Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/47

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"Would you indeed? . . . Now that's very nice."

The long ash dropped from the Colonel's cigar; he got to his feet. "Now Fifi, I'll call a cab and we'll go for a ride in the Park. . . ."

She drank down her champagne and nodded brightly. "Dear me it's four o'clock. . . ." "You have the proper wraps haven't you?"

She nodded again.

"Splendid Fifi . . . I say you are in form." The Colonel's cigarcolored face was unraveling in smiles. "Well, come along."

She looked about her in a dazed way. "Didnt I come with somebody?"

"Quite unnecessary!"

In the hall they came upon the fair young man quietly vomiting into a firebucket under an artificial palm.

"Oh let's leave him," she said wrinkling up her nose.

"Quite unnecessary," said the Colonel.

Emile brought their wraps. The redhaired girl had gone home.

"Look here, boy." The Colonel waved his cane. "Call me a cab please. . . . Be sure the horse is decent and the driver is sober."

"De suite monsieur."

The sky beyond roofs and chimneys was the blue of a sapphire. The Colonel took three or four deep sniffs of the dawnsmelling air and threw his cigar into the gutter. "Suppose we have a bit of breakfast at Cleremont. I haven't had anything fit to eat all night. That beastly sweet champagne, ugh!"

Fifi giggled. After the Colonel had examined the horse's fetlocks and patted his head, they climbed into the cab. The Colonel fitted in Fifi carefully under his arm and they drove off. Emile stood a second in the door of the restaurant uncrumpling a five dollar bill. He was tired and his insteps ached.

When Emile came out of the back door of the restaurant he found Congo waiting for him sitting on the doorstep.