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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

The drummer usually allowed his ardent good-nature to get the
better of his speech. He really did think that Carrie had acted this
particular scene very well, and he wanted her to repeat it in
public. His enthusiasm was due to the mere spirit of the occasion.

When the time came, he buoyed Carrie up most effectually. He
began to make her feel as if she had done very well. The old
melancholy of desire began to come back as he talked at her, and
by the time the situation rolled around she was running high in

"I think I can do this."

"Sure you can. Now you go ahead and see."

On the stage, Mrs. Van Dam was making her cruel insinuation
against Laura.

Carrie listened, and caught the infection of something-she did not
know what. Her nostrils sniffed thinly.

"It means," the professional actor began, speaking as Ray, "that
society is a terrible avenger of insult. Have you ever heard of the
Siberian wolves? When one of the pack falls through weakness,
the others devour him. It is not an elegant comparison, but there is
something wolfish in society. Laura has mocked it with a
pretence, and society, which is made up of pretence, will bitterly
resent the mockery."

At the sound of her stage name Carrie started. She began to feel
the bitterness of the situation. The feelings of the outcast
descended upon her. She hung at the wing’s edge, wrapt in her
own mounting thoughts. She hardly heard anything more, save her
own rumbling blood.

"Come, girls," said Mrs. Van Dam, solemnly, "let us look after
our things. They are no longer safe when such an accomplished
thief enters."

"Cue," said the prompter, close to her side, but she did not hear.
Already she was moving forward with a steady grace, born of
inspiration. She dawned upon the audience, handsome and proud,
shifting, with the necessity of the situation, to a cold, white,
helpless object, as the social pack moved away from her

Hurstwood blinked his eyes and caught the infection. The
radiating waves of feeling and sincerity were already breaking
against the farthest walls of the chamber. The magic of passion,
which will yet dissolve the world, was here at work.

There was a drawing, too, of attention, a riveting of feeling,
heretofore wandering.

"Ray! Ray! Why do you not come back to her?" was the cry of

Every eye was fixed on Carrie, still proud and scornful. They
moved as she moved. Their eyes were with her eyes.

Mrs. Morgan, as Pearl, approached her.

"Let us go home," she said.

"No," answered Carrie, her voice assuming for the first time a
penetrating quality which it had never known. "Stay with him!"

She pointed an almost accusing hand toward her lover. Then, with
a pathos which struck home because of its utter simplicity, "He
shall not suffer long."
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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