Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/397

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The Burthen of Nineveh

385

to me with an acrobat. . . . I told him he'd better go and be it and we busted up right there. . . . But honest I'm out for connubial bliss this time, right on the level, so for God's sake dont let anybody spring anything about Tony or about Baldwin either on Armand . . . though he knows he wasnt hitching up to any plaster virgin. . . . Why dont you come up and eat with us?"

"I cant. Good luck Nevada." The whisky warm in his stomach, tingling in his fingers, Jimmy Herf stepped out into seven o'clock Park Avenue, whirring with taxicabs, streaked with smells of gasoline and restaurants and twilight.

It was the first evening James Merivale had gone to the Metropolitan Club since he had been put up for it; he had been afraid, that like carrying a cane, it was a little old for him. He sat in a deep leather chair by a window smoking a thirty-five cent cigar with the Wall Street Journal on his knee and a copy of the Cosmopolitan leaning against his right thigh and, with his eyes on the night flawed with lights like a crystal, he abandoned himself to reverie: Economic Depression. . . . Ten million dollars. . . . After the war slump. Some smash I'll tell the world, blackhead & densch fail for $10,000,000. . . . Densch left the country some days ago. . . . Blackhead incommunicado in his home at Great Neck. One of the oldest and most respected import and export firms in New York, $10,000,000. O it's always fair weather When good fellows get together. That's the thing about banking. Even in a deficit there's money to be handled, collateral. These commercial propositions always entail a margin of risk. We get 'em coming or else we get 'em going, eh Merivale? That's what old Perkins said when Cunningham mixed him that Jack Rose. . . . With a stein on the tabul And a good song ri-i-inging clear. Good connection that feller. Maisie knew what she was doing after all. . . . A man in a position like that's always likely to be blackmailed. A fool not to prosecute. . . . Girl's crazy he