Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
Carrie was certainly better than this man, as she was superior,
mentally, to Drouet. She came fresh from the air of the village, the
light of the country still in her eye. Here was neither guile nor
rapacity. There were slight inherited traits of both in her, but they
were rudimentary. She was too full of wonder and desire to be
greedy. She still looked about her upon the great maze of the city
without understanding. Hurstwood felt the bloom and the youth.
He picked her as he would the fresh fruit of a tree. He felt as fresh
in her presence as one who is taken out of the flash of summer to
the first cool breath of spring.
Carrie, left alone since the scene in question, and having no one
with whom to counsel, had at first wandered from one strange
mental conclusion to another, until at last, tired out, she gave it
up. She owed something to Drouet, she thought. It did not seem
more than yesterday that he had aided her when she was worried
and distressed. She had the kindliest feelings for him in every
way. She gave him credit for his good looks, his generous
feelings, and even, in fact, failed to recollect his egotism when he
was absent; but she could not feel any binding influence keeping
her for him as against all others. In fact, such a thought had never
had any grounding, even in Drouet’s desires.
The truth is, that this goodly drummer carried the doom of all
enduring relationships in his own lightsome manner and unstable
fancy. He went merrily on, assured that he was alluring all, that
affection followed tenderly in his wake, that things would endure
unchangingly for his pleasure. When he missed some old face, or
found some door finally shut to him, it did not grieve him deeply.
He was too young, too successful. He would remain thus young in
spirit until he was dead.
As for Hurstwood, he was alive with thoughts and feelings
concerning Carrie. He had no definite plans regarding her, but he
was determined to make her confess an affection for him. He
thought he saw in her drooping eye, her unstable glance, her
wavering manner, the symptoms of a budding passion. He wanted
to stand near her and make her lay her hand in his-he wanted to
find out what her next step would be-what the next sign of feeling
for him would be. Such anxiety and enthusiasm had not affected
him for years. He was a youth again in feeling-a cavalier in
In his position opportunity for taking his evenings out was
excellent. He was a most faithful worker in general, and a man
who commanded the confidence of his employers in so far as the
distribution of his time was concerned. He could take such hours
off as he chose, for it was well known that he fulfilled his
managerial duties successfully, whatever time he might take. His
grace, tact, and ornate appearance gave the place an air which was
most essential, while at the same time his long experience made
him a most excellent judge of its stock necessities. Bartenders and
assistants might come and go, singly or in groups, but, so long as
he was present, the host of old-time customers would barely
notice the change. He gave the place the atmosphere to which
they were used. Consequently, he arranged his hours very much to
suit himself, taking now an afternoon, now an evening, but
invariably returning between eleven and twelve to witness the last
hour or two of the day’s business and look after the closing
"You see that things are safe and all the employees are out when
you go home, George," Moy had once remarked to him, and he
never once, in all the period of his long service, neglected to do
this. Neither of the owners had for years been in the resort after
five in the afternoon, and yet their manager as faithfully fulfilled
this request as if they had been there regularly to observe.
On this Friday afternoon, scarcely two days after his previous
visit, he made up his mind to see Carrie. He could not stay away
"Evans," he said, addressing the head barkeeper, "if any one calls,
I will be back between four and five."
He hurried to Madison Street and boarded a horse-car, which
carried him to Ogden Place in half an hour.
Carrie had thought of going for a walk, and had put on a light grey
woollen dress with a jaunty double-breasted jacket. She had out
her hat and gloves, and was fastening a white lace tie about her
throat when the housemaid brought up the information that Mr.
Hurstwood wished to see her.
She started slightly at the announcement, but told the girl to say
that she would come down in a moment, and proceeded to hasten