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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


Chapter XXVIII
A PILGRIM, AN OUTLAW: THE SPIRIT
DETAINED


The cab had not travelled a short block before Carrie, settling
herself and thor-oughly waking in the night atmosphere, asked:

"Whatís the matter with him? Is he hurt badly?"

"It isnít anything very serious," Hurstwood said solemnly. He was
very much disturbed over his own situation, and now that he had
Carrie with him, he only wanted to get safely out of reach of the
law. Therefore he was in no mood for anything save such words
as would further his plans distinctly.

Carrie did not forget that there was something to be settled
between her and Hurstwood, but the thought was ignored in her
agitation. The one thing was to finish this strange pilgrimage.

"Where is he?"

"Way out on the South Side," said Hurstwood. "Weíll have to take
the train. Itís the quickest way."

Carrie said nothing, and the horse gambolled on. The weirdness of
the city by night held her attention. She looked at the long
receding rows of lamps and stud-ied the dark, silent houses.

"How did he hurt himself?" she asked-meaning what was the
nature of his injuries. Hurstwood understood. He hated to lie any
more than necessary, and yet he wanted no protests until he was
out of danger.

"I donít know exactly," he said. "They just called me up to go and
get you and bring you out. They said there wasnít any need for
alarm, but that I shouldnít fail to bring you."

The manís serious manner convinced Carrie, and she became
silent, wondering.

Hurstwood examined his watch and urged the man to hurry. For
one in so delicate a position he was exceedingly cool. He could
only think of how needful it was to make the train and get quietly
away. Carrie seemed quite tractable, and he congratulated himself.

In due time they reached the depot, and after helping her out he
handed the man a five-dollar bill and hurried on.

"You wait here," he said to Carrie, when they reached the waiting-
room, "while I get the tickets."

"Have I much time to catch the train for Detroit?" he asked of the
agent.

"Four minutes," said the latter.

He paid for two tickets as circumspectly as possible.

"Is it far?" said Carrie, as he hurried back.

"Not very," he said. "We must get right in."

He pushed her before him at the gate, stood between her and the
ticket man while the latter punched their tickets, so that she could
not see, and then hurried after.

There was a long line of express and passenger cars and one or
two common day coaches. As the train had only recently been
made up and few passengers were expected, there were only one
or two brakemen waiting. They entered the rear day coach and sat
down. Almost immediately, "All aboard," resounded faintly from
the outside, and the train started.

Carrie began to think it was a little bit curious-this going to a
depot-but said nothing. The whole incident was so out of the
natural that she did not attach too much weight to anything she
imagined.

"How have you been?" asked Hurstwood gently, for he now
breathed easier.

"Very well," said Carrie, who was so disturbed that she could not
bring a proper attitude to bear in the matter. She was still nervous
to reach Drouet and see what could be the matter. Hurstwood
contemplated her and felt this. He was not disturbed that it should
be so. He did not trouble because she was moved sympathetically
in the matter. It was one of the qualities in her which pleased him
exceedingly. He was only thinking how he should explain. Even
this was not the most serious thing in his mind, however. His own
deed and present flight were the great shadows which weighed
upon him.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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