Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/235

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Went to the Animals' Fair


can do is fight duels and sleep with each other's wives. I bet the Germans are in Paris in two weeks."

"It couldn't last long," said Framingham, a tall ceremonious man with a whispy blond moustache who sat beside Hunter.

"Well I'd like to get an assignment as warcorrespondent."

"Say Jimmy do you know this French guy who's barkeep here?"

"Congo Jake? Sure I know him."

"Is he a good guy?"

"He's swell."

"Let's go out and talk to him. He might give us some dope about this here murder. God I'd like it if I could hitch it on to the World Conflict."

"I have the greatest confidence," had begun Framingham, "that the British will patch it up somehow." Jimmy followed Bullock towards the bar.

Crossing the room he caught sight of Ellen. Her hair was very red in the glow from the lamp beside her. Baldwin was leaning towards her across the table with moist lips and bright eyes. Jimmy felt something glittering go off in his chest like a released spring. He turned his head away suddenly for fear she should see him.

Bullock turned and nudged him in the ribs. "Say Jimmy who the hell are those two guys came out with us?"

"They are friends of Ruth's. I dont know them particularly well. Framingham's an interior decorator I think."

At the bar under a picture of the Lusitania stood a dark man in a white coat distended by a deep gorilla chest. He was vibrating a shaker between his very hairy hands. A waiter stood in front of the bar with a tray of cocktail glasses. The cocktail foamed into them greenishwhite.

"Hello Congo," said Jimmy.

"Ah bonsoir monsieur 'Erf, ça biche?"

"Pretty good . . . Say Congo I want you to meet a friend of mine. This is Grant Bullock of the American."

"Very please. You an Mr. 'Erf ave someting on the 'ouse sir."