Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/337

This page has been validated.

Revolving Doors

325

gers from nervousness. Mrs. Merivale grayfaced met him in the hall.

"My dear I thought you'd been taken ill."

"It's not that . . . it's about Maisie."

"She hasnt met with an accid. . .?"

"Come in here," interrupted Mrs. Merivale. In the parlor sat a little roundfaced woman in a round mink hat and a long mink coat. "My dear this girl says she's Mrs. Jack Cunningham and she's got a marriage certificate to prove it."

"Good Heavens, is that true?"

The girl nodded in a melancholy way.

"And the invitations are out. Since his last wire Maisie's been ordering her trousseau."

The girl unfolded a large certificate ornamented with pansies and cupids and handed it to James.

"It might be forged."

"It's not forged," said the girl sweetly.

"John. C. Cunningham, 21 . . . Jessie Lincoln, 18," he read aloud. . . . "I'll smash his face for that, the blackguard. That's certainly his signature, I've seen it at the bank. . . . The blackguard."

"Now James, don't be hasty."

"I thought it would be better this way than after the ceremony," put in the girl in her little sugar voice. "I wouldnt have Jack commit bigamy for anything in the world."

"Where's Maisie?"

"The poor darling is prostrated in her room."

Merivale's face was crimson. The sweat itched under his collar. "Now dearest" Mrs. Merivale kept saying, "you must promise me not to do anything rash."

"Yes Maisie's reputation must be protected at all costs."

"My dear I think the best thing to do is to get him up here and confront him with this . . . with this . . . lady. . . . Would you agree to that Mrs. Cunningham?"

"Oh dear. . . . Yes I suppose so."

"Wait a minute," shouted Merivale and strode down the