Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/381

This page has been validated.

Skyscraper

369

The pancakes were comfortably furry against his ginbitten tongue. Jimmy Herf sat in Child's in the middle of a noisy drunken company. Eyes, lips, evening dresses, the smell of bacon and coffee blurred and throbbed about him. He ate the pancakes painstakingly, called for more coffee. He felt better. He had been afraid he was going to feel sick. He began reading the paper. The print swam and spread like Japanese flowers. Then it was sharp again, orderly, running in a smooth black and white paste over his orderly black and white brain:

Misguided youth again took its toll of tragedy amid the tinsel gayeties of Coney Island fresh painted for the season when plain-clothes men arrested "Dutch" Robinson and a girl companion alleged to be the Flapper Bandit. The pair are accused of committing more than a score of holdups in Brooklyn and Queens. The police had been watching the couple for some days. They had rented a small kitchenette apartment at 7356 Seacroft Avenue. Suspicion was first aroused when the girl, about to become a mother, was taken in an ambulance to the Canarsie Presbyterian Hospital. Hospital attendants were surprised by Robinson's seemingly endless supply of money. The girl had a private room, expensive flowers and fruit were sent in to her daily, and a well-known physician was called into consultation at the man's request. When it came to the point of registering the name of the baby girl the young man admitted to the physician that they were not married. One of the hospital attendants, noticing that the woman answered to the description published in the Evening Times of the flapper bandit and her pal, telephoned the police. Plain-clothes men sleuthed the couple for some days after they had returned to the apartment on Seacroft Avenue and this afternoon made the arrests.

The arrest of the flapper bandit . . .

A hot biscuit landed on Herf's paper. He looked up with a start; a darkeyed Jewish girl at the next table was making a face at him. He nodded and took off an imaginary hat. "I thank thee lovely nymph," he said thickly and began eating the biscuit.

"Quit dat djer hear?" the young man who sat beside her, who looked like a prizefighter's trainer, bellowed in her ear.

The people at Herf's table all had their mouths open laughing. He picked up his check, vaguely said good night