Of course Peter’s statement to McGivney had not been literally true. He had winked at a number of women, but the trouble was none had returned his wink. First he had made friendly advances toward Miriam Yankovich, who was buxom and not bad looking; but Miriam’s thoughts were evidently all with McCormick in jail; and then, after her experience with Bob Ogden, Miriam had to go to a hospital, and of course Peter didn’t want to fool with an invalid. He made himself agreeable to others of the Red girls, and they seemed to like him; they treated him as a good comrade, but somehow they did not seem to act up to McGivney’s theories of “free love.” So Peter made up his mind that he would find him a girl who was not a Red. It would give him a little relief now and then, a little fun. The Reds seldom had any fun—their idea of an adventure was to get off in a room by themselves and sing the International or the Red Flag in whispers, so the police couldn’t hear them.
It was Saturday afternoon, and Peter went to a clothing store kept by a Socialist, and bought himself a new hat and a new suit of clothes on credit. Then he went out on the street, and saw a neat little girl going into a picture-show, and followed her, and they struck up an acquaintance and had supper together. She was what Peter called a “swell dresser,” and it transpired that she worked in a manicure parlor. Her idea of fun corresponded to Peter’s, and Peter spent all the money he had that Saturday evening, and made up his mind that if he could get something new on the Reds in the course of the week, he would strike McGivney for forty dollars.
Next morning was Easter Sunday, and Peter met his manicurist by appointment, and they went for a stroll on Park Avenue, which was the aristocratic street of American City and the scene of the “Easter parade.” It was war time, and many of the houses had flags out, and many of the men were in uniform, and all of the sermons dealt with martial themes. Christ, it appeared, was risen again to make the world safe for democracy, and to establish self-determination for all people; and Peter and Miss Frisbie both had on their best clothes, and watched the crowds in the “Easter parade,” and Miss Frisbie studied the costumes and make-up of the ladies, and picked up scraps of their conversation and whispered them to Peter, and made Peter feel that he was back on Mount Olympus again.