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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


Chapter XLVI
STIRRING TROUBLED WATERS


Playing in New York one evening on this her return, Carrie was
putting the finishing touches to her toilet before leaving for the
night, when a commotion near the stage door caught her ear. It
included a familiar voice.

"Never mind, now. I want to see Miss Madenda."

"Youíll have to send in your card."

"Oh, come off! Here."

A half-dollar was passed over, and now a knock came at her
dressing-room door.

Carrie opened it.

"Well, well!" said Drouet. "I do swear! Why, how are you? I
knew that was you the moment I saw you."

Carrie fell back a pace, expecting a most embarrassing
conversation.

"Arenít you going to shake hands with me? Well, youíre a dandy!
Thatís all right, shake hands."

Carrie put out her hand, smiling, if for nothing more than the
manís exuberant good-nature. Though older, he was but slightly
changed. The same fine clothes, the same stocky body, the same
rosy countenance.

"That fellow at the door there didnít want to let me in, until I paid
him. I knew it was you, all right. Say, youíve got a great show.
You do your part fine. I knew you would. I just happened to be
passing tonight and thought Iíd drop in for a few minutes. I saw
your name on the programme, but I didnít remember it until you
came on the stage. Then it struck me all at once. Say, you could
have knocked me down with a feather. Thatís the same name you
used out there in Chicago, isnít it?"

"Yes," answered Carrie, mildly, overwhelmed by the manís
assurance.

"I knew it was, the moment I saw you. Well, how have you been,
anyhow?"

"Oh, very well," said Carrie, lingering in her dressing-room. She
was rather dazed by the assault. "How have you been?"

"Me? Oh, fine. Iím here now."

"Is that so?" said Carrie.

"Yes. Iíve been here for six months. Iíve got charge of a branch
here."

"How nice!"

"Well, when did you go on the stage, anyhow?" inquired Drouet.

"About three years ago," said Carrie.

"You donít say so! Well, sir, this is the first Iíve heard of it. I
knew you would, though. I always said you could act-didnít I?"

Carrie smiled.

"Yes, you did," she said.

"Well, you do look great," he said. "I never saw anybody improve
so. Youíre taller, arenít you?"

"Me? Oh, a little, maybe."

He gazed at her dress, then at her hair, where a becoming hat was
set jauntily, then into her eyes, which she took all occasion to
avert. Evidently he expected to restore their old friendship at once
and without modification.

"Well," he said, seeing her gather up her purse, handkerchief, and
the like, preparatory to departing, "I want you to come out to
dinner with me; wonít you? Iíve got a friend out here."

"Oh, I canít," said Carrie. "Not to-night. I have an early
engagement to-morrow."

"Aw, let the engagement go. Come on. I can get rid of him. I want
to have a good talk with you."

"No, no," said Carrie; "I canít. You mustnít ask me any more. I
donít care for a late dinner."

"Well, come on and have a talk, then, anyhow."

"Not to-night," she said, shaking her head. "Weíll have a talk
some other time."
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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