Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/143

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Great Lady on a White Horse

131

"You can come in if you promise not to look. . . . I'm a sight and my room's a pigeon. . . . I've just got to do my hair. Then I'll be ready." The little gray room was stuffed with clothes and photographs of stage people. Jimmy stood with his back to the door, some sort of silky stuff that dangled from the hook tickling his ears.

"Well how's the cub reporter?"

"I'm on Hell's Kitchen. . . . It's swell. Got a job yet Ruth?"

"Um-um. . . . A couple of things may materialize during the week. But they wont. Oh Jimmy I'm getting desperate." She shook her hair loose of the crimpers and combed out the new mousybrown waves. She had a pale startled face with a big mouth and blue underlids. "This morning I knew I ought to be up and ready, but I just couldn't. It's so discouraging to get up when you haven't got a job. . . . Sometimes I think I'll go to bed and just stay there till the end of the world."

"Poor old Ruth."

She threw a powderpuff at him that covered his necktie and the lapels of his blue serge suit with powder. "Dont you poor old me you little rat."

"That's a nice thing to do after all the trouble I took to make myself look respectable. . . . Darn your hide Ruth. And the smell of the carbona not off me yet."

Ruth threw back her head with a shrieking laugh. "Oh you're so comical Jimmy. Try the whisk-broom."

Blushing he blew down his chin at his tie. "Who's the funnylooking girl opened the halldoor?"

"Shush you can hear everything through the partition. . . . That's Cassie," she whispered giggling. "Cassah-ndrah Wilkins . . . used to be with the Morgan Dancers. But we oughtnt to laugh at her, she's very nice. I'm very fond of her." She let out a whoop of laughter. "You nut Jimmy," She got to her feet and punched him in the muscle of the arm. "You always make me act like I was crazy."