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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"Do you remember how nervous you were that night at the
Avery?" he asked.

Carrie smiled to think of it.

"I never saw anybody do better than you did then, Cad," he added
ruefully, as he leaned an elbow on the table; "I thought you and I
were going to get along fine those days."

"You mustnít talk that way," said Carrie, bringing in the least
touch of coldness.

"Wonít you let me tell you-"

"No," she answered, rising. "Besides, itís time I was getting ready
for the thea-tre. Iíll have to leave you. Come, now."

"Oh, stay a minute," pleaded Drouet. "Youíve got plenty of time."

"No," said Carrie, gently.

Reluctantly Drouet gave up the bright table and followed. He saw
her to the elevator and, standing there, said:

"When do I see you again?"

"Oh, some time, possibly," said Carrie. "Iíll be here all summer.
Good-night!"

The elevator door was open.

"Good-night!" said Drouet, as she rustled in.

Then he strolled sadly down the hall, all his old longing revived,
because she was now so far off. He thought himself hardly dealt
with. Carrie, however, had other thoughts.

That night it was that she passed Hurstwood, waiting at the
Casino, without observing him.

The next night, walking to the theatre, she encountered him face
to face. He was waiting, more gaunt than ever, determined to see
her, if he had to send in word. At first she did not recognise the
shabby, baggy figure. He frightened her, edging so close, a
seemingly hungry stranger.

"Carrie," he half whispered, "can I have a few words with you?"

She turned and recognised him on the instant. If there ever had
lurked any feeling in her heart against him, it deserted her now.
Still, she remembered what Drouet said about his having stolen
the money.

"Why, George," she said; "whatís the matter with you?"

"Iíve been sick," he answered. "Iíve just got out of the hospital.
For Godís sake, let me have a little money, will you?"

"Of course," said Carrie, her lip trembling in a strong effort to
maintain her composure. "But whatís the matter with you,
anyhow?"

She was opening her purse, and now pulled out all the bills in it-a
five and two twos.

"Iíve been sick, I told you," he said, peevishly, almost resenting
her excessive pity. It came hard to him to receive it from such a
source.

"Here," she said. "Itís all I have with me."

"All right," he answered, softly. "Iíll give it back to you some
day."

Carrie looked at him, while pedestrians stared at her. She felt the
strain of publicity. So did Hurstwood.

"Why donít you tell me whatís the matter with you?" she asked,
hardly knowing what to do. "Where are you living?"

"Oh, Iíve got a room down in the Bowery," he answered. "Thereís
no use trying to tell you here. Iím all right now."

He seemed in a way to resent her kindly inquiries-so much better
had fate dealt with her.

"Better go on in," he said. "Iím much obliged, but I wonít bother
you any more."

She tried to answer, but he turned away and shuffled off toward
the east.

For days this apparition was a drag on her soul before it began to
wear partially away. Drouet called again, but now he was not even
seen by her. His attentions seemed out of place.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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