Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/183

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Nine Days' Wonder

171

distance. She shant take her eyes away. Two steps and open the door and sit beside her, beside her slenderness perched like a bird on the seat. Driver drive to beat hell. Her lips are pouting towards him, her eyes flutter gray caught birds. "Hay look out. . ." A pouncing iron rumble crashes down on him from behind. Fifth Avenue spins in red blue purple spirals. O Kerist. "That's all right, let me be. I'll get up myself in a minute." "Move along there. Git back there." Braying voices, blue pillars of policemen. His back, his legs are all warm gummy with blood. Fifth Avenue throbs with loudening pain. A little bell jingle-jangling nearer. As they lift hi minto the ambulance Fifth Avenue shrieks to throttling agony and bursts. He cranes his neck to see her, weakly, like a terrapin on its back; didnt my eyes snap steel traps on her? He finds himself whimpering. She might have stayed to see if I was killed. The jingle jangling bell dwindles fainter, fainter into the night.

The burglaralarm across the street had rung on steadily. Jimmy's sleep had been strung on it in hard knobs like beads on a string. Knocking woke him. He sat up in bed with a lurch and found Stan Emery, his face gray with dust, his hands in the pockets of a red leather coat, standing at the foot of the bed. He was laughing swaying back and forth on the balls of his feet.

"Gosh what time is it?" Jimmy sat up in bed digging his knuckles into his eyes. He yawned and looked about with bitter dislike, at the wallpaper the dead green of Poland Water bottles, at the split green shade that let in a long trickle of sunlight, at the marble fireplace blocked up by an enameled tin plate painted with scaly roses, at the frayed blue bathrobe on the foot of the bed, at the mashed cigarette-butts in the mauve glass ashtray.

Stan's face was red and brown and laughing under the chalky mask of dust. "Eleven thirty," he was saying.