Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/125

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Steamroller

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from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. . . . He walked on fast splashing through puddles full of sky, trying to shake the droning welloiled words out of his ears, to get the feeling of black crêpe off his fingers, to forget the smell of lilies.

I'm so tired of vi-olets
Take them all away.

He walked faster. The road climbed a hill. There was a bright runnel of water in the ditch, flowing through patches of grass and dandelions. There were fewer houses; on the sides of barns peeling letters spelled out LYDIA PINKHAM'S VEGETABLE COMPOUND, BUDWEISER, RED HEN, BARKING DOG. . . . And muddy had had a stroke and now she was buried. He couldn't think how she used to look; she was dead that was all. From a fencepost came the moist whistling of a songsparrow. The minute rusty bird flew ahead, perched on a telegraph wire and sang, and flew ahead to the rim of an abandoned boiler and sang, and flew ahead and sang. The sky was getting a darker blue, filling with flaked motherofpearl clouds. For a last moment he felt the rustle of silk beside him, felt a hand in a trailing lacefrilled sleeve close gently over his hand. Lying in his crib with his feet pulled up cold under the menace of the shaggy crouching shadows; and the shadows scuttled melting into corners when she leaned over him with curls round her forehead, in silkpuffed sleeves, with a tiny black patch at the corner of the mouth that kissed his mouth. He walked faster. The blood flowed full and hot in his veins. The flaked clouds were melting into rosecolored foam. He could hear his steps on the worn macadam. At a crossroad the sun glinted on the sticky pointed buds of a beechsapling. Opposite a sign read YONKERS. In the middle of the road teetered a dented tomatocan. Kicking it hard in front of him he walked on. One glory of the sun and another glory of the moon and another glory of the stars. . . . He walked on.