Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/313

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Nickelodeon

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her hair. The cocktails burned in him. God I dont want to pass out.

Sitting in the restaurant of the Gare de Lyon, side by side on the black leather bench. His cheek brushes hers when he reaches to put herring, butter, sardines, anchovies, sausage on her plate. They eat in a hurry, gobbling, giggling, gulp wine, start at every screech of an engine. . . .

The train pulls out of Avignon, they two awake, looking in each other's eyes in the compartment full of sleep-sodden snoring people. He lurches clambering over tangled legs, to smoke a cigarette at the end of the dim oscillating corridor. Diddledeump, going south, Diddledeump, going south, sing the wheels over the rails down the valley of the Rhone. Leaning in the window, smoking a broken cigarette, trying to smoke a crumbling cigarette, holding a finger over the torn place. Glubglub glubglub from the bushes, from the silverdripping poplars along the track.

"EUie, Ellie there are nightingales singing along the track."

"Oh I was asleep darling." She gropes to him stumbling across the legs of sleepers. Side by side in the window in the lurching jiggling corridor.

Deedledeump, going south. Gasp of nightingales along the track among the silverdripping poplars. The insane cloudy night of moonlight smells of gardens garlic rivers freshdunged field roses. Gasp of nightingales.

Opposite him the Elliedoll was speaking. "He says the lobstersalad's all out. . . . Isnt that discouraging?"

Suddenly he had his tongue. "Gosh if that were the only thing."

"What do you mean?"

"Why did we come back to this rotten town anyway?"

"You've been burbling about how wonderful it was ever since we came back."

"I know. I guess it's sour grapes. . . . I'm going to have another cocktail. . . . Ellie for heaven's sake what's the matter with us?"

"We're going to be sick if we keep this up I tell you."

"Well let's be sick. . . . Let's be good and sick."