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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


This is all that was said at the time, owing to an interruption, but
later they met again. He was sitting in a corner after dinner,
staring at the floor, when Carrie came up with another of the
guests. Hard work had given his face the look of one who is
weary. It was not for Carrie to know the thing in it which
appealed to her.

"All alone?" she said.

"I was listening to the music."

"Iíll be back in a moment," said her companion, who saw nothing
in the inventor.

Now he looked up in her face, for she was standing a moment,
while he sat.

"Isnít that a pathetic strain?" he inquired, listening.

"Oh, very," she returned, also catching it, now that her attention
was called.

"Sit down," he added, offering her the chair beside him.

They listened a few moments in silence, touched by the same
feeling, only hers reached her through the heart. Music still
charmed her as in the old days.

"I donít know what it is about music," she started to say, moved
by the inexplicable longings which surged within her; "but it
always makes me feel as if I wanted something-I-"

"Yes," he replied; "I know how you feel."

Suddenly he turned to considering the peculiarity of her
disposition, expressing her feelings so frankly.

"You ought not to be melancholy," he said.

He thought a while, and then went off into a seemingly alien
observation which, however, accorded with their feelings.

"The world is full of desirable situations, but, unfortunately, we
can occupy but one at a time. It doesnít do us any good to wring
our hands over the far-off things."

The music ceased and he arose, taking a standing position before
her, as if to rest himself.

"Why donít you get into some good, strong comedy-drama?" he
said. He was looking directly at her now, studying her face. Her
large, sympathetic eyes and pain-touched mouth appealed to him
as proofs of his judgment.

"Perhaps I shall," she returned.

"Thatís your field," he added.

"Do you think so?"

"Yes," he said; "I do. I donít suppose youíre aware of it, but there
is something about your eyes and mouth which fits you for that
sort of work."

Carrie thrilled to be taken so seriously. For the moment,
loneliness deserted her. Here was praise which was keen and
analytical.

"Itís in your eyes and mouth," he went on abstractedly. "I
remember thinking, the first time I saw you, that there was
something peculiar about your mouth. I thought you were about to
cry."

"How odd," said Carrie, warm with delight. This was what her
heart craved.

"Then I noticed that that was your natural look, and to-night I saw
it again. Thereís a shadow about your eyes, too, which gives your
face much this same character. Itís in the depth of them, I think."

Carrie looked straight into his face, wholly aroused.

"You probably are not aware of it," he added.

She looked away, pleased that he should speak thus, longing to be
equal to this feeling written upon her countenance. It unlocked the
door to a new desire.

She had cause to ponder over this until they met again-several
weeks or more. It showed her she was drifting away from the old
ideal which had filled her in the dressing-rooms of the Avery
stage and thereafter, for a long time. Why had she lost it?

"I know why you should be a success," he said, another time, "if
you had a more dramatic part. Iíve studied it out-"

"What is it?" said Carrie.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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