Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/220

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Manhattan Transfer

square. On the end of a bench under a tree drowsed Joe Harland. O'Keefe plunked down in the seat beside him.

"Hello Joe. Have a cigar."

"Hello Joe. I'm glad to see you my boy. Thanks. It's many a day since I've smoked one of these things. . . . What are you up to? Aint this kind of out of your beat?"

"I felt kinder blue so I thought I'd buy me a ticket to the fight Saturday."

"What's the matter?"

"Hell I dunno. . . . Things dont seem to go right. Here I've got myself all in deep in this political game and there dont seem to be no future in it. God I wish I was educated like you."

"A lot of good it's done me."

"I wouldn't say that. . . . If I could ever git on the track you were on I bet ye I wouldn't lose out."

"You cant tell Joe, funny things get into a man."

"There's women and that sort of stuff."

"No I dont mean that. . . . You get kinder disgusted."

"But hell I dont see how a guy with enough jack can git disgusted."

"Then maybe it was booze, I dont know."

They sat silent a minute. The afternoon was flushing with sunset. The cigarsmoke was blue and crinkly about their heads.

"Look at the swell dame. . . . Look at the way she walks. Aint she a peacherino? That's the way I like 'em, all slick an frilly with their lips made up. . . . Takes jack to go round with dames like that."

"They're no different from anybody else, Joe."

"The hell you say."

"Say Joe you havent got an extra dollar on you?"

"Maybe I have."

"My stomach's a little out of order. . . . I'd like to take a little something to steady it, and I'm flat till I get paid Saturday . . . er . . . you understand . . . you're sure you dont mind? Give me your address and I'll send it to you first thing Monday morning."