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"Youíre lucky. Now, Iíll show you how to trounce your husband.
You take my advice."
"Here," said Drouet, "if you two are going to scheme together, I
wonít stand a ghost of a show. Hurstwoodís a regular sharp."
"No, itís your wife. She brings me luck. Why shouldnít she win?"
Carrie looked gratefully at Hurstwood, and smiled at Drouet. The
former took the air of a mere friend. He was simply there to enjoy
himself. Anything that Carrie did was pleasing to him, nothing
"There," he said, holding back one of his own good cards, and
giving Carrie a chance to take a trick. "I count that clever playing
for a beginner."
The latter laughed gleefully as she saw the hand coming her way.
It was as if she were invincible when Hurstwood helped her.
He did not look at her often. When he did, it was with a mild light
in his eye. Not a shade was there of anything save geniality and
kindness. He took back the shifty, clever gleam, and replaced it
with one of innocence. Carrie could not guess
but that it was pleasure with him in the immediate thing. She felt
that he considered she was doing a great deal.
"Itís unfair to let such playing go without earning something," he
said after a time, slipping his finger into the little coin pocket of
his coat. "Letís play for dimes."
"All right," said Drouet, fishing for bills.
Hurstwood was quicker. His fingers were full of new ten-cent
pieces. "Here we are," he said, supplying each one with a little
"Oh, this is gambling," smiled Carrie. "Itís bad."
"No," said Drouet, "only fun. If you never play for more than that,
you will go to Heaven."
"Donít you moralise," said Hurstwood to Carrie gently, "until you
see what becomes of the money."
"If your husband gets them, heíll tell you how bad it is."
Drouet laughed loud.
There was such an ingratiating tone about Hurstwoodís voice, the
insinuation was so perceptible that even Carrie got the humour of
"When do you leave?" said Hurstwood to Drouet.
"On Wednesday," he replied.
"Itís rather hard to have your husband running about like that,
isnít it?" said Hurstwood, addressing Carrie.
"Sheís going along with me this time," said Drouet.
"You must both go with me to the theatre before you go."
"Certainly," said Drouet, "Eh, Carrie?"
"Iíd like it ever so much," she replied.
Hurstwood did his best to see that Carrie won the money. He
rejoiced in her success, kept counting her winnings, and finally
gathered and put them in her extended hand. They spread a little
lunch, at which he served the wine, and afterwards he used fine
tact in going.
"Now," he said, addressing first Carrie and then Drouet with his
eyes, "you must be ready at 7:30. Iíll come and get you."
They went with him to the door and there was his cab waiting, its
red lamps gleaming cheerfully in the shadow.
"Now," he observed to Drouet, with a tone of good-fellowship,
"when you leave your wife alone, you must let me show her
around a little. It will break up her loneliness."
"Sure," said Drouet, quite pleased at the attention shown.
"Youíre so kind," observed Carrie.
"Not at all," said Hurstwood, "I would want your husband to do as
much for me."
He smiled and went lightly away. Carrie was thoroughly
impressed. She had never come in contact with such grace. As for
Drouet, he was equally pleased.
"Thereís a nice man," he remarked to Carrie, as they returned to
their cosey chamber. "A good friend of mine, too."
"He seems to be," said Carrie.