Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/129

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"You're my husband now John." And laughing they looked at each other in the coziness of the empty parlorcar.

White letters, ATLANTIC CITY, spelled doom over the rainpitted water.

Rain lashed down the glaring boardwalk and crashed in gusts against the window like water thrown out of a bucket. Beyond the rain she could hear the intermittent rumble of the surf along the beach between the illuminated piers. She lay on her back staring at the ceiling. Beside her in the big bed John lay asleep breathing quietly like a child with a pillow doubled up under his head. She was icy cold. She slid out of bed very carefully not to wake him, and stood looking out the window down the very long V of lights of the boardwalk. She pushed up the window. The rain lashed in her face spitefully stinging her flesh, wetting her nightdress. She pushed her forehead against the frame. Oh I want to die. I want to die. All the tight coldness of her body was clenching in her stomach. Oh I'm going to be sick. She went into the bathroom and closed the door. When she had vomited she felt better. Then she climbed into bed again careful not to touch John. If she touched him she would die. She lay on her back with her hands tight against her sides and her feet together. The parlorcar rumbled cozily in her head; she fell asleep.

Wind rattling the windowframes wakened her. John was far away, the other side of the big bed. With the wind and the rain streaming in the window it was as if the room and the big bed and everything were moving, running forward like an airship over the sea. Oh it rained forty days. . . . Through a crack in the cold stiffness the little tune trickled warm as blood. . . . And it rained forty nights. Gingerly she drew a hand over her husband's hair. He screwed his face up in his sleep and whined "Dont" in a littleboy's voice that made her giggle. She lay giggling on the far edge of the bed, giggling desperately as she used to with girls at school. And the rain lashed through the window and the song grew louder until it was a brass band in her ears: