Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/232

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Manhattan Transfer

way girls are getting to look more like Mrs. Castle every day? Just look round this room."

"She was like a wild rose Elaine, fresh and pink and full of the Irish, and now she's a rather stumpy businesslike looking little woman."

"And you're as fit as you ever were. That's the way it goes,"

"I wonder. . . . You dont know how empty and hollow everything was before I met you. All Cecily and I can do is make each other miserable."

"Where is she now?"

"She's up at Bar Harbor. . . . I had luck and all sorts of success when I was still a young man. . . . I'm not forty yet."

"But I should think it would be fascinating. You must enjoy the law or you wouldn't be such a success at it."

"Oh success . . . success . . . what does it mean?"

"I'd like a little of it."

"But my dear girl you have it."

"Oh not what I mean."

"But it isn't any fun any more. All I do is sit in the office and let the young fellows do the work. My future's all cut out for me. I suppose I could get solemn and pompous and practice little private vices . . . but there's more in me than that."

"Why dont you go into politics?"

"Why should I go up to Washington into that greasy backwater when I'm right on the spot where they give the orders? The terrible thing about having New York go stale on you is that there's nowhere else. It's the top of the world. All we can do is go round and round in a squirrel cage."

Ellen was watching the people in light summer clothes dancing on the waxed square of floor in the center; she caught sight of Tony Hunter's oval pink and white face at a table on the far side of the room. Oglethorpe was not with him. Stan's friend Herf sat with his back to her. She watched him laughing, his long rumpled black head poised a