Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/107

This page has been validated.

Tracks

95

smoke in the stiff wind shoving down the Hudson out of the northwest.

"Hay Schmidt, bring me my field glasses," he called over his shoulder. "Look . . ." He was focusing the glasses on a thickwaisted white steamer with a sooty yellow stack that was abreast of Governors Island. "Isn't that the Anonda coming in now?"

Schmidt was a fat man who had shrunk. The skin hung in loose haggard wrinkles on his face. He took one look through the glasses. "Sure it is." He pushed down the window; the roar receded tapering hollowly like the sound of a sea shell.

"Jiminy they were quick about it. . . . They'll be docked in half an hour. . . . You beat it along over and get hold of Inspector Mulligan. He's all fixed. . . . Dont take your eyes off him. Old Matanzas is out on the warpath trying to get an injunction against us. If every spoonful of manganese isnt off by tomorrow night I'll cut your commission in half. . . . Do you get that?"

Schmidt's loose jowls shook when he laughed. "No danger sir. . . . You ought to know me by this time."

"Of course I do. . . . You're a good feller Schmidt. I was just joking."

Phineas P. Blackhead was a lanky man with silver hair and a red hawkface; he slipped back into the mahogany armchair at his desk and rang an electric bell. "All right Charlie, show em in." he growled at the towheaded officeboy who appeared in the door. He rose stiffly from his desk and held out a hand. "How do you do Mr. Storrow . . . How do you do Mr. Gold. . . . Make yourselves comfortable. . . . That's it. . . . Now look here, about this strike. The attitude of the railroad and docking interests that I represent is one of frankness and honesty, you know that. . . . I have confidence, I can say I have the completest confidence, that we can settle this matter amicably and agreeably. . . . Of course you must meet me halfway. . . . We have I know the same interests at heart, the interests of this great city, of this great seaport. . . ." Mr. Gold moved