Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/326

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Manhattan Transfer

with a greasy bald head. "Cant you do nutten but primp an look in de glass all day? . . . Veree good you're fired."

She stares at his face sleek like an olive. "Kin I stay out my day?" she stammers. He nods. "Getta move on; this aint no beauty parlor." She hustles back to her place at the counter. The stools are all full. Girls, officeboys, grayfaced bookkeepers. "Chicken sandwich and a cup o caufee." "Cream cheese and olive sandwich and a glass of buttermilk."

"Chocolate sundae."

"Egg sandwich, coffee and doughnuts." "Cup of bouillon." "Chicken broth." "Chocolate icecream soda." People eat hurriedly without looking at each other, with their eyes on their plates, in their cups. Behind the people sitting on stools those waiting nudge nearer. Some eat standing up. Some turn their backs on the counter and eat looking out through the glass partition and the sign hcnuL eniL neerG at the jostling crowds filing in and out the subway through the drabgreen gloom.

"Well Joey tell me all about it," said Gus McNiel puffing a great cloud of smoke out of his cigar and leaning back in his swivel chair. "What are you guys up to over there in Flatbush?"

O'Keefe cleared his throat and shuffled his feet. "Well sir we got an agitation committee."

"I should say you had. . . . That aint no reason for raidin the Garment Workers' ball is it?"

"I didn't have nothin to do with that. . . . The bunch got sore at all these pacifists and reds."

"That stuff was all right a year ago, but public sentiment's changin. I tell you Joe the people of this country are pretty well fed up with war heroes."

"We got a livewire organization over there."

"I know you have Joe. I know you have. Trust you for that. . . . I'd put the soft pedal on the bonus stuff