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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


The regular entrance of thirty-five dollars a week to one who has
endured scant allowances for several years is a demoralising
thing. Carrie found her purse bursting with good green bills of
comfortable denominations. Having no one dependent upon her,
she began to buy pretty clothes and pleasing trinkets, to eat well,
and to ornament her room. Friends were not long in gathering
about. She met a few young men who belonged to Lolaís staff.
The members of the opera company made her acquaintance
without the formality of introduction. One of these discovered a
fancy for her. On several occasions he strolled home with her.

"Letís stop in and have a rarebit," he suggested one midnight.

"Very well," said Carrie.

In the rosy restaurant, filled with the merry lovers of late hours,
she found herself criticising this man. He was too stilted, too self-
opinionated. He did not talk of anything that lifted her above the
common run of clothes and material success. When it was all
over, he smiled most graciously.

"Got to go straight home, have you?" he said.

"Yes," she answered, with an air of quiet understanding.

"Sheís not so inexperienced as she looks," he thought, and
thereafter his respect and ardour were increased.

She could not help sharing in Lolaís love for a good time. There
were days when they went carriage riding, nights when after the
show they dined, afternoons when they strolled along Broadway,
tastefully dressed. She was getting in the metropolitan whirl of
pleasure.

At last her picture appeared in one of the weeklies. She had not
known of it, and it took her breath. "Miss Carrie Madenda," it was
labelled. "One of the favourites of ĎThe Wives of Abdulí
company." At Lolaís advice she had had some pictures taken by
Sarony. They had got one there. She thought of going down and
buying a few copies of the paper, but remembered that there was
no one she knew well enough to send them to. Only Lola,
apparently, in all the world was interested.

The metropolis is a cold place socially, and Carrie soon found that
a little money brought her nothing. The world of wealth and
distinction was quite as far away as ever. She could feel that there
was no warm, sympathetic friendship back of the easy merriment
with which many approached her. All seemed to be seeking their
own amusement, regardless of the possible sad consequence to
others. So much for the lessons of Hurstwood and Drouet.

In April she learned that the opera would probably last until the
middle or the end of May, according to the size of the audiences.
Next season it would go on

the road. She wondered if she would be with it. As usual, Miss
Osborne, owing to her moderate salary, was for securing a home
engagement.

"Theyíre putting on a summer play at the Casino," she announced,
after figuratively putting her ear to the ground. "Letís try and get
in that."

"Iím willing," said Carrie.

They tried in time and were apprised of the proper date to apply
again. That was May 16th. Meanwhile their own show closed
May 5th.

"Those that want to go with the show next season," said the
manager, "will have to sign this week."

"Donít you sign," advised Lola. "I wouldnít go."

"I know," said Carrie, "but maybe I canít get anything else."

"Well, I wonít," said the little girl, who had a resource in her
admirers. "I went once and I didnít have anything at the end of the
season."

Carrie thought this over. She had never been on the road.

"We can get along," added Lola. "I always have."

Carrie did not sign.

The manager who was putting on the summer skit at the Casino
had never heard of Carrie, but the several notices she had
received, her published picture, and the programme bearing her
name had some little weight with him. He gave her a silent part at
thirty dollars a week.

"Didnít I tell you?" said Lola. "It doesnít do you any good to go
away from New York. They forget all about you if you do."
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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