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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


This was the dull season with the department stores, but she was
listened to with more consideration than was usually accorded to
young women applicants, owing to her neat and attractive
appearance. She was asked the same old questions with which she
was already familiar.

"What can you do? Have you ever worked in a retail store before?
Are you experienced?"

At The Fair, See and Companyís, and all the great stores it was
much the same. It was the dull season, she might come in a little
later, possibly they would like to have her.

When she arrived at the house at the end of the day, weary and
disheartened, she discovered that Drouet had been there. His
umbrella and light overcoat were gone. She thought she missed
other things, but could not be sure. Everything had not been taken.

So his going was crystallising into staying. What was she to do
now? Evidently she would be facing the world in the same old
way within a day or two. Her clothes would get poor. She put her
two hands together in her customary expressive way and pressed
her fingers. Large tears gathered in her eyes and broke hot across
her cheeks. She was alone, very much alone.

Drouet really had called, but it was with a very different mind
from that which Carrie had imagined. He expected to find her, to
justify his return by claiming that he came to get the remaining
portion of his wardrobe, and before he got away again to patch up
a peace.

Accordingly, when he arrived, he was disappointed to find Carrie
out. He trifled about, hoping that she was somewhere in the
neighbourhood and would soon return. He constantly listened,
expecting to hear her foot on the stair.

When he did so, it was his intention to make believe that he had
just come in and was disturbed at being caught. Then he would
explain his need of his clothes and find out how things stood.

Wait as he did, however, Carrie did not come. From pottering
around among the drawers, in momentary expectation of her
arrival, he changed to looking out of the window, and from that to
resting himself in the rocking-chair. Still no Carrie. He began to
grow restless and lit a cigar. After that he walked the floor. Then
he looked out of the window and saw clouds gathering. He
remembered an appointment at three. He began to think that it
would be useless to wait, and got hold of his umbrella and light
coat, intending to take these things, any way. It would scare her,
he hoped. To-morrow he would come back for the others. He
would find out how things stood.

As he started to go he felt truly sorry that he had missed her.
There was a little picture of her on the wall, showing her arrayed
in the little jacket he had first bought her-her face a little more
wistful than he had seen it lately. He was really touched by it, and
looked into the eyes of it with a rather rare feeling for him.

"You didnít do me right, Cad," he said, as if he were addressing
her in the flesh. Then he went to the door, took a good look
around, and went out.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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