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Manhattan Transfer

taxi. . . . Hotel Lafayette," he shouted at the driver and slapped Jimmy on the knee. "Well Herfy old fossil, you know what the Governor of North Carolina said to the Governor of South Carolina."

"No."

"It's a long time between drinks."

"Baa, baa," Stan was bleating under his breath as they stormed into the café. "Ellie here are the black sheep," he shouted laughing. His face froze suddenly stiff. Opposite Ellen at the table sat her husband, one eyebrow lifted very high and the other almost merging with the eyelashes. A teapot sat impudently between them.

"Hello Stan, sit down," she said quietly. Then she continued smiling into Oglethorpe's face. "Isnt that wonderful Jojo?"

"Ellie this is Mr. Herf," said Stan gruffly.

"Oh I'm so glad to meet you. I used to hear about you up at Mrs. Sunderland's."

They were silent. Oglethorpe was tapping on the table with his spoon. "Why heow deo you deo Mr. Herf," he said with sudden unction. "Dont you remember how we met?"

"By the way how's everything up there Jojo?"

"Just topping thanks. Cassahndrah's beau has left her and there's been the most appalling scandal about that Costello creature. It seems that she came home foxed the other night, to the ears my deah, and tried to take the taxi driver into her room with her, and the poor boy protesting all the time that all he wanted was his fare. . . . It was appalling."

Stan got stiffly to his feet and walked out.

The three of them sat without speaking. Jimmy tried to keep from fidgeting in his chair. He was about to get up, when something velvetsoft in her eyes stopped him.

"Has Ruth got a job yet, Mr. Herf?" she asked.

"No she hasnt."

"It's the rottenest luck."

"Oh it's a darn shame. I know she can act. The trouble