Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/222

This page has been validated.


Manhattan Transfer

man who survived the flood was longlegged Jack of the Isthmus."

"God I dont see why people have children. It's an admission of defeat. Procreation is the admission of an incomplete organism. Procreation is an admission of defeat."

"Stan for Heaven's sake dont shout, you'll shock the stagehands. . . . I oughtnt to have let you come. You know the way people gossip round a theater."

"I'll be quiet just like a lil mouse. . . . Just let me wait till Milly comes to dress you. Seeing you dress is my only remaining pleasure . . . I admit that as an organism I'm incomplete."

"You wont be an organism of any kind if you dont sober up."

"I'm going to drink . . . I'm going to drink till when I cut myself whiskey runs out. What's the good of blood when you can have whiskey?"

"Oh Stan."

"The only thing an incomplete organism can do is drink. . . . You complete beautiful organisms dont need to drink. . . . I'm going to lie down and go byby."

"Dont Stan for Heaven's sake. If you go and pass out here I'll never forgive you."

There was a soft doubleknock at the door. "Come in Milly." Milly was a small wrinklefaced woman with black eyes. A touch of negro blood made her purplegray lips thick, gave a lividness to her verywhite skin.

"It's eight fifteen dear," she said as she bustled in. She gave a quick look at Stan and turned to Ellen with a little wry frown.

"Stan you've got to go away. . . . I'll meet you at the Beaux Arts or anywhere you like afterwards."

"I want to go byby."

Sitting in front of the mirror at her dressingtable Ellen was wiping cold cream off her face with quick dabs of a little towel. From her makeup box a smell of greasepaint and cocoabutter melted fatly through the room.

"I dont know what to do with him tonight," she whispered