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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

"Oh, we’ll be right back, Miss Madenda," said one of the chaps,
bowing. "You wouldn’t think we’d keep you over time, now,
would you?"

"Well, I don’t know," said Carrie, smiling.

They were off for a drive-she, looking about and noticing fine
clothing, the young men voicing those silly pleasantries and weak
quips which pass for humour in coy circles. Carrie saw the great
park parade of carriages, beginning at the Fifty-ninth Street
entrance and winding past the Museum of Art to the exit at One
Hundred and Tenth Street and Seventh Avenue. Her eye was once
more taken by the show of wealth-the elaborate costumes, elegant
harnesses, spirited horses, and, above all, the beauty. Once more
the plague of poverty galled her, but now she forgot in a measure
her own troubles so far as to forget Hurstwood. He waited until
four, five, and even six. It was getting dark when he got up out of
his chair.

"I guess she isn’t coming home," he said, grimly.

"That’s the way," he thought. "She’s getting a start now. I’m out
of it."

Carrie had really discovered her neglect, but only at a quarter after
five, and the open carriage was now far up Seventh Avenue, near
the Harlem River.

"What time is it?" she inquired. "I must be getting back."

"A quarter after five," said her companion, consulting an elegant,
open-faced watch.

"Oh, dear me!" exclaimed Carrie. Then she settled back with a
sigh. "There’s no use crying over spilt milk," she said. "It’s too

"Of course it is," said the youth, who saw visions of a fine dinner
now, and such invigorating talk as would result in a reunion after
the show. He was greatly taken with Carrie. "We’ll drive down to
Delmonico’s now and have something there, won’t we, Orrin?"

"To be sure," replied Orrin, gaily.

Carrie thought of Hurstwood. Never before had she neglected
dinner without an excuse.

They drove back, and at 6.15 sat down to dine. It was the Sherry
incident over again, the remembrance of which came painfully
back to Carrie. She remembered Mrs. Vance, who had never
called again after Hurstwood’s reception, and Ames.

At this figure her mind halted. It was a strong, clean vision. He
liked better books than she read, better people than she associated
with. His ideals burned in her heart.

"It’s fine to be a good actress," came distinctly back.

What sort of an actress was she?

"What are you thinking about, Miss Madenda?" inquired her
merry companion. "Come, now, let’s see if I can guess."

"Oh, no," said Carrie. "Don’t try."

She shook it off and ate. She forgot, in part, and was merry. When
it came to the after-theatre proposition, however, she shook her

"No," she said, "I can’t. I have a previous engagement."

"Oh, now, Miss Madenda," pleaded the youth.

"No," said Carrie, "I can’t. You’ve been so kind, but you’ll have
to excuse me."

The youth looked exceedingly crestfallen.

"Cheer up, old man," whispered his companion. "We’ll go around,
anyhow. She may change her mind."

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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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