Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/273

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One More River to Jordan


snaps, she feels something draining out of her like water out of a washbasin. She quietly puts a dab of rouge on her lips.

When she goes back she says in her usual voice: "Well let's get along. . . . Got a part yet Ruth?"

"I had a chance to go out to Detroit with a stock company. I turned it down. ... I wont go out of New York whatever happens."

"What wouldnt I give for a chance to get away from New York. . . . Honestly if I was offered a job singing in a movie in Medicine Hat I think I'd take it."

Ellen picks up her umbrella and the three women file down the stairs and out into the street. "Taxi," calls Ellen.

The passing car grinds to a stop. The red hawk face of the taxidriver craning into the light of the street lamp. "Go to Eugenie's on Fortyeighth Street," says Ellen as the others climb in. Greenish lights and darks flicker past the lightheaded windows.

She stood with her arm in the arm of Harry Goldweiser's dinner jacket looking out over the parapet of the roof garden. Below them the Park lay twinkling with occasional lights, streaked with nebular blur like a fallen sky. From behind them came gusts of a tango, inklings of voices, shuffle of feet on a dancefloor. Ellen felt a stiff castiron figure in her metalgreen evening dress.

"Ah but Boirnhardt, Rachel, Duse, Mrs. Siddons. . . . No Elaine I'm tellin you, d'you understand? There's no art like the stage that soars so high moldin the passions of men. . . . If I could only do what I wanted we'd be the greatest people in the world. You'd be the greatest actress. . . . I'd be the great producer, the unseen builder, d'you understand? But the public dont want art, the people of this country wont let you do anythin for em. All they want's a detective melodrama or a rotten French farce with