Luther Gone

Slide14

“31 Play in 31 Days” – Play 24, Day 24: Luther Gone

 

DAMASK ROSE,30s-40s,  lounges on a sofa with an anti-massacar, looking like her namesake. PEARL, 20s,L is sewing a bead on her skirt, a white maid-of-honor dress with spangles. HASTY, barely 18, is an excitable girl  in a frilly slip.

                                                                                PEARL:

He hasn’t called. 

                                                                                DAMASK ROSE:

He don’t never call.

                                                                                PEARL:

He don’t need to, Damask Rose.  He just come by for the money.

                                                                                DAMASK ROSE:

He be by.

                                                                                HASTY:

He ain’t been by for the money. Not for this whole month.

                                                                                DAMASK ROSE:

Don’t you think about spending none of that money He be by.

                                                                                PEARL:

No,  don’t spend it. But where he gone to? Luther say he going to Memphis on business, but then we hear ’bout Big Luther from Biloxi takin’ up with some high-colored whore there, puts on like she white.

                                                                                DAMASK ROSE:

I didn’t hear that. I didn’t waste my time listening to gossip from no unhappy whore come down here from Nashville wanna tell tales about how Big Luther behaving in Memphis.

                                                                                PEARL:

He cuttin’ quite a figure there. People talk in other cities. Memphis,        now Nashville. He big, Luther.

                                                                                HASTY:

Maybe what we hear is true.

                                                                                PEARL:

What you hear, Hasty?

                                                                                HASTY:

Well, I ain’t put no stock in it til now, but this drummer come down through Memphis tell me he hear Luther done been in a knife fight.  He cut real bad. The other man dead.

                                                                                DAMASK ROSE:

Drummer don’t know nothing! Don’t know Luther.

                                                                                HASTY:

He said big man from Biloxi. Knife-fight over a woman.

                                                                                DAMASK RISE:

Drummer don’t know nothing.

                                                                                PEARL:

What we do he don’t come back?

                                                                                DAMASK ROSE:

What you mean, what we do?

                                                                                PEARL:

All that money, all at once. Pretty near everybody could use that to get somewhere and start over.

                                                                                DAMASK ROSE:

We gotta save that money, Pearl, try to live off it, try to manage, until Luther come back an’ take care of things.

                                                                                HASTY:

Or til he don’t. When that gonna be? I’m with Pearlie. Divvy it up and  go home. Whether Luther get knifed or no.

                                                                                DAMASK ROSE:

Luther come back, he gonna crack your hide with a whip, you see he don’t.

                                                                                PEARL:

Luther done been knifed to death over a high colored in Memphis, Damask Rose. If it ain’t that, then some high-colored whore done turned his head, and he ain’t never comin’ back here.

                                                                                DAMASK ROSE:

Drummer say his name was Luther?

                                                                                HASTY:

Drummer just say he a big man, coal-black, sportin’ a damask rose pinned to his hat-brim.

                                                                                PEARL:

You keep the money for Luther. You keep his books. Luther ain’t comin’ back, Damask Rose. He gone.

There is a long pause.

DAMASK ROSE:

I’ll get the books.

BLACKOUT. END OF PLAY.

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