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Manhattan Transfer

"Isnt that wonderful Stan? He's a burglar." She brandished the revolver. "Come on out in the hall."

"Yes miss anythin you say miss, but dont give me up to de bulls. Tink o de ole muder starvin her heart out."

"All right but if you took anything you must give it back."

"Honest I didn't have a chanct."

Stan flopped into a chair laughing and laughing. "Ellie you take the cake. . . . Wouldnt a thought you could do it."

"Well didnt I play this scene in stock all last summer? . . . Give up your gun."

"No miss I wouldn't carry no gun."

"Well I dont believe you but I guess I'll let you go."

"Gawd bless you miss."

"But you must make some money as a messengerboy."

"I was fired last week miss, it's only hunger made me take to it."

Stan got to his feet. "Let's give him a dollar an tell him to get the hell out of here."

When he was outside the door she held out the dollarbill to him.

"Jez you're white," he said choking. He grabbed the hand with the bill in it and kissed it; leaning over her hand kissing it wetly he caught a glimpse of her body under the arm in the drooping red silk sleeve. As he walked, still trembling, down the stairs, he looked back and saw the man and the girl standing side by side with their arms around each other watching him. His eyes were full of tears. He stuffed the dollarbill into his pocket.

Kid if you keep on bein a softie about women you're goin to find yourself in dat lil summer hotel up de river. . . . Pretty soft though. Whistling under his breath he walked to the L and took an uptown train. Now and then he put his hand over his back pocket to feel the roll of bills. He ran up to the third floor of an apartmenthouse that smelled of fried fish and coal gas, and rang three times at a grimy glass door. After a pause he knocked softly.