Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/114

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Manhattan Transfer

"Jeff you are getting all excited. You know it gives you indigestion. . . ."

"I'll keep cool, mother."

"The trouble with the people of this country is this, Mr. Merivale" . . . Mr. Wilkinson frowned ponderously. "The people of this country are too tolerant. There's no other country in the world where they'd allow it. . . . After all we built up this country and then we allow a lot of foreigners, the scum of Europe, the offscourings of Polish ghettos to come and run it for us."

"The fact of the matter is that an honest man wont soil his hands with politics, and he's given no inducement to take public office."

"That's true, a live man, nowadays, wants more money, needs more money than he can make honestly in public life. . . . Naturally the best men turn to other channels."

"And add to that the ignorance of these dirty kikes and shanty Irish that we make voters before they can even talk English . . ." began Uncle Jeff.

The maid set a highpiled dish of fried chicken edged by corn fritters before Aunt Emily. Talk lapsed while everyone was helped. "Oh I forgot to tell you Jeff," said Aunt Emily, "we're to go up to Scarsdale Sunday."

"Oh mother I hate going out Sundays."

"He's a perfect baby about staying home."

"But Sunday's the only day I get at home."

"Well it was this way: I was having tea with the Harland girls at Maillard's and who should sit down at the next table but Mrs. Burkhart . . ."

"Is that Mrs. John B. Burkhart? Isnt he one of the vice-presidents of the National City Bank?"

"John's a fine feller and a coming man downtown."

"Well as I was saying dear, Mrs. Burkhart said we just had to come up and spend Sunday with them and I just couldn't refuse."

"My father," continued Mr. Wilkinson, "used to be old Johannes Burkhart's physician. The old man was a cranky old bird, he'd made his pile in the fur trade way back in