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Manhattan Transfer

"Sure I did Joey."

"Oh pipe down fellers," said Segal. "I was just stringin Joey along."

"Well I think Segal you ought to be secretary, cause you know about office work. . . ."

"Office work?"

"Sure," said Joe puffing his chest out. "We're goin to have desk space in the office of a guy I know. . . . It's all fixed. He's goin to let us have it free till we get a start. An we're goin to have office stationery. Cant get nowhere in this world without presentin things right."

"An where do I come in?" asked Sid Garnett.

"You're the committee, you big stiff."

After the meeting Joe O'Keefe walked whistling down Atlantic Avenue. It was a crisp night; he was walking on springs. There was a light in Dr. Gordon's office. He rang. A white faced man in a white jacket opened the door.

"Hello Doc."

"Is that you O'Keefe? Come on in my boy." Something in the doctor's voice clutched like a cold hand at his spine.

"Well did your test come out all right doc?"

"All right . . . positive all right."

"Christ."

"Dont worry too much about it, my boy, we'll fix you up in a few months."

"Months."

"Why at a conservative estimate fiftyfive percent of the people you meet on the street have a syphilitic taint."

"It's not as if I'd been a damn fool. I was careful over there."

"Inevitable in wartime. . . ."

"Now I wish I'd let loose. . . . Oh the chances I passed up.

The doctor laughed. "You probably wont even have any symptoms. . . . It's just a question of injections. I'll have you sound as a dollar in no time. . . . Do you want to take a shot now? I've got it all ready."

O'Keefe's hands went cold. "Well I guess so," he forced