The Showdown at the Gloomy Whorehouse


Francis Tumblety immediately halts his musical splendor at the most inopportune time imaginable and steps right into the crowd.

The crowd stands around him utterly confused for a moment at Francis Tumblety’s sudden dramatic outburst and abrupt end.

Francis Tumblety purposefully parts the people as he passes them.

The looks on their faces go from shock to outrage as soon as they realize that the Good Doctor is making off with their hard
earned money.

The crowd quickly escalates into a MOB.

He’s leaving with our money!! GET HIM!

The Mob gets riled up, shouting, and calling him a thief and a quack among many other vulgarities. They begin to close in on the Good Doctor.

Francis Tumblety with his eyes still dark and stormy, face clouded in a permanent glower, indifferently swats them away like flies. He takes long purposeful strides across the road to the gloomy whorehouse.


In the lobby Francis Tumblety approaches his Whore Wife. Fists balled at his sides, his jaw clenched so tightly that veins are popping. Even his mustache bristles with rage.

FRANCIS TUMBLETY just inches from The Whore Wife’s face he opens his mouth and roars.

THE ANGRY JOHN who escorts her inside interjects.
YEAH! and I’m the one who paid for her.

Francis Tumblety ignores The Angry John

HOW? WHY? After everything I’ve given you! I’ve loved you.

Please, the only one you’ll ever love is yourself, Francis.
(she spits out his name in disdain.)

Francis Tumblety readies himself for a vicious backhand.

What, so, you have to sell yourself like- like-
(his voice breaks)

(interrupts angrily)
I said I paid for her!

Francis Tumblety suddenly turns his attention to The Angry John and grabs him by the shirt collar. Standing a head taller than the man and with surprising fury fueled strength, lifts The Angry John’s feet inches off the ground and shoves him bodily into the wall.

Francis Tumblety then turns to his Whore Wife as she glares defiantly back.

THE MADAM of the gloomy whorehouse runs up.

You Sir! Get out before I shoot.

Francis Tumblety turns to The Madam and sees she’s THE MADAM WITH A GUN and drops the Angry John

That’s a whore’s pistol.

The Madam With a Gun cocks her whore’s pistol and pulls the trigger.

A bullet flies past Francis Tumblety’s face within inches and pegs the wall behind him.

Francis Tumblety’s eyes grow wide.

The Madam With a Gun aims again using the second barrel.

 MADAM WITH A GUN threatens and motions towards the door.

And that’s a warning. Now get out.

As soon as I kill my wife.


Francis Tumblety slowly comes to his senses. He looks back and forth from his disgraced Whore Wife who glares back, the Angry John dazed but still standing and looking for a fight, and the Madam With A Gun pointed at his head.

On the other side of the door The Mob is shouting, pounding their fists and out for blood.

Francis Tumblety sees that he is surrounded. No longer able to stand the sight of present company in the gloomy whorehouse he raises his hands in a bitter sign of surrender and takes a step backwards towards the door.

FRANCIS TUMBLETY spits the words out as if they were rotten to the taste.
Fine I’ll go.

Angry John takes a step forward.

The door shakes and thuds with another forceful impact.

(to The Angry John)
I hope your prick goes gangrenous and a falls off… inside her.
(to his Whore Wife, dramatically)
AND THIS! This is on your head!

Francis Tumblety throws open the door. Within an instant several hands grab at him. With one last look to his dear Whore Wife, Francis Tumblety catches her mouth the word “FOOL.”

Clutching and clawing The Mob pulls him out the door.


Tumblety’s Spiel

A scene from an ongoing project of mine. A script about the infamous and illustrious career of Herbal Medicine Doctor and American Jack the Ripper suspect: Francis Tumblety.  So far, it is over a year in the making and I am pleased to say I have penned the first song. Yeah, it’s a musical.



FRANCIS TUMBLETY works the crowd as an Herbal Doctor, peddling his medicine. He strikes an imposing figure. Standing slightly over 6 feet, he is a head above the rest of the crowd, as they wave money and fight for his attention. Dressed in the most up to date fashion, he is clearly a man of means. Behind him is his equally amazing white stallion. What is most impressive about the well-spoken and charismatic gentleman is his mustache, dyed black to match his hair, it sweeps grandiosely off his upper lip. In fact, the only thing that can distract his clientele from doling out their hard earned money is the whorehouse across the street. With the utmost confidence and a cunning twist of his magnificent mustache he goes into his spiel.

Francis Tumblety unfurls his medical kit and holds it up for all to see and purposefully clears his throat.

The crowd is silenced.

Consumption, diphtheria, and cholera
whooping cough and scrofula
meningitis leprosy
no matter what ails you, whatever it be,
I will rid you of your malady.

Catalepsy, Effluvia, Pleurisy, Neuralgia,
Tetanus and Typhus, Grippe and Trush
Malaria and “Phossy jaw”
A case of Dropsy and even the chills,
My tonics here can cure ALL ills.

This is the edge in Allopathy.
And there is no need for surgery.
For I am a walking apothecary.
And if you have the decency…
Come see the Good Doctor Tumblety!

HECKLER calls out from the crowd

FRANCIS TUMBLETY doesn’t skip a beat and takes a flamboyant bow.
PRINCE of Quacks!!

He elicits and cheer from the crowd.


I’ve got tinctures and tonics, powders and pills!
Come on now and call out your ills!

Consumption, diphtheria, and cholera
whooping cough and scrofula
meningitis, leprosy
no matter what ails us, whatever it be

I shall rid you of your malady!

Catalepsy Effluvia, Pleurisy, Neuralgia,
Tetanus and Typhus, Grippe and Trush
Quincy and flux.
Malaria, “Phossy jaw”
A case of Dropsy and even the chills…

I’ll give you the vials when you hand me the bills.


He makes a big show of collecting the forms of payment from his clientele while passing out the medicine.

Whooping cough and scrofula!
Malaria and phossy jaw!


He shushes the chorus. In the brief moment of silence, Dr. Tumblety points to the gloomy whorehouse across the street.

From the wallowing whore knee deep in sleaze
to the all the trappings of highest society
Hell, I’ve even treated royalty.
You must see me before its too late,
better not hesitate for I will not discriminate!
I don’t need to beat my drum or even toot my own fife,
For I’m the Good Doctor you trust with your life!……

A Prostitute greets a John across the street. Side by side they  walk  inside.

Francis Tumblety’s face dawns in sudden horrid recognition. His eyes grow as dark as storm clouds.