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WHEN WATERS ENGULF US WE REACH FOR A
It was when he returned from his disturbed stroll about the streets,
after receiving the decisive note from McGregor, James and Hay,
that Hurstwood found the letter Carrie had written him that
morning. He thrilled intensely as he noted the handwriting, and
rapidly tore it open.
"Then," he thought, "she loves me or she would not have written
to me at all."
He was slightly depressed at the tenor of the note for the first few
minutes, but soon recovered. "She wouldn’t write at all if she
didn’t care for me."
This was his one resource against the depression which held him.
He could extract little from the wording of the letter, but the spirit
he thought he knew.
There was really something exceedingly human-if not pathetic-in
his being thus relieved by a clearly worded reproof. He who had
for so long remained satisfied with himself now looked outside of
himself for comfort-and to such a source. The mystic cords of
affection! How they bind us all.
The colour came to his cheeks. For the moment he forgot the
letter from McGregor, James and Hay. If he could only have
Carrie, perhaps he could get out of the whole entanglement-
perhaps it would not matter. He wouldn’t care what
his wife did with herself if only he might not lose Carrie. He stood
up and walked about, dreaming his delightful dream of a life
continued with this lovely possessor of his heart.
It was not long, however, before the old worry was back for
consideration, and with it what weariness! He thought of the
morrow and the suit. He had done nothing, and here was the
afternoon slipping away. It was now a quarter of four. At five the
attorneys would have gone home. He still had the morrow until
noon. Even as he thought, the last fifteen minutes passed away
and it was five. Then he abandoned the thought of seeing them
any more that day and turned to Carrie.
It is to be observed that the man did not justify himself to himself.
He was not troubling about that. His whole thought was the
possibility of persuading Carrie. Nothing was wrong in that. He
loved her dearly. Their mutual happiness depended upon it.
Would that Drouet were only away!
While he was thinking thus elatedly, he remembered that he
wanted some clean linen in the morning.
This he purchased, together with a half-dozen ties, and went to the
Palmer House. As he entered he thought he saw Drouet ascending
the stairs with a key. Surely not Drouet! Then he thought, perhaps
they had changed their abode tempo-rarily. He went straight up to
"Is Mr. Drouet stopping here?" he asked of the clerk.
"I think he is," said the latter, consulting his private registry list.
"Is that so?" exclaimed Hurstwood, otherwise concealing his
astonishment. "Alone?" he added.
"Yes," said the clerk.
Hurstwood turned away and set his lips so as best to express and
conceal his feelings.
"How’s that?" he thought. "They’ve had a row."
He hastened to his room with rising spirits and changed his linen.
As he did so, he made up his mind that if Carrie was alone, or if
she had gone to another place, it behooved him to find out. He
decided to call at once.
"I know what I’ll do," he thought. "I’ll go to the door and ask if
Mr. Drouet is at home. That will bring out whether he is there or
not and where Carrie is."
He was almost moved to some muscular display as he thought of
it. He decided to go immediately after supper.
On coming down from his room at six, he looked carefully about
to see if Drouet was present and then went out to lunch. He could
scarcely eat, however, he was so anxious to be about his errand.
Before starting he thought it well to dis-cover where Drouet
would be, and returned to his hotel.