Read Books Online, for Free
|Maggie: A Girl of the Streets||Stephen Crane|
|Page 2 of 4||
The woman shrugged her shoulders. "Well, he didn't have as many stamps as he tried to make out, so I shook him, that's all."
"Well, I'm glad teh see yehs back in deh city," said Pete, with awkward gallantry.
He and the woman entered into a long conversation, exchanging reminiscences of days together. Maggie sat still, unable to formulate an intelligent sentence upon the conversation and painfully aware of it.
She saw Pete's eyes sparkle as he gazed upon the handsome stranger. He listened smilingly to all she said. The woman was familiar with all his affairs, asked him about mutual friends, and knew the amount of his salary.
She paid no attention to Maggie, looking toward her once or twice and apparently seeing the wall beyond.
The mere boy was sulky. In the beginning he had welcomed with acclamations the additions.
"Let's all have a drink! What'll you take, Nell? And you, Miss what's-your-name. Have a drink, Mr. -----, you, I mean."
He had shown a sprightly desire to do the talking for the company and tell all about his family. In a loud voice he declaimed on various topics. He assumed a patronizing air toward Pete. As Maggie was silent, he paid no attention to her. He made a great show of lavishing wealth upon the woman of brilliance and audacity.
"Do keep still, Freddie! You gibber like an ape, dear," said the woman to him. She turned away and devoted her attention to Pete.
"We'll have many a good time together again, eh?"
"Sure, Mike," said Pete, enthusiastic at once.
"Say," whispered she, leaning forward, "let's go over to Billie's and have a heluva time."
"Well, it's dis way! See?" said Pete. I got dis lady frien' here."
"Oh, t'hell with her," argued the woman.
Pete appeared disturbed.
"All right," said she, nodding her head at him. "All right for you! We'll see the next time you ask me to go anywheres with you."
"Say," he said, beseechingly, "come wid me a minit an' I'll tell yer why."
The woman waved her hand.
"Oh, that's all right, you needn't explain, you know. You wouldn't come merely because you wouldn't come, that's all there is of it."
To Pete's visible distress she turned to the mere boy, bringing him speedily from a terrific rage. He had been debating whether it would be the part of a man to pick a quarrel with Pete, or would he be justified in striking him savagely with his beer glass without warning. But he recovered himself when the woman turned to renew her smilings. He beamed upon her with an expression that was somewhat tipsy and inexpressibly tender.
"Say, shake that Bowery jay," requested he, in a loud whisper.
"Freddie, you are so droll," she replied.
Pete reached forward and touched the woman on the arm.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004