Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/234

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Manhattan Transfer

absolutely cookoo treating it as a rape and suicide case. That old man and his lovely innocent daughter were murdered, foully murdered. And do you know who by . . .?" He pointed a chubby cigarettestained finger at Tony Hunter.

"Dont give me the third degree judge I dont know anything about it" he said dropping his long lashes over his eyes.

"By the Black Hand."

"You tell em Bullock," said Jimmy Herf laughing. Bullock brought his fist down on the table so that the plates and glasses jingled. "Canarsie's full of the Black Hand, full of anarchists and kidnappers and undesirable citizens. It's our business to ferret em out and vindicate the honor of this poor old man and his beloved daughter. We are going to vindicate the honor of poor old monkeyface, what's his name?"

"Mackintosh," said Jimmy. "And the people round here used to call him Santa Claus. Of course everybody admits he's been crazy for years."

"We admit nothing but the majesty of American citizenhood. . . . But hell's bells what's the use when this goddam war takes the whole front page? I was going to have a fullpage spread and they've cut me down to half a column. Aint it the life?"

"You might work up something about how he was a lost heir to the Austrian throne and had been murdered for political reasons."

"Not such a bad idear Jimmy."

"But it's such a horrible thing," said Tony Hunter.

"You think we're a lot of callous brutes, dont you Tony?"

"No I just dont see the pleasure people get out of reading about it."

"Oh it's all in the day's work," said Jimmy. "What gives me gooseflesh is the armies mobilizing, Belgrade bombarded, Belgium invaded . . . all that stuff. I just cant imagine it. . . . They've killed Jaures." "Who's he?"

"A French Socialist."

"Those goddam French are so goddam degenerate all they