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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


He looked, and there was the notice. Mr. August Viele had
yesterday regis-tered the transfer of the lot, 25 x 75 feet, at the
corner of Warren and Hudson streets, to J. F. Slawson for the sum
of $57,000.

"Our lease expires when?" asked Hurstwood, thinking. "Next
February, isnít

it?"

"Thatís right," said Shaughnessy.

"It doesnít say what the new manís going to do with it," remarked
Hurstwood, looking back to the paper.

"Weíll hear, I guess, soon enough," said Shaughnessy.

Sure enough, it did develop. Mr. Slawson owned the property
adjoining, and was going to put up a modern office building. The
present one was to be torn down. It would take probably a year
and a half to complete the other one.

All these things developed by degrees, and Hurstwood began to
ponder over what would become of the saloon. One day he spoke
about it to his partner.

"Do you think it would be worth while to open up somewhere else
in the neighbourhood?"

"What would be the use?" said Shaughnessy. "We couldnít get
another corner around here."

"It wouldnít pay anywhere else, do you think?"

"I wouldnít try it," said the other.

The approaching change now took on a most serious aspect to
Hurstwood. Dissolution meant the loss of his thousand dollars,
and he could not save another thousand in the time. He
understood that Shaughnessy was merely tired of the arrangement,
and would probably lease the new corner, when completed, alone.
He began to worry about the necessity of a new connection and to
see impending serious financial straits unless something turned
up. This left him in no mood to enjoy his flat or Carrie, and
consequently the depression invaded that quarter.

Meanwhile, he took such time as he could to look about, but
opportunities were not numerous. More, he had not the same
impressive personality which he had when he first came to New
York. Bad thoughts had put a shade into his eyes which did not
impress others favourably. Neither had he thirteen hundred dollars
in hand to talk with. About a month later, finding that he had not
made any progress, Shaughnessy reported definitely that Slawson
would not extend the lease.

"I guess this thingís got to come to an end," he said, affecting an
air of concern.

"Well, if it has, it has," answered Hurstwood, grimly. He would
not give the other a key to his opinions, whatever they were. He
should not have the satisfaction.

A day or two later he saw that he must say something to Carrie.

"You know," he said, "I think Iím going to get the worst of my
deal down there."

"How is that?" asked Carrie in astonishment.

"Well, the man who owns the ground has sold it, and the new
owner wonít release it to us. The business may come to an end."

"Canít you start somewhere else?"

"There doesnít seem to be any place. Shaughnessy doesnít want
to."

"Do you lose what you put in?"

"Yes," said Hurstwood, whose face was a study.

"Oh, isnít that too bad?" said Carrie.

"Itís a trick," said Hurstwood. "Thatís all. Theyíll start another
place there all right."

Carrie looked at him, and gathered from his whole demeanour
what it meant. It was serious, very serious.

"Do you think you can get something else?" she ventured, timidly.

Hurstwood thought a while. It was all up with the bluff about
money and investment. She could see now that he was "broke."

"I donít know," he said solemnly; "I can try."
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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