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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

"Sheís too nervous," said Drouet, feeling in the mildness of the
remark that he was lying for once.

"Better go back and say a word to her."

Drouet was glad to do anything for relief. He fairly hustled around
to the side entrance, and was let in by the friendly door-keeper.
Carrie was standing in the wings, weakly waiting her next cue, all
the snap and nerve gone out of her.

"Say, Cad," he said, looking at her, "you mustnít be nervous.
Wake up. Those guys out there donít amount to anything. What
are you afraid of?"

"I donít know," said Carrie. "I just donít seem to be able to do it."

She was grateful for the drummerís presence, though. She had
found the company so nervous that her own strength had gone.

"Come on," said Drouet. "Brace up. What are you afraid of? Go
on out there now, and do the trick. What do you care?"

Carrie revived a little under the drummerís electrical, nervous

"Did I do so very bad?"

"Not a bit. All you need is a little more ginger. Do it as you
showed me. Get that toss of your head you had the other night."

Carrie remembered her triumph in the room. She tried to think she
could do it.

"Whatís next?" he said, looking at her part, which she had been

"Why, the scene between Ray and me when I refuse him."

"Well, now you do that lively," said the drummer. "Put in snap,
thatís the thing. Act as if you didnít care."

"Your turn next, Miss Madenda," said the prompter.

"Oh, dear," said Carrie.

"Well, youíre a chump for being afraid," said Drouet. "Come on
now, brace up. Iíll watch you from right here."

"Will you?" said Carrie.

"Yes, now go on. Donít be afraid."

The prompter signalled her.

She started out, weak as ever, but suddenly her nerve partially
returned. She thought of Drouet looking.

"Ray," she said, gently, using a tone of voice much more calm
than when she had last appeared. It was the scene which had
pleased the director at the rehearsal.

"Sheís easier," thought Hurstwood to himself.

She did not do the part as she had at rehearsal, but she was better.
The audience was at least not irritated. The improvement of the
work of the entire company took away direct observation from
her. They were making very fair progress, and now it looked as if
the play would be passable, in the less trying parts at least.

Carrie came off warm and nervous.

"Well," she said, looking at him, "was it any better?"

"Well, I should say so. Thatís the way. Put life into it. You did
that about a thousand per cent. better than you did the other scene.
Now go on and fire up. You can do it. Knock Ďem."

"Was it really better?"

"Better, I should say so. What comes next?"

"That ballroom scene."

"Well, you can do that all right," he said.

"I donít know," answered Carrie.

"Why, woman," he exclaimed, "you did it for me! Now you go
out there and do it. Itíll be fun for you. Just do as you did in the
room. If youíll reel it off that way, Iíll bet you make a hit. Now,
whatíll you bet? You do it."
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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