Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/371

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Skyscraper

359

Alice touched his arm as they turned to look in the window of an Italian pastryshop. On each cake ornamented with bright analin flowers and flutings stood a sugar lamb for Easter and the resurrection banner. "Jimmy," she said turning up to him her little oval face with her lips too red like the roses on the cakes, "you've got to do something about Roy. . . . He's got to get to work. I'll go crazy if I have him sitting round the house any more reading the papers wearing that dreadful adenoid expression. . . . You know what I mean. . . . He respects you."

"But he's trying to get a job."

"He doesnt really try, you know it."

"He thinks he does. I guess he's got a funny idea about himself. . . . But I'm a fine person to talk about jobs . . ."

"Oh I know, I think it's wonderful. Everybody says you've given up newspaper work and are going to write."

Jimmy found himself looking down into her widening brown eyes, that had a glimmer at the bottom like the glimmer of water in a well. He turned his head away; there was a catch in his throat; he coughed. They walked on along the lilting brightcolored street.

At the door of the restaurant they found Roy and Martin Schiff waiting for them. They went through an outer room into a long hall crowded with tables packed between two greenish bluish paintings of the Bay of Naples. The air was heavy with a smell of parmesan cheese and cigarettesmoke and tomato sauce. Alice made a little face as she settled herself in a chair.

"Ou I want a cocktail right away quick."

"I must be kinder simpleminded," said Herf, "but these boats coquetting in front of Vesuvius always make me feel like getting a move on somewhere. . . . I think I'll be getting along out of here in a couple of weeks."

"But Jimmy where are you going?" asked Roy. "Isnt this something new?"

"Hasnt Helena got something to say about that?" put in Alice.

Herf turned red. "Why should she?" he said sharply.