Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/89

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Dollars

77

an th' financial district. . . . Come along Padraic your Uncle Timothy's goin to take ye on th' Ninth Avenoo L."

There were only three people left at the ferrylanding, an old woman with a blue handkerchief on her head and a young woman with a magenta shawl, standing at either end of a big corded trunk studded with brass tacks; and an old man with a greenish stub of a beard and a face lined and twisted like the root of a dead oak. The old woman was whimpering with wet eyes: "Dove andiamo Madonna mia, Madonna mia?" The young woman was unfolding a letter blinking at the ornate writing. Suddenly she went over to the old man, "Non posso leggere," holding out the letter to him. He wrung his hands, letting his head roll back and forth, saying over and over again something she couldn't understand. She shrugged her shoulders and smiled and went back to the trunk. A Sicilian with sideburns was talking to the old woman. He grabbed the trunk by its cord and pulled it over to a spring wagon with a white horse that stood across the street. The two women followed the trunk. The Sicilian held out his hand to the young woman. The old woman still muttering and whimpering hoisted herself painfully onto the back of the wagon. When the Sicilian leaned over to read the letter he nudged the young woman with his shoulder. She stiffened. "Awright," he said. Then as he shook the reins on the horse's back he turned back towards the old woman and shouted, "Cinque le due. . . . Awright."