Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/237

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Went to the Animals' Fair

225

looked down at her fingers on the edge of the table. His eyes were on the glint of copper along her eyelashes. Suddenly he snapped the silence that was tightening between them.

"Anyway let's dance."

J'ai fait trois fois le tour du monde
Dans mes voyages,

hummed Congo Jake as the big shining shaker quivered between his hairy hands. The narrow greenpapered bar was swelled and warped with bubbling voices, spiral exhalations of drinks, sharp clink of ice and glasses, an occasional strain of music from the other room. Jimmy Herf stood alone in the corner sipping a gin fizz. Next him Gus McNiel was slapping Bullock on the back and roaring in his ear:

"Why if they dont close the Stock Exchange . . . godamighty . . . before the blowup comes there'll be an opportunity. . . . Well begorry dont you forget it. A panic's the time for a man with a cool head to make money."

"There have been some big failures already and this is just the first whiff. . . ."

"Opportunity knocks but once at a young man's door. . . . You listen to me when there's a big failure of one o them brokerage firms honest men can bless themselves. . . . But you're not putting everythin I'm tellin ye in the paper, are you? There's a good guy. . . . Most of you fellers go around puttin words in a man's mouth. Cant trust one of you. I'll tell you one thing though the lockout is a wonderful thing for the contractors. Wont be no housebuildin with a war on anyway." "It wont last more'n two weeks and I dont see what it has to do with us anyway."

"But conditions'll be affected all over the world. . . . Conditions. . . . Hello Joey what the hell do you want?"

"T'd like to talk to you private for a minute sir. There's some big news. . . ."