Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/43

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end of the table . . . "It's terrible, Colonel, the way Gilly gets blasphemous when he's been drinking. . ."

The Colonel was meticulously rolling the tinfoil off a cigar. "Dear me, you dont say?" he drawled. Above the bristly gray mustache his face was expressionless. "There's a most dreadful story about poor old Atkins, Elliott Atkins who used to be with Mansfield. . ."

"Indeed?" said the Colonel icily as he slit the end of the cigar with a small pearlhandled penknife.

"Say Chester did you hear that Mabie Evans was making a hit?"

"Honestly Olga I dont see how she does it. She has no figure. . ."

"Well he made a speech, drunk as a lord you understand, one night when they were barnstorming in Kansas. . ."

"She cant sing. . ."

"The poor fellow never did go very strong in the bright lights. . ."

"She hasnt the slightest particle of figure. . ."

"And made a sort of Bob Ingersoll speech. . ."

"The dear old feller. . . . Ah I knew him well out in Chicago in the old days. . ."

"You dont say." The Colonel held a lighted match carefully to the end of his cigar. . .

"And there was a terrible flash of lightning and a ball of fire came in one window and went out the other."

"Was he . . . er . . . killed?" The Colonel sent a blue puff of smoke towards the ceiling.

"What, did you say Bob Ingersoll had been struck by lightning?" cried Olga shrilly. "Serve him right the horrid atheist."

"No not exactly, but it scared him into a realization of the important things of life and now he's joined the Methodist church."

"Funny how many actors get to be ministers."

"Cant get an audience any other way," creaked the man with the diamond stud.

The two waiters hovered outside the door listening to