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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"She said she was going down to the foot of the stairs," answered
Minnie. "I guess she just wants to look out a while."

"She oughtnít to be thinking about spending her money on
theatres already, do you think?" he said.

"She just feels a little curious, I guess," ventured Minnie.
"Everything is so new."

"I donít know," said Hanson, and went over to the baby, his
forehead slightly wrinkled.

He was thinking of a full career of vanity and wastefulness which
a young girl might indulge in, and wondering how Carrie could
contemplate such a course when she had so little, as yet, with
which to do.

On Saturday Carrie went out by herself-first toward the river,
which interested her, and then back along Jackson Street, which
was then lined by the pretty houses and fine lawns which
subsequently caused it to be made into a boulevard. She was
struck with the evidences of wealth, although there was, perhaps,
not a person on the street worth more than a hundred thousand
dollars. She was glad to be out of the flat, because already she felt
that it was a narrow, humdrum place, and that interest and joy lay
elsewhere. Her thoughts now were of a more liberal character, and
she punctuated them with speculations as to the whereabouts of
Drouet. She was not sure but that he might call anyhow Monday
night, and, while she felt a little disturbed at the possibility, there
was, nevertheless, just the shade of a wish that he would.

On Monday she arose early and prepared to go to work. She
dressed herself in a worn shirt-waist of dotted blue percale, a skirt
of light-brown serge rather faded, and a small straw hat which she
had worn all summer at Columbia City. Her shoes were old, and
her necktie was in that crumpled, flattened state which time and
much wearing impart. She made a very average looking shop-girl
with the ex-

ception of her features. These were slightly more even than
common, and gave her a sweet, reserved, and pleasing
appearance.

It is no easy thing to get up early in the morning when one is used
to sleeping until seven and eight, as Carrie had been at home. She
gained some inkling of the character of Hansonís life when, half
asleep, she looked out into the dining-room at six oíclock and saw
him silently finishing his breakfast. By the time she was dressed
he was gone, and she, Minnie, and the baby ate together, the latter
being just old enough to sit in a high chair and disturb the dishes
with a spoon. Her spirits were greatly subdued now when the fact
of entering upon strange and untried duties confronted her. Only
the ashes of all her fine fancies were remaining-ashes still
concealing, nevertheless, a few red embers of hope. So subdued
was she by her weakening nerves, that she ate quite in silence,
going over imaginary conceptions of the character of the shoe
company the nature of the work, her employerís attitude. She was
vaguely feeling that she would come in contact with the great
owners, that her work would be where grave, stylishly dressed
men occasionally look on.

"Well, good luck," said Minnie, when she was ready to go. They
had agreed it was best to walk, that morning at least, to see if she
could do it every day-sixty cents a week for car fare being quite
an item under the circumstances.

"Iíll tell you how it goes to-night," said Carrie.

Once in the sunlit street, with labourers tramping by in either
direction, the horse-cars passing crowded to the rails with the
small clerks and floor help in the

great wholesale houses, and men and women generally coming
out of doors and passing about the neighbourhood, Carrie felt
slightly reassured. In the sunshine of the morning, beneath the
wide, blue heavens, with a fresh wind astir, what fears, except the
most desperate, can find a harbourage? In the night, or the gloomy
chambers of the day, fears and misgivings wax strong, but out in
the sunlight there is, for a time, cessation even of the terror of
death.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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