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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Her spirits sank so that at supper Minnie felt that she must have
had another hard day. Carrie finally decided that she would give
the money back. It was wrong to take it. She would go down in
the morning and hunt for work. At noon she would meet Drouet
as agreed and tell him. At this decision her heart sank, until she
was the old Carrie of distress.

Curiously, she could not hold the money in her hand without
feeling some relief. Even after all her depressing conclusions, she
could sweep away all thought about the matter and then the
twenty dollars seemed a wonderful and delightful thing. Ah,
money, money, money! What a thing it was to have. How plenty
of it would clear away all these troubles.

In the morning she got up and started out a little early. Her
decision to hunt for work was moderately strong, but the money
in her pocket, after all her troubling over it, made the work
question the least shade less terrible. She walked into the
wholesale district, but as the thought of applying came with each
passing concern, her heart shrank. What a coward she was, she
thought to herself. Yet she had applied so often. It would be the
same old story. She walked on and on, and finally did go into one
place, with the old result. She came out feeling that luck was
against her. It was no use.

Without much thinking, she reached Dearborn Street. Here was
the great Fair store with its multitude of delivery wagons about,
its long window display, its crowd of shoppers. It readily changed
her thoughts, she who was so weary of them. It was here that she
had intended to come and get her new things. Now for relief from
distress, she thought she would go in and see. She would look at
the jackets.

There is nothing in this world more delightful than that middle
state in which we mentally balance at times, possessed of the
means, lured by desire, and yet deterred by conscience or want of
decision. When Carrie began wandering around the store amid the
fine displays she was in this mood. Her original experience in this
same place had given her a high opinion of its merits. Now she
paused at each individual bit of finery, where before she had
hurried on. Her woman’s heart

was warm with desire for them. How would she look in this, how
charming that would make her! She came upon the corset counter
and paused in rich reverie as she noted the dainty concoctions of
colour and lace there displayed. If she would only make up her
mind, she could have one of those now. She lingered in the
jewelry department. She saw the earrings, the bracelets, the pins,
the chains. What would she not have given if she could have had
them all! She would look fine too, if only she had some of these

The jackets were the greatest attraction. When she entered the
store, she already had her heart fixed upon the peculiar little tan
jacket with large mother-of-pearl buttons which was all the rage
that fall. Still she delighted to convince herself that there was
nothing she would like better. She went about among the glass
cases and racks where these things were displayed, and satisfied
herself that the one she thought of was the proper one. All the
time she wavered in mind, now persuading herself that she could
buy it right away if she chose, now recalling to herself the actual
condition. At last the noon hour was dangerously near, and she
had done nothing. She must go now and return the money.

Drouet was on the corner when she came up.

"Hello," he said, "where is the jacket and"- looking down-"the

Carrie had thought to lead up to her decision in some intelligent
way, but this swept the whole fore-schemed situation by the
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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