Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/394

This page has been validated.

382

Manhattan Transfer

Jimmy Herf stepped out from in front of the truck; the mudguard just grazed the skirt of his raincoat. He stood a moment behind an L stanchion while the icicle thawed out of his spine. The door of a limousine suddenly opened in front of him and he heard a familiar voice that he couldnt place.

"Jump in Meester 'Erf. . . . Can I take you somewhere?" As he stepped in mechanically he noticed that he was stepping into a Rolls-Royce.

The stout red faced man in a derby hat was Congo. "Sit down Meester 'Erf. . . . Very pleas' to see you. Where were you going?"

"I wasnt going anywhere in particular." "Come up to the house, I want to show you someting. Ow are you today?"

"Oh fine; no I mean I'm in a rotten mess, but it's all the same."

"Tomorrow maybe I go to jail . . . six mont' . . . but maybe not." Congo laughed in his throat and straightened carefully his artificial leg.

"So they've nailed you at last, Congo?"

"Conspiracy. . . . But no more Congo Jake, Meester 'Erf. Call me Armand. I'm married now; Armand Duval, Park Avenue."

"How about the Marquis des Coulommiers?"

"That's just for the trade."

"So things look pretty good do they?"

Congo nodded. "If I go to Atlanta which I 'ope not, in six mont' I come out of jail a millionaire. . . . Meester 'Erf if you need money, juss say the word. . . . I lend you tousand dollars. In five years even you pay it back. I know you."

"Thanks, it's not exactly money I need, that's the hell of it."

"How's your wife? . . . She's so beautiful."

"We're getting a divorce. . . . She served the papers on me this morning. . . . That's all I was waiting in this goddam town for."