Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/151

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Great Lady on a White Horse

139

"Oh but I dont know anything about anything, that's tha trouble. . . . I think I'll take lemon please."

Glasses clinked about them; through blue cigarettesmoke faces hats beards wagged, repeated greenish in the mirrors,

"But my de-e-ar it's always the same old complex. It may be true of men but it says nothing in regard to women," droned a woman's voice from the next table. . . . "Your feminism rises into an insuperable barrier," trailed a man's husky meticulous tones. "What if I am an egoist? God knows I've suffered for it." "Fire that purifies, Charley. . . ." George was speaking, trying to catch her eye. "How's the famous Jojo?"

"Oh let's not talk about him."

"The less said about him the better eh?"

"Now George I wont have you sneer at Jojo, for better or worse he is my husband, till divorce do us part. . . . No I wont have you laugh. You're too crude and simple to understand him anyway. Jo jo's a very complicated rather tragic person."

"For God's sake don't let's talk about husbands and wives. The important thing, little Elaine, is that you and I are sitting here together without anyone to bother us. . . . Look when are we going to see each other again, really see each other, really. . . ."

"We're not going to be too real about this, are we George?"

She laughed softly into her cup.

"Oh but I have so many things to say to you. I want to ask you so many things."

She looked at him laughing, balancing a small cherry tartlet that had one bite out of it between a pink squaretipped finger and thumb. "Is that the way you act when you've got some miserable sinner on the witnessbox? I thought it was more like: Where were you on the night of February thirtyfirst?"

"But I'm dead serious, that's what you cant understand, or wont."

A young man stood at the table, swaying a little, looking down at them. "Hello Stan, where the dickens did you come