Steve Gooch - Playwright Dramatist Author Writer Editor

Your Loving: Script Excerpt

When the famous anarchist agitator Emma Goldman, hounded by the police and looking for a friendly meeting-hall in Chicago, walks into Ben Reitman's office, she doesn't count on falling passionately in love. As for Ben, the self-styled 'King of the Hoboes' doesn't count on his unreliable movements being viewed with suspicion by Emma's political cronies. Communicating at first through letters, Ben persuades the charismatic speaker to take him on as her business manager and minder. But then money starts to go missing...

Emma Goldman lecture poster

(Emma in her hotel room. A ring at the doorbell. She opens to Ben.)

Ben: Hey, this lecturing must be a pretty good screw.

Emma: You don't last long if you don't look after yourself.

Ben: Sure beats a box-car.

Emma: Is that how you got here?

Ben: (Dusts himself down, smiling) Gotta drink? I'm real dry.

Emma: Ben, we need to clear something up ...

Ben: I didn't think you'd let me see you.

Emma: Your letters were very persuasive.

Ben: What can I say? I had to see you again.

Emma: I wanted to see you too. But you know what's been bothering me. How did the police find out about our meeting?

Ben: I hate that kinda thing. Misunderstandings, crossed wires ... everything you say just seems to make it worse.

Emma: Ben, I need to know.

Ben: What the hell, maybe I spoke to some reporter an' he let the cat outa the bag ... how do I know?

Emma: And what about after the meeting? When we all went to Becky's? Where were you?

Ben: Seein' my own friends. I don't remember.

Emma: You said before you had business.

Ben: Maybe I was seein' a friend about business. It's a while ago now.

Emma: This is important to me, Ben.

Ben: Do I need an alibi, is that it?

Emma: I'm sorry.

Ben: I really don't remember, Emma. But there is no way, no way I informed on you.

(Pause)

Emma: Then I owe you an apology.

Ben: What the hell. These things happen...

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