Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/113

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"What a funny thing to collect. . . . Look Jimmy you pull the shade down and I'll light the light."

When Maisie pushed the switch they saw James Merivale standing in the door. He had light wiry hair and a freckled face with a pugnose like Maisie's. He had on riding breeches and black leather gaiters and was flicking a long peeled stick about.

"Hullo Jimmy," he said. "Welcome to our city."

"Say James," cried Maisie, "Jimmy doesn't know what jackstones are."

Aunt Emily appeared through the blue velvet curtains. She wore a highnecked green silk blouse with lace on it. Her white hair rose in a smooth curve from her forehead. "It's time you children were washing up," she said, "dinner's in five minutes. . . . James take your cousin back to your room and hurry up and take off those ridingclothes."

Everybody was already seated when Jimmy followed his cousin into the diningroom. Knives and forks tinkled discreetly in the light of six candles in red and silver shades. At the end of the table sat Aunt Emily, next to her a red-necked man with no back to his head, and at the other end Uncle Jeff with a pearl pin in his checked necktie filled a broad armchair. The colored maid hovered about the fringe of light passing toasted crackers. Jimmy ate his soup stiffly, afraid of making a noise. Uncle Jeff was talking in a booming voice between spoonfuls of soup.

"No I tell you, Wilkinson, New York is no longer what it used to be when Emily and I first moved up here about the time the Ark landed. . . . City's overrun with kikes and low Irish, that's what's the matter with it. . . . In ten years a Christian wont be able to make a living. . . . I tell you the Catholics and the Jews are going to run us out of our own country, that's what they are going to do."

"It's the New Jerusalem," put in Aunt Emily laughing.

"It's no laughing matter; when a man's worked hard all his life to build up a business and that sort of thing he dont want to be run out by a lot of damn foreigners, does he Wilkinson?"