Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/104

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

92

Manhattan Transfer

"Because we've both loved one another."

"I'm not goin to cry." She patted her nose with a little rolledup handkerchief. "Georgy I'm goin to hate ye. . . . Goodby." The door snapped sharply to behind her.

Baldwin sat at his desk and chewed the end of a pencil. A faint pungence of her hair lingered in his nostrils. His throat was stiff and lumpy. He coughed. The pencil fell out of his mouth. He wiped the saliva off with his handkerchief and settled himself in his chair. From bleary the crowded paragraphs of the lawbook became clear. He tore the written sheet off the scratchpad and clipped it to the top of a pile of documents. On the new sheet he began: Decision of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. . . . Suddenly he sat up straight in his chair, and started biting the end of his pencil again. From outside came the endless sultry whistle of a peanut wagon. "Oh well, that's that," he said aloud. He went on writing in a wide regular hand: Case of Patterson vs. The State of New York. . . . Decision of the Supreme . . .

Bud sat by a window in the Seamen's Union reading slowly and carefully through a newspaper. Next him two men with freshly shaved rawsteak cheeks cramped into white collars and blue serge storesuits were ponderously playing chess. One of them smoked a pipe that made a little clucking noise when he drew on it. Outside rain beat incessantly on a wide glimmering square.

Banzai, live a thousand years, cried the little gray men of the fourth platoon of Japanese sappers as they advanced to repair the bridge over the Yalu River . . . Special correspondent of the New York Herald . . .

"Checkmate," said the man with the pipe. "Damn it all let's go have a drink. This is no night to be sitting here sober."

"I promised the ole woman . . ."