Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/153

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Manhattan Transfer


darn clever and has a lot of personality and all that sort of thing, but all he does is drink and raise Cain. . . . I guess all he needs is to go to work and get a sense of values. Too much money's what's the matter with most of those collegeboys. . . . Oh but Elaine thank God we're alone again. I have worked continuously all my life ever since I was fourteen. The time has come when I want to lay aside all that for a while. I want to live and travel and think and be happy. I cant stand the pace of downtown the way I used to. I want to learn to play, to ease off the tension. . . . That's where you come in."

"But I don't want to be the nigger on anybody's safety-valve." She laughed and let the lashes fall over her eyes.

"Let's go out to the country somewhere this evening. I've been stifling in the office all day. I hate Sunday anyway."

"But my rehearsal."

"You could be sick. I'll phone for a car."

"Golly there's Jojo. . . . Hello Jojo"; she waved her gloves above her head.

John Oglethorpe, his face powdered, his mouth arranged in a careful smile above his standup collar, advanced between the crowded tables, holding out his hand tightly squeezed into buff gloves with black stripes. "Heow deo you deo, my deah, this is indeed a surprise and a pleajah."

"You know each other, don't you? This is Mr. Baldwin."

"Forgive me if I intrude . . . er . . .. upon a tête à tête."

"Nothing of the sort, sit down and we'll all have a high-ball. . . . I was just dying to see you really Jojo. . . . By the way if you havent anything else to do this evening you might slip in down front for a few minutes. I want to know what you think about my reading of the part. . . ."

"Certainly my deah, nothing could give me more pleajah."

His whole body tense George Baldwin leaned back with his hand clasped behind the back of his chair. "Waiter . . ." He broke his words off sharp like metal breaking. "Three Scotch highballs at once please."

Oglethorpe rested his chin on the silver ball of his cane. "Confidence, Mr. Baldwin," he began, "confidence between