Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/191

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Nine Days' Wonder

179

is she has too much sense of humor to play up to managers and people."

"Oh the stage is a nasty dirty game, isn't it Jojo?"

"The nawstiest, my deah."

Jimmy couldn't keep his eyes off her; her small squarely shaped hands, her neck molded with a gold sheen between the great coil of coppery hair and the bright blue dress.

"Well my deah . . ." Oglethorpe got to his feet.

"Jojo I'm going to sit here a little longer."

Jimmy was staring at the thin triangles of patent leather that stuck out from Oglethorpe's pink buff spats. Cant be feet in them. He stood up suddenly.

"Now Mr. Herf couldnt you keep me company for fifteen minutes? I've got to leave here at six and I forgot to bring a book and I cant walk in these shoes."

Jimmy blushed and sat down again stammering: "Why of course I'd be delighted. . . . Suppose we drink something."

"I'll finish my tea, but why dont you have a gin fizz? I love to see people drink gin fizzes. It makes me feel that I'm in the tropics sitting in a jujube grove waiting for the riverboat to take us up some ridiculous melodramatic river all set about with fevertrees."

"Waiter I want a gin fizz please."

Joe Harland had slumped down in his chair until his head rested on his arms. Between his grimestiff hands his eyes followed uneasily the lines in the marbletop table. The gutted lunchroom was silent under the sparse glower of two bulbs hanging over the counter where remained a few pies under a bellglass, and a man in a white coat nodding on a tall stool. Now and then the eyes in his gray doughy face flicked open and he grunted and looked about. At the last table over were the hunched shoulders of men asleep, faces crumpled like old newspapers pillowed on arms. Joe Harland sat up straight and yawned. A woman blobby under a rain-