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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"There, there," he said, "you mustnít cry. Wonít you listen to me?
Listen to me a minute, and Iíll tell you why I came to do this
thing. I couldnít help it. I assure you I couldnít. Wonít you
listen?"

Her sobs disturbed him so that he was quite sure she did not hear
a word he said.

"Wonít you listen?" he asked.

"No, I wonít," said Carrie, flashing up. "I want you to take me out
of this, or Iíll tell the conductor. I wonít go with you. Itís a
shame," and again sobs of fright cut off her desire for expression.

Hurstwood listened with some astonishment. He felt that she had
just cause for feeling as she did, and yet he wished that he could
straighten this thing out quickly. Shortly the conductor would
come through for the tickets. He wanted no noise, no trouble of
any kind. Before everything he must make her quiet.

"You couldnít get out until the train stops again," said Hurstwood.
"It wonít be very long until we reach another station. You can get
out then if you want to. I wonít stop you. All I want you to do is
to listen a moment. Youíll let me tell you, wonít you?"

Carrie seemed not to listen. She only turned her head toward the
window, where outside all was black. The train was speeding with
steady grace across the

fields and through patches of wood. The long whistles came with
sad, musical effect as the lonely woodland crossings were
approached.

Now the conductor entered the car and took up the one or two
fares that had been added at Chicago. He approached Hurstwood,
who handed out the tickets. Poised as she was to act, Carrie made
no move. She did not look about.

When the conductor had gone again Hurstwood felt relieved.

"Youíre angry at me because I deceived you," he said. "I didnít
mean to, Carrie. As I live I didnít. I couldnít help it. I couldnít
stay away from you after the first time I saw you."

He was ignoring the last deception as something that might go by
the board. He wanted to convince her that his wife could no
longer be a factor in their relationship. The money he had stolen
he tried to shut out of his mind.

"Donít talk to me," said Carrie, "I hate you. I want you to go away
from me. I am going to get out at the very next station."

She was in a tremble of excitement and opposition as she spoke.

"All right," he said, "but youíll hear me out, wonít you? After all
you have said about loving me, you might hear me. I donít want
to do you any harm. Iíll give you the money to go back with when
you go. I merely want to tell you, Carrie. You canít stop me from
loving you, whatever you may think."

He looked at her tenderly, but received no reply.

"You think I have deceived you badly, but I havenít. I didnít do it
willingly. Iím through with my wife. She hasnít any claims on
me. Iíll never see her any more. Thatís why Iím here to-night.
Thatís why I came and got you."

"You said Charlie was hurt," said Carrie, savagely. "You deceived
me. Youíve been deceiving me all the time, and now you want to
force me to run away with you."

She was so excited that she got up and tried to get by him again.
He let her, and she took another seat. Then he followed.

"Donít run away from me, Carrie," he said gently. "Let me
explain. If you will only hear me out you will see where I stand. I
tell you my wife is nothing to me. She hasnít been anything for
years or I wouldnít have ever come near you. Iím going to get a
divorce just as soon as I can. Iíll never see her again. Iím done
with all that. Youíre the only person I want. If I can have you I
wonít ever think of another woman again."

Carrie heard all this in a very ruffled state. It sounded sincere
enough, however, despite all he had done. There was a tenseness
in Hurstwoodís voice and manner which could but have some
effect. She did not want anything to do with him. He was married,
he had deceived her once, and now again, and she thought him
terrible. Still there is something in such daring and power which is
fascinating to a woman, especially if she can be made to feel that
it is all prompted by love of her.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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