECK. I will have him withdraw only on one condition.


TOM SHARPER. And whatÕs that?


MRS. PECK. And that is if Steve Jenkins does.


TOM SHARPER. (annoyed and excited) Now ainÕt that ridiculous? Steve Jenkins was nominated by the political machine, and your husband Sam Peck is running on an independent ticket. Can you beat that? An independent ticket.


MRS. PECK. Oh, well my husband was always independent.


TOM SHARPER. Well, I know, but it looks to me that he would help Steve Jenkins to win inasmuch as they are partners in JimtownÕs most prosperous store.


MRS. PECK. No, jest Òstore.Ó Not Òprosperous.Ó


TOM SHARPER. (pleading) Well, canÕt you see he is only splitting the ticket, and he hasnÕt got a chance to win? So why donÕt you get him to give up?


MRS. PECK. I donÕt want him to give up.


TOM SHARPER. And why not?


MRS. PECK. (proudly) Because if he is elected, then I would be the First Lady of the town.


TOM SHARPER. Oh, I thought there was a catch to it. Well, donÕt worry. He will never be elected.


MRS. PECK. (loudly) And why not?


TOM SHARPER. Because Tom Sharper is the political boss of Jimtown, and my candidate, Steve Jenkins, will be the next Mayor.


MRS. PECK. (emphatically)—Never. You have asked me two or three times to have my husband withdraw, but IÕll wager you never asked Mr. Walton to do so.


TOM SHARPER. Oh, that lovesick bird. He is the least of my worries.


MRS. PECK. I suppose so.


UNCLE NED. (emerges from hotel) Good morning, Sister Peck.


MRS. PECK. Good morning, Uncle Ned.

UNCLE NED. You sure looks like a flapper this morning.


(Mrs. Peck snickers and exits right.)


TOM SHARPER. Good morning, Uncle Ned. How are you feeling this morning?


UNCLE NED. Oh, jesÕ tolÕble.—JesÕ tolÕble.


TOM SHARPER. IÕm glad to hear that. How are you figuring on voting?


UNCLE NED. Well, not for Steve Jenkins or Sam Peck.


TOM SHARPER. Sam Peck is out of the question. But why not for Steve Jenkins?


UNCLE NED. ÕCos every time I goes into dat grocery store, one of dem low-lifed rascals tries to rob me. Dey ainÕt got no chance of gitting elected nohow. No more chance den a one-legged man has in a kicking match and someone done stole bofÕ his crutches.


TOM SHARPER. Well now, Uncle Ned, I am really sorry to hear you say that, because I figured that an old village patriot of your standing, your vote would be worth just a brand new $10 bill. (showing money)


UNCLE NED. Oh, datÕs diffÕrent (taking bill)—datÕs diffÕrent.


TOM SHARPER. ThatÕs what I thought.


UNCLE NED. WhynÕt you axe me dat at first? (walks away)


TOM SHARPER. DonÕt forget now. Steve Jenkins to win.


UNCLE NED. Fergit? (looking at money) HowÕs I'm gwine to fergit son? (pauses—and turns back) Look here, Tom.


TOM SHARPER. What's the matter now?


UNCLE NED. Take dis here money right straight back, boy. I never sold a vote in my life. I come up in dem good old bandana days when honesty was the best policy.


TOM SHARPER. Bandana days?


UNCLE NED. DatÕs what I said.


SONG: ÒBandana DaysÓ



Why, the dearest days of my life were bandana days,

Bandana days, though filled with turmoil, trouble, and strife.

Dearest memÕries will live always. . . .


In those dear old bandana days,

Cane-and-cotton-neÕer-forgotten bandana days . . .

And in those quaint old bandana ways,

When our dads were courting our dear mammies,

They were sure some bashful sammies . . .


And in all their bandana plays:

Banjos strumminÕ, theyÕd be humminÕ bandana lays,

And in the pale moonlight

TheyÕd swing left and right

In those dear old bandana days.


(Enter Sam Peck and Steve Jenkins from right having a heavy argument. Sam carries a soapbox.)


SAM PECK. I donÕt want to hear dat now.


STEVE JENKINS. IÕm a man what knows everything. You ainÕt got no business being no Mayor, and you knows you ainÕt. What you talking about, being Mayors—?


SAM PECK. (interrupting) I got jesÕ as much right to be Mayors of Jimtown as you is—and—mucher Õfers thatÕs recerned. What you talkinÕ Õbout, I ainÕt got no right to be Mayors of Jimtown?


STEVE JENKINS. (loudly) It takes brains to be a Mayor. You ainÕt got brains enough to have a decent headache. You jesÕ runninÕ against me Õcos you jealous of me—datÕs all you is. Me enÕ you runninÕ a grocery store togeder, too. Minute you think I got a chance of gitting elected, you splits the ticket. DatÕs what I git fer taking you in the grocery store as my partner. Ought never to have taken you in der in the first place. (crosses left)


SAM PECK. (following) Now here listen. Wait a minute. Lemme git you straightened out about dat der grocery store. I put jesÕ as much money in dat store as you did, and maybe a liÕl more. I dunno.


STEVE JENKINS. You ainÕt put no more into it.


SAM PECK. Well, I mout a good deal more.


STEVE JENKINS. No you ainÕt out.


SAM PECK. Yes, I mout. (loudly)—DonÕt tell me I moutnÕt. But when it comes to politics, thatÕs where the friendship ceases, right der and den. And den hereÕs another thing.—I ainÕt gwine to let you run for Mayors of Jimtown, and I beÕs the common folks. So git dat right out of yoÕ haid while you is at it. (crosses right)


STEVE JENKINS. (following) There you goes talkinÕ like dat. I tolÕ you when I first started runninÕ—I sez,—Sam, if I gits elected Mayors of Jimtown, IÕm gwine to make you the Vice Mayor.


SAM PECK. (with surprise) The Vice Mayor???????


STEVE JENKINS. Sure, itÕs a good job for you.


SAM PECK. Why donÕt you offer me a job that amounts to something? The Governor of the County or something like dat. What kin I do with the Vice MayorÕs job?


STEVE JENKINS. To show you dat you ainÕt got no business beinÕ nothing. You ainÕt even voted for yourself yet.


SAM PECK. I canÕt vote for myself.


STEVE JENKINS. Anybody whatÕs runninÕ for de office kin vote for derself.


SAM PECK. No dey canÕt.


STEVE JENKINS. DonÕt tell me dey canÕt—for I done voted for myself foÕ times dis morninÕ.


SAM PECK. Yeh, but I is placed in a verÕ reculiar redition. I is a Republican runninÕ on de Independent ticket, and I ainÕt gwine vote aginst the Old Party.


(Enter Tom Sharper right, followed by citizens.)


TOM SHARPER. Steve, IÕve been looking all over town for you to make a speech. You need every vote you can get, so make a good one.


STEVE JENKINS. Go ahead, Tom, reduce me. Reduce me.


TOM SHARPER. (standing center stage beside Steve) Fellow citizens, I take great pleasure in introducing to you Mr. Steve Jenkins, the peopleÕs candidate for mayor. Hear ye him!


SAM PECK. (standing on soapbox, right of crowd and Steve) And hear ye me. I is runninÕ jesÕ as well as he is, and I is the besÕ man.


CITIZEN [RUFUS LOOSE]. (a Civil War veteran) ThatÕs right. ThatÕs right.


SAM PECK. Here we is. Take your choice.


STEVE JENKINS. (hat in hand, with the characteristic pose of a politician, in all seriousness) Ladies—Gentlemenses—Peopleses—and Folkses—


SAM PECK. You ainÕt left out nobody. IÕll give you credit for dat.


TOM SHARPER. Go ahead, Steve, donÕt pay any attention to him.


STEVE JENKINS. As I stand befoÕ you, gazinÕ into each and every one of yoÕ eyes, the question that rizzes in my mind is: What do you think of me?—


SAM PECK. DonÕt tell him.


CHORUS. DonÕt tell him??????


SAM PECK. No, donÕt tell him.


TOM SHARPER. Can you imagine that guy, disturbing this crowd? (to Sam) This is my candidate. (to Steve) This is your crowd—not his.


SAM PECK. Oh, this is anybodyÕs crowd. Go lay down.


STEVE JENKINS. (resuming posture) I may not be bedecked with jewels and diamonds rare—


UNCLE NED. You is not.


STEVE JENKINS. I may not wear watches and chains—but I have worn—


SAM PECK. Balls and chains.


(Tom grabs Uncle NedÕs cane to rush at Sam but cannot get it away.)


UNCLE NED. (to Tom, beside him) Clam yourself, son. Clam yourself.


STEVE JENKINS. Ladies, gentlemenses, folkses, and peopleses—When I first entered this race for Mayors of Jimtown, I had not the least redea—


UNCLE NED. ThatÕs language.


STEVE JENKINS. —that there was a dark horse in the race.


(Chrous snickers. Sam looks around for a brick.)


STEVE JENKINS. Surprised I was, I must say, verÕ much heap surprised I was when I found dat dat dark horse was my own business parter.


TOM SHARPER. (to Sam) Now say something.

SAM PECK. Well, I maght be de dark horse, but you (pointing to Steve) ainÕt gwine never be no black Mayor.


STEVE JENKINS. (peeved, loudly) Listing to me, folkses. Listing to me. We will pay no more attention to my reponent. We will ÒignoseÓ him and talk on matters of heap much more reportance.


TOM SHARPER. Get down to the point, Steve.


STEVE JENKINS. FÕrinstance,—look at the redition of your city today. I say look at the redition of Jimtown today. We have no lextrive lights here.


CITIZEN. You said it, Steve.


STEVE JENKINS. Statistics (at this Uncle Ned has a stroke of apoplexy, and Tom is finally able to bring him to) will show you dat dey ainÕt been no lextrive lights in Jimtown—not—since—before—


SAM PECK. (disgustedly) Oh, dey ainÕt been never none here.


STEVE JENKINS. And dey wahnÕt any here befoÕ den, neither. What we need is lextrive lights.


CITIZEN. Plenty of them.


STEVE JENKINS. Look how dark it is here oÕ night? (looking at Sam)


CHORUS. Who?—Oh.


SAM PECK. What you all looking at me for?


STEVE JENKINS. So dark here oÕ nights that if you light one match you got to light another one to see if the first one is lit. Make me your Mayor,—


TOM SHARPER. How about it boys?


STEVE JENKINS. IÕll see dat everybody in Jimtown gits lit up. IÕll do more den dat—IÕll see dats you all gits Õlectrocuted!


(Waiter enters with tray of food and stops in front of Sam. Sam takes some and makes hasty exit, attracting the attention of Steve, who follows.)


TOM SHARPER. WhatÕs the matter now? DonÕt pay any attention to Sam, Steve. Let him go.


STEVE JENKINS. You make the speech, Tom.


TOM SHARPER. Oh, I canÕt make—


(Entire crowd leaves right.)


SONG: ÒUncle Tom and Old Black JoeÓ

[may have appeared in Act 2, directly following ÒIf You HavenÕt Been Vamped by a BrownskinÓ]



IÕm Uncle Tom, and IÕm Old Black Joe.

I came up from the time long ago.

My nameÕs in history. Everyone sings of me.

Though three score and twenty, we have pep aplenty.

Now we are going right down to the square,

And we will be showing the Mayor

Where he shall start to build a City Hall

And tell him when weÕre coming to call.


We are electioneers, Jimtown electioneers,

And since Õ61, Old Black Joe and Uncle Tom,

At election time, whether rain or shine:

      WeÕre down at the polls when they call the roll;

      We have elected every president since Õ63;

      The last one that we elected was old Booker T.

If you want to know who makes Jimtown go,

ItÕs Uncle Tom and Old Black Joe.


(Dance. Exit left. Enter Steve from right, dejected looking, followed by Tom.)


TOM SHARPER. AinÕt you a fine candidate for Mayor? I spend one half the morning trying to get that crowd together and the other half walking them up one street and down the other to find you to make a speech, and when you get to the most important part of it, you do a bonehead trick like that.


STEVE JENKINS. Looka here, Tom, I wonder if dat was baked or fricaseeÕd chicken what he had on dat tray. Did you notice?


TOM SHARPER. Listen here, Steve, do you know this is Election Day and you are running for Mayor? Do you realize that?


STEVE JENKINS. ÕCourse I know. What you always asking me dat for?


TOM SHARPER. Because at the last minute you followed a tray full of food round here and lose those votes when I told you you needed them.


STEVE JENKINS. Looka here, Tom. AinÕt Sam runninÕ for Mayor same as I is? DidnÕt he follow dat man same as I did? What you talking about?


TOM SHARPER. I know, but you canÕt compare yourself to Sam.


STEVE JENKINS. How come I canÕt? WeÕre partners runninÕ a grocery store together, ainÕt we?


TOM SHARPER. I know, but Sam is spending twice as much money in this election as you—


STEVE JENKINS. Spending twice as much money???


TOM SHARPER. —Yes, and heÕs away ahead of you.


STEVE JENKINS. (questioningly) I wonder where heÕs gittinÕ the money from??


TOM SHARPER. DidnÕt you just say that you and Sam were partners in the same grocery store?


STEVE JENKINS. (pondering)—Yes, and thatÕs jesÕ what I am thinking Õbout, too. WeÕre partners.


TOM SHARPER. And your profits are the same?


STEVE JENKINS. Well, dey ought to be. Mebbe dey ainÕt.


TOM SHARPER. Yet you wonder why heÕs got twice as much money to spend as you?


STEVE JENKINS. See here, Tom, you donÕt mean Sam is stealing from me. Do you?


TOM SHARPER. Yes. ThatÕs just what he is doing, and he has been stealing from you ever since you have been in business with him.


STEVE JENKINS. (rather puzzled) What am I gwine to do about it?


TOM SHARPER. I have taken matters in my own hand.


STEVE JENKINS. (rejoicing) Well IÕm glad of dat, Õcos you kin catch him. I canÕt. You is slicker den I is.


TOM SHARPER. Quite right. I have sent to New York for Keeneye, that great colored detective. You jesÕ leave Sam to me. IÕll fix him.


STEVE JENKINS. (disappointedly) No, no. If you done sent for a retective, you is gwine to fix me. DatÕs what youÕre gwine to do.


TOM SHARPER. (impatiently) Listen, Steve, you donÕt understand.


STEVE JENKINS. I understands better Õn you do. You is the man what donÕt understand. I understands flooencly myself.


TOM SHARPER. AinÕt there stealing going on in the store?


STEVE JENKINS. (drawing it out) Y–e–s, and heÕll come down here and catch the wrong stealer. That man ainÕt gwine to come down here and jesÕ watch Sam. He is gwine to lock up the first man he catches stealinÕ.


TOM SHARPER. Why, of course.


STEVE JENKINS. Well, I canÕt take no chances like dat, Tom.


TOM SHARPER. You canÕt???


STEVE JENKINS. No, no, no.


TOM SHARPER. Say, listen Steve, I am hiring this detective to watch Sam, not to watch you.


STEVE JENKINS. (rejoicing) Oh, he is gwine to watch the man what you wants him to watch.


TOM SHARPER. Why, of course. AinÕt he our detective? But listen, its going to take plenty of money to do this thing.


STEVE JENKINS. Well, if he comes down here and watches Sam and keeps his eyes off me, you can have all the money you want.


(Three groups of two boys each enter from opposite sides, meet, and listen to the conversation.)


TOM SHARPER. Fine. ThatÕs all I want to hear you say.


STEVE JENKINS. All I want you to do is to git me elected, and if you do, IÕm gwine to dance at your wedding.


TOM SHARPER. And thereÕs going to be a wedding, just as soon as you are elected.


STEVE JENKINS. (surprised) Looka here, Tom. Who are you gwine to marry?


TOM SHARPER. Why, Emaline!




(Half of the six boys stand on one side of Steve, and the other beside Tom.)



SONG: ÒIn Honeysuckle TimeÓ



Everybody loves Emaline,

SheÕs the gal that all the fellows hang around.

Everybody knows Emaline,

Why sheÕs the pal of evÕry other gal in town.

But eÕry pal and gal will soon be singing the blues,

When they hear the latest news:


[Chorus of Happy Honeysuckles enters to assist in song and dance.]


In honeysuckle time, sweet Emaline

Said sheÕd be mine, and in the wedding line

ThereÕll be no hesitating

For the preacher will be waiting.

When the knot am tied

With Emmy by my side,

All the fellows will be jealous,

And feeling kind-a-rough,

When I come along with Emaline a-struttinÕ my stuff.

Hot dog, my soul, goinÕ-a knock Õem cold.

IÕll be worth my weight in gold

In honeysuckle time,

When Emaline said sheÕd be mine.



Scene 2: Possum Lane


(Enter Mrs. Peck and Mr. Peck arguing right.)


MRS. PECK. How dare you give me an argument?


SAM PECK. (Following wife center stage) Now, honey, listen. I knows what IÕm doing.


MRS. PECK. Never mind, I donÕt want you to stand around talking to these girls.


SAM PECK. I got to talk to the women-folkses in order to get their votes. AinÕt I?


MRS. PECK. IÕll solicit the womenÕs votes. You get the menÕs.


SAM PECK. No, if I canÕt talk to de women-folkses, den IÕse sorry that IÕse runninÕ for de office.


MRS. PECK. Well, IÕm not. Because if you are elected, then I can run the town.


SAM PECK. (surprised) If IÕm elected, you kin run the town??


MRS. PECK. Of course! AinÕt you my husband?


SAM PECK. Yeh, IÕm your husband.


MRS. PECK. Well, ainÕt I yoÕ boss??


SAM PECK. My boss???


MRS. PECK. (making a motion towards him) AinÕt I? AinÕt I??


SAM PECK. (running away) Yeh!


MRS. PECK. Well, if you run the city and I run you, donÕt that make me run everything?


SAM PECK. Den all de power that I gits, dat jesÕ adds to yoÕ power.


MRS. PECK. Imagine me the leading light of the city, running things to suit myself. Why, the first law IÕll pass will be to close up Jim GreenÕs Bevo parlour.


SAM PECK. (reprovingly) For what? The man ainÕt done nothing to you.


MRS. PECK. Oh, heÕs making too much money, and his wife is wearing such fine clothes, why sheÕs snubbing everybody. But, you wait. My time is coming. IÕll show her. IÕll fix her. IÕll show her.

SAM PECK. Yeh, but I ainÕt elected yet—and Steve, heÕs gittinÕ jesÕ as many votes as I is.


MRS. PECK. Well, you know why? ÕCause heÕs buying them, and you know where heÕs getting the money from: right out of the cash register in your store.


SAM PECK. Out of the cash register????


MRS. PECK. Why, of course.


SAM PECK. You mean heÕs stealinÕ the money.


MRS. PECK. He has been stealing from you ever since you have been in business with him—


SAM PECK. (tremendous surprise) Is that so????


MRS. PECK. Yes. But he is through stealing now.


SAM PECK. When did he die?


MRS. PECK. Sam,—




MRS. PECK. I forgot to tell you—


SAM PECK. Yeh, go ahead—


MRS. PECK. I sent to New York for that great colored detective.


SAM PECK. (walking away slowly) No, no, honey.


MRS. PECK. Yes, dear, Keeneye is his name, and heÕs wonderful. HeÕs wonderful, dear.


SAM PECK. No. We donÕt need no retective hanging Õround dat store.


MRS. PECK. HeÕs stealing from you. IsnÕt he?


SAM PECK. DatÕs all right. IÕll catch him.


MRS. PECK. Well, shouldnÕt he be watched?


SAM PECK. Honey, let the man stay in New York. Now I knows what IÕm talkinÕ Õbout.


MRS. PECK. Oh, well now, never mind. I have sent for him, and heÕll be here today. So you keep a lookout for him, and for heavenÕs sakes, keep your mouth shut.


(Jessie and Ruth enter right. Sam walks toward them smilingly. Mrs. Peck spies them.)

Say, Sam, come on down here to the corner where there are a lot of men. We can get some votes down there.


SAM PECK. (to girls, whispering) IÕll be with you all in jesÕ a minute. (to wife, who is walking stage right) You go on down there, honey, and get them all together, and IÕll be there in jesÕ a minute. (walks back to girls)


MRS. PECK. (following him) Is that so? I think youÕll go this minute. Sam! Sam!


SAM PECK. Yes, yes. IÕse cominÕ—


(Exit together left.)


SONG: ÒGypsy BluesÓ



I was talking to a gypsy,



And what did she have to tell you?



When my palm she read,

I asked her when I would wed,

And she shook her head.



And then what did she say?



I donÕt know, because I ran away.



Now IÕve got the gypsy blues.



And youÕre sorry that you did refuse—



To wait and listen to her gypsy news.



Maybe she was just in doubt.


AnÕ some line was trying to figure out.



And tryinÕ to find what it was about.



I would give all my weight in gold

To know what she was about to tell me.



But if she had a-said that your sweetie youÕd lose,

TheyÕd had to bury you.



(Rather than to start a ruse.)



Why you ran away and you got your dues.



ThatÕs why {you/I} got those ipsy kypsy blues,

Gypsy blues.


(They are assisted by Henry Walton in a second chorus.)


[Curtain opens.]

Scene 3: JenkinsÕs and PeckÕs Grocery Store


(Onions dozing on flour barrel with duster in hand. Sam enters.)


SAM PECK. Good morning, Onions.


ONIONS. (waking up) Yes, yessir. Good morning. Yessir—well, I see you is late again, as usual.


SAM PECK. (removing coat) Yes, but dat ainÕt none of your business. You ainÕt no time-keeper here. You is the porter in dis store.


ONIONS. Yessir. You is right.


SAM PECK. You learn dat, and donÕt tell me about me beinÕ late no more.


ONIONS. Yessir, rescuse me.


SAM PECK. Never mind the rescusing. JesÕ donÕt done it no more.


(Opens cash register just as Steve enters.)




(Sam quickly takes chair and lights pipe.)


STEVE JENKINS. (watching eccentric dusting by Onions) Dey ainÕt no use of you dustinÕ. You ainÕt swept up here dis moninÕ.


ONIONS. I jesÕ got here.


STEVE JENKINS. You didnÕt reliver them goods to Miss Jones, neither, did you?


ONIONS. I ainÕt had my breakfast yet.


STEVE JENKINS. You ainÕt carried dat barrel downstairs, neither, is you?


ONIONS. I was out voting.


STEVE JENKINS. You gwine to keep on working like dat until one of dese days the police is gwine to come in here and arrest you for vagrancy. Go on, carry dat barrel downstairs, and hurry up. You is lazy, datÕs whatÕs the matter wid you. The more we pay you, the less you work. Got to quit paying you, and youÕll work better.


(Onions goes out and a customer enters.)

Never see the man what was as lazy as you is.


CUSTOMER. I am in a hurry. I would like to get waited on.


STEVE JENKINS. Sam, thereÕs a customer.


SAM PECK. Well, wait on him.


STEVE JENKINS. I waited on the last customer what come in here.


SAM PECK. I waited on the last customer myself.


STEVE JENKINS. DonÕt tell me. I waited on the last customer.


(Customer growing more impatient.)


SAM PECK. I knows who I waits on and whose I donÕt. WhatÕs the matter wid you? You must be losing your mind, ainÕt you? What do you think I am in de store for if I donÕt knows who I waits on. You make a man mad wid arguing like dat.—What was the last thing what was sold in here, anyhow?




SAM PECK. I say, what was the last thing that was sold in here?


STEVE JENKINS. Dat shows what you know about it. We didnÕt have the last thing what was sold in here.


SAM PECK. Well I jesÕ lit my pipe, and I ainÕt gwine to quit smoking to wait on nobody.


STEVE JENKINS. I jesÕ got here, and IÕm tired. Look here, what do you want anyhow, mister?


CUSTOMER. I want five pounds of meal.


STEVE JENKINS. You want what?


CUSTOMER. Five pounds of meal.


STEVE JENKINS. Go on behind dat counter there. (customer crosses to opposite counter) Counter der. (pointing) Nothing gwine to hurt you. Gwine back der. Look in the third barrel marked Òlime.Ó Git yourself a sack and scoop, and git five pounds of meal. Man wants meal, git meal. Come in here arguing Õbout dat old five pounds of meal . . .


(Customer stoops to get meal.)


SAM PECK. Yes,—and a man what comes in here and wants all the waiting-on he wants ought to come in when weÕre standing up.


STEVE JENKINS. (looking at man who is still scooping meal) Heah, heah, mister. Straighten up der sometime. WhatÕs the matter wid you? Man sends you in der for five pounds of meal, and you gits five tons of it. Come on round from der anyhow. Where you git dat? Come in here and take all the meal we got.


(Customer approaches with a tremendous bag of flour. Steve eyes it.)

Sam, do you think he got five pounds all right?


SAM PECK. (looking at bag) Well, he ainÕt missed it much.


STEVE JENKINS. You better weigh dat meal, mister. YouÕll find de scales over der. (customer goes in wrong direction)I said de scales are over der. No, not up der. You is the dummest customer ever I saw in my life.


(Customer finds scales and weighs meal.)

I ainÕt never seen the man as dum as what you is.


CUSTOMER. Five pounds exactly.


STEVE JENKINS. Well, all you got to do is pay for it.


CUSTOMER. Well, I was going to pay for it.


STEVE JENKINS. If you take it out of here, you gwine to pay for it.


CUSTOMER. Very well. Here is your money.


STEVE JENKINS. What you got?


CUSTOMER. Dollar bill.


STEVE JENKINS. Dollar bill?




STEVE JENKINS. AinÕt you got no change?




STEVE JENKINS. No change at all?



STEVE JENKINS. Say, bring that cash register over here.


CUSTOMER. (indignant) What do you think I am?


STEVE JENKINS. You want to pay for it, donÕt you?


CUSTOMER. Yes, but IÕm not the porter Õround here.


STEVE JENKINS. Sam, keep down the argument. Make change for the gentleman.


SAM PECK. Come here, son.—WhatÕd you git?


CUSTOMER. Five pounds of meal.


SAM PECK. (has legs crossed; uncrosses them and re-crosses them other way) Ahem! Five pounds of meal. Hit 20¢ on the register. Git out your change. Got it? Now leave your name and address in case the register is short when we checks up tonight.


(Customer meets lady as he leaves.)


STEVE JENKINS. These customers are gitting as lazy as they kin be. (spies lady and jumps up)


SAM PECK. O jesÕ donÕt pay any attention to them. (spies lady and also jumps up)


STEVE JENKINS. Right here, lady, right here. Now sit down, Sam, you wanted to smoke.


SAM PECK. No. Now you jesÕ got through waiting on the last customer what come in here.


STEVE JENKINS. DatÕs all right. I kin wait on Õem all.


SAM PECK. No you canÕt wait on Õem all.


STEVE JENKINS. How come I canÕt? It is as much my store as it is yours.


SAM PECK. Yeh, itÕs as much my store as it is yourn, too.


BOTH. WhatÕll you have, lady?


CUSTOMER. A large sack of flour.


STEVE JENKINS. Onions. Bring a basket. WeÕll give her the best meal in the house. (each places one bag of flour in basket) Here you is. Right here now. Do you want to take them with you or shall—?


SAM PECK. DonÕt result the customer like dat. WeÕll reliver the goods. (puts on coat)


STEVE JENKINS. Yeh, weÕll reliver the goods.


CUSTOMER. CanÕt you send it C.O.D.?


STEVE JENKINS. Send it who?




STEVE JENKINS. Oh, he ainÕt working here no more. IÕll take it up der myself if you say so.


CUSTOMER. Very well, hereÕs my card. Take it to this address.


STEVE JENKINS. IÕll be right there, lady, jesÕ as quick as I can.


STEVE and SAM. (as Onions picks up basket) Put the basket down, Onions.


ONIONS. AinÕt I working here no more?


STEVE JENKINS. Yeh, you is working here.


ONIONS. ThatÕs what I thought.


STEVE JENKINS. Yeh, but you go down-cellar and bring up a barrel of molasses. (to Sam) WhatÕs the matter wid you?


(Sam and Steve grab basket and are leaving when Tom Sharper enters.)


TOM SHARPER. Just a minute Steve. What are you going to do now?


STEVE JENKINS. A lady jesÕ came in here and bought this flour, and IÕm gwine to take it up to de house.


TOM SHARPER. (angry) You are going to take it up?


STEVE JENKINS. I ainÕt gwine to let him take it up. (both tugging at basket)


TOM SHARPER. Can you beat that? You, the candidate for Mayor, to be seen on Election Day with a basket in your hand.


STEVE JENKINS. Yeh, but you ainÕt seen the lady.

TOM SHARPER. (disgustedly) WhatÕs that got to do with it? Leave that to common folks and errand boys, not for big men like you.


STEVE JENKINS. (conceitedly) Say, I is a big man, ainÕt I? (to Sam) Go on take it up der.


SAM PECK. I could have been up der wid it while you is arguinÕ.


(Mrs. Peck enters and Sam immediately drops basket.)



ONIONS. (rushing in) You called me. I knows dat.


SAM PECK. Yeh. Reliver the goods to the lady. Hurry up. She is waiting for dem.


ONIONS. (puzzled) Look here, the goods you jesÕ told me to put down there?


SAM PECK. (angry) Yeh, yeh. Will you reliver dem goods, or will you wonÕt?


(Onions leaves with basket)

(to wife) IÕll be with you in jesÕ a minute, honey.


TOM SHARPER. (standing with Steve, right) Has Keeneye arrived yet?


STEVE JENKINS. No. That retective hasnÕt come here yet, and you said he was gwine to be here dis morning.


TOM SHARPER. Positively said he would be here today. Say, I got to have some more money.


STEVE JENKINS. I canÕt git to it right now.


TOM SHARPER. AinÕt this your store??


(Mrs. Peck asks husband for money. Sam opens register and gives money to her.)


STEVE JENKINS. (referring to Sam) He lives in that cash register.


MRS. PECK. Has Keeneye arrived yet?


SAM PECK. No, he hasnÕt Õrived as yet.


MRS. PECK. Well keep a lookout for him. He will be here within the hour.


SAM PECK. Oh, if he gits here, IÕll see him.


MRS. PECK. (going to door) IÕm going downtown to do a little shopping. Be home early, wonÕt you dear?


SAM PECK. (escorting her to door) Yeh, honey. (waves goodbye, returns and goes to telephone, right) Hello!—Hello!


(Tom and Steve go to cash register. Tom stands at counter, and Steve opens register just as Tom throws can of baking powder to floor. Sam looks around for cause of the confusion. Steve passes money to Tom.)


STEVE JENKINS. Say, I want you to buy some votes with dat money. Do you hear?


TOM SHARPER. You donÕt doubt me? Do you?


STEVE JENKINS. Well, I canÕt say that I doubts you, but as much money as I done give you, I ought to be elected four times before now.


TOM SHARPER. Now listen here, Steve. To prove to you that IÕm on the level, I am going to take you right around the corner and let you see me spend every cent of this money in your interest. Now, you canÕt beat that, can you?


STEVE JENKINS. And to shows you that I trusts you—


TOM SHARPER. All right . . . (walks to door)


STEVE JENKINS. —IÕm gwine wid you.—Sam, IÕm gwine Õround the polls here wid Tom.


SAM PECK. Go ahead.


STEVE JENKINS. When I gits back, I wants to find some of the store here. I know I ainÕt gwine to find it all, but be as easy wid me as you kin. You know, jesÕ leave Õnough Õround here so as IÕll know where de place was anyhow.


SAM PECK. And while you is out, better go Õround to the telephone people here. I couldnÕt git dis last number. I expects we owe dem a little something.


STEVE JENKINS. You carried the last money Õround der yourself. DidnÕt you?




STEVE JENKINS. Well, I knows we owes Õem den. (goes out with Tom)


(Detective Jack Penrose enters and addresses Sam, who is sitting stage left.)


JACK PENROSE. —Good morning.


SAM PECK. Good morning.


JACK PENROSE. Whom have I the pleasure of addressing?


SAM PECK. Well, you is talking to Sam Peck, one of the owners of the store here, and I am also runninÕ for de Mayor of de town. What kin I do for you?


JACK PENROSE. (presents card) My card.


SAM PECK. (after studying it) Oh yes. You is the retective that my wife sent for?


JACK PENROSE. Yes. I received Mrs. PeckÕs letter, so here I am on de grounds ready fer business.


SAM PECK. And you is on the right grounds, Õcos all de stealinÕ dat is gwine on, is gwine on right in here, and what me and my wife wants you to do is to jesÕ catch my partner stealinÕ. Catch him wid de goods on him so that I kin rescuse him.


JACK PENROSE. I suppose he is in your way.


SAM PECK. Well relittically speakinÕ—yes.


JACK PENROSE. You know, Mr. Peck, it is always customary to pay something in advance in all professional engagements of this kind.


SAM PECK. Yes, naturally I knows dat. Now, how much does you want for dis case.


JACK PENROSE. As this is a very important case, I should judge about $100 ought to take care of it.


SAM PECK. (surprised) $100 ought to take care of you and de case!


JACK PENROSE. Well, that is very reasonable, sir.


SAM PECK. Yes, you is right. And it is worth every penny of it if you catch my partner stealinÕ.


JACK PENROSE. Worth every penny of it.


SAM PECK. (going to safe) Money gwine out of here, and donÕt nobody knows where it is gwine.


JACK PENROSE. It must be stopped.


SAM PECK. ItÕs got to be stopped. Man canÕt run no business like dat. (opens safe) Anytime a man gits to runninÕ business,—$100 was it?


JACK PENROSE. $100, sir.


(Sam gives money to detective and puts rest in his own pocket.)


SAM PECK. Here you is. Now you understands everything, so jesÕ go ahead and catch my partner.


JACK PENROSE. (putting hand over pocket where Sam has just put money) Oh, I got you, old boy.


SAM PECK. (with a look of scorn) No, not me. Catch my partner. I knows IÕm stealinÕ. I didnÕt send for you to tell me dat.


(Steve enters.)


STEVE JENKINS. Sam, I stopped next door over to the telephone company—


SAM PECK. (jumping up and going to telephone) Good, now I kin get dat number.


STEVE JENKINS. Yeh—and dey tolÕ me to tell you dat before you tries to call up, to call Õround.


(Sam hangs up receiver and returns to chair stage right.)


JACK PENROSE. Good morning. Mr. Jenkins, I presume.


STEVE JENKINS. Yes, Jenkins is my name.


JACK PENROSE. I was telling your partner that I represent the cashmere people in Chicago.


STEVE JENKINS. Is dat so? IÕm sure glad to hear dat.


JACK PENROSE. I am expecting a consignment of goods in a few days and hope to do business with you.


STEVE JENKINS. Sure, bring your goods up here and lemme look at dem.


SAM PECK. (taking coat) IÕm gwine Õround to de post office here. IÕll be right back. (goes out)


STEVE JENKINS. (delighted) Yes. Stay as long as you like, Sam. Wait for de last mail while you is at it. (to detective) Say, rescuse me jesÕ a minute.


(Steve runs to door to see that Sam is safely gone, then to cash register and gets some money. Mr. Penrose follows Steve to the door and to the register. Steve is just putting roll of bills in pocket.)

Now, Mr. Cashmere, I can talk wid you about dem goods, Õcos I heard dat you all had some very good goods.


JACK PENROSE. (presenting card) My card.


(Steve takes off hat, puts money back, fans head, walks away.)

Quite warm?


STEVE JENKINS. I hope it gits no warmer.


(Mr. Penrose shuts register, and Steve, hearing the bang, turns around.)

Say, you didnÕt see Sam come back in here, did you?




STEVE JENKINS. You ainÕt wid de cashmere people of Chicago like you said, is you?


JACK PENROSE. No. I just said that to throw your partner off.


STEVE JENKINS. (rejoicing) IÕm sure glad he donÕt know who you is, Õcos you never would catch him if he did. You know he is kind of sly.


JACK PENROSE. I received Tom SharperÕs letter, so here I am on the grounds, ready for business.


STEVE JENKINS. All I want you to do is to stop all money from gwine out of here dat I donÕt carry wid me.


JACK PENROSE. You will have to pay something in advance in this case.


STEVE JENKINS. I knows dat was coming. Now how much do you want in dis case?


JACK PENROSE. Well $50 to start with.


STEVE JENKINS. $50 to start with?? How much is it gwine to stop you?? DatÕs what I want to know. (goes to safe) ÕCourse you see where IÕm gitting this money from?


JACK PENROSE. IÕm looking at you.


STEVE JENKINS. (covering combination with hat) But that ainÕt none of your business. You are not here to watch me. You are here to watch my partner. $50 did you say?


JACK PENROSE. $50, sir.


STEVE JENKINS. Well, hereÕs two brand-new $25 bills. All I want you to do is to catch my partner stealing.


JACK PENROSE. IÕll catch him. I never failed.


SAM PECK. (returning) Got almost down there to dat post office, and clear forgot my letter. (opens register and takes money)


STEVE JENKINS. (as Sam reaches door) SamSam. Is dat where you keep your mail all de time now?


SAM PECK. Dat was a verÕ reportant letter, and I thought I would leave it in a safe place.


STEVE JENKINS. Yeh, but dat letter was so reportant dat it done turn to dollars since you put it in der.


SAM PECK. (looking in pocket) Turn to dollars??? What you talkinÕ Õbout?? (discovers money, laughs)


STEVE JENKINS. Is I right or wrong? DatÕs all I want to know.


SAM PECK. You is right. ReachinÕ in der right quick, I thought I had the letter. (puts money back)




(Sam removes coat and sits down.)

Now you ainÕt got no place to go. Is you?


JACK PENROSE. Well, gentlemen, you will have to excuse me. I am going down to see about that consignment of goods.


SAM PECK. Yes, yes. DonÕt be gone long.


(Onions enters.)


STEVE JENKINS. Sam, I am gwine to tell you something. You better learn one thing and learn it quick.


(Onions opens register and begins to dust counter vigorously, knocking box to floor. Sam and Steve go after box. Onions opens register again. Steve goes over to register as Onions dusts safe.)

This here cash register is beginning to be a regular main thoroughfare. IÕm gwine to pass some laws Õround here—

(Onions opens safe.)

O-N-I-O-N-S, come Õway from dat safe.


ONIONS. I was just dusting it off, sir.


STEVE JENKINS. Doing what?


ONIONS. D-u-s-t-i-n-g it off.


STEVE JENKINS. YouÕll be dustinÕ it out in a minute. Come Õway from der, anyhow.


(Onions comes to left to Steve.)

ThereÕs gwine to be passed some new laws Õround here. From now on, anybody what gits anything in here, dey got to pay cash for it—


ONIONS. From now on??


STEVE JENKINS. —That goes for everybody. If SamÕs wife gits anything here—she got to pay cash for it—


ONIONS. (snickering) From now on??


STEVE JENKINS. —Yeh, and dem liÕl things you been carryinÕ out of here, you leave some change here for dem. Do you hear?? If I catch you letting anybody take anything out of here on credicks,—out you go!


ONIONS. From now on??


SAM PECK. No, you is gwine den.


(Onions begins to dust behind counter.)


STEVE JENKINS. Sam, I was down to the polls, and Harry Walton ainÕt got a chance in the world to win dis election.


SAM PECK. Oh, I knows dat.


STEVE JENKINS. Either me or you is sure gwine to win—


SAM PECK. ÕCourse we is.


STEVE JENKINS. —And I was thinkinÕ, if I wins, IÕm gwine to make you the Chief of Police—datÕs providing you wins, it you gwine to make me the Chief of Police.


SAM PECK. You can resider yourself Õpinted.

STEVE JENKINS. What you talkinÕ Õbout??


(Onions opens register.)

Onions, from now on, donÕt you dust anything but dem scales over der.—IÕm the man whatÕs gwine to win dis election.


SAM PECK. What will you bet?


STEVE JENKINS. If you wins, IÕll ride you all over town on my back like any other horse.


SAM PECK. If you wins, IÕll ride you all over town on mine.


STEVE JENKINS. (rising) Is dat a bet?


SAM PECK. Sure is.


STEVE JENKINS. Come on. LetÕs shake hands, Õcos IÕse sure gwine to win.


(Mrs. Peck enters and approaches Onions.)


MRS. PECK. Onions, I want a large box of baking powder.


ONIONS. (looking on shelf) A large box of baking powder. Now let me see. A small box wouldnÕt do??


MRS. PECK. (impatiently) No, I want a large box. (pointing to box on counter) Here it is. Here it is.


ONIONS. Oh, yes, der you is. Now wrap it right up.


MRS. PECK. Why donÕt you wrap it up?? Do you expect me to go through the streets—?


ONIONS. Help yourself, madam.


(Mrs. Peck wraps it up and goes to door. Onions stops her.)


ONIONS. Wait a minute. JesÕ a moment.


MRS. PECK. (puzzled) What is the matter with you??


ONIONS. I must have the money for the baking powder.


MRS. PECK. Why, the perfect idea??? You surely donÕt know who I am?


ONIONS. I donÕt care who you is.


MRS. PECK. This is exasperating. (walks to husband) I shall tell my husband about this. Sam, I have been grossly insulted by Onions.


SAM PECK. (surprised) Do tell.


MRS. PECK. He wants me to pay for this baking powder.


SAM PECK. Oh, well, honey. Der has been some new rules passed since you been in here.


MRS. PECK. Yes, but ainÕt this your store?


STEVE JENKINS. (sitting placidly at opposite side of room) No, maÕam, this is our store.


MRS. PECK. Say, Sam, I havenÕt any money.


SAM PECK. (rising and going to register to get money) WhynÕt you say dat when you first come in here? (gives her money)


(Sam expresses independence, but Steve is alert to every bang of the register.)

There you is. Go on and pay for de goods. Do business right.


MRS. PECK. (after giving money to Onions) Well???


ONIONS. (misconstruing question) Yes, pretty well, thank you.


MRS. PECK. My change please?


ONIONS. (flabbergasted) How much did you give me?


MRS. PECK. I gave you $10.


ONIONS. (looks in pocket) $10??? (discovers mistake) You is right. You is right. (presses register vigorously a number of times)


STEVE JENKINS. Onions, Onions, dat ainÕt no typewriter.


(Mrs. Peck drops bill as she leaves. Onions picks it up, and Sam takes it from him. Steve jumps up, opens register, and takes roll of money. Sam spies him and does likewise to safe. They both leave the receptacles open. Steve stops short in door.)

Sam! Sam! Put dat back.


SAM PECK. Well, put dat back?


STEVE JENKINS. Get to putting.


(Both put money back, and crowd enters, including Jessie, Harry, Tom, Uncle Ned, and Ruth Little to congratulate Steve.)


TOM SHARPER. Steve, old boy, the next Mayor of Jimtown!


STEVE JENKINS. (proudly) I knows I was gwine to git elected! I knowd it. I knowd it.


HARRY WALTON. Accept my congratulations, old boy.


STEVE JENKINS. Sorry you lost, Harry. Glad I won. Come on, Sam, ride me all over town on your back.


(Sam and Steve exit followed by Tom. Enter Mr. Williams hastily seeking Harry Walton.)


ACT 1 FINALE and REPRISE: ÒLove Will Find a WayÓ



Young man, IÕm sorry to inform you

That you cannot claim my daughterÕs hand.

But donÕt be dejected, since you are not elected,

But by my word, IÕm bound to stand.



Jim Williams is a man

Who always by his word must stand.



But why make them both unhappy

When they love each other tenderly?



(rather peevishly)

My word, I have pledged, I will never hedge.

Come, Jessie,—come with me.



His word is pledged, heÕll never hedge.

But with him we all do not agree.



(interrupting Mr. Williams in his endeavor to secure Jessie)

Just suppose that you were a lad once again.



(Once again.)


(interrupting, likewise)

And you were disposed of by your sweetheartÕs dad.

Well, what then?



(Well, what then?)



It is true what you say, but my word it must stay.

Come, Jessie, bid Mr. Walton good day.



Harry, my heart is with you.

Please do not give up in despair.



All hope seems to be in vain, dear,



Try to win your lady fair.

True love will always find a way.



(consoling Jessie)

The darkest hour is before the dawning.

Where there is a will, there is a way.



Listen to your heartÕs true warning,

Listen and you will hear it say:



Love will find a way, though skies now are gray.

Love like ours can never be ruled.

CupidÕs not schooled that way.

Dry each tear-dimmed eye.

Clouds will soon roll by.

Though fate may lead us astray,

My dearie, mark what I say:

Love will find a way.


(Curtain. End of Act 1.)

Act 2


Scene 1: Calico Corners


(Traffic officer center stage working a semaphore. Civil War veteran [Rufus Loose] enters left with girl.)


RUFUS. No use talking—


GIRL. Why didnÕt you start dancing with me?


RUFUS. Because I told you to shimmy. You turned around and did the cootie.


(Exit right.)


UNCLE NED. (enters right, walks around semaphore) Good morning, officer. When did you get out of jail? Say, look here. How much you gets a week for dis job? DatÕs what I would like to know.


OFFICER. (impatiently) Shuffle along.


(Uncle Ned exits right.)


SONG: ÒShuffle AlongÓ



Everyone in town is always singing this song:

ÒShuffle AlongÓ—ÒShuffle Along.Ó

Doctors, bakers, undertakers, do a step

ThatÕs full of pep and syncopation.


ÒShuffle Along,Ó

Oh, ÒShuffle Along.Ó

Why, lifeÕs but a chance, and when times comes to choose,

If you lose, donÕt start a-singing the blues,

But just you shuffle along,

And whistle a song.

Why, sometimes a smile will right every wrong.

Keep smiling and shuffle along.


(Jessie enters left. Tom enters right. Meet center stage.)


TOM SHARPER. Well, Miss Williams, tomorrow Steve Jenkins takes his chair as the Mayor of Jimtown. My candidate. Oh, but by the way, I heard that your father objected to your marrying Harry inasmuch as he lost in the election, and I am truly sorry for that indeed.

JESSIE. (independently) Well, that will never make any difference with Harry and me.


TOM SHARPER. And I hope not.


JESSIE. Never in the least.


TOM SHARPER. ThatÕs fine.


SONG: ÒI'm Just Wild About HarryÓ



ThereÕs just one fellow for me in this world.

HarryÕs his name,

ThatÕs what I claim.

Why for evÕry fellow there must be a girl.

 IÕve found my mate

By kindness of fate.


(Chorus of Syncopating Sunflowers enters to assist with song and dance.)


IÕm just wild about Harry,

And HarryÕs wild about me.

The heavÕnly blisses of his kisses

Fill me with ecstasy.

HeÕs sweet just like chocÕlate candy

And just like honey from the bee.

Oh, IÕm just wild about Harry,

And heÕs just wild about, cannot do without,

HeÕs just wild about me.


STEVE JENKINS. (enters right followed by three citizens) HereÕs what I wants to know: Who got elected Mayor, me or you all?


CITIZEN. You got elected, of course—but we elected you.


STEVE JENKINS. (boastingly) And IÕm going to run the town, too. I donÕt care who elected me. I ainÕt been augmented yet. Wait until I take my seat tomorrow. IÕm gwine to show you how to run the town.


1ST CITIZEN. DonÕt forget your promises.


STEVE JENKINS. What did I promise you?


1ST CITIZEN. You promised to make me the Tax Collector.




1ST CITIZEN. The Tax Collector?


STEVE JENKINS. WhatÕs dat? DatÕs the man what handles all de money, ainÕt it?


1ST CITIZEN. Of course.


STEVE JENKINS. Well, there ainÕt nobody gwine to handle money in dis town from now on, but me!


1ST CITIZEN. How come?


STEVE JENKINS. IÕm the Mayor. I handles all de money.


2ND CITIZEN. Look here, Steve, what you figgers on making me?


STEVE JENKINS. Since when?


2ND CITIZEN. What you figgers on makinÕ me?


STEVE JENKINS. Just what you is—nothing.


3RD CITIZEN. Steve, I want a job keeping the streets clean.


STEVE JENKINS. Want a job doing what???


3RD CITIZEN. Keeping the streets clean.


STEVE JENKINS. (sarcastically.) Well, stay off of dem, then.


(Sam enters right followed by a trainer and runs around the stage with boxing gloves on.)


STEVE JENKINS. Wait a minute, Sam. (stopping him) What do you mean runninÕ up and down the street like dat? AinÕt you got no sense at all?


SAM PECK. IÕm traininÕ for the Chief of Police.


STEVE JENKINS. (questioningly) Who?


SAM PECK. The Chief of Police.




SAM PECK. Here in Jimtown.


STEVE JENKINS. Whose gwine to appoint you?


SAM PECK. You is.

STEVE JENKINS. Is I? (chuckles)


SAM PECK. (explaining) Now wait a minute. DonÕt you remember der in the grocery store jesÕ before the election? You said if you was elected Mayor, you was gwine to appoint me the Chief of Police. DonÕt you remember dat?


STEVE JENKINS. Oh, I said dat before I was elected.


SAM PECK. Der you is.


STEVE JENKINS. If you ainÕt got no better sense den to pay any attention to dem election promises, you ainÕt got sense enough to be no Chief of Police. IÕll tell you now.


SAM PECK. So that beÕs the case?


STEVE JENKINS. Dat am the case. You ainÕt gwine to be nothing here in Jimtown.


SAM PECK. (to trainer) Is I fit?


TRAINER. You bet your life youÕre fit.


SAM PECK. Can I whip anybody here?


TRAINER. You can beat anybody in the bunch.


SAM PECK. No one is resepted.


TRAINER. You can lick anyone thatÕs over there.


SAM PECK. (referring to Steve) Give him dem gloves.


CITIZEN. IÕm gwine to leave here—


2ND CITIZEN. Oh, stick around—


STEVE JENKINS. (putting on gloves) You is gwine to fight me for the job, is dat it?


SAM PECK. Well, if the job is worth me having, itÕs worth me fighting for.


STEVE JENKINS. Well, if you whips me, den IÕm gwine to make you the Chief of Police.


SAM PECK. (curtly) You donÕt have to worry about dat. If I whips you, IÕm gwine to be the Chief of Police.


STEVE JENKINS. Well, you better send word home dat you ainÕt gwine to be der for dinner. IÕm gwine to arrange for you to pass right on by yoÕ door.


SAM PECK. (practicing) Well, you knows IÕm a man that was born wid boxing gloves on.


TRAINER. ThatÕs the boy.


STEVE JENKINS. And it sure looks like you gwine to die dat same way.


CITIZEN. (at semaphore) Are you ready?


SAM and STEVE. Yeh.


CITIZEN. LetÕs go.


COMIC BALLET: ÒJimtownÕs FisticuffsÓ

(Steve and Sam)





Scene 2: Possum Lane


SONG: ÒSing Me To Sleep, Dear Mammy (With a Hush-A-Bye-Pickanniny Tune)Ó



Mammy, IÕm feeling tired and weary.

My heart is heavy-laden, too.

Mammy, thereÕs only one who can cheer me,

And that only one is you.


So wonÕt you sing me to sleep, dear Mammy,

With a ÒHush-a-Bye-O-PickaninnyÓ tune

Just like you did in Alabamy?

Mammy, let me hear you croon,

ÒGo to sleep, ma honey.

SandmanÕs coming soon.

HeÕs watching you up yonder in the moon.Ó

Then when I fall to sleep in your dear arms,

I know IÕm safe from earthly harms.

If you will sing me to sleep, dear Mammy,

With a ÒHush-a-Bye-O-PickaninnyÓ tune.


(Mr. Walton exits left and re-enters left with a telephone in his hand. Jessie enters on right with telephone also.)


SONG: ÒEverything Reminds Me of YouÓ

[may have appeared later in Act 2, following a similarly displaced ÒUncle Tom and Old Black JoeÓ]



Hello, dearie, IÕm feeling kinda blue.



Hello, dearie, IÕm feeling lonesome, too.



But IÕm trying with all my energy

To be the strong-hearted boy you want me to be.



But, dear, you must resist each growing sentiment.



How can I exist, and without you be content?


When in the blues of the skies

I see the blue of your eyes . . .

In the trilling song of a bird

Your voice is heard . . .

It thrills me, stills me,

With loveÕs anguish fills me.

In the white fleur-de-lys,

An emblem of your purity . . .

And when the bee sips the vine,

I feel your lips touch mine . . .

The breath from the rose,

Your perfumed tresses disclose. . . .

Everything reminds me of you, you.

Everything reminds me of you.


(Jessie joins in the second chorus.)


[Curtain opens.]



Scene 3: MayorÕs Office


(Large table center, on which there are four typewriters, at which four stenographers are working. Secretary is opening mail at left of table, and office boy is dozing at the latterÕs left. Office boy wakes up and reads newspaper in his lap.)


MAYORÕS DOORMAN. (enters quickly with duster in hand, approaches office boy) Say, what do you think this is, a reading room? Look at this office.


OFFICE BOY. Well look at it, you ainÕt blind.


MAYORÕS DOORMAN. Now, listen. Let me tell you something. You better get to dusting and dusting quick.




MAYORÕS DOORMAN. Because if you donÕt, when the Mayor arrives, I will see that you get your walking papers.


OFFICE BOY. (independently) You donÕt have to tell me when to work, because I knows just when I wants to work.


MAYORÕS DOORMAN. Well, get to work.


(Gives him duster and exits left. Office boy does acrobatic dance.)


[DANCE: ÒSyncopated StenosÓ]


 (Mr. Williams and Mr. Penrose enter.)


JIM WILLIAMS. (addressing Mr. Penrose) See here, young man, do you mean to tell me that this Steve Jenkins is the type of a man that you advocate for the Mayor of Jimtown?


JACK PENROSE. Mr. Williams,—


JIM WILLIAMS. Well, IÕm surprised! A man with your standing . . .


MRS PENROSE. (endeavoring to pacify him) Now, Mr. Williams,—


JIM WILLIAMS. (indignantly) Oh, dry up, young man. Dry right up. DonÕt you try to tell me my business. IÕm one of the oldest citizens of Jimtown, a taxpayer, and have a perfect right to know why the cityÕs money is being so foolishly spent. Who in the world ever heard of a city paying for the MayorÕs valet? What right have we to pay for these five stenographers? And look at this office. Look at this office! (stamps foot impatiently) Does it look like a MayorÕs office? I should say not. It looks like some old womanÕs home!


JACK PENROSE. But, you must admit, Mr. Williams, that the Mayor has some very beautiful stenographers.


JIM WILLIAMS. Beautiful and minus ability. Why, every one of them would have to have their fingers cut off before they could write shorthand. Steve Jenkins, a Mayor. HeÕs no Mayor. HeÕs a nightmare. See here, he hasnÕt been elected Mayor three days when heÕs bought an automobile, engaged six chauffeurs, and we, we, the city have got to pay for it.


JACK PENROSE. I donÕt blame you, Mr. Williams, for thinking that way. The whole election is a fraud. At the right time and at the right place I will prove to the whole of Jimtown that Harry Walton is the rightful mayor.


JIM WILLIAMS. You will prove it? And who are you?


(Detective shows badge.)

Oh, I see.


JACK PENROSE. My position here is a very peculiar one. Tom Sharper hired me to watch Sam Peck. Mrs. Peck hired me to watch Steve Jenkins. And when I got here, I found them robbing each other, and worst of all, my best friend Harry Walton being cheated.




JACK PENROSE. Yes, cheated. As I said before, at the right time and at the right place I will expose all. For the present, we better not be seen together. I would advise that you leave the office at once and leave everything in my hands.


JIM WILLIAMS. I guess you are right, Mr. Penrose, for I donÕt care to come in contact with Steve Jenkins to begin with. Steve Jenkins, the Mayor of Jimtown! Some joke. (exits left indignantly, banging door)


DETECTIVE. Good morning, Miss Secretary.


SECRETARY TO MAYOR. Good morning, sir.


DETECTIVE. Is the Mayor in?


SECRETARY TO MAYOR. No, sir, not yet. May I take your name?


DETECTIVE. No, thank you. IÕll call later.


SECRETARY TO MAYOR. Very well, sir.


DETECTIVE. Good morning.




(Detective exits right.)


MAYORÕS DOORMAN. Attention, his Honor the Mayor of Jimtown.


(Steve enters dressed most flashily, followed by Onions, who has two pipes in his mouth. Stenographers stand and salute Mayor.)


STEVE JENKINS. What you waitinÕ on?


ONIONS. The hat.


STEVE JENKINS. Reach up der and get it.


(Onions takes hat from MayorÕs head and exits right.)

At ease, ladies. At ease.—Secretary!


SECRETARY TO MAYOR. Oh, yes, sir, your honor.




SECRETARY TO MAYOR. (running towards Steve) Oh, yes, sir, your honor.


STEVE JENKINS. Any mail for the Mayor this morning?


SECRETARY TO MAYOR. Oh, yes, sir, and thereÕs one very important letter this morning.


STEVE JENKINS. Important letter?


SECRETARY TO MAYOR. Oh, yes, sir, your honor.


STEVE JENKINS. Who is if from?


SECRETARY TO MAYOR. From the President.






STEVE JENKINS. Oh, you mean Warren. Yes, yes, yes. What did he have to say?

SECRETARY TO MAYOR. He wants to make a speech here one night next week.


STEVE JENKINS. Wants to make a speech here one night next week??


SECRETARY TO MAYOR. Yes, your honor.


STEVE JENKINS. Now, let me see. Next weekÕs my busy week. I canÕt see him.—Any more mail?


SECRETARY TO MAYOR. Oh, yes, sir. ThereÕs a lot of mail this morning.


STEVE JENKINS. Did you read it yet?




STEVE JENKINS. ThatÕs strange. Take the stenographers to the next office. Have them answer it. The Mayor donÕt care to be resturbed.




(Stenographers stand at attention.)

Forward march. Halt. Right flank march.


(Stenographers and secretary exit right. Steve walks around office, scratches his head, brings chair center, then replaces chair.)




ONIONS. Yes, sir.


STEVE JENKINS. Bring me that chair.


ONIONS. Now, you will find the chair right over there.


STEVE JENKINS. I knows where it is. I want you to go where it is and bring it where I is. You understand? Bring the chair here.


(Onions brings chair center.)

Now be went. Get to wenting.


(Onions exits right, and Steve deliberately replaces chair to its first position.)


MAYORÕS DOORMAN. Chief of Police to see you, sir.


STEVE JENKINS. (excitedly) Huh?

MAYORÕS DOORMAN. Chief of Police to see you.


STEVE JENKINS. Chief of Police to see me?




STEVE JENKINS. Did he have any papers in his hand?




STEVE JENKINS. (growing more excited) Did you tell him I was here?




STEVE JENKINS. What did you want to do that for? You had no business telling that Chief of Police I was here. Why didnÕt you come in here and axe me if I was here or not? (walking up and down) Where is he? Out there at the front door?




STEVE JENKINS. (frightened) HeÕs liable to be Õround at the back door now. I donÕt know how to get out of here. What did you want to tell him I was here for anyhow?


MAYORÕS DOORMAN. He said he wanted to see the Mayor.


STEVE JENKINS. Said he wanted to see who?


MAYORÕS DOORMAN. The Mayor????????


STEVE JENKINS. (amazedly) IÕm the Mayor, ainÕt I??




STEVE JENKINS. (independently) Tell him to come in here. What do I care anyhow?


MAYORÕS DOORMAN. This way, officer. His Honor the Mayor.


(Sam enters as Chief of Police.)


SAM PECK. Well, well, it dooz me proud, it dooz me proud.


STEVE JENKINS. Make yourself right at home, Sam.


SAM PECK. (sitting down) Now, how is you runninÕ things on the inside here?

STEVE JENKINS. (sitting down) Oh, man, IÕm the mayorest Mayor that ever mayored anywhere. Make yourself right at home, Sam. ThatÕs all you got to do. Go ahead and make yourself right at home.


SAM PECK. DonÕt worry about me. IÕm all right.


STEVE JENKINS. Der ainÕt nothing in here you kin steal. I got these typewriters all counted. (he counts the four typewriters) Yes, thereÕs eight of them. Say, look here, Sam.




STEVE JENKINS. Is you arrested anybody yet?


SAM PECK. (slowly) Now thatÕs what I come down here to see you about.


STEVE JENKINS. (frightened) How come you got to come down here to see me about it?


SAM PECK. Well, you will either have to make room in this office for the rest of the prisoners or build me some more rooms to the jail.


STEVE JENKINS. (surprised) Jail all filled up already?


SAM PECK. There ainÕt room enough down there for another man no matter how small he may be.


STEVE JENKINS. I didnÕt know there was dat many criminals in town.


SAM PECK. Well, this ainÕt exactly a matter of criminals. You knows I gits fifty cents a head for every man I locks up.


STEVE JENKINS. Well, thereÕs one man I will give you fifty dollars if you lock him up—thatÕs that Slippery Jim. HeÕs the worst man in town.


SAM PECK. Oh, heÕs a bad character, no doubt.


STEVE JENKINS. Bad! HeÕs so bad, IÕm scared to pass a law against him.


SAM PECK. And I made up my mind yesterday to lock him up.


STEVE JENKINS. You made up your mind—?


SAM PECK. Yes, yes.


STEVE JENKINS. —DatÕs Õbout as fer as you got, too,—to make up your mind.


SAM PECK. And for three solid hours yesterday, I was chasing him.

STEVE JENKINS. DidnÕt he catch you?


SAM PECK. I was chasing him.


STEVE JENKINS. I just wanted to know if you was the party of the first part or not.


SAM PECK. No, I was the recessory after the crime. You see, in the first place, I chased him everywhere.


STEVE JENKINS. (interested) Chased him everywhere?


SAM PECK. And then I chased him everywhere else. For three solid hours yesterday, me and Slippery Jim was just like this here (making motions with hands) all over town.


STEVE JENKINS. Is dat a fact?




STEVE JENKINS. What do you know about dat?


SAM PECK. And finally he tripped up and fell right in front of me.


STEVE JENKINS. (becoming excited) Fell in front of you???????


SAM PECK. Right in front of me.


STEVE JENKINS. There was your chance right then. When he fell, that was your chance.


SAM PECK. And I knowed it. And I said to myself, ÒIÕm gwine to unveil myself of this retunity.Ó




SAM PECK. And just as I reached over der to get him,—


STEVE JENKINS. Just as you were gwine to get him,—


SAM PECK. Just as I reached over there to get him, a black cat run right Õtwixt us, and I had to turn around and come back.


STEVE JENKINS. (hitting desk with hand) IÕm gwine to pass a law to get rid of all the black cats right now.


SAM PECK. There you is!


STEVE JENKINS. Black cats is bad luck anyhow.

SAM PECK. Course they is.


STEVE JENKINS. Whenever they commence conferring with the law, they got to go. DatÕs all.


SAM PECK. There you is.


STEVE JENKINS. A black cat run right Õtwixt you and duty.


SAM PECK. AinÕt done nothing else.


STEVE JENKINS. (taking pencil) HereÕs the first law IÕm gwine to pass since IÕve been the Mayor. ÒBlack cats must go.Ó ÒBlack c c c c . . .Ó Say, look here, Sam, how do you spell ÒcatÓ anyhow?


SAM PECK. What do you mean? One of dem jesÕ plain, everyday, walkinÕ Õround cats?


STEVE JENKINS. No, jesÕ Òcat.Ó Any kind of a cat. I donÕt care what kind of a cat it is. Spell the easiest one. You canÕt pass a law unless you kin spell Òcat.Ó You know dat, donÕt you?


SAM PECK. (puzzled) Lemme see now,—Òcat.Ó


STEVE JENKINS. Looks like to me anybody ought-to-could spell Òcat.Ó


SAM PECK. Well, if dey kin spell anything at all, dey kin spell Òcat.Ó


STEVE JENKINS. Der ainÕt but six letters in it.


SAM PECK. Is you sure of dat?


STEVE JENKINS. Well, I bet my money der ainÕt over six. I know dat.


SAM PECK. Well, I kin bring dat down to five Õcos I knows the ÒlÓ is silent, so dat leaves you only five letters for to deal wid.


STEVE JENKINS. Yes, but I got to know what dey is and how to rotine dem.


SAM PECK. DatÕs right, too. Well, IÕve been away from my Õrithmestic so long, IÕm a little rusty on it now.


STEVE JENKINS. Ha! Ha! I got it. You canÕt stick the Mayor you know.


SAM PECK. Course you canÕt.


STEVE JENKINS. (proudly) You know what IÕm gwine to do?


SAM PECK. WhatÕs dat?


STEVE JENKINS. IÕll draw one. (draws a cat on the paper) Yes, and dat donÕt look like a cat.


SAM PECK. Well, datÕs all right. You kin read your own writinÕ.


STEVE JENKINS. No, I guess I better call them stenographers in here and let them write dat law out. IÕll let dem go to dinner, though, first.




STEVE JENKINS. Stenographers! This way.


(Stenographers enter.)

Now you all been so smart today, and to show you that I appreciates it, IÕm gwine to let you go to dinner.


STENOGRAPHERS. (full of ecstasy) Oh, thatÕs lovely.


STEVE JENKINS. IÕm gwine to give you five minutes, and I want you back in four. So resider yourself rescused.


STENOGRAPHERS. Come on, girls.


(Stenographers start to leave in a hurry.)


STEVE JENKINS. (standing up) Heah, heah! What kind of a way is dat for you all to leave the presence of the Mayor? How often have I told you, whenever you leave the MayorÕs office, you wants to slam the Mayor. IÕm the Mayor, you know. I got to be slammed.


(Girls salute him.)


SAM PECK. (rising and turning to instruct girls) You might as well learn dis now as to learn it later on, Õcos you got to do it every day here. Whenever you all is—




SAM PECK. (to Steve) Wait Õtill I git Õem told. (to girls) Whenever you all is—


STEVE JENKINS. (motioning to him) S-A-M,—you is the same as dem, so come on down wid Õem. Dey ainÕt but one power. IÕm it. (referring to stenogs) You all kin went now. You all kin went.


SAM PECK. (crossing to Steve and raising Billy club) Now, here, lemme tell you something. You got to make some amendments to dat order. The next time dat I slams you, it is gwine to be wid dis. Now donÕt let dat liÕl job git you all recited. (goes back to chair)


STEVE JENKINS. I was jesÕ thinkinÕ, Sam. In gitting rid of dem cats, how we gwine to do it? Shoot Õem?


SAM PECK. Well, datÕs Õbout as good a way as any, I guess.


STEVE JENKINS. YouÕll have to lemme see your gun, Õcos I got to draw that, too.


SAM PECK. (with a sour look) You didnÕt have to stand no kind of an examination to get dis job. Did you?


STEVE JENKINS. I got to see your gun anyhow, ainÕt I? The city furnishes you wid de gun, donÕt it?




STEVE JENKINS. Well, itÕs the duty of the Mayor to suspect it.


SAM PECK. Oh, de gunÕs all right.


STEVE JENKINS. I know. But I got to know itÕs all right so I kin report to de Board of Aldermen that de gunÕs all right.


SAM PECK. JesÕ go ahead and report to de Board of Aldermen dat Chief of PoliceÕs gunÕs all right.


STEVE JENKINS. I know, Sam. But I got to know itÕs all right.


SAM PECK. DatÕs jesÕ what IÕm telling you. The gunÕs all right.


STEVE JENKINS. How do you know it is?


SAM PECK. Well I got $20 on it in pawn.


MAYORÕS DOORMAN. Some gentlemen from New York to see you, sir.


STEVE JENKINS. Some gentlemen from where?




STEVE JENKINS. (to Sam) WhereÕs dat??


SAM PECK. I dunno. Dat ainÕt on my beat.


STEVE JENKINS. Tell them to come on in here.


MAYORÕS DOORMAN. This way, gentlemen. His Honor the Mayor.


(Enter three of the Four Harmony Kings.)


FIRST. How are you, your Honor? We want to see you about a concert in the town hall.


STEVE JENKINS. Well, you see, since IÕve been elected Mayor, IÕve appointed myself the Census Bureau. Therefore, I got to know the nature of the entertainment.


FIRST. It is a singing concert.


(Enter fourth Harmony King.)


FOURTH. Your Honor, I used to sing with the gentlemen—


STEVE JENKINS. Git away?????????


FOURTH. I assure you we shall be pleased to sing for your approval.


STEVE JENKINS. (as Sam makes a hasty exit left) Go right ahead. IÕll be in the next office listening to you. (exits)


INTERLUDE: Selections by Four Harmony Kings


[Here the Four Harmony Kings performed a number of songs from their standalone repertory, including:


SONG: ÒGoodnight, AngelineÓ

(music and lyrics: James Reese Europe, Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake)



Hear that old town clock a-striking, Angeline?

SÕpose itÕs time I should be hiking, Angeline.

Surely hate to leave you, dearie.

ÕDeed I do.

Honey-chilÕ, when you arenÕt near me

I feel blue.


Goodnight, my Angeline.

Farewell, my gal so fine.

LeavinÕ time

Is grievinÕ time.

I hate to part with baby mine.


Was made for lovinÕ.

ItÕs the right time

For turtledovinÕ.

Kisses taste much finer,

Hugging seems diviner,

But I must leave you, honey,

ÕCos my heart feels funny.

Goodnight, Angeline.


This was usually then followed by:


ENCORE: ÒAinÕt It a Shame?Ó

(music and lyrics: traditional)


AinÕt it a shame to steal on Sunday,
AinÕt it a shame to steal on Sunday,
AinÕt it a shame to steal on Sunday,
            AinÕt it a shame?
AintÕ it a shame to steal on Sunday,
When you got Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, too?
            AinÕt it a shame?


AinÕt it a shame to drink hootch on Sunday, etc.


AinÕt it a shame to shimmy on Sunday, etc.


AinÕt it a shame to gamble on Sunday, etc.]


(Steve and Sam enter at the same time from opposite directions.)


STEVE JENKINS. Here, Chief, come on and tell dem Õbout old Deacon Birch and dat brownskin vamp down de court de other day. Dey ainÕt heard no scandal.


SONG: ÒIf YouÕve Never Been Vamped By a Brownskin (You've Never Been Vamped at All)Ó



Deacon Birch of Mt. Zion Church

Was hailed up into court.

He was brought in by his wife, I think,

And charged with non-support.


A sealskin brown with jet-black hair

Caused DeacÕ to lose his head.

And when the judge called DeacÕ to speak,

Dese am the words he said:


If youÕve never been vamped by a brownskin,

YouÕve never been vamped at all,

For the vampingest vamp is a brownskin.

Believe me now, that ainÕt no stall.

A high brown gal will make you break out of jail,

A chocÕlate brown will make a tadpole smack a whale,

But a pretty sealskin brown, I mean one long and tall,

Would make the silent Sphinx out in the desert bawl.

If youÕve never been vamped by a brownskin,

YouÕve never been vamped at all.


[ÒUncle Tom and Old Black JoeÓ and ÒEverything Reminds Me of YouÓ may have been performed here.



[Scene 4]: SpencerÕs Lane


(Sam enters right with lighted lantern in his hand. Tom enters from left.)


TOM SHARPER. Hey, Sam, is that you?


SAM PECK. Yes, Tom, is that you?


TOM SHARPER. What are you doing out here this time of night? Are you on the night force now?


SAM PECK. IÕm all the force.


TOM SHARPER. Who are you looking for?


SAM PECK. Slippery Jim.


TOM SHARPER. (surprised) Slippery Jim???? Is he out already??


SAM PECK. Never been locked up yet.


TOM SHARPER. I thought that was the first man you locked up when you got the job.


SAM PECK. No, Tom, I wasnÕt thinking about locking him up.


TOM SHARPER. (disgustedly) AinÕt we got some fine protection?? WhatÕs that you got in your hand?


SAM PECK. ThatÕs a lamp.


TOM SHARPER. Next to AladdinÕs lamp, thatÕs the oldest-looking thing I ever did see.


SAM PECK. AladdinÕs Lamp???? What is AladdinÕs lamp?????


TOM SHARPER. (amazed) You never heard of AladdinÕs lamp.


SAM PECK. No, Tom. I never heard tell of it.


TOM SHARPER. Well, that was the old lamp they found, and when they rubbed it, a genie came up, and any question you would ask him, he would answer it, and any wish you would make, he would grant it. You see, if that was AladdinÕs lamp and you rubbed it, and a genie would come up and you asked him where Slippery Jim was, he would tell you exactly where to find him.


SAM PECK. No, Tom, I donÕt want that—


TOM SHARPER. Oh, but it was a marvelous lamp.


SONG: ÒOriental BluesÓ


If I only had an oil lamp like Aladdin,

With its mystic power from its mystic bower,

IÕd call old genie to my side.

Precious stones nor riches would not be my wishes,

But on bended knee, I would implore old genie,

To let my conscience be his guide.

IÕm so lonely and thereÕs only

One place that will ease my mind.

ItÕs that land where gentle Oriental maidens you will find.


IÕve got those Oriental blues,

IÕve got those Oriental blues.

I like to take a trip across the China Sea

To old Shanghai.

Sip a cup of China tea

With poor Butterfly,

Then spend a day at old Bombay

Watching those Hindoo maidens sway . . .

With a nightÕs repose

Where grows the Persian rose,

At dawn on an Arabian steed

At an Arabian speed,

Let me whirl with a Bedouin girl.

Then in Cairo town

IÕd like to settle down.

Oh, IÕve got those mysterious, doggone delirious,

Oriental blues.


(Enter Mrs. Peck from right and Mr. Penrose from left.)


MRS. PECK. Oh, you are just the man IÕm looking for.


JACK PENROSE. At your service, madam.


MRS. PECK. Mr. Penrose, youÕve been here a long time and you havenÕt reported to me as yet. You were in the store and you must have found Steve stealing. ThatÕs how he was elected. But still you havenÕt caught him.


JACK PENROSE. Oh, I caught him all right.


MRS. PECK. Well, why didnÕt you report it? He should have been arrested at once. The idea of him robbing my poor husband . . . HeÕs nothing but a common thief, thatÕs what he is!


JACK PENROSE. I caught your husband robbing Steve.


MRS. PECK. (dumbfounded) Huh! You caught my husband robbing Steve? Well, now, who hired you, me or Steve?


JACK PENROSE. Can you keep a secret?


MRS. PECK. Of course I can. IÕm a woman.


JACK PENROSE. Tom Sharper hired me to watch your husband.


MRS. PECK. Well, Tom SharperÕs too smart.


JACK PENROSE. Not as smart as he thinks he is. When I got here, I found Steve robbing Sam, Sam robbing Steve, and Onions robbing the both of them. And I in turn robbed all three of them.


MRS. PECK. Oh, this is dreadful.


JACK PENROSE. (giving her roll of money) Here is the money. Give it to your husband and Steve, and tell them to be in the store tomorrow morning ready to run business on the level.


MRS. PECK. Oh, thatÕs impossible. They have to be at the MayorÕs office tomorrow morning.


JACK PENROSE. No, not tomorrow morning. Harry Walton shall be at the MayorÕs office tomorrow morning.


MRS. PECK. (puzzled) Well, I donÕt understand this, Mr. Penrose.


JACK PENROSE. Well, come with me Madam, and I will explain.


(Walk off stage left, together.)


SONG: ÒIÕm Craving for That Kind of LoveÓ



IÕm wishing, and fishing, and wanting to hook,

A mankind like you find in a book.

I mean a modern Romeo,

I do not want a phoneo.

He may be the baby of some vamp . . .

Oh, babe, at vampinÕ and lampinÕ IÕm the champ.

And if I once get him, IÕll just set him,

Beneath my parlor lamp—and let him:

Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me with his tempting lips

(Sweet as honey drips),

Press me, press me, press me,

To his loving breast,

While I gently rest,

Breathe loveÕs tender sighs, while I gaze into his eyes,

Eyes that will just hypnotize.


Then I know heÕll whisper, whisper, whisper to me soft and low, Something nice, you know:

ÒHoney, Honey[, Honey]Ó

When thereÕs no one near.

My baby dear

Will huddle me, cuddle me, sing to me, cling to me,

Croon to me, spoon to me, sigh to me, cry to me.

IÕm craving for that kind of love.


[ENCORE: ÒDaddy, WonÕt You Please Come Home?Ó


I feel dejected, sad and blue.

IÕve been neglected, lonely, too.

My daddy went away and quit me cold.

Believe me when I say he ruined my very soul.


I surely miss his loving smile.

His hugs and kisses set me wild.

Today he called me on the phone,

And when he said ÒhelloÓ you should have

Heard me moan:


Oh, Daddy, Da-Da-Da-Daddy,

Daddy, wonÕt you please come home?

Daddy, Da-Da-Da-Daddy,

Now how long are you going to roam?

Why, since you went away,

Both night and day,

ÒDaddy, Daddy, Daddy, DaddyÕsÓ

All I can say.

Oh, Daddy, Da-Da-Da-Daddy,

Daddy, wonÕt you please come home?


Curtain opens.]


[Scene 5]: Ballroom of the Jimtown Hotel


[INTERLUDE: ÒA Few Minutes With Sissle and BlakeÓ


Here Eubie Blake left the pit to join Noble Sissle onstage to lead selections form their standalone performance repertory, especially songs from their military band days. The individual numbers and their order could change nightly, but ÒGee, IÕm Glad That IÕm from DixieÓ usually opened this set, and ÒOn Patrol in No ManÕs LandÓ usually closed it. Of the other songs here, ÒPickaninny ShoesÓ and ÒThe Low-Down BluesÓ were included most frequently.


SONG: ÒGee, IÕm Glad That IÕm from DixieÓ


Conductor man, wave your hand.

Start this train a-movinÕ for old Dixieland.

I canÕt wait, donÕt hesitate.

Tell that engineer to hit his fast escape.

Time for me to bend the knee,

StandinÕ in that door waiting there to see,

Down at the station

ThereÕll be a demonstration

Of Southern hospitality.


Gee, IÕm glad that IÕm from Dixie,

Down where the Swanee RiverÕs flowing.

ThatÕs where this choo-choo am a-going.

I hope you make a bee-line through old Virginia,

Cross the Carolinas into AlabamÕ,

Then give me time to send a telegram

That IÕse cominÕ,

Yeah cominÕ.

So weep no more, my lady.

Oh gee, IÕm glad that IÕm from Dixie,

So I can get a Dixie welcome home.




POSSIBLE SONG: ÒAinÕtcha Coming Back, Mary Ann, to Maryland?Ó


In a country town in Maryland,

Lived a little girl, the village pride.

EvÕrybody called her Mary Ann,

She was the pet of all the countryside.

When Mary Ann left Maryland

Just for a week, why everybody sighed:


AinÕtcha coming back,

AinÕtcha coming back,

AinÕtcha coming back,

Mary Ann, to Maryland?

Since you went away, things ainÕt half so gay.

EvÕryone wants Mary Ann.

The birdies miss you, too.

Their little songs are blue,

Since they found you have left us, Mary Ann.

We all are yearning for your returning,

Now, ainÕtcha coming back, Mary Ann, to Maryland?


In that country town in Maryland

Also lived a handsome blushing lad,

And to win the hand of Mary Ann

He gave up all the other girls he had.

Since Mary Ann wears a wedding band,

We never have to sing that song so sad:


AinÕtcha coming back, etc.]


SONG: ÒLow-Down BluesÓ


My heart is achinÕ, itÕs Õbout to break in two.

My head is reelinÕ, and I am feelinÕ blue.

I feel just like a fish without a fin,

And for the want of sleep, IÕm getting thin.

If you donÕt think IÕm sinkinÕ,

Look what a hole IÕm in.


IÕve got the low-down, the lowest of the low-down blues.

Seems just like my crown is sinkinÕ through my shoes.

ItÕs not because IÕm broke with all my clothes in pawn,

But since that morn I woke and found my sweetie gone,

With that mournful news, I got the lowest of the low-down blues.—


Believe me now, that fellow never told no lie

Who said youÕll never miss the water Õtill the well runs dry.

The one who took my sweetieÕd better leave this shore,

Or there will surely be some crepe a-hanginÕ on his door.


IÕve got the low-down, the lowest of the low-down blues.

Seems just like my crown is sinkinÕ through my shoes.

I lost my weight in gold and never even sighed,

But when my sweetie quit me cold, I nearly died,

With that mournful news,

I got the lowest of the low-down blues.


[SONG: ÒPickaninny ShoesÓ



(holding a pair of prop baby shoes)

Southern scenes unfoldinÕ,

A darky sat a-holdinÕ

His pickaninny shoes.

From silent meditation

He started conversation

With pickaninny shoes.

In these ÒRock-a-by-O-BabyÓ ways,

He talks of ÒRock-a-by-O-BabyÓ days:


Pickaninny shoes,

Pickaninny shoes . . .

How well I remember when I was a lad.

You were the only true pals that I had.

When boys would chide me,

YouÕd always guide me

Safely back home

A-yellinÕ for dad.


Pickaninny shoes,

You saved me a many a bruise,

And though you musty and dusty

And wrinkled and worn . . .

Though you graceless and lace-less

And tattered and torn . . .

Yet if I had to choose,

IÕd rather a fortune to lose

Than my pickaninny shoes.





(music and lyrics: James Reese Europe, Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake)


The darktown dude of Jacksonville

Is a jaspar nicknamed Sandy.

This dusky dude of Jacksonville

Has a gal they call Mirandy.

SheÕs a long, tall, sealskin brown

With a loose and careless way.

If you ask Sandy about Mirandy,

You will hear him say:


There ainÕt no gal as sweet as my


Why Õlasses candy

Is like a big round ball of bitterness.

When you taste those lips of sugar sweet

(Oh, boy!) I say youÕll fall down at her feet and weep.

You know the whole worldÕs jealous of me and


IÕm her dandy.

IÕm only waiting for the time

When the village bell will chime that old rhyme,

For IÕve bought that wedding band

From an expensive jewelry man

For Mirandy, that gal oÕ mine.


POSSIBLE SONG: ÒHow Ya Gonna Keep ÕEm Down on the FarmÓ

(music: Walter Donaldson – lyrics: Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young)


How ya gonna keep Õem down on the farm

After theyÕve seen Paree?

How ya gonna keep Õem away from Broadway,

JazzinÕ arounÕ

And paintinÕ the town?

How ya gonna keep Õem away from harm?

ThatÕs a mystery!

TheyÕll never want to see a rake or plow,

And who the deuce can parlez-vous a cow?

How ya gonna keep Õem down on the farm

After theyÕve seen Paree?


SONG: ÒOn Patrol in No ManÕs LandÓ

(music and lyrics: James Reese Europe, Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake)


WhatÕs the time? Nine.

All in line.

All right, boys, now take it slow.

Are you ready? Steady! Very good, Eddie.

Over the top, letÕs go!

Quiet, quiet, else you will start a riot.

Keep your proper distance, follow Õlong.

Cover, brother, and when you see me hover,

Obey my orders and you wonÕt go wrong.


ThereÕs a Minenwurfer coming—look out!

Hear that roar? ThereÕs one more.

Stand fast, thereÕs a very light.

DonÕt gasp, or theyÕll find you, all right.

DonÕt start to bombing with those hand grenades.

ThereÕs a machine gun, holy spades!

Alert! Gas! Put on your mask.

Adjust it correctly, and hurry up fast.

Drop! ThereÕs a rocket from the Boche barrage.

Down! Hug the ground, close as you can, donÕt stand.

Creep and crawl. Follow me, thatÕs all.

What do you hear? Nothing near. DonÕt fear.

All is clear!

ThatÕs the life of a stroll when you take a patrol

Out in no manÕs land. AinÕt it grand?

Out in no manÕs land.


At this point, Blake returned to his baton to conduct the remaining numbers.]


SONG: ÒBaltimore BuzzÓ



There have been a thousand raggy, draggy dances

That are danced in evÕry hall.

And there have been a thousand raggy, draggy prances

That are pranced at evÕry ball.

But the best-est one that wuzz

Is called the ÒBaltimore Buzz.Ó


First you take your babe and gently hold her.

Then you lay your head upon her shoulder.

Next you walk just like your legs are breaking.

Do a fango like a tango,

Then you start the shimmy to shaking.

Then you do a raggy, draggy motion,

Just like any ship upon the ocean.

Slide—and then you hesitate.

Glide—oh, honey, ainÕt it great!

You just go simply in a trance,

With that ÒBaltimore BuzzÓ-ing dance.


[SONG: ÒAfrican DipÓ]








The End