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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

When Hurstwood came, Carrie was moody. She was sitting,
rocking and thinking, and did not care to have her enticing
imaginations broken in upon; so she said little or nothing.

"What’s the matter, Carrie?" said Hurstwood after a time, noticing
her quiet, almost moody state.

"Nothing," said Carrie. "I don’t feel very well to-night."

"Not sick, are you?" he asked, approaching very close.

"Oh, no," she said, almost pettishly, "I just don’t feel very good."

"That’s too bad," he said, stepping away and adjusting his vest
after his slight bending over. "I was thinking we might go to a
show to-night."

"I don’t want to go," said Carrie, annoyed that her fine visions
should have thus been broken into and driven out of her mind.
"I’ve been to the matinee this afternoon."

"Oh, you have?" said Hurstwood. "What was it?"

"A Gold Mine."

"How was it?"

"Pretty good," said Carrie.

"And you don’t want to go again to-night?"

"I don’t think I do," she said.

Nevertheless, wakened out of her melancholia and called to the
dinner table, she changed her mind. A little food in the stomach
does wonders. She went again, and in so doing temporarily
recovered her equanimity. The great awakening blow had,
however, been delivered. As often as she might recover from
these discontented thoughts now, they would occur again. Time
and repetition-ah, the wonder of it! The dropping water and the
solid stone-how utterly it yields at last!

Not long after this matinee experience-perhaps a month-Mrs.
Vance invited Carrie to an evening at the theater with them. She
heard Carrie say that Hurstwood was not coming home to dinner.

"Why don’t you come with us? Don’t get dinner for yourself.
We’re going down to Sherry’s for dinner and then over to the
Lyceum. Come along with us."

"I think I will," answered Carrie.

She began to dress at three o’clock for her departure at half-past
five for the noted dining-room which was then crowding
Delmonico’s for position in society. In this dressing Carrie
showed the influence of her association with the dashing Mrs.
Vance. She had constantly had her attention called by the latter to
novelties in everything which pertains to a woman’s apparel.

"Are you going to get such and such a hat?" or, "Have you seen
the new gloves with the oval pearl buttons?" were but sample
phrases out of a large selection.

"The next time you get a pair of shoes, dearie," said Mrs. Vance,
"get button, with thick soles and patent-leather tips. They’re all
the rage this fall."

"I will," said Carrie.

"Oh, dear, have you seen the new shirtwaists at Altman’s? They
have some of the loveliest patterns. I saw one there that I know
would look stunning on you. I said so when I saw it."

Carrie listened to these things with considerable interest, for they
were suggested with more of friendliness than is usually common
between pretty women. Mrs. Vance liked Carrie’s stable good-
nature so well that she really took pleasure in suggesting to her
the latest things.

"Why don’t you get yourself one of those nice serge skirts they’re
selling at Lord & Taylor’s?" she said one day. "They’re the
circular style, and they’re going to be worn from now on. A dark
blue one would look so nice on you."

Carrie listened with eager ears. These things never came up
between her and Hurstwood. Nevertheless, she began to suggest
one thing and another, which Hurstwood agreed to without any
expression of opinion. He noticed the new tendency on Carrie’s
part, and finally, hearing much of Mrs. Vance and her delightful
ways, suspected whence the change came. He was not inclined to
offer the slightest objection so soon, but he felt that Carrie’s wants
were expanding. This did not appeal to him exactly, but he cared
for her in his own way, and so the thing stood. Still, there was
something in the details of the transactions which caused Carrie to
feel that her requests were not a delight to him. He did not enthuse
over the purchases. This led her to believe that neglect was
creeping in, and so another small wedge was entered.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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