Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/42

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Manhattan Transfer

"This here's the fanciest cookin I ever put in my mouth. . . . D'ye know young leddy, I dont come to this town often. . . . He gulped down the rest of his glass. An when I do I usually go away kinder disgusted. . . ." His look bright and feverish from the champagne explored the contours of her neck and shoulders and roamed down a bare arm. "But this time I kinder think. . . ."

"It must be a great life prospecting," she interrupted flushing.

"It was a great life in the old days, a rough life but a man's life. . . . I'm glad I made my pile in the old days. . . . Wouldnt have the same luck now."

She looked up at him. "How modest you are to call it luck."

Emile was standing outside the door of the private room. There was nothing more to serve. The redhaired girl from the cloakroom walked by with a big flounced cape on her arm. He smiled, tried to catch her eye. She sniffed and tossed her nose in the air. Wont look at me because I'm a waiter. When I make some money I'll show 'em.

"Dis; tella Charlie two more bottle Moet and Chandon, Gout Americain," came the old waiter's hissing voice in his ear.

The moonfaced man was on his feet. "Ladies and Gentlemen. . . ."

"Silence in the pigsty . . ." piped up a voice.

"The big sow wants to talk," said Olga under her breath.

"Ladies and gentlemen owing to the unfortunate absence of our star of Bethlehem and fulltime act. . . ."

"Gilly dont blaspheme," said the lady with the tiara.

"Ladies and gentlemen, unaccustomed as I am. . . ."

"Gilly you're drunk."

". . . Whether the tide . . . I mean whether the waters be with us or against us. . ."

Somebody yanked at his coat-tails and the moonfaced man sat down suddenly in his chair.

"It's terrible," said the lady in the tiara addressing herself to a man with a long face the color of tobacco who sat at the