Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/324

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Manhattan Transfer

George Baldwin put his derby hat and stick on a table in the corner. "What'll you have Gus?" he said. "Sure I always take a lamb chop an a baked potato."

"I'm just taking crackers and milk, my stomach's a little out of order. . . . Nevada see if you cant frisk up a highball for Mr. McNiel."

"Well I could do with a highball George."

"George order me half a broiled chicken lobster and some alligator pear salad," screeched Nevada from the bathroom where she was cracking ice.

"She's the greatest girl for lobster," said Baldwin laughing as he went to the phone.

She came back from the bathroom with two highballs on a tray; she had put a scarlet and parrotgreen batik scarf round her neck. "Just you an me's drinkin Mr. McNiel. . . . George is on the water wagon. Doctor's orders."

"Nevada what do you say we go to a musical show this afternoon? There's a lot of business I want to get off my mind."

"I just love matinees. Do you mind if we take Tony Hunter. He called up he was lonesome and wanted to come round this afternoon. He's not workin this week."

"All right. . . . Nevada will you excuse us if we talk business for just a second over here by the window. We'll forget it by the time lunch comes."

"All righty I'll change my dress."

"Sit down here Gus."

They sat silent a moment looking out of the window at the red girder cage of the building under construction next door. "Well Gus," said Baldwin suddenly harshly, "I'm in the race."

"Good for you George, we need men like you."

"I'm going to run on a Reform ticket."

"The hell you are?"

"I wanted to tell you Gus rather than have you hear it by a roundabout way."

"Who's goin to elect you?"

"Oh I've got my backing. . . . I'll have a good press."