Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/294

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Manhattan Transfer

"Hell Sarge we got the experience."

"Experience . . ."

Apres la guerre finee
Back to the States for me. . . .

"I bet the skipper's been drinkin beaucoup highballs an thinks Brooklyn's Hoboken."

"Well there's Wall Street, bo."

They are passing under Brooklyn Bridge. There is a humming whine of electric trains over their heads, an occasional violet flash from the wet rails. Behind them beyond barges tugboats carferries the tall buildings, streaked white with whisps of steam and mist, tower gray into sagged clouds.

Nobody said anything while they ate the soup. Mrs. Merivale sat in black at the head of the oval table looking out through the half drawn portieres and the drawingroom window beyond at a column of white smoke that uncoiled in the sunlight above the trainyards, remembering her husband and how they had come years ago to look at the apartment in the unfinished house that smelled of plaster and paint. At last when she had finished her soup she roused herself and said: "Well Jimmy, are you going back to newspaper work?"

"I guess so."

"James has had three jobs offered him already. I think it's remarkable."

"I guess I'll go in with the Major though," said James Merivale to Ellen who sat next to him. "Major Goodyear you know. Cousin Helena. . . . One of the Buffalo Goodyears. He's head of the foreign exchange department of the Banker's Trust. . . . He says he can work me up quickly. We were friends overseas."

"That'll be wonderful," said Maisie in a cooing voice, "wont it Jimmy?" She sat opposite slender and rosy in her black dress.