Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/172

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Manhattan Transfer

financially. . . . You know how those things are." Felsius was staring straight ahead of him into the desk. Beads of sweat were starting out of his bald head. "We all have our spell of bad luck dont we? I want to float a very small loan for a few days, just a few dollars, say twentyfive until certain combinations. . ."

"Mr. Harland I cant do it." Felsius got to his feet. "I'm sorry but principles is principles. . . . I've never borrowed or lent a cent in my life. I'm sure you understand that. . . ."

"All right, dont say any more." Harland got meekly to his feet. "Let me have a quarter. . . . I'm not so young as I was and I haven't eaten for two days," he mumbled, looking down at his cracked shoes. He put out his hand to steady himself by the desk.

Felsius moved back against the wall as if to ward off a blow. He held out a fiftycent piece on thick trembling fingers. Harland took it, turned without a word and stumbled out through the shop. Felsius pulled a violet bordered handkerchief out of his pocket, mopped his brow and turned to his letters again.

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They came out of the movie blinking into bright pools of electric glare. Cassie watched him stand with his feet apart and eyes absorbed lighting a cigar. McAvoy was a stocky man with a beefy neck; he wore a single-button coat, a checked vest and a dogshead pin in his brocade necktie.

"That was a rotton show or I'm a Dutchman," he was growling.

"But I loved the twavel pictures, Morris, those Swiss peasants dancing; I felt I was wight there."

"Damn hot in there. . . . I'd like a drink."