Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/197

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Nine Days' Wonder

185

you cant understand the physical urgences of a man like me."

"Havent I done my best?"

"My dear these things arent anybody's fault. . . . I dont blame you. . . . If you'd really loved me then . . ."

"What do you think I stay in this hell for except for you? Oh you're such a brute." She sat dryeyed staring at her feet in their gray buckskin slippers, twisting and untwisting in her fingers the wet string of her handkerchief.

"Look here Cecily a divorce would be very harmful to my situation downtown just at the moment, but if you really dont want to go on living with me I'll see what I can arrange. . . . But in any event you must have more confidence in me. You know I'm fond of you. And for God's sake dont go to see anybody about it without consulting me. You dont want a scandal and headlines in the papers, do you?"

"All right . . . leave me alone. . . . I dont care about anything."

"All right. . . . I'm pretty late. I'll go on downtown in that taxi. You don't want to come shopping or anything?"

She shook her head. He kissed her on the forehead, took his straw hat and stick in the hall and hurried out.

"Oh I'm the most miserable woman," she groaned and got to her feet. Her head ached as if it were bound with hot wire. She went to the window and leaned out into the sunlight. Across Park Avenue the flameblue sky was barred with the red girder cage of a new building. Steam riveters rattled incessantly; now and then a donkeyengine whistled and there was a jingle of chains and a fresh girder soared crosswise in the air. Men in blue overalls moved about the scaffolding. Beyond to the northwest a shining head of clouds soared blooming compactly like a cauliflower. Oh if it would only rain. As the thought came to her there was a low growl of thunder above the din of building and of traffic. Oh if it would only rain.