Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/345

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Revolving Doors

333

"Tell him that I've always been and always shall be a good friend of his. . . . He knows that perfectly well. In this particular campaign I have pledged myself to oppose certain elements with which Gus has let himself get involved."

"You're a fine talker George Baldwin and you always were."

Baldwin flushed. They stood stiff side by side at the office door. His hand lay still on the doorknob as if paralyzed. From the outer offices came the sound of typewriters and voices. From outside came the long continuous tapping of riveters at work on a new building.

"I hope your family's all well," he said at length with an effort.

"Oh yes they are all well thanks . . . Goodby." She had gone.

Baldwin stood for a moment looking out of the window at the gray blackwindowed building opposite. Silly to let things agitate him so. Need of relaxation. He got his hat and coat from their hook behind the washroom door and went out.

"Jonas," he said to a man with a round bald head shaped like a cantaloupe who sat poring over papers in the highceilinged library that was the central hall of the lawoffice, "bring everything up that's on my desk. . . . I'll go over it uptown tonight."

"All right sir."

When he got out on Broadway he felt like a small boy playing hooky. It was a sparkling winter afternoon with hurrying rifts of sun and cloud. He jumped into a taxi. Going uptown he lay back in the seat dozing. At Forty-second Street he woke up. Everything was a confusion of bright intersecting planes of color, faces, legs, shop windows, trolleycars, automobiles. He sat up with his gloved hands on his knees, fizzling with excitement. Outside of Nevada's apartmenthouse he paid the taxi. The driver was a negro and showed an ivory mouthful of teeth when he got a fifty-cent tip. Neither elevator was there so Baldwin ran lightly up the stairs, half wondering at himself.