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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

"Explain," repeated Mr. Bamberger, looking intently at his part.

"Yes, but it also says," the director remarked, "that you are to look
shocked. Now, say it again, and see if you can’t look shocked."

"Explain!" demanded Mr. Bamberger vigorously.

"No, no, that won’t do! Say it this way-explain."

"Explain," said Mr. Bamberger, giving a modified imitation.

"That’s better. Now go on."

"One night," resumed Mrs. Morgan, whose lines came next,
"father and mother were going to the opera. When they were
crossing Broadway, the usual crowd of children accosted them for

"Hold on," said the director, rushing forward, his arm extended.
"Put more feeling into what you are saying."

Mrs. Morgan looked at him as if she feared a personal assault. Her
eye lightened with resentment.

"Remember, Mrs. Morgan," he added, ignoring the gleam, but
modifying his manner, "that you’re detailing a pathetic story. You
are now supposed to be telling something that is a grief to you. It
requires feeling, repression, thus: ‘The usual crowd of children
accosted them for alms.’"

"All right," said Mrs. Morgan.

"Now, go on."

"As mother felt in her pocket for some change, her fingers
touched a cold and trembling hand which had clutched her purse."

"Very good," interrupted the director, nodding his head

"A pickpocket! Well!" exclaimed Mr. Bamberger, speaking the
lines that here fell to him.

"No, no, Mr. Bamberger," said the director, approaching, "not that
way. ‘A pickpocket-well?’ so. That’s the idea."

"Don’t you think," said Carrie weakly, noticing that it had not
been proved yet whether the members of the company knew their
lines, let alone the details of expression, "that it would be better if
we just went through our lines once to see if we know them? We
might pick up some points."

"A very good idea, Miss Madenda," said Mr. Quincel, who sat at
the side of the stage, looking serenely on and volunteering
opinions which the director did not heed.

"All right," said the latter, somewhat abashed, "it might be well to
do it." Then brightening, with a show of authority, "Suppose we
run right through, putting in as much expression as we can."

"Good," said Mr. Quincel.

"This hand," resumed Mrs. Morgan, glancing up at Mr.
Bamberger and down at her book, as the lines proceeded, "my
mother grasped in her own, and so tight that a small, feeble voice
uttered an exclamation of pain. Mother looked down, and there
beside her was a little ragged girl."

"Very good," observed the director, now hopelessly idle.

"The thief!" exclaimed Mr. Bamberger.

"Louder," put in the director, finding it almost impossible to keep
his hands


"The thief!" roared poor Bamberger.

"Yes, but a thief hardly six years old, with a face like an angel’s.
‘Stop,’ said my mother. ‘What are you doing?’

"’Trying to steal,’ said the child.

"’Don’t you know that it is wicked to do so?’ asked my father.

"’No,’ said the girl, ‘but it is dreadful to be hungry.’

"’Who told you to steal?’ asked my mother.

"’She-there,’ said the child, pointing to a squalid woman in a
doorway opposite, who fled suddenly down the street. ‘That is old
Judas,’ said the girl."

Mrs. Morgan read this rather flatly, and the director was in
despair. He fidgeted around, and then went over to Mr. Quincel.

"What do you think of them?" he asked.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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