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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

"Oh, I guess well be able to whip them into shape," said the
latter, with an air of strength under difficulties.

"I dont know," said the director. "That fellow Bamberger strikes
me as being a pretty poor shift for a lover."

"Hes all weve got," said! Quincel, rolling up his eyes. "Harrison
went back on me at the last minute. Who else can we get?"

"I dont know," said the director. "Im afraid hell never pick up."

At this moment Bamberger was exclaiming, "Pearl, you are
joking with me."

"Look at that now," said the director, whispering behind his hand.
"My Lord! what can you do with a man who drawls out a
sentence like that?"

"Do the best you can," said Quincel consolingly.

The rendition ran on in this wise until it came to where Carrie, as
Laura, comes into the room to explain to Ray, who, after hearing
Pearls statement about her birth, had written the letter repudiating
her, which, however, he did not deliver. Bamberger was just
concluding the words of Ray, "I must go before she returns. Her
step! Too late," and was cramming the letter in his pocket, when
she began sweetly with:


"Miss-Miss Courtland," Bamberger faltered weakly.

Carrie looked at him a moment and forgot all about the company
present. She began to feel the part, and summoned an indifferent
smile to her lips, turning as the lines directed and going to a
window, as if he were not present. She did it with a grace which
was fascinating to look upon.

"Who is that woman?" asked the director, watching Carrie in her
little scene with Bamberger.

"Miss Madenda," said Quincel.

"I know her name," said the director, "but what does she do?"

"I dont know," said Quincel. "Shes a friend of one of our

"Well, shes got more gumption than any one Ive seen here so
far-seems to take an interest in what shes doing."

"Pretty, too, isnt she?" said Quincel.

The director strolled away without answering.

In the second scene, where she was supposed to face the company
in the ballroom, she did even better, winning the smile of the
director, who volunteered, because of her fascination for him, to
come over and speak with her.

"Were you ever on the stage?" he asked insinuatingly.

"No," said Carrie.

"You do so well, I thought you might have had some experience."

Carrie only smiled consciously.

He walked away to listen to Bamberger, who was feebly spouting
some ardent line.

Mrs. Morgan saw the drift of things and gleamed at Carrie with
envious and snapping black eyes.

"Shes some cheap professional," she gave herself the satisfaction
of thinking, and scorned and hated her accordingly.

The rehearsal ended for one day, and Carrie went home feeling
that she had acquitted herself satisfactorily. The words of the
director were ringing in her ears, and she longed for an
opportunity to tell Hurstwood. She wanted him to know just how
well she was doing. Drouet, too, was an object for her
confidences. She could hardly wait until he should ask her, and
yet she did not have the vanity to bring it up. The drummer,
however, had another line of thought to-night, and her little
experience did not appeal to him as important. He let the
conversation drop, save for what she chose to recite without
solicitation, and Carrie was not good at that. He took it for granted
that she was doing very well and he was relieved of further worry.
Consequently he threw Carrie into repression, which was
irritating. She felt his indifference keenly and longed to see
Hurstwood. It was as if he were now the only friend she had on
earth. The next morning Drouet was interested again, but the
damage had been done.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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