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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

She recalled, with more subtle emotions, that he did not look at
her now with any of the old light of satisfaction or approval in his
eye. Evidently, along with other things, he was taking her to be
getting old and uninteresting. He saw her wrinkles, perhaps. She
was fading, while he was still preening himself in his elegance
and youth. He was still an interested factor in the merry-makings
of the

world, while she-but she did not pursue the thought. She only
found the whole situation bitter, and hated him for it thoroughly.

Nothing came of this incident at the time, for the truth is it did not
seem conclusive enough to warrant any discussion. Only the
atmosphere of distrust and illfeeling was strengthened,
precipitating every now and then little sprinklings of irritable
conversation, enlivened by flashes of wrath. The matter of the
Waukesha outing was merely a continuation of other things of the
same nature.

The day after Carrie’s appearance on the Avery stage, Mrs.
Hurstwood visited the races with Jessica and a youth of her
acquaintance, Mr. Bart Taylor, the son of the owner of a local
house-furnishing establishment. They had driven out early, and, as
it chanced, encountered several friends of Hurstwood, all Elks,
and two of whom had attended the performance the evening
before. A thousand chances the subject of the performance had
never been brought up had Jessica not been so engaged by the
attentions of her young companion, who usurped as much time as
possible. This left Mrs. Hurstwood in the mood to extend the
perfunctory greetings of some who knew her into short
conversations, and the short conversations of friends into long
ones. It was from one who meant but to greet her perfunctorily
that this interesting intelligence came.

"I see," said this individual, who wore sporting clothes of the most
attractive pattern, and had a field-glass strung over his shoulder,
"that you did not get over to our little entertainment last evening."

"No?" said Mrs. Hurstwood, inquiringly, and wondering why he
should be using the tone he did in noting the fact that she had not
been to something she knew nothing about. It was on her lips to
say, "What was it?" when he added, "I saw your husband."

Her wonder was at once replaced by the more subtle quality of

"Yes," she said, cautiously, "was it pleasant? He did not tell me
much about


"Very. Really one of the best private theatricals I ever attended.
There was one actress who surprised us all."

"Indeed," said Mrs. Hurstwood.

"It’s too bad you couldn’t have been there, really. I was sorry to
hear you weren’t feeling well."

Feeling well! Mrs. Hurstwood could have echoed the words after
him open-mouthed. As it was, she extricated herself from her
mingled impulse to deny and question, and said, almost raspingly:

"Yes, it is too bad."

"Looks like there will be quite a crowd here to-day, doesn’t it?"
the acquaintance observed, drifting off upon another topic.

The manager’s wife would have questioned farther, but she saw
no opportunity. She was for the moment wholly at sea, anxious to
think for herself, and won-

dering what new deception was this which caused him to give out
that she was ill when she was not. Another case of her company
not wanted, and excuses being made. She resolved to find out

"Were you at the performance last evening?" she asked of the next
of Hurstwood’s friends who greeted her, as she sat in her box.

"Yes. You didn’t get around."

"No," she answered, "I was not feeling very well."

"So your husband told me," he answered. "Well, it was really very
enjoyable. Turned out much better than I expected."

"Were there many there?"

"The house was full. It was quite an Elk night. I saw quite a
number of your friends-Mrs. Harrison, Mrs. Barnes, Mrs.

"Quite a social gathering."
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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