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"I think so," returned Hurstwood. "He said he would."
After a while, Hurstwood said:
"Don’t worry about it. Maybe the grocer will wait. He can do that.
We’ve traded there long enough to make him trust us for a week
"Do you think he will?" she asked.
"I think so."
On this account, Hurstwood, this very day, looked grocer
Oeslogge clearly in the eye as he ordered a pound of coffee, and
"Do you mind carrying my account until the end of every week?"
"No, no, Mr. Wheeler," said Mr. Oeslogge. "Dat iss all right."
Hurstwood, still tactful in distress, added nothing to this. It
seemed an easy thing. He looked out of the door, and then
gathered up his coffee when ready and came away. The game of a
desperate man had begun.
Rent was paid, and now came the grocer. Hurstwood managed by
paving out of his own ten and collecting from Carrie at the end of
the week. Then he delayed a day next time settling with the
grocer, and so soon had his ten back, with Oeslogge getting his
pay on this Thursday or Friday for last Saturday’s bill.
This entanglement made Carrie anxious for a change of some sort.
Hurstwood did not seem to realise that she had a right to anything.
He schemed to make what she earned cover all expenses, but
seemed not to trouble over adding anything himself.
"He talks about worrying," thought Carrie. "If he worried enough
he couldn’t sit there and wait for me. He’d get something to do.
No man could go seven months without finding something if he
The sight of him always around in his untidy clothes and gloomy
appearance drove Carrie to seek relief in other places. Twice a
week there were matinees, and then Hurstwood ate a cold snack,
which he prepared himself. Two other days
there were rehearsals beginning at ten in the morning and lasting
usually until one. Now, to this Carrie added a few visits to one or
two chorus girls, including the blue-eyed soldier of the golden
helmet. She did it because it was pleasant and a relief from
dulness of the home over which her husband brooded.
The blue-eyed soldier’s name was Osborne-Lola Osborne. Her
room was in Nineteenth Street near Fourth Avenue, a block now
given up wholly to office buildings. Here she had a comfortable
back room, looking over a collection of back yards in which grew
a number of shade trees pleasant to see.
"Isn’t your home in New York?" she asked of Lola one day.
"Yes; but I can’t get along with my people. They always want me
to do what they want. Do you live here?"
"Yes," said Carrie.
"With your family?"
Carrie was ashamed to say that she was married. She had talked
so much about getting more salary and confessed to so much
anxiety about her future, that now, when the direct question of
fact was waiting, she could not tell this girl.
"With some relatives," she answered.
Miss Osborne took it for granted that, like herself, Carrie’s time
was her own. She invariably asked her to stay, proposing little
outings and other things of that sort until Carrie began neglecting
her dinner hours. Hurstwood noticed it, but felt
in no position to quarrel with her. Several times she came so late
as scarcely to have an hour in which to patch up a meal and start
for the theatre.
"Do you rehearse in the afternoons?" Hurstwood once asked,
concealing almost completely the cynical protest and regret which
"No; I was looking around for another place," said Carrie.
As a matter of fact she was, but only in such a way as furnished
the least straw of an excuse. Miss Osborne and she had gone to
the office of the manager who was to produce the new opera at the
Broadway and returned straight to the former’s room, where they
had been since three o’clock.