The Invisible Morrison Jeffrey

by Duncan Wells

Scene Sixteen

Three Lawyers With A Plan - Part One

Music Cue: Anything You Can Do - Scene: Lawyers Office

Muisic fades into the scene. Jessica sits on a chair. Her lawyer paces as they discuss the situation.

Lawyer: Mrs. Hayworth, unfortunately your husband has only a life interest in the family property. The entire estate is entailed along the male line. As for your dower interest, well it only attaches to property not forming part of the Hayworth estate, and of course, until our laws change, your dower interest does not survive divorce. I understand how you feel but quite frankly I must tell you that you have nothing to win here.

Jessica: What, I'm not paying you enough?

Pause. He takes exception to the remark

Lawyer: Please, Missus Hayworth. We're not talking about money. We're talking about Hilton Hayworth and the estate he represents. What I'm telling you here is that they are going to fight what little claim you might think have you.

Jessica: Some lawyer you are!

Lawyer: Missus Hayworth, I'm going to caution you on your insults. What I'm doing, is stating the facts. I understand you're not happy with the facts, but these are the facts.

Jessica: We where legally married.

Lawyer: I realize that.

Jessica: I gave him 10 years of my life. He can't simply toss me aside like a piece of trash.

Lawyer: Missus Hayworth, I don't believe your husband is tossing you aside.

Jessica: And he was sleeping with other women too.

Pause. Her lawyer looks at her with pity

Jessica: Well, he was!

Lawyer: Infidelity, Missus Hayworth, is another matter altogether, and persuing the matter would be pointless. By law, once the marriage has been repudiated, once the marriage vows have been broken then, by law, the marriage ceases to exist, and even if it did exist it still wouldn't matter. You can't change the law Missus Hayworth. With the estate been legally entailed it automatically and legally goes to the next surviving male member of the Hayworth family. There is really nothing you can do. It will continue to remain in the Hayworth family.

Jessica: You can't be serious!

Lawyer: And again, I'm only stating the facts.

Jessica: He was carrying on an affair with one of our maids, so where does the law stand on that fact?

Lawyer: Missus Hayworth…

Jessica: They were having sex in the very bed we slept in.

Lawyer: Missus Hayworth, you were having your own affair.

In anger

Jessica: What? Says who?

Lawyer: Look…

Jessica: It was him! It wasn't me, it was him!

Lawyer: Look…stop! Just…just settle down! It really doesn't matter who was having sex with who.

Jessica: Well I think it does.

Lawyer: And I'm telling you it doesn't!

Pause. He shakes his head in disgust

Missus Hayworth, look, even if it did matter it would be up to you to prove that allegation.

Jessica: Why is it up to me? Why can't we have him prove that I was the one who broke the marriage vows.

Laughing to himself

Lawyer: Well, you see this would be the problem. I'm not sure if you are aware of it or not…well, obviously not…but your love life is pretty much…well how do I put it….public knowledge.

Jessica: What are you talking about?

Lawyer: The stories of your long running relationship, your seven year relationship with Mister Roberts from St. Martha's is well known. Of course, what is not so well known publicly is the other two affairs you had during the course of your marriage to Mister Hayworth.

Jessica: Where are you getting this information?

Lawyer: Joseph Kilmore and Frederick Coyle? Both married…one of whom fathered a child with you?

Jessica: I have no children.

Lawyer: Yes……..I know.


Now, both Mister Kilmore, and Mister Coyle have already been contacted by your husband's lawyers and the way I see it -

Jessica: How the hell do you know that? How do you know what my husband's lawyers are doing, or have done?

Lawyer: I make it my business to know these things. I can also tell you that Mister Hayworth will be using more than one legal representative.

Jessica: Well, aren't you the smart one.

Lawyer: Missus Hayworth, let me make it perfectly clear. The only reason I agreed to meet with you today is because of who you are married to. I'm sure you're aware that the Hayworth Fabric Company is a very powerful organization and that they are represented by a highly qualified legal council.

Jessica: Well, whooped dee do!

Lawyer: Mister Hayworth is not only a highly respected member of this community, he is well respected in other circles as well.

Jessica: Is-that-a-fact?

Lawyer: Yes, it is a fact, and it's a fact that you are well aware of.

Jessica: Alright…enough…I know where I stand.

She removes a brown paper bag from her purse

Lawyer: Good! Then you understand the situation?

Jessica: I understand the situation perfectly!

Lawyer: You are fighting one of the wealthiest men in the country and you do understand that I'm telling you this only to save you from a lot of grief and aggravation.

Jessica: Well aren't you special.

Lawyer: Missus Hayworth…

Jessica: No…no, I really mean it. You are a very special person to be honest enough to tell me the truth…to save me from the grief and aggravation. And for being such a special person, I want you to have this.

She holds up a brown paper bag.

Lawyer: What is it?

He accepts the bag and opens it as she speaks calm and fully in control

Jessica: If you, or anyone else think for one minute that Hilton Hayworth is going to get away with treating me like a whore….well, you're wrong.

Lawyer: Missus Hayworth……what is this?

He removes the knife

Jessica: Mister Lawyer…..what does it look like?

Lights fade on Scene Sixteen and rise on Scene Seventeen - even transition.

Scene Seventeen

Three Lawyers With A Plan - Part Two

Just right of center stage. Single spot. One of Hayworth's Lawyers sits on a chair while the other stands. Both are taking notes while Hayworth paces they discuss the situation

Lawyer #1: There is no doubt, Mister Hayworth, that we have more witnesses to your wife's infidelity than we need.

Lawyer #2: I don't even know why we're talking about infidelities. The estate is legally entailed. There's really nothing to discuss.

Hayworth: Are you saying we don't have to go to court?

Lawyer #2: No sir, we're not saying that.

Hayworth: Then what the hell are you saying?

Lawyer #1: Sir, the only reason we're asking these questions is to find out if you have any other information we can bring into evidence.

Hayworth: Like what?

The lawyers look at each other

Lawyer #1: Well…like…anything. You're asking us to make sure she claims none of the Hayworth estate, so, we just need to be sure, that's all.

Hayworth: Hey, look, I'm not asking you to make sure she claims none of the estate, I'm telling you! She is not entitled to any portion of the estate. (To Lawyer #2) That's what you said, right?

Lawyer #2: Yes sir.

Hayworth: So, then what the hell are we discussing this for?

Lawyer #1: Well sir we're just trying to cover all bases.

Hayworth: Bases? What bases? Look, number one, the woman has been having sex with other men for pretty much the entire course of our married life and, number two, the estate cannot be passed on to anyone because it's been…

Lawyer #2: Entailed.

Hayworth: Right! It's been entailed! So what the hell are we doing here? Is this just so you guys can feel like you're earning your money?

Lawyer #1: No sir.

Lawyer #2: No sir.

Hayworth: Look, you're either wasting my time or you're not wasting my time. So, what is it?

The Lawyers are silent.

Hayworth: Look, here's the bottom line. I'm not paying you two to tell me what the law says or what it doesn't say. I'm paying you to keep this woman from getting her hands on what rightfully belongs to me and to what rightfully belongs to the Hayworth family. I'm paying you to get this woman out of my life, and that's exactly what I want you to do.

Lawyer #2: Out of your life?

Hayworth: What are you a parrot? I said I want you to get this woman out of my life. Do you understand that?

Lawyer #1: But Mister Hayworth, surely you're not suggesting…

Hayworth: What? Murder?

Lawyer #1: Well, it did occur to me.

Hayworth: Ha! I'm not suggesting anything like that at all. The fact that it even crossed your mind concerns me. Murder! I didn't say anything about murder. What I am saying is that I pay both of you good money, and I pay you a lot of good money, and I expect you both to do whatever it takes to get done whatever needs to get done. Now, do you understand or do I have to explain in another language?


I said, do-you-understand?

Lawyer #2: I understand.

Hayworth: And you?

Lawyer #1: Yes sir, I understand.

Hayworth: Good! Now get the hell out of here.

Lawyer #1: Sir?

Hayworth: What?

The Lawyer is nervous. He looks to his partner for support.

Lawyer #1: We ah...we have to ask you know anything about a knife?

Hayworth: What knife?

Lawyer #2: Your wife has a knife sir. She claims it was used to kill her first husband.

Hayworth: What the hell is he talking about?

Lawyer #1: We know it sounds ridiculous sir but she has a knife. She's claiming it's yours. She's claiming that you used this knife to kill James Porter.

Lawyer #2: And she has documents proving the knife belongs to you.

Hayworth: Get the hell out of my office.

Lawyer #2: But sir...

Hayworth becomes enraged

Hayworth: I said, get out!

The Lawyers exit. Pause. Hayworth clutches his heart. He is having trouble breathing. He slowly gains control, and crosses to the telephone.

Hayworth: Chief Harper? Yeah, listen Bill, this is Hilton Hayworth. I need you to come over to my house...right now. No! Not later, right now...please, I need...I need a favor.

Fade Scene

Scene Eighteen

The Parting Of The Ways

Music Cue: Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag begins in the darkness and fades upon the scene. We are in Morrison's room. He is removing his drawings from the wall and placing them into a box. As he removes them he speaks to each one.

Morrison: Hello Mittah Barmen…..hello Missah Smit'….you still look pretty like you did when you was a young woman…but I got to put you 'way 'cos Morrison gonna go now, K? Morrison gonna go. An' he don't want you tellin' nobody, K? An' you not allowed to tell Mumma on accounta she only gonna drive me crady, K? An' hello little doggie Flip. Iss time to say goo'bye….iss time to say fare well….to you, an' to you, an' to you, an' to you too…..iss time to put you all away now. Hello…. goo'bye…. hello….. goo'bye…. hello…'bye. (pause) Hello Mittah Pottah! I'm really, really, really sorry what happen to you…it not fair….you din hurt nobody but Mittah Hay'earth hadda go an kill you. It jus' not fair…they kill you an' they forget about you…..but I not forget about you Mittah Pottah…I 'member you forever…right baby Tessa? You know dat don' you…I 'member him on accounta he was a good man…he was a nice man….he din do nuttin' to nobody an' they kill him…you din unnerstan' it b'fore becau' you was jus' a liddle girl but now you ten year old an' you not stoopid little Tessa…you smart….you know it not right to go kill somebody cos you not stoopid…you smart an'……an' you still a pretty liddle baby too….jus' like when you was born….. a pretty liddle baby…but…but I gotta go now K? I…I gotta put you 'way…

He places her picture in the box and sings into the box

Who da pretty little baby?
Tessa is da pretty baby name…

A Knock Upon The Door

Missus Jeffrey calls from the other side of his bedroom door and interrupts the song.

Missus Jeffrey: Morrison?

Morrison : Go away Mumma !

Missus Jeffrey: Morrison, Tessa is here.

He goes immediately to unlock the door

She said you asked her to come over. She said you have a present for her?

The sound of deadbolts and chain locks

Can I come in?

Morrison: (Off-stage) No Mumma, just Tessa.

The sound of deadbolts and chain locks

Missus Jeffrey: Why not?

Morrison: Becau' I said…dat's why not. Now go 'way!

He enters with Tessa

Missus Jeffrey: (Off-stage) Morrison?

Morrison: I said just Tessa!

Missus Jeffrey: What's going on?

Morrison: Mumma, go!

Missus Jeffrey: Morrison, I know there's something going on. Now, what is it?

Morrison: I said, go 'way!

Missus Jeffrey: Alright! If that's the way you want it…but I'll find out. You'll see!

Morrison: Yakity, yakity, yakity, yak! Pay no 'tention to Mumma. She like dat alla da time.

Tessa: I've never been in your room before. Is this my present?

Morrison: Uh uh! Not allow to open it!

Tessa: But is it my present?

Morrison: Yes, but you still not allow to open it…not yet. Siddown, K?

She sits

Tessa: Is something wrong?

Morrison: Uh uh! Nothin' wrong…eve'ry ting's just fine, K?

Tessa: Ok.

Long Pause. Morrison sits.

Morrison: Tessa…sometime big people got no bud'ness tellin' stuff to liddle kids…

Tessa: Stuff? Like what?

Morrison: Like stuff…like, big people stuff.

Tessa: My Nana tells me big people stuff all the time.

Morrison: Well, dat's your Nana…dat's not Morrison…

Pause. He gets up

Tessa: Is there something wrong?

Morrison: Uh huh…uh huh…Tessa…ah…I got…

He sighs

…I got a secret…an' I…an' I been keepin' it for a long, long time…too long an'…an' I jus' can't keep it no more.

Tessa: Are you gonna tell me a secret?

Morrison: Uh huh…but…but, I'm scared to tell you.

Tessa: You don't have to be scared of me. You can tell me anything you want.

Morrison: But…but…I wanna ask you a questin, K?

Tessa: Ok.

Morrison: Iss dat alright? Can I ask you a questin?

Tessa: If you want…

Pause. He's pacing.



Morrison: Did you evah hear…of a man named Mittah James Pottah?

Tessa: Uh huh! He's the man who was killed…

Morrison: Dat's right…

Tessa: A long time ago.

Morrison: Dat's right…

Tessa: And now it's in all the papers.

Morrison: Dat's right.

Tessa: He was killed with a knife and the knife was made of gold and it was all covered in diamonds and his wife did it too! She was the one who killed him an' she killed him because she was crazy and I heard she was some kind of a witch.

Morrison: Dat's not right.

Tessa: Well, that's what my Nana said.


Morrison: I wan' tell you somethin' Tessa…Morrisson Jeffrey knows who really killed Mittah James Pottah…Morrison Jeffrey saw it wit' both of his eyes.

Tessa: What did you see?

Morrison Jeffrey: I saw Mittah Hilt'en Hay'earth…you know who he is right?

Tessa: He makes hats and dresses and shirts and blankets.

Morrison: Dat's right…dat's who he is…he makes stuff….hats an' stuff…well…well, I saw Mittah Hay'earth… Mittah Hilt'en Hay'earth…I saw him kill James Pottah wit' a knife.

Tessa: But…

Pause. Morrison faces her

…but that happened a long time ago. You weren't even born then.

Morrison: Ha! Oh, blee' me Tessa, I was born den. I was born den and dat's for sure!


Look at me Tessa...look at me, in the eyes, ok?

Tessa: I'm looking, I'm looking!

Morrison: You know dat Morrison nebah break any promises, right?

Tessa: I know that!

Morrison: Cos' a person should nebah make promises dey can't keep, an' you 'member dat, K? A person should nebah make promises dey can't keep.

Tessa: I believe you, Morrison. I really do.

Morrison: Good! An' den you blee' me when I tell you dat Hilt'en Hay'earth killed Mittah James Pottah?

Tessa: I believe everything you say, Morrison.

He pats her head

Morrison: Tank you…tank you berry much …


Tessa, Mittah Hay'earth is a really, really, really important man.

Tessa: I know. He's a millionaire.

Morrison : Uh huh…dat's right…an' no mattah what he say, an' no mattah what he do round here, people don't care. He cou' do anyting' he want an' people say it alright on accounta he be Hilt'en Hay'earth…really…really…really, important man.


Now, Morrison Jeffrey? He not important…not like Mittah Hay'earth. Uh uh! He not important at all. Ev'rybody in Beh'doon…they tink Morrison Jeffrey is crady. You know that.

Tessa: But, I don't think you're crazy.

Morrison: I know…humph…I know…but dey do…dey t'ink I'm crady an'…an' if I go to the police or…or if I go round town tellin' people dat I saw Mittah Hay'earth kill James Pottah? Ha! Well…well I don' know what dey do wit' me den.


I be really, really scared Tessa…I be really, really scared what dey migh' do, 'cos dey got places for crady people… dey got places for crady people an' I don' wanna be sent to none 'a dem places on accounta dey say people who go der…well, dey don'come back

Tessa: But you're not gonna let them send you away, are you?

Morrison: Uh uh…ha…no…Morrison Jeffrey too smart for dat.

Tessa: Good, because I don't want you to go away.


Morrison: Tessa, I wanna give you dis now, K? Iss my present to you. Issa box of pictures…iss pictures I drew, an' iss one of you in the box too. K? Member I drew it dat time?

Tessa: I remember. You drew it and I smiled for you.

Morrison: Well, I'm gonna gib it to you now….Iss a picture of you, an' one of your Nana, one of your Mumma an' 'member Flip the dog who got old an' died?

Tessa: Uh huh.

Morrison: Well, der's a picture of him too.

Tessa: Morrison, are you going away?

Morrison: Tessa, Morrison nebah ebah gonna leave you, K?

Tessa: Then why are you giving me all of your pictures?

Morrison: Tessa, listen to me, K? Morrison iss nebah,…ebah… ebah gonna leave you.

Tessa: Cross your heart and promise?

Pause. Fade Lights

Scene Nineteen

Lawyers Lights and Action

Music Cue: I Can't Give You Anything But Love - Scene: Courtroom

Music fades with the rise of a single spot stage left. Jessica Hayworth's lawyer is quite pleased and confident as he steps into the light and presents his evidence to the judge/the audience.

Lawyer: Your honor…

To the audience

…ladies and gentlemen of the jury…you had sufficient time to examine the knife that was submitted here today as evidence in this murder trial. During your examination of the evidence I am quite confident that each and every one of you took note that the handle of this knife that once held 17 red rubies, now holds only 16. It has been demonstrated for you already that the missing stone...the 17th stone...the one found at the original crime scene, matches perfectly the red stones found on this knife handle and, in fact, fits perfectly into the setting left behind....17 rubies....all which spell the letter "H".


Along with this knife I would like to enter into evidence this.....a Hayworth family document...signed by the hand of Hilton Hayworth the first....Hilton Hayworth the second... and Hilton Hayworth...the third...this document...this piece of paper, proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the knife entered into evidence today is the very knife that has been handed down from generation to generation in the Hayworth family....and that it's owner, at the time of the murder, was Mister Hilton Hayworth the Third.


Your honor....ladies and gentlemen of the is with this evidence and this evidence alone, that I intend to prove to you...on October a secluded clearing on the Hayworth estate... Hilton Hayworth the Third murdered Mister James cold blood.

Fade stage left light on Jessica's lawyer. Light rises stage right on Hilton Hayworth's Lawyer - even transition.

Lawyer: Your Honor…

To the audience

…ladies and gentlemen of the jury…it is our intention to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jessica Porter, Missus Hilton Hayworth the Third, not only planned but actually carried out the murder of her then husband, James Porter. It is our intention to prove that this very same woman attempted to make it appear as if she and Hilton Hayworth The Third planned the murder together. It is our intention to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jessica Hayworth, then wife of the late James Porter, used Mister Hayworth's kindness and sympathy so as to get close to him…to trap him…first into a sexual relationship…and then into marriage. We intend to bring forward witness upon witness who will testify to Jessica Hayworth's life of sexual promiscuity prior to, and during her failed marriage to Hilton Hayworth the Third. We intend to bring forward a number of well-respected community members, including William Harper who, at the time of the murder, was Chief of the Beldune Police Force. Mister Harper will testify with first hand knowledge of the facts surrounding this case…


…and ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we also intend to bring forward…Governor J. David Callahan, Mayor of Beldune…during the time this murder took place…Governor Callahan will account for you…in this very court room…and in his own words…the exact whereabouts of Mister Hilton Hayworth on the day of the murder. But first, your Honor…ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we would like to enter into evidence this letter, written, and signed by the hand of Jessica Porter and dated October 9th, 1937 exactly three days prior to her husband's murder. In this letter, Missus Porter clearly describes in her own words precisely where and when the murder of her husband is to take place. Along with this letter, your Honor, we would like to enter into evidence this police report, filed by Mister Hilton Hayworth the Third, two months prior…to the murder of James Porter. In this police report you will see where Mr. Hayworth has reported the theft of a knife from his company safe, the description of the knife which reads: a six inch blade with the letter "H" embeded in 17 rubies on the handle. Your Honor, this knife, as described in the police report is the very same knife which has been presented into evidence here today by Missus Hayworth's lawyer…a knife that has been missing for more than ten years…a knife that suddenly and magically has appeared today…through the courtesy of Missus Hilton Hayworth herself.


Coincidence? I doubt it…because ten years ago Jessica Porter was employed by the Hayworth Fabric Company, working in an office where she had full and complete access to the safe where the knife was kept. Today, we intend to prove that this knife was stolen by Missus Jessica Porter… stolen and used, by her, in the stabbing death of her first husband, Mister James Porter, on October 12th, 1937.

As the lights begin to slowly fade we hear the chatter of people, the pounding of a gavel and the authoritative voice of a judge.

Voice: Silence in the court room! (Pause) Silence!! (Pause) Will the accused please rise!

Scene Twenty

The Invisible Morrison Jeffrey

Music Cue: Amazing Grace Instrumental begins in the darkness and continues throughout the entire scene as a back drop to Father Peck's prayer. The only people missing from this scene are Morrison Jeffrey and, naturally, the deceased Jessica Hayworth.

Father Peck: Dear Lord we are here to offer you the soul of Jessica Elizabeth Hayworth, a child of the Kingdom of God. A child, Lord, who like those before her, and like those who will follow her, carried with her though this life…the burden of sin….of adultery….and of murder. It is true that the flesh is weak Lord, but the human spirit can soar only where there is heaven to accept it. So dear Lord, we ask that you accept Jessica into your Heavenly Kingdom… just as she was on the day that you placed her here upon this Earth…perfect…pure…without sin…and we ask your forgiveness for those sins Jessica Elizabeth Hayworth has committed in her lifetime and, Lord… we ask that you allow her to pass through your Heavenly Gates so that she might take her place among your Heavenly Choir of Angels.

All recite

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil


Father Peck: Ashes to ashes…dust to dust…may God have mercy upon your soul.

Amazing Grace continues. The crowd disperses and the lights fade.

Duncan Wells

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