Saturday, 19 July 2008

19 July 2008

He went up to Bellaconda the artist and threw a hiball in his face; his sister Bev screamed “No Bob, not that!” We dragged him out. He was beyond himself. A baritone singer from the chorus joined us and we went to a regular Central City bar. Here he called the waitress a whore. A group of sullen men were ranged along the bar; they hated tourists. On of them said “You boys better be out of here by the count of ten.” We were. We staggered back to the shack and went to sleep. In the morning I woke up and turned over; a big cloud of dust rose from the mattress. I yanked at the window; it was nailed. Ed White was in the bed too. We coughed and sneezed. Our breakfast consisted of stale beer. Beverly came back from her hotel and we got our things together to leave. But we had to go and watch Bellaonda the artist, at Brierly’s orders, mixing things in his kiln; it would constitute Burford’s apology. We all stood around the kiln as the artist lectured. Burford smiled and nodded and tried to look interested and looked sheepish as hell. Brierly stood by proudly. Beverly leaned on me wearily. I cut out and went to the ushers’ dormitories and found a toilet; as I sat there I saw an eye in the keyhole. “Who’s that in there?” said the voice. “Jack” I said. It was Brierly; he was wondering around and had got bored with the kiln. Everything seemed to be collapsing. As we were going down the steps of the miner’s house Beverly slipped and fell flat on her face. Poor girl was overwrought. Her brother and Ed and I helped her up. We got back in the car; Temko and Jean joined us. The sad ride back to Denver began. Suddenly we came down from the mountain and overlooked the great sea-plain of Denver; heat rose as from an oven. We began to sing songs. I was itching to get on to San Francisco. That night I found Allen and to my amazement he told me he’d been in Central City with Neal. “What did you do?” “Oh we ran around the bars and then Neal stole a car and we drove back down the mountain curves ninety miles an hour.” “I didn’t see you.” “We didn’t know you were there.” “Well man, I’m going to San Francisco.” “Neal has Ruth lined up for you tonight.” “Well then I’ll put it of.” “I had no money; I sent my mother an airmail letter asking her for fifty dollars and said it would be the last money I’d ask; after that she

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