Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/309

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Nickelodeon

297

"I'll poke your face in you little bastard," Dutch let fly out of the corner of his mouth.

"Dont answer him," Francie whispered, "or we'll have the whole gang down on us."

They slipped through a little door in a tall fence above which crazy lumberpiles towered. They could smell the river and cedarwood and sawdust. They could hear the river lapping at the piles under their feet. Dutch drew her to him and pressed his mouth down on hers.

"Hay dere dont you know you cant come out here at night disaway?" a voice yapped at them. The watchman flashed a lantern in their eyes.

"All right keep your shirt on, we were just taking a little walk."

"Some walk."

They were dragging themselves down the street again with the black riverwind in their teeth.

"Look out." A policeman passed whistling softly to himself. They drew apart. "Oh Francie they'll be takin us to the nuthouse if we keep this up. Let's go to your room."

"Landlady'll throw me out, that's all."

"I wont make any noise. . . . You got your key aint ye? I'll sneak out before light. Goddam it they make you feel like a skunk."

"All right Dutch let's go home. . . . I dont care no more what happens."

They walked up mudtracked stairs to the top floor of the tenement.

"Take off your shoes," she hissed in his ear as she slipped the key in the lock.

"I got holes in my stockings."

"That dont matter, silly. I'll see if it's all right. My room's way back past the kitchen so if they're all in bed they cant hear us."

When she left him he could hear his heart beating. In a second she came back. He tiptoed after her down a creaky hall. A sound of snoring came through a door.