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"Sure," he said, reaching over and filling her cup with tea. "Iíll
She looked at him, and he laughed reassuringly.
"Now Iíll tell you what well do. Weíll go over here to Partridgeís
and you pick out what you want. Then weíll look around for a
room for you. You can leave the things there. Then weíll go to the
Carrie shook her head.
"Well, you can go out to the flat then, thatís all right. You donít
need to stay in the room. Just take it and leave your things there."
She hung in doubt about this until the dinner was over.
"Letís go over and look at the jackets," he said.
Together they went. In the store they found that shine and rustle
of new things which immediately laid hold of Carrieís heart.
Under the influence of a good dinner and Drouetís radiating
presence, the scheme proposed seemed feasible. She looked about
and picked a jacket like the one which she had admired at The
Fair. When she got it in her hand it seemed so much nicer. The
saleswoman helped her on with it, and, by accident, it fitted
perfectly. Drouetís face lightened as he saw the improvement. She
looked quite smart.
"Thatís the thing," he said.
Carrie turned before the glass. She could not help feeling pleased
as she looked at herself. A warm glow crept into her cheeks.
"Thatís the thing," said Drouet. "Now pay for it."
"Itís nine dollars," said Carrie.
"Thatís all right-take it," said Drouet.
She reached in her purse and took out one of the bills. The woman
asked if she would wear the coat and went off. In a few minutes
she was back and the purchase was closed.
From Partridgeís they went to a shoe store, where Carrie was
fitted for shoes. Drouet stood by, and when he saw how nice they
looked, said, "Wear them." Carrie shook her head, however. She
was thinking of returning to the flat. He bought her a purse for
one thing, and a pair of gloves for another, and let her buy the
"To-morrow," he said, "you come down here and buy yourself a
In all of Carrieís actions there was a touch of misgiving. The
deeper she sank into the entanglement, the more she imagined that
the thing hung upon the few remaining things she had not done.
Since she had not done these, there was a way out.
Drouet knew a place in Wabash Avenue where there were rooms.
He showed Carrie the outside of these, and said: "Now, youíre my
sister." He carried the arrangement off with an easy hand when it
came to the selection, looking around, criticising, opining. "Her
trunk will be here in a day or so," he observed to the landlady,
who was very pleased.
When they were alone, Drouet did not change in the least. He
talked in the same general way as if they were out in the street.
Carrie left her things.
"Now," said Drouet, "why donít you move to-night?"
"Oh, I canít," said Carrie.
"I donít want to leave them so."
He took that up as they walked along the avenue. It was a warm
afternoon. The sun had come out and the wind had died down. As
he talked with Carrie, he secured an accurate detail of the
atmosphere of the flat.
"Come out of it," he said, "they wonít care. Iíll help you get
She listened until her misgivings vanished. He would show her
about a little and then help her get something. He really imagined
that he would. He would be out on the road and she could be
"Now, Iíll tell you what you do," he said, "you go out there and
get whatever you want and come away."