Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/396

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Manhattan Transfer

who's just been appointed District Attorney. They're said to be grooming him for mayor on a fusion reform ticket. . . . The delusion of power, that's what's biting him. Women fall for it like hell. If I thought it'd be any good to me I swear I've got the energy to sit up and make a million dollars. But I get no organic sensation out of that stuff any more. I've got to have something new, different. . . . Your sons'll be like that Congo. . . . If I'd had a decent education and started soon enough I might have been a great scientist. If I'd been a little more highly sexed I might have been an artist or gone in for religion. . . . But here I am by Jesus Christ almost thirty years old and very anxious to live. . . . If I were sufficiently romantic I suppose I'd have killed myself long ago just to make people talk about me. I havent even got the conviction to make a successful drunkard."

"Looks like," said Congo filling the little glasses again with a slow smile, "Meester 'Erf you tink too much."

"Of course I do Congo, of course I do, but what the hell am I going to do about it?"

"Well when you need a little money remember Armand Duval. . . . Want a chaser?"

Herf shook his head. "I've got to chase myself. . . . So long Armand."

In the colonnaded marble hall he ran into Nevada Jones. She was wearing orchids. "Hullo Nevada, what are you doing in this palace of sin?"

"I live here, what do you think? . . . I married a friend of yours the other day, Armand Duval. Want to come up and see him?"

"Just been. . . . He's a good scout."

"He sure is."

"What did you do with little Tony Hunter?"

She came close to him and spoke in a low voice. "Just forget about me and him will you? . . . Gawd the boy's breath'd knock you down. . . . Tony's one of God's mistakes, I'm through with him. . . . Found him chewing the edges of the rug rolling on the floor of the dressing room one day because he was afraid he was going to be unfaithful