Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/67

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Dollars

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of the kidnapper of the Black Watch, big smelly man of the Black Watch with a patch over his eye. She's scared to run. Her heavy feet scrape on the asphalt as she tries to run fast down the path. She's scared to turn her head. The kidnapper of the Black Watch is right behind. When I get to the lamppost I'll run as far as the nurse and the baby, when I get to the nurse and the baby I'll run as far as the big tree, when I get to the big tree. . . . Oh I'm so tired. . . . I'll run out onto Central Park West and down the street home. She was scared to turn round. She ran with a stitch in her side. She ran till her mouth tasted like pennies.

"What are you running for Ellie?" asked Gloria Drayton who was skipping rope outside the Norelands.

"Because I wanted to," panted Ellen.

Winey afterglow stained the muslin curtains and filtered into the blue gloom of the room. They stood on either side of the table. Out of a pot of narcissus still wrapped in tissue paper starshaped flowers gleamed with dim phosphorescence, giving off a damp earthsmell enmeshed in indolent prickly perfume.

"It was nice of you to bring me these Mr. Baldwin. I'll take them up to Gus at the hospital tomorrow."

"For God's sake dont call me that."

"But I dont like the name of George."

"I dont care, I like your name, Nellie."

He stood looking at her; perfumed weights coiled about his arms. His hands dangled like empty gloves. Her eyes were black, dilating, her lips pouting towards him across the flowers. She jerked her hands up to cover her face. His arm was round her little thin shoulders.

"But honest Georgy, we've got to be careful. You mustn't come here so often. I dont want all the old hens in the house to start talkin."