Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/375

This page has been validated.



match. New red pointed Oxfords glowed on his feet. "How do you like the outfit? I said to myself it wasnt no use tryin to do anythin without a tony outside."

"But Dutch how did you get it?"

"Stuck up a guy in a cigar store. Jez it was a cinch."

"Ssh dont talk so loud; somebody might hear ye."

"They wouldnt know what I was talkin about."

Mr. Densch sat in the corner of Mrs. Densch's Louis XIV boudoir. He sat all hunched up on a little gilt pinkbacked chair with his potbelly resting on his knees. In his green sagging face the pudgy nose and the folds that led from the flanges of the nostrils to the corners of the wide mouth made two triangles. He had a pile of telegrams in his hand, on top a decoded message on a blue slip that read: Deficit Hamburg branch approximately $500,000; signed Heintz. Everywhere he looked about the little room crowded with fluffy glittery objects he saw the purple letters of approximately jiggling in the air. Then he noticed that the maid, a pale mulatto in a ruflfled cap, had come into the room and was staring at him. His eye lit on a large flat cardboard box she held in her hand.

"What's that?"

"Somethin for the misses sir."

"Bring it here. . . . Hickson's . . . and what does she want to be buying more dresses for will you tell me that. . . . Hickson's. . . . Open it up. If it looks expensive I'll send it back."

The maid gingerly pulled off a layer of tissuepaper, uncovering a peach and peagreen evening dress.

Mr. Densch got to his feet spluttering, "She must think the war's still on. . . . Tell em we will not receive it. Tell em there's no such party livin here."

The maid picked up the box with a toss of the head and went out with her nose in the air. Mr. Densch sat down in the little chair and began looking over the telegrams again.