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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

"I did go part of the way, but I left the party a mile down the

"You and Pearl had no disagreement?"

"No-yes; that is, we always have. Our social barometers always
stand at ‘cloudy’ and ‘overcast.’

"And whose fault is that?" she said, easily.

"Not mine," he answered, pettishly. "I know I do all I can-I say all
I can-but she-"

This was rather awkwardly put by Patton, but Carrie redeemed it
with a grace which was inspiring.

"But she is your wife," she said, fixing her whole attention upon
the stilled actor, and softening the quality of her voice until it was
again low and musical. "Ray, my friend, courtship is the text from
which the whole sermon of married life takes its theme. Do not let
yours be discontented and unhappy."

She put her two little hands together and pressed them

Hurstwood gazed with slightly parted lips. Drouet was fidgeting
with satisfaction.

"To be my wife, yes," went on the actor in a manner which was
weak by comparison, but which could not now spoil the tender
atmosphere which Carrie had created and maintained. She did not
seem to feel that he was wretched. She would have done nearly as
well with a block of wood. The accessories she needed were
within her own imagination. The acting of others could not affect

"And you repent already?" she said, slowly.

"I lost you," he said, seizing her little hand, "and I was at the
mercy of any flirt who chose to give me an inviting look. It was
your fault-you know it waswhy did you leave me?"

Carrie turned slowly away, and seemed to be mastering some
impulse in silence. Then she turned back.

"Ray," she said, "the greatest happiness I have ever felt has been
the thought that all your affection was forever bestowed upon a
virtuous woman, your equal in family, fortune, and
accomplishments. What a revelation do you make to me now!
What is it makes you continually war with your happiness?"

The last question was asked so simply that it came to the audience
and the lover as a personal thing.

At last it came to the part where the lover exclaimed, "Be to me as
you used to be."

Carrie answered, with affecting sweetness, "I cannot be that to
you, but I can speak in the spirit of the Laura who is dead to you

"Be it as you will," said Patton.

Hurstwood leaned forward. The whole audience was silent and

"Let the woman you look upon be wise or vain," said Carrie, her
eyes bent sadly upon the lover, who had sunk into a seat,
"beautiful or homely, rich or poor, she has but one thing she can
really give or refuse-her heart,"

Drouet felt a scratch in his throat.

"Her beauty, her wit, her accomplishments, she may sell to you;
but her love is the treasure without money and without price."

The manager suffered this as a personal appeal. It came to him as
if they were alone, and he could hardly restrain the tears for
sorrow over the hopeless, pathetic, and yet dainty and appealing
woman whom he loved. Drouet also was beside himself. He was
resolving that he would be to Carrie what he had never been
before. He would marry her, by George! She was worth it.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

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