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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"Oh, well, Carrie," he answered, "here I am. Itís too late now.
Wonít you try and care for me a little?"

He looked rather worsted in thought as he stood before her.

She shook her head negatively.

"Let me start all over again. Be my wife from today on."

Carrie rose up as if to step away, he holding her hand. Now he
slipped his arm about her and she struggled, but in vain. He held
her quite close. Instantly there flamed up in his body the all-
compelling desire. His affection took an ardent form.

"Let me go," said Carrie, who was folded close to him.

"Wonít you love me?" he said. "Wonít you be mine from now
on?"

Carrie had never been ill-disposed toward him. Only a moment
before she had been listening with some complacency,
remembering her old affection for him. He was so handsome, so
daring!

Now, however, this feeling had changed to one of opposition,
which rose feebly. It mastered her for a moment, and then, held
close as she was, began to wane. Something else in her spoke.
This man, to whose bosom she was being pressed, was strong; he
was passionate, he loved her, and she was alone. If she did not
turn to him-accept of his love-where else might she go? Her
resistance half dissolved in the flood of his strong feeling.

She found him lifting her head and looking into her eyes. What
magnetism there was she could never know. His many sins,
however, were for the moment all forgotten.

He pressed her closer and kissed her, and she felt that further
opposition was useless.

"Will you marry me?" she asked, forgetting how.

"This very day," he said, with all delight.

Now the hall-boy pounded on the door and he released his hold
upon her regretfully.

"You get ready now, will you," he said, "at once?"

"Yes," she answered.

"Iíll be back in three-quarters of an hour."

Carrie, flushed and excited, moved away as he admitted the boy.

Below stairs, he halted in the lobby to look for a barber shop. For
the moment, he was in fine feather. His recent victory over Carrie
seemed to atone for much he had endured during the last few
days. Life seemed worth fighting for. This eastward flight from all
things customary and attached seemed as if it might have
happiness in store. The storm showed a rainbow at the end of
which might be a pot of gold.

He was about to cross to a little red-and-white striped bar which
was fastened up beside a door when a voice greeted him
familiarly. Instantly his heart sank.

"Why, hello, George, old man!" said the voice. "What are you
doing down here?"

Hurstwood was already confronted, and recognised his friend
Kenny, the stock-broker.

"Just attending to a little private matter," he answered, his mind
working like a key-board of a telephone station. This man
evidently did not know-he had not read the papers.

"Well, it seems strange to see you way up here," said Mr. Kenny
genially. "Stopping here?"

"Yes," said Hurstwood uneasily, thinking of his handwriting on
the register.

"Going to be in town long?"

"No, only a day or so."

"Is that so? Had your breakfast?"

"Yes," said Hurstwood, lying blandly. "Iím just going for a
shave."

"Wonít you come have a drink?"

"Not until afterwards," said the ex-manager. "Iíll see you later.
Are you stopping here?"
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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