Slaves – Episode 115
White slave James Cooper and black slave Michael Booker have escaped from their Mississippi plantation in order to reunite Michael with his eleven-year-old daughter Mae in Philadelphia..
Episode 115 – The Wacky Zoo Of Philadelphia City
(Rutherford Reginald Dukesbury is on his knees in the Philadelphia home where Mae Booker has been working. He’s pushed back his white Klan hood and is staring into the seven-year-old’s almond-colored eyes..)
Dukesbury: Mae, your father is dead. I’m sorry.
(Mae’s eyes well up..)
Dukesbury: There was a fire. He couldn’t get away. I’m very sorry.
(Mae begins bawling and buries her face in his white robes..)
Dukesbury: (patting the sobbing child’s back) There, there.
Dukesbury: Hey, wanna go to the zoo?
Mae: (leaps into the air) Yay, monkeys!
(Michael, James and Eloise are wandering the streets of Philadelphia inconspicuously, having changed out of their Confederate uniforms..)
Cooper: I know it was some kind of fruit. Apple Street? Peach Street? Orange Banana Boulevard?
Booker: You told me you had the address memorized, Cooper.
Cooper: I’m a visual learner.
Booker: (snapping his fingers) I got it! Cherry Street!
Cooper: (frowns) I thought cherries were a vegetable.
Acorn: That’s tomatoes.
Cooper: (nodding) Right, cherry tomatoes.
Booker: (looking up at a tall brownstone) This is it.
(Michael knocks on the door and an old woman answers..)
Agnes: Yes? Are you the bootblack boy?
Cooper: (chortles) Bootblack.
Booker: (grinning) No, ma’am. My name is Michael Booker. I’m Mae’s father. Is she here?
Agnes: Oh, dear.
Booker: What? Is everything alright?
Agnes: You better come inside.
Cooper: Okay. But we’re not blacking any boots, lady.
(Mae is skipping ahead of the four white-hooded Southerners as they get peculiar looks upon entering the zoo..)
Mae: Monkeys! Monkeys! Monkeys!
Tafford: She seems to be taking this all rather well.
Dukesbury: (nods) The Bookers are a strong people. That’s why I bought them.
Karl: Good purchase, Reggie.
Dukesbury: (glances around at the aghast zoogoers) Karl, why is everyone staring at us?
Karl: Probably just jealous of our robes. You know, I didn’t say this earlier; but this is pure, white Dukesbury Cotton.
Dukesbury: Ya don’t say!
Tafford: (pulling his employer aside) Boss, I’m not sure four Ku Klux Klan members walking around a zoo with a little black girl is the best look for us here. Why don’t we start headin’ back on down to Magnolia?
Dukesbury: Why, I don’t see anything wrong with this.
Tafford: With all due respect, Mr. Dukesbury. This is four members of a hate group marching a little colored girl towards the monkey cages. This is all just kinda making me question some life choices.
Dukesbury: Hate group? Who said anything about a hate group?
Karl: (putting a hand on Tafford’s shoulder) Yeah, Robinson. The KKK is about love and unity.
Tafford: Sir, the KKK is responsible for the wiping out of hundreds of Africans across the South. They’re for the furtherment of the white race and despise anyone of color. And I know you’re not that guy.
Karl: Come now, Tafford. Mr. Dukesbury’s a slaveowner. He knows the score.
Dukesbury: Now wait just a minute, Mr. …Karl. Don’t go putting words in my mouth. You don’t know me.
Karl: Then why did you get into slavery?
Dukesbury: (shrugs) Everybody else was doing it. Seemed like the thing to do.
Booker: Taken! By Mr. Dukesbury?
Agnes: Yes. To the zoo, I believe.
Cooper: Yay, monkeys!
Agnes: In all fairness to Mr. Dukesbury, he thought you were dead.
Acorn: We have been gone for weeks, Michael. It’s an understandable assumption.
Booker: Thank you, ma’am. Looks like we’re goin’ to the zoo.
Cooper: (pumps his fist) Man, this is the best day ever!
(Mae is chortling heartily at the monkeys wrestling with each other in their cage..)
Mae: Ahahahaha! Monkeys!
Dukesbury: Is this true about your group, Karl? What Tafford’s been telling me? Is the KKK a hate group?
Karl: Well, only a little.
Dukesbury: (throws his hands up) Outrageous!
Karl: We do a lot of good too, though. For the community.
Dukesbury: Oh yeah? Like what?
Karl: Well…did I mention the parades?
(Mr. Dukesbury takes his Klan robes and hood off and throws them on the ground. Tafford and Rusty follow suit..)
Karl: Well now don’t do that. I just washed those!
Dukesbury: This is going to ruin my public image!
Karl: Your image as a slaveowning Confederate businessman?
Tafford: Maybe it didn’t get out.
Rusty: (holds up today’s paper) Nope.
(Mr. Dukesbury takes the paper which shows a photograph of the four men marching through town in their Klan hoods with Mae along with the headline, “Four Klansmen Out On The Town”..)
Dukesbury: How’d they even get this?
Rusty: Late edition.
Tafford: Well, you got your hood on, so–oh, nope. They listed our names.
Dukesbury: You screwed me, Karl.
Karl: Take it easy, Mr. Dukesbury.
Dukesbury: Officer, over here.
(A police officer rushes over to the monkey cages and Karl grabs and pulls a pistol out from under his robes..)
Karl: Now look what you made me do!
Dukesbury: Well this is the last time I trust a Ku Klux Klansman!
(Michael cocks a pistol as the three make their way through the Philadelphia City Zoo..)
Cooper: Whoa, where’d you get that?
Booker: Took it off a fallen soldier at Gettysburg like McSideburns told us to.
Cooper: Ew, you touched a dead guy?
Booker: I’m about to touch another one once I get my hands on Dukesbury.
Acorn: (holding her back, trying to keep up) Now, Michael. Let’s not go making any rash decisions.
Booker: He’s got my daughter, Eloise.
Cooper: (peering ahead) Well the good news is Mr. Dukesbury doesn’t have your daughter. Bad news is that Klansman does. Ooh look, monkeys!
(Michael, Karl and the Philly police officer all have their guns drawn on each other..)
Karl: (grinning) Looks like we got ourselves an old-fashioned Mexican standoff.
Cooper: Whoa, whoa, whoa. None of us here are Mexicans. Let’s not go saying things we’re gonna regret.
Cop: My mother was half-Spanish.
Cooper: Quiet, you.
Booker: Gimme my daughter before I put a bullet in your face, honky!
Mae: Daddy, no!
Dukesbury: Now let’s think this through. There’s got to be a way we can settle things without putting bullets in faces.
Cooper: (waving) Hi, Mr. Dukesbury.
Dukesbury: Hello, Cooper.
Cop: Release the girl, sir.
Karl: No, copper!
Cooper: That’s no way to speak to an officer of the law!
Cop: Thank you.
Cooper: Will you shut it? Now Mae, I want you to listen very carefully; because I know you’re not exactly having a ball right now.
Cooper: I mean you’d have to be nuts to enjoy being in a situation like this.
Cooper: This guy’s really gotta be testes-ing your patience.
Mae: I’m not following.
Booker: What are you talkin’ about, Cooper?
Cooper: Mae, kick him in the penis!
Karl: Wait, no!
(Mae spins and lifts a foot up hard into the nether-regions of Karl’s white Klan robe. He drops his gun, collapses and Mae leaps into her father’s arms..)
Booker: Oh Mae, I missed you so much.
Mae: Me too, Daddy.
Karl: My balls.
Dukesbury: Well, this is sweet. Now everybody back in the carriage. Quickly now, we’ve got a long ride back to Magnolia.
Acorn: After all this, you’re gonna send these men back to work on your plantation?
Dukesbury: They’re slaves, Ms. Acorn. Have you gained weight?
Cooper: She’s pregnant. And technically I’m really more of a pseudo-slave.
Tafford: What the heck does that mean?
Cooper: I dunno. Just makes me sound smart.
Acorn: Mr. Dukesbury, you’ve got plenty of workers. Can’t you let these two go? Let them live their lives. I mean, you thought they were dead.
Dukesbury: I’ve got a serious business to run, Ms. Acorn. I can’t be letting slaves go free all willy-nilly.
Cooper: Then how about this then. You let Michael and Mae go free and I’ll come back and work twice as hard.
Dukesbury: You were the worst slave we ever had.
Cooper: I made that Bundt cake that one time.
Dukesbury: You poisoned the entire family!
Acorn: Mr. Dukesbury, for me?
Dukesbury: (sighs) I’ll never hear the end of this from your little paper there, will I?
Acorn: No, sir.
Dukesbury: Fine. You’re free. Go on. Get outta here.
(Mae hugs Mr. Dukesbury and Michael shakes his hand..)
Booker: Thank you, sir.
Dukesbury: Not a problem. You take care of this one. (turning to James and Eloise) I’ll be in the carriage when you two are ready.
Acorn: (hugs Michael) I’ve got all my notes. I’m gonna get my job back at the Magnolia Herald and tell everyone your story.
Booker: You take care of that baby now, you hear? (shakes James’ hand) It’s been one helluva ride, Jim.
Cooper: (tearing up) Sure has, Mike. You be sure to write us.
Booker: I will. You be sure to learn how to read.
Cooper: I’ll just have one of the slaves read ’em to me.
(Michael chuckles, takes Mae’s hand and they turn to leave..)
Booker: C’mon, Mae. We’re goin’ home.
Mae: Back to Africa, Daddy?
Booker: Hell no. We’re goin’ to Canada.
(James pats Eloise on the belly and she starts turning green..)
Cooper: Everything turned out just fine, eh Ellie?
Acorn: I think I’m going into labor.
Cooper: (hands on his hips, rolls his eyes) Boy, bein’ a slave sure is tough!
Studio Audience: (laughs, applauds)