Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/389

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The Burthen of Nineveh

377

count, here's my card. . . . I'll be having quite a lot of things sent." And to herself she said all the while: Ridiculous how I've been going round in rags all winter. . . . When the bill comes Roy'11 have to find some way of paying it that's all. Time he stopped mooning round anyway. I've paid enough bills for him in my time, God knows." Then she started looking at fleshcolored silk stockings. She left the store her head still in a whirl of long vistas of counters in a violet electric haze, of braided embroidery and tassles and nasturtiumtinted silks; she had ordered two summer dresses and an evening wrap.

At Maillard's she met a tall blond Englishman with a coneshaped head and pointed wisps of towcolored mustaches under his long nose.

"Oh Buck I'm having the grandest time. I've been going berserk in Lord & Taylor's. Do you know that it must be a year and a half since I've bought any clothes?"

"Poor old thing," he said as he motioned her to a table. "Tell me about it."

She let herself flop into a chair suddenly whimpering, "Oh Buck I'm so tired of it all. . . . I dont know how much longer I can stand it."

"Well you cant blame me. . . . You know what I want you to do. . . ."

"Well suppose I did?"

"It'd be topping, we'd hit it off like anything. . . . But you must have a bit of beef tea or something. You need picking up." She giggled. "You old dear that's just what I do need."

"Well how about making tracks for Calgary? I know a fellow there who'll give me a job I think."

"Oh let's go right away. I dont care about clothes or anything. . . . Roy can send those things back to Lord & Taylor's. . . . Got any money Buck?"

A flush started on his cheekbones and spread over his temples to his flat irregular ears. "I confess, Al darling, that I havent a penny. I can pay for lunch."