Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/112

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Manhattan Transfer

dinner." Aunt Emily rustled through the blue velvet curtains into the next room.

"We wont be able to go on calling you James." After she had stopped the metronome, Maisie stood staring with serious brown eyes at her cousin. "There cant be two Jameses can there?"

"Mother calls me Jimmy."

"Jimmy's a kinder common name, but I guess it'll have to do till we can think of a better one. . . . How many jacks can you pick up?"

"What are jacks?"

"Gracious dont you know what jackstones are? Wait till James comes back, wont he laugh!"

"I know Jack roses. Mother used to like them better'n any other kind."

"American Beauties are the only roses I like," announced Maisie flopping into a Morris chair. Jimmy stood on one leg kicking his heel with the toes of the other foot.

"Where's James?"

"He'll be home soon. . . . He's having his riding lesson."

The twilight became leadensilent between them. From the trainyards came the scream of a locomotivewhistle and the clank of couplings on shunted freight cars. Jimmy ran to the window.

"Say Maisie, do you like engines?" he asked.

"I think they are horrid. Daddy says we're going to move on account of the noise and smoke."

Through the gloom Jimmy could make out the beveled smooth bulk of a big locomotive. The smoke rolled out of the stack in huge bronze and lilac coils. Down the track a red light snapped green. The bell started to ring slowly, lazily. Forced draft snorting loud the train clankingly moved, gathered speed, slid into dusk swinging a red taillight.

"Gee I wish we lived here," said Jimmy. "I've got two hundred and seventytwo pictures of locomotives, I'll show em to you sometime if you like. I collect em."