Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/382

This page has been validated.

370

Manhattan Transfer

and walked out. The clock over the cashier's desk said three o'clock. Outside a rowdy scattering of people still milled about Columbus Circle. A smell of rainy pavements mingled with the exhausts of cars and occasionally there was a whiff of wet earth and sprouting grass from the Park. He stood a long time on the corner not knowing which way to go. These nights he hated to go home. He felt vaguely sorry that the Flapper Bandit and her pal had been arrested. He wished they could have escaped. He had looked forward to reading their exploits every day in the papers. Poor devils, he thought. And with a newborn baby too.

Meanwhile a rumpus had started behind him in Child's. He went back and looked through the window across the griddle where sizzled three abandoned buttercakes. The waiters were struggling to eject a tall man in a dress suit. The thick jawed friend of the Jewish girl who had thrown the biscuit was being held back by his friends. Then the bouncer elbowed his way through the crowd. He was a small broadshouldered man with deepset tired monkey eyes. Calmly and without enthusiasm he took hold of the tall man. In a flash he had him shooting through the door. Out on the pavement the tall man looked about him dazedly and tried to straighten his collar. At that moment a policewagon drove up jingling. Two policemen jumped out and quickly arrested three Italians who stood chatting quietly on the corner. Herf and the tall man in the dress suit looked at each other, almost spoke and walked off greatly sobered in opposite directions.