Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/87

This page has been validated.

Dollars

75

George, thought you were never comin'. I'm hongry as hell."

"Phil I'm going to set you up to the best lunch you ever ate in your life."

"Well I'm juss waitin' to be set."

Phil Sandbourne put on his coat, knocked the ashes out of his pipe on the corner of a draftingtable, and shouted into a dark inner office, "Goin out to eat, Mr. Specker."

"All right go ahead," replied a goaty quavering from the inner office.

"How's the old man?" asked Baldwin as they went out the door.

"Ole Specker? Bout on his last legs . . . but he's been thataway for years poa ole soul. Honest George I'd feel mighty mean if any thin happened to poa ole Specker. . . . He's the only honest man in the city of New York, an he's got a head on his shoulders too."

"He's never made anything much by it," said Baldwin.

"He may yet. . . . He may yet. . . . Man you ought to see his plans for allsteel buildins. He's got an idea the skyscraper of the future'll be built of steel and glass. We've been experimenting with vitrous tile recently. . . . cristamighty some of his plans would knock yer eye out. . . . He's got a great sayin about some Roman emperor who found Rome of brick and left it of marble. Well he says he's found New York of brick an that he's goin to leave it of steel . . . steel an glass. I'll have to show you his project for a rebuilt city. It's some pipedream."

They settled on a cushioned bench in the corner of the restaurant that smelled of steak and the grill. Sandbourne stretched his legs out under the table.

"Wow this is luxury," he said.

"Phil let's have a cocktail," said Baldwin from behind the bill of fare. "I tell you Phil, it's the first five years that's the hardest."

"You needn't worry George, you're the hustlin kind. . . . I'm the ole stick in the mud."