Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/277

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One More River to Jordan

265

"I'm awfully glad."

"Do you know you're the only person around here who calls me Ellie. I like it. . . . Everybody tries to make me seem so grown up since I've been on the stage."

"Stan used to."

"Maybe that's why I like it," she said in a little trailing voice like a cry heard at night from far away along a beach.

Jimmy felt something clamping his throat. "Oh gosh things are rotten," he said. "God I wish I could blame it all on capitalism the way Martin does."

"It's pleasant walking like this . . . I love a fog."

They walked on without speaking. Wheels rumbled through the muffling fog underlaid with the groping distant lowing of sirens and steamboatwhistles on the river.

"But at least you have a career. . . . You like your work, you're enormously successful," said Herf at the corner of Fourteenth Street, and caught her arm as they crossed.

"Dont say that. . . . You really dont believe it. I dont kid myself as much as you think I do."

"No but it's so."

"It used to be before I met Stan, before I loved him. . . . You see I was a crazy little stagestruck kid who got launched out in a lot of things I didnt understand before I had time to learn anything about life. . . . Married at eighteen and divorced at twentytwo's a pretty good record. . . . But Stan was so wonderful. . . ."

"I know."

"Without ever saying anything he made me feel there were other things . . . unbelievable things. . . ."

"God I resent his craziness though. . . . It's such a waste."

"I cant talk about it."

"Let's not."

"Jimmy you're the only person left I can really talk to."

"Dont want to trust me. I might go berserk on you too some day."