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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


Chapter XXI
THE LURE OF THE SPIRIT: THE FLESH IN
PURSUIT


When Carrie came Hurstwood had been waiting many minutes.
His blood was warm; his nerves wrought up. He was anxious to
see the woman who had stirred him so profoundly the night
before.

"Here you are," he said, repressedly, feeling a spring in his limbs
and an elation which was tragic in itself.

"Yes," said Carrie.

They walked on as if bound for some objective point, while
Hurstwood drank in the radiance of her presence. The rustle of her
pretty skirt was like music to him.

"Are you satisfied?" he asked, thinking of how well she did the
night before.

"Are you?"

He tightened his fingers as he saw the smile she gave him.

"It was wonderful."

Carrie laughed ecstatically.

"That was one of the best things Iíve seen in a long time," he
added.

He was dwelling on her attractiveness as he had felt it the evening
before, and mingling it with the feeling her presence inspired
now.

Carrie was dwelling in the atmosphere which this man created for
her. Already she was enlivened and suffused with a glow. She felt
his drawing toward her in every sound of his voice.

"Those were such nice flowers you sent me," she said, after a
moment or two. "They were beautiful."

"Glad you liked them," he answered, simply.

He was thinking all the time that the subject of his desire was
being delayed. He was anxious to turn the talk to his own feelings.
All was ripe for it. His Carrie was beside him. He wanted to
plunge in and expostulate with her, and yet he found himself
fishing for words and feeling for a way.

"You got home all right," he said, gloomily, of a sudden, his tone
modifying itself to one of self-commiseration.

"Yes," said Carrie, easily.

He looked at her steadily for a moment, slowing his pace and
fixing her with his eye.

She felt the flood of feeling.

"How about me?" he asked.

This confused Carrie considerably, for she realised the floodgates
were open. She didnít know exactly what to answer.

"I donít know," she answered.

He took his lower lip between his teeth for a moment, and then let
it go. He stopped by the walk side and kicked the grass with his
toe. He searched her face with a tender, appealing glance.

"Wonít you come away from him?" he asked, intensely.

"I donít know," returned Carrie, still illogically drifting and
finding nothing at which to catch.

As a matter of fact, she was in a most hopeless quandary. Here
was a man whom she thoroughly liked, who exercised an
influence over her, sufficient almost to delude her into the belief
that she was possessed of a lively passion for him. She was still
the victim of his keen eyes, his suave manners, his fine clothes.
She looked and saw before her a man who was most gracious and
sympathetic, who leaned toward her with a feeling that was a
delight to observe. She could not resist the glow of his
temperament, the light of his eye. She could hardly keep from
feeling what he felt.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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