Студопедия

КАТЕГОРИИ:

АвтомобилиАстрономияБиологияГеографияДом и садДругие языкиДругоеИнформатикаИсторияКультураЛитератураЛогикаМатематикаМедицинаМеталлургияМеханикаОбразованиеОхрана трудаПедагогикаПолитикаПравоПсихологияРелигияРиторикаСоциологияСпортСтроительствоТехнологияТуризмФизикаФилософияФинансыХимияЧерчениеЭкологияЭкономикаЭлектроника



NEWSREEL XXX 5 страница

Читайте также:
  1. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 1 страница
  2. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 10 страница
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 11 страница
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 12 страница
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 13 страница
  6. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 14 страница
  7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 15 страница
  8. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 16 страница
  9. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 2 страница
  10. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 3 страница

 

Meanwhile Paul and Mr. Rasmussen had picked up
their bags. "Honestly, we'd better make tracks," said
Paul, nervously jiggling Eveline's suitcase. "It's about
traintime." They all scampered through the station. Jerry
Burnham had forgotten to buy a ticket and couldn't go
out on the platform; they left him arguing with the officials
and searching his pockets for his presscard. Paul put the
bags in the compartment and shook hands hurriedly with
Eleanor. Eveline found his eyes in hers serious and hurt
like a dog's eyes.

 

"You won't stay too long, will you? There's not much
time left," he said. Eveline felt she'd like to kiss him,
but the train was starting. Paul scrambled off. All Mr.
Rasmussen could do was hand some papers and Jerry's
roses through the window and wave his hat mournfully
from the platform. It was a relief the train had started.

 

-307-

 

Eleanor was leaning back against the cushions laughing
and laughing.

 

"I declare, Eveline. You're too funny with your
Romeos." Eveline couldn't help laughing herself. She
leaned over and patted Eleanor on the shoulder. "Let's
just have a wonderful time," she said.

 

Next morning early when Eveline woke up and looked
out they were in the station at Marseilles. It gave her a
funny feeling because she'd wanted to stop off there and
see the town, but Eleanor had insisted on going straight
to Nice, she hated the sordidness of seaports she'd said.
But later when they had their coffee in the diner, looking
out at the pines and the dry hills and headlands cutting out
blue patches of the Mediterranean, Eveline felt excited and
happy again.

 

They got a good room in a hotel and walked through
the streets in the cool sunshine among the wounded sol-
diers and officers of all the allied armies and strolled along
the Promenade des Anglais under the grey palmtrees and
gradually Eveline began to feel a chilly feeling of dis-
appointment coming over her. Here was her two weeks
leave and she was going to waste it at Nice. Eleanor kept
on being crisp and cheerful and suggested they sit down
in the big café on the square where a brass band was play-
ing and have a little dubonnet before lunch. After they'd
sat there for some time, looking at the uniforms and the
quantities of overdressed women who were no better than
they should be, Eveline leaned back in her chair and said,
"And now that we're here, darling, what on earth shall
we do?"



 

The next morning Eveline woke late; she almost hated
to get up as she couldn't imagine how she was going to
pass the time all day. As she lay there looking at the stripes
of sunlight on the wall that came through the shutters,
she heard a man's voice in the adjoining room, that was
Eleanor's. Eveline stiffened and listened. It was J.W.'s

 

-308-

 

voice. When she got up and dressed she found her heart
was pounding. She was pulling on her best pair of trans-
parent black silk stockings when Eleanor came in, "Who
do you think's turned up? J.W. just motored down to see
me off to Italy . . . He said it was getting too stuffy for
him around the Peace Conference and he had to get a
change of air . . . Come on in, Eveline, dear, and have
some coffee with us."



 

She can't keep the triumph out of her voice, aren't
women silly, thought Eveline. "That's lovely, I'll be
right in, darling," she said in her most musical tones.

 

J.W. had on a light grey flannel suit and a bright blue
necktie and his face was pink from the long ride. He was
in fine spirits. He'd driven down from Paris in fifteen
hours with only four hours sleep after dinner in Lyons.
They all drank a great deal of bitter coffee with hot milk
and planned out a ride.

 

It Was a fine day. The big Packard car rolled them
smoothly along the Corniche. They lunched at Monte
Carlo, took a look at the casino in the afternoon and went
on and had tea in an English tearoom in Mentone. Next
day they went up to Grasse and saw the perfume factories,
and the day after they put Eleanor on the rapide for
Rome. J.W. was to leave immediately afterwards to go
back to Paris. Eleanor's thin white face looked a little
forlorn Eveline thought, looking out at them through the
window of the wagonlit. When the train pulled out Eveline
and J.W. stood on the platform in the empty station with
the smoke swirling milky with sunlight under the glass
roof overhead and looked at each other with a certain
amount of constraint. "She's a great little girl," said J.W.
"I'm very fond of her," said Eveline. Her voice rang
false in her ears. "I wish we were going with her."

 

They walked back out to the car. "Where can I take
you, Eveline, before I pull out, back to the hotel?" Eve-
line's heart was pounding again. "Suppose we have a little

 

-309-

 

lunch before you go, let me invite you to lunch." "That's
very nice of you . . . well, I suppose I might as well,
I've got to lunch somewhere. And there's no place fit for
a white man between here and Lyons."

 

They lunched at the casino over the water. The sea
was very blue. Outside there were three sailboats with
lateen sails making for the entrance to the port. It was
warm and jolly, smelt of wine and food sizzled in butter
in the glassedin restaurant. Eveline began to like it in
Nice.

 

J.W. drank more wine than he usually did. He began
to talk about his boyhood in Wilmington and even
hummed a little of a song he'd written in the old days.
Eveline was thrilled. Then he began to tell her about
Pittsburgh and his ideas about capital and labor. For des-
sert they had peaches flambé with rum; Eveline recklessly
ordered a bottle of champagne. They were getting along
famously.

 

They began to talk about Eleanor. Eveline told about
how she'd met Eleanor in the Art Institute and how
Eleanor had meant everything to her in Chicago, the only
girl she'd ever met who was really interested in the things
she was interested in, and how much talent Eleanor had,
and how much business ability. J.W. told about how much
she'd meant to him during the trying years with his second
wife Gertrude in New York, and how people had mis-
understood their beautiful friendship that had been always
free from the sensual and the degrading.

 

"Really," said Eveline, looking J.W. suddenly straight
in the eye, "I'd always thought you and Eleanor were
lovers." J.W. blushed. For a second Eveline was afraid
she'd shocked him. He wrinkled up the skin around his
eyes in a comical boyish way. "No, honestly not . . . I've
been too busy working all my life ever to develop that
side of my nature . . . People think differently about
those things than they did." Eveline nodded. The deep

 

-310-

 

flush on his face seemed to have set her cheeks on fire.
"And now," J.W. went on, shaking his head gloomily,
"I'm in my forties and it's too late."

 

"Why too late?"

 

Eveline sat looking at him with her lips a little apart,
her cheeks blazing. "Maybe it's taken the war to teach
us how to live," he said. "We've been too much interested
in money and material things, it's taken the French to show
us how to live. Where back home in the States could you
find a beautiful atmosphere like this?" J.W. waved his
arm to include in a sweeping gesture the sea, the tables
crowded with women dressed in bright colors and men in
their best uniforms, the bright glint of blue light on glasses
and cutlery. The waiter mistook his gesture and slyly sub-
stituted a full bottle for the empty bottle in the cham-
pagnepail.

 

"By golly, Eveline, you've been so charming, you've
made me forget the time and going back to Paris and
everything. This is the sort of thing I've missed all my
life until I met you and Eleanor . . . of course with
Eleanor it's been all on the higher plane . . . Let's take
a drink to Eleanor . . . beautiful talented Eleanor . . .
Eveline, women have been a great inspiration to me all
my life, lovely charming delicate women. Many of my
best ideas have come from women, not directly, you
understand, but through the mental stimulation . . .
People don't understand me, Eveline, some of the news-
paper boys particularly have written some very hard things
about me . . . why, I'm an old newspaper man myself
. . . Eveline, permit me to say that you look so charming
and understanding . . . this illness of my wife . . . poor
Gertrude . . . I'm afraid she'll never be herself again.
. . . You see, it's put me in a most disagreeable position,
if some member of her family is appointed guardian it
might mean that the considerable sum of money invested
by the Staple family in my business, would be withdrawn

 

-311-

 

make the customers dance and then using the place for a
shooting gallery. "The shooting gallery, that's what they
call congress here," said Mac. Barrow said he was going
to a meeting of the Union Nacional de Trabajadores that
afternoon and would they mind going with him to inter-
pret for him. It was Mac's day off so they said, "All
right." He said he'd been instructed to try to make con-
tacts with stable labor elements in Mexico with the hope
of joining them up with the Pan-American Federation of
Labor. Gompers would come down himself if something
could be lined up. He said he'd been a shipping clerk and
a Pullman conductor and had been in the office of the
Railroad Brotherhood, but now he was working for the
A. F. of L. He wished American workers had more ideas
about the art of life. He'd been at the Second International
meetings at Amsterdam and felt the European workers
understood the art of life. When Mac asked him why the
hell the Second International hadn't done something to
stop the World War, he said the time wasn't ripe yet and
spoke about German atrocities.

 

"The German atrocities are a Sundayschool picnic to
what goes on every day in Mexico," said Ben. Then Bar-
row went to ask whether Mexicans were as immoral as it
was made out. The beer they were drinking with their
lunch was pretty strong and they all loosened up a little.
Barrow wanted to know whether it wasn't pretty risky
going out with girls here on account of the high percent-
age of syphilis. Mac said yes, but that he and Ben could
show him some places that were all right if he wanted to
look 'em over. Barrow tittered and looked embarrassed
and said he'd just as soon look 'em over. "A man ought to
see every side of things when he's investigating condi-
tions." Ben Stowell slapped his hand on the edge of the
table and said that Mac was just the man to show him
the backside of Mexico.

 

They went to the meeting that was crowded with

 

-312-

 

slender dark men in blue denim. At first they couldn't
get in on account of the crowd packed in the aisles and
in the back of the hall, but Mac found an official he knew
who gave them seats in a box. The hall was very stuffy
and the band played and there was singing and the
speeches were very long. Barrow said listening to a for-
eign language made him sleepy, and suggested that they
walk around town; he'd heard that the red light district
was . . . he was interested in conditions.

 

Outside the hall they ran across Enrique Salvador, a
newspaperman that Ben knew. He had a car and a chauf-
feur. He shook hands and laughed and said the car be-
longed to the chief of police who was a friend of his and
wouldn't they like to ride out to San Angel? They, went
out the long avenue past Chapultepec, the Champs Elysées
of Mexico, Salvador called it. Near Tacubaya Salvador
pointed out the spot where Carranza's troops had had a
skirmish with the Zapatistas the week before and a corner
where a rich clothing merchant had been murdered by
bandits, and G. H. Barrow kept asking was it quite safe
to go so far out in the country, and Salvador said, "I am
a newspaperman. I am everybody's friend."

 

Out at San Angel they had some drinks and when they
got back to the city they drove round the Pajaritos district.
G. H. Barrow got very quiet and his eyes got a watery
look when he saw the little lighted cribhouses, each one
with a bed and some paperflowers and a crucifix that you
could see through the open door, past a red or blue cur-
tain, and the dark quiet Indian girls in short chemises
standing outside their doors or sitting on the sill.

 

"You see," said Ben Stowell, "it's easy as rolling off
a log . . . But I don't advise you to get too careless
round here . . . Salvador'll show us a good joint after
supper. He ought to know because he's a friend of the
chief of police and he runs most of them."

 

But Barrow wanted to go into one of the cribs so they

 

-313-

 

got out and talked to one of the girls and Salvador sent
the chauffeur to get a couple of bottles of beer. The girl
received them very politely and Barrow tried to get Mac
to ask her questions, but Mac didn't like asking her ques-
tions so he let Salvador do it. When G. H. Barrow put
his hand on her bare shoulder and tried to pull her chemise
off and asked how much did she want to let him see her
all naked, the girl didn't understand and tore herself
away from him and yelled and cursed at him and Salvador
wouldn't translate what she said. "Let's get this bastard
outa here," said Ben in a low voice to Mac, "before we
have to get in a fight or somethin'."

 

They had a tequila each before dinner at a little bar
where nothing was sold but tequila out of varnished kegs.
Salvador showed G. H. Barrow how to drink it, first
putting salt on the hollow between his thumb and fore-
finger and then gulping the little glass of tequila, licking
up the salt and swallowing some chile sauce to finish up
with, but he got it down the wrong way and choked.

 

At supper they were pretty drunk and G. H. Barrow
kept saying that Mexicans understood the art of life and
that was meat for Salvador who talked about the Indian
genius and the Latin genius and said that Mac and Ben
were the only gringos he ever met he could get along
with, and insisted on their not paying for their meal. He'd
charge it to his friend the chief of police. Next they went
to a cantina beside a theater where there were said to be
French girls, but the French girls weren't there. There
were three old men in the cantina playing a cello, a violin
and a piccolo. Salvador made them play La Adelita and
everybody sang it and then La Cucaracha. There was an
old man in a broadbrimmed hat with a huge shiny pistol-
holster on his back, who drank up his drink quickly when
they came in and left the bar. Salvador whispered to Mac
that he was General Gonzales and had left in order not
to be seen drinking with gringos.

 

-314-

 

Ben and Barrow sat with their heads together at a
table in the corner talking about the oil business. Barrow
was saying that there was an investigator for certain oil
interests coming down; he'd be at the Regis almost any
day now and Ben was saying he wanted to meet him and
Barrow put his arm around his shoulder and said he was
sure Ben was just the man this investigator would want
to meet to get an actual working knowledge of conditions.
Meanwhile Mac and Salvador were dancing the Cuban
danzon with the girls. Then Barrow got to his feet a little
unsteadily and said he didn't want to wait for the French
girls but why not go to that place where they'd been and
try some of the dark meat, but Salvador insisted on taking
them to the house of Remedios near the American em-
bassy. "Quelquecosa de chic," he'd say in bad French. It
was a big house with a marble stairway and crystal chande-
liers and salmonbrocaded draperies and lace curtains and
mirrors everywhere. "Personne que les henerales vieng
aqui," he said when he'd introduced them to the madam,
who was a darkeyed grayhaired woman in black with a
black shawl who looked rather like a nun. There was only
one girl left unoccupied so they fixed up Barrow with
her and arranged about the price and left him. "Whew,
that's a relief" said Ben when they came out. The air
was cold and the sky was all stars.

 

Salvador had made the three old men with their instru-
ments get into the back of the car and said he felt romantic
and wanted to serenade his novia and they went out to-
wards Guadalupe speeding like mad along the broad cause-
way. Mac and the chauffeur and Ben and Salvador and
the three old men singing La Adelita and the instruments
chirping all off key. In Guadalupe they stopped under
some buttonball trees against the wall of a house with big
grated windows and sang Cielito lindo and La Adelita
and Cuatro mil pas, and Ben and Mac sang Just to keep
her from the foggy foggy dew and were just starting Oh, -bury me not on the lone prairie

 

-315-

 

bury me not on the lone prairie when a girl came to the
window and talked a long time in low Spanish to Sal-
vador.

 

Salvador said, "Ella dit que nous make escandalo and
must go away. Très chic."

 

By that time a patrol of soldiers had come up and were
about to arrest them all when the officer arrived and rec-
ognized the car and Salvador and took them to have a
drink with him at his billet. When they all got home to
Mac's place they were very drunk. Concha, whose face
was drawn from waiting up, made up a mattress for Ben
in the diningroom and as they were all going to turn in
Ben said, "By heavens, Concha, you're a swell girl. When
I make my pile I'll buy you the handsomest pair of dia-
mond earrings in the Federal District." The last they saw
of Salvador he was standing up in the front seat of the car
as it went round the corner on two wheels conducting the
three old men in La Adelita with big gestures like an
orchestra leader.

 

Before Christmas Ben Stowell came back from a trip
to Tamaulipas feeling fine. Things were looking up for
him. He'd made an arrangement with a local general near
Tampico to run an oil well on a fifty-fifty basis. Through
Salvador he'd made friends with some members of Car-
ranza's cabinet and was hoping to be able to turn over a
deal with some of the big claimholders up in the States.
He had plenty of cash and took a room at the Regis. One
day he went round to the printing plant and asked Mac
to step out in the alley with him for a minute.

 

"Look here, Mac," he said, "I've got an offer for you
. . . You know old Worthington's bookstore? Well, I
got drunk last night and bought him out for two thousand
pesos . . . He's pulling up stakes and going home to
blighty, he says."

 

"The hell you did!"

 

"Well, I'm just as glad to have him out of the way."

 

-316-

 

"Why, you old whoremaster, you're after Lisa."

 

"Well, maybe she's just as glad to have him out of the
way too."

 

"She's certainly a goodlooker."

 

"I got a lot a news I'll tell you later . . . Ain't goin'
to be so healthy round The Mexican Herald maybe . . .
I've got a proposition for you, Mac . . . Christ knows I
owe you a hellova lot . . . You know that load of office
furniture you have out back Concha made you buy that
time?" Mac nodded. "Well, I'll take it off your hands and
give you a half interest in that bookstore. I'm opening an
office. You know the book business . . . you told me
yourself you did . . . the profits for the first year are
yours and after that we split two ways, see? You certainly
ought to make it pay. That old fool Worthington did,
and kept Lisa into the bargain . . . Are you on?"

 

"Jez, lemme think it over, Ben . . . but I got to go
back to the daily bunksheet."

 

So Mac found himself running a bookstore on the Calle
Independencia with a line of stationery and a few type-
writers. It felt good to be his own boss for the first time
in his life. Concha, who was a storekeeper's daughter, was
delighted. She kept the books and talked to the customers
so that Mac didn't have much to do but sit in the back and
read and talk to his friends. That Christmas Ben and Lisa,
who was a tall Spanish girl said to have been a dancer in
Malaga, with a white skin like a camellia and ebony hair,
gave all sorts of parties in an apartment with American-
style bath and kitchen that Ben rented out in the new
quarter towards Chapultepec. The day the Asociacion de
Publicistas had its annual banquet, Ben stopped into the
bookstore feeling fine and told Mac he wanted him and
Concha to come up after supper and wouldn't Concha
bring a couple of friends, nice wellbehaved girls not too
choosy, like she knew. He was giving a party for G. H.
Barrow who was back from Vera Cruz and a big contact

 

-317-

 

man from New York who was wangling something, Ben
didn't know just what. He'd seen Carranza yesterday and
at the banquet everybody'd kowtowed to him.

 

"Jez, Mac, you oughta been at that banquet; they took
one of the streetcars and had a table the whole length of
it and an orchestra and rode us out to San Angel and back
and then all round town."

 

"I saw 'em starting out," said Mac, "looked too much
like a funeral to me."

 

"Jez, it was swell though. Salvador an' everybody was
there and this guy Moorehouse, the big hombre from New
York, jez, he looked like he didn't know if he was comin'
or goin'. Looked like he expected a bomb to go off under
the seat any minute . . . hellova good thing for Mexico
if one had, when you come to think of it. All the worst
crooks in town were there."

 

The party at Ben's didn't come off so well. J. Ward
Moorehouse didn't make up to the girls as Ben had hoped.
He brought his secretary, a tired blond girl, and they
both looked scared to death. They had a dinner Mexican
style and champagne and a great deal of cognac and a
victrola played records by Victor Herbert and Irving
Berlin and a little itinerant band attracted by the crowd
played Mexican airs on the street outside. After dinner
things were getting a little noisy inside so Ben and Moore-
house took chairs out on the balcony and had a long talk
about the oil situation over their cigars. J. Ward Moore-
house explained that he had come down in a purely un-
official capacity you understand to make contacts, to find
out what the situation was and just what there was behind
Carranza's stubborn opposition to American investors and
that the big businessmen he was in touch with in the States
desired only fair play and that he felt that if their point
of view could be thoroughly understood through some
information bureau or the friendly coöperation of Mexi-
can newspapermen.

 

-318-

 

Ben went back in the diningroom and brought out
Enrique Salvador and Mac. They all talked over the
situation and J. Ward Moorehouse said that speaking as
an old newspaperman himself he thoroughly understood
the situation of the press, probably not so different in
Mexico City from that in Chicago or Pittsburgh and that
all the newspaperman wanted was to give each fresh angle
of the situation its proper significance in a spirit of fair
play and friendly coöperation, but that he felt that the
Mexican papers had been misinformed about the aims of
American business in Mexico just as the American press
was misinformed about the aims of Mexican politics. If
Mr. Enrique would call by the Regis he'd be delighted to
talk to him more fully, or to any one of you gentlemen
and if he wasn't in, due to the great press of appointments
and the very few days he had to spend in the Mexican
capital, his secretary, Miss Williams, would be only too
willing to give them any information they wanted and a
few specially prepared strictly confidential notes on the
attitude of the big American corporations with which he
was purely informally in touch.

 

After that he said he was sorry but he had telegrams
waiting for him at the Regis and Salvador took him, and
Miss Williams, his secretary, home in the chief of police's
automobile.

 

"Jez, Ben, that's a smooth bastard," said Mac to Ben
after J. Ward Moorehouse had gone.

 

" Mac," said Ben, "that baby's got a slick cream of mil-
lions all over him. By gum, I'd like to make some of
these contacts he talks about . . . By gorry, I may do it
yet . . . You just watch your Uncle Dudley, Mac. I'm
goin' to associate with the big hombres after this."

 

After that the party was not so refined. Ben brought
out a lot more cognac and the men started taking the girls
into the bedrooms and hallways and even into the pantry
and kitchen. Barrow cottoned onto a blonde named Nadia

 

-319-

 

who was half English and talked to her all evening about
the art of life. After everybody had gone Ben found them
locked up in his bedroom.

 

Mac got to like the life of a storekeeper. He got up
when he wanted to and walked up the sunny streets past
the cathedral and the façade of the national palace and
up Independencia where the sidewalks had been freshly
sprinkled with water and a morning wind was blowing
through, sweet with the smell of flowers and roasting
coffee. Concha's little brother Antonio would have the
shutters down and be sweeping out the store by the time
he got there. Mac would sit in the back reading or
would roam about the store chatting with people in Eng-
lish and Spanish. He didn't sell many books, but he kept
all the American and European papers and magazines and
they sold well, especially The Police Gazette and La Vie
Parisienne. He started a bank account and was planning to
take on some typewriter agencies. Salvador kept telling
him he'd get him a contract to supply stationery to some
government department and make him a rich man.

 

One morning he noticed a big crowd in the square in
front of the National Palace. He went into one of the
cantinas under the arcade and ordered a glass of beer. The
waiter told him that Carranza's troops had lost Torreón-
and that Villa and Zapata were closing in on the Federal
District. When he got to the bookstore news was going
down the street that Carranza's government had fled and
that the revolutionists would be in the city before night.
The storekeepers began to put up their shutters. Concha
and her mother came in crying saying that it would be
worse than the terrible week when Madero fell and that
the revolutionists had sworn to burn and loot the city. An-
tonio ran in saying that the Zapatistas were bombarding
Tacuba. Mac got a cab and went over to the Chamber of
Deputies to see if he could find anybody he knew. All the
doors were open to the street and there were papers lit-


Дата добавления: 2015-09-13; просмотров: 5; Нарушение авторских прав


<== предыдущая лекция | следующая лекция ==>
NEWSREEL XXX 4 страница | NEWSREEL XXX 6 страница. tered along the corridors
lektsii.com - Лекции.Ком - 2014-2019 год. (0.05 сек.) Все материалы представленные на сайте исключительно с целью ознакомления читателями и не преследуют коммерческих целей или нарушение авторских прав
Главная страница Случайная страница Контакты