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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


Broadway, outside. It was nearly the first time since he had
arrived in the city that his leisure afforded him ample opportunity
to contemplate this spectacle. Now, being, perforce, idle himself,
he wondered at the activity of others. How gay were the youths he
saw, how pretty the women. Such fine clothes they all wore. They
were so intent upon getting somewhere. He saw coquettish
glances cast by magnificent girls. Ah, the money it required to
train with such-how well he knew! How long it had been since he
had had the opportunity to do so!

The clock outside registered four. It was a little early, but he
thought he would go back to the flat.

This going back to the flat was coupled with the thought that
Carrie would think he was sitting around too much if he came
home early. He hoped he wouldnít have to, but the day hung
heavily on his hands. Over there he was on his own ground. He
could sit in his rocking-chair and read. This busy, distracting,
suggestive scene was shut out. He could read his papers.
Accordingly, he went home. Carrie was reading, quite alone. It
was rather dark in the flat, shut in as it was.

"Youíll hurt your eyes," he said when he saw her.

After taking off his coat, he felt it incumbent upon him to make
some little report of his day.

"Iíve been talking with a wholesale liquor company," he said. "I
may go out on the road."

"Wouldnít that be nice!" said Carrie.

"It wouldnít be such a bad thing," he answered.

Always from the man at the corner now he bought two papers-the
"Evening World" and "Evening Sun." So now he merely picked
his papers up, as he came by, without stopping.

He drew up his chair near the radiator and lighted the gas. Then it
was as the evening before. His difficulties vanished in the items
he so well loved to read.

The next day was even worse than the one before, because now he
could not think of where to go. Nothing he saw in the papers he
studied-till ten oíclock-appealed to him. He felt that he ought to
go out, and yet he sickened at the thought. Where to, where to?

"You mustnít forget to leave me my money for this week," said
Carrie, quietly.

They had an arrangement by which he placed twelve dollars a
week in her hands, out of which to pay current expenses. He
heaved a little sigh as she said this, and drew out his purse. Again
he felt the dread of the thing. Here he was taking off, taking off,
and nothing coming in.

"Lord!" he said, in his own thoughts, "this canít go on."

To Carrie he said nothing whatsoever. She could feel that her
request disturbed him. To pay her would soon become a
distressing thing.

"Yet, what have I got to do with it?" she thought. "Oh, why
should I be made to worry?"

Hurstwood went out and made for Broadway. He wanted to think
up some place. Before long, though, he reached the Grand Hotel
at Thirty-first Street. He knew of its comfortable lobby. He was
cold after his twenty blocksí walk.

"Iíll go in their barber shop and get a shave," he thought.

Thus he justified himself in sitting down in here after his tonsorial
treatment.

Again, time hanging heavily on his hands, he went home early,
and this continued for several days, each day the need to hunt
paining him, and each day disgust, depression, shamefacedness
driving him into lobby idleness.

At last three days came in which a storm prevailed, and he did not
go out at all. The snow began to fall late one afternoon. It was a
regular flurry of large, soft, white flakes. In the morning it was
still coming down with a high wind, and the papers announced a
blizzard. From out the front windows one could see a deep, soft
bedding.

"I guess Iíll not try to go out to-day," he said to Carrie at
breakfast. "Itís going to be awful bad, so the papers say."

"The man hasnít brought my coal, either," said Carrie, who
ordered by the bushel.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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