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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"I donít believe you ever intend to marry me, Charlie," Carrie said
ruefully. The recent protestations of Hurstwood had given her
courage to say this.

"Oh, yes I do-course I do-what put that into your head?"

He had stopped his trifling before the mirror now and crossed
over to her. For the first time Carrie felt as if she must move away
from him.

"But youíve been saying that so long," she said, looking with her
pretty face upturned into his.

"Well, and I mean it too, but it takes money to live as I want to.
Now, when I get this increase, I can come pretty near fixing
things all right, and Iíll do it. Now, donít you worry, girlie."

He patted her reassuringly upon the shoulder, but Carrie felt how
really futile had been her hopes. She could clearly see that this
easy-going soul intended no move in her behalf. He was simply
letting things drift because he preferred the free round of his
present state to any legal trammellings.

In contrast, Hurstwood appeared strong and sincere. He had no
easy manner of putting her off. He sympathised with her and
showed her what her true value was. He needed her, while Drouet
did not care.

"Oh, no," she said remorsefully, her tone reflecting some of her
own success and more of her helplessness, "you never will."

"Well, you wait a little while and see," he concluded. "Iíll marry
you all right."

Carrie looked at him and felt justified. She was looking for
something which would calm her conscience, and here it was, a
light, airy disregard of her claims

upon his justice. He had faithfully promised to marry her, and this
was the way he fulfilled his promise.

"Say," he said, after he had, as he thought, pleasantly disposed of
the marriage question, "I saw Hurstwood to-day, and he wants us
to go to the theatre with him."

Carrie started at the name, but recovered quickly enough to avoid
notice.

"When?" she asked, with assumed indifference.

"Wednesday. Weíll go, wonít we?"

"If you think so," she answered, her manner being so enforcedly
reserved as to almost excite suspicion. Drouet noticed something,
but he thought it was due to her feelings concerning their talk
about marriage.

"He called once, he said."

"Yes," said Carrie, "he was out here Sunday evening."

"Was he?" said Drouet. "I thought from what he said that he had
called a week or so ago."

"So he did," answered Carrie, who was wholly unaware of what
conversation her lovers might have held. She was all at sea
mentally, and fearful of some entanglement which might ensue
from what she would answer.

"Oh, then he called twice?" said Drouet, the first shade of
misunderstanding showing in his face.

"Yes," said Carrie innocently, feeling now that Hurstwood must
have mentioned but one call.

Drouet imagined that he must have misunderstood his friend. He
did not attach particular importance to the information, after all.

"What did he have to say?" he queried, with slightly increased
curiosity.

"He said he came because he thought I might be lonely. You
hadnít been in there so long he wondered what had become of
you."

"George is a fine fellow," said Drouet, rather gratified by his
conception of the managerís interest. "Come on and weíll go out
to dinner."

When Hurstwood saw that Drouet was back he wrote at once to
Carrie, saying:

"I told him I called on you, dearest, when he was away. I did not
say how often, but he probably thought once. Let me know of
anything you may have said. Answer by special messenger when
you get this, and, darling, I must see you. Let me know if you
canít meet me at Jackson and Throop Streets Wednesday
afternoon at two oíclock. I want to speak with you before we meet
at the theatre."
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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