Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/173

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Longlegged Jack of the Isthmus


"Now Morris you promised," she whined.

"Oh I just meant sodawater, dont get nervous." "Oh that'd be lovely. I'd just love a soda."

"Then we'll go for a walk in the Park."

She let the lashes fall over her eyes "Allwight Morris," she whispered without looking at him. She put her hand a little tremulously through his arm.

"If only I wasn't so goddam broke."

"I dont care Morris."

"I do by God."

At Columbus Circle they went into a drugstore. Girls in green, violet, pink summer dresses, young men in straw hats were three deep along the sodafountain. She stood back and admiringly watched him shove his way through. A man was leaning across the table behind her talking to a girl; their faces were hidden by their hatbrims.

"You juss tie that bull outside, I said to him, then I resigned."

"You mean you were fired."

"No honest I resigned before he had a chance. . . . He's a stinker d'you know it? I wont take no more of his lip. When I was walkin outa the office he called after me. . . . Young man lemme tell ye sumpen. You wont never make good till you learn who's boss around this town, till you learn that it aint you." Morris was holding out a vanilla icecream soda to her.

"Dreamin' again Cassie; anybody'd think you was a snow-bird." Smiling brighteyed, she took the soda; he was drinking coca-cola. "Thank you," she said. She sucked with pouting lips at a spoonful of icecream. "Ou Morris it's delicious."

The path between round splashes of arclights ducked into darkness. Through slant lights and nudging shadows came a smell of dusty leaves and trampled grass and occasionally a rift of cool fragrance from damp earth under shrubberies.

"Oh I love it in the Park," chanted Cassie. She stifled a belch. "D'you know Morris I oughnt to have eaten that ice-cream. It always gives me gas."