Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/115

This page has been validated.

Tracks

103

Colonel Astor's day. He had the gout and used to swear something terrible. . . . I remember seeing him once, a red-faced old man with long white hair and a silk skullcap over his baldspot. He had a parrot named Tobias and people going along the street never knew whether it was Tobias or Judge Burkhart cussing,"

"Ah well, times have changed," said Aunt Emily.

Jimmy sat in his chair with pins and needles in his legs. Mother's had a stroke and next week I'll go back to school. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. . . . He and Skinny coming back from playing with the hoptoads down by the pond, in their blue suits because it was Sunday afternoon. Smokebushes were in bloom behind the barn. A lot of fellows teasing little Harris, calling him Iky because he was supposed to be a Jew. His voice rose in a singsong whine; "Cut it fellers, cant you fellers. I've got my best suit on fellers."

"Oy Oy Meester Solomon Levy with his best Yiddisher garments all marked down," piped jeering voices. "Did you buy it in a five and ten Iky?"

"I bet he got it at a firesale."

"If he got it at a firesale we ought to turn the hose on him."

"Let's turn the hose on Solomon Levy."

"Oh stop it fellers."

"Shut up; dont yell so loud."

"They're juss kiddin, they wont hurt him," whispered Skinny.

Iky was carried kicking and bawling down towards the pond, his white tearwet face upside down. "He's not a Jew at all," said Skinny. "But I'll tell you who is a Jew, that big bully Fat Swanson."

"Howjer know?"

"His roommate told me."

"Gee whiz they're going to do it."

They ran in all directions. Little Harris with his hair full of mud was crawling up the bank, water running out of his coatsleeves.