Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/240

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Manhattan Transfer

They shoot Jaures, because he socialiste. The socialists are traitors to the International but all de samee. . . ."

"But how can they make people fight if they dont want to?"

"In Europe people are slaves for thousands of years. Not like 'ere. . . . But I've seen war. Very funny. I tended bar in Port Arthur, nutten but a kid den. It was very funny."

"Gee I wish I could get a job as warcorrespondent."

"I might go as a Red Cross nurse."

"Correspondent very good ting. . . . Always drunk in American bar very far from battlefield."

They laughed.

"But arent we rather far from the battlefield, Herf?"

"All right let's dance. You must forgive me if I dance very badly."

"I'll kick you if you do anything wrong."

His arm was like plaster when he put it round her to dance with her. High ashy walls broke and crackled within him. He was soaring like a fireballoon on the smell of her hair.

"Get up on your toes and walk in time to the music. . . . Move in straight lines that's the whole trick." Her voice cut the quick coldly like a tiny flexible sharp metalsaw. Elbows joggling, faces set, gollywog eyes, fat men and thin women, thin women and fat men rotated densely about them. He was crumbling plaster with something that rattled achingly in his chest, she was an intricate machine of sawtooth steel whitebright bluebright copperbright in his arms. When they stopped her breast and the side of her body and her thigh came against him. He was suddenly full of blood steaming with sweat like a runaway horse. A breeze through an open door hustled the tobaccosmoke and the clotted pink air of the restaurant.

"Herf I want to go down to see the murder cottage; please take me."

"As if I hadn't seen enough of X's marking the spot where the crime was committed."