Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/79

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and the little brown animal with red eyes and teeth that are real teeth round her neck. A smell of mothballs comes from it, of unpacking trunks, of wardrobes littered with tissue-paper. It's hot in the dining saloon, the engines sob soothingly behind the bulkhead. His head nods over his cup of hot milk just colored with coffee. Three bells. His head snaps up with a start. The dishes tinkle and the coffee spills with the trembling of the ship. Then a thud and rattle of anchorchains and gradually quiet. Muddy gets up to look through the porthole.

"Why it's going to be a fine day after all. I think the sun will burn through the mist. . . . Think of it dear; home at last. This is where you were born deary."

"And it's the Fourth of July."

"Worst luck. . . . Now Jimmy you must promise me to stay on the promenade deck and be very careful. Mother has to finish packing. Promise me you wont get into any mischief."

"I promise."

He catches his toe on the brass threshold of the smoking-room door and sprawls on deck, gets up rubbing his bare knee just in time to see the sun break through chocolate clouds and swash a red stream of brightness over the putty-colored water. Billy with the freckles on his ears whose people are for Roosevelt instead of for Parker like mother is waving a silk flag the size of a handkerchief at the men on a yellow and white tugboat.

"Didjer see the sun rise?" he asks as if he owned it.

"You bet I saw it from my porthole," says Jimmy walking away after a lingering look at the silk flag. There's land close on the other side; nearest a green bank with trees and wide white grayroofed houses.

"Well young feller, how does it feel to be home?" asks the tweedy gentleman with droopy mustaches.

"Is that way New York?" Jimmy points out over the still water broadening in the sunlight.

"Yessiree-bobby, behind yonder bank of fog lies Manhattan."