Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/374

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Manhattan Transfer

must prove my atavistic sincerity, prove. . . ." He started pulling at his necktie.

"Say Martin old man, pipe down," Roy was reiterating.

"Nobody shall stop me. . . . I must run into the sincerity of black. . . . I must run to the end of the black wharf on the East River and throw myself off."

Herf ran after him through the restaurant to the street. At the door he threw off his coat, at the corner his vest.

"Gosh he runs like a deer," panted Roy staggering against Herf's shoulder. Herf picked up the coat and vest, folded them under his arm and went back to the restaurant. They were pale when they sat down on either side of Alice.

"Will he really do it? Will he really do it?" she kept asking.

"No of course not," said Roy. "He'll go home; he was making fools of us because we played up to him."

"Suppose he really did it?"

"I'd hate to see him. . . . I like him very much. We named our kid after him," said Jimmy gloomily. "But if he really feels so terribly unhappy what right have we to stop him?"

"Oh Jimmy," sighed Alice, "do order some coffee."

Outside a fire engine moaned throbbed roared down the street. Their hands were cold. They sipped the coffee without speaking.

Francie came out of the side door of the Five and Ten into the six o'clock goinghome end of the day crowd. Dutch Robertson was waiting for her. He was smiling; there was color in his face.

"Why Dutch what's . . ." The words stuck in her throat.

"Dont you like it . . .?" They walked on down Fourteenth, a blur of faces streamed by on either side of them. "Everything's jake Francie," he was saying quietly. He wore a light gray spring overcoat and a light felt hat to