Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/293

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Rejoicing City That Dwelt Carelessly


"Me too Sarge, rain or shine I dont care."

They are passing close to a mass of steamers anchored in a block, some of them listing to one side or the other, lanky ships with short funnels, stumpy ships with tall funnels red with rust, some of them striped and splashed and dotted with puttycolor and blue and green of camouflage paint. A man in a motorboat waved his arms. The men in khaki slickers huddled on the gray dripping deck of the transport begin to sing

Oh the infantry, the infantry,
With the dirt behind their ears . . .

Through the brightbeaded mist behind the low buildings of Governors Island they can make out the tall pylons, the curving cables, the airy lace of Brooklyn Bridge. Robertson pulls a package out of his pocket and pitches it overboard.

"What was that?"

"Just my propho kit. . . . Wont need it no more."

"How's that?"

"Oh I'm goin to live clean an get a good job and maybe get married."

"I guess that's not such a bad idear. I'm tired o playin round myself. Jez somebody must a cleaned up good on them Shippin Board boats." "That's where the dollar a year men get theirs I guess."

"I'll tell the world they do."

Up forward they are singing

Oh she works in a jam factoree
And that may be all right . . .

"Jez we're goin up the East River Sarge. Where the devil do they think they're goin to land us?"

"God, I'd be willin to swim ashore myself. An just think of all the guys been here all this time cleanin up on us. . . . Ten dollars a day workin in a shipyard mind you . . ."