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This little experience settled her hunting for one day. She looked
around elsewhere, but it was from the outside. She got the
location of several playhouses fixed in her mind-notably the
Grand Opera House and McVickar’s, both of which were leading
in attractions-and then came away. Her spirits were materially
reduced, owing to the newly restored sense of magnitude of the
great interests and the insignificance of her claims upon society,
such as she understood them to be.
That night she was visited by Mrs. Hale, whose chatter and
protracted stay made it impossible to dwell upon her predicament
or the fortune of the day. Before retiring, however, she sat down
to think, and gave herself up to the most gloomy forebodings.
Drouet had not put in an appearance. She had had no word from
any quarter, she had spent a dollar of her precious sum in
procuring food and paying car fare. It was evident that she would
not endure long. Besides, she had discovered no resource.
In this situation her thoughts went out to her sister in Van Buren
Street, whom she had not seen since the night of her flight, and to
her home at Columbia City, which seemed now a part of
something that could not be again. She looked for no refuge in
that direction. Nothing but sorrow was brought her by thoughts of
Hurstwood, which would return. That he could have chosen to
dupe her in so ready a manner seemed a cruel thing.
Tuesday came, and with it appropriate indecision and speculation.
She was in no mood, after her failure of the day before, to hasten
forth upon her work-seeking errand, and yet she rebuked herself
for what she considered her weakness the
day before. Accordingly she started out to revisit the Chicago
Opera House, but possessed scarcely enough courage to approach.
She did manage to inquire at the box-office, however.
"Manager of the company or the house?" asked the smartly
dressed individual who took care of the tickets. He was
favourably impressed by Carrie’s looks.
"I don’t know," said Carrie, taken back by the question.
"You couldn’t see the manager of the house to-day, anyhow,"
volunteered the young man. "He’s out of town."
He noted her puzzled look, and then added: "What is it you wish
to see about?"
"I want to see about getting a position," she answered.
"You’d better see the manager of the company," he returned, "but
he isn’t here now."
"When will he be in?" asked Carrie, somewhat relieved by this
"Well, you might find him in between eleven and twelve. He’s
here after two o’clock."
Carrie thanked him and walked briskly out, while the young man
gazed after her through one of the side windows of his gilded
"Good-looking," he said to himself, and proceeded to visions of
condescensions on her part which were exceedingly flattering to
One of the principal comedy companies of the day was playing an
engagement at the Grand opera House. Here Carrie asked to see
the manager of the company. She little knew the trivial authority
of this individual, or that had there been a vacancy an actor would
have been sent on from New York to fill it.
"His office is upstairs," said a man in the box-office.