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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"We owe the milkman sixty cents," added Hurstwood.

"Yes, and thereís the coal man," said Carrie.

Hurstwood said nothing. He had seen the new things she was
buying; the way she was neglecting household duties; the
readiness with which she was slipping out afternoons and staying.
He felt that something was going to happen. All at once she
spoke:

"I donít know," she said; "I canít do it all. I donít earn enough."

This was a direct challenge. Hurstwood had to take it up. He tried
to be calm.

"I donít want you to do it all," he said. "I only want a little help
until I can get something to do."

"Oh, yes," answered Carrie. "Thatís always the way. It takes more
than I can earn to pay for things. I donít see what Iím going to
do."

"Well, Iíve tried to get something," he exclaimed. "What do you
want me to do?"

"You couldnít have tried so very hard," said Carrie. "I got
something."

"Well, I did," he said, angered almost to harsh words. "You
neednít throw up your success to me. All I asked was a little help
until I could get something. Iím not down yet. Iíll come up all
right."

He tried to speak steadily, but his voice trembled a little.

Carrieís anger melted on the instant. She felt ashamed.

"Well," she said, "hereís the money," and emptied it out on the
table. "I havenít got quite enough to pay it all. If they can wait
until Saturday, though, Iíll have some more."

"You keep it," said Hurstwood, sadly. "I only want enough to pay
the grocer."

She put it back, and proceeded to get dinner early and in good
time. Her little bravado made her feel as if she ought to make
amends.

In a little while their old thoughts returned to both.

"Sheís making more than she says," thought Hurstwood. "She
says sheís making twelve, but that wouldnít buy all those things. I
donít care. Let her keep her money. Iíll get something again one
of these days. Then she can go to the deuce."

He only said this in his anger, but it prefigured a possible course
of action and attitude well enough.

"I donít care," thought Carrie. "He ought to be told to get out and
do something. It isnít right that I should support him."

In these days Carrie was introduced to several youths, friends of
Miss Osborne, who were of the kind most aptly described as gay
and festive. They called once to get Miss Osborne for an
afternoon drive. Carrie was with her at the time.

"Come and go along," said Lola.

"No, I canít," said Carrie.

"Oh, yes, come and go. What have you got to do?"

"I have to be home by five," said Carrie.

"What for?"

"Oh, dinner."

"Theyíll take us to dinner," said Lola.

"Oh, no," said Carrie. "I wonít go. I canít."

"Oh, do come. Theyíre awful nice boys. Weíll get you back in
time. Weíre only going for a drive in Central Park."

Carrie thought a while, and at last yielded.

"Now, I must be back by half-past four," she said.

The information went in one ear of Lola and out the other.

After Drouet and Hurstwood, there was the least touch of
cynicism in her attitude toward young men-especially of the gay
and frivolous sort. She felt a little older than they. Some of their
pretty compliments seemed silly. Still, she was young in heart and
body and youth appealed to her.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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