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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"Is that a paper?" said Carrie.

"Yes," said the clerk, marvelling at such ignorance of a common
fact. "You can get it at the news-stands," he added politely, seeing
how pretty the inquirer was.

Carrie proceeded to get the "Clipper," and tried to find the agents
by looking over it as she stood beside the stand. This could not be
done so easily. Thirteenth Street was a number of blocks off, but
she went back, carrying the precious paper and regretting the
waste of time.

Hurstwood was already there, sitting in his place.

"Where were you?" he asked.

"Iíve been trying to find some dramatic agents."

He felt a little diffident about asking concerning her success. The
paper she began to scan attracted his attention.

"What have you got there?" he asked.

"The ĎClipper.í The man said Iíd find their addresses in here."

"Have you been all the way over to Broadway to find that out? I
could have told you."

"Why didnít you?" she asked, without looking up.

"You never asked me," he returned.

She went hunting aimlessly through the crowded columns. Her
mind was distracted by this manís indifference. The difficulty of
the situation she was facing was only added to by all he did. Self-
commiseration brewed in her heart. Tears trembled along her
eyelids but did not fall. Hurstwood noticed something.

"Let me look."

To recover herself she went into the front room while he searched.
Presently she returned. He had a pencil, and was writing upon an
envelope.

"Hereíre three," he said.

Carrie took it and found that one was Mrs. Bermudez, another
Marcus Jenks, a third Percy Weil. She paused only a moment, and
then moved toward the door.

"I might as well go right away," she said, without looking back.

Hurstwood saw her depart with some faint stirrings of shame,
which were the expression of a manhood rapidly becoming
stultified. He sat a while, and then it became too much. He got up
and put on his hat.

"I guess Iíll go out," he said to himself, and went, strolling
nowhere in particular, but feeling somehow that he must go.

Carrieís first call was upon Mrs. Bermudez, whose address was
quite the nearest. It was an old-fashioned residence turned into
offices. Mrs. Bermudezís offices consisted of what formerly had
been a back chamber and a hall bedroom, marked "Private."

As Carrie entered she noticed several persons lounging about-
men, who said nothing and did nothing.

While she was waiting to be noticed, the door of the hall bedroom
opened and from it issued two very mannish-looking women, very
tightly dressed, and wearing white collars and cuffs. After them
came a portly lady of about forty-five, light-haired, sharp-eyed,
and evidently good-natured. At least she was smiling.

"Now, donít forget about that," said one of the mannish women.

"I wonít," said the portly woman. "Letís see," she added, "where
are you the first week in February?"

"Pittsburg," said the woman.

"Iíll write you there."

"All right," said the other, and the two passed out.

Instantly the portly ladyís face became exceedingly sober and
shrewd. She turned about and fixed on Carrie a very searching
eye.

"Well," she said, "young woman, what can I do for you?"

"Are you Mrs. Bermudez?"

"Yes."

"Well," said Carrie, hesitating how to begin, "do you get places
for persons upon the stage?"
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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