Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/288

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276

Manhattan Transfer

"Oh come ahead; we'll put the baby's stuff in the bag while we're warping into the slip,"

They came out on deck into a dazzling September afternoon. The water was greenindigo. A steady wind kept sweeping coils of brown smoke and blobs of whitecotton steam off the high enormous blueindigo arch of sky. Against a sootsmudged horizon, tangled with barges, steamers, chimneys of powerplants, covered wharves, bridges, lower New York was a pink and white tapering pyramid cut slenderly out of cardboard.

"Ellie we ought to have Martin out so he can see."

"And start yelling like a tugboat. . . . He's better off where he is."

They ducked under some ropes, slipped past the rattling steamwinch and out to the bow.

"God Ellie it's the greatest sight in the world. . . . I never thought I'd ever come back, did you?"

"I had every intention of coming back."

"Not like this."

"No I dont suppose I did."

"S'il vous plait madame . . ."

A sailor was motioning them back. Ellen turned her face into the wind to get the coppery whisps of hair out of her eyes. "C'est beau, n'est-ce pas?" She smiled into the wind into the sailor's red face.

"J'aime mieux le Havre . . . S'il vous plait madame."

"Well I'll go down and pack Martin up."

The hard chug, chug of the tugboat coming alongside beat Jimmy's answer out of her ears. She slipped away from him and went down to the cabin again.

They were wedged in the jam of people at the end of the gangplank.

"Look we could wait for a porter," said Ellen.

"No dear I've got them." Jimmy was sweating and staggering with a suitcase in each hand and packages under his arms. In Ellen's arms the baby was cooing stretching tiny spread hands towards the faces all round.

"D'you know it?" said Jimmy as they crossed the gang-