Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/265

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ing a droning sirenshriek. Fire fire, pour on water, Scotland's burning. A thousand dollar fire, a hundredthousand dollar fire, a million dollar fire. Skyscrapers go up like flames, in flames, flames. He spun back into the room. The table turned a somersault. The chinacloset jumped on the table. Oak chairs climbed on top to the gas jet. Pour on water, Scotland's burning. Don't like the smell in this place in the City of New York, County of New York, State of New York. He lay on his back on the floor of the revolving kitchen and laughed and laughed. The only man who survived the flood rode a great lady on a white horse. Up in flames, up, up. Kerosene whispered a greasy faced can in the corner of the kitchen. Pour on water. He stood swaying on the crackling upside down chairs on the upside down table. The kerosene licked him with a white cold tongue. He pitched, grabbed the gas jet, the gas jet gave way, he lay in a puddle on his back striking matches, wet wouldn't light. A match spluttered, lit; he held the flame carefully between his hands.

"Oh yes but my husband's awfully ambitious." Pearline was telling the blue gingham lady in the grocery-store. "Likes to have a good time an all that but he's much more ambitious than anybody I every knew. He's goin to get his old man to send us abroad so he can study architecture. He wants to be an architect."

"My that'll be nice for you wont it? A trip like that . . . Anything else miss?" "No I guess I didn't forget anythin. . . . If it was anybody else I'd be worryin about him. I haven't seen him for two days. Had to go and see his dad I guess."

"And you just newly wed too."

"I wouldnt be tellin ye if I thought there was anythin wrong, would I? No he's playin straight all right. . . . Well goodby Mrs. Robinson." She tucked her packages under one arm and swinging her bead bag in the free