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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Mr. and Mrs. Vance kept up a running fire of interruptions, and
these impressive things by Ames came at odd moments. They
were sufficient, however, for the atmosphere that went with this
youth impressed itself upon Carrie without words. There was
something in him, or the world he moved in, which appealed to
her. He reminded her of scenes she had seen on the stage-the
sorrows and sacrifices that always went with she knew not what.
He had taken away some of the bitterness of the contrast between
this life and her life, and all by a certain calm indifference which
concerned only him.

As they went out, he took her arm and helped her into the coach,
and then they were off again, and so to the show.

During the acts Carrie found herself listening to him very
attentively. He mentioned things in the play which she most
approved of-things which swayed her deeply.

"Donít you think it rather fine to be an actor?" she asked once.

"Yes, I do," he said, "to be a good one. I think the theatre a great

Just this little approval set Carrieís heart bounding. Ah, if she
could only be an actress-a good one! This man was wise-he knew-
and he approved of it. If she were a fine actress, such men as he
would approve of her. She felt that he was good to speak as he
had, although it did not concern her at all. She did not know why
she felt this way.

At the close of the show it suddenly developed that he was not
going back with them.

"Oh, arenít you?" said Carrie, with an unwarrantable feeling.

"Oh, no," he said; "Iím stopping right around here in Thirty-third

Carrie could not say anything else, but somehow this development
shocked her. She had been regretting the wane of a pleasant
evening, but she had thought there was a half-hour more. Oh, the
half-hours, the minutes of the world; what miseries and griefs are
crowded into them!

She said good-bye with feigned indifference. What matter could it
make? Still, the coach seemed lorn.

When she went into her own flat she had this to think about. She
did not know whether she would ever see this man any more.
What difference could it make-what difference could it make?

Hurstwood had returned, and was already in bed. His clothes were
scattered loosely about. Carrie came to the door and saw him, then
retreated. She did not want to go in yet a while. She wanted to
think. It was disagreeable to her.

Back in the dining-room she sat in her chair and rocked. Her little
hands were folded tightly as she thought. Through a fog of
longing and conflicting desires she was beginning to see. Oh, ye
legions of hope and pity-of sorrow and pain! She was rocking,
and beginning to see.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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