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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


That was not before he had become settled, however. Carrie and
he went looking for a flat, as arranged, and found one in Seventy-
eighth Street near Amsterdam Avenue. It was a five-story
building, and their flat was on the third floor. Owing to the fact
that the street was not yet built up solidly, it was possible to see
east to the green tops of the trees in Central Park and west to the
broad waters of the Hudson, a glimpse of which was to be had out
of the west windows. For the privilege of six rooms and a bath,
running in a straight line, they were compelled to pay thirty-five
dollars a month-an average, and yet exorbitant, rent for a home at
the time. Carrie noticed the difference between the size of the
rooms here and in Chicago and mentioned it.

"Youíll not find anything better, dear," said Hurstwood, "unless
you go into one of the old-fashioned houses, and then you wonít
have any of these conveniences."

Carrie picked out the new abode because of its newness and bright
woodwork. It was one of the very new ones supplied with steam
heat, which was a great advantage. The stationary range, hot and
cold water, dumb-waiter, speaking tubes, and call-bell for the
janitor pleased her very much. She had enough of the instincts of
a housewife to take great satisfaction in these things.

Hurstwood made arrangement with one of the instalment houses
whereby they furnished the flat complete and accepted fifty
dollars down and ten dollars a month. He then had a little plate,
bearing the name G. W. Wheeler, made, which he placed on his
letter-box in the hall. It sounded exceedingly odd to Carrie to be

called Mrs. Wheeler by the janitor, but in time she became used to
it and looked upon the name as her own.

These house details settled, Hurstwood visited some of the
advertised opportunities to purchase an interest in some
flourishing down-town bar. After the palatial resort in Adams
Street, he could not stomach the commonplace saloons which he
found advertised. He lost a number of days looking up these and
finding them disagreeable. He did, however, gain considerable
knowledge by talking, for he discovered the influence of
Tammany Hall and the value of standing in with the police. The
most profitable and flourishing places he found to be those which
conducted anything but a legitimate business, such as that
controlled by Fitzgerald and Moy. Elegant back rooms and private
drinking booths on the second floor were usually adjuncts of very
profitable places. He saw by portly keepers, whose shirt fronts
shone with large diamonds, and whose clothes were properly cut,
that the liquor business here, as elsewhere, yielded the same
golden profit.

At last he found an individual who had a resort in Warren Street,
which seemed an excellent venture. It was fairly well-appearing
and susceptible of improvement. The owner claimed the business
to be excellent, and it certainly looked so.

"We deal with a very good class of people," he told Hurstwood.
"Merchants, salesmen, and professionals. Itís a well-dressed class.
No bums. We donít allow Ďem in the place."

Hurstwood listened to the cash-register ring, and watched the
trade for a while.

"Itís profitable enough for two, is it?" he asked.

"You can see for yourself if youíre any judge of the liquor trade,"
said the owner. "This is only one of the two places I have. The
other is down in Nassau Street. I canít tend to them both alone. If
I had some one who knew the business thoroughly I wouldnít
mind sharing with him in this one and letting him manage it."

"Iíve had experience enough," said Hurstwood blandly, but he felt
a little diffident about referring to Fitzgerald and Moy.

"Well, you can suit yourself, Mr. Wheeler," said the proprietor.

He only offered a third interest in the stock, fixtures, and good-
will, and this in return for a thousand dollars and managerial
ability on the part of the one who should come in. There was no
property involved, because the owner of the saloon merely rented
from an estate.

The offer was genuine enough, but it was a question with
Hurstwood whether a third interest in that locality could be made
to yield one hundred and fifty dollars a month, which he figured
he must have in order to meet the ordinary family expenses and be
comfortable. It was not the time, however, after many failures to
find what he wanted, to hesitate. It looked as though a third would
pay a hundred a month now. By judicious management and
improvement, it might be made to pay more. Accordingly he
agreed to enter into partnership, and made over his thousand
dollars, preparing to enter the next day.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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