Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/179

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Longlegged Jack of the Isthmus

167

find out soon enough anyway. . . . I'll call him up in a week."

She found the taxidriver in the hall looking at the names above the pushbuttons. He went up to fetch her trunk. She settled herself happily on the dusty buff seat of the taxi, taking deep breaths of the riversmelling morning air. The taxidriver smiled roundly at her when he had let the trunk slide off his back onto the dashboard.

"Pretty heavy, miss."

"It's a shame you had to carry it all alone."

"Oh I kin carry heavier'n 'at."

"I want to go to the Hotel Brevoort, Fifth Avenue at about Eighth Street."

When he leaned to crank the car the man pushed his hat back on his head letting ruddy curly hair out over his eyes. "All right I'll take you anywhere you like," he said as he hopped into his seat in the jiggling car. When they turned down into the very empty sunlight of Broadway a feeling of happiness began to sizzle and soar like rockets inside her. The air beat fresh, thrilling in her face. The taxidriver talked back at her through the open window.

"I thought yous was catchin a train to go away somewhere, miss."

"Well I am going away somewhere."

"It'd be a foine day to be goin away somewhere."

"I'm going away from my husband." The words popped out of her mouth before she could stop them.

"Did he trow you out?"

"No I cant say he did that," she said laughing.

"My wife trun me out tree weeks ago."

"How was that?"

"Locked de door when I came home one night an wouldnt let me in. She'd had the lock changed when I was out workin."

"That's a funny thing to do."

"She says I git slopped too often. I aint goin back to her an I aint goin to support her no more. . . . She can put me in jail if she likes. I'm troo. I'm gettin an apartment on