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COPYRIGHT 2013 International Education Institute,
ATTN: Ken Harvey, 2027 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick
WA 99336, USA
SISTER CARRIEby Theodore Dreiser
MAGNET ATTRACTING: A WAIF AMID FORCES
Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon
train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of
a small trunk, a cheap
imitation alligator-skin satchel, a small lunch
in a paper box, and a yellow
leather snap purse, containing her ticket, a
scrap of paper with her sister's
address in Van Buren Street, and four dollars in
money. It was in August, 1889.
She was eighteen years of age, bright, timid,
and full of the illusions of
ignorance and youth. Whatever touch of regret at
parting characterised her
thoughts, it was certainly not for advantages
now being given up. A gush of
tears at her mother's farewell kiss, a touch in
her throat when the cars
clacked by the flour mill where her father
worked by the day, a pathetic sigh
as the familiar green environs of the village
passed in review, and the threads
which bound her so lightly to girlhood and home
were irretrievably broken.
sure there was always the next
station, where one might descend and return.
There was the great city, bound
more closely by these very trains which came up
daily. Columbia City was not so
very far away, even once she was in Chicago.
What, pray, is a few hours – a few
hundred miles? She looked at the little slip
bearing her sister's address and
wondered. She gazed at the green landscape, now
passing in swift review, until
her swifter thoughts replaced its impression
with vague conjectures of what
Chicago might be.
girl leaves her home at eighteen,
she does one of two things. Either she falls
into saving hands and becomes
better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan
standard of virtue and becomes
worse. Of an intermediate balance, under the
circumstances, there is no
possibility. The city has its cunning wiles, no
less than the infinitely
smaller and more human tempter. There are large
forces which allure with all
the soulfulness of expression possible in the
most cultured human. The gleam of
a thousand lights is often as effective as the
persuasive light in a wooing and
fascinating eye. Half the undoing of the
unsophisticated and natural mind is
accomplished by forces wholly superhuman. A
blare of sound, a roar of life, a
vast array of human hives, appeal to the
astonished senses in equivocal terms.
Without a counsellor at hand to whisper cautious
falsehoods may not these things breathe into the
unguarded ear! Unrecognised
for what they are, their beauty, like music, too
often relaxes, then weakens,
then perverts the simpler human perceptions.
or Sister Carrie, as she had been
half affectionately termed by the family, was
possessed of a mind rudimentary
in its power of observation and analysis.
Self-interest with her was high, but
not strong. It was, nevertheless, her guiding
characteristic. Warm with the
fancies of youth, pretty with the insipid
prettiness of the formative period,
possessed of a figure promising eventual
shapeliness and an eye alight with
certain native intelligence, she was a fair
example of the middle American
class – two generations removed from the
emigrant. Books were beyond her
interest – knowledge a sealed book. In the
intuitive graces she was still
crude. She could scarcely toss her head
gracefully. Her hands were almost
ineffectual. The feet, though small, were set
flatly. And yet she was
interested in her charms, quick to understand
the keener pleasures of life,
ambitious to gain in material things. A
half-equipped little knight she was,
venturing to reconnoitre the mysterious city and
dreaming wild dreams of some
vague, far-off supremacy, which should make it
prey and subject – the proper
penitent, grovelling at a woman's slipper.
said a voice in her ear,
"is one of the prettiest little resorts in
she answered nervously.
was just pulling out of Waukesha.
For some time she had been conscious of a man
behind. She felt him observing
her mass of hair. He had been fidgetting, and
with natural intuition she felt a
certain interest growing in that quarter. Her
maidenly reserve, and a certain
sense of what was conventional under the
circumstances, called her to forestall
and deny this familiarity, but the daring and
magnetism of the individual, born
of past experiences and triumphs, prevailed. She
forward to put his elbows upon
the back of her seat and proceeded to make
himself volubly agreeable.
that is a great resort for
Chicago people. The hotels are swell. You are
not familiar with this part of
the country, are you?"
I am," answered Carrie.
"That is, I live at Columbia City. I have never
been through here,
this is your first visit to
Chicago," he observed.
time she was conscious of certain
features out of the side of her eye. Flush,
colourful cheeks, a light
moustache, a grey fedora hat. She now turned and
looked upon him in full, the
instincts of self-protection and coquetry
mingling confusedly in her brain.
say that," she said.
answered, in a very
pleasing way and with an assumed air of mistake,
"I thought you did."
a type of the travelling canvasser
for a manufacturing house – a class which at
that time was first being dubbed
by the slang of the day "drummers." He came
within the meaning of a
still newer term, which had sprung into general
use among Americans in 1880,
and which concisely expressed the thought of one
whose dress or manners are
calculated to elicit the admiration of
susceptible young women – a
"masher." His suit was of a striped and crossed
pattern of brown
wool, new at that time, but since become
familiar as a business suit. The low
crotch of the vest revealed a stiff shirt bosom
of white and pink stripes. From
his coat sleeves protruded a pair of linen cuffs
of the same pattern, fastened
with large, gold plate buttons, set with the
common yellow agates known as
"cat's-eyes." His fingers bore several rings –
one, the ever-enduring
heavy seal – and from his vest dangled a neat
gold watch chain, from which was
suspended the secret insignia of the Order of
Elks. The whole suit was rather
tight-fitting, and was finished off with
heavy-soled tan shoes, highly
polished, and the grey fedora hat. He was, for
the order of intellect
represented, attractive, and whatever he had to
recommend him, you may be sure
was not lost upon Carrie, in this, her first
order of individual should
permanently pass, let me put down some of the
most striking characteristics of
his most successful manner and method. Good
clothes, of course, were the first
essential, the things without which he was
nothing. A strong physical nature,
actuated by a keen desire for the feminine, was
the next. A mind free of any
consideration of the problems or forces of the
world and actuated not by greed,
but an insatiable love of variable pleasure. His
method was always simple. Its
principal element was daring, backed, of course,
by an intense desire and
admiration for the sex. Let him meet with a
young woman once and he would
approach her with an air of kindly familiarity,
not unmixed with pleading,
which would result in most cases in a tolerant
acceptance. If she showed any
tendency to coquetry he would be apt to
straighten her tie, or if she
"took up" with him at all, to call her by her
first name. If he
visited a department store it was to lounge
familiarly over the counter and ask
some leading questions. In more exclusive
circles, on the train or in waiting
stations, he went slower. If some seemingly
vulnerable object appeared he was
all attention – to pass the compliments of the
day, to lead the way to the
parlor car, carrying her grip, or, failing that,
to take a seat next her with
the hope of being able to court her to her
destination. Pillows, books, a
foot-stool, the shade lowered; all these figured
in the things which he could
do. If, when she reached her destination, he did
not alight and attend her
baggage for her, it was because, in his own
estimation, he had signally failed.
should some day write the complete
philosophy of clothes. No matter how young, it
is one of the things she wholly
comprehends. There is an indescribably faint
line in the matter of man's
apparel which somehow divides for her those who
are worth glancing at and those
who are not. Once an individual has passed this
faint line on the way downward
he will get no glance from her. There is another
line at which the dress of a
man will cause her to study her own. This line
the individual at her elbow now
marked for Carrie. She became conscious of an
inequality. Her own plain blue
dress, with its black cotton tape trimmings, now
seemed to her shabby. She felt
the worn state of her shoes.
see," he went on, "I
know quite a number of people in your town.
Morgenroth the clothier and Gibson
the dry goods man."
you?" she interrupted,
aroused by memories of longings their show
windows had cost her.
he had a clew to her interest, and
followed it deftly. In a few minutes he had come
about into her seat. He talked
of sales of clothing, his travels, Chicago, and
the amusements of that city.
are going there, you will
enjoy it immensely. Have you relatives?"
going to visit my sister,"
to see Lincoln Park,"
he said, "and Michigan Boulevard. They are
putting up great buildings
there. It's a second New York – great. So much
to see – theatres, crowds, fine
houses – oh, you'll like that."
a little ache in her fancy of all
he described. Her insignificance in the presence
of so much magnificence
faintly affected her. She realised that hers was
not to be a round of pleasure,
and yet there was something promising in all the
material prospect he set
forth. There was something satisfactory in the
attention of this individual
with his good clothes. She could not help
smiling as he told her of some popular
actress of whom she reminded him. She was not
silly, and yet attention of this
sort had its weight.
be in Chicago some little
time, won't you?" he observed at one turn of the
now easy conversation.
know," said Carrie
vaguely – a flash vision of the possibility of
her not securing employment
rising in her mind.
weeks, anyhow," he said,
looking steadily into her eyes.
much more passing now than the
mere words indicated. He recognised the
indescribable thing that made up for
fascination and beauty in her. She realised that
she was of interest to him
from the one standpoint which a woman both
delights in and fears. Her manner
was simple, though for the very reason that she
had not yet learned the many
little affectations with which women conceal
their true feelings. Some things
she did appeared bold. A clever companion – had
she ever had one – would have
warned her never to look a man in the eyes so
you ask?" she said.
I'm going to be there several
weeks. I'm going to study stock at our place and
get new samples. I might show
know whether you can or not.
I mean I don't know whether I can. I shall be
living with my sister, and-"
she minds, we'll fix
that." He took out his pencil and a little
pocket note-book as if it were
all settled. "What is your address there?"
fumbled her purse which contained the
reached down in his hip pocket and took
out a fat purse. It was filled with slips of
paper, some mileage books, a roll
of greenbacks. It impressed her deeply. Such a
purse had never been carried by
any one attentive to her. Indeed, an experienced
traveller, a brisk man of the
world, had never come within such close range
before. The purse, the shiny tan
shoes, the smart new suit, and the air with
which he did things, built up for
her a dim world of fortune, of which he was the
centre. It disposed her
pleasantly toward all he might do.
out a neat business card, on which
was engraved Bartlett, Caryoe & Company, and
down in the lefthand corner,
Chas. H. Drouet.
me," he said, putting the
card in her hand and touching his name. "It's
pronounced Drew-eh. Our
family was French, on my father's side."
looked at it while he put up his purse.
Then he got out a letter from a bunch in his
coat pocket. "This is the
house I travel for," he went on, pointing to a
picture on it, "corner
of State and Lake." There was pride in his
voice. He felt that it was
something to be connected with such a place, and
he made her feel that way.
your address?" he began
again, fixing his pencil to write.
Meeber," she said slowly.
"Three hundred and fifty-four West Van Buren
Street, care S. C.
it carefully down and got out the
purse again. "You'll be at home if I come around
Monday night?" he
so," she answered.
it is that words are but the vague
shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible
links, they are, chaining
together great inaudible feelings and purposes.
Here were these two, bandying
little phrases, drawing purses, looking at
cards, and both unconscious of how
inarticulate all their real feelings were.
Neither was wise enough to be sure
of the working of the mind of the other. He
could not tell how his luring
succeeded. She could not realise that she was
drifting, until he secured her
address. Now she felt that she had yielded
something – he, that he had gained a
victory. Already they felt that they were
somehow associated. Already he took
control in directing the conversation. His words
were easy. Her manner was
nearing Chicago. Signs were
everywhere numerous. Trains flashed by them.
Across wide stretches of flat,
open prairie they could see lines of telegraph
poles stalking across the fields
toward the great city. Far away were indications
of suburban towns, some big
smoke-stacks towering high in the air.
there were two-story frame
houses standing out in the open fields, without
fence or trees, lone outposts
of the approaching army of homes.
child, the genius with imagination,
or the wholly untravelled, the approach to a
great city for the first time is a
wonderful thing. Particularly if it be evening –
that mystic period between the
glare and gloom of the world when life is
changing from one sphere or condition
to another. Ah, the promise of the night. What
does it not hold for the weary!
What old illusion of hope is not here forever
repeated! Says the soul of the
toiler to itself, "I shall soon be free. I shall
be in the ways and the
hosts of the merry. The streets, the lamps, the
lighted chamber set for dining,
are for me. The theatre, the halls, the parties,
the ways of rest and the paths
of song – these are mine in the night." Though
all humanity be still
enclosed in the shops, the thrill runs abroad.
It is in the air. The dullest
feel something which they may not always express
or describe. It is the lifting
of the burden of toil.
Carrie gazed out of the window. Her
companion, affected by her wonder, so contagious
are all things, felt anew some
interest in the city and pointed out its
Northwest Chicago," said
Drouet. "This is the Chicago River," and he
pointed to a little muddy
creek, crowded with the huge masted wanderers
from far-off waters nosing the
black-posted banks. With a puff, a clang, and a
clatter of rails it was gone.
"Chicago is getting to be a great town," he went
on. "It's a
wonder. You'll find lots to see here."
not hear this very well. Her heart
was troubled by a kind of terror. The fact that
she was alone, away from home,
rushing into a great sea of life and endeavour,
began to tell. She could not
help but feel a little choked for breath – a
little sick as her heart beat so
fast. She half closed her eyes and tried to
think it was nothing, that Columbia
City was only a little way off.
Chicago!" called the
brakeman, slamming open the door. They were
rushing into a more crowded yard,
alive with the clatter and clang of life. She
began to gather up her poor
little grip and closed her hand firmly upon her
purse. Drouet arose, kicked his
legs to straighten his trousers, and seized his
clean yellow grip.
suppose your people will be here to
meet you?" he said. "Let me carry your grip."
she said. "I'd
rather you wouldn't. I'd rather you wouldn't be
with me when I meet my
right," he said in all
kindness. "I'll be near, though, in case she
isn't here, and take you out
so kind," said Carrie,
feeling the goodness of such attention in her
called the brakeman,
drawing the word out long. They were under a
great shadowy train shed, where
the lamps were already beginning to shine out,
with passenger cars all about
and the train moving at a snail's pace. The
people in the car were all up and
crowding about the door.
here we are," said Drouet,
leading the way to the door. "Good-bye, till I
see you Monday."
she answered, taking
his proffered hand.
I'll be looking till you
find your sister."
smiled into his eyes.
filed out, and he affected to take no
notice of her. A lean-faced, rather commonplace
woman recognised Carrie on the
platform and hurried forward.
Sister Carrie!" she began,
and there was a perfunctory embrace of welcome.
realised the change of affectional
atmosphere at once. Amid all the maze, uproar,
and novelty she felt cold
reality taking her by the hand. No world of
light and merriment. No round of
amusement. Her sister carried with her most of
the grimness of shift and toil.
are all the folks at
home?" she began; "how is father, and mother?"
answered, but was looking away. Down
the aisle, toward the gate leading into the
waiting-room and the street, stood
Drouet. He was looking back. When he saw that
she saw him and was safe with her
sister he turned to go, sending back the shadow
of a smile. Only Carrie saw it.
She felt something lost to her when he moved
away. When he disappeared she felt
his absence thoroughly. With her sister she was
much alone, a lone figure in a
tossing, thoughtless sea.
POVERTY THREATENED: OF GRANITE AND BRASS
flat, as the one-floor resident
apartments were then being called, was in a part
of West Van Buren Street
inhabited by families of labourers and clerks,
men who had come, and were still
coming, with the rush of population pouring in
at the rate of 50,000 a year. It
was on the third floor, the front windows
looking down into the street, where,
at night, the lights of grocery stores were
shining and children were playing.
To Carrie, the sound of the little bells upon
the horse-cars, as they tinkled
in and out of hearing, was as pleasing as it was
novel. She gazed into the
lighted street when Minnie brought her into the
front room, and wondered at the
sounds, the movement, the murmur of the vast
city which stretched for miles and
miles in every direction.
Hanson, after the first greetings were
over, gave Carrie the baby and proceeded to get
supper. Her husband asked a few
questions and sat down to read the evening
paper. He was a silent man, American
born, of a Swede father, and now employed as a
cleaner of refrigerator cars at
the stock-yards. To him the presence or absence
of his wife's sister was a
matter of indifference. Her personal appearance
did not affect him one way or
the other. His one observation to the point was
concerning the chances of work
big place," he said.
"You can get in somewhere in a few days.
been tacitly understood beforehand
that she was to get work and pay her board. He
was of a clean, saving
disposition, and had already paid a number of
monthly instalments on two lots
far out on the West Side. His ambition was some
day to build a house on them.
interval which marked the
preparation of the meal Carrie found time to
study the flat. She had some
slight gift of observation and that sense, so
rich in every woman – intuition.
the drag of a lean and narrow
life. The walls of the rooms were discordantly
papered. The floors were covered
with matting and the hall laid with a thin rag
carpet. One could see that the
furniture was of that poor, hurriedly patched
together quality sold by the
with Minnie, in the kitchen,
holding the baby until it began to cry. Then she
walked and sang to it, until
Hanson, disturbed in his reading, came and took
it. A pleasant side to his
nature came out here. He was patient. One could
see that he was very much
wrapped up in his offspring.
now," he said, walking.
"There, there," and there was a certain Swedish
accent noticeable in
want to see the city first,
won't you?" said Minnie, when they were eating.
"Well, we'll go out
Sunday and see Lincoln Park."
noticed that Hanson had said nothing
to this. He seemed to be thinking of something
she said, "I think
I'll look around to-morrow. I've got Friday and
Saturday, and it won't be any
trouble. Which way is the business part?"
began to explain, but her husband
took this part of the conversation to himself.
that way," he said,
pointing east. "That's east." Then he went off
into the longest
speech he had yet indulged in, concerning the
lay of Chicago. "You'd
better look in those big manufacturing houses
along Franklin Street and just
the other side of the river," he concluded.
"Lots of girls work
there. You could get home easy, too. It isn't
nodded and asked her sister about
the neighbourhood. The latter talked in a
subdued tone, telling the little she
knew about it, while Hanson concerned himself
with the baby. Finally he jumped
up and handed the child to his wife.
to get up early in the
morning, so I'll go to bed," and off he went,
disappearing into the dark
little bedroom off the hall, for the night.
way down at the
stock-yards," explained Minnie,
time do you get up to get
breakfast?" asked Carrie. "so he's got to get up
twenty minutes of
they finished the labour of the
day, Carrie washing the dishes while Minnie
undressed the baby and put it to
bed. Minnie's manner was one of trained
industry, and Carrie could see that it
was a steady round of toil with her.
to see that her relations with
Drouet would have to be abandoned. He could not
come here. She read from the
manner of Hanson, in the subdued air of Minnie,
and, indeed, the whole
atmosphere of the flat, a settled opposition to
anything save a conservative
round of toil. If Hanson sat every evening in
the front room and read his
paper, if he went to bed at nine, and Minnie a
little later, what would they
expect of her? She saw that she would first need
to get work and establish
herself on a paying basis before she could think
of having company of any sort.
Her little flirtation with Drouet seemed now an
said to herself,
"he can't come here."
Minnie for ink and paper, which
were upon the mantel in the dining-room, and
when the latter had gone to bed at
ten, got out Drouet's card and wrote him.
have you call on me here.
You will have to wait until you hear from me
again. My sister's place is so
troubled herself over what else to put
in the letter. She wanted to make some reference
to their relations upon the
train, but was too timid. She concluded by
thanking him for his kindness in a
crude way, then puzzled over the formality of
signing her name, and finally
decided upon the severe, winding up with a "Very
truly," which she
subsequently changed to "Sincerely." She sealed
and addressed the
letter, and going in the front room, the alcove
of which contained her bed,
drew the one small rocking-chair up to the open
window, and sat looking out
upon the night and streets in silent wonder.
Finally, wearied by her own
reflections, she began to grow dull in her
chair, and feeling the need of
sleep, arranged her clothing for the night and
went to bed.
awoke at eight the next morning,
Hanson had gone. Her sister was busy in the
dining-room, which was also the
sitting-room, sewing. She worked, after
dressing, to arrange a little breakfast
for herself, and then advised with Minnie as to
which way to look. The latter
had changed considerably since Carrie had seen
her. She was now a thin, though
rugged, woman of twenty-seven, with ideas of
life coloured by her husband's,
and fast hardening into narrower conceptions of
pleasure and duty than had ever
been hers in a thoroughly circumscribed youth.
She had invited Carrie, not
because she longed for her presence, but because
the latter was dissatisfied at
home, and could probably get work and pay her
board here. She was pleased to
see her in a way, but reflected her husband's
point of view in the matter of
work. Anything was good enough so long as it
paid – say, five dollars a week to
begin with. A shop girl was the destiny
prefigured for the newcomer. She would
get in one of the great shops and do well enough
until – well, until something
happened. Neither of them knew exactly what.
They did not figure on promotion.
They did not exactly count on marriage. Things
would go on, though, in a dim
kind of way until the better thing would
eventuate, and Carrie would be
rewarded for coming and toiling in the city. It
was under such auspicious
circumstances that she started out this morning
to look for work.
following her in her round of
seeking, let us look at the sphere in which her
future was to lie. In 1889
Chicago had the peculiar qualifications of
growth which made such adventuresome
pilgrimages even on the part of young girls
plausible. Its many and growing
commercial opportunities gave it widespread
fame, which made of it a giant
magnet, drawing to itself, from all quarters,
the hopeful and the hopeless –
those who had their fortune yet to make and
those whose fortunes and affairs
had reached a disastrous climax elsewhere. It
was a city of over 500,000, with
the ambition, the daring, the activity of a
metropolis of a million. Its
streets and houses were already scattered over
an area of seventy-five square
miles. Its population was not so much thriving
upon established commerce as
upon the industries which prepared for the
arrival of others. The sound of the
hammer engaged upon the erection of new
structures was everywhere heard. Great
industries were moving in. The huge railroad
corporations which had long before
recognised the prospects of the place had seized
upon vast tracts of land for
transfer and shipping purposes. Street-car lines
had been extended far out into
the open country in anticipation of rapid
growth. The city had laid miles and
miles of streets and sewers through regions
where, perhaps, one solitary house
stood out alone – a pioneer of the populous ways
to be. There were regions open
to the sweeping winds and rain, which were yet
lighted throughout the night
with long, blinking lines of gas-lamps,
fluttering in the wind. Narrow board
walks extended out, passing here a house, and
there a store, at far intervals,
eventually ending on the open prairie.
central portion was the vast
wholesale and shopping district, to which the
uninformed seeker for work
usually drifted. It was a characteristic of
Chicago then, and one not generally
shared by other cities, that individual firms of
any pretension occupied
individual buildings. The presence of ample
ground made this possible. It gave
an imposing appearance to most of the wholesale
houses, whose offices were upon
the ground floor and in plain view of the
street. The large plates of window
glass, now so common, were then rapidly coming
into use, and gave to the ground
floor offices a distinguished and prosperous
look. The casual wanderer could
see as he passed a polished array of office
fixtures, much frosted glass,
clerks hard at work, and genteel business men in
"nobby" suits and
clean linen lounging about or sitting in groups.
Polished brass or nickel signs
at the square stone entrances announced the firm
and the nature of the business
in rather neat and reserved terms. The entire
metropolitan centre possessed a
high and mighty air calculated to overawe and
abash the common applicant, and
to make the gulf between poverty and success
seem both wide and deep.
important commercial region the
timid Carrie went. She walked east along Van
Buren Street through a region of
lessening importance, until it deteriorated into
a mass of shanties and
coal-yards, and finally verged upon the river.
She walked bravely forward, led
by an honest desire to find employment and
delayed at every step by the
interest of the unfolding scene, and a sense of
helplessness amid so much
evidence of power and force which she did not
understand. These vast buildings,
what were they? These strange energies and huge
interests, for what purposes
were they there? She could have understood the
meaning of a little
stone-cutter's yard at Columbia City, carving
little pieces of marble for
individual use, but when the yards of some huge
stone corporation came into
view, filled with spur tracks and flat cars,
transpierced by docks from the
river and traversed overhead by immense
trundling cranes of wood and steel, it
lost all significance in her little world.
It was so
with the vast railroad yards,
with the crowded array of vessels she saw at the
river, and the huge factories
over the way, lining the water's edge. Through
the open windows she could see
the figures of men and women in working aprons,
moving busily about. The great
streets were wall-lined mysteries to her; the
vast offices, strange mazes which
concerned far-off individuals of importance. She
could only think of people
connected with them as counting money, dressing
magnificently, and riding in
carriages. What they dealt in, how they
laboured, to what end it all came, she
had only the vaguest conception. It was all
wonderful, all vast, all far
removed, and she sank in spirit inwardly and
fluttered feebly at the heart as
she thought of entering any one of these mighty
concerns and asking for
something to do – something that she could do –
QUESTION OF FORTUNE: FOUR-FIFTY A WEEK
across the river and into the
wholesale district, she glanced about her for
some likely door at which to
apply. As she contemplated the wide windows and
imposing signs, she became
conscious of being gazed upon and understood for
what she was – a wage-seeker.
She had never done this thing before, and lacked
courage. To avoid a certain
indefinable shame she felt at being caught
spying about for a position, she
quickened her steps and assumed an air of
indifference supposedly common to one
upon an errand. In this way she passed many
manufacturing and wholesale houses
without once glancing in. At last, after several
blocks of walking, she felt
that this would not do, and began to look about
again; though without relaxing
her pace. A little way on she saw a great door
which, for some reason,
attracted her attention. It was ornamented by a
small brass sign, and seemed to
be the entrance to a vast hive of six or seven
floors. "Perhaps," she
thought, "they may want some one," and crossed
over to enter. When
she came within a score of feet of the desired
goal, she saw through the window
a young man in a grey checked suit. That he had
anything to do with the
concern, she could not tell, but because he
happened to be looking in her
direction her weakening heart misgave her and
she hurried by, too overcome with
shame to enter. Over the way stood a great
six-story structure, labelled Storm
and King, which she viewed with rising hope. It
was a wholesale dry goods concern
and employed women. She could see them moving
about now and then upon the upper
floors. This place she decided to enter, no
matter what. She crossed over and
walked directly toward the entrance. As she did
so, two men came out and paused
in the door. A telegraph messenger in blue
dashed past her and up the few steps
that led to the entrance and disappeared.
Several pedestrians out of the
hurrying throng which filled the sidewalks
passed about her as she paused,
hesitating. She looked helplessly around, and
then, seeing herself observed,
retreated. It was too difficult a task. She
could not go past them.
a defeat told sadly upon her
nerves. Her feet carried her mechanically
forward, every foot of her progress
being a satisfactory portion of a flight which
she gladly made. Block after
block passed by. Upon street-lamps at the
various corners she read names such
as Madison, Monroe, La Salle, Clark, Dearborn,
State, and still she went, her
feet beginning to tire upon the broad stone
flagging. She was pleased in part
that the streets were bright and clean. The
morning sun, shining down with
steadily increasing warmth, made the shady side
of the streets pleasantly cool.
She looked at the blue sky overhead with more
realisation of its charm than had
ever come to her before.
cowardice began to trouble her in a
way. She turned back, resolving to bunt up Storm
and King and enter. On the way
she encountered a great wholesale shoe company,
through the broad plate windows
of which she saw an enclosed executive
department, hidden by frosted glass.
Without this enclosure, but just within the
street entrance, sat a grey-haired
gentleman at a small table, with a large open
ledger before him. She walked by
this institution several times hesitating, but,
finding herself unobserved,
faltered past the screen door and stood humbly
young lady," observed the
old gentleman, looking at her somewhat kindly,
"what is it you wish?"
that is, do you – I mean, do
you need any help?" she stammered.
at present," he
answered smiling. "Not just at present. Come in
some time next week.
Occasionally we need some one."
received the answer in silence and
backed awkwardly out. The pleasant nature of her
reception rather astonished
her. She had expected that it would be more
difficult, that something cold and
harsh would be said – she knew not what. That
she had not been put to shame and
made to feel her unfortunate position, seemed
encouraged, she ventured into
another large structure. It was a clothing
company, and more people were in
evidence – well-dressed men of forty and more,
surrounded by brass railings.
boy approached her.
it you wish to see?" he
to see the manager," she
away and spoke to one of a group of
three men who were conferring together. One of
these came towards her.
he said coldly. The
greeting drove all courage from her at once.
need any help?" she
replied abruptly, and turned
upon his heel.
foolishly out, the office boy
deferentially swinging the door for her, and
gladly sank into the obscuring
crowd. It was a severe setback to her recently
pleased mental state.
walked quite aimlessly for a time,
turning here and there, seeing one great company
after another, but finding no
courage to prosecute her single inquiry. High
noon came, and with it hunger.
She hunted out an unassuming restaurant and
entered, but was disturbed to find
that the prices were exorbitant for the size of
her purse. A bowl of soup was
all that she could afford, and, with this
quickly eaten, she went out again. It
restored her strength somewhat and made her
moderately bold to pursue the
walking a few blocks to fix upon some
probable place, she again encountered the firm
of Storm and King, and this time
managed to get in. Some gentlemen were
conferring close at hand, but took no
notice of her. She was left standing, gazing
nervously upon the floor. When the
limit of her distress had been nearly reached,
she was beckoned to by a man at
one of the many desks within the near-by
it you wish to see?" he
one, if you please,"
she answered. "I am looking for something to
want to see Mr.
McManus," he returned. "Sit down," and he
pointed to a chair
against the neighbouring wall. He went on
leisurely writing, until after a time
a short, stout gentleman came in from the
McManus," called the man at
the desk, "this young woman wants to see you."
gentleman turned about towards
Carrie, and she arose and came forward.
I do for you, miss?" he
inquired, surveying her curiously.
to know if I can get a
position," she inquired.
what?" he asked.
anything in particular,"
ever had any experience in
the wholesale dry goods business?" he
sir," she replied.
a stenographer or
haven't anything here,"
he said. "We employ only experienced help."
to step backward toward the door,
when something about her plaintive face
ever worked at anything
before?" he inquired.
sir," she said.
now, it's hardly possible that
you would get anything to do in a wholesale
house of this kind. Have you tried
the department stores?"
acknowledged that she had not.
I were you," he said,
looking at her rather genially "I would try the
department stores. They
often need young women as clerks."
you," she said, her whole
nature relieved by this spark of friendly
said, as she moved
toward the door, "you try the department
stores," and off he went.
time the department store was in
its earliest form of successful operation, and
there were not many. The first
three in the United States, established about
1884, were in Chicago. Carrie was
familiar with the names of several through the
advertisements in the
"Daily News," and now proceeded to seek them.
The words of Mr.
McManus had somehow managed to restore her
courage, which had fallen low, and
she dared to hope that this new line would offer
her something. Some time she
spent in wandering up and down, thinking to
encounter the buildings by chance,
so readily is the mind, bent upon prosecuting a
hard but needful errand, eased
by that self-deception which the semblance of
search, without the reality,
gives. At last she inquired of a police officer,
and was directed to proceed
"two blocks up," where she would find "The
nature of these vast retail
combinations, should they ever permanently
disappear, will form an interesting
chapter in the commercial history of our nation.
Such a flowering out of a
modest trade principle the world had never
witnessed up to that time. They were
along the line of the most effective retail
organisation, with hundreds of
stores coordinated into one and laid out upon
the most imposing and economic
basis. They were handsome, bustling, successful
affairs, with a host of clerks
and a swarm of patrons. Carrie passed along the
busy aisles, much affected by
the remarkable displays of trinkets, dress
goods, stationery, and jewelry. Each
separate counter was a show place of dazzling
interest and attraction. She
could not help feeling the claim of each trinket
and valuable upon her
personally, and yet she did not stop. There was
nothing there which she could
not have used – nothing which she did not long
to own. The dainty slippers and
stockings, the delicately frilled skirts and
petticoats, the laces, ribbons,
hair-combs, purses, all touched her with
individual desire, and she felt keenly
the fact that not any of these things were in
the range of her purchase. She
was a work-seeker, an outcast without
employment, one whom the average employee
could tell at a glance was poor and in need of a
not be thought that any one could
have mistaken her for a nervous, sensitive,
high-strung nature, cast unduly
upon a cold, calculating, and unpoetic world.
Such certainly she was not. But
women are peculiarly sensitive to their
did Carrie feel the drag of desire
for all which was new and pleasing in apparel
for women, but she noticed too,
with a touch at the heart, the fine ladies who
elbowed and ignored her,
brushing past in utter disregard of her
presence, themselves eagerly enlisted
in the materials which the store contained.
Carrie was not familiar with the
appearance of her more fortunate sisters of the
city. Neither had she before
known the nature and appearance of the shop
girls with whom she now compared
poorly. They were pretty in the main, some even
handsome, with an air of
independence and indifference which added, in
the case of the more favoured, a
certain piquancy. Their clothes were neat, in
many instances fine, and wherever
she encountered the eye of one it was only to
recognise in it a keen analysis
of her own position – her individual
shortcomings of dress and that shadow of
manner which she thought must hang about her and
make clear to all who and what
she was. A flame of envy lighted in her heart.
She realised in a dim way how
much the city held – wealth, fashion, ease –
every adornment for women, and she
longed for dress and beauty with a whole heart.
second floor were the managerial
offices, to which, after some inquiry, she was
now directed. There she found
other girls ahead of her, applicants like
herself, but with more of that
self-satisfied and independent air which
experience of the city lends; girls
who scrutinised her in a painful manner. After a
wait of perhaps three-quarters
of an hour, she was called in turn.
said a sharp,
quick-mannered Jew, who was sitting at a
roll-top desk near the window,
"have you ever worked in any other store?"
sir," said Carrie.
haven't," he said,
eyeing her keenly.
sir," she replied.
prefer young women just now
with some experience. I guess we can't use you."
stood waiting a moment, hardly
certain whether the interview had terminated.
wait!" he exclaimed.
"Remember we are very busy here."
began to move quickly to the door.
on," he said, calling her
back. "Give me your name and address. We want
had gotten safely into the street,
she could scarcely restrain the tears. It was
not so much the particular rebuff
which she had just experienced, but the whole
abashing trend of the day. She
was tired and nervous. She abandoned the thought
of appealing to the other
department stores and now wandered on, feeling a
certain safety and relief in
mingling with the crowd.
indifferent wandering she turned
into Jackson Street, not far from the river, and
was keeping her way along the
south side of that imposing thoroughfare, when a
piece of wrapping paper,
written on with marking ink and tacked up on the
door, attracted her attention.
It read, "Girls wanted – wrappers &
stitchers." She hesitated a
moment, then entered.
of Speigelheim & Co., makers
of boys' caps, occupied one floor of the
building, fifty feet in width and some
eighty feet in depth. It was a place rather
dingily lighted, the darkest
portions having incandescent lights, filled with
machines and work benches. At
the latter laboured quite a company of girls and
some men. The former were
drabby-looking creatures, stained in face with
oil and dust, clad in thin,
shapeless, cotton dresses and shod with more or
less worn shoes. Many of them
had their sleeves rolled up, revealing bare
arms, and in some cases, owing to
the heat, their dresses were open at the neck.
They were a fair type of nearly
the lowest order of shop-girls – careless,
slouchy, and more or less pale from
confinement. They were not timid, however; were
rich in curiosity, and strong
in daring and slang.
looked about her, very much
disturbed and quite sure that she did not want
to work here. Aside from making
her uncomfortable by sidelong glances, no one
paid her the least attention. She
waited until the whole department was aware of
her presence. Then some word was
sent around, and a foreman, in an apron and
shirt sleeves, the latter rolled up
to his shoulders, approached.
want to see me?" he
need any help?" said
Carrie, already learning directness of address.
know how to stitch caps?"
sir," she replied.
ever had any experience at
this kind of work?" he inquired.
answered that she had not.
said the foreman,
scratching his ear meditatively, "we do need a
stitcher. We like
experienced help, though. We've hardly got time
to break people in." He
paused and looked away out of the window. "We
might, though, put you at
finishing," he concluded reflectively.
do you pay a week?"
ventured Carrie, emboldened by a certain
softness in the man's manner and his
simplicity of address.
and a half," he answered.
was about to exclaim,
but checked herself and allowed her thoughts to
die without expression.
not exactly in need of
anybody," he went on vaguely, looking her over
as one would a package.
"You can come on Monday morning, though," he
added, "and I'll
put you to work."
you," said Carrie weakly.
come, bring an apron," he
away and left her standing by the
elevator, never so much as inquiring her name.
appearance of the shop and the
announcement of the price paid per week operated
very much as a blow to
Carrie's fancy, the fact that work of any kind
was offered after so rude a
round of experience was gratifying. She could
not begin to believe that she
would take the place, modest as her aspirations
were. She had been used to
better than that. Her mere experience and the
free out-of-door life of the
country caused her nature to revolt at such
confinement. Dirt had never been
her share. Her sister's flat was clean. This
place was grimy and low, the girls
were careless and hardened. They must be
bad-minded and hearted, she imagined.
Still, a place had been offered her. Surely
Chicago was not so bad if she could
find one place in one day. She might find
another and better later.
subsequent experiences were not of a
reassuring nature, however. From all the more
pleasing or imposing places she
was turned away abruptly with the most chilling
formality. In others where she
applied only the experienced were required. She
met with painful rebuffs, the
most trying of which had been in a manufacturing
cloak house, where she had
gone to the fourth floor to inquire.
said the foreman, a
rough, heavily built individual, who looked
after a miserably lighted workshop,
"we don't want any one. Don't come here."
wane of the afternoon went her
hopes, her courage, and her strength. She had
been astonishingly persistent. So
earnest an effort was well deserving of a better
reward. On every hand, to her
fatigued senses, the great business portion grew
larger, harder, more stolid in
its indifference. It seemed as if it was all
closed to her, that the struggle
was too fierce for her to hope to do anything at
all. Men and women hurried by
in long, shifting lines. She felt the flow of
the tide of effort and interest –
felt her own helplessness without quite
realising the wisp on the tide that she
was. She cast about vainly for some possible
place to apply, but found no door
which she had the courage to enter. It would be
the same thing all over. The
old humiliation of her plea, rewarded by curt
denial. Sick at heart and in
body, she turned to the west, the direction of
Minnie's flat, which she had now
fixed in mind, and began that wearisome, baffled
retreat which the seeker for
employment at nightfall too often makes. In
passing through Fifth Avenue, south
towards Van Buren Street, where she intended to
take a car, she passed the door
of a large wholesale shoe house, through the
plate-glass window of which she
could see a middle-aged gentleman sitting a a
small desk. One of those forlorn
impulses which often grow out of a fixed sense
of defeat, the last sprouting of
a baffled and uprooted growth of ideas, seized
upon her. She walked deliberately
through the door and up to the gentleman, who
looked at her weary face with
partially awakened interest.
it?" he said.
give me something to
do?" said Carrie.
really don't know," he
said kindly. "What kind of work is it you want –
you're not a typewriter,
only employ book-keepers and
typewriters here. You might go around to the
side and inquire upstairs. They
did want some help upstairs a few days ago. Ask
for Mr. Brown."
hastened around to the side entrance
and was taken up by the elevator to the fourth
Brown, Willie," said
the elevator man to a boy near by.
went off and presently returned with
the information that Mr. Brown said she should
sit down and that he would be
around in a little while.
It was a
portion of the stock room which
gave no idea of the general character of the
place, and Carrie could form no
opinion of the nature of the work.
want something to do,"
said Mr. Brown, after he inquired concerning the
nature of her errand.
"Have you ever been employed in a shoe factory
sir," said Carrie.
your name?" he inquired,
and being informed, "Well, I don't know as I
have anything for you. Would
you work for four and a half a week?"
was too worn by defeat not to feel
that it was considerable. She had not expected
that he would offer her less
than six. She acquiesced, however, and he took
her name and address.
he said, finally,
"you report here at eight o'clock Monday
morning. I think I can find
something for you to do."
her revived by the possibilities,
sure that she had found something at last.
Instantly the blood crept warmly
over her body. Her nervous tension relaxed. She
walked out into the busy street
and discovered a new atmosphere. Behold, the
throng was moving with a lightsome
step. She noticed that men and women were
smiling. Scraps of conversation and
notes of laughter floated to her. The air was
light. People were already pouring
out of the buildings, their labour ended for the
day. She noticed that they
were pleased, and thoughts of her sister's home
and the meal that would be
awaiting her quickened her steps. She hurried
on, tired perhaps, but no longer
weary of foot. What would not Minnie say! Ah,
the long winter in Chicago – the
lights, the crowd, the amusement! This was a
great, pleasing metropolis after
all. Her new firm was a goodly institution. Its
windows were of huge plate
glass. She could probably do well there.
Thoughts of Drouet returned – of the
things he had told her. She now felt that life
was better, that it was
livelier, sprightlier. She boarded a car in the
best of spirits, feeling her
blood still flowing pleasantly. She would live
in Chicago, her mind kept saying
to itself. She would have a better time than she
had ever had before – she
would be happy.
SPENDINGS OF FANCY: FACTS ANSWER WITH SNEERS
next two days Carrie indulged in
the most high-flown speculations.
plunged recklessly into
privileges and amusements which would have been
much more becoming had she been
cradled a child of fortune. With ready will and
quick mental selection she
scattered her meagre four-fifty per week with a
swift and graceful hand.
Indeed, as she sat in her rocking-chair these
several evenings before going to
bed and looked out upon the pleasantly lighted
street, this money cleared for
its prospective possessor the way to every joy
and every bauble which the heart
of woman may desire. "I will have a fine time,"
sister Minnie knew nothing of these
rather wild cerebrations, though they exhausted
the markets of delight. She was
too busy scrubbing the kitchen woodwork and
calculating the purchasing power of
eighty cents for Sunday's dinner. When Carrie
had returned home, flushed with
her first success and ready, for all her
weariness, to discuss the now
interesting events which led up to her
achievement, the former had merely
smiled approvingly and inquired whether she
would have to spend any of it for
car fare. This consideration had not entered in
before, and it did not now for
long affect the glow of Carrie's enthusiasm.
Disposed as she then was to
calculate upon that vague basis which allows the
subtraction of one sum from
another without any perceptible diminution, she
Hanson came home at seven o'clock, he
was inclined to be a little crusty – his usual
demeanour before supper. This
never showed so much in anything he said as in a
certain solemnity of
countenance and the silent manner in which he
slopped about. He had a pair of
yellow carpet slippers which he enjoyed wearing,
and these he would immediately
substitute for his solid pair of shoes. This,
and washing his face with the aid
of common washing soap until it glowed a shiny
red, constituted his only
preparation for his evening meal. He would then
get his evening paper and read
young man, this was rather a morbid
turn of character, and so affected Carrie.
Indeed, it affected the entire
atmosphere of the flat, as such things are
inclined to do, and gave to his
wife's mind its subdued and tactful turn,
anxious to avoid taciturn replies.
Under the influence of Carrie's announcement he
brightened up somewhat.
didn't lose any time, did
you?" he remarked, smiling a little.
returned Carrie with a
touch of pride.
her one or two more questions and
then turned to play with the baby, leaving the
subject until it was brought up
again by Minnie at the table.
however, was not to be reduced to
the common level of observation which prevailed
in the flat.
to be such a large
company," she said at one place. "Great big
plate-glass windows and
lots of clerks. The man I saw said they hired
ever so many people."
very hard to get work
now," put in Hanson, "if you look right."
under the warming influence of
Carrie's good spirits and her husband's somewhat
conversational mood, began to
tell Carrie of some of the well-known things to
see – things the enjoyment of which
like to see Michigan Avenue.
There are such fine houses. It is such a fine
'H. R. Jacob's'?"
interrupted Carrie, mentioning one of the
theatres devoted to melodrama which
went by that name at the time.
not very far from
here," answered Minnie. "It's in Halstead
Street, right up
like to go there. I crossed
Halstead Street to-day, didn't I?"
there was a slight halt in the
natural reply. Thoughts are a strangely
permeating factor. At her suggestion of
going to the theatre, the unspoken shade of
disapproval to the doing of those
things which involved the expenditure of money –
shades of feeling which arose
in the mind of Hanson and then in Minnie –
slightly affected the atmosphere of
the table. Minnie answered "yes," but Carrie
could feel that going to
the theatre was poorly advocated here. The
subject was put off for a little
while until Hanson, through with his meal, took
his paper and went into the
were alone, the two sisters began
a somewhat freer conversation, Carrie
interrupting it to hum a little, as they
worked at the dishes.
like to walk up and see
Halstead Street, if it isn't too far," said
Carrie, after a time.
"Why don't we go to the theatre to-night?"
don't think Sven would want to
go to-night," returned Minnie. "He has to get up
wouldn't mind – he'd enjoy
it," said Carrie.
doesn't go very often,"
I'd like to go," rejoined
Carrie. "Let's you and me go."
pondered a while, not upon whether
she could or would go – for that point was
already negatively settled with her
– but upon some means of diverting the thoughts
of her sister to some other
some other time," she
said at last, finding no ready means of escape.
sensed the root of the opposition at
some money," she said.
"You go with me."
shook her head.
go along," said Carrie.
returned Minnie softly, and
rattling the dishes to drown the conversation.
been several years since Minnie had
seen Carrie, and in that time that latter's
character had developed a few
shades. Naturally timid in all things that
related to her own advancement, and
especially so when without power or resource,
her craving for pleasure was so
strong that it was the one stay of her nature.
She would speak for that when
silent on all else.
him," she pleaded softly.
was thinking of the resource which
Carrie's board would add. It would pay the rent
and would make the subject of
expenditure a little less difficult to talk
about with her husband. But if
Carrie was going to think of running around in
the beginning there would be a
hitch somewhere. Unless Carrie submitted to a
solemn round of industry and saw
the need of hard work without longing for play,
how was her coming to the city
to profit them? These thoughts were not those of
a cold, hard nature at all.
They were the serious reflections of a mind
which invariably adjusted itself,
without much complaining, to such surroundings
as its industry could make for
she yielded enough to ask Hanson.
It was a half-hearted procedure without a shade
of desire on her part.
wants us to go to the
theatre," she said, looking in upon her husband.
Hanson looked up from his
paper, and they exchanged a mild look, which
said as plainly as anything:
"This isn't what we expected."
care to go," he
returned. "What does she want to see?"
Jacob's," said Minnie.
down at his paper and shook his
Carrie saw how they looked upon her
proposition, she gained a still clearer feeling
of their way of life. It
weighed on her, but took no definite form of
I'll go down and stand at the
foot of the stairs," she said, after a time.
made no objection to this, and
Carrie put on her hat and went below.
has Carrie gone?" asked
Hanson, coming back into the dining-room when he
heard the door close.
she was going down to the
foot of the stairs," answered Minnie. "I guess
she just wants to look
out a while."
oughtn't to be thinking about
spending her money on theatres already, do you
think?" he said.
feels a little curious, I
guess," ventured Minnie. "Everything is so new."
know," said Hanson, and
went over to the baby, his forehead slightly
thinking of a full career of vanity
and wastefulness which a young girl might
indulge in, and wondering how Carrie
could contemplate such a course when she had so
little, as yet, with which to
Saturday Carrie went out by herself –
first toward the river, which interested her,
and then back along Jackson
Street, which was then lined by the pretty
houses and fine lawns which
subsequently caused it to be made into a
boulevard. She was struck with the
evidences of wealth, although there was,
perhaps, not a person on the street
worth more than a hundred thousand dollars. She
was glad to be out of the flat,
because already she felt that it was a narrow,
humdrum place, and that interest
and joy lay elsewhere. Her thoughts now were of
a more liberal character, and
she punctuated them with speculations as to the
whereabouts of Drouet. She was
not sure but that he might call anyhow Monday
night, and, while she felt a
little disturbed at the possibility, there was,
nevertheless, just the shade of
a wish that he would.
she arose early and prepared to
go to work. She dressed herself in a worn
shirt-waist of dotted blue percale, a
skirt of light-brown serge rather faded, and a
small straw hat which she had
worn all summer at Columbia City. Her shoes were
old, and her necktie was in
that crumpled, flattened state which time and
much wearing impart. She made a very
average looking shop-girl with the exception of
her features. These were
slightly more even than common, and gave her a
sweet, reserved, and pleasing
It is no
easy thing to get up early in the
morning when one is used to sleeping until seven
and eight, as Carrie had been
at home. She gained some inkling of the
character of Hanson's life when, half
asleep, she looked out into the dining-room at
six o'clock and saw him silently
finishing his breakfast. By the time she was
dressed he was gone, and she,
Minnie, and the baby ate together, the latter
being just old enough to sit in a
high chair and disturb the dishes with a spoon.
Her spirits were greatly
subdued now when the fact of entering upon
strange and untried duties
confronted her. Only the ashes of all her fine
fancies were remaining – ashes
still concealing, nevertheless, a few red embers
of hope. So subdued was she by
her weakening nerves, that she ate quite in
silence, going over imaginary
conceptions of the character of the shoe company
the nature of the work, her
employer's attitude. She was vaguely feeling
that she would come in contact
with the great owners, that her work would be
where grave, stylishly dressed
men occasionally look on.
good luck," said Minnie,
when she was ready to go. They had agreed it was
best to walk, that morning at
least, to see if she could do it every day –
sixty cents a week for car fare
being quite an item under the circumstances.
tell you how it goes
to-night," said Carrie.
the sunlit street, with labourers
tramping by in either direction, the horse-cars
passing crowded to the rails
with the small clerks and floor help in the
great wholesale houses, and men and
women generally coming out of doors and passing
about the neighbourhood, Carrie
felt slightly reassured. In the sunshine of the
morning, beneath the wide, blue
heavens, with a fresh wind astir, what fears,
except the most desperate, can
find a harbourage? In the night, or the gloomy
chambers of the day, fears and
misgivings wax strong, but out in the sunlight
there is, for a time, cessation
even of the terror of death.
went straight forward until she
crossed the river, and then turned into Fifth
Avenue. The thoroughfare, in this
part, was like a walled canon of brown stone and
dark red brick. The big
windows looked shiny and clean. Trucks were
rumbling in increasing numbers; men
and women, girls and boys were moving onward in
all directions. She met girls
of her own age, who looked at her as if with
contempt for her diffidence. She
wondered at the magnitude of this life and at
the importance of knowing much in
order to do anything in it at all. Dread at her
own inefficiency crept upon
her. She would not know how, she would not be
quick enough. Had not all the
other places refused her because she did not
know something or other? She would
be scolded, abused, ignominiously discharged.
with weak knees and a slight catch
in her breathing that she came up to the great
shoe company at Adams and Fifth
Avenue and entered the elevator. When she
stepped out on the fourth floor there
was no one at hand, only great aisles of boxes
piled to the ceiling. She stood,
very much frightened, awaiting some one.
Mr. Brown came up. He did not
seem to recognise her.
it you want?" he
I should come this morning
to see about work-"
interrupted. "Um –
yes. What is your name?"
said he. "You come
the way through dark, box-lined
aisles which had the smell of new shoes, until
they came to an iron door which
opened into the factory proper. There was a
large, low-ceiled room, with
clacking, rattling machines at which men in
white shirt sleeves and blue
gingham aprons were working. She followed him
diffidently through the
clattering automatons, keeping her eyes straight
before her, and flushing
slightly. They crossed to a far corner and took
an elevator to the sixth floor.
Out of the array of machines and benches, Mr.
Brown signalled a foreman.
the girl," he said, and
turning to Carrie, "You go with him." He then
returned, and Carrie
followed her new superior to a little desk in a
corner, which he used as a kind
of official centre.
never worked at anything like
this before, have you?" he questioned, rather
sir," she answered.
rather annoyed at having to
bother with such help, but put down her name and
then led her across to where a
line of girls occupied stools in front of
clacking machines. On the shoulder of
one of the girls who was punching eye-holes in
one piece of the upper, by the
aid of the machine, he put his hand.
said, "show this
girl how to do what you're doing. When you get
through, come to me."
so addressed rose promptly and
gave Carrie her place.
hard to do," she said,
bending over. "You just take this so, fasten it
with this clamp, and start
suited action to word, fastened the
piece of leather, which was eventually to form
the right half of the upper of a
man's shoe, by little adjustable clamps, and
pushed a small steel rod at the
side of the machine. The latter jumped to the
task of punching, with sharp,
snapping clicks, cutting circular bits of
leather out of the side of the upper,
leaving the holes which were to hold the laces.
After observing a few times,
the girl let her work at it alone. Seeing that
it was fairly well done, she
pieces of leather came from the girl at
the machine to her right, and were passed on to
the girl at her left. Carrie
saw at once that an average speed was necessary
or the work would pile up on
her and all those below would be delayed. She
had no time to look about, and
bent anxiously to her task. The girls at her
left and right realised her
predicament and feelings, and, in a way, tried
to aid her, as much as they
dared, by working slower.
task she laboured incessantly for
some time, finding relief from her own nervous
fears and imaginings in the
humdrum, mechanical movement of the machine. She
felt, as the minutes passed,
that the room was not very light. It had a thick
odour of fresh leather, but
that did not worry her. She felt the eyes of the
other help upon her, and
troubled lest she was not working fast enough.
when she was fumbling at the little
clamp, having made a slight error in setting in
the leather, a great hand
appeared before her eyes and fastened the clamp
for her. It was the foreman.
Her heart thumped so that she could scarcely see
to go on.
your machine," he said,
"start your machine. Don't keep the line
recovered her sufficiently and she
went excitedly on, hardly breathing until the
shadow moved away from behind
her. Then she heaved a great breath.
morning wore on the room became
hotter. She felt the need of a breath of fresh
air and a drink of water, but
did not venture to stir. The stool she sat on
was without a back or foot-rest,
and she began to feel uncomfortable. She found,
after a time, that her back was
beginning to ache. She twisted and turned from
one position to another slightly
different, but it did not case her for long. She
was beginning to weary.
up, why don't you?" said
the girl at her right, without any form of
introduction. "They won't
looked at her gratefully. "I
guess I will," she said.
up from her stool and worked that
way for a while, but it was a more difficult
position. Her neck and shoulders
ached in bending over.
spirit of the place impressed itself on
her in a rough way. She did not venture to look
around, but above the clack of
the machine she could hear an occasional remark.
She could also note a thing or
two out of the side of her eye.
see Harry last night?"
said the girl at her left, addressing her
ought to have seen the tie he had
on. Gee, but he was a mark."
said the other girl,
bending over her work. The first, silenced,
instantly assumed a solemn face.
The foreman passed slowly along, eyeing each
worker distinctly. The moment he
was gone, the conversation was resumed again.
began the girl at her
left, "what jeh think he said?"
he saw us with Eddie Harris
at Martin's last night."
They both giggled.
with tan-coloured hair, that needed
clipping very badly, came shuffling along
between the machines, bearing a
basket of leather findings under his left arm,
and pressed against his stomach.
When near Carrie, he stretched out his right
hand and gripped one girl under
me go," she exclaimed
grinned broadly in return.
he called back as she
looked after him. There was nothing of the
gallant in him.
last could scarcely sit still.
Her legs began to tire and she wanted to get up
and stretch. Would noon never
come? It seemed as if she had worked an entire
day. She was not hungry at all,
but weak, and her eyes were tired, straining at
the one point where the
eye-punch came down. The girl at the right
noticed her squirmings and felt
sorry for her. She was concentrating herself too
thoroughly – what she did
really required less mental and physical strain.
There was nothing to be done,
however. The halves of the uppers came piling
steadily down. Her hands began to
ache at the wrists and then in the fingers, and
towards the last she seemed one
mass of dull, complaining muscles, fixed in an
eternal position and performing
a single mechanical movement which became more
and more distasteful, until at
last it was absolutely nauseating. When she was
wondering whether the strain
would ever cease, a dull-sounding bell clanged
somewhere down an elevator
shaft, and the end came. In an instant there was
a buzz of action and
conversation. All the girls instantly left their
stools and hurried away in an
adjoining room, men passed through, coming from
some department which opened on
the right. The whirling wheels began to sing in
a steadily modifying key, until
at last they died away in a low buzz. There was
an audible stillness, in which the
common voice sounded strange.
got up and sought her lunch box. She
was stiff, a little dizzy, and very thirsty. On
the way to the small space
portioned off by wood, where all the wraps and
lunches were kept, she
encountered the foreman, who stared at her hard.
he said, "did you
get along all right?"
so," she replied, very
replied, for want of
something better, and walked on.
better material conditions, this kind
of work would not have been so bad, but the new
socialism which involves
pleasant working conditions for employees had
not then taken hold upon
smelled of the oil of the
machines and the new leather – a combination
which, added to the stale odours
of the building, was not pleasant even in cold
weather. The floor, though
regularly swept every evening, presented a
littered surface. Not the slightest
provision had been made for the comfort of the
employees, the idea being that
something was gained by giving them as little
and making the work as hard and
unremunerative as possible. What we know of
foot-rests, swivel-back chairs,
dining-rooms for the girls, clean aprons and
curling irons supplied free, and a
decent cloak room, were unthought of. The
washrooms were disagreeable, crude,
if not foul places, and the whole atmosphere was
looked about her, after she had
drunk a tinful of water from a bucket in one
corner, for a place to sit and
eat. The other girls had ranged themselves about
the windows or the
work-benches of those of the men who had gone
out. She saw no place which did
not hold a couple or a group of girls, and being
too timid to think of
intruding herself, she sought out her machine
and, seated upon her stool,
opened her lunch on her lap. There she sat
listening to the chatter and comment
about her. It was, for the most part, silly and
graced by the current slang.
Several of the men in the room exchanged
compliments with the girls at long
Kitty," called one to a
girl who was doing a waltz step in a few feet of
space near one of the windows,
"are you going to the ball with me?"
out, Kitty," called
another, "you'll jar your back hair."
Rubber," was her only
listened to this and much more of
similar familiar badinage among the men and
girls, she instinctively withdrew
into herself. She was not used to this type, and
felt that there was something
hard and low about it all. She feared that the
young boys about would address
such remarks to her – boys who, beside Drouet,
seemed uncouth and ridiculous.
She made the average feminine distinction
between clothes, putting worth,
goodness, and distinction in a dress suit, and
leaving all the unlovely
qualities and those beneath notice in overalls
glad when the short half hour was
over and the wheels began to whirr again. Though
wearied, she would be
inconspicuous. This illusion ended when another
young man passed along the
aisle and poked her indifferently in the ribs
with his thumb. She turned about,
indignation leaping to her eyes, but he had gone
on and only once turned to
grin. She found it difficult to conquer an
inclination to cry.
next her noticed her state of
mind. "Don't you mind," she said. "He's too
said nothing, but bent over her
work. She felt as though she could hardly endure
such a life. Her idea of work
had been so entirely different. All during the
long afternoon she thought of
the city outside and its imposing show, crowds,
and fine buildings. Columbia
City and the better side of her home life came
back. By three o'clock she was
sure it must be six, and by four it seemed as if
they had forgotten to note the
hour and were letting all work overtime. The
foreman became a true ogre,
prowling constantly about, keeping her tied down
to her miserable task. What
she heard of the conversation about her only
made her feel sure that she did
not want to make friends with any of these. When
six o'clock came she hurried
eagerly away, her arms aching and her limbs
stiff from sitting in one position.
passed out along the hall after
getting her hat, a young machine hand, attracted
by her looks, made bold to
jest with her.
Maggie," he called,
"if you wait, I'll walk with you."
thrown so straight in her direction
that she knew who was meant, but never turned to
crowded elevator, another dusty,
toil-stained youth tried to make an impression
on her by leering in her face.
man, waiting on the walk outside
for the appearance of another, grinned at her as
going my way, are you?" he
turned her face to the west with a
subdued heart. As she turned the corner, she saw
through the great shiny window
the small desk at which she had applied. There
were the crowds, hurrying with
the same buzz and energy-yielding enthusiasm.
She felt a slight relief, but it
was only at her escape. She felt ashamed in the
face of better dressed girls
who went by. She felt as though she should be
better served, and her heart
GLITTERING NIGHT FLOWER: THE USE OF A NAME
did not call that evening. After
receiving the letter, he had laid aside all
thought of Carrie for the time
being and was floating around having what he
considered a gay time. On this
particular evening he dined at "Rector's," a
restaurant of some local
fame, which occupied a basement at Clark and
Monroe Streets. Thereafter he
visited the resort of Fitzgerald and Moy's in
Adams Street, opposite the imposing
Federal Building. There he leaned over the
splendid bar and swallowed a glass
of plain whiskey and purchased a couple of
cigars, one of which he lighted.
This to him represented in part high life – a
fair sample of what the whole
was not a drinker in excess. He was
not a moneyed man. He only craved the best, as
his mind conceived it, and such
doings seemed to him a part of the best.
Rector's, with its polished marble
walls and floor, its profusion of lights, its
show of china and silverware, and,
above all, its reputation as a resort for actors
and professional men, seemed
to him the proper place for a successful man to
go. He loved fine clothes, good
eating, and particularly the company and
acquaintanceship of successful men.
When dining, it was a source of keen
satisfaction to him to know that Joseph
Jefferson was wont to come to this same place,
or that Henry E. Dixie, a
well-known performer of the day, was then only a
few tables off. At Rector's he
could always obtain this satisfaction, for there
one could encounter
politicians, brokers, actors, some rich young
"rounders" of the town,
all eating and drinking amid a buzz of popular
So-and-so over there,"
was a common remark of these gentlemen among
themselves, particularly among
those who had not yet reached, but hoped to do
so, the dazzling height which
money to dine here lavishly represented.
don't say so," would be the
yes, didn't you know that? Why,
he's manager of the Grand Opera House."
these things would fall upon Drouet's
ears, he would straighten himself a little more
stiffly and eat with solid
comfort. If he had any vanity, this augmented
it, and if he had any ambition,
this stirred it. He would be able to flash a
roll of greenbacks too some day.
As it was, he could eat where they did.
preference for Fitzgerald and Moy's
Adams Street place was another yard off the same
cloth. This was really a
gorgeous saloon from a Chicago standpoint. Like
Rector's, it was also
ornamented with a blaze of incandescent lights,
held in handsome chandeliers.
The floors were of brightly coloured tiles, the
walls a composition of rich,
dark, polished wood, which reflected the light,
and coloured stucco-work, which
gave the place a very sumptuous appearance. The
long bar was a blaze of lights,
polished wood-work, coloured and cut glassware,
and many fancy bottles. It was
a truly swell saloon, with rich screens, fancy
wines, and a line of bar goods
unsurpassed in the country.
Rector's, Drouet had met Mr. G. W.
Hurstwood, manager of Fitzgerald and Moy's. He
had been pointed out as a very
successful and well-known man about town.
Hurstwood looked the part, for,
besides being slightly under forty, he had a
good, stout constitution, an
active manner, and a solid, substantial air,
which was composed in part of his
fine clothes, his clean linen, his jewels, and,
above all, his own sense of his
importance. Drouet immediately conceived a
notion of him as being some one
worth knowing, and was glad not only to meet
him, but to visit the Adams Street
bar thereafter whenever he wanted a drink or a
was an interesting character
after his kind. He was shrewd and clever in many
little things, and capable of
creating a good impression. His managerial
position was fairly important – a
kind of stewardship which was imposing, but
lacked financial control. He had
risen by perseverance and industry, through long
years of service, from the
position of barkeeper in a commonplace saloon to
his present altitude. He had a
little office in the place, set off in polished
cherry and grill-work, where he
kept, in a roll-top desk, the rather simple
accounts of the place – supplies
ordered and needed. The chief executive and
financial functions devolved 'upon
the owners – Messrs. Fitzgerald and Moy – and
upon a cashier who looked after
the money taken in.
most part he lounged about, dressed
in excellent tailored suits of imported goods, a
solitaire ring, a fine blue
diamond in his tie, a striking vest of some new
pattern, and a watch-chain of
solid gold, which held a charm of rich design,
and a watch of the latest make
and engraving. He knew by name, and could greet
personally with a "Well,
old fellow," hundreds of actors, merchants,
politicians, and the general
run of successful characters about town, and it
was part of his success to do
so. He had a finely graduated scale of
informality and friendship, which
improved from the "How do you do?" addressed to
fifteen-dollar-a-week clerks and office
attaches, who, by long frequenting of
the place, became aware of his position, to the
"Why, old man, how are
you?" which he addressed to those noted or rich
individuals who knew him
and were inclined to be friendly. There was a
class, however, too rich, too
famous, or too successful, with whom he could
not attempt any familiarity of
address, and with these he was professionally
tactful, assuming a grave and
dignified attitude, paying them the deference
which would win their good
feeling without in the least compromising his
own bearing and opinions. There
were, in the last place, a few good followers,
neither rich nor poor, famous,
nor yet remarkably successful, with whom he was
friendly on the score of
good-fellowship. These were the kind of men with
whom he would converse longest
and most seriously. He loved to go out and have
a good time once in a while –
to go to the races, the theatres, the sporting
entertainments at some of the
clubs. He kept a horse and neat trap, had his
wife and two children, who were
well established in a neat house on the North
Side near Lincoln Park, and was
altogether a very acceptable individual of our
great American upper class – the
first grade below the luxuriously rich.
liked Drouet. The latter's genial
nature and dressy appearance pleased him. He
knew that Drouet was only a
travelling salesman – and not one of many years
at that – but the firm of
Bartlett, Caryoe & Company was a large and
prosperous house, and Drouet
stood well. Hurstwood knew Caryoe quite well,
having drunk a glass now and then
with him, in company with several others, when
the conversation was general.
Drouet had what was a help in his business, a
moderate sense of humour, and
could tell a good story when the occasion
required. He could talk races with Hurstwood,
tell interesting incidents concerning himself
and his experiences with women,
and report the state of trade in the cities
which he visited, and so managed to
make himself almost invariably agreeable.
To-night he was particularly so,
since his report to the company had been
favourably commented upon, his new
samples had been satisfactorily selected, and
his trip marked out for the next
hello, Charlie, old man,"
said Hurstwood, as Drouet came in that evening
about eight o'clock. "How
goes it?" The room was crowded.
shook hands, beaming good nature,
and they strolled towards the bar.
haven't seen you in six weeks. When
did you get in?"
said Drouet. "Had
a fine trip."
it," said Hurstwood, his
black eyes lit with a warmth which half
displaced the cold make-believe that
usually dwelt in them. "What are you going to
take?" he added, as the
barkeeper, in snowy jacket and tie, leaned
toward them from behind the bar.
"Old Pepper," said Drouet.
of the same for me,"
put in Hurstwood.
are you in town this
time?" inquired Hurstwood.
until Wednesday. I'm going up to
Evans was in here Saturday and
said he saw you in Milwaukee last week."
saw George," returned
Drouet. "Great old boy, isn't he? We had quite a
barkeeper was setting out the glasses
and bottle before them, and they now poured out
the draught as they talked,
Drouet filling his to within a third of full, as
was considered proper, and
Hurstwood taking the barest suggestion of
whiskey and modifying it with
become of Caryoe?"
remarked Hurstwood. "I haven't seen him around
here in two weeks."
they say," exclaimed
Drouet. "Say, he's a gouty old boy!"
lot of money in his time,
though, hasn't he?"
wads of it," returned
Drouet. "He won't live much longer. Barely comes
down to the office
boy, hasn't he?" asked
a swift-pacer," laughed
he can't hurt the business
very much, though, with the other members all
can't injure that any, I
was standing, his coat open, his
thumbs in his pockets, the light on his jewels
and rings relieving them with
agreeable distinctness. He was the picture of
not inclined to drink, and gifted
with a more serious turn of mind, such a
bubbling, chattering, glittering
chamber must ever seem an anomaly, a strange
commentary on nature and life.
Here come the moths, in endless procession, to
bask in the light of the flame.
Such conversation as one may hear would not
warrant a commendation of the scene
upon intellectual grounds. It seems plain that
schemers would choose more
sequestered quarters to arrange their plans,
that politicians would not gather
here in company to discuss anything save
formalities, where the sharp-eared may
hear, and it would scarcely be justified on the
score of thirst, (or the
majority of those who frequent these more
gorgeous places have no craving for
liquor. Nevertheless, the fact that here men
gather, here chatter, here love to
pass and rub elbows, must be explained upon some
grounds. It must be that a
strange bundle of passions and vague desires
give rise to such a curious social
institution or it would not be.
for one, was lured as much by his
longing for pleasure as by his desire to shine
among his betters. The many
friends he met here dropped in because they
craved, without, perhaps,
consciously analysing it, the company, the glow,
the atmosphere which they
found. One might take it, after all, as an augur
of the better social order,
for the things which they satisfied here, though
sensory were not evil. No evil
could come out of the contemplation of an
expensively decorated chamber. The
worst effect of such a thing would be, perhaps,
to stir up in the
material-minded an ambition to arrange their
lives upon a similarly splendid
basis. In the last analysis, that would scarcely
be called the fault of the decorations,
but rather of the innate trend of the mind. That
such a scene might stir the
less expensively dressed to emulate the more
expensively dressed could scarcely
be laid at the door of anything save the false
ambition of the minds of those
so affected. Remove the element so thoroughly
and solely complained of – liquor
– and there would not be one to gainsay the
qualities of beauty and enthusiasm
which would remain. The pleased eye with which
our modern restaurants of
fashion are looked upon is proof of this
is the fact of the lighted
chamber, the dressy, greedy company, the small,
self-interested palaver, the
disorganized, aimless, wandering mental action
which it represents – the love
of light and show and finery which, to one
outside, under the serene light of
the eternal stars, must seem a strange and shiny
thing. Under the stars and
sweeping night winds, what a lamp-flower it must
bloom; a strange, glittering
night-flower, odour-yielding, insect-drawing,
insect-infested rose of pleasure.
fellow coming in
there?" said Hurstwood, glancing at a gentleman
just entering, arrayed in
a high hat and Prince Albert coat, his fat
cheeks puffed and red as with good
where?" said Drouet.
indicating the direction by a cast of his eye,
"the man with the silk
yes," said Drouet, now
affecting not to see. "Who is he?"
Jules Wallace, the
followed him with his eyes, much
look much like a man who sees
spirits, does he?" said Drouet.
don't know," returned
Hurstwood. "He's got the money, all right," and
a little twinkle
passed over his eyes.
go much on those things, do
you?" asked Drouet.
you never can tell," said
Hurstwood. "There may be something to it. I
wouldn't bother about it
myself, though. By the way," he added, "are you
Hole in the Ground,'" said
Drouet, mentioning the popular farce of the
you'd better be going. It's
half after eight already," and he drew out his
was already thinning out
considerably – some bound for the theatres, some
to their clubs, and some to
that most fascinating of all the pleasures – for
the type of man there
represented, at least – the ladies.
will," said Drouet.
around after the show. I have
something I want to show you," said Hurstwood.
said Drouet, elated.
haven't anything on hand for the
night, have you?" added Hurstwood.
come round, then."
a little peach coming in on
the train Friday," remarked Drouet, by way of
parting. "By George,
that's so, I must go and call on her before I go
never mind her," Hurstwood
was a little dandy, I tell
you," went on Drouet confidentially, and trying
to impress his friend.
o'clock," said Hurstwood.
right," said Drouet,
Carrie's name bandied about in the
most frivolous and gay of places, and that also
when the little toiler was
bemoaning her narrow lot, which was almost
inseparable from the early stages of
this, her unfolding fate.
MACHINE AND THE MAIDEN: A KNIGHT OF TODAY
flat that evening Carrie felt a new
phase of its atmosphere. The fact that it was
unchanged, while her feelings
were different, increased her knowledge of its
character. Minnie, after the
good spirits Carrie manifested at first,
expected a fair report. Hanson
supposed that Carrie would be satisfied.
he said, as he came in
from the hall in his working clothes, and looked
at Carrie through the
dining-room door, "how did you make out?"
said Carrie, "it's
pretty hard. I don't like it."
an air about her which showed
plainer than any words that she was both weary
sort of work is it?" he
asked, lingering a moment as he turned upon his
heel to go into the bathroom.
a machine," answered
very evident that it did not concern
him much, save from the side of the flat's
success. He was irritated a shade
because it could not have come about in the
throw of fortune for Carrie to be
worked with less elation than she
had just before Carrie arrived. The sizzle of
the meat frying did not sound
quite so pleasing now that Carrie had reported
her discontent. To Carrie, the
one relief of the whole day would have been a
jolly home, a sympathetic
reception, a bright supper table, and some one
to say: "Oh, well, stand it
a little while. You will get something better,"
but now this was ashes.
She began to see that they looked upon her
complaint as unwarranted, and that
she was supposed to work on and say nothing. She
knew that she was to pay four
dollars for her board and room, and now she felt
that it would be an
exceedingly gloomy round, living with these
was no companion for her sister –
she was too old. Her thoughts were staid and
solemnly adapted to a condition.
If Hanson had any pleasant thoughts or happy
feelings he concealed them. He
seemed to do all his mental operations without
the aid of physical expression.
He was as still as a deserted chamber. Carrie,
on the other hand, had the blood
of youth and some imagination. Her day of love
and the mysteries of courtship
were still ahead. She could think of things she
would like to do, of clothes
she would like to wear, and of places she would
like to visit. These were the
things upon which her mind ran, and it was like
meeting with opposition at
every turn to find no one here to call forth or
respond to her feelings.
forgotten, in considering and
explaining the result of her day, that Drouet
might come. Now, when she saw how
unreceptive these two people were, she hoped he
would not. She did not know
exactly what she would do or how she would
explain to Drouet, if he came. After
supper she changed her clothes. When she was
trimly dressed she was rather a
sweet little being, with large eyes and a sad
mouth. Her face expressed the
mingled expectancy, dissatisfaction and
depression she felt. She wandered about
after the dishes were put away, talked a little
with Minnie, and then decided
to go down and stand in the door at the foot of
the stairs. If Drouet came, she
could meet him there. Her face took on the
semblance of a look of happiness as
she put on her hat to go below.
doesn't seem to like her place
very well," said Minnie to her husband when the
latter came out, paper in
hand, to sit in the dining-room a few minutes.
ought to keep it for a time,
anyhow," said Hanson. "Has she gone downstairs?"
her to keep it if I were
you. She might be here weeks without getting
said she would, and Hanson read his
were you," he said a little
later, "I wouldn't let her stand in the door
down there. It don't look
tell her," said Minnie.
of the streets continued for a
long time to interest Carrie. She never wearied
of wondering where the people
in the cars were going or what their enjoyments
were. Her imagination trod a
very narrow round, always winding up at points
which concerned money, looks,
clothes, or enjoyment. She would have a far-off
thought of Columbia City now
and then, or an irritating rush of feeling
concerning her experiences of the
present day, but, on the whole, the little world
about her enlisted her whole
floor of the building, of which
Hanson's flat was the third, was occupied by a
bakery, and to this, while she
was standing there, Hanson came down to buy a
loaf of bread. She was not aware
of his presence until he was quite near her.
after bread," was all he
said as he passed.
contagion of thought here demonstrated
itself. While Hanson really came for bread, the
thought dwelt with him that now
he would see what Carrie was doing. No sooner
did he draw near her with that in
mind than she felt it. Of course, she had no
understanding of what put it into
her head, but, nevertheless, it aroused in her
the first shade of real
antipathy to him. She knew now that she did not
like him. He was suspicious.
will colour a world for us. The
flow of Carrie's meditations had been disturbed,
and Hanson had not long gone
upstairs before she followed. She had realised
with the lapse of the quarter
hours that Drouet was not coming, and somehow
she felt a little resentful, a
little as if she had been forsaken – was not
good enough. She went upstairs,
where everything was silent. Minnie was sewing
by a lamp at the table. Hanson
had already turned in for the night. In her
weariness and disappointment Carrie
did no more than announce that she was going to
you'd better," returned
Minnie. "You've got to get up early, you know."
morning was no better. Hanson was just
going out the door as Carrie came from her room.
Minnie tried to talk with her
during breakfast, but there was not much of
interest which they could mutually
discuss. As on the previous morning, Carrie
walked down town, for she began to
realise now that her four-fifty would not even
allow her car fare after she
paid her board. This seemed a miserable
arrangement. But the morning light
swept away the first misgivings of the day, as
morning light is ever wont to
shoe factory she put in a long day,
scarcely so wearisome as the preceding, but
considerably less novel. The head
foreman, on his round, stopped by her machine.
did you come from?" he
Brown hired me," she
did, eh!" and then,
"See that you keep things going."
machine girls impressed her even less
favourably. They seemed satisfied with their
lot, and were in a sense
"common." Carrie had more imagination than they.
She was not used to
slang. Her instinct in the matter of dress was
naturally better. She disliked
to listen to the girl next to her, who was
rather hardened by experience.
going to quit this," she
heard her remark to her neighbour. "What with
the stipend and being up
late, it's too much for me health."
free with the fellows, young and
old, about the place, and exchanged banter in
rude phrases, which at first
shocked her. She saw that she was taken to be of
the same sort and addressed
remarked one of the
stout-wristed sole-workers to her at noon.
"You're a daisy." He
really expected to hear the common "Aw! go chase
return, and was sufficiently abashed, by
Carrie's silently moving away, to
retreat, awkwardly grinning.
night at the flat she was even more
lonely – the dull situation was becoming harder
to endure. She could see that
the Hansons seldom or never had any company.
Standing at the street door
looking out, she ventured to walk out a little
way. Her easy gait and idle
manner attracted attention of an offensive but
common sort. She was slightly
taken back at the overtures of a well-dressed
man of thirty, who in passing
looked at her, reduced his pace, turned back,
a little stroll, are you,
looked at him in amazement, and then
summoned sufficient thought to reply: "Why, I
don't know you,"
backing away as she did so.
don't matter," said the
bandied no more words with him, but
hurried away, reaching her own door quite out of
breath. There was something in
the man's look which frightened her.
the remainder of the week it was
very much the same. One or two nights she found
herself too tired to walk home
and expended car fare. She was not very strong,
and sitting all day affected
her back. She went to bed one night before
is not always successful in
the matter of flowers or maidens. It requires
sometimes a richer soil, a better
atmosphere to continue even a natural growth. It
would have been better if her
acclimatization had been more gradual – less
rigid. She would have done better
if she had not secured a position so quickly,
and had seen more of the city
which she constantly troubled to know about.
first morning it rained she found
that she had no umbrella. Minnie loaned her one
of hers, which was worn and
faded. There was the kind of vanity in Carrie
that troubled at this. She went
to one of the great department stores and bought
herself one, using a dollar
and a quarter of her small store to pay for it.
you do that for,
Carrie?" asked Minnie when she saw it.
need one," said Carrie.
resented this, though she did not
reply. She was not going to be a common
shop-girl, she thought; they need not
think it, either.
first Saturday night Carrie paid her
board, four dollars. Minnie had a quaver of
conscience as she took it, but did
not know how to explain to Hanson if she took
less. That worthy gave up just
four dollars less toward the household expenses
with a smile of satisfaction.
He contemplated increasing his Building and Loan
payments. As for Carrie, she
studied over the problem of finding clothes and
amusement on fifty cents a
week, She brooded over this until she was in a
state of mental rebellion.
going up the street for a
walk," she said after supper.
alone are you?" asked
wouldn't," said Minnie.
to see something," said
Carrie, and by the tone she put into the last
word they realised for the first
time she was not pleased with them.
the matter with her?"
asked Hanson, when she went into the front room
to get her hat.
know," said Minnie.
she ought to know better than
to want to go out alone."
did not go very far, after all. She
returned and stood in the door. The next day
they went out to Garfield Park,
but it did not please her. She did not look well
enough. In the shop next day
she heard the highly coloured reports which
girls give of their trivial
amusements. They had been happy. On several days
it rained and she used up car
fare. One night she got thoroughly soaked, going
to catch the car at Van Buren
Street. All that evening she sat alone in the
front room looking out upon the
street, where the lights were reflected on the
wet pavements, thinking. She had
imagination enough to be moody.
Saturday she paid another four dollars
and pocketed her fifty cents in despair. The
speaking acquaintanceship which
she formed with some of the girls at the shop
discovered to her the fact that
they had more of their earnings to use for
themselves than she did. They had
young men of the kind whom she, since her
experience with Drouet, felt above,
who took them about. She came to thoroughly
dislike the light-headed young
fellows of the shop. Not one of them had a show
of refinement. She saw only
their workday side.
came a day when the first premonitory
blast of winter swept over the city. It scudded
the fleecy clouds in the
heavens, trailed long, thin streamers of smoke
from the tall stacks, and raced
about the streets and corners in sharp and
sudden puffs. Carrie now felt the
problem of winter clothes. What was she to do?
She had no winter jacket, no
hat, no shoes. It was difficult to speak to
Minnie about this, but at last she
summoned the courage.
know what I'm going to do
about clothes," she said one evening when they
were together. "I need
don't you keep part of your money
and buy yourself one?" she suggested, worried
over the situation which the
withholding of Carrie's money would create.
to for a week or so, if you
don't mind," ventured Carrie.
you pay two dollars?"
readily acquiesced, glad to escape
the trying situation, and liberal now that she
saw a way out. She was elated and
began figuring at once. She needed a hat first
of all. How Minnie explained to
Hanson she never knew. He said nothing at all,
but there were thoughts in the
air which left disagreeable impressions.
arrangement might have worked if
sickness had not intervened. It blew up cold
after a rain one afternoon when
Carrie was still without a jacket. She came out
of the warm shop at six and
shivered as the wind struck her. In the morning
she was sneezing, and going
down town made it worse. That day her bones
ached and she felt light-headed.
Towards evening she felt very ill, and when she
reached home was not hungry.
Minnie noticed her drooping actions and asked
her about herself.
know," said Carrie.
"I feel real bad."
about the stove, suffered a
chattering chill, and went to bed sick. The next
morning she was thoroughly
was truly distressed at this, but
maintained a kindly demeanour. Hanson said
perhaps she had better go back home
for a while. When she got up after three days,
it was taken for granted that
her position was lost. The winter was near at
hand, she had no clothes and now
she was out of work.
know," said Carrie;
"I'll go down Monday and see if I can't get
anything, her efforts were more poorly
rewarded on this trial than the last. Her
clothes were nothing suitable for
fall wearing. Her last money she had spent for a
hat. For three days she
wandered about, utterly dispirited. The attitude
of the flat was fast becoming
unbearable. She hated to think of going back
there each evening. Hanson was so
cold. She knew it could not last much longer.
Shortly she would have to give up
and go home.
fourth day she was down town all
day, having borrowed ten cents for lunch from
Minnie. She had applied in the
cheapest kind of places without success. She
even answered for a waitress in a
small restaurant where she saw a card in the
window, but they wanted an
experienced girl. She moved through the thick
throng of strangers, utterly
subdued in spirit. Suddenly a hand pulled her
arm and turned her about.
well!" said a voice. In
the first glance she beheld Drouet. He was not
only rosy-cheeked, but radiant.
He was the essence of sunshine and good-humour.
"Why, how are you,
Carrie?" he said. "You're a daisy. Where have
smiled under his irresistible flood
been out home," she said.
he said, "I saw you
across the street there. I thought it was you. I
was just coming out to your
place. How are you, anyhow?"
right," said Carrie,
looked her over and saw something
he said, "I want to
talk to you. You're not going anywhere in
particular, are you?"
now," said Carrie.
up here and have something
to eat. George! but I'm glad to see you again."
so relieved in his radiant
presence, so much looked after and cared for,
that she assented gladly, though
with the slightest air of holding back.
he said as he took her
arm – and there was an exuberance of
good-fellowship in the word which fairly
warmed the cockles of her heart.
through Monroe Street to the old
Windsor dining-room, which was then a large,
comfortable place, with an
excellent cuisine and substantial service.
Drouet selected a table close by the
window, where the busy rout of the street could
be seen. He loved the changing
panorama of the street – to see and be seen as
said, getting Carrie
and himself comfortably settled, what will you
looked over the large bill of fare
which the waiter handed her without really
considering it. She was very hungry,
and the things she saw there awakened her
desires, but the high prices held her
attention. "Half broiled spring chicken –
seventy-five. Sirloin steak with
mushrooms – one twenty-five." She had dimly
heard of these things, but it
seemed strange to be called to order from the
Drouet. "Sst! waiter."
officer of the board, a full-chested,
round-faced negro, approached, and inclined his
with mushrooms," said
Drouet. "Stuffed tomatoes."
assented the negro,
nodding his head.
pot of coffee."
turned to Carrie. "I haven't
had a thing since breakfast. Just got in from
Rock Island. I was going off to
dine when I saw you."
smiled and smiled.
have you been doing?" he
went on. "Tell me all about yourself. How is
well," returned Carrie,
answering the last query.
at her hard.
said, "you haven't
been sick, have you?"
now, that's a blooming shame,
isn't it? You don't look very well. I thought
you looked a little pale. What
have you been doing?"
don't say so! At what?"
Morgenthau and Scott – why, I
know that house. Over here on Fifth Avenue,
isn't it? They're a close-fisted
concern. What made you go there?"
couldn't get anything else,"
said Carrie frankly.
that's an outrage," said
Drouet. "You oughtn't to be working for those
people. Have the factory
right back of the store, don't they?"
isn't a good house," said
Drouet. "You don't want to work at anything like
chattered on at a great rate, asking
questions, explaining things about himself,
telling her what a good restaurant
it was, until the waiter returned with an
immense tray, bearing the hot savoury
dishes which had been ordered. Drouet fairly
shone in the matter of serving. He
appeared to great advantage behind the white
napery and silver platters of the
table and displaying his arms with a knife and
fork. As he cut the meat his
rings almost spoke. His new suit creaked as he
stretched to reach the plates,
break the bread, and pour the coffee. He helped
Carrie to a rousing plateful
and contributed the warmth of his spirit to her
body until she was a new girl.
He was a splendid fellow in the true popular
understanding of the term, and
captivated Carrie completely.
little soldier of fortune took her
good turn in an easy way. She felt a little out
of place, but the great room
soothed her and the view of the well-dressed
throng outside seemed a splendid
thing. Ah, what was it not to have money! What a
thing it was to be able to
come in here and dine! Drouet must be fortunate.
He rode on trains, dressed in
such nice clothes, was so strong, and ate in
these fine places. He seemed quite
a figure of a man, and she wondered at his
friendship and regard for her.
lost your place because you
got sick, eh?" he said.
you going to do now?"
around," she said, a
thought of the need that hung outside this fine
restaurant like a hungry dog at
her heels passing into her eyes.
said Drouet, "that
won't do. How long have you been looking?"
days," she answered.
that!" he said,
addressing some problematical individual. "You
oughtn't to be doing
anything like that. These girls," and he waved
an inclusion of all shop
and factory girls, "don't get anything. Why, you
can't live on it, can
He was a
brotherly sort of creature in his
demeanour. When he had scouted the idea of that
kind of toil, he took another
tack. Carrie was really very pretty. Even then,
in her commonplace garb, her
figure was evidently not bad, and her eyes were
large and gentle. Drouet looked
at her and his thoughts reached home. She felt
his admiration. It was
powerfully backed by his liberality and
good-humour. She felt that she liked
him – that she could continue to like him ever
so much. There was something
even richer than that, running as a hidden
strain, in her mind. Every little
while her eyes would meet his, and by that means
the interchanging current of
feeling would be fully connected.
don't you stay down town and go
to the theatre with me?" he said, hitching his
chair closer. The table was
not very wide.
can't," she said.
you going to do
she answered, a little
don't like out there where you
are, do you?"
you going to do if you don't
home, I guess."
the least quaver in her voice as
she said this. Somehow, the influence he was
exerting was powerful. They came
to an understanding of each other without words
– he of her situation, she of
the fact that he realised it.
said, "you can't
make it!" genuine sympathy filling his mind for
the time. "Let me
help you. You take some of my money."
she said, leaning back.
you going to do?" he
meditating, merely shaking her
at her quite tenderly for his
kind. There were some loose bills in his vest
pocket – greenbacks. They were
soft and noiseless, and he got his fingers about
them and crumpled them up in
on," he said, "I'll
see you through all right. Get yourself some
the first reference he had made to
that subject, and now she realised how bad off
she was. In his crude way he had
struck the key-note. Her lips trembled a little.
her hand out on the table before
her. They were quite alone in their corner, and
he put his larger, warmer hand
come, Carrie," he said,
"what can you do alone? Let me help you."
pressed her hand gently and she tried to
withdraw it. At this he held it fast, and she no
longer protested. Then he
slipped the greenbacks he had into her palm, and
when she began to protest, he
loan it to you – that's all
right. I'll loan it to you."
her take it. She felt bound to him
by a strange tie of affection now. They went
out, and he walked with her far
out south toward Polk Street, talking.
don't want to live with those
people?" he said in one place, abstractedly.
Carrie heard it, but it made
only a slight impression.
down and meet me
to-morrow," he said, "and we'll go to the
matinee. Will you?"
protested a while, but acquiesced.
not doing anything. Get
yourself a nice pair of shoes and a jacket."
scarcely gave a thought to the
complication which would trouble her when he was
gone. In his presence, she was
of his own hopeful, easy-way-out mood.
you bother about those people
out there," he said at parting. "I'll help you."
left him, feeling as though a great
arm had slipped out before her to draw off
trouble. The money she had accepted
was two soft, green, handsome ten-dollar bills.
LURE OF THE MATERIAL: BEAUTY SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
meaning of money yet remains to be
popularly explained and comprehended. When each
individual realises for himself
that this thing primarily stands for and should
only be accepted as a moral due
– that it should be paid out as honestly stored
energy, and not as a usurped
privilege – many of our social, religious, and
political troubles will have
permanently passed. As for Carrie, her
understanding of the moral significance
of money was the popular understanding, nothing
more. The old definition: "Money:
something everybody else has and I must get,"
would have expressed her
understanding of it thoroughly. Some of it she
now held in her hand – two soft,
green ten-dollar bills – and she felt that she
was immensely better off for the
having of them. It was something that was power
in itself. One of her order of
mind would have been content to be cast away
upon a desert island with a bundle
of money, and only the long strain of starvation
would have taught her that in
some cases it could have no value. Even then she
would have had no conception
of the relative value of the thing; her one
thought would, undoubtedly, have
concerned the pity of having so much power and
the inability to use it.
girl thrilled as she walked away
from Drouet. She felt ashamed in part because
she had been weak enough to take
it, but her need was so dire, she was still
glad. Now she would have a nice new
jacket! Now she would buy a nice pair of pretty
button shoes. She would get
stockings, too, and a skirt, and, and – until
already, as in the matter of her
prospective salary, she had got beyond, in her
desires, twice the purchasing
power of her bills.
conceived a true estimate of Drouet. To
her, and indeed to all the world, he was a nice,
good-hearted man. There was
nothing evil in the fellow. He gave her the
money out of a good heart – out of
a realisation of her want. He would not have
given the same amount to a poor
young man, but we must not forget that a poor
young man could not, in the
nature of things, have appealed to him like a
poor young girl. Femininity
affected his feelings. He was the creature of an
inborn desire. Yet no beggar
could have caught his eye and said, "My God,
mister, I'm starving,"
but he would gladly have handed out what was
considered the proper portion to
give beggars and thought no more about it. There
would have been no
speculation, no philosophising. He had no mental
process in him worthy the
dignity of either of those terms. In his good
clothes and fine health, he was a
merry, unthinking moth of the lamp. Deprived of
his position, and struck by a
few of the involved and baffling forces which
sometimes play upon man he would
have been as helpless as Carrie – as helpless,
as non-understanding, as
pitiable, if you will, as she.
regard to his pursuit of women, he
meant them no harm, because he did not conceive
of the relation which he hoped
to hold with them as being harmful. He loved to
make advances to women, to have
them succumb to his charms, not because he was a
cold-blooded, dark, scheming
villain, but because his inborn desire urged him
to that as a chief delight. He
was vain, he was boastful, he was as deluded by
fine clothes as any
silly-headed girl. A truly deep-dyed villain
could have hornswaggled him as
readily as he could have flattered a pretty
shop-girl. His fine success as a
salesman lay in his geniality and the thoroughly
reputable standing of his
house. He bobbed about among men, a veritable
bundle of enthusiasm – no power
worthy the name of intellect, no thoughts worthy
the adjective noble, no
feelings long continued in one strain. A Madame
Sappho would have called him a
pig; a Shakespeare would have said "my merry
child;" old, drinking
Caryoe thought him a clever, successful business
man. In short, he was as good
as his intellect conceived.
proof that there was something
open and commendable about the man was the fact
that Carrie took the money. No
deep, sinister soul with ulterior motives could
have given her fifteen cents
under the guise of friendship. The
unintellectual are not so helpless. Nature
has taught the beasts of the field to fly when
some unheralded danger
threatens. She has put into the small, unwise
head of the chipmunk the
untutored fear of poisons. "He keepeth His
creatures whole," was not,
written of beasts alone. Carrie was unwise, and,
therefore, like the sheep in
its unwisdom, strong in feeling. The instinct of
self-protection, strong in all
such natures, was roused but feebly, if at all,
by the overtures of Drouet.
Carrie had gone, he felicitated
himself upon her good opinion. By George, it was
a shame young girls had to be
knocked around like that. Cold weather coming on
and no clothes. Tough. He
would go around to Fitzgerald and Moy's and get
a cigar. It made him feel light
of foot as he thought about her.
reached home in high good spirits,
which she could scarcely conceal. The possession
of the money involved a number
of points which perplexed her seriously. How
should she buy any clothes when
Minnie knew that she had no money? She had no
sooner entered the flat than this
point was settled for her. It could not be done.
She could think of no way of
you come out?" asked
Minnie, referring to the day.
had none of the small deception
which could feel one thing and say something
directly opposed. She would
prevaricate, but it would be in the line of her
feelings at least. So; instead
of complaining when she felt so good, she said:
the promise of
sure promised?" questioned
I'm to find out
to-morrow," returned Carrie, disliking to draw
out a lie any longer than
felt the atmosphere of good feeling
which Carrie brought with her. She felt now was
the time to express to Carrie
the state of Hanson's feeling about her entire
shouldn't get it-" she
paused, troubled for an easy way.
don't get something pretty soon,
I think I'll go home."
saw her chance.
thinks it might be best for the
situation flashed on Carrie at once.
They were unwilling to keep her any longer, out
of work. She did not blame
Minnie, she did not blame Hanson very much. Now,
as she sat there digesting the
remark, she was glad she had Drouet's money.
she said after a few
moments, "I thought of doing that."
not explain that the thought,
however, had aroused all the antagonism of her
nature. Columbia City, what was
there for her? She knew its dull, little round
by heart. Here was the great,
mysterious city which was still a magnet for
her. What she had seen only
suggested its possibilities. Now to turn back on
it and live the little old
life out there – she almost exclaimed against
reached home early and went in the
front room to think. What could she do? She
could not buy new shoes and wear
them here. She would need to save part of the
twenty to pay her fare home. She
did not want to borrow of Minnie for that. And
yet, how could she explain where
she even got that money? If she could only get
enough to let her out easy.
over the tangle again and again.
Here, in the morning, Drouet would expect to see
her in a new jacket, and that
couldn't be. The Hansons expected her to go
home, and she wanted to get away,
and yet she did not want to go home. In the
light of the way they would look on
her getting money without work, the taking of it
now seemed dreadful. She began
to be ashamed. The whole situation depressed
her. It was all so clear when she
was with Drouet. Now it was all so tangled, so
hopeless – much worse than it
was before, because she had the semblance of aid
in her hand which she could
spirits sank so that at supper Minnie
felt that she must have had another hard day.
Carrie finally decided that she
would give the money back. It was wrong to take
it. She would go down in the
morning and hunt for work. At noon she would
meet Drouet as agreed and tell
him. At this decision her heart sank, until she
was the old Carrie of distress.
she could not hold the money in
her hand without feeling some relief. Even after
all her depressing
conclusions, she could sweep away all thought
about the matter and then the
twenty dollars seemed a wonderful and delightful
thing. Ah, money, money,
money! What a thing it was to have. How plenty
of it would clear away all these
morning she got up and started out a
little early. Her decision to hunt for work was
moderately strong, but the
money in her pocket, after all her troubling
over it, made the work question
the least shade less terrible. She walked into
the wholesale district, but as
the thought of applying came with each passing
concern, her heart shrank. What
a coward she was, she thought to herself. Yet
she had applied so often. It
would be the same old story. She walked on and
on, and finally did go into one
place, with the old result. She came out feeling
that luck was against her. It
was no use.
much thinking, she reached Dearborn
Street. Here was the great Fair store with its
multitude of delivery wagons
about, its long window display, its crowd of
shoppers. It readily changed her
thoughts, she who was so weary of them. It was
here that she had intended to
come and get her new things. Now for relief from
distress, she thought she
would go in and see. She would look at the
nothing in this world more
delightful than that middle state in which we
mentally balance at times,
possessed of the means, lured by desire, and yet
deterred by conscience or want
of decision. When Carrie began wandering around
the store amid the fine
displays she was in this mood. Her original
experience in this same place had
given her a high opinion of its merits. Now she
paused at each individual bit
of finery, where before she had hurried on. Her
woman's heart was warm with
desire for them. How would she look in this, how
charming that would make her!
She came upon the corset counter and paused in
rich reverie as she noted the
dainty concoctions of colour and lace there
displayed. If she would only make
up her mind, she could have one of those now.
She lingered in the jewelry
department. She saw the earrings, the bracelets,
the pins, the chains. What
would she not have given if she could have had
them all! She would look fine
too, if only she had some of these things.
jackets were the greatest attraction.
When she entered the store, she already had her
heart fixed upon the peculiar
little tan jacket with large mother-of-pearl
buttons which was all the rage
that fall. Still she delighted to convince
herself that there was nothing she
would like better. She went about among the
glass cases and racks where these
things were displayed, and satisfied herself
that the one she thought of was
the proper one. All the time she wavered in
mind, now persuading herself that
she could buy it right away if she chose, now
recalling to herself the actual
condition. At last the noon hour was dangerously
near, and she had done
nothing. She must go now and return the money.
was on the corner when she came up.
he said, "where is
the jacket and" – looking down – "the shoes?"
had thought to lead up to her
decision in some intelligent way, but this swept
the whole fore-schemed
situation by the board.
to tell you that – that I
can't take the money."
that's it, is it?" he
returned. "Well, you come on with me. Let's go
over here to
walked with him. Behold, the whole
fabric of doubt and impossibility had slipped
from her mind. She could not get
at the points that were so serious, the things
she was going to make plain to
had lunch yet? Of course you
haven't. Let's go in here," and Drouet turned
into one of the very nicely
furnished restaurants off State Street, in
mustn't take the money," said
Carrie, after they were settled in a cosey
corner, and Drouet had ordered the
lunch. "I can't wear those things out there.
They – they wouldn't know
where I got them."
you want to do," he
smiled, "go without them?"
I'll go home," she said,
come," he said, "you've
been thinking it over too long. I'll tell you
what you do. You say you can't
wear them out there. Why don't you rent a
furnished room and leave them in that
for a week?"
shook her head. Like all women, she
was there to object and be convinced. It was for
him to brush the doubts away
and clear the path if he could.
you going home?" he
can't get anything here."
won't keep you?" he
can't," said Carrie.
tell you what you do," he
said. "You come with me. I'll take care of you."
heard this passively. The peculiar
state which she was in made it sound like the
welcome breath of an open door.
Drouet seemed of her own spirit and pleasing. He
was clean, handsome,
well-dressed, and sympathetic. His voice was the
voice of a friend.
you do back at Columbia
City?" he went on, rousing by the words in
Carrie's mind a picture of the
dull world she had left. "There isn't anything
down there. Chicago's the
place. You can get a nice room here and some
clothes, and then you can do
looked out through the window into
the busy street. There it was, the admirable,
great city, so fine when you are
not poor. An elegant coach, with a prancing pair
of bays, passed by, carrying
in its upholstered depths a young lady.
will you have if you go
back?" asked Drouet. There was no subtle
undercurrent to the question. He
imagined that she would have nothing at all of
the things he thought worth
sat still, looking out. She was
wondering what she could do. They would be
expecting her to go home this week.
turned to the subject of the clothes
she was going to buy.
get yourself a nice little
jacket? You've got to have it. I'll loan you the
money. You needn't worry about
taking it. You can get yourself a nice room by
yourself. I won't hurt
saw the drift, but could not express
her thoughts. She felt more than ever the
helplessness of her case.
could only get something to
do," she said.
you can," went on Drouet,
"if you stay here. You can't if you go away.
They won't let you stay out
there. Now, why not let me get you a nice room?
I won't bother you – you
needn't be afraid. Then, when you get fixed up,
maybe you could get
at her pretty face and it
vivified his mental resources. She was a sweet
little mortal to him – there was
no doubt of that. She seemed to have some power
back of her actions. She was
not like the common run of store-girls. She
reality, Carrie had more imagination
than he – more taste. It was a finer mental
strain in her that made possible
her depression and loneliness. Her poor clothes
were neat, and she held her
head unconsciously in a dainty way.
think I could get
something?" she asked.
he said, reaching over
and filling her cup with tea. "I'll help you."
looked at him, and he laughed
tell you what well do. We'll
go over here to Partridge's and you pick out
what you want. Then we'll look
around for a room for you. You can leave the
things there. Then we'll go to the
shook her head.
you can go out to the flat
then, that's all right. You don't need to stay
in the room. Just take it and
leave your things there."
in doubt about this until the
dinner was over.
over and look at the
jackets," he said.
they went. In the store they found
that shine and rustle of new things which
immediately laid hold of Carrie's
heart. Under the influence of a good dinner and
Drouet's radiating presence,
the scheme proposed seemed feasible. She looked
about and picked a jacket like
the one which she had admired at The Fair. When
she got it in her hand it
seemed so much nicer. The saleswoman helped her
on with it, and, by accident,
it fitted perfectly. Drouet's face lightened as
he saw the improvement. She
looked quite smart.
the thing," he said.
turned before the glass. She could
not help feeling pleased as she looked at
herself. A warm glow crept into her
the thing," said Drouet.
"Now pay for it."
nine dollars," said Carrie.
all right – take it,"
reached in her purse and took out one
of the bills. The woman asked if she would wear
the coat and went off. In a few
minutes she was back and the purchase was
Partridge's they went to a shoe store,
where Carrie was fitted for shoes. Drouet stood
by, and when he saw how nice
they looked, said, "Wear them." Carrie shook her
head, however. She
was thinking of returning to the flat. He bought
her a purse for one thing, and
a pair of gloves for another, and let her buy
he said, "you
come down here and buy yourself a skirt."
In all of
Carrie's actions there was a
touch of misgiving. The deeper she sank into the
entanglement, the more she
imagined that the thing hung upon the few
remaining things she had not done.
Since she had not done these, there was a way
knew a place in Wabash Avenue where
there were rooms. He showed Carrie the outside
of these, and said: "Now,
you're my sister." He carried the arrangement
off with an easy hand when
it came to the selection, looking around,
criticising, opining. "Her trunk
will be here in a day or so," he observed to the
landlady, who was very
were alone, Drouet did not change
in the least. He talked in the same general way
as if they were out in the
street. Carrie left her things.
said Drouet, "why
don't you move to-night?"
can't," said Carrie.
want to leave them so."
that up as they walked along the
avenue. It was a warm afternoon. The sun had
come out and the wind had died
down. As he talked with Carrie, he secured an
accurate detail of the atmosphere
of the flat.
of it," he said,
"they won't care. I'll help you get along."
listened until her misgivings vanished.
He would show her about a little and then help
her get something. He really
imagined that he would. He would be out on the
road and she could be working.
I'll tell you what you do,"
he said, "you go out there and get whatever you
want and come away."
thought a long time about this. Finally
she agreed. He would come out as far as Peoria
Street and wait for her. She was
to meet him at half-past eight. At half-past
five she reached home, and at six
her determination was hardened.
didn't get it?" said
Minnie, referring to Carrie's story of the
looked at her out of the corner of
her eye. "No," she answered.
think you'd better try any
more this fall," said Minnie.
Hanson came home he wore the same
inscrutable demeanour. He washed in silence and
went off to read his paper. At
dinner Carrie felt a little nervous. The strain
of her own plans was
considerable, and the feeling that she was not
welcome here was strong.
find anything, eh?" said
to his eating again, the thought
that it was a burden to have her here dwelling
in his mind. She would have to
go home, that was all. Once she was away, there
would be no more coming back in
was afraid of what she was going to
do, but she was relieved to know that this
condition was ending. They would not
care. Hanson particularly would be glad when she
went. He would not care what
became of her.
dinner she went into the bathroom,
where they could not disturb her, and wrote a
Minnie," it read.
"I'm not going home. I'm going to stay in
Chicago a little while and look
for work. Don't worry. I'll be all right."
front room Hanson was reading his
paper. As usual, she helped Minnie clear away
the dishes and straighten up.
Then she said:
I'll stand down at the door a
little while." She could scarcely prevent her
voice from trembling.
remembered Hanson's remonstrance.
doesn't think it looks good to
stand down there," she said.
he?" said Carrie.
"I won't do it any more after this."
on her hat and fidgeted around the
table in the little bedroom, wondering where to
slip the note. Finally she put
it under Minnie's hair-brush.
had closed the hall-door, she
paused a moment and wondered what they would
think. Some thought of the
queerness of her deed affected her. She went
slowly down the stairs. She looked
back up the lighted step, and then affected to
stroll up the street. When she
reached the corner she quickened her pace.
was hurrying away, Hanson came back
to his wife.
Carrie down at the door
again?" he asked.
said Minnie; "she
said she wasn't going to do it any more."
over to the baby where it was
playing on the floor and began to poke his
finger at it.
was on the corner waiting, in good
Carrie," he said, as a
sprightly figure of a girl drew near him. "Got
here safe, did you? Well,
we'll take a car."
BY WINTER: AN AMBASSADOR SUMMONED
forces which sweep and play
throughout the universe, untutored man is but a
wisp in the wind. Our
civilisation is still in a middle stage,
scarcely beast, in that it is no
longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely
human, in that it is not yet wholly
guided by reason. On the tiger no responsibility
rests. We see him aligned by
nature with the forces of life – he is born into
their keeping and without
thought he is protected. We see man far removed
from the lairs of the jungles,
his innate instincts dulled by too near an
approach to free-will, his free-will
not sufficiently developed to replace his
instincts and afford him perfect
guidance. He is becoming too wise to hearken
always to instincts and desires;
he is still too weak to always prevail against
them. As a beast, the forces of
life aligned him with them; as a man, he has not
yet wholly learned to align
himself with the forces. In this intermediate
stage he wavers – neither drawn
in harmony with nature by his instincts nor yet
wisely putting himself into
harmony by his own free-will. He is even as a
wisp in the wind, moved by every
breath of passion, acting now by his will and
now by his instincts, erring with
one, only to retrieve by the other, falling by
one, only to rise by the other –
a creature of incalculable variability. We have
the consolation of knowing that
evolution is ever in action, that the ideal is a
light that cannot fail. He
will not forever balance thus between good and
evil. When this jangle of free-will
and instinct shall have been adjusted, when
perfect understanding has given the
former the power to replace the latter entirely,
man will no longer vary. The
needle of understanding will yet point steadfast
and unwavering to the distant
pole of truth.
– as in how many of our
worldlings do they not? – instinct and reason,
desire and understanding, were
at war for the mastery. She followed whither her
craving led. She was as yet
more drawn than she drew.
Minnie found the note next morning, after
a night of mingled wonder and anxiety, which was
not exactly touched by
yearning, sorrow, or love, she exclaimed: "Well,
what do you think of
Carrie has gone to live
jumped out of bed with more celerity
than he usually displayed and looked at the
note. The only indication of his
thoughts came in the form of a little clicking
sound made by his tongue; the
sound some people make when they wish to urge on
you suppose she's gone
to?" said Minnie, thoroughly aroused.
know," a touch of
cynicism lighting his eye. "Now she has gone and
moved her head in a puzzled way.
she said, "she
doesn't know what she has done."
said Hanson, after a
while, sticking his hands out before him, "what
can you do?"
womanly nature was higher than
this. She figured the possibilities in such
said at last,
"poor Sister Carrie!"
time of this particular
conversation, which occurred at 5 A.M., that
little soldier of fortune was
sleeping a rather troubled sleep in her new
new state was remarkable in that
she saw possibilities in it. She was no
sensualist, longing to drowse sleepily
in the lap of luxury. She turned about, troubled
by her daring, glad of her
release, wondering whether she would get
something to do, wondering what Drouet
would do. That worthy had his future fixed for
him beyond a peradventure. He
could not help what he was going to do. He could
not see clearly enough to wish
to do differently. He was drawn by his innate
desire to act the old pursuing
part. He would need to delight himself with
Carrie as surely as he would need
to eat his heavy breakfast. He might suffer the
least rudimentary twinge of
conscience in whatever he did, and in just so
far he was evil and sinning. But
whatever twinges of conscience he might have
would be rudimentary, you may be
day he called upon Carrie, and she
saw him in her chamber. He was the same jolly,
said, "what are you
looking so blue about? Come on out to breakfast.
You want to get your other
looked at him with the hue of
shifting thought in her large eyes.
"I wish I
could get something to
do," she said.
get that all right," said
Drouet. "What's the use worrying right now? Get
yourself fixed up. See the
city. I won't hurt you."
you won't," she remarked,
the new shoes, haven't you?
Stick 'em out. George, they look fine. Put on
that fits like a T, don't
it?" he remarked, feeling the set of it at the
waist and eyeing it from a
few paces with real pleasure. "What you need now
is a new skirt. Let's go
put on her hat.
are the gloves?" he
she said, taking them out
of the bureau drawer.
come on," he said.
first hour of misgiving was swept
this way on every occasion. Drouet
did not leave her much alone. She had time for
some lone wanderings, but mostly
he filled her hours with sight-seeing. At
Carson, Pirie's he bought her a nice
skirt and shirt waist. With his money she
purchased the little necessaries of
toilet, until at last she looked quite another
maiden. The mirror convinced her
of a few things which she had long believed. She
was pretty, yes, indeed! How
nice her hat set, and weren't her eyes pretty.
She caught her little red lip
with her teeth and felt her first thrill of
power. Drouet was so good.
to see "The Mikado" one
evening, an opera which was hilariously popular
at that time. Before going,
they made off for the Windsor dining-room, which
was in Dearborn Street, a
considerable distance from Carrie's room. It was
blowing up cold, and out of
her window Carrie could see the western sky,
still pink with the fading light,
but steely blue at the top where it met the
darkness. A long, thin cloud of
pink hung in midair, shaped like some island in
a far-off sea. Somehow the
swaying of some dead branches of trees across
the way brought back the picture
with which she was familiar when she looked from
their front window in December
days at home.
paused and wrung her little hands.
the matter?" said Drouet.
don't know," she said, her
something, and slipped his arm
over her shoulder, patting her arm.
on," he said gently,
"you're all right."
turned to slip on her jacket.
wear that boa about your
walked north on Wabash to Adams Street
and then west. The lights in the stores were
already shining out in gushes of
golden hue. The arc lights were sputtering
overhead, and high up were the
lighted windows of the tall office buildings.
The chill wind whipped in and out
in gusty breaths. Homeward bound, the six
o'clock throng bumped and jostled.
Light overcoats were turned up about the ears,
hats were pulled down. Little
shop-girls went fluttering by in pairs and
fours, chattering, laughing. It was
a spectacle of warm-blooded humanity.
a pair of eyes met Carrie's in
recognition. They were looking out from a group
of poorly dressed girls. Their
clothes were faded and loose-hanging, their
jackets old, their general make-up
recognised the glance and the girl.
She was one of those who worked at the machines
in the shoe factory. The latter
looked, not quite sure, and then turned her head
and looked. Carrie felt as if
some great tide had rolled between them. The old
dress and the old machine came
back. She actually started. Drouet didn't notice
until Carrie bumped into a
be thinking," he said.
dined and went to the theatre. That
spectacle pleased Carrie immensely. The colour
and grace of it caught her eye.
She had vain imaginings about place and power,
about far-off lands and
magnificent people. When it was over, the
clatter of coaches and the throng of
fine ladies made her stare.
minute," said Drouet,
holding her back in the showy foyer where ladies
and gentlemen were moving in a
social crush, skirts rustling, lace-covered
heads nodding, white teeth showing
through parted lips. "Let's see."
was saying, his voice lifted in a sort of
fine?" said Carrie.
said Drouet. He was as
much affected by this show of finery and gayety
as she. He pressed her arm
warmly. Once she looked up, her even teeth
glistening through her smiling lips,
her eyes alight. As they were moving out he
whispered down to her, "You
look lovely!" They were right where the
coach-caller was swinging open a
coach-door and ushering in two ladies.
stick to me and we'll have a
coach," laughed Drouet.
scarcely heard, her head was so full
of the swirl of life.
stopped in at a restaurant for a
little after-theatre lunch. Just a shade of a
thought of the hour entered
Carrie's head, but there was no household law to
govern her now. If any habits
ever had time to fix upon her, they would have
operated here. Habits are
peculiar things. They will drive the really
non-religious mind out of bed to
say prayers that are only a custom and not a
devotion. The victim of habit,
when he has neglected the thing which it was his
custom to do, feels a little
scratching in the brain, a little irritating
something which comes of being out
of the rut, and imagines it to be the prick of
conscience, the still, small
voice that is urging him ever to righteousness.
If the digression is unusual
enough, the drag of habit will be heavy enough
to cause the unreasoning victim
to return and perform the perfunctory thing.
"Now, bless me," says
such a mind, "I have done my duty," when, as a
matter of fact, it has
merely done its old, unbreakable trick once
had no excellent home principles
fixed upon her. If she had, she would have been
more consciously distressed.
Now the lunch went off with considerable warmth.
Under the influence of the
varied occurrences, the fine, invisible passion
which was emanating from
Drouet, the food, the still unusual luxury, she
relaxed and heard with open
ears. She was again the victim of the city's
said Drouet at last,
"we had better be going."
been dawdling over the dishes, and
their eyes had frequently met. Carrie could not
help but feel the vibration of
force which followed, which, indeed, was his
gaze. He had a way of touching her
hand in explanation, as if to impress a fact
upon her. He touched it now as he
spoke of going.
arose and went out into the street.
The downtown section was now bare, save for a
few whistling strollers, a few
owl cars, a few open resorts whose windows were
still bright. Out Wabash Avenue
they strolled, Drouet still pouring forth his
volume of small information. He
had Carrie's arm in his, and held it closely as
he explained. Once in a while,
after some witticism, he would look down, and
his eyes would meet hers. At last
they came to the steps, and Carrie stood up on
the first one, her head now
coming even with his own. He took her hand and
held it genially. He looked
steadily at her as she glanced about, warmly
that hour, Minnie was soundly
sleeping, after a long evening of troubled
thought. She had her elbow in an
awkward position under her side. The muscles so
held irritated a few nerves,
and now a vague scene floated in on the drowsy
mind. She fancied she and Carrie
were somewhere beside an old coal-mine. She
could see the tall runway and the
heap of earth and coal cast out. There was a
deep pit, into which they were
looking; they could see the curious wet stones
far down where the wall
disappeared in vague shadows. An old basket,
used for descending, was hanging
there, fastened by a worn rope.
get in," said Carrie.
come on," said Carrie.
to pull the basket over, and now,
in spite of all protest, she had swung over and
was going down.
"Carrie, come back;" but Carrie was far down now
and the shadow had
swallowed her completely.
mystic scenery merged queerly and
the place was by waters she had never seen. They
were upon some board or ground
or something that reached far out, and at the
end of this was Carrie. They
looked about, and now the thing was sinking, and
Minnie heard the low sip of
the encroaching water.
Carrie," she called,
but Carrie was reaching farther out. She seemed
to recede, and now it was
difficult to call to her.
"Carrie," but her own voice sounded far away,
and the strange waters
were blurring everything. She came away
suffering as though she had lost
something. She was more inexpressibly sad than
she had even been in life.
this way through many shifts of the
tired brain, those curious phantoms of the
spirit slipping in, blurring strange
scenes, one with the other. The last one made
her cry out, for Carrie was
slipping away somewhere over a rock, and her
fingers had let loose and she had
seen her falling.
What's the matter? Here, wake
up," said Hanson, disturbed, and shaking her by
what's the matter?" said
up," he said, "and
turn over. You're talking in your sleep."
A week or
so later Drouet strolled into
Fitzgerald and Moy's, spruce in dress and
Charley," said Hurstwood,
looking out from his office door.
strolled over and looked in upon the
manager at his desk.
you go out on the road
again?" he inquired.
soon," said Drouet.
seen much of you this
trip," said Hurstwood.
I've been busy," said
talked some few minutes on general
said Drouet, as if struck
by a sudden idea, "I want you to come out some
where?" inquired Hurstwood.
my house, of course,"
said Drouet, smiling.
looked up quizzically, the least
suggestion of a smile hovering about his lips.
He studied the face of Drouet in
his wise way, and then with the demeanour of a
"Certainly; glad to."
have a nice game of
bring a nice little bottle of
Sec?" asked Hurstwood.
"I'll introduce you."
OWN TINDER-BOX: THE EYE THAT IS GREEN
residence on the North Side,
near Lincoln Park, was a brick building of a
very popular type then, a
three-story affair with the first floor sunk a
very little below the level of
the street. It had a large bay window bulging
out from the second floor, and
was graced in front by a small grassy plot,
twenty-five feet wide and ten feet
deep. There was also a small rear yard, walled
in by the fences of the
neighbours and holding a stable where he kept
his horse and trap.
rooms of the house were occupied by
himself, his wife Julia, and his son and
daughter, George, Jr., and Jessica.
There were besides these a maid-servant,
represented from time to time by girls
of various extraction, for Mrs. Hurstwood was
not always easy to please.
I let Mary go
yesterday," was not an unfrequent salutation at
the dinner table.
right," was his only reply.
He had long since wearied of discussing the
home atmosphere is one of the
flowers of the world, than which there is
nothing more tender, nothing more
delicate, nothing more calculated to make strong
and just the natures cradled
and nourished within it. Those who have never
experienced such a beneficent
influence will not understand wherefore the tear
springs glistening to the
eyelids at some strange breath in lovely music.
The mystic chords which bind
and thrill the heart of the nation, they will
residence could scarcely be
said to be infused with this home spirit. It
lacked that toleration and regard
without which the home is nothing. There was
fine furniture, arranged as
soothingly as the artistic perception of the
occupants warranted. There were
soft rugs, rich, upholstered chairs and divans,
a grand piano, a marble carving
of some unknown Venus by some unknown artist,
and a number of small bronzes
gathered from heaven knows where, but generally
sold by the large furniture
houses along with everything else which goes to
make the "perfectly
dining-room stood a sideboard laden
with glistening decanters and other utilities
and ornaments in glass, the
arrangement of which could not be questioned.
Here was something Hurstwood knew
about. He had studied the subject for years in
his business. He took no little
satisfaction in telling each Mary, shortly after
she arrived, something of what
the art of the thing required. He was not
garrulous by any means. On the
contrary, there was a fine reserve in his manner
toward the entire domestic
economy of his life which was all that is
comprehended by the popular term,
gentlemanly. He would not argue, he would not
talk freely. In his manner was
something of the dogmatist. What he could not
correct, he would ignore. There
was a tendency in him to walk away from the
a time when he had been
considerably enamoured of his Jessica,
especially when he was younger and more
confined in his success. Now, however, in her
seventeenth year, Jessica had
developed a certain amount of reserve and
independence which was not inviting
to the richest form of parental devotion. She
was in the high school, and had
notions of life which were decidedly those of a
patrician. She liked nice
clothes and urged for them constantly. Thoughts
of love and elegant individual
establishments were running in her head. She met
girls at the high school whose
parents were truly rich and whose fathers had
standing locally as partners or
owners of solid businesses. These girls gave
themselves the airs befitting the
thriving domestic establishments from whence
they issued. They were the only
ones of the school about whom Jessica concerned
Hurstwood, Jr., was in his twentieth
year, and was already connected in a promising
capacity with a large real
estate firm. He contributed nothing for the
domestic expenses of the family,
but was thought to be saving his money to invest
in real estate. He had some
ability, considerable vanity, and a love of
pleasure that had not, as yet,
infringed upon his duties, whatever they were.
He came in and went out,
pursuing his own plans and fancies, addressing a
few words to his mother
occasionally, relating some little incident to
his father, but for the most
part confining himself to those generalities
with which most conversation
concerns itself. He was not laying bare his
desires for any one to see. He did
not find any one in the house who particularly
cared to see.
Hurstwood was the type of the woman
who has ever endeavoured to shine and has been
more or less chagrined at the
evidences of superior capability in this
direction elsewhere. Her knowledge of
life extended to that little conventional round
of society of which she was not
– but longed to be – a member. She was not
without realisation already that
this thing was impossible, so far as she was
concerned. For her daughter, she
hoped better things. Through Jessica she might
rise a little. Through George,
Jr.'s, possible success she might draw to
herself the privilege of pointing
proudly. Even Hurstwood was doing well enough,
and she was anxious that his
small real estate adventures should prosper. His
property holdings, as yet,
were rather small, but his income was pleasing
and his position with Fitzgerald
and Moy was fixed. Both those gentlemen were on
pleasant and rather informal
terms with him.
atmosphere which such personalities
would create must be apparent to all. It worked
out in a thousand little
conversations, all of which were of the same
going up to Fox Lake
to-morrow," announced George. Jr., at the dinner
table one Friday evening.
going on up there?"
queried Mrs. Hurstwood.
Fahrway's got a new steam
launch, and he wants me to come up and see how
did it cost him?" asked
two thousand dollars. He
says it's a dandy."
Fahrway must be making
money," put in Hurstwood.
"He is, I
guess. Jack told me they
were shipping Vega-cura to Australia now – said
they sent a whole box to Cape
Town last week."
think of that!" said Mrs.
Hurstwood, "and only four years ago they had
that basement in Madison
told me they were going to put
up a six-story building next spring in Robey
think of that!" said
particular occasion Hurstwood
wished to leave early.
I'll be going down
town," he remarked, rising.
going to McVicker's
Monday?" questioned Mrs. Hurstwood, without
on dining, while he went upstairs
for his hat and coat. Presently the door
papa's gone," said
latter's school news was of a
going to give a performance
in the Lyceum, upstairs," she reported one day,
"and I'm going to be
you?" said her mother.
I'll have to have a new
dress. Some of the nicest girls in the school
are going to be in it. Miss
Palmer is going to take the part of Portia."
said Mrs. Hurstwood.
got that Martha Griswold in
it again. She thinks she can act."
family doesn't amount to
anything, does it?" said Mrs. Hurstwood
haven't anything, have they?"
"they're poor as church mice."
distinguished very carefully between
the young boys of the school, many of whom were
attracted by her beauty.
you think?" she remarked
to her mother one evening; "that Herbert Crane
tried to make friends with
he, my dear?" inquired
one," said Jessica,
pursing her pretty lips. "He's just a student
there. He hasn't
half of this picture came when
young Blyford, son of Blyford, the soap
manufacturer, walked home with her.
Mrs. Hurstwood was on the third floor, sitting
in a rocking-chair reading, and
happened to look out at the time.
that with you, Jessica?"
she inquired, as Jessica came upstairs.
Blyford, mamma," she
said Mrs. Hurstwood.
he wants me to stroll over
into the park with him," explained Jessica, a
little flushed with running
up the stairs.
right, my dear," said Mrs.
Hurstwood. "Don't be gone long."
two went down the street, she
glanced interestedly out of the window. It was a
most satisfactory spectacle
indeed, most satisfactory.
atmosphere Hurstwood had moved for
a number of years, not thinking deeply
concerning it. His was not the order of
nature to trouble for something better, unless
the better was immediately and
sharply contrasted. As it was, he received and
gave, irritated sometimes by the
little displays of selfish indifference, pleased
at times by some show of
finery which supposedly made for dignity and
social distinction. The life of
the resort which he managed was his life. There
he spent most of his time. When
he went home evenings the house looked nice.
With rare exceptions the meals were
acceptable, being the kind that an ordinary
servant can arrange. In part, he
was interested in the talk of his son and
daughter, who always looked well. The
vanity of Mrs. Hurstwood caused her to keep her
person rather showily arrayed,
but to Hurstwood this was much better than
plainness. There was no love lost
between them. There was no great feeling of
dissatisfaction. Her opinion on any
subject was not startling. They did not talk
enough together to come to the
argument of any one point. In the accepted and
popular phrase, she had her
ideas and he had his. Once in a while he would
meet a woman whose youth,
sprightliness, and humour would make his wife
seem rather deficient by
contrast, but the temporary dissatisfaction
which such an encounter might
arouse would be counterbalanced by his social
position and a certain matter of
policy. He could not complicate his home life,
because it might affect his
relations with his employers. They wanted no
scandals. A man, to hold his
position, must have a dignified manner, a clean
record, a respectable home
anchorage. Therefore he was circumspect in all
he did, and whenever he appeared
in the public ways in the afternoon, or on
Sunday, it was with his wife, and
sometimes his children. He would visit the local
resorts, or those near by in
Wisconsin, and spend a few stiff, polished days
strolling about conventional
places doing conventional things. He knew the
need of it.
one of the many middle-class
individuals whom he knew, who had money, would
get into trouble, he would shake
his head. It didn't do to talk about those
things. If it came up for discussion
among such friends as with him passed for close,
he would deprecate the folly
of the thing. "It was all right to do it – all
men do those things – but why
wasn't he careful? A man can't be too careful."
He lost sympathy for the
man that made a mistake and was found out.
account he still devoted some time
to showing his wife about – time which would
have been wearisome indeed if it
had not been for the people he would meet and
the little enjoyments which did
not depend upon her presence or absence. He
watched her with considerable
curiosity at times, for she was still attractive
in a way and men looked at
her. She was affable, vain, subject to flattery,
and this combination, he knew
quite well, might produce a tragedy in a woman
of her home position. Owing to
his order of mind, his confidence in the sex was
not great. His wife never
possessed the virtues which would win the
confidence and admiration of a man of
his nature. As long as she loved him vigorously
he could see how confidence
could be, but when that was no longer the
binding chain – well, something might
the last year or two the expenses of
the family seemed a large thing. Jessica wanted
fine clothes, and Mrs.
Hurstwood, not to be outshone by her daughter,
also frequently enlivened her
apparel. Hurstwood had said nothing in the past,
but one day he murmured.
must have a new dress this
month," said Mrs. Hurstwood one morning.
was arraying himself in one of
his perfection vests before the glass at the
thought she just bought one,"
just something for evening
wear," returned his wife complacently.
to me," returned
Hurstwood, "that she's spending a good deal for
dresses of late."
she's going out more,"
concluded his wife, but the tone of his voice
impressed her as containing
something she had not heard there before.
not a man who travelled much, but
when he did, he had been accustomed to take her
along. On one occasion recently
a local aldermanic junket had been arranged to
visit Philadelphia – a junket
that was to last ten days. Hurstwood had been
knows us down there,"
said one, a gentleman whose face was a slight
improvement over gross ignorance
and sensuality. He always wore a silk hat of
most imposing proportions.
"We can have a good time." His left eye moved
with just the semblance
of a wink. "You want to come along, George."
day Hurstwood announced his
intention to his wife.
going away, Julia," he said,
"for a few days."
she asked, looking up.
Philadelphia, on business."
looked at him consciously, expecting
have to leave you behind this
right," she replied, but he
could see that she was thinking that it was a
curious thing. Before he went she
asked him a few more questions, and that
irritated him. He began to feel that
she was a disagreeable attachment.
trip he enjoyed himself thoroughly,
and when it was over he was sorry to get back.
He was not willingly a
prevaricator, and hated thoroughly to make
explanations concerning it. The
whole incident was glossed over with general
remarks, but Mrs. Hurstwood gave
the subject considerable thought. She drove out
more, dressed better, and
attended theatres freely to make up for it.
atmosphere could hardly come under
the category of home life. It ran along by force
of habit, by force of
conventional opinion. With the lapse of time it
must necessarily become dryer
and dryer – must eventually be tinder, easily
lighted and destroyed.
COUNSEL OF WINTER: FORTUNE'S AMBASSADOR CALLS
light of the world's attitude toward
woman and her duties, the nature of Carrie's
mental state deserves
consideration. Actions such as hers are measured
by an arbitrary scale. Society
possesses a conventional standard whereby it
judges all things. All men should
be good, all women virtuous. Wherefore, villain,
hast thou failed?
the liberal analysis of Spencer and
our modern naturalistic philosophers, we have
but an infantile perception of
morals. There is more in the subject than mere
conformity to a law of
evolution. It is yet deeper than conformity to
things of earth alone. It is
more involved than we, as yet, perceive. Answer,
first, why the heart thrills;
explain wherefore some plaintive note goes
wandering about the world, undying;
make clear the rose's subtle alchemy evolving
its ruddy lamp in light and rain.
In the essence of these facts lie the first
principles of morals.
thought Drouet, "how
delicious is my conquest."
thought Carrie, with
mournful misgivings, "what is it I have lost?"
this world-old proposition we stand,
serious, interested, confused; endeavouring to
evolve the true theory of morals
– the true answer to what is right.
view of a certain stratum of
society, Carrie was comfortably established – in
the eyes of the starveling,
beaten by every wind and gusty sheet of rain,
she was safe in a halcyon
harbour. Drouet had taken three rooms,
furnished, in Ogden Place, facing Union
Park, on the West Side. That was a little,
green-carpeted breathing spot, than
which, to-day, there is nothing more beautiful
in Chicago. It afforded a vista
pleasant to contemplate. The best room looked
out upon the lawn of the park,
now sear and brown, where a little lake lay
sheltered. Over the bare limbs of
the trees, which now swayed in the wintry wind,
rose the steeple of the Union
Park Congregational Church, and far off the
towers of several others.
were comfortably enough
furnished. There was a good Brussels carpet on
the floor, rich in dull red and
lemon shades, and representing large jardinieres
filled with gorgeous,
impossible flowers. There was a large pier-glass
mirror between the two
windows. A large, soft, green, plush-covered
couch occupied one corner, and
several rocking-chairs were set about. Some
pictures, several rugs, a few small
pieces of bric-a-brac, and the tale of contents
bedroom, off the front room, was
Carrie's trunk, bought by Drouet, and in the
wardrobe built into the wall quite
an array of clothing – more than she had ever
possessed before, and of very
becoming designs. There was a third room for
possible use as a kitchen, where
Drouet had Carrie establish a little portable
gas stove for the preparation of
small lunches, oysters, Welsh rarebits, and the
like, of which he was
exceedingly fond; and, lastly, a bath. The whole
place was cosey, in that it
was lighted by gas and heated by furnace
registers, possessing also a small
grate, set with an asbestos back, a method of
cheerful warming which was then
first coming into use. By her industry and
natural love of order, which now
developed, the place maintained an air pleasing
in the extreme.
then, was Carrie, established in a
pleasant fashion, free of certain difficulties
which most ominously confronted
her, laden with many new ones which were of a
mental order, and altogether so
turned about in all of her earthly relationships
that she might well have been
a new and different individual. She looked into
her glass and saw a prettier
Carrie than she had seen before; she looked into
her mind, a mirror prepared of
her own and the world's opinions, and saw a
worse. Between these two images she
wavered, hesitating which to believe.
you're a little beauty,"
Drouet was wont to exclaim to her.
look at him with large, pleased
it, don't you?" he
don't know," she would
reply, feeling delight in the fact that one
should think so, hesitating to
believe, though she really did, that she was
vain enough to think so much of
conscience, however, was not a Drouet,
interested to praise. There she heard a
different voice, with which she argued,
pleaded, excused. It was no just and sapient
counsellor, in its last analysis.
It was only an average little conscience, a
thing which represented the world,
her past environment, habit, convention, in a
confused way. With it, the voice
of the people was truly the voice of God.
failure!" said the
those about," came the
whispered answer. "Look at those who are good.
How would they scorn to do
what you have done. Look at the good girls; how
will they draw away from such
as you when they know you have been weak. You
had not tried before you
when Carrie was alone, looking out
across the park, that she would be listening to
this. It would come
infrequently – when something else did not
interfere, when the pleasant side
was not too apparent, when Drouet was not there.
It was somewhat clear in
utterance at first, but never wholly convincing.
There was always an answer,
always the December days threatened. She was
alone; she was desireful; she was
fearful of the whistling wind. The voice of want
made answer for her.
bright days of summer pass by, a
city takes on that sombre garb of grey, wrapt in
which it goes about its
labours during the long winter. Its endless
buildings look grey, its sky and
its streets assume a sombre hue; the scattered,
leafless trees and wind-blown
dust and paper but add to the general solemnity
of colour. There seems to be
something in the chill breezes which scurry
through the long, narrow
thoroughfares productive of rueful thoughts. Not
poets alone, nor artists, nor
that superior order of mind which arrogates to
itself all refinement, feel
this, but dogs and all men. These feel as much
as the poet, though they have
not the same power of expression. The sparrow
upon the wire, the cat in the
doorway, the dray horse tugging his weary load,
feel the long, keen breaths of
winter. It strikes to the heart of all life,
animate and inanimate. If it were
not for the artificial fires of merriment, the
rush of profit-seeking trade,
and pleasure-selling amusements; if the various
merchants failed to make the
customary display within and without their
establishments; if our streets were
not strung with signs of gorgeous hues and
thronged with hurrying purchasers,
we would quickly discover how firmly the chill
hand of winter lays upon the
heart; how dispiriting are the days during which
the sun withholds a portion of
our allowance of light and warmth. We are more
dependent upon these things than
is often thought. We are insects produced by
heat, and pass without it.
drag of such a grey day the secret
voice would reassert itself, feebly and more
mental conflict was not always
uppermost. Carrie was not by any means a gloomy
soul. More, she had not the
mind to get firm hold upon a definite truth.
When she could not find her way
out of the labyrinth of ill-logic which thought
upon the subject created, she
would turn away entirely.
all the time, was conducting
himself in a model way for one of his sort. He
took her about a great deal,
spent money upon her, and when he travelled took
her with him. There were times
when she would be alone for two or three days,
while he made the shorter
circuits of his business, but, as a rule, she
saw a great deal of him.
Carrie," he said one
morning, shortly after they had so established
themselves, "I've invited
my friend Hurstwood to come out some day and
spend the evening with us."
he?" asked Carrie,
a nice man. He's manager of
Fitzgerald and Moy's."
that?" said Carrie.
finest resort in town. It's a
way-up, swell place."
puzzled a moment. She was wondering
what Drouet had told him, what her attitude
all right," said Drouet,
feeling her thought. "He doesn't know anything.
You're Mrs. Drouet
something about this which struck
Carrie as slightly inconsiderate. She could see
that Drouet did not have the
don't we get married?" she
inquired, thinking of the voluble promises he
will," he said,
"just as soon as I get this little deal of mine
referring to some property which he
said he had, and which required so much
attention, adjustment, and what not,
that somehow or other it interfered with his
free moral, personal actions.
soon as I get back from my
Denver trip in January we'll do it."
accepted this as basis for hope – it
was a sort of salve to her conscience, a
pleasant way out. Under the
circumstances, things would be righted. Her
actions would be justified.
really was not enamoured of Drouet. She
was more clever than he. In a dim way, she was
beginning to see where he
lacked. If it had not been for this, if she had
not been able to measure and
judge him in a way, she would have been worse
off than she was. She would have
adored him. She would have been utterly wretched
in her fear of not gaining his
affection, of losing his interest, of being
swept away and left without an
anchorage. As it was, she wavered a little,
slightly anxious, at first, to gain
him completely, but later feeling at ease in
waiting. She was not exactly sure
what she thought of him – what she wanted to do.
Hurstwood called, she met a man who
was more clever than Drouet in a hundred ways.
He paid that peculiar deference
to women which every member of the sex
appreciates. He was not overawed, he was
not overbold. His great charm was attentiveness.
Schooled in winning those
birds of fine feather among his own sex, the
merchants and professionals who
visited his resort, he could use even greater
tact when endeavouring to prove
agreeable to some one who charmed him. In a
pretty woman of any refinement of
feeling whatsoever he found his greatest
incentive. He was mild, placid,
assured, giving the impression that he wished to
be of service only – to do
something which would make the lady more
had ability in this line himself
when the game was worth the candle, but he was
too much the egotist to reach
the polish which Hurstwood possessed. He was too
buoyant, too full of ruddy
life, too assured. He succeeded with many who
were not quite schooled in the
art of love. He failed dismally where the woman
was slightly experienced and
possessed innate refinement. In the case of
Carrie he found a woman who was all
of the latter, but none of the former. He was
lucky in the fact that
opportunity tumbled into his lap, as it were. A
few years later, with a little
more experience, the slightest tide of success,
and he had not been able to
approach Carrie at all.
ought to have a piano here,
Drouet," said Hurstwood, smiling at Carrie, on
the evening in question,
"so that your wife could play."
had not thought of that.
ought," he observed
don't play," ventured
returned Hurstwood. "You could do very well in a
He was in
the best form for entertaining
this evening. His clothes were particularly new
and rich in appearance. The
coat lapels stood out with that medium stiffness
which excellent cloth
possesses. The vest was of a rich Scotch plaid,
set with a double row of round
mother-of-pearl buttons. His cravat was a shiny
combination of silken threads,
not loud, not inconspicuous. What he wore did
not strike the eye so forcibly as
that which Drouet had on, but Carrie could see
the elegance of the material.
Hurstwood's shoes were of soft, black calf,
polished only to a dull shine.
Drouet wore patent leather, but Carrie could not
help feeling that there was a
distinction in favour of the soft leather, where
all else was so rich. She
noticed these things almost unconsciously. They
were things which would
naturally flow from the situation. She was used
to Drouet's appearance.
we have a little game of
euchre?" suggested Hurstwood, after a light
round of conversation. He was
rather dexterous in avoiding everything that
would suggest that he knew
anything of Carrie's past. He kept away from
personalities altogether, and
confined himself to those things which did not
concern individuals at all. By
his manner, he put Carrie at her ease, and by
his deference and pleasantries he
amused her. He pretended to be seriously
interested in all she said.
know how to play," said
you are neglecting a part of
your duty," he observed to Drouet most affably.
though," he went on, "we can show you."
tact he made Drouet feel that he
admired his choice. There was something in his
manner that showed that he was
pleased to be there. Drouet felt really closer
to him than ever before. It gave
him more respect for Carrie. Her appearance came
into a new light, under
Hurstwood's appreciation. The situation livened
me see," said
Hurstwood, looking over Carrie's shoulder very
deferentially. "What have
you?" He studied for a moment. "That's rather
good," he said.
lucky. Now, I'll show you how
to trounce your husband. You take my advice."
said Drouet, "if you
two are going to scheme together, I won't stand
a ghost of a show. Hurstwood's
a regular sharp."
your wife. She brings me
luck. Why shouldn't she win?"
looked gratefully at Hurstwood, and
smiled at Drouet. The former took the air of a
mere friend. He was simply there
to enjoy himself. Anything that Carrie did was
pleasing to him, nothing more.
he said, holding back
one of his own good cards, and giving Carrie a
chance to take a trick. "I
count that clever playing for a beginner."
latter laughed gleefully as she saw the
hand coming her way. It was as if she were
invincible when Hurstwood helped
not look at her often. When he did,
it was with a mild light in his eye. Not a shade
was there of anything save
geniality and kindness. He took back the shifty,
clever gleam, and replaced it
with one of innocence. Carrie could not guess
but that it was pleasure with him
in the immediate thing. She felt that he
considered she was doing a great deal.
unfair to let such playing go
without earning something," he said after a
time, slipping his finger into
the little coin pocket of his coat. "Let's play
right," said Drouet, fishing
was quicker. His fingers were
full of new ten-cent pieces. "Here we are," he
said, supplying each
one with a little stack.
is gambling," smiled
Carrie. "It's bad."
said Drouet, "only
fun. If you never play for more than that, you
will go to Heaven."
you moralise," said
Hurstwood to Carrie gently, "until you see what
becomes of the
husband gets them, he'll tell
you how bad it is."
such an ingratiating tone about
Hurstwood's voice, the insinuation was so
perceptible that even Carrie got the
humour of it.
you leave?" said
Hurstwood to Drouet.
Wednesday," he replied.
rather hard to have your husband
running about like that, isn't it?" said
Hurstwood, addressing Carrie.
going along with me this
time," said Drouet.
both go with me to the
theatre before you go."
it ever so much," she
did his best to see that Carrie
won the money. He rejoiced in her success, kept
counting her winnings, and
finally gathered and put them in her extended
hand. They spread a little lunch,
at which he served the wine, and afterwards he
used fine tact in going.
said, addressing first
Carrie and then Drouet with his eyes, "you must
be ready at 7:30. I'll
come and get you."
with him to the door and there
was his cab waiting, its red lamps gleaming
cheerfully in the shadow.
observed to Drouet,
with a tone of good-fellowship, "when you leave
your wife alone, you must
let me show her around a little. It will break
up her loneliness."
said Drouet, quite
pleased at the attention shown.
so kind," observed
all," said Hurstwood,
"I would want your husband to do as much for
and went lightly away. Carrie was
thoroughly impressed. She had never come in
contact with such grace. As for
Drouet, he was equally pleased.
a nice man," he remarked
to Carrie, as they returned to their cosey
chamber. "A good friend of
to be," said Carrie.
PERSUASION OF FASHION: FEELING GUARDS O'ER ITS
was an apt student of fortune's ways
– of fortune's superficialities. Seeing a thing,
she would immediately set to
inquiring how she would look, properly related
to it. Be it known that this is
not fine feeling, it is not wisdom. The greatest
minds are not so afflicted;
and, on the contrary the lowest order of mind is
not so disturbed. Fine clothes
to her were a vast persuasion; they spoke
tenderly and Jesuitically for
themselves. When she came within earshot of
their pleading, desire in her bent
a willing ear. The voice of the so-called
inanimate! Who shall translate for us
the language of the stones?
dear," said the lace collar
she secured from Partridge's, "I fit you
beautifully; don't give me
little feet," said the
leather of the soft new shoes; "how effectively
I cover them. What a pity
they should ever want my aid."
these things were in her hand, on her
person, she might dream of giving them up; the
method by which they came might
intrude itself so forcibly that she would ache
to be rid of the thought of it,
but she would not give them up. "Put on the old
clothes – that torn pair
of shoes," was called to her by her conscience
in vain. She could possibly
have conquered the fear of hunger and gone back;
the thought of hard work and a
narrow round of suffering would, under the last
pressure of conscience, have
yielded, but spoil her appearance? – be
old-clothed and poor-appearing? –
heightened her opinion on this and
allied subjects in such a manner as to weaken
her power of resisting their
influence. It is so easy to do this when the
thing opined is in the line of
what we desire. In his hearty way, he insisted
upon her good looks. He looked
at her admiringly, and she took it at its full
value. Under the circumstances,
she did not need to carry herself as pretty
women do. She picked that knowledge
up fast enough for herself. Drouet had a habit,
characteristic of his kind, of
looking after stylishly dressed or pretty women
on the street and remarking
upon them. He had just enough of the feminine
love of dress to be a good judge
– not of intellect, but of clothes. He saw how
they set their little feet, how
they carried their chins, with what grace and
sinuosity they swung their
bodies. A dainty, self-conscious swaying of the
hips by a woman was to him as
alluring as the glint of rare wine to a toper.
He would turn and follow the
disappearing vision with his eyes. He would
thrill as a child with the
unhindered passion that was in him. He loved the
thing that women love in
themselves, grace. At this, their own shrine, he
knelt with them, an ardent
see that woman who went by
just now?" he said to Carrie on the first day
they took a walk together.
"Fine stepper, wasn't she?"
looked, and observed the grace
is," she returned,
cheerfully, a little suggestion of possible
defect in herself awakening in her
mind. If that was so fine, she must look at it
more closely. Instinctively, she
felt a desire to imitate it. Surely she could do
of her mind sees many things
emphasized and reemphasized and admired, she
gathers the logic of it and
applies accordingly. Drouet was not shrewd
enough to see that this was not
tactful. He could not see that it would be
better to make her feel that she was
competing with herself, not others better than
herself. He would not have done
it with an older, wiser woman, but in Carrie he
saw only the novice. Less
clever than she, he was naturally unable to
comprehend her sensibility. He went
on educating and wounding her, a thing rather
foolish in one whose admiration
for his pupil and victim was apt to grow.
took the instructions affably. She
saw what Drouet liked; in a vague way she saw
where he was weak. It lessens a
woman's opinion of a man when she learns that
his admiration is so pointedly
and generously distributed. She sees but one
object of supreme compliment in
this world, and that is herself. If a man is to
succeed with many women, he
must be all in all to each.
own apartments Carrie saw things
which were lessons in the same school.
same house with her lived an
official of one of the theatres, Mr. Frank A.
Hale, manager of the Standard,
and his wife, a pleasing-looking brunette of
thirty-five. They were people of a
sort very common in America today, who live
respectably from hand to mouth.
Hale received a salary of forty-five dollars a
week. His wife, quite
attractive, affected the feeling of youth, and
objected to that sort of home
life which means the care of a house and the
raising of a family. Like Drouet
and Carrie, they also occupied three rooms on
the floor above.
after she arrived Mrs. Hale
established social relations with her, and
together they went about. For a long
time this was her only companionship, and the
gossip of the manager's wife
formed the medium through which she saw the
world. Such trivialities, such praises
of wealth, such conventional expression of
morals as sifted through this
passive creature's mind, fell upon Carrie and
for the while confused her.
other hand, her own feelings were a
corrective influence. The constant drag to
something better was not to be
denied. By those things which address the heart
was she steadily recalled. In
the apartments across the hall were a young girl
and her mother. They were from
Evansville, Indiana, the wife and daughter of a
railroad treasurer. The
daughter was here to study music, the mother to
keep her company.
did not make their acquaintance, but
she saw the daughter coming in and going out. A
few times she had seen her at
the piano in the parlour, and not infrequently
had heard her play. This young
woman was particularly dressy for her station,
and wore a jewelled ring or two
which flashed upon her white fingers as she
Carrie was affected by music. Her
nervous composition responded to certain
strains, much as certain strings of a
harp vibrate when a corresponding key of a piano
is struck. She was delicately
moulded in sentiment, and answered with vague
ruminations to certain wistful
chords. They awoke longings for those things
which she did not have. They
caused her to cling closer to things she
possessed. One short song the young
lady played in a most soulful and tender mood.
Carrie heard it through the open
door from the parlour below. It was at that hour
between afternoon and night
when, for the idle, the wanderer, things are apt
to take on a wistful aspect.
The mind wanders forth on far journeys and
returns with sheaves of withered and
departed joys. Carrie sat at her window looking
out. Drouet had been away since
ten in the morning. She had amused herself with
a walk, a book by Bertha M.
Clay which Drouet had left there, though she did
not wholly enjoy the latter,
and by changing her dress for the evening. Now
she sat looking out across the
park as wistful and depressed as the nature
which craves variety and life can
be under such circumstances. As she contemplated
her new state, the strain from
the parlour below stole upward. With it her
thoughts became coloured and
enmeshed. She reverted to the things which were
best and saddest within the
small limit of her experience. She became for
the moment a repentant.
was in this mood Drouet came in,
bringing with him an entirely different
atmosphere. It was dusk and Carrie had
neglected to light the lamp. The fire in the
grate, too, had burned low.
are you, Cad?" he said,
using a pet name he had given her.
something delicate and lonely in
her voice, but he could not hear it. He had not
the poetry in him that would
seek a woman out under such circumstances and
console her for the tragedy of
life. Instead, he struck a match and lighted the
"you've been crying."
were still wet with a few vague
he said, "you don't
want to do that."
her hand, feeling in his
good-natured egotism that it was probably lack
of his presence which had made
now," he went on;
"it's all right. Let's waltz a little to that
not have introduced a more
incongruous proposition. It made clear to Carrie
that he could not sympathise
with her. She could not have framed thoughts
which would have expressed his
defect or made clear the difference between
them, but she felt it. It was his
first great mistake.
Drouet said about the girl's grace, as
she tripped out evenings accompanied by her
mother, caused Carrie to perceive
the nature and value of those little modish ways
which women adopt when they
would presume to be something. She looked in the
mirror and pursed up her lips,
accompanying it with a little toss of the head,
as she had seen the railroad
treasurer's daughter do. She caught up her
skirts with an easy swing, for had
not Drouet remarked that in her and several
others, and Carrie was naturally
imitative. She began to get the hang of those
little things which the pretty
woman who has vanity invariably adopts. In
short, her knowledge of grace
doubled, and with it her appearance changed. She
became a girl of considerable
noticed this. He saw the new bow in
her hair and the new way of arranging her locks
which she affected one morning.
fine that way, Cad," he
she replied, sweetly. It
made her try for other effects that selfsame
her feet less heavily, a thing
that was brought about by her attempting to
imitate the treasurer's daughter's
graceful carriage. How much influence the
presence of that young woman in the
same house had upon her it would be difficult to
say. But, because of all these
things, when Hurstwood called he had found a
young woman who was much more than
the Carrie to whom Drouet had first spoken. The
primary defects of dress and
manner had passed. She was pretty, graceful,
rich in the timidity born of
uncertainty, and with a something childlike in
her large eyes which captured
the fancy of this starched and conventional
poser among men. It was the ancient
attraction of the fresh for the stale. If there
was a touch of appreciation
left in him for the bloom and unsophistication
which is the charm of youth, it
rekindled now. He looked into her pretty face
and felt the subtle waves of
young life radiating therefrom. In that large
clear eye he could see nothing
that his blase nature could understand as guile.
The little vanity, if he could
have perceived it there, would have touched him
as a pleasant thing.
wonder," he said, as he rode
away in his cab, "how Drouet came to win her."
her credit for feelings superior to
Drouet at the first glance.
plopped along between the
far-receding lines of gas lamps on either hand.
He folded his gloved hands and
saw only the lighted chamber and Carrie's face.
He was pondering over the
delight of youthful beauty.
have a bouquet for her," he
thought. "Drouet won't mind."
for a moment concealed the fact of
her attraction for himself. He troubled himself
not at all about Drouet's
priority. He was merely floating those gossamer
threads of thought which, like
the spider's, he hoped would lay hold somewhere.
He did not know, he could not
guess, what the result would be.
weeks later Drouet, in his
peregrinations, encountered one of his
well-dressed lady acquaintances in
Chicago on his return from a short trip to
Omaha. He had intended to hurry out
to Ogden Place and surprise Carrie, but now he
fell into an interesting
conversation and soon modified his original
to dinner," he said,
little recking any chance meeting which might
trouble his way.
said his companion.
visited one of the better restaurants
for a social chat. It was five in the afternoon
when they met; it was
seven-thirty before the last bone was picked.
was just finishing a little incident
he was relating, and his face was expanding into
a smile, when Hurstwood's eye
caught his own. The latter had come in with
several friends, and, seeing Drouet
and some woman, not Carrie, drew his own
rascal," he thought, and
then, with a touch of righteous sympathy,
"that's pretty hard on the
jumped from one easy thought to
another as he caught Hurstwood's eye. He felt
but very little misgiving, until
he saw that Hurstwood was cautiously pretending
not to see. Then some of the
latter's impression forced itself upon him. He
thought of Carrie and their last
meeting. By George, he would have to explain
this to Hurstwood. Such a chance
half-hour with an old friend must not have
anything more attached to it than it
first time he was troubled. Here
was a moral complication of which he could not
possibly get the ends. Hurstwood
would laugh at him for being a fickle boy. He
would laugh with Hurstwood.
Carrie would never hear, his present companion
at table would never know, and
yet he could not help feeling that he was
getting the worst of it – there was
some faint stigma attached, and he was not
guilty. He broke up the dinner by
becoming dull, and saw his companion on her car.
Then he went home.
hasn't talked to me about any of
these later flames," thought Hurstwood to
himself. "He thinks I think
he cares for the girl out there."
not to think I'm knocking
around, since I have just introduced him out
there," thought Drouet.
you," Hurstwood said,
genially, the next time Drouet drifted in to his
polished resort, from which he
could not stay away. He raised his forefinger
indicatively, as parents do to
acquaintance of mine that I
ran into just as I was coming up from the
station," explained Drouet.
"She used to be quite a beauty."
attracts a little, eh?"
returned the other, affecting to jest.
said Drouet, "just
couldn't escape her this time."
are you here?" asked
bring the girl down and take
dinner with me," he said. "I'm afraid you keep
her cooped up out
there. I'll get a box for Joe Jefferson."
answered the drummer.
"Sure I'll come."
pleased Hurstwood immensely. He gave
Drouet no credit for any feelings toward Carrie
whatever. He envied him, and
now, as he looked at the well-dressed, jolly
salesman, whom he so much liked,
the gleam of the rival glowed in his eye. He
began to "size up"
Drouet from the standpoints of wit and
fascination. He began to look to see
where he was weak. There was no disputing that,
whatever he might think of him
as a good fellow, he felt a certain amount of
contempt for him as a lover. He
could hood-wink him all right. Why, if he would
just let Carrie see one such
little incident as that of Thursday, it would
settle the matter. He ran on in
thought, almost exulting, the while he laughed
and chatted, and Drouet felt
nothing. He had no power of analysing the glance
and the atmosphere of a man
like Hurstwood. He stood and smiled and accepted
the invitation while his
friend examined him with the eye of a hawk.
object of this peculiarly involved
comedy was not thinking of either. She was busy
adjusting her thoughts and
feelings to newer conditions, and was not in
danger of suffering disturbing
pangs from either quarter.
evening Drouet found her dressing
herself before the glass.
said he, catching her,
"I believe you're getting vain."
of the kind," she
you're mighty pretty," he
went on, slipping his arm around her. "Put on
that navy-blue dress of
yours and I'll take you to the show."
promised Mrs. Hale to go
with her to the Exposition to-night," she
eh?" he said, studying
the situation abstractedly. "I wouldn't care to
go to that myself."
don't know," answered
Carrie, puzzling, but not offering to break her
promise in his favour.
a knock came at their door and
the maid-serveant handed a letter in.
there's an answer
expected," she explained.
from Hurstwood," said
Drouet, noting the superscription as he tore it
to come down and see Joe
Jefferson with me tonight," it ran in part.
"It's my turn, as we
agreed the other day. All other bets are off."
what do you say to this?"
asked Drouet, innocently, while Carrie's mind
bubbled with favourable replies.
better decide, Charlie,"
she said, reservedly.
we had better go, if you can
break that engagement upstairs," said Drouet.
can," returned Carrie
selected writing paper while Carrie
went to change her dress. She hardly explained
to herself why this latest
invitation appealed to her most.
wear my hair as I did
yesterday?" she asked, as she came out with
several articles of apparel
he returned, pleasantly.
relieved to see that he felt
nothing. She did not credit her willingness to
go to any fascination Hurstwood
held for her. It seemed that the combination of
Hurstwood, Drouet, and herself
was more agreeable than anything else that had
been suggested. She arrayed
herself most carefully and they started off,
extending excuses upstairs.
said Hurstwood, as they
came up the theatre lobby, "we are exceedingly
fluttered under his approving
then," he said, leading the
way up the foyer into the theatre.
there was dressiness it was here.
It was the personification of the old term spick
ever see Jefferson?" he
questioned, as he leaned toward Carrie in the
did," she returned.
delightful, delightful," he
went on, giving the commonplace rendition of
approval which such men know. He
sent Drouet after a programme, and then
discoursed to Carrie concerning
Jefferson as he had heard of him. The former was
pleased beyond expression, and
was really hypnotised by the environment, the
trappings of the box, the
elegance of her companion. Several times their
eyes accidentally met, and then
there poured into hers such a flood of feeling
as she had never before
experienced. She could not for the moment
explain it, for in the next glance or
the next move of the hand there was seeming
indifference, mingled only with the
shared in the conversation, but he
was almost dull in comparison. Hurstwood
entertained them both, and now it was
driven into Carrie's mind that here was the
superior man. She instinctively
felt that he was stronger and higher, and yet
withal so simple. By the end of
the third act she was sure that Drouet was only
a kindly soul, but otherwise
defective. He sank every moment in her
estimation by the strong comparison.
had such a nice time,"
said Carrie, when it was all over and they were
indeed," added Drouet, who
was not in the least aware that a battle had
been fought and his defences
weakened. He was like the Emperor of China, who
sat glorying in himself,
unaware that his fairest provinces were being
wrested from him.
you have saved me a dreary
evening," returned Hurstwood. "Good-night."
Carrie's little hand, and a current
of feeling swept from one to the other.
tired," said Carrie,
leaning back in the car when Drouet began to
you rest a little while I
smoke," he said, rising, and then he foolishly
went to the forward
platform of the car and left the game as it
THE LAMPS OF THE MANSIONS: THE AMBASSADOR'S
Hurstwood was not aware of any of her
husband's moral defections, though she might
readily have suspected his
tendencies, which she well understood. She was a
woman upon whose action under
provocation you could never count. Hurstwood,
for one, had not the slightest
idea of what she would do under certain
circumstances. He had never seen her
thoroughly aroused. In fact, she was not a woman
who would fly into a passion.
She had too little faith in mankind not to know
that they were erring. She was
too calculating to jeopardise any advantage she
might gain in the way of
information by fruitless clamour. Her wrath
would never wreak itself in one
fell blow. She would wait and brood, studying
the details and adding to them
until her power might be commensurate with her
desire for revenge. At the same
time, she would not delay to inflict any injury,
big or little, which would
wound the object of her revenge and still leave
him uncertain as to the source
of the evil. She was a cold, self-centered
woman, with many a thought of her
own which never found expression, not even by so
much as the glint of an eye.
felt some of this in her nature,
though he did not actually perceive it. He dwelt
with her in peace and some
satisfaction. He did not fear her in the least –
there was no cause for it. She
still took a faint pride in him, which was
augmented by her desire to have her
social integrity maintained. She was secretly
somewhat pleased by the fact that
much of her husband's property was in her name,
a precaution which Hurstwood
had taken when his home interests were somewhat
more alluring than at present.
His wife had not the slightest reason to feel
that anything would ever go amiss
with their household, and yet the shadows which
run before gave her a thought
of the good of it now and then. She was in a
position to become refractory with
considerable advantage, and Hurstwood conducted
himself circumspectly because
he felt that he could not be sure of anything
once she became dissatisfied.
happened that on the night when
Hurstwood, Carrie, and Drouet were in the box at
McVickar's, George, Jr., was
in the sixth row of the parquet with the
daughter of H. B. Carmichael, the
third partner of a wholesale drygoods house of
that city. Hurstwood did not see
his son, for he sat, as was his wont, as far
back as possible, leaving himself
just partially visible, when he bent forward, to
those within the first six
rows in question. It was his wont to sit this
way in every theatre – to make
his personality as inconspicuous as possible
where it would be no advantage to
him to have it otherwise.
moved but what, if there was any
danger of his conduct being misconstrued or
ill-reported, he looked carefully
about him and counted the cost of every inch of
morning at breakfast his son said:
you, Governor, last
at McVickar's?" said
Hurstwood, with the best grace in the world.
said young George.
Hurstwood directed an inquiring glance
at her husband, but could not judge from his
appearance whether it was any more
than a casual look into the theatre which was
the play?" she inquired.
good," returned Hurstwood,
"only it's the same old thing, 'Rip Van
you go with?" queried
his wife, with assumed indifference.
Drouet and his wife. They are
friends of Moy's, visiting here."
the peculiar nature of his
position, such a disclosure as this would
ordinarily create no difficulty. His
wife took it for granted that his situation
called for certain social movements
in which she might not be included. But of late
he had pleaded office duty on
several occasions when his wife asked for his
company to any evening
entertainment. He had done so in regard to the
very evening in question only
the morning before.
thought you were going to be
busy," she remarked, very carefully.
was," he exclaimed. "I
couldn't help the interruption, but I made up
for it afterward by working until
settled the discussion for the time
being, but there was a residue of opinion which
was not satisfactory. There was
no time at which the claims of his wife could
have been more unsatisfactorily
pushed. For years he had been steadily modifying
his matrimonial devotion, and
found her company dull. Now that a new light
shone upon the horizon, this older
luminary paled in the west. He was satisfied to
turn his face away entirely,
and any call to look back was irksome.
the contrary, was not at all
inclined to accept anything less than a complete
fulfilment of the letter of
their relationship, though the spirit might be
coming down town this
afternoon," she remarked, a few days later. "I
want you to come over
to Kinsley's and meet Mr. Phillips and his wife.
They're stopping at the
Tremont, and we're going to show them around a
occurrence of Wednesday, he could
not refuse, though the Phillips were about as
uninteresting as vanity and
ignorance could make them. He agreed, but it was
with short grace. He was angry
when he left the house.
a stop to this," he
thought. "I'm not going to be bothered fooling
around with visitors when I
have work to do."
after this Mrs. Hurstwood came
with a similar proposition, only it was to a
matinee this time.
dear," he returned, "I
haven't time. I'm too busy."
time to go with other
people, though," she replied, with considerable
of the kind," he
answered. "I can't avoid business relations, and
that's all there is to
never mind," she
exclaimed. Her lips tightened. The feeling of
mutual antagonism was increased.
other hand, his interest in Drouet's
little shop-girl grew in an almost evenly
balanced proportion. That young lady,
under the stress of her situation and the
tutelage of her new friend, changed
effectively. She had the aptitude of the
struggler who seeks emancipation. The
glow of a more showy life was not lost upon her.
She did not grow in knowledge
so much as she awakened in the matter of desire.
Mrs. Hale's extended harangues
upon the subjects of wealth and position taught
her to distinguish between
degrees of wealth.
loved to drive in the afternoon
in the sun when it was fine, and to satisfy her
soul with a sight of those
mansions and lawns which she could not afford.
On the North Side had been
erected a number of elegant mansions along what
is now known as the North Shore
Drive. The present lake wall of stone and
granitoid was not then in place, but
the road had been well laid out, the
intermediate spaces of lawn were lovely to
look upon, and the houses were thoroughly new
and imposing. When the winter
season had passed and the first fine days of the
early spring appeared, Mrs.
Hale secured a buggy for an afternoon and
invited Carrie. They rode first
through Lincoln Park and on far out towards
Evanston, turning back at four and
arriving at the north end of the Shore Drive at
about five o'clock. At this
time of year the days are still comparatively
short, and the shadows of the
evening were beginning to settle down upon the
great city. Lamps were beginning
to burn with that mellow radiance which seems
almost watery and translucent to
the eye. There was a softness in the air which
speaks with an infinite delicacy
of feeling to the flesh as well as to the soul.
Carrie felt that it was a
lovely day. She was ripened by it in spirit for
many suggestions. As they drove
along the smooth pavement an occasional carriage
passed. She saw one stop and
the footman dismount, opening the door for a
gentleman who seemed to be
leisurely returning from some afternoon
pleasure. Across the broad lawns, now first
freshening into green, she saw lamps faintly
glowing upon rich interiors. Now
it was but a chair, now a table, now an ornate
corner, which met her eye, but
it appealed to her as almost nothing else could.
Such childish fancies as she
had had of fairy palaces and kingly quarters now
came back. She imagined that
across these richly carved entrance-ways, where
the globed and crystalled lamps
shone upon panelled doors set with stained and
designed panes of glass, was
neither care nor unsatisfied desire. She was
perfectly certain that here was
happiness. If she could but stroll up yon broad
walk, cross that rich
entrance-way, which to her was of the beauty of
a jewel, and sweep in grace and
luxury to possession and command – oh! how
quickly would sadness flee; how, in
an instant, would the heartache end. She gazed
and gazed, wondering,
delighting, longing, and all the while the siren
voice of the unrestful was
whispering in her ear.
could have such a home as
that," said Mrs. Hale sadly, "how delightful it
they do say," said
Carrie, "that no one is ever happy."
heard so much of the canting
philosophy of the grapeless fox.
notice," said Mrs. Hale,
"that they all try mighty hard, though, to take
their misery in a
came to her own rooms, Carrie saw
their comparative insignificance. She was not so
dull but that she could
perceive they were but three small rooms in a
boarding-house. She was not contrasting it now
with what she had had, but what
she had so recently seen. The glow of the
palatial doors was still in her eye,
the roll of cushioned carriages still in her
ears. What, after all, was Drouet?
What was she? At her window, she thought it
over, rocking to and fro, and
gazing out across the lamp-lit park toward the
lamp-lit houses on Warren and
Ashland avenues. She was too wrought up to care
to go down to eat, too pensive
to do aught but rock and sing. Some old tunes
crept to her lips, and, as she
sang them, her heart sank. She longed and longed
and longed. It was now for the
old cottage room in Columbia City, now the
mansion upon the Shore Drive, now
the fine dress of some lady, now the elegance of
some scene. She was sad beyond
measure, and yet uncertain, wishing, fancying.
Finally, it seemed as if all her
state was one of loneliness and forsakenness,
and she could scarce refrain from
trembling at the lip. She hummed and hummed as
the moments went by, sitting in
the shadow by the window, and was therein as
happy, though she did not perceive
it, as she ever would be.
Carrie was still in this frame of
mind, the house-servant brought up the
intelligence that Mr. Hurstwood was in
the parlour asking to see Mr. and Mrs. Drouet.
he doesn't know that Charlie
is out of town," thought Carrie.
seen comparatively little of the
manager during the winter, but had been kept
constantly in mind of him by one
thing and another, principally by the strong
impression he had made. She was
quite disturbed for the moment as to her
appearance, but soon satisfied herself
by the aid of the mirror, and went below.
was in his best form, as usual.
He hadn't heard that Drouet was out of town. He
was but slightly affected by
the intelligence, and devoted himself to the
more general topics which would
interest Carrie. It was surprising – the ease
with which he conducted a
conversation. He was like every man who has had
the advantage of practice and
knows he has sympathy. He knew that Carrie
listened to him pleasurably, and,
without the least effort, he fell into a train
of observation which absorbed
her fancy. He drew up his chair and modulated
his voice to such a degree that
what he said seemed wholly confidential. He
confined himself almost exclusively
to his observation of men and pleasures. He had
been here and there, he had
seen this and that. Somehow he made Carrie wish
to see similar things, and all
the while kept her aware of himself. She could
not shut out the consciousness
of his individuality and presence for a moment.
He would raise his eyes slowly
in smiling emphasis of something, and she was
fixed by their magnetism. He
would draw out, with the easiest grace, her
approval. Once he touched her hand
for emphasis and she only smiled. He seemed to
radiate an atmosphere which
suffused her being. He was never dull for a
minute, and seemed to make her
clever. At least, she brightened under his
influence until all her best side
was exhibited. She felt that she was more clever
with him than with others. At
least, he seemed to find so much in her to
applaud. There was not the slightest
touch of patronage. Drouet was full of it.
been something so personal, so
subtle, in each meeting between them, both when
Drouet was present and when he
was absent, that Carrie could not speak of it
without feeling a sense of
difficulty. She was no talker. She could never
arrange her thoughts in fluent
order. It was always a matter of feeling with
her, strong and deep. Each time
there had been no sentence of importance which
she could relate, and as for the
glances and sensations, what woman would reveal
them? Such things had never
been between her and Drouet. As a matter of
fact, they could never be. She had
been dominated by distress and the enthusiastic
forces of relief which Drouet
represented at an opportune moment when she
yielded to him. Now she was
persuaded by secret current feelings which
Drouet had never understood.
Hurstwood's glance was as effective as the
spoken words of a lover, and more.
They called for no immediate decision, and could
not be answered.
general attach too much
importance to words. They are under the illusion
that talking effects great
results. As a matter of fact, words are, as a
rule, the shallowest portion of
all the argument. They but dimly represent the
great surging feelings and
desires which lie behind. When the distraction
of the tongue is removed, the
conversation she heard, instead of
his words, the voices of the things which he
represented. How suave was the
counsel of his appearance! How feelingly did his
superior state speak for
itself! The growing desire he felt for her lay
upon her spirit as a gentle
hand. She did not need to tremble at all,
because it was invisible; she did not
need to worry over what other people would say –
what she herself would say –
because it had no tangibility. She was being
pleaded with, persuaded, led into
denying old rights and assuming new ones, and
yet there were no words to prove
it. Such conversation as was indulged in held
the same relationship to the
actual mental enactments of the twain that the
low music of the orchestra does
to the dramatic incident which it is used to
ever seen the houses along
the Lake Shore on the North Side?" asked
was just over there this
afternoon – Mrs. Hale and I. Aren't they
very fine," he answered.
said Carrie, pensively.
"I wish I could live in such a place."
not happy," said
Hurstwood, slowly, after a slight pause.
raised his eyes solemnly and was
looking into her own. He assumed that he had
struck a deep chord. Now was a
slight chance to say a word in his own behalf.
He leaned over quietly and
continued his steady gaze. He felt the critical
character of the period. She
endeavoured to stir, but it was useless. The
whole strength of a man's nature
was working. He had good cause to urge him on.
He looked and looked, and the
longer the situation lasted the more difficult
it became. The little shop-girl
was getting into deep water. She was letting her
few supports float away from
said at last, "you
mustn't look at me like that."
help it," he answered.
relaxed a little and let the situation
endure, giving him strength.
not satisfied with life, are
He saw he
was the master of the situation –
he felt it. He reached over and touched her
mustn't," she exclaimed,
intend to," he
not run away, as she might have
done. She did not terminate the interview, but
he drifted off into a pleasant
field of thought with the readiest grace. Not
long after he rose to go, and she
felt that he was in power.
mustn't feel bad," he said,
kindly; "things will straighten out in the
course of time."
no answer, because she could think
of nothing to say.
good friends, aren't we?"
he said, extending his hand.
word, then, until I see you
retained a hold on her hand.
promise," she said,
be more generous than
that," he said, in such a simple way that she
not talk about it any
more," she returned.
right," he said,
down the steps and into his cab.
Carrie closed the door and ascended into her
room. She undid her broad lace
collar before the mirror and unfastened her
pretty alligator belt which she had
getting terrible," she said,
honestly affected by a feeling of trouble and
shame. "I don't seem to do
unloosed her hair after a time, and let
it hang in loose brown waves. Her mind was going
over the events of the
know," she murmured at
last, "what I can do."
said Hurstwood as he rode
away, "she likes me all right; that I know."
aroused manager whistled merrily for a
good four miles to his office an old melody that
he had not recalled for
CREDENTIALS ACCEPTED: A BABEL OF TONGUES
not quite two days after the scene
between Carrie and Hurstwood in the Ogden Place
parlour before he again put in
his appearance. He had been thinking almost
uninterruptedly of her. Her
leniency had, in a way, inflamed his regard. He
felt that he must succeed with
her, and that speedily.
reason for his interest, not to say
fascination, was deeper than mere desire. It was
a flowering out of feelings
which had been withering in dry and almost
barren soil for many years. It is
probable that Carrie represented a better order
of woman than had ever
attracted him before. He had had no love affair
since that which culminated in
his marriage, and since then time and the world
had taught him how raw and
erroneous was his original judgment. Whenever he
thought of it, he told himself
that, if he had it to do over again, he would
never marry such a woman. At the
same time, his experience with women in general
had lessened his respect for
the sex. He maintained a cynical attitude, well
grounded on numerous experiences.
Such women as he had known were of nearly one
type, selfish, ignorant, flashy.
The wives of his friends were not inspiring to
look upon. His own wife had
developed a cold, commonplace nature which to
him was anything but pleasing.
What he knew of that under-world where grovel
the beast-men of society (and he
knew a great deal) had hardened his nature. He
looked upon most women with
suspicion – a single eye to the utility of
beauty and dress. He followed them
with a keen, suggestive glance. At the same
time, he was not so dull but that a
good woman commanded his respect. Personally, he
did not attempt to analyse the
marvel of a saintly woman. He would take off his
hat, and would silence the
light-tongued and the vicious in her presence –
much as the Irish keeper of a
Bowery hall will humble himself before a Sister
of Mercy, and pay toll to
charity with a willing and reverent hand. But he
would not think much upon the
question of why he did so.
A man in
his situation who comes, after a
long round of worthless or hardening
experiences, upon a young,
unsophisticated, innocent soul, is apt either to
hold aloof, out of a sense of
his own remoteness, or to draw near and become
fascinated and elated by his
discovery. It is only by a roundabout process
that such men ever do draw near
such a girl. They have no method, no
understanding of how to ingratiate
themselves in youthful favour, save when they
find virtue in the toils. If,
unfortunately, the fly has got caught in the
net, the spider can come forth and
talk business upon its own terms. So when
maidenhood has wandered into the moil
of the city, when it is brought within the
circle of the "rounder"
and the roue, even though it be at the outermost
rim, they can come forth and
use their alluring arts.
had gone, at Drouet's invitation,
to meet a new baggage of fine clothes and pretty
features. He entered,
expecting to indulge in an evening of lightsome
frolic, and then lose track of
the newcomer forever. Instead he found a woman
whose youth and beauty attracted
him. In the mild light of Carrie's eye was
nothing of the calculation of the
mistress. In the diffident manner was nothing of
the art of the courtesan. He
saw at once that a mistake had been made, that
some difficult conditions had
pushed this troubled creature into his presence,
and his interest was enlisted.
Here sympathy sprang to the rescue, but it was
not unmixed with selfishness. He
wanted to win Carrie because he thought her fate
mingled with his was better
than if it were united with Drouet's. He envied
the drummer his conquest as he
had never envied any man in all the course of
was certainly better than this man,
as she was superior, mentally, to Drouet. She
came fresh from the air of the
village, the light of the country still in her
eye. Here was neither guile nor
rapacity. There were slight inherited traits of
both in her, but they were
rudimentary. She was too full of wonder and
desire to be greedy. She still
looked about her upon the great maze of the city
Hurstwood felt the bloom and the youth. He
picked her as he would the fresh
fruit of a tree. He felt as fresh in her
presence as one who is taken out of
the flash of summer to the first cool breath of
left alone since the scene in
question, and having no one with whom to
counsel, had at first wandered from
one strange mental conclusion to another, until
at last, tired out, she gave it
up. She owed something to Drouet, she thought.
It did not seem more than
yesterday that he had aided her when she was
worried and distressed. She had
the kindliest feelings for him in every way. She
gave him credit for his good
looks, his generous feelings, and even, in fact,
failed to recollect his
egotism when he was absent; but she could not
feel any binding influence
keeping her for him as against all others. In
fact, such a thought had never
had any grounding, even in Drouet's desires.
is, that this goodly drummer
carried the doom of all enduring relationships
in his own lightsome manner and
unstable fancy. He went merrily on, assured that
he was alluring all, that
affection followed tenderly in his wake, that
things would endure unchangingly
for his pleasure. When he missed some old face,
or found some door finally shut
to him, it did not grieve him deeply. He was too
young, too successful. He
would remain thus young in spirit until he was
Hurstwood, he was alive with
thoughts and feelings concerning Carrie. He had
no definite plans regarding
her, but he was determined to make her confess
an affection for him. He thought
he saw in her drooping eye, her unstable glance,
her wavering manner, the
symptoms of a budding passion. He wanted to
stand near her and make her lay her
hand in his – he wanted to find out what her
next step would be – what the next
sign of feeling for him would be. Such anxiety
and enthusiasm had not affected
him for years. He was a youth again in feeling –
a cavalier in action.
position opportunity for taking his
evenings out was excellent. He was a most
faithful worker in general, and a man
who commanded the confidence of his employers in
so far as the distribution of
his time was concerned. He could take such hours
off as he chose, for it was
well known that he fulfilled his managerial
duties successfully, whatever time
he might take. His grace, tact, and ornate
appearance gave the place an air
which was most essential, while at the same time
his long experience made him a
most excellent judge of its stock necessities.
Bartenders and assistants might
come and go, singly or in groups, but, so long
as he was present, the host of
old-time customers would barely notice the
change. He gave the place the
atmosphere to which they were used.
Consequently, he arranged his hours very
much to suit himself, taking now an afternoon,
now an evening, but invariably
returning between eleven and twelve to witness
the last hour or two of the
day's business and look after the closing
that things are safe and all
the employees are out when you go home, George,"
Moy had once remarked to
him, and he never once, in all the period of his
long service, neglected to do
this. Neither of the owners had for years been
in the resort after five in the
afternoon, and yet their manager as faithfully
fulfilled this request as if
they had been there regularly to observe.
Friday afternoon, scarcely two days
after his previous visit, he made up his mind to
see Carrie. He could not stay
he said, addressing the
head barkeeper, "if any one calls, I will be
back between four and
hurried to Madison Street and boarded a
horse-car, which carried him to Ogden Place in
half an hour.
had thought of going for a walk, and
had put on a light grey woollen dress with a
jaunty double-breasted jacket. She
had out her hat and gloves, and was fastening a
white lace tie about her throat
when the housemaid brought up the information
that Mr. Hurstwood wished to see
started slightly at the announcement,
but told the girl to say that she would come
down in a moment, and proceeded to
hasten her dressing.
could not have told herself at this
moment whether she was glad or sorry that the
impressive manager was awaiting
her presence. She was slightly flurried and
tingling in the cheeks, but it was
more nervousness than either fear or favour. She
did not try to conjecture what
the drift of the conversation would be. She only
felt that she must be careful,
and that Hurstwood had an indefinable
fascination for her. Then she gave her
tie its last touch with her fingers and went
deep-feeling manager was himself a
little strained in the nerves by the thorough
consciousness of his mission. He
felt that he must make a strong play on this
occasion, but now that the hour
was come, and he heard Carrie's feet upon the
stair, his nerve failed him. He
sank a little in determination, for he was not
so sure, after all, what her
opinion might be.
entered the room, however, her
appearance gave him courage. She looked simple
and charming enough to
strengthen the daring of any lover. Her apparent
nervousness dispelled his own.
you?" he said, easily.
"I could not resist the temptation to come out
this afternoon, it was so
said Carrie, halting
before him, "I was just preparing to go for a
you?" he said.
"Supposing, then, you get your hat and we both
crossed the park and went west along
Washington Boulevard, beautiful with its broad
macadamised road, and large frame
houses set back from the sidewalks. It was a
street where many of the more
prosperous residents of the West Side lived, and
Hurstwood could not help
feeling nervous over the publicity of it. They
had gone but a few blocks when a
livery stable sign in one of the side streets
solved the difficulty for him. He
would take her to drive along the new Boulevard.
Boulevard at that time was little more
than a country road. The part he intended
showing her was much farther out on
this same West Side, where there was scarcely a
house. It connected Douglas
Park with Washington or South Park, and was
nothing more than a neatly made
road, running due south for some five miles over
an open, grassy prairie, and
then due east over the same kind of prairie for
the same distance. There was
not a house to be encountered anywhere along the
larger part of the route, and
any conversation would be pleasantly free of
stable he picked a gentle horse, and
they were soon out of range of either public
observation or hearing.
drive?" he said, after a
tried," said Carrie.
the reins in her hand, and folded
there's nothing to it
much," he said, smilingly.
you have a gentle
horse," said Carrie.
handle a horse as well as any
one, after a little practice," he added,
been looking for some time for a
break in the conversation when he could give it
a serious turn. Once or twice
he had held his peace, hoping that in silence
her thoughts would take the
colour of his own, but she had lightly continued
the subject. Presently,
however, his silence controlled the situation.
The drift of his thoughts began
to tell. He gazed fixedly at nothing in
particular, as if he were thinking of
something which concerned her not at all. His
thoughts, however, spoke for
themselves. She was very much aware that a
climax was pending.
know," he said, "I
have spent the happiest evenings in years since
I have known you?"
you?" she said, with
assumed airiness, but still excited by the
conviction which the tone of his
going to tell you the other
evening," he added, "but somehow the opportunity
was listening without attempting to
reply. She could think of nothing worth while to
say. Despite all the ideas
concerning right which had troubled her vaguely
since she had last seen him,
she was now influenced again strongly in his
out here to-day," he went
on, solemnly, "to tell you just how I feel – to
see if you wouldn't listen
was something of a romanticist
after his kind. He was capable of strong
feelings – often poetic ones – and
under a stress of desire, such as the present,
he waxed eloquent. That is, his
feelings and his voice were coloured with that
seeming repression and pathos
which is the essence of eloquence.
know," he said, putting his
hand on her arm, and keeping a strange silence
while he formulated words,
"that I love you?"
did not stir at the words. She was
bound up completely in the man's atmosphere. He
would have church-like silence
in order to express his feelings, and she kept
it. She did not move her eyes
from the flat, open scene before her. Hurstwood
waited for a few moments, and
then repeated the words.
not say that," she
were not convincing at all. They
were the result of a feeble thought that
something ought to be said. He paid no
attention to them whatever.
he said, using her
first name with sympathetic familiarity, "I want
you to love me. You don't
know how much I need some one to waste a little
affection on me. I am
practically alone. There is nothing in my life
that is pleasant or delightful.
It's all work and worry with people who are
nothing to me."
said this, Hurstwood really imagined
that his state was pitiful. He had the ability
to get off at a distance and
view himself objectively – of seeing what he
wanted to see in the things which
made up his existence. Now, as he spoke, his
voice trembled with that peculiar
vibration which is the result of tensity. It
went ringing home to his
should think," she said,
turning upon him large eyes which were full of
sympathy and feeling, "that
you would be very happy. You know so much of the
it," he said, his voice
dropping to a soft minor, "I know too much of
It was an
important thing to her to hear
one so well-positioned and powerful speaking in
this manner. She could not help
feeling the strangeness of her situation. How
was it that, in so little a
while, the narrow life of the country had fallen
from her as a garment, and the
city, with all its mystery, taken its place?
Here was this greatest mystery,
the man of money and affairs sitting beside her,
appealing to her. Behold, he
had ease and comfort, his strength was great,
his position high, his clothing
rich, and yet he was appealing to her. She could
formulate no thought which
would be just and right. She troubled herself no
more upon the matter. She only
basked in the warmth of his feeling, which was
as a grateful blaze to one who
is cold. Hurstwood glowed with his own
intensity, and the heat of his passion
was already melting the wax of his companion's
think," he said, "I am
happy; that I ought not to complain? If you were
to meet all day with people
who care absolutely nothing about you, if you
went day after day to a place
where there was nothing but show and
indifference, if there was not one person
in all those you knew to whom you could appeal
for sympathy or talk to with
pleasure, perhaps you would be unhappy too."
striking a chord now which found
sympathetic response in her own situation. She
knew what it was to meet with
people who were indifferent, to walk alone amid
so many who cared absolutely
nothing about you. Had not she? Was not she at
this very moment quite alone?
Who was there among all whom she knew to whom
she could appeal for sympathy?
Not one. She was left to herself to brood and
be content," went on
Hurstwood, "if I had you to love me. If I had
you to go to; you for a
companion. As it is, I simply move about from
place to place without any
satisfaction. Time hangs heavily on my hands.
Before you came I did nothing but
idle and drift into anything that offered
itself. Since you came – well, I've
had you to think about."
illusion that here was some one who
needed her aid began to grow in Carrie's mind.
She truly pitied this sad,
lonely figure. To think that all his fine state
should be so barren for want of
her; that he needed to make such an appeal when
she herself was lonely and
without anchor. Surely, this was too bad.
"I am not
very bad," he said,
apologetically, as if he owed it to her to
explain on this score. "You
think, probably, that I roam around, and get
into all sorts of evil? I have
been rather reckless, but I could easily come
out of that. I need you to draw
me back, if my life ever amounts to anything."
looked at him with the tenderness which
virtue ever feels in its hope of reclaiming
vice. How could such a man need
reclaiming? His errors, what were they, that she
could correct? Small they must
be, where all was so fine. At worst, they were
gilded affairs, and with what
leniency are gilded errors viewed.
himself in such a lonely light that
she was deeply moved.
that way?" she mused.
slipped his arm about her waist, and she
could not find the heart to draw away. With his
free hand he seized upon her
fingers. A breath of soft spring wind went
bounding over the road, rolling some
brown twigs of the previous autumn before it.
The horse paced leisurely on,
me," he said, softly,
"that you love me."
it, dear," he said,
feelingly; "you do, don't you?"
no answer, but he felt his
me," he said, richly,
drawing her so close that their lips were near
together. He pressed her hand
warmly, and then released it to touch her cheek.
he said, pressing his
lips to her own.
answer, her lips replied.
said, joyously, his
fine eyes ablaze, "you're my own girl, aren't
By way of
further conclusion, her head lay
softly upon his shoulder.
EYES AND NOT SEEING: ONE INFLUENCE WANES
her rooms that evening was in a
fine glow, physically and mentally. She was
deeply rejoicing in her affection
for Hurstwood and his love, and looked forward
with fine fancy to their next
meeting Sunday night. They had agreed, without
any feeling of enforced secrecy,
that she should come down town and meet him,
though, after all, the need of it
was the cause.
Hale, from her upper window, saw her
thought to herself,
"she goes riding with another man when her
husband is out of the city. He
had better keep an eye on her."
is that Mrs. Hale was not the
only one who had a thought on this score. The
house-maid who had welcomed
Hurstwood had her opinion also. She had no
particular regard for Carrie, whom she
took to be cold and disagreeable. At the same
time, she had a fancy for the
merry and easy-mannered Drouet, who threw her a
pleasant remark now and then,
and in other ways extended her the evidence of
that regard which he had for all
members of the sex. Hurstwood was more reserved
and critical in his manner. He
did not appeal to this bodiced functionary in
the same pleasant way. She
wondered that he came so frequently, that Mrs.
Drouet should go out with him
this afternoon when Mr. Drouet was absent. She
gave vent to her opinions in the
kitchen where the cook was. As a result, a hum
of gossip was set going which
moved about the house in that secret manner
common to gossip.
now that she had yielded
sufficiently to Hurstwood to confess her
affection, no longer troubled about
her attitude towards him. Temporarily she gave
little thought to Drouet,
thinking only of the dignity and grace of her
lover and of his consuming
affection for her. On the first evening, she did
little but go over the details
of the afternoon. It was the first time her
sympathies had ever been thoroughly
aroused, and they threw a new light on her
character. She had some power of
initiative, latent before, which now began to
exert itself. She looked more
practically upon her state and began to see
glimmerings of a way out. Hurstwood
seemed a drag in the direction of honour. Her
feelings were exceedingly
creditable, in that they constructed out of
these recent developments something
which conquered freedom from dishonour. She had
no idea what Hurstwood's next
word would be. She only took his affection to be
a fine thing, and appended
better, more generous results accordingly.
Hurstwood had only a thought of
pleasure without responsibility. He did not feel
that he was doing anything to
complicate his life. His position was secure,
his home-life, if not
satisfactory, was at least undisturbed, his
personal liberty rather
untrammelled. Carrie's love represented only so
much added pleasure. He would
enjoy this new gift over and above his ordinary
allowance of pleasure. He would
be happy with her and his own affairs would go
on as they had, undisturbed.
evening Carrie dined with him at
a place he had selected in East Adams Street,
and thereafter they took a cab to
what was then a pleasant evening resort out on
Cottage Grove Avenue near 39th
Street. In the process of his declaration he
soon realised that Carrie took his
love upon a higher basis than he had
anticipated. She kept him at a distance in
a rather earnest way, and submitted only to
those tender tokens of affection
which better become the inexperienced lover.
Hurstwood saw that she was not to
be possessed for the asking, and deferred
pressing his suit too warmly.
feigned to believe in her married
state he found that he had to carry out the
part. His triumph, he saw, was
still at a little distance. How far he could not
returning to Ogden Place in the
cab, when he asked:
will I see you again?"
know," she answered,
come down to The Fair,"
he suggested, "next Tuesday?"
soon," she answered.
tell you what I'll do," he
added. "I'll write you, care of this West Side
Post-office. Could you call
stopped one door out of the way
according to his call.
he whispered, as
the cab rolled away.
for the smooth progression of
this affair, Drouet returned. Hurstwood was
sitting in his imposing little
office the next afternoon when he saw Drouet
hello, Charles," he called
affably; "back again?"
smiled Drouet, approaching
and looking in at the door.
he said, looking the
drummer over, "rosy as ever, eh?"
began talking of the people they knew
and things that had happened.
home yet?" finally asked
"No, I am
going, though," said
remembered the little girl out
there," said Hurstwood, "and called once.
Thought you wouldn't want
her left quite alone."
you are," agreed Drouet.
"How is she?"
well," said Hurstwood.
"Rather anxious about you, though. You'd better
go out now and cheer her
said Drouet, smilingly.
have you both come down and
go to the show with me Wednesday," concluded
Hurstwood at parting.
old man," said his
friend, "I'll see what the girl says and let you
separated in the most cordial manner.
a nice fellow," Drouet
thought to himself as he turned the corner
is a good fellow,"
Hurstwood thought to himself as he went back
into his office, "but he's no
man for Carrie."
thought of the latter turned his mind
into a most pleasant vein, and he wondered how
he would get ahead of the
Drouet entered Carrie's presence, he
caught her in his arms as usual, but she
responded to his kiss with a tremour
he said, "I had a
How did you come out with
that La Crosse man you were telling me about?"
fine; sold him a complete line.
There was another fellow there, representing
Burnstein, a regular hook-nosed
sheeny, but he wasn't in it. I made him look
like nothing at all."
undid his collar and unfastened his
studs, preparatory to washing his face and
changing his clothes, he dilated
upon his trip. Carrie could not help listening
with amusement to his animated
you," he said, "I
surprised the people at the office. I've sold
more goods this last quarter than
any other man of our house on the road. I sold
three thousand dollars' worth in
plunged his face in a basin of water,
and puffed and blew as he rubbed his neck and
ears with his hands, while Carrie
gazed upon him with mingled thoughts of
recollection and present judgment. He
was still wiping his face, when he continued:
going to strike for a raise in
June. They can afford to pay it, as much
business as I turn in. I'll get it
too, don't you forget."
you do," said Carrie.
if that little real estate
deal I've got on goes through, we'll get
married," he said with a great
show of earnestness, the while he took his place
before the mirror and began
brushing his hair.
believe you ever intend to
marry me, Charlie," Carrie said ruefully. The
recent protestations of
Hurstwood had given her courage to say this.
I do – course I do – what put
that into your head?"
stopped his trifling before the
mirror now and crossed over to her. For the
first time Carrie felt as if she
must move away from him.
you've been saying that so
long," she said, looking with her pretty face
upturned into his.
and I mean it too, but it takes
money to live as I want to. Now, when I get this
increase, I can come pretty
near fixing things all right, and I'll do it.
Now, don't you worry,
her reassuringly upon the
shoulder, but Carrie felt how really futile had
been her hopes. She could
clearly see that this easy-going soul intended
no move in her behalf. He was
simply letting things drift because he preferred
the free round of his present
state to any legal trammellings.
contrast, Hurstwood appeared strong and
sincere. He had no easy manner of putting her
off. He sympathised with her and
showed her what her true value was. He needed
her, while Drouet did not care.
she said remorsefully,
her tone reflecting some of her own success and
more of her helplessness,
"you never will."
you wait a little while and
see," he concluded. "I'll marry you all right."
looked at him and felt justified.
She was looking for something which would calm
her conscience, and here it was,
a light, airy disregard of her claims upon his
justice. He had faithfully
promised to marry her, and this was the way he
fulfilled his promise.
said, after he had, as
he thought, pleasantly disposed of the marriage
question, "I saw Hurstwood
to-day, and he wants us to go to the theatre
started at the name, but recovered
quickly enough to avoid notice.
she asked, with assumed
We'll go, won't we?"
think so," she answered,
her manner being so enforcedly reserved as to
almost excite suspicion. Drouet
noticed something, but he thought it was due to
her feelings concerning their
talk about marriage.
called once, he said."
said Carrie, "he was
out here Sunday evening."
said Drouet. "I
thought from what he said that he had called a
week or so ago."
did," answered Carrie, who
was wholly unaware of what conversation her
lovers might have held. She was all
at sea mentally, and fearful of some
entanglement which might ensue from what
she would answer.
he called twice?" said
Drouet, the first shade of misunderstanding
showing in his face.
said Carrie innocently,
feeling now that Hurstwood must have mentioned
but one call.
imagined that he must have
misunderstood his friend. He did not attach
particular importance to the
information, after all.
he have to say?" he
queried, with slightly increased curiosity.
he came because he thought I
might be lonely. You hadn't been in there so
long he wondered what had become
is a fine fellow," said
Drouet, rather gratified by his conception of
the manager's interest.
"Come on and we'll go out to dinner."
Hurstwood saw that Drouet was back he
wrote at once to Carrie, saying:
him I called on you, dearest,
when he was away. I did not say how often, but
he probably thought once. Let me
know of anything you may have said. Answer by
special messenger when you get
this, and, darling, I must see you. Let me know
if you can't meet me at Jackson
and Throop Streets Wednesday afternoon at two
o'clock. I want to speak with you
before we meet at the theatre."
received this Tuesday morning when
she called at the West Side branch of the
post-office, and answered at once.
you called twice," she
wrote. "He didn't seem to mind. I will try and
be at Throop Street if
nothing interferes. I seem to be getting very
bad. It's wrong to act as I do, I
when he met her as agreed,
reassured her on this score.
mustn't worry, sweetheart,"
he said. "Just as soon as he goes on the road
again we will arrange
something. We'll fix it so that you won't have
to deceive any one."
imagined that he would marry her at
once, though he had not directly said so, and
her spirits rose. She proposed to
make the best of the situation until Drouet left
show any more interest in me
than you ever have," Hurstwood counselled
concerning the evening at the
mustn't look at me steadily
then," she answered, mindful of the power of his
won't," he said, squeezing her
hand at parting and giving the glance she had
just cautioned against.
she said playfully,
pointing a finger at him.
hasn't begun yet," he
watched her walk from him with tender
solicitation. Such youth and prettiness reacted
upon him more subtly than wine.
theatre things passed as they had in
Hurstwood's favour. If he had been pleasing to
Carrie before, how much more so
was he now. His grace was more permeating
because it found a readier medium.
Carrie watched his every movement with pleasure.
She almost forgot poor Drouet,
who babbled on as if he were the host.
was too clever to give the
slightest indication of a change. He paid, if
anything, more attention to his
old friend than usual, and yet in no way held
him up to that subtle ridicule
which a lover in favour may so secretly practise
before the mistress of his
heart. If anything, he felt the injustice of the
game as it stood, and was not
cheap enough to add to it the slightest mental
play produced an ironical
situation, and this was due to Drouet alone.
was one in "The
Covenant," in which the wife listened to the
seductive voice of a lover in
the absence of her husband.
him right," said Drouet
afterward, even in view of her keen expiation of
her error. "I haven't any
pity for a man who would be such a chump as
you never can tell,"
returned Hurstwood gently. "He probably thought
he was right."
man ought to be more
attentive than that to his wife if he wants to
come out of the lobby and made
their way through the showy crush about the
mister," said a voice at
Hurstwood's side, "would you mind giving me the
price of a bed?"
was interestedly remarking to
to God, mister, I'm without a
place to sleep."
was that of a gaunt-faced man of
about thirty, who looked the picture of
privation and wretchedness. Drouet was
the first to see. He handed over a dime with an
upwelling feeling of pity in
his heart. Hurstwood scarcely noticed the
incident. Carrie quickly forgot.
IRK OF THE OLD TIES: THE MAGIC OF YOUTH
complete ignoring by Hurstwood of his
own home came with the growth of his affection
for Carrie. His actions, in all
that related to his family, were of the most
perfunctory kind. He sat at
breakfast with his wife and children, absorbed
in his own fancies, which
reached far without the realm of their
interests. He read his paper, which was
heightened in interest by the shallowness of the
themes discussed by his son
and daughter. Between himself and his wife ran a
river of indifference.
Carrie had come, he was in a fair
way to be blissful again. There was delight in
going down town evenings. When
he walked forth in the short days, the street
lamps had a merry twinkle. He
began to experience the almost forgotten feeling
which hastens the lover's
feet. When he looked at his fine clothes, he saw
them with her eyes – and her
eyes were young.
the flush of such feelings he heard
his wife's voice, when the insistent demands of
matrimony recalled him from
dreams to a stale practice, how it grated. He
then knew that this was a chain
which bound his feet.
said Mrs. Hurstwood, in
that tone of voice which had long since come to
be associated in his mind with
demands, "we want you to get us a season ticket
to the races."
want to go to all of
them?" he said with a rising inflection.
in question were soon to open at
Washington Park, on the South Side, and were
considered quite society affairs
among those who did not affect religious
rectitude and conservatism. Mrs.
Hurstwood had never asked for a whole season
ticket before, but this year
certain considerations decided her to get a box.
For one thing, one of her
neighbours, a certain Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey, who
were possessors of money, made
out of the coal business, had done so. In the
next place, her favourite
physician, Dr. Beale, a gentleman inclined to
horses and betting, had talked
with her concerning his intention to enter a
two-year-old in the Derby. In the
third place, she wished to exhibit Jessica, who
was gaining in maturity and
beauty, and whom she hoped to marry to a man of
means. Her own desire to be
about in such things and parade among her
acquaintances and the common throng
was as much an incentive as anything.
thought over the proposition a
few moments without answering. They were in the
sitting-room on the second
floor, waiting for supper. It was the evening of
his engagement with Carrie and
Drouet to see "The Covenant," which had brought
him home to make some
alterations in his dress.
sure separate tickets wouldn't
do as well?" he asked, hesitating to say
anything more rugged.
he said, taking offence
at her manner, "you needn't get mad about it.
I'm just asking you."
mad," she snapped.
"I'm merely asking you for a season ticket."
telling you," be
returned, fixing a clear, steady eye on her,
"that it's no easy thing to
get. I'm not sure whether the manager will give
it to me."
been thinking all the time of his
"pull" with the race-track magnates.
buy it then," she
easy," he said. "A
season family ticket costs one hundred and fifty
argue with you," she
replied with determination. "I want the ticket
and that's all there is to
risen, and now walked angrily out
of the room.
you get it then," he said
grimly, though in a modified tone of voice.
the table was one short that
morning he had cooled down
considerably, and later the ticket was duly
secured, though it did not heal
matters. He did not mind giving his family a
fair share of all that he earned,
but he did not like to be forced to provide
against his will.
know, mother," said
Jessica another day, "the Spencers are getting
ready to go away?"
Where, I wonder?"
said Jessica. "I
met Georgine yesterday and she told me. She just
put on more airs about
I think. They'll get a notice
in the papers again – they always do."
mind," said Mrs. Hurstwood
consolingly, "we'll go one of these days."
moved his eyes over the paper
slowly, but said nothing.
for Liverpool from New
York,'" Jessica exclaimed, mocking her
acquaintance. "'Expect to
spend most of the "summah" in France,' – vain
thing. As if it was
anything to go to Europe."
be if you envy her so
much," put in Hurstwood.
upon him to see the feeling his
worry over them, my dear,"
said Mrs. Hurstwood.
George get off?" asked
Jessica of her mother another day, thus
revealing something that Hurstwood had
heard nothing about.
has he gone?" he asked,
looking up. He had never before been kept in
ignorance concerning departures.
going to Wheaton," said
Jessica, not noticing the slight put upon her
out there?" he asked,
secretly irritated and chagrined to think that
he should be made to pump for
information in this manner.
match," said Jessica.
didn't say anything to me,"
Hurstwood concluded, finding it difficult to
refrain from a bitter tone.
he must have forgotten,"
exclaimed his wife blandly.
past he had always commanded a
certain amount of respect, which was a compound
of appreciation and awe. The
familiarity which in part still existed between
himself and his daughter he had
courted. As it was, it did not go beyond the
light assumption of words. The
tone was always modest. Whatever had been,
however, had lacked affection, and
now he saw that he was losing track of their
doings. His knowledge was no
longer intimate. He sometimes saw them at table,
and sometimes did not. He
heard of their doings occasionally, more often
not. Some days he found that he
was all at sea as to what they were talking
about – things they had arranged to
do or that they had done in his absence. More
affecting was the feeling that
there were little things going on of which he no
longer heard. Jessica was
beginning to feel that her affairs were her own.
George, Jr., flourished about
as if he were a man entirely and must needs have
private matters. All this Hurstwood
could see, and it left a trace of feeling, for
he was used to being considered
– in his official position, at least – and felt
that his importance should not
begin to wane here. To darken it all, he saw the
same indifference and
independence growing in his wife, while he
looked on and paid the bills.
consoled himself with the thought,
however, that, after all, he was not without
affection. Things might go as they
would at his house, but he had Carrie outside of
it. With his mind's eye he
looked into her comfortable room in Ogden Place,
where he had spent several
such delightful evenings, and thought how
charming it would be when Drouet was
disposed of entirely and she was waiting
evenings in cosey little quarters for
him. That no cause would come up whereby Drouet
would be led to inform Carrie
concerning his married state, he felt hopeful.
Things were going so smoothly
that he believed they would not change. Shortly
now he would persuade Carrie
and all would be satisfactory.
after their theatre visit he began
writing her regularly – a letter every morning,
and begging her to do as much
for him. He was not literary by any means, but
experience of the world and his
growing affection gave him somewhat of a style.
This he exercised at his office
desk with perfect deliberation. He purchased a
box of delicately coloured and
scented writing paper in monogram, which he kept
locked in one of the drawers.
His friends now wondered at the cleric and very
official-looking nature of his
position. The five bartenders viewed with
respect the duties which could call a
man to do so much desk-work and penmanship.
surprised himself with his
fluency. By the natural law which governs all
effort, what he wrote reacted
upon him. He began to feel those subtleties
which he could find words to
express. With every expression came increased
conception. Those inmost
breathings which there found words took bold
upon him. He thought Carrie worthy
of all the affection he could there express.
was indeed worth loving if ever
youth and grace are to command that token of
acknowledgment from life in their
bloom. Experience had not yet taken away that
freshness of the spirit which is
the charm of the body. Her soft eyes contained
in their liquid lustre no
suggestion of the knowledge of disappointment.
She had been troubled in a way
by doubt and longing, but these had made no
deeper impression than could be
traced in a certain open wistfulness of glance
and speech. The mouth had the
expression at times, in talking and in repose,
of one who might be upon the
verge of tears. It was not that grief was thus
ever present. The pronunciation
of certain syllables gave to her lips this
peculiarity of formation – a
formation as suggestive and moving as pathos
nothing bold in her manner. Life
had not taught her domination – superciliousness
of grace, which is the lordly
power of some women. Her longing for
consideration was not sufficiently
powerful to move her to demand it. Even now she
lacked self-assurance, but
there was that in what she had already
experienced which left her a little less
than timid. She wanted pleasure, she wanted
position, and yet she was confused
as to what these things might be. Every hour the
kaleidoscope of human affairs
threw a new lustre upon something, and therewith
it became for her the desired
– the all. Another shift of the box, and some
other had become the beautiful,
spiritual side, also, she was rich
in feeling, as such a nature well might be.
Sorrow in her was aroused by many a
spectacle – an uncritical upwelling of grief for
the weak and the helpless. She
was constantly pained by the sight of the
white-faced, ragged men who slopped
desperately by her in a sort of wretched mental
stupor. The poorly clad girls
who went blowing by her window evenings,
hurrying home from some of the shops
of the West Side, she pitied from the depths of
her heart. She would stand and
bite her lips as they passed, shaking her little
head and wondering. They had
so little, she thought. It was so sad to be
ragged and poor. The hang of faded
clothes pained her eyes.
have to work so hard!"
was her only comment.
street sometimes she would see men
working – Irishmen with picks, coal-heavers with
great loads to shovel,
Americans busy about some work which was a mere
matter of strength – and they
touched her fancy. Toil, now that she was free
of it, seemed even a more
desolate thing than when she was part of it. She
saw it through a mist of fancy
– a pale, sombre half-light, which was the
essence of poetic feeling. Her old
father, in his flour-dusted miller's suit,
sometimes returned to her in memory,
revived by a face in a window. A shoemaker
pegging at his last, a blastman seen
through a narrow window in some basement where
iron was being melted, a
bench-worker seen high aloft in some window, his
coat off, his sleeves rolled
up; these took her back in fancy to the details
of the mill. She felt, though
she seldom expressed them, sad thoughts upon
this score. Her sympathies were
ever with that under-world of toil from which
she had so recently sprung, and
which she best understood.
Hurstwood did not know it, he was
dealing with one whose feelings were as tender
and as delicate as this. He did
not know, but it was this in her, after all,
which attracted him. He never
attempted to analyse the nature of his
affection. It was sufficient that there
was tenderness in her eye, weakness in her
manner, good-nature and hope, in her
thoughts. He drew near this lily, which had
sucked its waxen beauty and perfume
from below a depth of waters which he had never
penetrated, and out of ooze and
mould which he could not understand. He drew
near because it was waxen and
fresh. It lightened his feelings for him. It
made the morning worth while.
material way, she was considerably
improved. Her awkwardness had all but passed,
leaving, if anything, a quaint
residue which was as pleasing as perfect grace.
Her little shoes now fitted her
smartly and had high heels. She had learned much
about laces and those little
neck-pieces which add so much to a woman's
appearance. Her form had filled out
until it was admirably plump and well-rounded.
wrote her one morning, asking her
to meet him in Jefferson Park, Monroe Street. He
did not consider it policy to
call any more, even when Drouet was at home.
afternoon he was in the pretty
little park by one, and had found a rustic bench
beneath the green leaves of a
lilac bush which bordered one of the paths. It
was at that season of the year
when the fulness of spring had not yet worn
quite away. At a little pond near
by some cleanly dressed children were sailing
white canvas boats. In the shade
of a green pagoda a bebuttoned officer of the
law was resting, his arms folded,
his club at rest in his belt. An old gardener
was upon the lawn, with a pair of
pruning shears, looking after some bushes. High
overhead was the clear blue sky
of the new summer, and in the thickness of the
shiny green leaves of the trees
hopped and twittered the busy sparrows.
had come out of his own home that
morning feeling much of the same old annoyance.
At his store he had idled,
there being no need to write. He had come away
to this place with the lightness
of heart which characterises those who put
weariness behind. Now, in the shade
of this cool, green bush, he looked about him
with the fancy of the lover. He
heard the carts go lumbering by upon the
neighbouring streets, but they were
far off, and only buzzed upon his ear. The hum
of the surrounding city was
faint, the clang of an occasional bell was as
music. He looked and dreamed a
new dream of pleasure which concerned his
present fixed condition not at all.
He got back in fancy to the old Hurstwood, who
was neither married nor fixed in
a solid position for life. He remembered the
light spirit in which he once
looked after the girls – how he had danced,
escorted them home, hung over their
gates. He almost wished he was back there again
– here in this pleasant scene
he felt as if he were wholly free.
Carrie came tripping along the walk
toward him, rosy and clean. She had just
recently donned a sailor hat for the
season with a hand of pretty white-dotted blue
silk. Her skirt was of a rich
blue material, and her shirt waist matched it,
with a thin stripe of blue upon
a snow-white ground – stripes that were as fine
as hairs. Her brown shoes
peeped occasionally from beneath her skirt. She
carried her gloves in her hand.
looked up at her with delight.
came, dearest," he said
eagerly, standing to meet her and taking her
course," she said, smiling;
"did you think I wouldn't?"
know," he replied.
at her forehead, which was moist
from her brisk walk. Then he took out one of his
own soft, scented silk
handkerchiefs and touched her face here and
"you're all right."
happy in being near one another –
in looking into each other's eyes. Finally, when
the long flush of delight had
subsided, he said:
Charlie going away
know," she answered.
"He says he has some things to do for the house
grew serious, and he lapsed into
quiet thought. He looked up after a time to say:
away and leave him."
his eyes to the boys with the
boats, as if the request were of little
would we go?" she asked in
much the same manner, rolling her gloves, and
looking into a neighbouring tree.
you want to go?" he
something in the tone in which he
said this which made her feel as if she must
record her feelings against any
stay in Chicago," she
He had no
thought that this was in her mind
– that any removal would be suggested.
not?" he asked softly.
because," she said, "I
wouldn't want to."
listened to this, with but dull
perception of what it meant. It had no serious
ring to it. The question was not
up for immediate decision.
have to give up my
position," he said.
he used made it seem as if the
matter deserved only slight consideration.
Carrie thought a little, the while
enjoying the pretty scene.
wouldn't like to live in Chicago
and him here," she said, thinking of Drouet.
big town, dearest,"
Hurstwood answered. "It would be as good as
moving to another part of the
country to move to the South Side."
fixed upon that region as an
said Carrie, "I
shouldn't want to get married as long as he is
here. I wouldn't want to run
suggestion of marriage struck Hurstwood
forcibly. He saw clearly that this was her idea
– he felt that it was not to be
gotten over easily. Bigamy lightened the horizon
of his shadowy thoughts for a
moment. He wondered for the life of him how it
would all come out. He could not
see that he was making any progress save in her
regard. When he looked at her
now, he thought her beautiful. What a thing it
was to have her love him, even
if it be entangling! She increased in, value in
his eyes because of her
objection. She was something to struggle for,
and that was everything. How
different from the women who yielded willingly!
He swept the thought of them
from his mind.
don't know when he'll go
away?" asked Hurstwood, quietly.
determined little miss,
aren't you?" he said, after a few moments,
looking up into her eyes.
a wave of feeling sweep over her
at this. It was pride at what seemed his
admiration – affection for the man who
could feel this concerning her.
said coyly, "but
what can I do?"
folded his hands and looked away
over the lawn into the street.
he said pathetically,
"you would come to me. I don't like to be away
from you this way. What
good is there in waiting? You're not any
happier, are you?"
she exclaimed softly,
"you know better than that."
are then," he went on in
the same tone, "wasting our days. If you are not
happy, do you think I am?
I sit and write to you the biggest part of the
time. I'll tell you what,
Carrie," he exclaimed, throwing sudden force of
expression into his voice
and fixing her with his eyes, "I can't live
without you, and that's all
there is to it. Now," he concluded, showing the
palm of one of his white
hands in a sort of at-an-end, helpless
expression, "what shall I do?"
shifting of the burden to her appealed
to Carrie. The semblance of the load without the
weight touched the woman's
you wait a little while
yet?" she said tenderly. "I'll try and find out
good will it do?" he asked,
holding the same strain of feeling.
perhaps we can arrange to go
really did not see anything clearer
than before, but she was getting into that frame
of mind where, out of
sympathy, a woman yields.
did not understand. He was
wondering how she was to be persuaded – what
appeal would move her to forsake
Drouet. He began to wonder how far her affection
for him would carry her. He
was thinking of some question which would make
he hit upon one of those
problematical propositions which often disguise
our own desires while leading
us to an understanding of the difficulties which
others make for us, and so
discover for us a way. It had not the slightest
connection with anything
intended on his part, and was spoken at random
before he had given it a
moment's serious thought.
he said, looking into
her face and assuming a serious look which he
did not feel, "suppose I
were to come to you next week, or this week for
that matter – tonight say – and
tell you I had to go away – that I couldn't stay
another minute and wasn't
coming back any more – would you come with me?"
sweetheart viewed him with the most
affectionate glance, her answer ready before the
words were out of his mouth.
wouldn't stop to argue or
you couldn't wait."
when he saw that she took him
seriously, and he thought what a chance it would
afford for a possible junket
of a week or two. He had a notion to tell her
that he was joking and so brush
away her sweet seriousness, but the effect of it
was too delightful. He let it
we didn't have time to get
married here?" he added, an afterthought
got married as soon as we got
to the other end of the journey it would be all
that," he said.
morning seemed peculiarly bright to him
now. He wondered whatever could have put such a
thought into his head. Impossible
as it was, he could not help smiling at its
cleverness. It showed how she loved
him. There was no doubt in his mind now, and he
would find a way to win her.
he said, jokingly,
"I'll come and get you one of these evenings,"
and then he laughed.
wouldn't stay with you, though, if
you didn't marry me," Carrie added reflectively.
want you to," he said
tenderly, taking her hand.
extremely happy now that she
understood. She loved him the more for thinking
that he would rescue her so. As
for him, the marriage clause did not dwell in
his mind. He was thinking that
with such affection there could be no bar to his
stroll about," he said
gayly, rising and surveying all the lovely park.
right," said Carrie.
passed the young Irishman, who looked
after them with envious eyes.
foine couple," he
observed to himself. "They must be rich."
WITLESS ALADDIN: THE GATE TO THE WORLD
course of his present stay in Chicago,
Drouet paid some slight attention to the secret
order to which he belonged.
During his last trip he had received a new light
on its importance.
you," said another
drummer to him, "it's a great thing. Look at
Hazenstab. He isn't so deuced
clever. Of course he's got a good house behind
him, but that won't do alone. I
tell you it's his degree. He's a way-up Mason,
and that goes a long way. He's
got a secret sign that stands for something."
resolved then and there that he
would take more interest in such matters. So
when he got back to Chicago he
repaired to his local lodge headquarters.
Drouet," said Mr. Harry
Quincel, an individual who was very prominent in
this local branch of the Elks,
"you're the man that can help us out."
after the business meeting and
things were going socially with a hum. Drouet
was bobbing around chatting and
joking with a score of individuals whom he knew.
you up to?" he inquired
genially, turning a smiling face upon his secret
trying to get up some
theatricals for two weeks from to-day, and we
want to know if you don't know
some young lady who could take a part – it's an
said Drouet, "what
is it?" He did not trouble to remember that he
knew no one to whom he
could appeal on this score. His innate
good-nature, however, dictated a
now, I'll tell you what we are
trying to do," went on Mr. Quincel. "We are
trying to get a new set
of furniture for the lodge. There isn't enough
money in the treasury at the
present time, and we thought we would raise it
by a little entertainment."
"that's a good idea."
of the boys around here have
got talent. There's Harry Burbeck, he does a
fine black-face turn. Mac Lewis is
all right at heavy dramatics. Did you ever hear
him recite 'Over the
tell you, he does it
want me to get some woman to
take a part?" questioned Drouet, anxious to
terminate the subject and get on
to something else. "What are you going to play?"
the Gaslight,'" said Mr.
Quincel, mentioning Augustin Daly's famous
production, which had worn from a
great public success down to an amateur
theatrical favourite, with many of the
troublesome accessories cut out and the dramatis
personae reduced to the
smallest possible number.
had seen this play some time in the
it," he said;
"that's a fine play. It will go all right. You
ought to make a lot of
money out of that."
we'll do very well,"
Mr. Quincel replied. "Don't you forget now," he
showing signs of restlessness; "some young woman
to take the part of
I'll attend to it."
away, forgetting almost all about
it the moment Mr. Quincel had ceased talking. He
had not even thought to ask
the time or place.
was reminded of his promise a day or
two later by the receipt of a letter announcing
that the first rehearsal was
set for the following Friday evening, and urging
him to kindly forward the
young lady's address at once, in order that the
part might be delivered to her.
the deuce do I know?"
asked the drummer reflectively, scratching his
rosy ear. "I don't know any
one that knows anything about amateur
over in memory the names of a
number of women he knew, and finally fixed on
one, largely because of the
convenient location of her home on the West
Side, and promised himself that as
he came out that evening he would see her. When,
however, he started west on
the car he forgot, and was only reminded of his
delinquency by an item in the
"Evening News" – a small three-line affair under
the head of Secret
Society Notes – which stated the Custer Lodge of
the Order of Elks would give a
theatrical performance in Avery Hall on the
16th, when "Under the
Gaslight" would be produced.
"I forgot that."
at their little table in the room
which might have been used for a kitchen, where
Carrie occasionally served a
meal. To-night the fancy had caught her, and the
little table was spread with a
lodge entertainment. They're
going to give a play, and they wanted me to get
them some young lady to take a
it they're going to
why don't you?" asked
know any one," he
he looked up.
said, "how would
you like to take the part?"
said Carrie. "I can't
you know?" questioned
"I never did."
she was pleased to think he
would ask. Her eyes brightened, for if there was
anything that enlisted her
sympathies it was the art of the stage.
his nature, Drouet clung to this
idea as an easy way out.
nothing. You can act all you
have to down there."
can't," said Carrie
weakly, very much drawn toward the proposition
and yet fearful.
can. Now, why don't you do
it? They need some one, and it will be lots of
fun for you."
it won't," said Carrie
like that. I know you would.
I've seen you dancing around here and giving
imitations and that's why I asked
you. You're clever enough, all right."
not," said Carrie shyly.
I'll tell you what you do. You
go down and see about it. It'll be fun for you.
The rest of the company isn't
going to be any good. They haven't any
experience. What do they know about
frowned as he thought of their
the coffee," he added.
believe I could act,
Charlie," Carrie went on pettishly. "You don't
think I could, do
Out o' sight. I bet you make a
hit. Now you want to go, I know you do. I knew
it when I came home. That's why
I asked you."
the play, did you say?"
part would they want me to
of the heroines – I don't
sort of a play is it?"
said Drouet, whose memory
for such things was not the best, "it's about a
girl who gets kidnapped by
a couple of crooks – a man and a woman that live
in the slums. She had some
money or something and they wanted to get it. I
don't know now how it did go
you know what part I would have
don't, to tell the truth."
He thought a moment. "Yes, I do, too. Laura,
that's the thing – you're to
can't remember what the part
me, Cad, I can't," he
answered. "I ought to, too; I've seen the play
enough. There's a girl in
it that was stolen when she was an infant – was
picked off the street or
something – and she's the one that's hounded by
the two old criminals I was
telling you about." He stopped with a mouthful
of pie poised on a fork
before his face. "She comes very near getting
drowned – no, that's not it.
I'll tell you what I'll do," he concluded
hopelessly, "I'll get you
the book. I can't remember now for the life of
don't know," said
Carrie, when he had concluded, her interest and
desire to shine dramatically
struggling with her timidity for the mastery. "I
might go if you thought
I'd do all right."
course, you'll do," said
Drouet, who, in his efforts to enthuse Carrie,
had interested himself. "Do
you think I'd come home here and urge you to do
something that I didn't think
you would make a success of? You can act all
right. It'll be good for
must I go?" said Carrie,