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Nevertheless, his rousing availed him nothing.
On Tuesday it was the same way. He did manage to bring himself
into the mood to go out to Carrie, but when he got in Ogden Place
he thought he saw a man watching him and went away. He did not
go within a block of the house.
One of the galling incidents of this visit was that he came back on
a Randolph Street car, and without noticing arrived almost
opposite the building of the concern with which his son was
connected. This sent a pang through his heart. He had called on
his boy there several times. Now the lad had not sent him a word.
His absence did not seem to be noticed by either of his children.
Well, well, fortune plays a man queer tricks. He got back to his
office and joined in a conversation with friends. It was as if idle
chatter deadened the sense of misery.
That night he dined at Rector’s and returned at once to his office.
In the bustle and show of the latter was his only relief. He
troubled over many little details and talked perfunctorily to
everybody. He stayed at his desk long after all others had gone,
and only quitted it when the night watchman on his round pulled
at the front door to see if it was safely locked.
On Wednesday, he received another polite note from McGregor,
James and Hay. It read: --Dear Sir:
We beg to inform you that we are instructed to wait until
tomorrow (Thursday) at one o’clock, before filing suit against
you, on behalf of Mrs. Julia Hurstwood, for divorce and alimony.
If we do not hear from you before that time we shall consider that
you do not wish to compromise the matter in any way and act
Very truly yours, etc. -
"Compromise!" exclaimed Hurstwood bitterly. "Compromise!"
Again he shook his head.
So here it was spread out clear before him, and now he knew what
to expect. If he didn’t go and see them they would sue him
promptly. If he did, he would be offered terms that would make
his blood boil. He folded the letter and put it with the other one.
Then he put on his hat and went for a turn about the block.