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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"You have?" he said, breathing a better breath.

"Yes."

"What sort of a place is it?" he asked, feeling in his veins as if
now he might get something good also.

"In the chorus," she answered.

"Is it the Casino show you told me about?"

"Yes," she answered. "I begin rehearsing tomorrow."

There was more explanation volunteered by Carrie, because she
was happy. At last Hurstwood said:

"Do you know how much youíll get?"

"No, I didnít want to ask," said Carrie. "I guess they pay twelve or
fourteen dollars a week."

"About that, I guess," said Hurstwood.

There was a good dinner in the flat that evening, owing to the
mere lifting of the terrible strain. Hurstwood went out for a shave,
and returned with a fair-sized sirloin steak.

"Now, to-morrow," he thought, "Iíll look around myself," and
with renewed hope he lifted his eyes from the ground.

On the morrow Carrie reported promptly and was given a place in
the line. She saw a large, empty, shadowy play-house, still
redolent of the perfumes and blazonry of the night, and notable
for its rich, oriental appearance. The wonder of

it awed and delighted her. Blessed be its wondrous reality. How
hard she would try to be worthy of it. It was above the common
mass, above idleness, above want, above insignificance. People
came to it in finery and carriages to see. It was ever a center of
light and mirth. And here she was of it. Oh, if she could only re-
main, how happy would be her days!

"What is your name?" said the manager, who was conducting the
drill.

"Madenda," she replied, instantly mindful of the name Drouet had
selected in Chicago. "Carrie Madenda."

"Well, now, Miss Madenda," he said, very affably, as Carrie
thought, "you go over there."

Then he called to a young woman who was already of the
company:

"Miss Clark, you pair with Miss Madenda."

This young lady stepped forward, so that Carrie saw where to go,
and the rehearsal began.

Carrie soon found that while this drilling had some slight
resemblance to the rehearsals as conducted at Avery Hall, the
attitude of the manager was much more pronounced. She had
marvelled at the insistence and superior airs of Mr. Millice, but
the individual conducting here had the same insistence, coupled
with almost brutal roughness. As the drilling proceeded, he
seemed to wax exceedingly wroth over trifles, and to increase his
lung power in proportion. It was very evident that

he had a great contempt for any assumption of dignity or
innocence on the part of these young women.

"Clark," he would call-meaning, of course, Miss Clark-"why donít
you catch step there?"

"By fours, right! Right, I said, right! For heavenís sake, get on to
yourself! Right!" and in saying this he would lift the last sounds
into a vehement roar.

"Maitland! Maitland!" he called once.

A nervous, comely-dressed little girl stepped out. Carrie trembled
for her out of the fulness of her own sympathies and fear.

"Yes, sir," said Miss Maitland.

"Is there anything the matter with your ears?"

"No, sir."

"Do you know what Ďcolumn leftí means?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well, what are you stumbling around the right for? Want to
break up the line?"

"I was just-"
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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