Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/343

This page has been validated.

Revolving Doors

331

are classconscious. . . . Didn't he make you stop payin your union dues?"

"I was sick o workin a sewin machine."

"But you could be a handworker, do fancy work and make good money. You're not one o that kind, you're one of us. . . . I'll get you back in good standin an you kin get a good job again. . . . God I'd never have let you work in a dancehall the way he did. Anna it hurt me terrible to see a Jewish girl goin round with a feller like that."

"Well he's gone an I aint got no job."

"Fellers like that are the greatest enemies of the workers. . . . They dont think of nobody but themselves."

They are walking slowly up Second Avenue through a foggy evening. He is a rustyhaired thinfaced young Jew with sunken cheeks and livid pale skin. He has the bandy legs of a garment worker. Anna's shoes are too small for her. She has deep rings under her eyes. The fog is full of strolling groups talking Yiddish, overaccented East Side English, Russian. Warm rifts of light from delicatessen stores and softdrink stands mark off the glistening pavement.

"If I didn't feel so tired all the time," mutters Anna.

"Let's stop here an have a drink. . . . You take a glass o buttermilk Anna, make ye feel good."

"I aint got the taste for it Elmer. I'll take a chocolate soda."

"That'll juss make ye feel sick, but go ahead if you wanter." She sat on the slender nickelbound stool. He stood beside her. She let herself lean back a little against him. "The trouble with the workers is" . . . He was talking in a low impersonal voice. "The trouble with the workers is we dont know nothin, we dont know how to eat, we dont know how to live, we dont know how to protect our rights. . . . Jez Anna I want to make you think of things like that. Cant you see we're in the middle of a battle just like in the war?" With the long sticky spoon Anna was fishing bits of icecream out of the thick foamy liquid in her glass.