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"Oh, I donít know," said Carrie, slightly aroused.
In a flash, he thought he foresaw the result of this thing. Now,
when the worst of his situation was approaching, she would get on
the stage in some cheap way and forsake him. Strangely, he had
not conceived well of her mental ability. That was because he did
not understand the nature of emotional greatness. He had never
learned that a person might be emotionally-instead of
intellectually-great. Avery Hall was too far away for him to look
back and sharply remember. He had lived with this woman too
"Well, I do," he answered. "If I were you I wouldnít think of it.
Itís not much of a profession for a woman."
"Itís better than going hungry," said Carrie. "If you donít want me
to do that, why donít you get work yourself?"
There was no answer ready for this. He had got used to the
"Oh, let up," he answered.
The result of this was that she secretly resolved to try. It didnít
matter about him. She was not going to be dragged into poverty
and something worse to suit him. She could act. She could get
something and then work up. What would he say then? She
pictured herself already appearing in some fine performance on
Broadway; of going every evening to her dressing-room and
making up. Then she would come out at eleven oíclock and see
the carriages ranged about, waiting for the people. It did not
matter whether she was the star or not. If she were only once in,
getting a decent salary, wearing the kind of clothes she liked,
having the money to do with, going here and there as she pleased,
how delightful it would all be. Her mind ran over this picture all
the day long. Hurstwoodís dreary state made its beauty become
more and more vivid.
Curiously this idea soon took hold of Hurstwood. His vanishing
sum suggested that he would need sustenance. Why could not
Carrie assist him a little until he could get something?
He came in one day with something of this idea in his mind.
"I met John B. Drake to-day," he said. "Heís going to open a hotel
here in the fall. He says that he can make a place for me then."
"Who is he?" asked Carrie.
"Heís the man that runs the Grand Pacific in Chicago."
"Oh," said Carrie.
"Iíd get about fourteen hundred a year out of that."
"That would be good, wouldnít it?" she said, sympathetically.
"If I can only get over this summer," he added, "I think Iíll be all
right. Iím hearing from some of my friends again."
Carrie swallowed this story in all its pristine beauty. She sincerely
wished he could get through the summer. He looked so hopeless.
"How much money have you left?"
"Only fifty dollars."
"Oh, mercy," she exclaimed, "what will we do? Itís only twenty
days until the rent will be due again."
Hurstwood rested his head on his hands and looked blankly at the
"Maybe you could get something in the stage line?" he blandly
"Maybe I could," said Carrie, glad that some one approved of the
"Iíll lay my hand to whatever I can get," he said, now that he saw
her brighten up. "I can get something."
She cleaned up the things one morning after he had gone, dressed
as neatly as her wardrobe permitted, and set out for Broadway.
She did not know that thoroughfare very well. To her it was a
wonderful conglomeration of everything great and mighty. The
theatres were there-these agencies must be somewhere about.
She decided to stop in at the Madison Square Theatre and ask how
to find the theatrical agents. This seemed the sensible way.
Accordingly, when she reached that theatre she applied to the
clerk at the box office.
"Eh?" he said, looking out. "Dramatic agents? I donít know.
Youíll find them in the ĎClipper,í though. They all advertise in