Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/268

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Manhattan Transfer

Faces, hats, hands, newspapers jiggled in the fetid roaring subway car like corn in a popper. The downtown express passed clattering in yellow light, window telescoping window till they overlapped like scales.

"Look George," said Sandbourne to George Baldwin who hung on a strap beside him, "you can see Fitzgerald's contraction."

"I'll be seeing the inside of an undertaking parlor if I dont get out of this subway soon."

"It does you plutocrats good now and then to see how the other half travels. . . . Maybe it'll make you induce some of your little playmates down at Tammany Hall to stop squabbling and give us wageslaves a little transportation. . . . cristamighty I could tell em a thing or two. . . . My idea's for a series of endless moving platforms under Fifth Avenue."

"Did you cook that up when you were in hospital Phil?"

"I cooked a whole lot of things up while I was in hospital."

"Look here lets get out at Grand Central and walk. I cant stand this. . . . I'm not used to it."

"Sure . . . I'll phone Elsie I'll be a little late to dinner. . . . Not often I get to see you nowadays George . . . Gee it's like the old days."

In a tangled clot of men and women, arms, legs, hats aslant on perspiring necks, they were pushed out on the platform. They walked up Lexington Avenue quiet in the claretmisted afterglow.

"But Phil how did you come to step out in front of a truck that way?"

"Honestly George I dunno. . . . The last I remember is craning my neck to look at a terribly pretty girl went by in a taxicab and there I was drinking icewater out of a teapot in the hospital."

"Shame on you Phil at your age."

"Cristamighty dont I know it? But I'm not the only one."