Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/126

This page has been validated.

114

Manhattan Transfer

"Hullo Emile!" Emile nodded without turning his head. The girl ran after him and grabbed his coatsleeve. "That's the way you treat your old friends is it? Now that you're keepin company with that delicatessen queen . . ."

Emile yanked his hand away. "I am in a 'urree zat's all."

"How'd ye like it if I went an told her how you an me framed it up to stand in front of the window on Eighth Avenue huggin an kissin juss to make her fall for yez."

"Zat was Congo's idea."

"Well didn't it woik?"

"Sure."

"Well aint there sumpen due me?"

"May you're a veree nice leetle girl. Next week my night off is Wednesday. . . . I'll come by an take you to a show. . . . 'Ow's 'ustlin?"

"Worse'n hell. . . . I'm tryin out for a dancin job up at the Campus. . . . That's where you meet guys wid jack. . . . No more of dese sailor boys and shorefront stiffs. . . . I'm gettin respectable."

"May 'ave you 'eard from Congo?"

"Got a postalcard from some goddam place I couldn't read the name of. . . . Aint it funny when you write for money an all ye git 's a postal ca-ard. . . . That's the kid gits me for the askin any night. . . . An he's the only one, savvy, Frogslegs?"

"Goodby May." He suddenly pushed the straw bonnet trimmed with forgetmenots back on her head and kissed her.

"Hey quit dat Frogslegs . . . Eighth Avenue aint no place to kiss a girl," she whined pushing a yellow curl back under her hat. "I could git you run in an I've half a mind to."

Emile walked off.

A fire engine, a hosewagon, and a hookandladder passed him, shattering the street with clattering roar. Three blocks down smoke and an occasional gasp of flame came from the roof of a house. A crowd was jammed up against the policelines. Beyond backs and serried hats Emile caught a glimpse of firemen on the roof of the next house and