Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/65

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Dollars

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of the Eleventh Avenue tracks. ... I think this is a most favorable moment."

"Say do you always talk like that, or is it just business?"

He threw back his head and laughed.

"Poor old Gus, I always said he had a streak of luck in him."

The wail of a child crept thinly through the partition into the room.

"What's that?"

"It's only the baby. . . . The little wretch dont do nothin but squall."

"So you've got children Mrs. McNiel?" The thought chilled him somehow.

"Juss one . . . what kin ye expect?"

"Is it the Emergency Hospital?"

"Yes I reckon they'll let you see him as it's a matter of business. He's groanin somethin dreadful."

"Now if I could get a few good witnesses."

"Mike Doheny seen it all. . . . He's on the force. He's a good frien of Gus's."

"By gad we've got a case and a half. . . . Why they'll settle out of court. . . . I'll go right up to the hospital."

A fresh volley of wails came from the other room.

"Oh, that brat," she whispered, screwing up her face.

"We could use the money all right Mr. Baldwin. . . ."

"Well I must go." He picked up his hat. "And I certainly will do my best in this case. May I come by and report progress to you from time to time?"

"I hope you will."

When they shook hands at the door he couldn't seem to let go her hand. She blushed.

"Well goodby and thank you very much for callin," she said stiffly.

Baldwin staggered dizzily down the stairs. His head was full of blood. The most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life. Outside it had begun to snow. The snowflakes were cold furtive caresses to his hot cheeks.