Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/182

This page has been validated.

170

Manhattan Transfer

"What with Jew lawyers and Irish judges . . ." spluttered Phil.

"Aw pull the chain, old man."

"A fine specimen of a public-spirited citizen you are Hartly."

Hartly laughed and rubbed the palm of his hand over his bald head. "Oh that stuff's all right in winter, but I cant go it in summer. . . . Hell all I live for is three weeks' vacation anyway. What do I care if all the architects in New York get bumped off as long as it dont raise the price of commutation to New Rochelle. . . . Let's go eat." As they went down in the elevator Phil went on talking: "The only other man I ever knew who was really a born in the bone architect was ole Specker, the feller I worked for when I first came north, a fine old Dane he was too. Poor devil died o cancer two years ago. Man, he was an architect. I got a set of plans and specifications home for what he called a communal building. . . . Seventyfive stories high stepped back in terraces with a sort of hanging garden on every floor, hotels, theaters, Turkish baths, swimming pools, department stores, heating plant, refrigerating and market space all in the same buildin."

"Did he eat coke?"

"No siree he didnt."

They were walking east along Thirtyfourth Street, sparse of people in the sultry midday. "Gad," burst out Phil Sandbourne, suddenly. "The girls in this town get prettier every year. "Like these new fashions, do you?"

"Sure. All I wish is that I was gettin younger every year instead of older."

"Yes about all us old fellers can do is watch em go past."

"That's fortunate for us or we'd have our wives out after us with bloodhounds. . . . Man when I think of those mighthavebeens!"

As they crossed Fifth Avenue Phil caught sight of a girl in a taxicab. From under the black brim of a little hat with a red cockade in it two gray eyes flash green black into his. He swallowed his breath. The traffic roars dwindled into