Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser
Part 6 out of 11
stared him in the face she seemed much more attractive. He
really pined for a word, and looked out upon her with his mind's
eye in the most wistful manner. He did not propose to lose her,
whatever she might think. Come what might, he would adjust this
matter, and soon. He would go to her and tell her all his family
complications. He would explain to her just where he stood and
how much he needed her. Surely she couldn't go back on him now?
It wasn't possible. He would plead until her anger would melt--
until she would forgive him.
Suddenly he thought: "Supposing she isn't out there--suppose she
He was forced to take his feet. It was too much to think of and
Nevertheless, his rousing availed him nothing.
On Tuesday it was the same way. He did manage to bring himself
into the mood to go out to Carrie, but when he got in Ogden Place
he thought he saw a man watching him and went away. He did not
go within a block of the house.
One of the galling incidents of this visit was that he came back
on a Randolph Street car, and without noticing arrived almost
opposite the building of the concern with which his son was
connected. This sent a pang through his heart. He had called on
his boy there several times. Now the lad had not sent him a
word. His absence did not seem to be noticed by either of his
children. Well, well, fortune plays a man queer tricks. He got
back to his office and joined in a conversation with friends. It
was as if idle chatter deadened the sense of misery.
That night he dined at Rector's and returned at once to his
office. In the bustle and show of the latter was his only
relief. He troubled over many little details and talked
perfunctorily to everybody. He stayed at his desk long after all
others had gone, and only quitted it when the night watchman on
his round pulled at the front door to see if it was safely
On Wednesday he received another polite note from McGregor, James
and Hay. It read:
"Dear Sir: We beg to inform you that we are instructed to wait
until to-morrow (Thursday) at one o'clock, before filing suit
against you, on behalf of Mrs. Julia Hurstwood, for divorce and
alimony. If we do not hear from you before that time we shall
consider that you do not wish to compromise the matter in any way
and act accordingly. "Very truly yours, etc."
"Compromise!" exclaimed Hurstwood bitterly. "Compromise!"
Again he shook his head.
So here it was spread out clear before him, and now he knew what
to expect. If he didn't go and see them they would sue him
promptly. If he did, he would be offered terms that would make
his blood boil. He folded the letter and put it with the other
one. Then he put on his hat and went for a turn about the block.
THE AMBASSADOR FALLEN--A SEARCH FOR THE GATE
Carrie, left alone by Drouet, listened to his retreating steps,
scarcely realising what had happened. She knew that he had
stormed out. It was some moments before she questioned whether
he would return, not now exactly, but ever. She looked around
her upon the rooms, out of which the evening light was dying, and
wondered why she did not feel quite the same towards them. She
went over to the dresser and struck a match, lighting the gas.
Then she went back to the rocker to think.
It was some time before she could collect her thoughts, but when
she did, this truth began to take on importance. She was quite
alone. Suppose Drouet did not come back? Suppose she should
never hear anything more of him? This fine arrangement of
chambers would not last long. She would have to quit them.
To her credit, be it said, she never once counted on Hurstwood.
She could only approach that subject with a pang of sorrow and
regret. For a truth, she was rather shocked and frightened by
this evidence of human depravity. He would have tricked her
without turning an eyelash. She would have been led into a newer
and worse situation. And yet she could not keep out the pictures
of his looks and manners. Only this one deed seemed strange and
miserable. It contrasted sharply with all she felt and knew
concerning the man.
But she was alone. That was the greater thought just at present.
How about that? Would she go out to work again? Would she begin
to look around in the business district? The stage! Oh, yes.
Drouet had spoken about that. Was there any hope there? She
moved to and fro, in deep and varied thoughts, while the minutes
slipped away and night fell completely. She had had nothing to
eat, and yet there she sat, thinking it over.
She remembered that she was hungry and went to the little
cupboard in the rear room where were the remains of one of their
breakfasts. She looked at these things with certain misgivings.
The contemplation of food had more significance than usual.
While she was eating she began to wonder how much money she had.
It struck her as exceedingly important, and without ado she went
to look for her purse. It was on the dresser, and in it were
seven dollars in bills and some change. She quailed as she
thought of the insignificance of the amount and rejoiced because
the rent was paid until the end of the month. She began also to
think what she would have done if she had gone out into the
street when she first started. By the side of that situation, as
she looked at it now, the present seemed agreeable. She had a
little time at least, and then, perhaps, everything would come
out all right, after all.
Drouet had gone, but what of it? He did not seem seriously angry.
He only acted as if he were huffy. He would come back--of course
he would. There was his cane in the corner. Here was one of his
collars. He had left his light overcoat in the wardrobe. She
looked about and tried to assure herself with the sight of a
dozen such details, but, alas, the secondary thought arrived.
Supposing he did come back. Then what?
Here was another proposition nearly, if not quite, as disturbing.
She would have to talk with and explain to him. He would want
her to admit that he was right. It would be impossible for her
to live with him.
On Friday Carrie remembered her appointment with Hurstwood, and
the passing of the hour when she should, by all right of promise,
have been in his company served to keep the calamity which had
befallen her exceedingly fresh and clear. In her nervousness and
stress of mind she felt it necessary to act, and consequently put
on a brown street dress, and at eleven o'clock started to visit
the business portion once again. She must look for work.
The rain, which threatened at twelve and began at one, served
equally well to cause her to retrace her steps and remain within
doors as it did to reduce Hurstwood's spirits and give him a
The morrow was Saturday, a half-holiday in many business
quarters, and besides it was a balmy, radiant day, with the trees
and grass shining exceedingly green after the rain of the night
before. When she went out the sparrows were twittering merrily
in joyous choruses. She could not help feeling, as she looked
across the lovely park, that life was a joyous thing for those
who did not need to worry, and she wished over and over that
something might interfere now to preserve for her the comfortable
state which she had occupied. She did not want Drouet or his
money when she thought of it, nor anything more to do with
Hurstwood, but only the content and ease of mind she had
experienced, for, after all, she had been happy--happier, at
least, than she was now when confronted by the necessity of
making her way alone.
When she arrived in the business part it was quite eleven
o'clock, and the business had little longer to run. She did not
realise this at first, being affected by some of the old distress
which was a result of her earlier adventure into this strenuous
and exacting quarter. She wandered about, assuring herself that
she was making up her mind to look for something, and at the same
time feeling that perhaps it was not necessary to be in such
haste about it. The thing was difficult to encounter, and she
had a few days. Besides, she was not sure that she was really
face to face again with the bitter problem of self-sustenance.
Anyhow, there was one change for the better. She knew that she
had improved in appearance. Her manner had vastly changed. Her
clothes were becoming, and men--well-dressed men, some of the
kind who before had gazed at her indifferently from behind their
polished railings and imposing office partitions--now gazed into
her face with a soft light in their eyes. In a way, she felt the
power and satisfaction of the thing, but it did not wholly
reassure her. She looked for nothing save what might come
legitimately and without the appearance of special favour. She
wanted something, but no man should buy her by false
protestations or favour. She proposed to earn her living
"This store closes at one on Saturdays," was a pleasing and
satisfactory legend to see upon doors which she felt she ought to
enter and inquire for work. It gave her an excuse, and after
encountering quite a number of them, and noting that the clock
registered 12.15, she decided that it would be no use to seek
further to-day, so she got on a car and went to Lincoln Park.
There was always something to see there--the flowers, the
animals, the lake--and she flattered herself that on Monday she
would be up betimes and searching. Besides, many things might
happen between now and Monday.
Sunday passed with equal doubts, worries, assurances, and heaven
knows what vagaries of mind and spirit. Every half-hour in the
day the thought would come to her most sharply, like the tail of
a swishing whip, that action--immediate action--was imperative.
At other times she would look about her and assure herself that
things were not so bad--that certainly she would come out safe
and sound. At such times she would think of Drouet's advice
about going on the stage, and saw some chance for herself in that
quarter. She decided to take up that opportunity on the morrow.
Accordingly, she arose early Monday morning and dressed herself
carefully. She did not know just how such applications were
made, but she took it to be a matter which related more directly
to the theatre buildings. All you had to do was to inquire of
some one about the theatre for the manager and ask for a
position. If there was anything, you might get it, or, at least,
he could tell you how.
She had had no experience with this class of individuals
whatsoever, and did not know the salacity and humour of the
theatrical tribe. She only knew of the position which Mr. Hale
occupied, but, of all things, she did not wish to encounter that
personage, on account of her intimacy with his wife.
There was, however, at this time, one theatre, the Chicago Opera
House, which was considerably in the public eye, and its manager,
David A. Henderson, had a fair local reputation. Carrie had seen
one or two elaborate performances there and had heard of several
others. She knew nothing of Henderson nor of the methods of
applying, but she instinctively felt that this would be a likely
place, and accordingly strolled about in that neighbourhood. She
came bravely enough to the showy entrance way, with the polished
and begilded lobby, set with framed pictures out of the current
attraction, leading up to the quiet box-office, but she could get
no further. A noted comic opera comedian was holding forth that
week, and the air of distinction and prosperity overawed her.
She could not imagine that there would be anything in such a
lofty sphere for her. She almost trembled at the audacity which
might have carried her on to a terrible rebuff. She could find
heart only to look at the pictures which were showy and then walk
out. It seemed to her as if she had made a splendid escape and
that it would be foolhardy to think of applying in that quarter
This little experience settled her hunting for one day. She
looked around elsewhere, but it was from the outside. She got
the location of several playhouses fixed in her mind--notably the
Grand Opera House and McVickar's, both of which were leading in
attractions--and then came away. Her spirits were materially
reduced, owing to the newly restored sense of magnitude of the
great interests and the insignificance of her claims upon
society, such as she understood them to be.
That night she was visited by Mrs. Hale, whose chatter and
protracted stay made it impossible to dwell upon her predicament
or the fortune of the day. Before retiring, however, she sat
down to think, and gave herself up to the most gloomy
forebodings. Drouet had not put in an appearance. She had had
no word from any quarter, she had spent a dollar of her precious
sum in procuring food and paying car fare. It was evident that
she would not endure long. Besides, she had discovered no
In this situation her thoughts went out to her sister in Van
Buren Street, whom she had not seen since the night of her
flight, and to her home at Columbia City, which seemed now a part
of something that could not be again. She looked for no refuge
in that direction. Nothing but sorrow was brought her by
thoughts of Hurstwood, which would return. That he could have
chosen to dupe her in so ready a manner seemed a cruel thing.
Tuesday came, and with it appropriate indecision and speculation.
She was in no mood, after her failure of the day before, to
hasten forth upon her work-seeking errand, and yet she rebuked
herself for what she considered her weakness the day before.
Accordingly she started out to revisit the Chicago Opera House,
but possessed scarcely enough courage to approach.
She did manage to inquire at the box-office, however.
"Manager of the company or the house?" asked the smartly dressed
individual who took care of the tickets. He was favourably
impressed by Carrie's looks.
"I don't know," said Carrie, taken back by the question.
"You couldn't see the manager of the house to-day, anyhow,"
volunteered the young man. "He's out of town."
He noted her puzzled look, and then added: "What is it you wish
to see about?"
"I want to see about getting a position," she answered.
"You'd better see the manager of the company," he returned, "but
he isn't here now."
"When will he be in?" asked Carrie, somewhat relieved by this
"Well, you might find him in between eleven and twelve. He's
here after two o'clock."
Carrie thanked him and walked briskly out, while the young man
gazed after her through one of the side windows of his gilded
"Good-looking," he said to himself, and proceeded to visions of
condescensions on her part which were exceedingly flattering to
One of the principal comedy companies of the day was playing an
engagement at the Grand Opera House. Here Carrie asked to see
the manager of the company. She little knew the trivial
authority of this individual, or that had there been a vacancy an
actor would have been sent on from New York to fill it.
"His office is upstairs," said a man in the box-office.
Several persons were in the manager's office, two lounging near a
window, another talking to an individual sitting at a roll-top
desk--the manager. Carrie glanced nervously about, and began to
fear that she should have to make her appeal before the assembled
company, two of whom--the occupants of the window--were already
observing her carefully.
"I can't do it," the manager was saying; "it's a rule of Mr.
Frohman's never to allow visitors back of the stage. No, no!"
Carrie timidly waited, standing. There were chairs, but no one
motioned her to be seated. The individual to whom the manager
had been talking went away quite crestfallen. That luminary
gazed earnestly at some papers before him, as if they were of the
"Did you see that in the 'Herald' this morning about Nat Goodwin,
"No," said the person addressed. "What was it?"
"Made quite a curtain address at Hooley's last night. Better
look it up."
Harris reached over to a table and began to look for the
"What is it?" said the manager to Carrie, apparently noticing her
for the first time. He thought he was going to be held up for
Carrie summoned up all her courage, which was little at best.
She realised that she was a novice, and felt as if a rebuff were
certain. Of this she was so sure that she only wished now to
pretend she had called for advice.
"Can you tell me how to go about getting on the stage?"
It was the best way after all to have gone about the matter. She
was interesting, in a manner, to the occupant of the chair, and
the simplicity of her request and attitude took his fancy. He
smiled, as did the others in the room, who, however, made some
slight effort to conceal their humour.
"I don't know," he answered, looking her brazenly over. "Have
you ever had any experience upon the stage?"
"A little," answered Carrie. "I have taken part in amateur
She thought she had to make some sort of showing in order to
retain his interest.
"Never studied for the stage?" he said, putting on an air
intended as much to impress his friends with his discretion as
"Well, I don't know," he answered, tipping lazily back in his
chair while she stood before him. "What makes you want to get on
She felt abashed at the man's daring, but could only smile in
answer to his engaging smirk, and say:
"I need to make a living."
"Oh," he answered, rather taken by her trim appearance, and
feeling as if he might scrape up an acquaintance with her.
"That's a good reason, isn't it? Well, Chicago is not a good
place for what you want to do. You ought to be in New York.
There's more chance there. You could hardly expect to get
started out here." Carrie smiled genially, grateful that he
should condescend to advise her even so much. He noticed the
smile, and put a slightly different construction on it. He
thought he saw an easy chance for a little flirtation.
"Sit down," he said, pulling a chair forward from the side of his
desk and dropping his voice so that the two men in the room
should not hear. Those two gave each other the suggestion of a
"Well, I'll be going, Barney," said one, breaking away and so
addressing the manager. "See you this afternoon."
"All right," said the manager.
The remaining individual took up a paper as if to read.
"Did you have any idea what sort of part you would like to get?"
asked the manager softly.
"Oh, no," said Carrie. "I would take anything to begin with."
"I see," he said. "Do you live here in the city?"
The manager smiled most blandly.
"Have you ever tried to get in as a chorus girl?" he asked,
assuming a more confidential air.
Carrie began to feel that there was something exuberant and
unnatural in his manner.
"No," she said.
"That's the way most girls begin," he went on, "who go on the
stage. It's a good way to get experience."
He was turning on her a glance of the companionable and
"I didn't know that," said Carrie.
"It's a difficult thing," he went on, "but there's always a
chance, you know." Then, as if he suddenly remembered, he pulled
out his watch and consulted it. "I've an appointment at two," he
said, "and I've got to go to lunch now. Would you care to come
and dine with me? We can talk it over there."
"Oh, no," said Carrie, the whole motive of the man flashing on
her at once. "I have an engagement myself."
"That's too bad," he said, realising that he had been a little
beforehand in his offer and that Carrie was about to go away.
"Come in later. I may know of something."
"Thank you," she answered, with some trepidation and went out.
"She was good-looking, wasn't she?" said the manager's companion,
who had not caught all the details of the game he had played.
"Yes, in a way," said the other, sore to think the game had been
lost. "She'd never make an actress, though. Just another chorus
This little experience nearly destroyed her ambition to call upon
the manager at the Chicago Opera House, but she decided to do so
after a time. He was of a more sedate turn of mind. He said at
once that there was no opening of any sort, and seemed to
consider her search foolish.
"Chicago is no place to get a start," he said. "You ought to be
in New York."
Still she persisted, and went to McVickar's, where she could not
find any one. "The Old Homestead" was running there, but the
person to whom she was referred was not to be found.
These little expeditions took up her time until quite four
o'clock, when she was weary enough to go home. She felt as if
she ought to continue and inquire elsewhere, but the results so
far were too dispiriting. She took the car and arrived at Ogden
Place in three-quarters of an hour, but decided to ride on to the
West Side branch of the Post-office, where she was accustomed to
receive Hurstwood's letters. There was one there now, written
Saturday, which she tore open and read with mingled feelings.
There was so much warmth in it and such tense complaint at her
having failed to meet him, and her subsequent silence, that she
rather pitied the man. That he loved her was evident enough.
That he had wished and dared to do so, married as he was, was the
evil. She felt as if the thing deserved an answer, and
consequently decided that she would write and let him know that
she knew of his married state and was justly incensed at his
deception. She would tell him that it was all over between them.
At her room, the wording of this missive occupied her for some
time, for she fell to the task at once. It was most difficult.
"You do not need to have me explain why I did not meet you," she
wrote in part. "How could you deceive me so? You cannot expect
me to have anything more to do with you. I wouldn't under any
circumstances. Oh, how could you act so?" she added in a burst
of feeling. "You have caused me more misery than you can think.
I hope you will get over your infatuation for me. We must not
meet any more. Good-bye."
She took the letter the next morning, and at the corner dropped
it reluctantly into the letter-box, still uncertain as to whether
she should do so or not. Then she took the car and went down
This was the dull season with the department stores, but she was
listened to with more consideration than was usually accorded to
young women applicants, owing to her neat and attractive
appearance. She was asked the same old questions with which she
was already familiar.
"What can you do? Have you ever worked in a retail store before?
Are you experienced?"
At The Fair, See and Company's, and all the great stores it was
much the same. It was the dull season, she might come in a
little later, possibly they would like to have her.
When she arrived at the house at the end of the day, weary and
disheartened, she discovered that Drouet had been there. His
umbrella and light overcoat were gone. She thought she missed
other things, but could not be sure. Everything had not been
So his going was crystallising into staying. What was she to do
now? Evidently she would be facing the world in the same old way
within a day or two. Her clothes would get poor. She put her
two hands together in her customary expressive way and pressed
her fingers. Large tears gathered in her eyes and broke hot
across her cheeks. She was alone, very much alone.
Drouet really had called, but it was with a very different mind
from that which Carrie had imagined. He expected to find her, to
justify his return by claiming that he came to get the remaining
portion of his wardrobe, and before he got away again to patch up
Accordingly, when he arrived, he was disappointed to find Carrie
out. He trifled about, hoping that she was somewhere in the
neighbourhood and would soon return. He constantly listened,
expecting to hear her foot on the stair.
When he did so, it was his intention to make believe that he had
just come in and was disturbed at being caught. Then he would
explain his need of his clothes and find out how things stood.
Wait as he did, however, Carrie did not come. From pottering
around among the drawers, in momentary expectation of her arrival
he changed to looking out of the window, and from that to resting
himself in the rocking-chair. Still no Carrie. He began to grow
restless and lit a cigar. After that he walked the floor. Then
he looked out of the window and saw clouds gathering. He
remembered an appointment at three. He began to think that it
would be useless to wait, and got hold of his umbrella and light
coat, intending to take these things, any way. It would scare
her, he hoped. To-morrow he would come back for the others. He
would find out how things stood.
As he started to go he felt truly sorry that he had missed her.
There was a little picture of her on the wall, showing her
arrayed in the little jacket he had first bought her--her face a
little more wistful than he had seen it lately. He was really
touched by it, and looked into the eyes of it with a rather rare
feeling for him.
"You didn't do me right, Cad," he said, as if he were addressing
her in the flesh.
Then he went to the door, took a good look around and went out.
WHEN WATERS ENGULF US WE REACH FOR A STAR
It was when he returned from his disturbed stroll about the
streets, after receiving the decisive note from McGregor, James
and Hay, that Hurstwood found the letter Carrie had written him
that morning. He thrilled intensely as he noted the handwriting,
and rapidly tore it open.
"Then," he thought, "she loves me or she would not have written
to me at all."
He was slightly depressed at the tenor of the note for the first
few minutes, but soon recovered. "She wouldn't write at all if
she didn't care for me."
This was his one resource against the depression which held him.
He could extract little from the wording of the letter, but the
spirit he thought he knew.
There was really something exceedingly human--if not pathetic--in
his being thus relieved by a clearly worded reproof. He who had
for so long remained satisfied with himself now looked outside of
himself for comfort--and to such a source. The mystic cords of
affection! How they bind us all.
The colour came to his cheeks. For the moment he forgot the
letter from McGregor, James and Hay. If he could only have
Carrie, perhaps he could get out of the whole entanglement--
perhaps it would not matter. He wouldn't care what his wife did
with herself if only he might not lose Carrie. He stood up and
walked about, dreaming his delightful dream of a life continued
with this lovely possessor of his heart.
It was not long, however, before the old worry was back for
consideration, and with it what weariness! He thought of the
morrow and the suit. He had done nothing, and here was the
afternoon slipping away. It was now a quarter of four. At five
the attorneys would have gone home. He still had the morrow
until noon. Even as he thought, the last fifteen minutes passed
away and it was five. Then he abandoned the thought of seeing
them any more that day and turned to Carrie.
It is to be observed that the man did not justify himself to
himself. He was not troubling about that. His whole thought was
the possibility of persuading Carrie. Nothing was wrong in that.
He loved her dearly. Their mutual happiness depended upon it.
Would that Drouet were only away!
While he was thinking thus elatedly, he remembered that he wanted
some clean linen in the morning.
This he purchased, together with a half-dozen ties, and went to
the Palmer House. As he entered he thought he saw Drouet
ascending the stairs with a key. Surely not Drouet! Then he
thought, perhaps they had changed their abode temporarily. He
went straight up to the desk.
"Is Mr. Drouet stopping here?" he asked of the clerk.
"I think he is," said the latter, consulting his private registry
"Is that so?" exclaimed Hurstwood, otherwise concealing his
astonishment. "Alone?" he added.
"Yes," said the clerk.
Hurstwood turned away and set his lips so as best to express and
conceal his feelings.
"How's that?" he thought. "They've had a row."
He hastened to his room with rising spirits and changed his
linen. As he did so, he made up his mind that if Carrie was
alone, or if she had gone to another place, it behooved him to
find out. He decided to call at once.
"I know what I'll do," he thought. "I'll go to the door and ask
if Mr. Drouet is at home. That will bring out whether he is
there or not and where Carrie is."
He was almost moved to some muscular display as he thought of it.
He decided to go immediately after supper.
On coming down from his room at six, he looked carefully about to
see if Drouet was present and then went out to lunch. He could
scarcely eat, however, he was so anxious to be about his errand.
Before starting he thought it well to discover where Drouet would
be, and returned to his hotel.
"Has Mr. Drouet gone out?" he asked of the clerk.
"No," answered the latter, "he's in his room. Do you wish to
send up a card?"
"No, I'll call around later," answered Hurstwood, and strolled
He took a Madison car and went direct to Ogden Place this time
walking boldly up to the door. The chambermaid answered his
"Is Mr. Drouet in?" said Hurstwood blandly.
"He is out of the city," said the girl, who had heard Carrie tell
this to Mrs. Hale.
"Is Mrs. Drouet in?"
"No, she has gone to the theatre."
"Is that so?" said Hurstwood, considerably taken back; then, as
if burdened with something important, "You don't know to which
The girl really had no idea where she had gone, but not liking
Hurstwood, and wishing to cause him trouble, answered: "Yes,
"Thank you," returned the manager, and, tipping his hat slightly,
"I'll look in at Hooley's," thought he, but as a matter of fact
he did not. Before he had reached the central portion of the
city he thought the whole matter over and decided it would be
useless. As much as he longed to see Carrie, he knew she would
be with some one and did not wish to intrude with his plea there.
A little later he might do so--in the morning. Only in the
morning he had the lawyer question before him.
This little pilgrimage threw quite a wet blanket upon his rising
spirits. He was soon down again to his old worry, and reached
the resort anxious to find relief. Quite a company of gentlemen
were making the place lively with their conversation. A group of
Cook County politicians were conferring about a round cherry-wood
table in the rear portion of the room. Several young merrymakers
were chattering at the bar before making a belated visit to the
theatre. A shabbily-genteel individual, with a red nose and an
old high hat, was sipping a quiet glass of ale alone at one end
of the bar. Hurstwood nodded to the politicians and went into
About ten o'clock a friend of his, Mr. Frank L. Taintor, a local
sport and racing man, dropped in, and seeing Hurstwood alone in
his office came to the door.
"Hello, George!" he exclaimed.
"How are you, Frank?" said Hurstwood, somewhat relieved by the
sight of him. "Sit down," and he motioned him to one of the
chairs in the little room.
"What's the matter, George?" asked Taintor. "You look a little
glum. Haven't lost at the track, have you?"
"I'm not feeling very well to-night. I had a slight cold the
"Take whiskey, George," said Taintor. "You ought to know that."
While they were still conferring there, several other of
Hurstwood's friends entered, and not long after eleven, the
theatres being out, some actors began to drop in--among them some
Then began one of those pointless social conversations so common
in American resorts where the would-be gilded attempt to rub off
gilt from those who have it in abundance. If Hurstwood had one
leaning, it was toward notabilities. He considered that, if
anywhere, he belonged among them. He was too proud to toady, too
keen not to strictly observe the plane he occupied when there
were those present who did not appreciate him, but, in situations
like the present, where he could shine as a gentleman and be
received without equivocation as a friend and equal among men of
known ability, he was most delighted. It was on such occasions,
if ever, that he would "take something." When the social flavour
was strong enough he would even unbend to the extent of drinking
glass for glass with his associates, punctiliously observing his
turn to pay as if he were an outsider like the others. If he
ever approached intoxication--or rather that ruddy warmth and
comfortableness which precedes the more sloven state--it was when
individuals such as these were gathered about him, when he was
one of a circle of chatting celebrities. To-night, disturbed as
was his state, he was rather relieved to find company, and now
that notabilities were gathered, he laid aside his troubles for
the nonce, and joined in right heartily.
It was not long before the imbibing began to tell. Stories began
to crop up--those ever-enduring, droll stories which form the
major portion of the conversation among American men under such
Twelve o'clock arrived, the hour for closing, and with it the
company took leave. Hurstwood shook hands with them most
cordially. He was very roseate physically. He had arrived at
that state where his mind, though clear, was, nevertheless, warm
in its fancies. He felt as if his troubles were not very
serious. Going into his office, he began to turn over certain
accounts, awaiting the departure of the bartenders and the
cashier, who soon left.
It was the manager's duty, as well as his custom, after all were
gone to see that everything was safely closed up for the night.
As a rule, no money except the cash taken in after banking hours
was kept about the place, and that was locked in the safe by the
cashier, who, with the owners, was joint keeper of the secret
combination, but, nevertheless, Hurstwood nightly took the
precaution to try the cash drawers and the safe in order to see
that they were tightly closed. Then he would lock his own little
office and set the proper light burning near the safe, after
which he would take his departure.
Never in his experience had he found anything out of order, but
to-night, after shutting down his desk, he came out and tried the
safe. His way was to give a sharp pull. This time the door
responded. He was slightly surprised at that, and looking in
found the money cases as left for the day, apparently
unprotected. His first thought was, of course, to inspect the
drawers and shut the door.
"I'll speak to Mayhew about this to-morrow," he thought.
The latter had certainly imagined upon going out a half-hour
before that he had turned the knob on the door so as to spring
the lock. He had never failed to do so before. But to-night
Mayhew had other thoughts. He had been revolving the problem of
a business of his own.
"I'll look in here," thought the manager, pulling out the money
drawers. He did not know why he wished to look in there. It was
quite a superfluous action, which another time might not have
happened at all.
As he did so, a layer of bills, in parcels of a thousand, such as
banks issue, caught his eye. He could not tell how much they
represented, but paused to view them. Then he pulled out the
second of the cash drawers. In that were the receipts of the
"I didn't know Fitzgerald and Moy ever left any money this way,"
his mind said to itself. "They must have forgotten it."
He looked at the other drawer and paused again.
"Count them," said a voice in his ear.
He put his hand into the first of the boxes and lifted the stack,
letting the separate parcels fall. They were bills of fifty and
one hundred dollars done in packages of a thousand. He thought
he counted ten such.
"Why don't I shut the safe?" his mind said to itself, lingering.
"What makes me pause here?"
For answer there came the strangest words:
"Did you ever have ten thousand dollars in ready money?"
Lo, the manager remembered that he had never had so much. All
his property had been slowly accumulated, and now his wife owned
that. He was worth more than forty thousand, all told--but she
would get that.
He puzzled as he thought of these things, then pushed in the
drawers and closed the door, pausing with his hand upon the knob,
which might so easily lock it all beyond temptation. Still he
paused. Finally he went to the windows and pulled down the
curtains. Then he tried the door, which he had previously
locked. What was this thing, making him suspicious? Why did he
wish to move about so quietly. He came back to the end of the
counter as if to rest his arm and think. Then he went and
unlocked his little office door and turned on the light. He also
opened his desk, sitting down before it, only to think strange
"The safe is open," said a voice. "There is just the least
little crack in it. The lock has not been sprung."
The manager floundered among a jumble of thoughts. Now all the
entanglement of the day came back. Also the thought that here
was a solution. That money would do it. If he had that and
Carrie. He rose up and stood stock-still, looking at the floor.
"What about it?" his mind asked, and for answer he put his hand
slowly up and scratched his head.
The manager was no fool to be led blindly away by such an errant
proposition as this, but his situation was peculiar. Wine was in
his veins. It had crept up into his head and given him a warm
view of the situation. It also coloured the possibilities of ten
thousand for him. He could see great opportunities with that.
He could get Carrie. Oh, yes, he could! He could get rid of his
wife. That letter, too, was waiting discussion to-morrow
morning. He would not need to answer that. He went back to the
safe and put his hand on the knob. Then he pulled the door open
and took the drawer with the money quite out.
With it once out and before him, it seemed a foolish thing to
think about leaving it. Certainly it would. Why, he could live
quietly with Carrie for years.
Lord! what was that? For the first time he was tense, as if a
stern hand had been laid upon his shoulder. He looked fearfully
around. Not a soul was present. Not a sound. Some one was
shuffling by on the sidewalk. He took the box and the money and
put it back in the safe. Then he partly closed the door again.
To those who have never wavered in conscience, the predicament of
the individual whose mind is less strongly constituted and who
trembles in the balance between duty and desire is scarcely
appreciable, unless graphically portrayed. Those who have never
heard that solemn voice of the ghostly clock which ticks with
awful distinctness, "thou shalt," "thou shalt not," "thou shalt,"
"thou shalt not," are in no position to judge. Not alone in
sensitive, highly organised natures is such a mental conflict
possible. The dullest specimen of humanity, when drawn by desire
toward evil, is recalled by a sense of right, which is
proportionate in power and strength to his evil tendency. We
must remember that it may not be a knowledge of right, for no
knowledge of right is predicated of the animal's instinctive
recoil at evil. Men are still led by instinct before they are
regulated by knowledge. It is instinct which recalls the
criminal--it is instinct (where highly organised reasoning is
absent) which gives the criminal his feeling of danger, his fear
At every first adventure, then, into some untried evil, the mind
wavers. The clock of thought ticks out its wish and its denial.
To those who have never experienced such a mental dilemma, the
following will appeal on the simple ground of revelation.
When Hurstwood put the money back, his nature again resumed its
ease and daring. No one had observed him. He was quite alone.
No one could tell what he wished to do. He could work this thing
out for himself.
The imbibation of the evening had not yet worn off. Moist as was
his brow, tremble as did his hand once after the nameless fright,
he was still flushed with the fumes of liquor. He scarcely
noticed that the time was passing. He went over his situation
once again, his eye always seeing the money in a lump, his mind
always seeing what it would do. He strolled into his little
room, then to the door, then to the safe again. He put his hand
on the knob and opened it. There was the money! Surely no harm
could come from looking at it!
He took out the drawer again and lifted the bills. They were so
smooth, so compact, so portable. How little they made, after
all. He decided he would take them. Yes, he would. He would
put them in his pocket. Then he looked at that and saw they
would not go there. His hand satchel! To be sure, his hand
satchel. They would go in that--all of it would. No one would
think anything of it either. He went into the little office and
took it from the shelf in the corner. Now he set it upon his
desk and went out toward the safe. For some reason he did not
want to fill it out in the big room.
First he brought the bills and then the loose receipts of the
day. He would take it all. He put the empty drawers back and
pushed the iron door almost to, then stood beside it meditating.
The wavering of a mind under such circumstances is an almost
inexplicable thing, and yet it is absolutely true. Hurstwood
could not bring himself to act definitely. He wanted to think
about it--to ponder over it, to decide whether it were best. He
was drawn by such a keen desire for Carrie, driven by such a
state of turmoil in his own affairs that he thought constantly it
would be best, and yet he wavered. He did not know what evil
might result from it to him--how soon he might come to grief.
The true ethics of the situation never once occurred to him, and
never would have, under any circumstances.
After he had all the money in the handbag, a revulsion of feeling
seized him. He would not do it--no! Think of what a scandal it
would make. The police! They would be after him. He would have
to fly, and where? Oh, the terror of being a fugitive from
justice! He took out the two boxes and put all the money back.
In his excitement he forgot what he was doing, and put the sums
in the wrong boxes. As he pushed the door to, he thought he
remembered doing it wrong and opened the door again. There were
the two boxes mixed.
He took them out and straightened the matter, but now the terror
had gone. Why be afraid?
While the money was in his hand the lock clicked. It had sprung!
Did he do it? He grabbed at the knob and pulled vigorously. It
had closed. Heavens! he was in for it now, sure enough.
The moment he realised that the safe was locked for a surety, the
sweat burst out upon his brow and he trembled violently. He
looked about him and decided instantly. There was no delaying
"Supposing I do lay it on the top," he said, "and go away,
they'll know who took it. I'm the last to close up. Besides,
other things will happen."
At once he became the man of action.
"I must get out of this," he thought.
He hurried into his little room, took down his light overcoat and
hat, locked his desk, and grabbed the satchel. Then he turned
out all but one light and opened the door. He tried to put on
his old assured air, but it was almost gone. He was repenting
"I wish I hadn't done that," he said. "That was a mistake."
He walked steadily down the street, greeting a night watchman
whom he knew who was trying doors. He must get out of the city,
and that quickly.
"I wonder how the trains run?" he thought.
Instantly he pulled out his watch and looked. It was nearly
At the first drugstore he stopped, seeing a long-distance
telephone booth inside. It was a famous drugstore, and contained
one of the first private telephone booths ever erected.
"I want to use your 'phone a minute," he said to the night clerk.
The latter nodded.
"Give me 1643," he called to Central, after looking up the
Michigan Central depot number. Soon he got the ticket agent.
"How do the trains leave here for Detroit?" he asked.
The man explained the hours.
"No more to-night?"
"Nothing with a sleeper. Yes, there is, too," he added. "There
is a mail train out of here at three o'clock."
"All right," said Hurstwood. "What time does that get to
He was thinking if he could only get there and cross the river
into Canada, he could take his time about getting to Montreal.
He was relieved to learn that it would reach there by noon.
"Mayhew won't open the safe till nine," he thought. "They can't
get on my track before noon."
Then he thought of Carrie. With what speed must he get her, if
he got her at all. She would have to come along. He jumped into
the nearest cab standing by.
"To Ogden Place," he said sharply. "I'll give you a dollar more
if you make good time."
The cabby beat his horse into a sort of imitation gallop which
was fairly fast, however. On the way Hurstwood thought what to
do. Reaching the number, he hurried up the steps and did not
spare the bell in waking the servant.
"Is Mrs. Drouet in?" he asked.
"Yes," said the astonished girl.
"Tell her to dress and come to the door at once. Her husband is
in the hospital, injured, and wants to see her."
The servant girl hurried upstairs, convinced by the man's
strained and emphatic manner.
"What!" said Carrie, lighting the gas and searching for her
"Mr. Drouet is hurt and in the hospital. He wants to see you.
The cab's downstairs."
Carrie dressed very rapidly, and soon appeared below, forgetting
everything save the necessities.
"Drouet is hurt," said Hurstwood quickly. "He wants to see you.
Carrie was so bewildered that she swallowed the whole story.
"Get in," said Hurstwood, helping her and jumping after.
The cabby began to turn the horse around.
"Michigan Central depot," he said, standing up and speaking so
low that Carrie could not hear, "as fast as you can go."
A PILGRIM, AN OUTLAW--THE SPIRIT DETAINED
The cab had not travelled a short block before Carrie, settling
herself and thoroughly waking in the night atmosphere, asked:
"What's the matter with him? Is he hurt badly?"
"It isn't anything very serious," Hurstwood said solemnly. He
was very much disturbed over his own situation, and now that he
had Carrie with him, he only wanted to get safely out of reach of
the law. Therefore he was in no mood for anything save such
words as would further his plans distinctly.
Carrie did not forget that there was something to be settled
between her and Hurstwood, but the thought was ignored in her
agitation. The one thing was to finish this strange pilgrimage.
"Where is he?"
"Way out on the South Side," said Hurstwood. "We'll have to take
the train. It's the quickest way."
Carrie said nothing, and the horse gambolled on. The weirdness
of the city by night held her attention. She looked at the long
receding rows of lamps and studied the dark, silent houses.
"How did he hurt himself?" she asked--meaning what was the nature
of his injuries. Hurstwood understood. He hated to lie any more
than necessary, and yet he wanted no protests until he was out of
"I don't know exactly," he said. "They just called me up to go
and get you and bring you out. They said there wasn't any need
for alarm, but that I shouldn't fail to bring you."
The man's serious manner convinced Carrie, and she became silent,
Hurstwood examined his watch and urged the man to hurry. For one
in so delicate a position he was exceedingly cool. He could only
think of how needful it was to make the train and get quietly
away. Carrie seemed quite tractable, and he congratulated
In due time they reached the depot, and after helping her out he
handed the man a five-dollar bill and hurried on.
"You wait here," he said to Carrie, when they reached the
waiting-room, "while I get the tickets."
"Have I much time to catch that train for Detroit?" he asked of
"Four minutes," said the latter.
He paid for two tickets as circumspectly as possible.
"Is it far?" said Carrie, as he hurried back.
"Not very," he said. "We must get right in."
He pushed her before him at the gate, stood between her and the
ticket man while the latter punched their tickets, so that she
could not see, and then hurried after.
There was a long line of express and passenger cars and one or
two common day coaches. As the train had only recently been made
up and few passengers were expected, there were only one or two
brakemen waiting. They entered the rear day coach and sat down.
Almost immediately, "All aboard," resounded faintly from the
outside, and the train started.
Carrie began to think it was a little bit curious--this going to
a depot--but said nothing. The whole incident was so out of the
natural that she did not attach too much weight to anything she
"How have you been?" asked Hurstwood gently, for he now breathed
"Very well," said Carrie, who was so disturbed that she could not
bring a proper attitude to bear in the matter. She was still
nervous to reach Drouet and see what could be the matter.
Hurstwood contemplated her and felt this. He was not disturbed
that it should be so. He did not trouble because she was moved
sympathetically in the matter. It was one of the qualities in
her which pleased him exceedingly. He was only thinking how he
should explain. Even this was not the most serious thing in his
mind, however. His own deed and present flight were the great
shadows which weighed upon him.
"What a fool I was to do that," he said over and over. "What a
In his sober senses, he could scarcely realise that the thing had
been done. He could not begin to feel that he was a fugitive
from justice. He had often read of such things, and had thought
they must be terrible, but now that the thing was upon him, he
only sat and looked into the past. The future was a thing which
concerned the Canadian line. He wanted to reach that. As for
the rest he surveyed his actions for the evening, and counted
them parts of a great mistake.
"Still," he said, "what could I have done?"
Then he would decide to make the best of it, and would begin to
do so by starting the whole inquiry over again. It was a
fruitless, harassing round, and left him in a queer mood to deal
with the proposition he had in the presence of Carrie.
The train clacked through the yards along the lake front, and ran
rather slowly to Twenty-fourth Street. Brakes and signals were
visible without. The engine gave short calls with its whistle,
and frequently the bell rang. Several brakemen came through,
bearing lanterns. They were locking the vestibules and putting
the cars in order for a long run.
Presently it began to gain speed, and Carrie saw the silent
streets flashing by in rapid succession. The engine also began
its whistle-calls of four parts, with which it signalled danger
to important crossings.
"Is it very far?" asked Carrie.
"Not so very," said Hurstwood. He could hardly repress a smile
at her simplicity. He wanted to explain and conciliate her, but
he also wanted to be well out of Chicago.
In the lapse of another half-hour it became apparent to Carrie
that it was quite a run to wherever he was taking her, anyhow.
"Is it in Chicago?" she asked nervously. They were now far
beyond the city limits, and the train was scudding across the
Indiana line at a great rate.
"No," he said, "not where we are going."
There was something in the way he said this which aroused her in
Her pretty brow began to contract.
"We are going to see Charlie, aren't we?" she asked.
He felt that the time was up. An explanation might as well come
now as later. Therefore, he shook his head in the most gentle
"What?" said Carrie. She was nonplussed at the possibility of
the errand being different from what she had thought.
He only looked at her in the most kindly and mollifying way.
"Well, where are you taking me, then?" she asked, her voice
showing the quality of fright.
"I'll tell you, Carrie, if you'll be quiet. I want you to come
along with me to another city,"
"Oh," said Carrie, her voice rising into a weak cry. "Let me
off. I don't want to go with you."
She was quite appalled at the man's audacity. This was something
which had never for a moment entered her head. Her one thought
now was to get off and away. If only the flying train could be
stopped, the terrible trick would be amended.
She arose and tried to push out into the aisle--anywhere. She
knew she had to do something. Hurstwood laid a gentle hand on
"Sit still, Carrie," he said. "Sit still. It won't do you any
good to get up here. Listen to me and I'll tell you what I'll
do. Wait a moment."
She was pushing at his knees, but he only pulled her back. No
one saw this little altercation, for very few persons were in the
car, and they were attempting to doze.
"I won't," said Carrie, who was, nevertheless, complying against
her will. "Let me go," she said. "How dare you?" and large
tears began to gather in her eyes.
Hurstwood was now fully aroused to the immediate difficulty, and
ceased to think of his own situation. He must do something with
this girl, or she would cause him trouble. He tried the art of
persuasion with all his powers aroused.
"Look here now, Carrie," he said, "you mustn't act this way. I
didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I don't want to do anything
to make you feel bad."
"Oh," sobbed Carrie, "oh, oh--oo--o!"
"There, there," he said, "you mustn't cry. Won't you listen to
me? Listen to me a minute, and I'll tell you why I came to do
this thing. I couldn't help it. I assure you I couldn't. Won't
Her sobs disturbed him so that he was quite sure she did not hear
a word he said.
"Won't you listen?" he asked.
"No, I won't," said Carrie, flashing up. "I want you to take me
out of this, or I'll tell the conductor. I won't go with you.
It's a shame," and again sobs of fright cut off her desire for
Hurstwood listened with some astonishment. He felt that she had
just cause for feeling as she did, and yet he wished that he
could straighten this thing out quickly. Shortly the conductor
would come through for the tickets. He wanted no noise, no
trouble of any kind. Before everything he must make her quiet.
"You couldn't get out until the train stops again," said
Hurstwood. "It won't be very long until we reach another
station. You can get out then if you want to. I won't stop you.
All I want you to do is to listen a moment. You'll let me tell
you, won't you?"
Carrie seemed not to listen. She only turned her head toward the
window, where outside all was black. The train was speeding with
steady grace across the fields and through patches of wood. The
long whistles came with sad, musical effect as the lonely
woodland crossings were approached.
Now the conductor entered the car and took up the one or two
fares that had been added at Chicago. He approached Hurstwood,
who handed out the tickets. Poised as she was to act, Carrie
made no move. She did not look about.
When the conductor had gone again Hurstwood felt relieved.
"You're angry at me because I deceived you," he said. "I didn't
mean to, Carrie. As I live I didn't. I couldn't help it. I
couldn't stay away from you after the first time I saw you."
He was ignoring the last deception as something that might go by
the board. He wanted to convince her that his wife could no
longer be a factor in their relationship. The money he had
stolen he tried to shut out of his mind.
"Don't talk to me," said Carrie, "I hate you. I want you to go
away from me. I am going to get out at the very next station."
She was in a tremble of excitement and opposition as she spoke.
"All right," he said, "but you'll hear me out, won't you? After
all you have said about loving me, you might hear me. I don't
want to do you any harm. I'll give you the money to go back with
when you go. I merely want to tell you, Carrie. You can't stop
me from loving you, whatever you may think."
He looked at her tenderly, but received no reply.
"You think I have deceived you badly, but I haven't. I didn't do
it willingly. I'm through with my wife. She hasn't any claims
on me. I'll never see her any more. That's why I'm here to-
night. That's why I came and got you."
"You said Charlie was hurt," said Carrie, savagely. "You
deceived me. You've been deceiving me all the time, and now you
want to force me to run away with you."
She was so excited that she got up and tried to get by him again.
He let her, and she took another seat. Then he followed.
"Don't run away from me, Carrie," he said gently. "Let me
explain. If you will only hear me out you will see where I
stand. I tell you my wife is nothing to me. She hasn't been
anything for years or I wouldn't have ever come near you. I'm
going to get a divorce just as soon as I can. I'll never see her
again. I'm done with all that. You're the only person I want.
If I can have you I won't ever think of another woman again."
Carrie heard all this in a very ruffled state. It sounded
sincere enough, however, despite all he had done. There was a
tenseness in Hurstwood's voice and manner which could but have
some effect. She did not want anything to do with him. He was
married, he had deceived her once, and now again, and she thought
him terrible. Still there is something in such daring and power
which is fascinating to a woman, especially if she can be made to
feel that it is all prompted by love of her.
The progress of the train was having a great deal to do with the
solution of this difficult situation. The speeding wheels and
disappearing country put Chicago farther and farther behind.
Carrie could feel that she was being borne a long distance off--
that the engine was making an almost through run to some distant
city. She felt at times as if she could cry out and make such a
row that some one would come to her aid; at other times it seemed
an almost useless thing--so far was she from any aid, no matter
what she did. All the while Hurstwood was endeavouring to
formulate his plea in such a way that it would strike home and
bring her into sympathy with him.
"I was simply put where I didn't know what else to do."
Carrie deigned no suggestion of hearing this.
"When I say you wouldn't come unless I could marry you, I decided
to put everything else behind me and get you to come away with
me. I'm going off now to another city. I want to go to Montreal
for a while, and then anywhere you want to. We'll go and live in
New York, if you say."
"I'll not have anything to do with you," said Carrie. "I want to
get off this train. Where are we going?"
"To Detroit," said Hurstwood.
"Oh!" said Carrie, in a burst of anguish. So distant and
definite a point seemed to increase the difficulty.
"Won't you come along with me?" he said, as if there was great
danger that she would not. "You won't need to do anything but
travel with me. I'll not trouble you in any way. You can see
Montreal and New York, and then if you don't want to stay you can
go back. It will be better than trying to go back to-night."
The first gleam of fairness shone in this proposition for Carrie.
It seemed a plausible thing to do, much as she feared his
opposition if she tried to carry it out. Montreal and New York!
Even now she was speeding toward those great, strange lands, and
could see them if she liked. She thought, but made no sign.
Hurstwood thought he saw a shade of compliance in this. He
redoubled his ardour.
"Think," he said, "what I've given up. I can't go back to
Chicago any more. I've got to stay away and live alone now, if
you don't come with me. You won't go back on me entirely, will
"I don't want you to talk to me," she answered forcibly.
Hurstwood kept silent for a while.
Carrie felt the train to be slowing down. It was the moment to
act if she was to act at all. She stirred uneasily.
"Don't think of going, Carrie," he said. "If you ever cared for
me at all, come along and let's start right. I'll do whatever
you say. I'll marry you, or I'll let you go back. Give yourself
time to think it over. I wouldn't have wanted you to come if I
hadn't loved you. I tell you, Carrie, before God, I can't live
without you. I won't!"
There was the tensity of fierceness in the man's plea which
appealed deeply to her sympathies. It was a dissolving fire
which was actuating him now. He was loving her too intensely to
think of giving her up in this, his hour of distress. He
clutched her hand nervously and pressed it with all the force of
The train was now all but stopped. It was running by some cars
on a side track. Everything outside was dark and dreary. A few
sprinkles on the window began to indicate that it was raining.
Carrie hung in a quandary, balancing between decision and
helplessness. Now the train stopped, and she was listening to
his plea. The engine backed a few feet and all was still.
She wavered, totally unable to make a move. Minute after minute
slipped by and still she hesitated, he pleading.
"Will you let me come back if I want to?" she asked, as if she
now had the upper hand and her companion was utterly subdued.
"Of course," he answered, "you know I will."
Carrie only listened as one who has granted a temporary amnesty.
She began to feel as if the matter were in her hands entirely.
The train was again in rapid motion. Hurstwood changed the
"Aren't you very tired?" he said.
"No," she answered.
"Won't you let me get you a berth in the sleeper?"
She shook her head, though for all her distress and his trickery
she was beginning to notice what she had always felt--his
"Oh, yes," he said, "you will feel so much better."
She shook her head.
"Let me fix my coat for you, anyway," and he arose and arranged
his light coat in a comfortable position to receive her head.
"There," he said tenderly, "now see if you can't rest a little."
He could have kissed her for her compliance. He took his seat
beside her and thought a moment.
"I believe we're in for a heavy rain," he said.
"So it looks," said Carrie, whose nerves were quieting under the
sound of the rain drops, driven by a gusty wind, as the train
swept on frantically through the shadow to a newer world.
The fact that he had in a measure mollified Carrie was a source
of satisfaction to Hurstwood, but it furnished only the most
temporary relief. Now that her opposition was out of the way, he
had all of his time to devote to the consideration of his own
His condition was bitter in the extreme, for he did not want the
miserable sum he had stolen. He did not want to be a thief.
That sum or any other could never compensate for the state which
he had thus foolishly doffed. It could not give him back his
host of friends, his name, his house and family, nor Carrie, as
he had meant to have her. He was shut out from Chicago--from his
easy, comfortable state. He had robbed himself of his dignity,
his merry meetings, his pleasant evenings. And for what? The
more he thought of it the more unbearable it became. He began to
think that he would try and restore himself to his old state. He
would return the miserable thievings of the night and explain.
Perhaps Moy would understand. Perhaps they would forgive him and
let him come back.
By noontime the train rolled into Detroit and he began to feel
exceedingly nervous. The police must be on his track by now.
They had probably notified all the police of the big cities, and
detectives would be watching for him. He remembered instances in
which defaulters had been captured. Consequently, he breathed
heavily and paled somewhat. His hands felt as if they must have
something to do. He simulated interest in several scenes without
which he did not feel. He repeatedly beat his foot upon the
Carrie noticed his agitation, but said nothing. She had no idea
what it meant or that it was important.
He wondered now why he had not asked whether this train went on
through to Montreal or some Canadian point. Perhaps he could
have saved time. He jumped up and sought the conductor.
"Does any part of this train go to Montreal?" he asked.
"Yes, the next sleeper back does."
He would have asked more, but it did not seem wise, so he decided
to inquire at the depot.
The train rolled into the yards, clanging and puffing.
"I think we had better go right on through to Montreal," he said
to Carrie. "I'll see what the connections are when we get off."
He was exceedingly nervous, but did his best to put on a calm
exterior. Carrie only looked at him with large, troubled eyes.
She was drifting mentally, unable to say to herself what to do.
The train stopped and Hurstwood led the way out. He looked
warily around him, pretending to look after Carrie. Seeing
nothing that indicated studied observation, he made his way to
the ticket office.
"The next train for Montreal leaves when?" he asked.
"In twenty minutes," said the man.
He bought two tickets and Pullman berths. Then he hastened back
"We go right out again," he said, scarcely noticing that Carrie
looked tired and weary.
"I wish I was out of all this," she exclaimed gloomily.
"You'll feel better when we reach Montreal," he said.
"I haven't an earthly thing with me," said Carrie; "not even a
"You can buy all you want as soon as you get there, dearest," he
explained. "You can call in a dressmaker."
Now the crier called the train ready and they got on. Hurstwood
breathed a sigh of relief as it started. There was a short run
to the river, and there they were ferried over. They had barely
pulled the train off the ferry-boat when he settled back with a
"It won't be so very long now," he said, remembering her in his
relief. "We get there the first thing in the morning."
Carrie scarcely deigned to reply.
"I'll see if there is a dining-car," he added. "I'm hungry."
THE SOLACE OF TRAVEL--THE BOATS OF THE SEA
To the untravelled, territory other than their own familiar heath
is invariably fascinating. Next to love, it is the one thing
which solaces and delights. Things new are too important to be
neglected, and mind, which is a mere reflection of sensory
impressions, succumbs to the flood of objects. Thus lovers are
forgotten, sorrows laid aside, death hidden from view. There is
a world of accumulated feeling back of the trite dramatic
expression--"I am going away."
As Carrie looked out upon the flying scenery she almost forgot
that she had been tricked into this long journey against her will
and that she was without the necessary apparel for travelling.
She quite forgot Hurstwood's presence at times, and looked away
to homely farmhouses and cosey cottages in villages with
wondering eyes. It was an interesting world to her. Her life
had just begun. She did not feel herself defeated at all.
Neither was she blasted in hope. The great city held much.
Possibly she would come out of bondage into freedom--who knows?
Perhaps she would be happy. These thoughts raised her above the
level of erring. She was saved in that she was hopeful.
The following morning the train pulled safely into Montreal and
they stepped down, Hurstwood glad to be out of danger, Carrie
wondering at the novel atmosphere of the northern city. Long
before, Hurstwood had been here, and now he remembered the name
of the hotel at which he had stopped. As they came out of the
main entrance of the depot he heard it called anew by a busman.
"We'll go right up and get rooms," he said.
At the clerk's office Hurstwood swung the register about while
the clerk came forward. He was thinking what name he would put
down. With the latter before him he found no time for
hesitation. A name he had seen out of the car window came
swiftly to him. It was pleasing enough. With an easy hand he
wrote, "G. W. Murdock and wife." It was the largest concession to
necessity he felt like making. His initials he could not spare.
When they were shown their room Carrie saw at once that he had
secured her a lovely chamber.
"You have a bath there," said he. "Now you can clean up when you
Carrie went over and looked out the window, while Hurstwood
looked at himself in the glass. He felt dusty and unclean. He
had no trunk, no change of linen, not even a hair-brush.
"I'll ring for soap and towels," he said, "and send you up a
hair-brush. Then you can bathe and get ready for breakfast.
I'll go for a shave and come back and get you, and then we'll go
out and look for some clothes for you."
He smiled good-naturedly as he said this.
"All right," said Carrie.
She sat down in one of the rocking-chairs, while Hurstwood waited
for the boy, who soon knocked.
"Soap, towels, and a pitcher of ice-water."
"I'll go now," he said to Carrie, coming toward her and holding
out his hands, but she did not move to take them.
"You're not mad at me, are you?" he asked softly.
"Oh, no!" she answered, rather indifferently.
"Don't you care for me at all?"
She made no answer, but looked steadily toward the window.
"Don't you think you could love me a little?" he pleaded, taking
one of her hands, which she endeavoured to draw away. "You once
said you did."
"What made you deceive me so?" asked Carrie.
"I couldn't help it," he said, "I wanted you too much."
"You didn't have any right to want me," she answered, striking
"Oh, well, Carrie," he answered, "here I am. It's too late now.
Won't you try and care for me a little?"
He looked rather worsted in thought as he stood before her.
She shook her head negatively.
"Let me start all over again. Be my wife from to-day on."
Carrie rose up as if to step away, he holding her hand. Now he
slipped his arm about her and she struggled, but in vain. He
held her quite close. Instantly there flamed up in his body the
all compelling desire. His affection took an ardent form.
"Let me go," said Carrie, who was folded close to him.
"Won't you love me?" he said. "Won't you be mine from now on?"
Carrie had never been ill-disposed toward him. Only a moment
before she had been listening with some complacency, remembering
her old affection for him. He was so handsome, so daring!
Now, however, this feeling had changed to one of opposition,
which rose feebly. It mastered her for a moment, and then, held
close as she was, began to wane. Something else in her spoke.
This man, to whose bosom she was being pressed, was strong; he
was passionate, he loved her, and she was alone. If she did not
turn to him--accept of his love--where else might she go? Her
resistance half dissolved in the flood of his strong feeling.
She found him lifting her head and looking into her eyes. What
magnetism there was she could never know. His many sins,
however, were for the moment all forgotten.
He pressed her closer and kissed her, and she felt that further
opposition was useless.
"Will you marry me?" she asked, forgetting how.
"This very day," he said, with all delight.
Now the hall-boy pounded on the door and he released his hold
upon her regretfully.
"You get ready now, will you," he said, "at once?"
"Yes," she answered.
"I'll be back in three-quarters of an hour."
Carrie, flushed and excited, moved away as he admitted the boy.
Below stairs, he halted in the lobby to look for a barber shop.
For the moment, he was in fine feather. His recent victory over
Carrie seemed to atone for much he had endured during the last
few days. Life seemed worth fighting for. This eastward flight
from all things customary and attached seemed as if it might have
happiness in store. The storm showed a rainbow at the end of
which might be a pot of gold.
He was about to cross to a little red-and-white striped bar which
was fastened up beside a door when a voice greeted him
familiarly. Instantly his heart sank.
"Why, hello, George, old man!" said the voice. "What are you
doing down here?"
Hurstwood was already confronted, and recognised his friend
Kenny, the stock-broker.
"Just attending to a little private matter," he answered, his
mind working like a key-board of a telephone station. This man
evidently did not know--he had not read the papers.
"Well, it seems strange to see you way up here," said Mr. Kenny
genially. "Stopping here?"
"Yes," said Hurstwood uneasily, thinking of his handwriting on
"Going to be in town long?"
"No, only a day or so."
"Is that so? Had your breakfast?"
"Yes," said Hurstwood, lying blandly. "I'm just going for a
"Won't you come have a drink?"
"Not until afterwards," said the ex-manager. "I'll see you
later. Are you stopping here?"
"Yes," said Mr. Kenny, and then, turning the word again added:
"How are things out in Chicago?"
"About the same as usual," said Hurstwood, smiling genially.
"Wife with you?"
"Well, I must see more of you to-day. I'm just going in here for
breakfast. Come in when you're through."
"I will," said Hurstwood, moving away. The whole conversation
was a trial to him. It seemed to add complications with very
word. This man called up a thousand memories. He represented
everything he had left. Chicago, his wife, the elegant resort--
all these were in his greeting and inquiries. And here he was in
this same hotel expecting to confer with him, unquestionably
waiting to have a good time with him. All at once the Chicago
papers would arrive. The local papers would have accounts in
them this very day. He forgot his triumph with Carrie in the
possibility of soon being known for what he was, in this man's
eyes, a safe-breaker. He could have groaned as he went into the
barber shop. He decided to escape and seek a more secluded
Accordingly, when he came out he was glad to see the lobby clear,
and hastened toward the stairs. He would get Carrie and go out
by the ladies' entrance. They would have breakfast in some more
Across the lobby, however, another individual was surveying him.
He was of a commonplace Irish type, small of stature, cheaply
dressed, and with a head that seemed a smaller edition of some
huge ward politician's. This individual had been evidently
talking with the clerk, but now he surveyed the ex-manager
Hurstwood felt the long-range examination and recognised the
type. Instinctively he felt that the man was a detective--that
he was being watched. He hurried across, pretending not to
notice, but in his mind was a world of thoughts. What would
happen now? What could these people do? He began to trouble
concerning the extradition laws. He did not understand them
absolutely. Perhaps he could be arrested. Oh, if Carrie should
find out! Montreal was too warm for him. He began to long to be
out of it.
Carrie had bathed and was waiting when he arrived. She looked
refreshed--more delightful than ever, but reserved. Since he had
gone she had resumed somewhat of her cold attitude towards him.
Love was not blazing in her heart. He felt it, and his troubles
seemed increased. He could not take her in his arms; he did not
even try. Something about her forbade it. In part his opinion
was the result of his own experiences and reflections below
"You're ready, are you?" he said kindly.
"Yes," she answered.
"We'll go out for breakfast. This place down here doesn't appeal
to me very much."
"All right," said Carrie.
They went out, and at the corner the commonplace Irish individual
was standing, eyeing him. Hurstwood could scarcely refrain from
showing that he knew of this chap's presence. The insolence in
the fellow's eye was galling. Still they passed, and he
explained to Carrie concerning the city. Another restaurant was
not long in showing itself, and here they entered.
"What a queer town this is," said Carrie, who marvelled at it
solely because it was not like Chicago.
"It Isn't as lively as Chicago," said Hurstwood. "Don't you like
"No," said Carrie, whose feelings were already localised in the
great Western city.
"Well, it isn't as interesting," said Hurstwood.
"What's here?" asked Carrie, wondering at his choosing to visit
"Nothing much," returned Hurstwood. "It's quite a resort.
There's some pretty scenery about here."
Carrie listened, but with a feeling of unrest. There was much
about her situation which destroyed the possibility of
"We won't stay here long," said Hurstwood, who was now really
glad to note her dissatisfaction. "You pick out your clothes as
soon as breakfast is over and we'll run down to New York soon.
You'll like that. It's a lot more like a city than any place
He was really planning to slip out and away. He would see what
these detectives would do--what move his employers at Chicago
would make--then he would slip away--down to New York, where it
was easy to hide. He knew enough about that city to know that
its mysteries and possibilities of mystification were infinite.
The more he thought, however, the more wretched his situation
became. He saw that getting here did not exactly clear up the
ground. The firm would probably employ detectives to watch him--
Pinkerton men or agents of Mooney and Boland. They might arrest
him the moment he tried to leave Canada. So he might be
compelled to remain here months, and in what a state!
Back at the hotel Hurstwood was anxious and yet fearful to see
the morning papers. He wanted to know how far the news of his
criminal deed had spread. So he told Carrie he would be up in a
few moments, and went to secure and scan the dailies. No
familiar or suspicious faces were about, and yet he did not like
reading in the lobby, so he sought the main parlour on the floor
above and, seated by a window there, looked them over. Very
little was given to his crime, but it was there, several "sticks"
in all, among all the riffraff of telegraphed murders, accidents,
marriages, and other news. He wished, half sadly, that he could
undo it all. Every moment of his time in this far-off abode of
safety but added to his feeling that he had made a great mistake.
There could have been an easier way out if he had only known.
He left the papers before going to the room, thinking thus to
keep them out of the hands of Carrie.
"Well, how are you feeling?" he asked of her. She was engaged in
looking out of the window.
"Oh, all right," she answered.
He came over, and was about to begin a conversation with her,
when a knock came at their door.
"Maybe it's one of my parcels," said Carrie.
Hurstwood opened the door, outside of which stood the individual
whom he had so thoroughly suspected.
"You're Mr. Hurstwood, are you?" said the latter, with a volume
of affected shrewdness and assurance.
"Yes," said Hurstwood calmly. He knew the type so thoroughly
that some of his old familiar indifference to it returned. Such
men as these were of the lowest stratum welcomed at the resort.
He stepped out and closed the door.
"Well, you know what I am here for, don't you?" said the man
"I can guess," said Hurstwood softly.
"Well, do you intend to try and keep the money?"
"That's my affair," said Hurstwood grimly.
"You can't do it, you know," said the detective, eyeing him
"Look here, my man," said Hurstwood authoritatively, "you don't
understand anything about this case, and I can't explain to you.
Whatever I intend to do I'll do without advice from the outside.
You'll have to excuse me."
"Well, now, there's no use of your talking that way," said the
man, "when you're in the hands of the police. We can make a lot
of trouble for you if we want to. You're not registered right in
this house, you haven't got your wife with you, and the
newspapers don't know you're here yet. You might as well be
"What do you want to know?" asked Hurstwood.
"Whether you're going to send back that money or not."
Hurstwood paused and studied the floor.
"There's no use explaining to you about this," he said at last.
"There's no use of your asking me. I'm no fool, you know. I
know just what you can do and what you can't. You can create a
lot of trouble if you want to. I know that all right, but it
won't help you to get the money. Now, I've made up my mind what
to do. I've already written Fitzgerald and Moy, so there's
nothing I can say. You wait until you hear more from them."
All the time he had been talking he had been moving away from the
door, down the corridor, out of the hearing of Carrie. They were
now near the end where the corridor opened into the large general
"You won't give it up?" said the man.
The words irritated Hurstwood greatly. Hot blood poured into his
brain. Many thoughts formulated themselves. He was no thief.
He didn't want the money. If he could only explain to Fitzgerald
and Moy, maybe it would be all right again.
"See here," he said, "there's no use my talking about this at
all. I respect your power all right, but I'll have to deal with
the people who know."
"Well, you can't get out of Canada with it," said the man.
"I don't want to get out," said Hurstwood. "When I get ready
there'll be nothing to stop me for."
He turned back, and the detective watched him closely. It seemed
an intolerable thing. Still he went on and into the room.
"Who was it?" asked Carrie.
"A friend of mine from Chicago."
The whole of this conversation was such a shock that, coming as
it did after all the other worry of the past week, it sufficed to
induce a deep gloom and moral revulsion in Hurstwood. What hurt
him most was the fact that he was being pursued as a thief. He
began to see the nature of that social injustice which sees but
one side--often but a single point in a long tragedy. All the
newspapers noted but one thing, his taking the money. How and
wherefore were but indifferently dealt with. All the
complications which led up to it were unknown. He was accused
without being understood.
Sitting in his room with Carrie the same day, he decided to send
the money back. He would write Fitzgerald and Moy, explain all,
and then send it by express. Maybe they would forgive him.
Perhaps they would ask him back. He would make good the false
statement he had made about writing them. Then he would leave
this peculiar town.
For an hour he thought over this plausible statement of the
tangle. He wanted to tell them about his wife, but couldn't. He
finally narrowed it down to an assertion that he was light-headed
from entertaining friends, had found the safe open, and having
gone so far as to take the money out, had accidentally closed it.
This act he regretted very much. He was sorry he had put them to
so much trouble. He would undo what he could by sending the
money back--the major portion of it. The remainder he would pay
up as soon as he could. Was there any possibility of his being
restored? This he only hinted at.
The troubled state of the man's mind may be judged by the very
construction of this letter. For the nonce he forgot what a
painful thing it would be to resume his old place, even if it
were given him. He forgot that he had severed himself from the
past as by a sword, and that if he did manage to in some way
reunite himself with it, the jagged line of separation and
reunion would always show. He was always forgetting something--
his wife, Carrie, his need of money, present situation, or
something--and so did not reason clearly. Nevertheless, he sent
the letter, waiting a reply before sending the money.
Meanwhile, he accepted his present situation with Carrie, getting
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