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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


Drouet was standing by the dresser, gazing at her in a comic
manner. He had laid off his hat and gloves and was now fidgeting
with the little toilet pieces which were nearest him. He hesitated
to believe that the pretty woman before him

was involved in anything so unsatisfactory to himself. He was
very much inclined to feel that it was all right, after all. Yet the
knowledge imparted to him by the chambermaid was rankling in
his mind. He wanted to plunge in with a straight remark of some
sort, but he knew not what.

"Where did you go this morning?" he finally asked weakly.

"Why, I went for a walk," said Carrie.

"Sure you did?" he asked.

"Yes, what makes you ask?"

She was beginning to see now that he knew something. Instantly
she drew herself into a more reserved position. Her cheeks
blanched slightly.

"I thought maybe you didnít," he said, beating about the bush in
the most useless manner.

Carrie gazed at him, and as she did so her ebbing courage halted.
She saw that he himself was hesitating, and with a womanís
intuition realised that there was no occasion for great alarm.

"What makes you talk like that?" she asked, wrinkling her pretty
forehead. "You act so funny to-night."

"I feel funny," he answered.

They looked at one another for a moment, and then Drouet
plunged desperately into his subject.

"Whatís this about you and Hurstwood?" he asked.

"Me and Hurstwood-what do you mean?"

"Didnít he come here a dozen times while I was away?"

"A dozen times," repeated Carrie, guiltily. "No, but what do you
mean?"

"Somebody said that you went out riding with him and that he
came here every night."

"No such thing," answered Carrie. "It isnít true. Who told you
that?"

She was flushing scarlet to the roots of her hair, but Drouet did
not catch the full hue of her face, owing to the modified light of
the room. He was regaining much confidence as Carrie defended
herself with denials.

"Well, some one," he said. "Youíre sure you didnít?"

"Certainly," said Carrie. "You know how often he came."

Drouet paused for a moment and thought.

"I know what you told me," he said finally.

He moved nervously about, while Carrie looked at him
confusedly.

"Well, I know that I didnít tell you any such thing as that," said
Carrie, recovering herself.

"If I were you," went on Drouet, ignoring her last remark, "I
wouldnít have anything to do with him. Heís a married man, you
know."

"Who-who is?" said Carrie, stumbling at the word.

"Why, Hurstwood," said Drouet, noting the effect and feeling that
he was delivering a telling blow.

"Hurstwood!" exclaimed Carrie, rising. Her face had changed
several shades since this announcement was made. She looked
within and without herself in a half-dazed way.

"Who told you this?" she asked, forgetting that her interest was
out of order and exceedingly incriminating.

"Why, I know it. Iíve always known it," said Drouet.

Carrie was feeling about for a right thought. She was making a
most miserable showing, and yet feelings were generating within
her which were anything but crumbling cowardice.

"I thought I told you," he added.

"No, you didnít," she contradicted, suddenly recovering her voice.
"You didnít do anything of the kind."
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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