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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


Chapter XXIX
THE SOLACE OF TRAVEL: THE BOATS OF
THE SEA


To the untravelled, territory other than their own familiar heath is
invariably fascinating. Next to love, it is the one thing which
solaces and delights. Things new are too important to be
neglected, and mind, which is a mere reflection of sensory
impressions, succumbs to the flood of objects. Thus lovers are
forgotten, sorrows laid aside, death hidden from view. There is a
world of accumulated feeling back of the trite dramatic
expression-"I am going away."

As Carrie looked out upon the flying scenery she almost forgot
that she had been tricked into this long journey against her will
and that she was without the necessary apparel for travelling. She
quite forgot Hurstwoodís presence at times, and looked away to
homely farmhouses and cosey cottages in villages with wondering
eyes. It was an interesting world to her. Her life had just begun.
She did not feel herself defeated at all. Neither was she blasted in
hope. The great city held much. Possibly she would come out of
bondage into freedom-who knows? Perhaps she would be happy.
These thoughts raised her above the level of erring. She was saved
in that she was hopeful.

The following morning the train pulled safely into Montreal and
they stepped down, Hurstwood glad to be out of danger, Carrie
wondering at the novel atmosphere of the northern city. Long
before, Hurstwood had been here, and now he re-

membered the name of the hotel at which he had stopped. As they
came out of the main entrance of the depot he heard it called anew
by a busman.

"Weíll go right up and get rooms," he said.

At the clerkís office Hurstwood swung the register about while
the clerk came forward. He was thinking what name he would put
down. With the latter before him he found no time for hesitation.
A name he had seen out of the car window came swiftly to him. It
was pleasing enough. With an easy hand he wrote, "G. W.
Murdock and wife." It was the largest concession to necessity he
felt like making. His initials he could not spare.

When they were shown their room Carrie saw at once that he had
secured her a lovely chamber.

"You have a bath there," said he. "Now you can clean up when
you are ready."

Carrie went over and looked out the window, while Hurstwood
looked at himself in the glass. He felt dusty and unclean. He had
no trunk, no change of linen, not even a hair-brush.

"Iíll ring for soap and towels," he said, "and send you up a hair-
brush. Then you can bathe and get ready for breakfast. Iíll go for a
shave and come back and get you, and then weíll go out and look
for some clothes for you."

He smiled good-naturedly as he said this.

"All right," said Carrie.

She sat down in one of the rocking-chairs, while Hurstwood
waited for the boy, who soon knocked.

"Soap, towels, and a pitcher of ice-water."

"Yes, sir."

"Iíll go now," he said to Carrie, coming toward her and holding
out his hands, but she did not move to take them.

"Youíre not mad at me, are you?" he asked softly.

"Oh, no!" she answered, rather indifferently.

"Donít you care for me at all?"

She made no answer, but looked steadily toward the window.

"Donít you think you could love me a little?" he pleaded, taking
one of her hands, which she endeavoured to draw away. "You
once said you did."

"What made you deceive me so?" asked Carrie.

"I couldnít help it," he said, "I wanted you too much."

"You didnít have any right to want me," she answered, striking
cleanly home.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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