Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/128

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Manhattan Transfer

and a pinkishgray felt hat. When he turned to her and smiled she couldn't help pulling her eyes away and staring out at the long rain that shimmered over the tracks.

"Here we are Elaine dear. Oh prince's daughter, you see we get the train that comes from the Penn station. . . . It's funny this waiting in the wilds of New Jersey this way." They got into the parlorcar. John made a little clucking sound in his mouth at the raindrops that made dark dimes on his pale hat. "Well we're off, little girl. . . . Behold thou art fair my love, thou art fair, thou hast dove's eyes within thy locks."

Ellen's new tailored suit was tight at the elbows. She wanted to feel very gay and listen to his purring whisper in her ears, but something had set her face in a tight frown; she could only look out at the brown marshes and the million black windows of factories and the puddly streets of towns and a rusty steamboat in a canal and barns and Bull Durham signs and round faced Spearmint gnomes all barred and crisscrossed with bright flaws of rain. The jeweled stripes on the window ran straight down when the train stopped and got more and more oblique as it speeded up. The wheels rumbled in her head, saying Man-hattan Tran-sfer. Manhattan Tran-sfer. Anyway it was a long time before Atlantic City. By the time we get to Atlantic City . . . Oh it rained forty days . . . I'll be feeling gay. . . . And it rained forty nights. . . . I've got to be feeling gay.

"Elaine Thatcher Oglethorpe, that's a very fine name, isn't it, darling? Oh stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples for I am sick of love. . ."

It was so comfortable in the empty parlorcar in the green velvet chair with John leaning towards her reciting nonsense with the brown marshlands slipping by behind the rainstriped window and a smell like clams seeping into the car. She looked into his face and laughed. A blush ran all over his face to the roots of his redblond hair. He put his hand in its yellow glove over her hand in its white glove. "You're my wife now Elaine."