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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

"Has Mr. Drouet gone out?" he asked of the clerk.

"No," answered the latter, "he’s in his room. Do you wish to send
up a card?"

"No, I’ll call around later," answered Hurstwood, and strolled out.

He took a Madison car and went direct to Ogden Place, this time
walking boldly up to the door. The chambermaid answered his

"Is Mr. Drouet in?" said Hurstwood blandly.

"He is out of the city," said the girl, who had heard Carrie tell this
to Mrs. Hale.

"Is Mrs. Drouet in?"

"No, she has gone to the theatre."

"Is that so?" said Hurstwood, considerably taken back; then, as if
burdened with something important, "You don’t know to which

The girl really had no idea where she had gone, but not liking
Hurstwood, and wishing to cause him trouble, answered: "Yes,

"Thank you," returned the manager, and tipping his hat slightly,
went away.

"I’ll look in at Hooley’s," thought he, but as a matter of fact he
did not. Before he had reached the central portion of the city he
thought the whole matter over and decided it would be useless. As
much as he longed to see Carrie, he knew she would be with some
one and did not wish to intrude with his plea there. A little later he
might do so-in the morning. Only in the morning he had the
lawyer question before him.

This little pilgrimage threw quite a wet blanket upon his rising
spirits. He was soon down again to his old worry, and reached the
resort anxious to find relief.

Quite a company of gentlemen were making the place lively with
their conversation. A group of Cook County politicians were
conferring about a round cherry-wood table in the rear portion of
the room. Several young merry-makers were chattering at the bar
before making a belated visit to the theatre. A shabbily-genteel
individual, with a red nose and an old high hat, was sipping a
quiet glass of ale alone at one end of the bar. Hurstwood nodded
to the politicians and went into his office.

About ten o’clock a friend of his, Mr. Frank L. Taintor, a local
sport and racing man, dropped in, and seeing Hurstwood alone in
his office came to the door.

"Hello, George!" he exclaimed.

"How are you, Frank?" said Hurstwood, somewhat relieved by the
sight of him. "Sit down," and he motioned him to one of the chairs
in the little room.

"What’s the matter, George?" asked Taintor. "You look a little
glum. Haven’t lost at the track, have you?"

"I’m not feeling very well to-night. I had a slight cold the other

"Take whiskey, George," said Taintor. "You ought to know that."

Hurstwood smiled.

While they were still conferring there, several other of
Hurstwood’s friends entered, and not long after eleven, the
theatres being out, some actors began to drop in-among them
some notabilities.

Then began one of those pointless social conversations so
common in America resorts where the would-be gilded attempt to
rub off gilt from those who have it in abundance. If Hurstwood
had one leaning, it was toward notabilities. He considered that, if
anywhere, he belonged among them. He was too proud to toady,
too keen not to strictly observe the plane he occupied when there
were those present who did not appreciate him, but, in situations
like the present, where he could shine as a gentleman and be
received without equivocation as a friend and equal among men
of known ability, he was most delighted. It was on such
occasions, if ever, that he would "take something." When the
social flavour was strong enough he would even unbend to the
extent of drinking glass for glass with his associates, punctiliously
observing his turn to pay as if he were an outsider like the others.
If he ever approached intoxication-or rather that ruddy warmth
and comfortableness which precedes the more sloven state-it was
when individuals such as these were gathered about him, when he
was one of a circle of chatting celebrities. To-night, disturbed as
was his state, he was rather relieved to find company, and now
that notabilities were gathered, he laid aside his troubles for the
nonce, and joined in right heartily.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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