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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Carrieís new state was remarkable in that she saw possibilities in
it. She was no sensualist, longing to drowse sleepily in the lap of
luxury. She turned about, troubled by her daring, glad of her
release, wondering whether she would get something to do,
wondering what Drouet would do. That worthy had his future
fixed for him beyond a peradventure. He could not help what he
was going to do. He could not see clearly enough to wish to do
differently. He was drawn by his innate desire to act the old
pursuing part. He would need to delight himself with Carrie as
surely as he would need to eat his heavy breakfast. He might
suffer the least rudimentary twinge of conscience in whatever he
did, and in just so far he was evil and sinning. But whatever
twinges of conscience he might have would be rudimentary, you
may be sure.

The next day he called upon Carrie, and she saw him in her
chamber. He was the same jolly, enlivening soul.

"Aw," he said, "what are you looking so blue about? Come on out
to breakfast. You want to get your other clothes to-day."

Carrie looked at him with the hue of shifting thought in her large

"I wish I could get something to do," she said.

"Youíll get that all right," said Drouet. "Whatís the use worrying
right now? Get yourself fixed up. See the city. I wonít hurt you."

"I know you wonít," she remarked, half truthfully.

"Got on the new shoes, havenít you? Stick Ďem out. George, they
look fine. Put on your jacket."

Carrie obeyed.

"Say, that fits like a T, donít it?" he remarked, feeling the set of it
at the waist and eyeing it from a few paces with real pleasure.
"What you need now is a new skirt. Letís go to breakfast."

Carrie put on her hat.

"Where are the gloves?" he inquired.

"Here," she said, taking them out of the bureau drawer.

"Now, come on," he said.

Thus the first hour of misgiving was swept away.

It went this way on every occasion. Drouet did not leave her much
alone. She had time for some lone wanderings, but mostly he
filled her hours with sight-seeing. At Carson, Pirieís he bought
her a nice skirt and shirt waist. With his money she purchased the
little necessaries of toilet, until at last she looked quite another
maiden. The mirror convinced her of a few things which she had
long believed. She was pretty, yes, indeed! How nice her hat set,
and werenít her eyes pretty. She caught her little red lip with her
teeth and felt her first thrill of power. Drouet was so good.

They went to see "The Mikado" one evening, an opera which was
hilariously popular at that time. Before going, they made off for
the Windsor dining-room, which was in Dearborn Street, a
considerable distance from Carrieís room. It was blowing up cold,
and out of her window Carrie could see the western sky, still pink
with the fading light, but steely blue at the top where it met the
darkness. A long, thin cloud of pink hung in midair, shaped like
some island in a far-off sea. Somehow the swaying of some dead
branches of trees across the way brought back the picture with
which she was familiar when she looked from their front window
in December days at home.

She paused and wrung her little hands.

"Whatís the matter?" said Drouet.

"Oh, I donít know," she said, her lip trembling.

He sensed something, and slipped his arm over her shoulder,
patting her arm.

"Come on," he said gently, "youíre all right."

She turned to slip on her jacket.

"Better wear that boa about your throat to-night."

They walked north on Wabash to Adams Street and then west.
The lights in the stores were already shining out in gushes of
golden hue. The arc lights were sputtering overhead, and high up
were the lighted windows of the tall office buildings. The chill
wind whipped in and out in gusty breaths. Homeward bound, the
six oíclock throng bumped and jostled. Light overcoats were
turned up about the ears, hats were pulled down. Little shop-girls
went fluttering by in pairs and fours, chattering, laughing. It was a
spectacle of warm-blooded humanity.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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