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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


Carrie looked at him in amazement, and then summoned
sufficient thought to reply: "Why, I donít know you," backing
away as she did so.

"Oh, that donít matter," said the other affably.

She bandied no more words with him, but hurried away, reaching
her own door quite out of breath. There was something in the
manís look which frightened her.

During the remainder of the week it was very much the same. One
or two nights she found herself too tired to walk home and
expended car fare. She was not very strong, and sitting all day
affected her back. She went to bed one night before Hanson.

Transplantation is not always successful in the matter of flowers
or maidens. It requires sometimes a richer soil, a better
atmosphere to continue even a natural growth. It would have been
better if her acclimatization had been more gradualless rigid. She
would have done better if she had not secured a position so
quickly, and had seen more of the city which she constantly
troubled to know about.

On the first morning it rained she found that she had no umbrella.
Minnie loaned her one of hers, which was worn and faded. There
was the kind of vanity in Carrie that troubled at this. She went to
one of the great department stores and bought herself one, using a
dollar and a quarter of her small store to pay for it.

"What did you do that for, Carrie?" asked Minnie when she saw
it.

"Oh, I need one," said Carrie.

"You foolish girl."

Carrie resented this, though she did not reply. She was not going
to be a common shop-girl, she thought; they need not think it,
either.

On the first Saturday night Carrie paid her board, four dollars.
Minnie had a quaver of conscience as she took it, but did not
know how to explain to Hanson if

she took less. That worthy gave up just four dollars less toward
the household expenses with a smile of satisfaction. He
contemplated increasing his Building and Loan payments. As for
Carrie, she studied over the problem of finding clothes and
amusement on fifty cents a week, She brooded over this until she
was in a state of mental rebellion.

"Iím going up the street for a walk," she said after supper.

"Not alone are you?" asked Hanson.

"Yes," returned Carrie.

"I wouldnít," said Minnie.

"I want to see something," said Carrie, and by the tone she put
into the last word they realised for the first time she was not
pleased with them.

"Whatís the matter with her?" asked Hanson, when she went into
the front room to get her hat.

"I donít know," said Minnie.

"Well, she ought to know better than to want to go out alone."

Carrie did not go very far, after all. She returned and stood in the
door. The next day they went out to Garfield Park, but it did not
please her. She did not look well enough. In the shop next day she
heard the highly coloured reports which girls give of their trivial
amusements. They had been happy. On several days it rained and
she used up car fare. One night she got thoroughly soaked, going
to catch the car at Van Buren Street. All that evening she sat alone
in the front room looking out upon the street, where the lights
were reflected on the wet pavements, thinking. She had
imagination enough to be moody.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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