Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/409

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The Burthen of Nineveh


She was looking at herself in the tall pierglass. Then my figure'll go, the menopause haunting beauty parlors, packed in boncilla, having your face raised.

"Regardez-moi ça, cherrie;" said the dressmaker getting to her feet and taking the pins out of her mouth "C'est le chef-dœuvre de la maison Soubrine."

Ellen suddenly felt hot, tangled in some prickly web, a horrible stuffiness of dyed silks and crêpes and muslins was making her head ache; she was anxious to be out on the street again.

"I smell smoke, there's something the matter," the blond girl suddenly cried out. "Sh-sh-sh," hissed Madame Soubrine. They both disappeared through a mirrorcovered door. Under a skylight in the back room of Soubrine's Anna Cohen sits sewing the trimming on a dress with swift tiny stitches. On the table in front of her a great pile of tulle rises full of light like beaten white of egg. Charley my boy. Oh CImrley my boy, she hums, stitching the future with swift tiny stitches. If Elmer wants to marry me we might as well; poor Elmer, he's a nice boy but so dreamy. Funny he'd fall for a girl like me. He'll grow out of it, or maybe in the Revolution, he'll be a great man. . . . Have to cut out parties when I'm Elmer's wife. But maybe we can save up money and open a little store on Avenue A in a good location, make better money there than uptown. La Parisienne, Modes.

I bet I could do as good as that old bitch. If you was your own boss there wouldn't be this fightin about strikers and scabs. . . . Equal Opportunity for All. Elmer says that's all applesauce. No hope for the workers but in the Revolution. Oh I'm juss wild about Harree, And Harry's juss wild about me. . . . Elmer in a telephone central in a dinnercoat, with eartabs, tall as Valentino, strong as Doug. The Revolution is declared. The Red Guard is marching up Fifth Avenue. Anna in golden curls with a little kitten under her arm leans with him out of the tallest window. White tumbler pigeons flutter against the city below them. Fifth Avenue bleeding red flags, glittering with marching