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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"No; Iíve tried. The only thing I can see, if I want to improve, is
to get hold of a place of my own."

"Why donít you?" said Carrie.

"Well, all I have is tied up in there just now. If I had a chance to
save a while I think I could open a place that would give us plenty
of money."

"Canít we save?" said Carrie.

"We might try it," he suggested. "Iíve been thinking that if weíd
take a smaller flat down town and live economically for a year, I
would have enough, with what I have invested, to open a good
place. Then we could arrange to live as you want to."

"It would suit me all right," said Carrie, who, nevertheless, felt
badly to think it had come to this. Talk of a smaller flat sounded
like poverty.

"There are lots of nice little flats down around Sixth Avenue,
below Fourteenth Street. We might get one down there."

"Iíll look at them if you say so," said Carrie.

"I think I could break away from this fellow inside of a year," said
Hurstwood. "Nothing will ever come of this arrangement as itís
going on now."

"Iíll look around," said Carrie, observing that the proposed change
seemed to be a serious thing with him.

The upshot of this was that the change was eventually effected;
not without great gloom on the part of Carrie. It really affected her
more seriously than anything that had yet happened. She began to
look upon Hurstwood wholly as a man, and not as a lover or
husband. She felt thoroughly bound to him as a wife, and that her
lot was cast with his, whatever it might be; but she began to see
that he was gloomy and taciturn, not a young, strong, and buoyant
man. He looked a little bit old to her about the eyes and mouth
now, and there were other things which placed him in his true
rank, so far as her estimation was concerned. She began to feel
that she had made a mistake. Incidentally, she also began to recall
the fact that he had practically forced her to flee with him.

The new flat was located in Thirteenth Street, a half block west of
Sixth Avenue, and contained only four rooms. The new
neighbourhood did not appeal to Carrie as much. There were no
trees here, no west view of the river. The street was solidly built
up. There were twelve families here, respectable enough, but
nothing like the Vances. Richer people required more space.

Being left alone in this little place, Carrie did without a girl. She
made it charming enough, but could not make it delight her.
Hurstwood was not inwardly

pleased to think that they should have to modify their state, but he
argued that he could do nothing. He must put the best face on it,
and let it go at that.

He tried to show Carrie that there was no cause for financial
alarm, but only congratulation over the chance he would have at
the end of the year by taking her rather more frequently to the
theatre and by providing a liberal table. This was for the time
only. He was getting in the frame of mind where he wanted
principally to be alone and to be allowed to think. The disease of
brooding was beginning to claim him as a victim. Only the
newspapers and his own thoughts were worth while. The delight
of love had again slipped away. It was a case of live, now, making
the best you can out of a very commonplace station in life.

The road downward has but few landings and level places. The
very state of his mind, superinduced by his condition, caused the
breach to widen between him and his partner. At last that
individual began to wish that Hurstwood was out of it. It so
happened, however, that a real estate deal on the part of the owner
of the land arranged things even more effectually than ill-will
could have schemed.

"Did you see that?" said Shaughnessy one morning to Hurstwood,
pointing to the real estate column in a copy of the "Herald," which
he held.

"No, what is it?" said Hurstwood, looking down the items of
news.

"The man who owns this ground has sold it."

"You donít say so?" said Hurstwood.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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