Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/51

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Metropolis

39

was the beginning . . . socialism failed. It's for the anarchists to strike the next blow. . . . If we fail there will be others. . . ."

Congo yawned, "I am sleepy as a dog."

Outside the lemoncolored dawn was drenching the empty streets, dripping from cornices, from the rails of fire escapes, from the rims of ashcans, shattering the blocks of shadow between buildings. The streetlights were out. At a corner they looked up Broadway that was narrow and scorched as if a fire had gutted it.

"I never see the dawn," said Marco, his voice rattling in his throat, "that I dont say to myself perhaps . . . perhaps today." He cleared his throat and spat against the base of a lamppost; then he moved away from them with his waddling step, taking hard short sniffs of the cool air.

"Is that true, Congo, about shipping again?"

"Why not? Got to see the world a bit. . ."

"I'll miss you. . . . I'll have to find another room."

"You'll find another friend to bunk with."

"But if you do that you'll stay a sailor all your life."

"What does it matter? When you are rich and married I'll come and visit you."

They were walking down Sixth Avenue. An L train roared above their heads leaving a humming rattle to fade among the girders after it had passed.

"Why dont you get another job and stay on a while?"

Congo produced two bent cigarettes out of the breast pocket of his coat, handed one to Emile, struck a match on the seat of his trousers, and let the smoke out slowly through his nose. "I'm fed up with it here I tell you. . . ." He brought his flat hand up across his Adam's apple, "up to here. . . . Maybe I'll go home an visit the little girls of Bordeaux. . . . At least they are not all made of whalebone. . . . I'll engage myself as a volunteer in the navy and wear a red pompom. . . . The girls like that. That's the only life. . . . Get drunk and raise cain payday and see the extreme orient."