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"Could you get me one?"
"Have you ever had any experience?"
"A very little," said Carrie.
"Whom did you play with?"
"Oh, with no one," said Carrie. "It was just a show gotten-"
"Oh, I see," said the woman, interrupting her. "No, I donít know
of anything now."
Carrieís countenance fell.
"You want to get some New York experience," concluded the
affable Mrs. Bermudez. "Weíll take your name, though."
Carrie stood looking while the lady retired to her office.
"What is your address?" inquired a young lady behind the counter,
taking up the curtailed conversation.
"Mrs. George Wheeler," said Carrie, moving over to where she
was writing. The woman wrote her address in full and then
allowed her to depart at her leisure.
She encountered a very similar experience in the office of Mr.
Jenks, only he varied it by saying at the close: "If you could play
at some local house, or had a programme with your name on it, I
might do something."
In the third place the individual asked:
"What sort of work do you want to do?"
"What do you mean?" said Carrie.
"Well, do you want to get in a comedy or on the vaudeville stage
or in the chorus?"
"Oh, Iíd like to get a part in a play," said Carrie.
"Well," said the man, "itíll cost you something to do that."
"How much?" said Carrie, who, ridiculous as it may seem, had
not thought of this before.
"Well, thatís for you to say," he answered shrewdly.
Carrie looked at him curiously. She hardly knew how to continue
"Could you get me a part if I paid?"
"If we didnít youíd get your money back."
"Oh," she said.
The agent saw he was dealing with an inexperienced soul, and
"Youíd want to deposit fifty dollars, anyway. No agent would
trouble about you for less than that."
Carrie saw a light.
"Thank you," she said. "Iíll think about it."
She started to go, and then bethought herself.
"How soon would I get a place?" she asked.
"Well, thatís hard to say," said the man. "You might get one in a
week, or it might be a month. Youíd get the first thing that we
thought you could do."
"I see," said Carrie, and then, half-smiling to be agreeable, she
The agent studied a moment, and then said to himself:
"Itís funny how anxious these women are to get on the stage."
Carrie found ample food for reflection in the fifty-dollar
proposition. "Maybe theyíd take my money and not give me
anything," she thought. She had some jewelry-a diamond ring and
pin and several other pieces. She could get fifty dollars for those if
she went to a pawnbroker.
Hurstwood was home before her. He had not thought she would
be so long seeking.
"Well?" he said, not venturing to ask what news.
"I didnít find out anything to-day," said Carrie, taking off her
gloves. "They all want money to get you a place."