Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/259

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Five Statutory Questions

247

as being people like yourself, do you?" Herf sat down in the seat again. "Will you have a cigarette. . . . It's only a Camel."

"Well I dont mind if I do. . . . What's your business Jimmy? You dont mind if I call you that do you?" Jimmy Herf lit a match; it went out, lit another and held it for Harland. "That's the first tobacco I've had in a week . . . Thank you."

Jimmy glanced at the man beside him. The long hollow of his gray cheek made a caret with the deep crease that came from the end of his mouth. "You think I'm pretty much of a wreck dont you?" spat Harland. "You're sorry you sat down aint you? You're sorry you had a mother who brought you up a gentleman instead of a cad like the rest of 'em. . . ."

"Why I've got a job as a reporter on the Times . . . a hellish rotten job and I'm sick of it," said Jimmy, drawling out his words.

"Dont talk like that Jimmy, you're too young. . . . You'll never get anywhere with that attitude."

"Well suppose I dont want to get anywhere."

"Poor dear Lily was so proud of you. . . . She wanted you to be a great man, she was so ambitious for you. . . . You dont want to forget your mother Jimmy. She was the only friend I had in the whole damn family."

Jimmy laughed. "I didnt say I wasnt ambitious."

"For God's sake, for your dear mother's sake be careful what you do. You're just starting out in life . . . everything'll depend on the next couple of years. Look at me."

"Well the Wizard of Wall Street made a pretty good thing of it I'll say. . . . No it's just that I dont like to take all the stuff you have to take from people in this goddam town. I'm sick of playing up to a lot of desk men I dont respect. . . . What are you doing Cousin Joe?"

"Don't ask me. . . ."

"Look, do you see that boat with the red funnels? She's French. Look, they are pulling the canvas off the gun on