Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/69

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Dollars

57

The baby was asleep, her Httle rubbery face tight closed, minute pink fists clenched on the coverlet.

"She looks happy," he said with a forced titter.

"Keep quiet cant you. . . . Here take yer shoes off. . . . There's been enough trampin o men's shoes up here. . . . Georgy I wouldn't do this, but I juss cant help. . . ."

He fumbled for her in the dark. "You darling. . . ." Clumsy he brooded over her, breathing crazily deep.

"Flatfoot you're stringin us. . . ."

"I aint, honest I'd swear by me muder's grave it's de trutt. . . . Latitude toityseven soutt by twelve west. . . . You go dere an see. . . . On dat island we made in de second officer's boat when de Elliot P. Simkins foundered der was four males and fortyseven females includin women an children. Waren't it me dat tole de reporter guy all about it an it came out in all de Sunday papers?"

"But Flatfoot how the hell did they ever get you away from there?"

"Dey carried me off on a stretcher or I'm a cockeyed lyer. I'll be a sonofabitch if I warnt founderin, goin down by de bows like de ole Elliot P."

Heads tossed back on thick necks let out volleys of laughter, glasses were banged on the round ringmarked table, thighs resounded with slaps, elbows were poked into ribs.

"An how many guys was in de boat?"

"Six includin Mr. Dorkins de second officer."

"Seven and four makes eleven. . . . Jez. . . . Four an three-elevenths broads per capita. . . . Some island."

"When does the next ferry leave?"

"Better have another drink on that. . . . Hay Charlie fill 'em up."

Emile pulled at Congo's elbow. "Come outside a sec, J'ai que'quechose a te dire." Congo's eyes were wet, he staggered a little as he followed Emile into the outer bar. "O le p'tit mysterieux."