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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Chapter XXXVII

It would be useless to explain how in due time the last fifty dollars
was in sight. The seven hundred, by his process of handling, had
only carried them into June. Before the final hundred mark was
reached he began to indicate that a calamity was approaching.

"I donít know," he said one day, taking a trivial expenditure for
meat as a text, "it seems to take an awful lot for us to live."

"It doesnít seem to me," said Carrie, "that we spend very much."

"My money is nearly gone," he said, "and I hardly know where
itís gone to."

"All that seven hundred dollars?" asked Carrie.

"All but a hundred."

He looked so disconsolate that it scared her. She began to see that
she herself had been drifting. She had felt it all the time.

"Well, George," she exclaimed, "why donít you get out and look
for something? You could find something."

"I have looked," he said. "You canít make people give you a

She gazed weakly at him and said: "Well, what do you think you
will do? A hundred dollars wonít last long."

"I donít know," he said. "I canít do any more than look."

Carrie became frightened over this announcement. She thought
desperately upon the subject. Frequently she had considered the
stage as a door through which she might enter that gilded state
which she had so much craved. Now, as in Chicago, it came as a
last resource in distress. Something must be done if he did not get
work soon. Perhaps she would have to go out and battle again

She began to wonder how one would go about getting a place. Her
experience in Chicago proved that she had not tried the right way.
There must be people who would listen to and try you-men who
would give you an opportunity.

They were talking at the breakfast table, a morning or two later,
when she brought up the dramatic subject by saying that she saw
that Sarah Bernhardt was coming to this country. Hurstwood had
seen it, too.

"How do people get on the stage, George?" she finally asked,

"I donít know," he said. "There must be dramatic agents."

Carrie was sipping coffee, and did not look up.

"Regular people who get you a place?"

"Yes, I think so," he answered.

Suddenly the air with which she asked attracted his attention.

"Youíre not still thinking about being an actress, are you?" he

"No," she answered, "I was just wondering."

Without being clear, there was something in the thought which he
objected to. He did not believe any more, after three years of
observation, that Carrie would ever do anything great in that line.
She seemed too simple, too yielding. His idea of the art was that it
involved something more pompous. If she tried to get on the stage
she would fall into the hands of some cheap manager and become
like the rest of them. He had a good idea of what he meant by
them. Carrie was pretty. She would get along all right, but where
would he be?

"Iíd get that idea out of my head, if I were you. Itís a lot more
difficult than you think."

Carrie felt this to contain, in some way, an aspersion upon her

"You said I did real well in Chicago," she rejoined.

"You did," he answered, seeing that he was arousing opposition,
"but Chicago isnít New York, by a big jump."

Carrie did not answer this at all. It hurt her.

"The stage," he went on, "is all right if you can be one of the big
guns, but thereís nothing to the rest of it. It takes a long while to
get up."
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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