Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/176

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Manhattan Transfer

I'm different from her. I dont care about money; I want to live for my dancing."

"I want money. Once you got money you can do what you like."

"But Morris dont you believe that you can do anything if you just want to hard enough? I believe that." He edged his free arm round her waist. Gradually she let her head fall on his shoulder. "Oh I dont care," she whispered with dry lips. Behind them limousines, roadsters, touringcars, sedans, slithered along the roadway with snaky glint of lights running in two smooth continuous streams.

The brown serge smelled of mothballs as she folded it. She stooped to lay it in the trunk; a layer of tissuepaper below rustled when she smoothed the wrinkles with her hand. The first violet morning light outside the window was making the electriclight bulb grow red like a sleepless eye. Ellen straightened herself suddenly and stood stiff with her arms at her sides, her face flushed pink. "It's just too low," she said. She spread a towel over the dresses and piled brushes, a handmirror, slippers, chemises, boxes of powder in pellmell on top of them. Then she slammed down the lid of the trunk, locked it and put the key in her flat alligatorskin purse. She stood looking dazedly about the room sucking a broken fingernail. Yellow sunlight was obliquely drenching the chimneypots and cornices of the houses across the street. She found herself staring at the white E.T.O. at the end of her trunk. "It's all too terribly disgustingly low," she said again. Then she grabbed a nailfile off the bureau and scratched out the O. "Whee," she whispered and snapped her fingers. After she had put on a little bucketshaped black hat and a veil, so that people wouldn't see she'd been crying, she piled a lot of books, Youth's Encounter, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, The Golden Ass, Imaginary Conversations, Aphrodite, Chansons de Bilitis and the Oxford Book of French Verse in a silk shawl and tied them together.