Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/269

This page has been validated.

One More River to Jordan

257

"It is funny the way a thing like that comes over you. . . . Why what have you heard about me?"

"Gosh George dont get nervous, it's all right. . . . I've seen her in The Zinnia Girl. . . . She walks away with it. That other girl who's the star dont have a show."

"Look here Phil if you hear any rumors about Miss Oglethorpe for Heaven's sake shut them up. It's so damn silly you cant go out to tea with a woman without everybody starting their dirty gabble all over town. . . . By God I will not have a scandal, I dont care what happens."

"Say hold your horses George."

"I'm in a very delicate position downtown just at the moment that's all. . . . And then Cecily and I have at last reached a modus vivendi. . . . I wont have it disturbed."

They walked along in silence.

Sandbourne walked with his hat in his hand. His hair was almost white but his eyebrows were still dark and bushy. Every few steps he changed the length of his stride as if it hurt him to walk. He cleared his throat. "George you were asking me if I'd cooked up any schemes when I was in hospital. . . . Do you remember years ago old man Specker used to talk about vitreous and superenameled tile? Well I've been workin on his formula out at Hollis. . . . A friend of mine there has a two thousand degree oven he bakes pottery in. I think it can be put on a commercial basis. . . . Man it would revolutionize the whole industry. Combined with concrete it would enormously increase the flexibility of the materials at the architects' disposal. We could make tile any color, size or finish. . . . Imagine this city when all the buildins instead of bein dirty gray were ornamented with vivid colors. Imagine bands of scarlet round the entablatures of skyscrapers. Colored tile would revolutionize the whole life of the city. . . . Instead of fallin back on the orders or on gothic or romanesque decorations we could evolve new designs, new colors, new forms. If there was a little color in the town all this hardshell inhibited life'd break down. . . . There'd be more love an less divorce. . . ."