Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/270

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Manhattan Transfer

Baldwin burst out laughing. "You tell em Phil. . . . I'll talk to you about that sometime. You must come up to dinner when Cecily's there and tell us about it. . . . Why wont Parkhurst do anything?"

"I wouldnt let him in on it. He'd cotton on to the proposition and leave me out in the cold once he had the formula. I wouldn't trust him with a rubber nickel."

"Why doesnt he take you into partnership Phil?"

"He's got me where he wants me anyway. . . . He knows I do all the work in his goddamned office. He knows too that I'm too cranky to make out with most people. He's a slick article."

"Still I should think you could put it up to him."

"He's got me where he wants me and he knows it, so I continue doin the work while he amasses the coin. . . . I guess it's logical. If I had more money I'd just spend it. I'm just shiftless."

"But look here man you're not so much older than I am. . . . You've still got a career ahead of you."

"Sure nine hours a day draftin. . . . Gosh I wish you'd go into this tile business with me."

Baldwin stopped at a corner and slapped his hand on the briefcase he was carrying. "Now Phil you know I'd be very glad to give you a hand in any way I could. . . . But just at the moment my financial situation is terribly involved. I've gotten into some rather rash entanglements and Heaven knows how I'm going to get out of them. . . . That's why I cant have a scandal or a divorce or anything. You dont understand how complicatedly things interact. . . . I couldnt take up anything new, not for a year at least. This war in Europe has made things very unsettled downtown. Anything's liable to happen."

"All right. Good night George."

Sandbourne turned abruptly on his heel and walked down the avenue again. He was tired and his legs ached. It was almost dark. On the way back to the station the grimy brick and brownstone blocks dragged past monotonously like the days of his life.