Samson and Delilah


by Edward Crosby Wells


AT RISE: SAMSON is stretched across the bed. He is wearing only his under wear, or nothing at all. DELIAH is brushing her hair at the vanity. She is wearing a slip or nothing at all. New Orleans. A summer's morning in late August. SOUND of howling wind and rain.

DELILAH: (Stops brushing her hair.) Get yar lazy bone-ass outta bed. (A pause to see if he moves. Slams down her brush.) Don’t pretend yar still asleep—‘cause I knows ya ain’t. Ya can hustle da ballers down ta Funky Bo’s, but yar ain’t gonna hustle Delilah.

SAMSON: Ah been awake all night.

DELIAH: I s’pects ya have. Ya only come home two hour ago, drippin’ wet and smelly likes a mongrel. Get up. We got things ta do.

SAMSON: And ah got things ta figure.

DELILAH: (Rises. Crosses to SAMSON. Playfully.) Ya don’t get outta dat bed, ya’ll be lookin’ at the meanest piece ya ever laid—

SAMSON: Fa Shiggety.

DELILAH: Ain’t no other way ta say it. (She rubs her breasts, runs her hands down along her body, enticing him.)

SAMSON: O mama. Fine dinin’.

DELILAH: Wanna taste?

SAMSON: Too much goin’ on fa dat.

DELILAH: When’s there ever been too much goin’ on fa dat? Ain’t never been too much on. (She straddles his body and goes as far as the traffic will bear.)

SAMSON: Ah told ya, I got things to figure. (Pushes her off.)

DELILAH: (Getting up. Confused.) Ya one bad motha fucka. Ya figure. Ya figure, and when yar done figurin’ we gonna buy me the finest ruby-red dress ya ever saw.

SAMSON: Sure, babe. Da finest. There’s a hurricane. Katrina—

DELILAH: Katrina, Katrina! Ya see one ya seen ‘em all.

SAMSON: Ain’t a good time.

DELILAH: You promised—soon as ya made some bones.

SAMSON: Ah did, did ah?

DELILAH: Wid shiny red beads dat’ll blind ya.


DELILAH: On the dress ya gonna buy me.

SAMSON: S’pose ah don’t want ta be blinded?

DELILAH: Not ya, just da gawkers and da coon ass. Wear yar sunglasses.

A flash of LIGHTNING followed by the SOUND of THUNDER. BR>

SAMSON: (Alarmed.) We gotta take da Chevy and—

DELILAH: Well I ain’t ridin’ in no street car, not in this rain.

SAMSON: Ah know, but—

DELILAH: Ain’t no buts. Dinner in da Quarter and jazz all night—like a coupla high ballers. Where’s da bones?

SAMSON: Don’t ya listen to nothin’ I say?

DELILAH: Not when I don’t want ta hear it.

SAMSON: Ya got that right. Da Quarter will be boarded up by night. I told ya, there’s a wicked storm comin’. Besides—

DELILAH: Besides, besides. There’s always a besides.

SAMSON: Delilah, there’s this deal went down bad—

DELILAH: (She reaches over and tickles him.) C’mon now.

SAMSON: Delilah, ah told ya—

DELILAH: Where ya hid dem?

SAMSON: (Gives in.) Uner the bed. (DELILAH reaches under the bed.) Looka here. Before ya go ta openin’ that, ah gotta tell ya somethin’.

DELILAH: (Retrieving shoe box from under the bed. Removes the lid.) Hoooly Shit! Dim ain’t mudbugs, I can tell ya dat!

SAMSON: That's just what I brung in in ma pockets, dawlin'. That's what ah was fixin' to tell ya.

DELILAH: (Removing handfuls of money.) Where’d ya get alla dis?

SAMSON: Playin’ boo ray with some coon ass.


SAMSON: ‘Cept ah didn’t actually win it.

DELILAH: Ain’t seen nuthin’ so pretty. Nuthin’ so pretty—‘cept maybe ya. (She runs her hands along his body, sensuously. She licks his chest and slowly moves toward his crouch.) Dat sure a lotta money.

SAMSON: (Pushing her away.) Ahm down bad, baby.

DELILAH: Ya down good—real good. BR>
SAMSON: Did ya hear me? Ah was playin’ boo ray—

DELILAH: Ya musta took alota tricks.

SAMSON: Ah took every one.

DELILAH: God musta dealt dem cards. He sure musta.

SAMSON: Delilah, we gots ta leave fo up north. Somethin’ bad’s comin’.

A flash of LIGHTNING followed by the SOUND of THUNDER and the increasing WIND.

DELILAH: Da fuck?

SAMSON: We gots ta get outta here.

DELILAH: Look at all dis green. What ‘bout ma new dress? And some jazz ta dawn? Ya got da bones.

SAMSON: Won’t be no jazz tonight.

DELILAH: Course there will.

SAMSON: They boardin’ everything up. We got to get in the Chevy and go. Didn’t ya hear me?

DELILAH: I heard ya. I heard ya all right, Samson, but I ain’t goin’ nowheres. I’m goin’ down Bourbon in ma ruby-red dress, sparklin’ like fireworks and get me some jazz.

SAMSON: Dey wasn’t the dumb coon ass ah thought. Dey musta figured it by now. Da cards—

DELILAH: (Sudden interest.) What cards?

SAMSON: Ya know—

DELILAH: Ya didn’t use dem cards, did ya?

SAMSON: Ah told ya. Ah took dem fo coon ass.

DELILAH: Ya used dem cards?

SAMSON: Yeah, but dey never figured it.

DELILAH: Den there ain’t no problem. We can go get me dat dress—

SAMSON: Ahm down bad, babe. Real bad.

DELILAH: Ya said dey never figured it.

SAMSON: Not whiles we was playin’, but—

DELILAH: But, but?

SAMSON: Ah left dem there.

DELILAH: (Cautiously.) Left what there?

SAMSON: There was all those bones. Biggest pot ah ever saw. Ah been playin’ boo ray a long time and ah ain’t never seen nuthin’ like it. There’s mo hidden in da Chevy.

DELILAH: Mo what?

SAMSON: Money.

DELILAH: Mo money?

SAMSON: Mo money than ya ever saw.

DELILAH: We be struttin’ down Bourbon.

SAMSON: We gotta get outta Nahlins.


DELILAH: What ya talkin’?

SAMSON: Ah told ya. Ah left dem there.

DELILAH: Tell me. Tell me exactly what ya left there?

SAMSON: Ah told ya. Da cards. Ain’t ya been listenin’? Did ya hear a word ah said? Ah was in such a hurry to get outta there—ah went and left da cards.

There is a long fearful SILENCE except for the howling WIND.

DELILAH: Ya think dey figured it?

SAMSON: Had to.

DELILAH: What about ma dress?

SAMSON: We’ll get you dat dress, but not now.

DELILAH: Ya promised.

SAMSON: Ah know ah did, babe.

DELILAH: I told ya dem cards would get ya down bad one day. Get on some clothes.

SAMSON: (Putting on his trousers.) Ah gotta get those bones.

DELILAH: (Digging in her heels.) Ya might s’well leave dem in da Chevy ‘cause I ain’t goin’ wid ya.

SAMSON: Ya be getting’ yar things together, Delilah. Ya ain’t stayin’ here.

DELILAH: Samson, now ya ain’t listenin’. Take dem what ya got in da Chevy. I got plenty right here.

SAMSON: But, babe—

DELILAH: You heard me. Get on out.

SAMSON: Ah ain’t goin’ nowhere widout ya.

DELILAH: Get out ya sonabitch! (She beats him with closed fists. He stands and lets her hit him.) Sonabitch! I told ya ‘bout those cards. I told ya! I told ya! (She continues beating him until she can’t hold back her tears.)


SAMSON: Ah know, babe.

DELILAH: Git out! I don’t wanna see ya sorry ass ever again.

SAMSON: Ahm sorry, babe. Please come wid me.

DELILAH: Don’t babe me, just get da fuck out!

SAMSON: Ya don’t mean dat. Ah know ya don’t.


SAMSON: Ahm sorry. (In the SILENCE he dresses, then slowly walks toward the door.)

DELILAH: (Breaking the SILENCE.) And don’t ya come back! Hear?

SAMSON exits to the SOUND of howling WIND. DELILAH sits on the edge of the bed and begins to count the money. She stops and throws the money across the room and then openly sobs. After awhile, the distinctive SOUND of a single GUNSHOT rips through the bedroom. DELILAH freezes in terror, looking toward the door. Shortly afterward there is the SOUND of two more gunshots in quick succession. DELILAH puts on an old ragged dress. She stands unmoving while staring at the front door, perhaps hoping that SAMSON would soon walk through it. He doesn’t. Slowly and tentatively she walks towards the door as the LIGHTING dims to the SOUND of howling WIND.



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