Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/142

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Manhattan Transfer

and a Spring Maid hat; the young man had white edging on his vest and a green, blue, and purple striped necktie.

"But you're not that kind of a girl."

"How do you know what kind of a girl I am?"

The voices trailed out down the stairs.

Jimmy Herf gave the bell another jab.

"Who is it?" came a lisping female voice through a crack in the door.

"I want to see Miss Prynne please."

Glimpse of a blue kimono held up to the chin of a fluffy face. "Oh I don't know if she's up yet."

"She said she would be."

"Look will you please wait a second to let me make my get-away," she tittered behind the door. "And then come in. Excuse us but Mrs. Sunderland thought you were the rent collector. They sometimes come on Sunday just to fool you." A smile coyly bridged the crack in the door.

"Shall I bring in the milk?"

"Oh do and sit down in the hall and I'll call Ruth." The hall was very dark; smelled of sleep and toothpaste and massagecream; across one corner a cot still bore the imprint of a body on its rumpled sheets. Straw hats, silk eveningwraps, and a couple of men's dress overcoats hung in a jostling tangle from the staghorns of the hatrack. Jimmy picked a corsetcover off a rockingchair and sat down. Women's voices, a subdued rustling of people dressing, Sunday newspaper noises seeped out through the partitions of the different rooms.

The bathroom door opened; a stream of sunlight reflected out of a pierglass cut the murky hall in half, out of it came a head of hair like copper wire, bluedark eyes in a brittlewhite eggshaped face. Then the hair was brown down the hall above a slim back in a tangerine-colored slip, nonchalant pink heels standing up out of the bathslippers at every step.

"Ou-ou, Jimmee. . ." Ruth was yodling at him from behind her door. "But you mustn't look at me or at my room." A head in curlpapers stuck out like a turtle's.

"Hullo Ruth."