George had been staring intently at Slim. Suddenly a triangle began to ring outside, slowly at first, and then faster and faster until the beat of it disappeared into one ringing sound. It stopped as suddenly as it had started.
“There she goes,” said Carlson.
Outside, there was a burst of voices as a group of men went by.
Slim stood up slowly and with dignity. “You guys better come on while they’s still something to eat. Won’t be nothing left in a couple of minutes.”
Carlson stepped back to let Slim precede him, and then the two of them went out the door.
Lennie was watching George excitedly. George rumpled his cards into a messy pile. “Yeah!” George said, “I heard him, Lennie. I’ll ask him.”
“A brown and white one,” Lennie cried excitedly.
“Come on. Le’s get dinner. I don’t know whether he got a brown and white one.”
Lennie didn’t move from his bunk. “You ask him right away, George, so he won’t kill no more of ‘em.”
“Sure. Come on now, get up on your feet.”
Lennie rolled off his bunk and stood up, and the two of them started for the door. Just as they reached it, Curley bounced in.
“You seen a girl around here?” he demanded angrily.
George said coldly. “’Bout half an hour ago maybe.”
“Well what the hell was she doin’?”
George stood still, watching the angry little man. He said insultingly, “She said — she was lookin’ for you.”
Curley seemed really to see George for the first time. His eyes flashed over George, took in his height, measured his reach, looked at his trim middle. “Well, which way’d she go?” he demanded at last.
“I dunno,” said George. “I didn’ watch her go.”