Part 7 out of 11
what joy out of it he could.
Out came the sun by noon, and poured a golden flood through their
open windows. Sparrows were twittering. There were laughter and
song in the air. Hurstwood could not keep his eyes from Carrie.
She seemed the one ray of sunshine in all his trouble. Oh, if
she would only love him wholly--only throw her arms around him in
the blissful spirit in which he had seen her in the little park
in Chicago--how happy he would be! It would repay him; it would
show him that he had not lost all. He would not care.
"Carrie," he said, getting up once and coming over to her, "are
you going to stay with me from now on?"
She looked at him quizzically, but melted with sympathy as the
value of the look upon his face forced itself upon her. It was
love now, keen and strong--love enhanced by difficulty and worry.
She could not help smiling.
"Let me be everything to you from now on," he said. "Don't make
me worry any more. I'll be true to you. We'll go to New York
and get a nice flat. I'll go into business again, and we'll be
happy. Won't you be mine?"
Carrie listened quite solemnly. There was no great passion in
her, but the drift of things and this man's proximity created a
semblance of affection. She felt rather sorry for him--a sorrow
born of what had only recently been a great admiration. True
love she had never felt for him. She would have known as much if
she could have analysed her feelings, but this thing which she
now felt aroused by his great feeling broke down the barriers
"You'll stay with me, won't you?" he asked.
"Yes," she said, nodding her head.
He gathered her to himself, imprinting kisses upon her lips and
"You must marry me, though," she said.
"I'll get a license to-day," he answered.
"How?" she asked.
"Under a new name," he answered. "I'll take a new name and live
a new life. From now on I'm Murdock."
"Oh, don't take that name," said Carrie.
"Why not?" he said.
"I don't like it."
"Well, what shall I take?" he asked.
"Oh, anything, only don't take that."
He thought a while, still keeping his arms about her, and then
"How would Wheeler do?"
"That's all right," said Carrie.
"Well, then, Wheeler," he said. "I'll get the license this
They were married by a Baptist minister, the first divine they
At last the Chicago firm answered. It was by Mr. Moy's
dictation. He was astonished that Hurstwood had done this; very
sorry that it had come about as it had. If the money were
returned, they would not trouble to prosecute him, as they really
bore him no ill-will. As for his returning, or their restoring
him to his former position, they had not quite decided what the
effect of it would be. They would think it over and correspond
with him later, possibly, after a little time, and so on.
The sum and substance of it was that there was no hope, and they
wanted the money with the least trouble possible. Hurstwood read
his doom. He decided to pay $9,500 to the agent whom they said
they would send, keeping $1,300 for his own use. He telegraphed
his acquiescence, explained to the representative who called at
the hotel the same day, took a certificate of payment, and told
Carrie to pack her trunk. He was slightly depressed over this
newest move at the time he began to make it, but eventually
restored himself. He feared that even yet he might be seized and
taken back, so he tried to conceal his movements, but it was
scarcely possible. He ordered Carrie's trunk sent to the depot,
where he had it sent by express to New York. No one seemed to be
observing him, but he left at night. He was greatly agitated
lest at the first station across the border or at the depot in
New York there should be waiting for him an officer of the law.
Carrie, ignorant of his theft and his fears, enjoyed the entry
into the latter city in the morning. The round green hills
sentinelling the broad, expansive bosom of the Hudson held her
attention by their beauty as the train followed the line of the
stream. She had heard of the Hudson River, the great city of New
York, and now she looked out, filling her mind with the wonder of
As the train turned east at Spuyten Duyvil and followed the east
bank of the Harlem River, Hurstwood nervously called her
attention to the fact that they were on the edge of the city.
After her experience with Chicago, she expected long lines of
cars--a great highway of tracks--and noted the difference. The
sight of a few boats in the Harlem and more in the East River
tickled her young heart. It was the first sign of the great sea.
Next came a plain street with five-story brick flats, and then
the train plunged into the tunnel.
"Grand Central Station!" called the trainman, as, after a few
minutes of darkness and smoke, daylight reappeared. Hurstwood
arose and gathered up his small grip. He was screwed up to the
highest tension. With Carrie he waited at the door and then
dismounted. No one approached him, but he glanced furtively to
and fro as he made for the street entrance. So excited was he
that he forgot all about Carrie, who fell behind, wondering at
his self-absorption. As he passed through the depot proper the
strain reached its climax and began to wane. All at once he was
on the sidewalk, and none but cabmen hailed him. He heaved a
great breath and turned, remembering Carrie.
"I thought you were going to run off and leave me," she said.
"I was trying to remember which car takes us to the Gilsey," he
Carrie hardly heard him, so interested was she in the busy scene.
"How large is New York?" she asked.
"Oh a million or more," said Hurstwood.
He looked around and hailed a cab, but he did so in a changed
For the first time in years the thought that he must count these
little expenses flashed through his mind. It was a disagreeable
He decided he would lose no time living in hotels but would rent
a flat. Accordingly he told Carrie, and she agreed.
"We'll look to-day, if you want to," she said.
Suddenly he thought of his experience in Montreal. At the more
important hotels he would be certain to meet Chicagoans whom he
knew. He stood up and spoke to the driver.
"Take me to the Belford," he said, knowing it to be less
frequented by those whom he knew. Then he sat down.
"Where is the residence part?" asked Carrie, who did not take the
tall five-story walls on either hand to be the abodes of
"Everywhere," said Hurstwood, who knew the city fairly well.
"There are no lawns in New York. All these are houses."
"Well, then, I don't like it," said Carrie, who was coming to
have a few opinions of her own.
THE KINGDOM OF GREATNESS--THE PILGRIM A DREAM
Whatever a man like Hurstwood could be in Chicago, it is very
evident that he would be but an inconspicuous drop in an ocean
like New York. In Chicago, whose population still ranged about
500,000, millionaires were not numerous. The rich had not become
so conspicuously rich as to drown all moderate incomes in
obscurity. The attention of the inhabitants was not so
distracted by local celebrities in the dramatic, artistic,
social, and religious fields as to shut the well-positioned man
from view. In Chicago the two roads to distinction were politics
and trade. In New York the roads were any one of a half-hundred,
and each had been diligently pursued by hundreds, so that
celebrities were numerous. The sea was already full of whales.
A common fish must needs disappear wholly from view--remain
unseen. In other words, Hurstwood was nothing.
There is a more subtle result of such a situation as this, which,
though not always taken into account, produces the tragedies of
the world. The great create an atmosphere which reacts badly
upon the small. This atmosphere is easily and quickly felt.
Walk among the magnificent residences, the splendid equipages,
the gilded shops, restaurants, resorts of all kinds; scent the
flowers, the silks, the wines; drink of the laughter springing
from the soul of luxurious content, of the glances which gleam
like light from defiant spears; feel the quality of the smiles
which cut like glistening swords and of strides born of place,
and you shall know of what is the atmosphere of the high and
mighty. Little use to argue that of such is not the kingdom of
greatness, but so long as the world is attracted by this and the
human heart views this as the one desirable realm which it must
attain, so long, to that heart, will this remain the realm of
greatness. So long, also, will the atmosphere of this realm work
its desperate results in the soul of man. It is like a chemical
reagent. One day of it, like one drop of the other, will so
affect and discolour the views, the aims, the desire of the mind,
that it will thereafter remain forever dyed. A day of it to the
untried mind is like opium to the untried body. A craving is set
up which, if gratified, shall eternally result in dreams and
death. Aye! dreams unfulfilled--gnawing, luring, idle phantoms
which beckon and lead, beckon and lead, until death and
dissolution dissolve their power and restore us blind to nature's
A man of Hurstwood's age and temperament is not subject to the
illusions and burning desires of youth, but neither has he the
strength of hope which gushes as a fountain in the heart of
youth. Such an atmosphere could not incite in him the cravings
of a boy of eighteen, but in so far as they were excited, the
lack of hope made them proportionately bitter. He could not fail
to notice the signs of affluence and luxury on every hand. He
had been to New York before and knew the resources of its folly.
In part it was an awesome place to him, for here gathered all
that he most respected on this earth--wealth, place, and fame.
The majority of the celebrities with whom he had tipped glasses
in his day as manager hailed from this self-centred and populous
spot. The most inviting stories of pleasure and luxury had been
told of places and individuals here. He knew it to be true that
unconsciously he was brushing elbows with fortune the livelong
day; that a hundred or five hundred thousand gave no one the
privilege of living more than comfortably in so wealthy a place.
Fashion and pomp required more ample sums, so that the poor man
was nowhere. All this he realised, now quite sharply, as he
faced the city, cut off from his friends, despoiled of his modest
fortune, and even his name, and forced to begin the battle for
place and comfort all over again. He was not old, but he was not
so dull but that he could feel he soon would be. Of a sudden,
then, this show of fine clothes, place, and power took on
peculiar significance. It was emphasised by contrast with his
own distressing state.
And it was distressing. He soon found that freedom from fear of
arrest was not the sine qua non of his existence. That danger
dissolved, the next necessity became the grievous thing. The
paltry sum of thirteen hundred and some odd dollars set against
the need of rent, clothing, food, and pleasure for years to come
was a spectacle little calculated to induce peace of mind in one
who had been accustomed to spend five times that sum in the
course of a year. He thought upon the subject rather actively
the first few days he was in New York, and decided that he must
act quickly. As a consequence, he consulted the business
opportunities advertised in the morning papers and began
investigations on his own account.
That was not before he had become settled, however. Carrie and
he went looking for a flat, as arranged, and found one in
Seventy-eighth Street near Amsterdam Avenue. It was a five-story
building, and their flat was on the third floor. Owing to the
fact that the street was not yet built up solidly, it was
possible to see east to the green tops of the trees in Central
Park and west to the broad waters of the Hudson, a glimpse of
which was to be had out of the west windows. For the privilege
of six rooms and a bath, running in a straight line, they were
compelled to pay thirty-five dollars a month--an average, and yet
exorbitant, rent for a home at the time. Carrie noticed the
difference between the size of the rooms here and in Chicago and
"You'll not find anything better, dear," said Hurstwood, "unless
you go into one of the old-fashioned houses, and then you won't
have any of these conveniences."
Carrie picked out the new abode because of its newness and bright
wood-work. It was one of the very new ones supplied with steam
heat, which was a great advantage. The stationary range, hot and
cold water, dumb-waiter, speaking tubes, and call-bell for the
janitor pleased her very much. She had enough of the instincts
of a housewife to take great satisfaction in these things.
Hurstwood made arrangements with one of the instalment houses
whereby they furnished the flat complete and accepted fifty
dollars down and ten dollars a month. He then had a little
plate, bearing the name G. W. Wheeler, made, which he placed on
his letter-box in the hall. It sounded exceedingly odd to Carrie
to be called Mrs. Wheeler by the janitor, but in time she became
used to it and looked upon the name as her own.
These house details settled, Hurstwood visited some of the
advertised opportunities to purchase an interest in some
flourishing down-town bar. After the palatial resort in Adams
Street, he could not stomach the commonplace saloons which he
found advertised. He lost a number of days looking up these and
finding them disagreeable. He did, however, gain considerable
knowledge by talking, for he discovered the influence of Tammany
Hall and the value of standing in with the police. The most
profitable and flourishing places he found to be those which
conducted anything but a legitimate business, such as that
controlled by Fitzgerald and Moy. Elegant back rooms and private
drinking booths on the second floor were usually adjuncts of very
profitable places. He saw by portly keepers, whose shirt fronts
shone with large diamonds, and whose clothes were properly cut,
that the liquor business here, as elsewhere, yielded the same
At last he found an individual who had a resort in Warren Street,
which seemed an excellent venture. It was fairly well-appearing
and susceptible of improvement. The owner claimed the business
to be excellent, and it certainly looked so.
"We deal with a very good class of people," he told Hurstwood.
"Merchants, salesmen, and professionals. It's a well-dressed
class. No bums. We don't allow 'em in the place."
Hurstwood listened to the cash-register ring, and watched the
trade for a while.
"It's profitable enough for two, is it?" he asked.
"You can see for yourself if you're any judge of the liquor
trade," said the owner. "This is only one of the two places I
have. The other is down in Nassau Street. I can't tend to them
both alone. If I had some one who knew the business thoroughly I
wouldn't mind sharing with him in this one and letting him manage
"I've had experience enough," said Hurstwood blandly, but he felt
a little diffident about referring to Fitzgerald and Moy.
"Well, you can suit yourself, Mr. Wheeler," said the proprietor.
He only offered a third interest in the stock, fixtures, and
good-will, and this in return for a thousand dollars and
managerial ability on the part of the one who should come in.
There was no property involved, because the owner of the saloon
merely rented from an estate.
The offer was genuine enough, but it was a question with
Hurstwood whether a third interest in that locality could be made
to yield one hundred and fifty dollars a month, which he figured
he must have in order to meet the ordinary family expenses and be
comfortable. It was not the time, however, after many failures
to find what he wanted, to hesitate. It looked as though a third
would pay a hundred a month now. By judicious management and
improvement, it might be made to pay more. Accordingly he agreed
to enter into partnership, and made over his thousand dollars,
preparing to enter the next day.
His first inclination was to be elated, and he confided to Carrie
that he thought he had made an excellent arrangement. Time,
however, introduced food for reflection. He found his partner to
be very disagreeable. Frequently he was the worse for liquor,
which made him surly. This was the last thing which Hurstwood
was used to in business. Besides, the business varied. It was
nothing like the class of patronage which he had enjoyed in
Chicago. He found that it would take a long time to make
friends. These people hurried in and out without seeking the
pleasures of friendship. It was no gathering or lounging place.
Whole days and weeks passed without one such hearty greeting as
he had been wont to enjoy every day in Chicago.
For another thing, Hurstwood missed the celebrities--those well-
dressed, elite individuals who lend grace to the average bars and
bring news from far-off and exclusive circles. He did not see
one such in a month. Evenings, when still at his post, he would
occasionally read in the evening papers incidents concerning
celebrities whom he knew--whom he had drunk a glass with many a
time. They would visit a bar like Fitzgerald and Moy's in
Chicago, or the Hoffman House, uptown, but he knew that he would
never see them down here.
Again, the business did not pay as well as he thought. It
increased a little, but he found he would have to watch his
household expenses, which was humiliating.
In the very beginning it was a delight to go home late at night,
as he did, and find Carrie. He managed to run up and take dinner
with her between six and seven, and to remain home until nine
o'clock in the morning, but the novelty of this waned after a
time, and he began to feel the drag of his duties.
The first month had scarcely passed before Carrie said in a very
natural way: "I think I'll go down this week and buy a dress.'
"What kind?" said Hurstwood.
"Oh, something for street wear."
"All right," he answered, smiling, although he noted mentally
that it would be more agreeable to his finances if she didn't.
Nothing was said about it the next day, but the following morning
"Have you done anything about your dress?"
"Not yet," said Carrie.
He paused a few moments, as if in thought, and then said:
"Would you mind putting it off a few days?"
"No," replied Carrie, who did not catch the drift of his remarks.
She had never thought of him in connection with money troubles
"Well, I'll tell you," said Hurstwood. "This investment of mine
is taking a lot of money just now. I expect to get it all back
shortly, but just at present I am running close."
"Oh!" answered Carrie. "Why, certainly, dear. Why didn't you
tell me before?"
"It wasn't necessary," said Hurstwood.
For all her acquiescence, there was something about the way
Hurstwood spoke which reminded Carrie of Drouet and his little
deal which he was always about to put through. It was only the
thought of a second, but it was a beginning. It was something
new in her thinking of Hurstwood.
Other things followed from time to time, little things of the
same sort, which in their cumulative effect were eventually equal
to a full revelation. Carrie was not dull by any means. Two
persons cannot long dwell together without coming to an
understanding of one another. The mental difficulties of an
individual reveal themselves whether he voluntarily confesses
them or not. Trouble gets in the air and contributes gloom,
which speaks for itself. Hurstwood dressed as nicely as usual,
but they were the same clothes he had in Canada. Carrie noticed
that he did not install a large wardrobe, though his own was
anything but large. She noticed, also, that he did not suggest
many amusements, said nothing about the food, seemed concerned
about his business. This was not the easy Hurstwood of Chicago--
not the liberal, opulent Hurstwood she had known. The change was
too obvious to escape detection.
In time she began to feel that a change had come about, and that
she was not in his confidence. He was evidently secretive and
kept his own counsel. She found herself asking him questions
about little things. This is a disagreeable state to a woman.
Great love makes it seem reasonable, sometimes plausible, but
never satisfactory. Where great love is not, a more definite and
less satisfactory conclusion is reached.
As for Hurstwood, he was making a great fight against the
difficulties of a changed condition. He was too shrewd not to
realise the tremendous mistake he had made, and appreciate that
he had done well in getting where he was, and yet he could not
help contrasting his present state with his former, hour after
hour, and day after day.
Besides, he had the disagreeable fear of meeting old-time
friends, ever since one such encounter which he made shortly
after his arrival in the city. It was in Broadway that he saw a
man approaching him whom he knew. There was no time for
simulating non-recognition. The exchange of glances had been too
sharp, the knowledge of each other too apparent. So the friend,
a buyer for one of the Chicago wholesale houses, felt, perforce,
the necessity of stopping.
"How are you?" he said, extending his hand with an evident
mixture of feeling and a lack of plausible interest.
"Very well," said Hurstwood, equally embarrassed. "How is it
"All right; I'm down here doing a little buying. Are you located
"Yes," said Hurstwood, "I have a place down in Warren Street."
"Is that so?" said the friend. "Glad to hear it. I'll come down
and see you."
"Do," said Hurstwood.
"So long," said the other, smiling affably and going on.
"He never asked for my number," thought Hurstwood; "he wouldn't
think of coming." He wiped his forehead, which had grown damp,
and hoped sincerely he would meet no one else.
These things told upon his good-nature, such as it was. His one
hope was that things would change for the better in a money way.
He had Carrie. His furniture was being paid for. He was
maintaining his position. As for Carrie, the amusements he could
give her would have to do for the present. He could probably
keep up his pretensions sufficiently long without exposure to
make good, and then all would be well. He failed therein to take
account of the frailties of human nature--the difficulties of
matrimonial life. Carrie was young. With him and with her
varying mental states were common. At any moment the extremes of
feeling might be anti-polarised at the dinner table. This often
happens in the best regulated families. Little things brought
out on such occasions need great love to obliterate them
afterward. Where that is not, both parties count two and two and
make a problem after a while.
A PET OF GOOD FORTUNE--BROADWAY FLAUNTS ITS JOYS
The effect of the city and his own situation on Hurstwood was
paralleled in the case of Carrie, who accepted the things which
fortune provided with the most genial good-nature. New York,
despite her first expression of disapproval, soon interested her
exceedingly. Its clear atmosphere, more populous thoroughfares,
and peculiar indifference struck her forcibly. She had never
seen such a little flat as hers, and yet it soon enlisted her
affection. The new furniture made an excellent showing, the
sideboard which Hurstwood himself arranged gleamed brightly. The
furniture for each room was appropriate, and in the so-called
parlour, or front room, was installed a piano, because Carrie
said she would like to learn to play. She kept a servant and
developed rapidly in household tactics and information. For the
first time in her life she felt settled, and somewhat justified
in the eyes of society as she conceived of it. Her thoughts were
merry and innocent enough. For a long while she concerned
herself over the arrangement of New York flats, and wondered at
ten families living in one building and all remaining strange and
indifferent to each other. She also marvelled at the whistles of
the hundreds of vessels in the harbour--the long, low cries of
the Sound steamers and ferry-boats when fog was on. The mere
fact that these things spoke from the sea made them wonderful.
She looked much at what she could see of the Hudson from her west
windows and of the great city building up rapidly on either hand.
It was much to ponder over, and sufficed to entertain her for
more than a year without becoming stale.
For another thing, Hurstwood was exceedingly interesting in his
affection for her. Troubled as he was, he never exposed his
difficulties to her. He carried himself with the same self-
important air, took his new state with easy familiarity, and
rejoiced in Carrie's proclivities and successes. Each evening he
arrived promptly to dinner, and found the little dining-room a
most inviting spectacle. In a way, the smallness of the room
added to its luxury. It looked full and replete. The white-
covered table was arrayed with pretty dishes and lighted with a
four-armed candelabra, each light of which was topped with a red
shade. Between Carrie and the girl the steaks and chops came out
all right, and canned goods did the rest for a while. Carrie
studied the art of making biscuit, and soon reached the stage
where she could show a plate of light, palatable morsels for her
In this manner the second, third, and fourth months passed.
Winter came, and with it a feeling that indoors was best, so that
the attending of theatres was not much talked of. Hurstwood made
great efforts to meet all expenditures without a show of feeling
one way or the other. He pretended that he was reinvesting his
money in strengthening the business for greater ends in the
future. He contented himself with a very moderate allowance of
personal apparel, and rarely suggested anything for Carrie. Thus
the first winter passed.
In the second year, the business which Hurstwood managed did
increase somewhat. He got out of it regularly the $150 per month
which he had anticipated. Unfortunately, by this time Carrie had
reached certain conclusions, and he had scraped up a few
Being of a passive and receptive rather than an active and
aggressive nature, Carrie accepted the situation. Her state
seemed satisfactory enough. Once in a while they would go to a
theatre together, occasionally in season to the beaches and
different points about the city, but they picked up no
acquaintances. Hurstwood naturally abandoned his show of fine
manners with her and modified his attitude to one of easy
familiarity. There were no misunderstandings, no apparent
differences of opinion. In fact, without money or visiting
friends, he led a life which could neither arouse jealousy nor
comment. Carrie rather sympathised with his efforts and thought
nothing upon her lack of entertainment such as she had enjoyed in
Chicago. New York as a corporate entity and her flat temporarily
However, as Hurstwood's business increased, he, as stated, began
to pick up acquaintances. He also began to allow himself more
clothes. He convinced himself that his home life was very
precious to him, but allowed that he could occasionally stay away
from dinner. The first time he did this he sent a message saying
that he would be detained. Carrie ate alone, and wished that it
might not happen again. The second time, also, he sent word, but
at the last moment. The third time he forgot entirely and
explained afterwards. These events were months apart, each.
"Where were you, George?" asked Carrie, after the first absence.
"Tied up at the office," he said genially. "There were some
accounts I had to straighten."
"I'm sorry you couldn't get home," she said kindly. "I was
fixing to have such a nice dinner."
The second time he gave a similar excuse, but the third time the
feeling about it in Carrie's mind was a little bit out of the
"I couldn't get home," he said, when he came in later in the
evening, "I was so busy."
"Couldn't you have sent me word?" asked Carrie.
"I meant to," he said, "but you know I forgot it until it was too
late to do any good."
"And I had such a good dinner!" said Carrie.
Now, it so happened that from his observations of Carrie he began
to imagine that she was of the thoroughly domestic type of mind.
He really thought, after a year, that her chief expression in
life was finding its natural channel in household duties.
Notwithstanding the fact that he had observed her act in Chicago,
and that during the past year he had only seen her limited in her
relations to her flat and him by conditions which he made, and
that she had not gained any friends or associates, he drew this
peculiar conclusion. With it came a feeling of satisfaction in
having a wife who could thus be content, and this satisfaction
worked its natural result. That is, since he imagined he saw her
satisfied, he felt called upon to give only that which
contributed to such satisfaction. He supplied the furniture, the
decorations, the food, and the necessary clothing. Thoughts of
entertaining her, leading her out into the shine and show of
life, grew less and less. He felt attracted to the outer world,
but did not think she would care to go along. Once he went to
the theatre alone. Another time he joined a couple of his new
friends at an evening game of poker. Since his money-feathers
were beginning to grow again he felt like sprucing about. All
this, however, in a much less imposing way than had been his wont
in Chicago. He avoided the gay places where he would be apt to
meet those who had known him.
Now, Carrie began to feel this in various sensory ways. She was
not the kind to be seriously disturbed by his actions. Not
loving him greatly, she could not be jealous in a disturbing way.
In fact, she was not jealous at all. Hurstwood was pleased with
her placid manner, when he should have duly considered it. When
he did not come home it did not seem anything like a terrible
thing to her. She gave him credit for having the usual
allurements of men--people to talk to, places to stop, friends to
consult with. She was perfectly willing that he should enjoy
himself in his way, but she did not care to be neglected herself.
Her state still seemed fairly reasonable, however. All she did
observe was that Hurstwood was somewhat different.
Some time in the second year of their residence in Seventy-eighth
Street the flat across the hall from Carrie became vacant, and
into it moved a very handsome young woman and her husband, with
both of whom Carrie afterwards became acquainted. This was
brought about solely by the arrangement of the flats, which were
united in one place, as it were, by the dumb-waiter. This useful
elevator, by which fuel, groceries, and the like were sent up
from the basement, and garbage and waste sent down, was used by
both residents of one floor; that is, a small door opened into it
from each flat.
If the occupants of both flats answered to the whistle of the
janitor at the same time, they would stand face to face when they
opened the dumb-waiter doors. One morning, when Carrie went to
remove her paper, the newcomer, a handsome brunette of perhaps
twenty-three years of age, was there for a like purpose. She was
in a night-robe and dressing-gown, with her hair very much
tousled, but she looked so pretty and good-natured that Carrie
instantly conceived a liking for her. The newcomer did no more
than smile shamefacedly, but it was sufficient. Carrie felt that
she would like to know her, and a similar feeling stirred in the
mind of the other, who admired Carrie's innocent face.
"That's a real pretty woman who has moved in next door," said
Carrie to Hurstwood at the breakfast table.
"Who are they?" asked Hurstwood.
"I don't know," said Carrie. "The name on the bell is Vance.
Some one over there plays beautifully. I guess it must be she."
"Well, you never can tell what sort of people you're living next
to in this town, can you?" said Hurstwood, expressing the
customary New York opinion about neighbours.
"Just think," said Carrie, "I have been in this house with nine
other families for over a year and I don't know a soul. These
people have been here over a month and I haven't seen any one
before this morning."
"It's just as well," said Hurstwood. 'You never know who you're
going to get in with. Some of these people are pretty bad
"I expect so," said Carrie, agreeably.
The conversation turned to other things, and Carrie thought no
more upon the subject until a day or two later, when, going out
to market, she encountered Mrs. Vance coming in. The latter
recognised her and nodded, for which Carrie returned a smile.
This settled the probability of acquaintanceship. If there had
been no faint recognition on this occasion, there would have been
no future association.
Carrie saw no more of Mrs. Vance for several weeks, but she heard
her play through the thin walls which divided the front rooms of
the flats, and was pleased by the merry selection of pieces and
the brilliance of their rendition. She could play only
moderately herself, and such variety as Mrs. Vance exercised
bordered, for Carrie, upon the verge of great art. Everything
she had seen and heard thus far--the merest scraps and shadows--
indicated that these people were, in a measure, refined and in
comfortable circumstances. So Carrie was ready for any extension
of the friendship which might follow.
One day Carrie's bell rang and the servant, who was in the
kitchen, pressed the button which caused the front door of the
general entrance on the ground floor to be electrically
unlatched. When Carrie waited at her own door on the third floor
to see who it might be coming up to call on her, Mrs. Vance
"I hope you'll excuse me," she said. "I went out a while ago and
forgot my outside key, so I thought I'd ring your bell."
This was a common trick of other residents of the building,
whenever they had forgotten their outside keys. They did not
apologise for it, however.
"Certainly," said Carrie. "I'm glad you did. I do the same
"Isn't it just delightful weather?" said Mrs. Vance, pausing for
Thus, after a few more preliminaries, this visiting acquaintance
was well launched, and in the young Mrs. Vance Carrie found an
On several occasions Carrie visited her and was visited. Both
flats were good to look upon, though that of the Vances tended
somewhat more to the luxurious.
"I want you to come over this evening and meet my husband," said
Mrs. Vance, not long after their intimacy began. "He wants to
meet you. You play cards, don't you?"
"A little," said Carrie.
"Well, we'll have a game of cards. If your husband comes home
bring him over."
"He's not coming to dinner to-night," said Carrie.
"Well, when he does come we'll call him in."
Carrie acquiesced, and that evening met the portly Vance, an
individual a few years younger than Hurstwood, and who owed his
seemingly comfortable matrimonial state much more to his money
than to his good looks. He thought well of Carrie upon the first
glance and laid himself out to be genial, teaching her a new game
of cards and talking to her about New York and its pleasures.
Mrs. Vance played some upon the piano, and at last Hurstwood
"I am very glad to meet you," he said to Mrs. Vance when Carrie
introduced him, showing much of the old grace which had
"Did you think your wife had run away?" said Mr. Vance, extending
his hand upon introduction.
"I didn't know but what she might have found a better husband,"
He now turned his attention to Mrs. Vance, and in a flash Carrie
saw again what she for some time had subconsciously missed in
Hurstwood--the adroitness and flattery of which he was capable.
She also saw that she was not well dressed--not nearly as well
dressed--as Mrs. Vance. These were not vague ideas any longer.
Her situation was cleared up for her. She felt that her life was
becoming stale, and therein she felt cause for gloom. The old
helpful, urging melancholy was restored. The desirous Carrie was
whispered to concerning her possibilities.
There were no immediate results to this awakening, for Carrie had
little power of initiative; but, nevertheless, she seemed ever
capable of getting herself into the tide of change where she
would be easily borne along. Hurstwood noticed nothing. He had
been unconscious of the marked contrasts which Carrie had
He did not even detect the shade of melancholy which settled in
her eyes. Worst of all, she now began to feel the loneliness of
the flat and seek the company of Mrs. Vance, who liked her
"Let's go to the matinee this afternoon," said Mrs. Vance, who
had stepped across into Carrie's flat one morning, still arrayed
in a soft pink dressing-gown, which she had donned upon rising.
Hurstwood and Vance had gone their separate ways nearly an hour
"All right," said Carrie, noticing the air of the petted and
well-groomed woman in Mrs. Vance's general appearance. She
looked as though she was dearly loved and her every wish
gratified. "What shall we see?"
"Oh, I do want to see Nat Goodwin," said Mrs. Vance. "I do think
he is the jolliest actor. The papers say this is such a good
"What time will we have to start?" asked Carrie.
"Let's go at once and walk down Broadway from Thirty-fourth
Street," said Mrs. Vance. "It's such an interesting walk. He's
at the Madison Square."
"I'll be glad to go," said Carrie. "How much will we have to pay
"Not more than a dollar," said Mrs. Vance.
The latter departed, and at one o'clock reappeared, stunningly
arrayed in a dark-blue walking dress, with a nobby hat to match.
Carrie had gotten herself up charmingly enough, but this woman
pained her by contrast. She seemed to have so many dainty little
things which Carrie had not. There were trinkets of gold, an
elegant green leather purse set with her initials, a fancy
handkerchief, exceedingly rich in design, and the like. Carrie
felt that she needed more and better clothes to compare with this
woman, and that any one looking at the two would pick Mrs. Vance
for her raiment alone. It was a trying, though rather unjust
thought, for Carrie had now developed an equally pleasing figure,
and had grown in comeliness until she was a thoroughly attractive
type of her colour of beauty. There was some difference in the
clothing of the two, both of quality and age, but this difference
was not especially noticeable. It served, however, to augment
Carrie's dissatisfaction with her state.
The walk down Broadway, then as now, was one of the remarkable
features of the city. There gathered, before the matinee and
afterwards, not only all the pretty women who love a showy
parade, but the men who love to gaze upon and admire them. It
was a very imposing procession of pretty faces and fine clothes.
Women appeared in their very best hats, shoes, and gloves, and
walked arm in arm on their way to the fine shops or theatres
strung along from Fourteenth to Thirty-fourth Streets. Equally
the men paraded with the very latest they could afford. A tailor
might have secured hints on suit measurements, a shoemaker on
proper lasts and colours, a hatter on hats. It was literally
true that if a lover of fine clothes secured a new suit, it was
sure to have its first airing on Broadway. So true and well
understood was this fact, that several years later a popular
song, detailing this and other facts concerning the afternoon
parade on matinee days, and entitled "What Right Has He on
Broadway?" was published, and had quite a vogue about the music-
halls of the city.
In all her stay in the city, Carrie had never heard of this showy
parade; had never even been on Broadway when it was taking place.
On the other hand, it was a familiar thing to Mrs. Vance, who not
only knew of it as an entity, but had often been in it, going
purposely to see and be seen, to create a stir with her beauty
and dispel any tendency to fall short in dressiness by
contrasting herself with the beauty and fashion of the town.
Carrie stepped along easily enough after they got out of the car
at Thirty-fourth Street, but soon fixed her eyes upon the lovely
company which swarmed by and with them as they proceeded. She
noticed suddenly that Mrs. Vance's manner had rather stiffened
under the gaze of handsome men and elegantly dressed ladies,
whose glances were not modified by any rules of propriety. To
stare seemed the proper and natural thing. Carrie found herself
stared at and ogled. Men in flawless top-coats, high hats, and
silver-headed walking sticks elbowed near and looked too often
into conscious eyes. Ladies rustled by in dresses of stiff
cloth, shedding affected smiles and perfume. Carrie noticed
among them the sprinkling of goodness and the heavy percentage of
vice. The rouged and powdered cheeks and lips, the scented hair,
the large, misty, and languorous eye, were common enough. With a
start she awoke to find that she was in fashion's crowd, on
parade in a show place--and such a show place! Jewellers' windows
gleamed along the path with remarkable frequency. Florist shops,
furriers, haberdashers, confectioners--all followed in rapid
succession. The street was full of coaches. Pompous doormen in
immense coats, shiny brass belts and buttons, waited in front of
expensive salesrooms. Coachmen in tan boots, white tights, and
blue jackets waited obsequiously for the mistresses of carriages
who were shopping inside. The whole street bore the flavour of
riches and show, and Carrie felt that she was not of it. She
could not, for the life of her, assume the attitude and smartness
of Mrs. Vance, who, in her beauty, was all assurance. She could
only imagine that it must be evident to many that she was the
less handsomely dressed of the two. It cut her to the quick, and
she resolved that she would not come here again until she looked
better. At the same time she longed to feel the delight of
parading here as an equal. Ah, then she would be happy!
THE FEAST OF BELSHAZZAR--A SEER TO TRANSLATE
Such feelings as were generated in Carrie by this walk put her in
an exceedingly receptive mood for the pathos which followed in
the play. The actor whom they had gone to see had achieved his
popularity by presenting a mellow type of comedy, in which
sufficient sorrow was introduced to lend contrast and relief to
humour. For Carrie, as we well know, the stage had a great
attraction. She had never forgotten her one histrionic
achievement in Chicago. It dwelt in her mind and occupied her
consciousness during many long afternoons in which her rocking-
chair and her latest novel contributed the only pleasures of her
state. Never could she witness a play without having her own
ability vividly brought to consciousness. Some scenes made her
long to be a part of them--to give expression to the feelings
which she, in the place of the character represented, would feel.
Almost invariably she would carry the vivid imaginations away
with her and brood over them the next day alone. She lived as
much in these things as in the realities which made up her daily
It was not often that she came to the play stirred to her heart's
core by actualities. To-day a low song of longing had been set
singing in her heart by the finery, the merriment, the beauty she
had seen. Oh, these women who had passed her by, hundreds and
hundreds strong, who were they? Whence came the rich, elegant
dresses, the astonishingly coloured buttons, the knick-knacks of
silver and gold? Where were these lovely creatures housed? Amid
what elegancies of carved furniture, decorated walls, elaborate
tapestries did they move? Where were their rich apartments,
loaded with all that money could provide? In what stables champed
these sleek, nervous horses and rested the gorgeous carriages?
Where lounged the richly groomed footmen? Oh, the mansions, the
lights, the perfume, the loaded boudoirs and tables! New York
must be filled with such bowers, or the beautiful, insolent,
supercilious creatures could not be. Some hothouses held them.
It ached her to know that she was not one of them--that, alas,
she had dreamed a dream and it had not come true. She wondered
at her own solitude these two years past--her indifference to the
fact that she had never achieved what she had expected.
The play was one of those drawing-room concoctions in which
charmingly overdressed ladies and gentlemen suffer the pangs of
love and jealousy amid gilded surroundings. Such bon-mots are
ever enticing to those who have all their days longed for such
material surroundings and have never had them gratified. They
have the charm of showing suffering under ideal conditions. Who
would not grieve upon a gilded chair? Who would not suffer amid
perfumed tapestries, cushioned furniture, and liveried servants?
Grief under such circumstances becomes an enticing thing. Carrie
longed to be of it. She wanted to take her sufferings, whatever
they were, in such a world, or failing that, at least to simulate
them under such charming conditions upon the stage. So affected
was her mind by what she had seen, that the play now seemed an
extraordinarily beautiful thing. She was soon lost in the world
it represented, and wished that she might never return. Between
the acts she studied the galaxy of matinee attendants in front
rows and boxes, and conceived a new idea of the possibilities of
New York. She was sure she had not seen it all--that the city
was one whirl of pleasure and delight.
Going out, the same Broadway taught her a sharper lesson. The
scene she had witnessed coming down was now augmented and at its
height. Such a crush of finery and folly she had never seen. It
clinched her convictions concerning her state. She had not
lived, could not lay claim to having lived, until something of
this had come into her own life. Women were spending money like
water; she could see that in every elegant shop she passed.
Flowers, candy, jewelry, seemed the principal things in which the
elegant dames were interested. And she--she had scarcely enough
pin money to indulge in such outings as this a few times a month.
That night the pretty little flat seemed a commonplace thing. It
was not what the rest of the world was enjoying. She saw the
servant working at dinner with an indifferent eye. In her mind
were running scenes of the play. Particularly she remembered one
beautiful actress--the sweetheart who had been wooed and won.
The grace of this woman had won Carrie's heart. Her dresses had
been all that art could suggest, her sufferings had been so real.
The anguish which she had portrayed Carrie could feel. It was
done as she was sure she could do it. There were places in which
she could even do better. Hence she repeated the lines to
herself. Oh, if she could only have such a part, how broad would
be her life! She, too, could act appealingly.
When Hurstwood came, Carrie was moody. She was sitting, rocking
and thinking, and did not care to have her enticing imaginations
broken in upon; so she said little or nothing.
"What's the matter, Carrie?" said Hurstwood after a time,
noticing her quiet, almost moody state.
"Nothing," said Carrie. "I don't feel very well tonight."
"Not sick, are you?" he asked, approaching very close.
"Oh, no," she said, almost pettishly, "I just don't feel very
"That's too bad," he said, stepping away and adjusting his vest
after his slight bending over. "I was thinking we might go to a
"I don't want to go," said Carrie, annoyed that her fine visions
should have thus been broken into and driven out of her mind.
"I've been to the matinee this afternoon."
"Oh, you have?" said Hurstwood. "What was it?"
"A Gold Mine."
"How was it?"
"Pretty good," said Carrie.
"And you don't want to go again to night?"
"I don't think I do," she said.
Nevertheless, wakened out of her melancholia and called to the
dinner table, she changed her mind. A little food in the stomach
does wonders. She went again, and in so doing temporarily
recovered her equanimity. The great awakening blow had, however,
been delivered. As often as she might recover from these
discontented thoughts now, they would occur again. Time and
repetition--ah, the wonder of it! The dropping water and the
solid stone--how utterly it yields at last!
Not long after this matinee experience--perhaps a month--Mrs.
Vance invited Carrie to an evening at the theatre with them. She
heard Carrie say that Hurstwood was not coming home to dinner.
"Why don't you come with us? Don't get dinner for yourself.
We're going down to Sherry's for dinner and then over to the
Lyceum. Come along with us."
"I think I will," answered Carrie.
She began to dress at three o'clock for her departure at half-
past five for the noted dining-room which was then crowding
Delmonico's for position in society. In this dressing Carrie
showed the influence of her association with the dashing Mrs.
Vance. She had constantly had her attention called by the latter
to novelties in everything which pertains to a woman's apparel.
"Are you going to get such and such a hat?" or, "Have you seen
the new gloves with the oval pearl buttons?" were but sample
phrases out of a large selection.
"The next time you get a pair of shoes, dearie," said Mrs. Vance,
"get button, with thick soles and patent-leather tips. They're
all the rage this fall."
"I will," said Carrie.
"Oh, dear, have you seen the new shirtwaists at Altman's? They
have some of the loveliest patterns. I saw one there that I know
would look stunning on you. I said so when I saw it."
Carrie listened to these things with considerable interest, for
they were suggested with more of friendliness than is usually
common between pretty women. Mrs. Vance liked Carrie's stable
good-nature so well that she really took pleasure in suggesting
to her the latest things.
"Why don't you get yourself one of those nice serge skirts
they're selling at Lord & Taylor's?" she said one day. "They're
the circular style, and they're going to be worn from now on. A
dark blue one would look so nice on you."
Carrie listened with eager ears. These things never came up
between her and Hurstwood. Nevertheless, she began to suggest
one thing and another, which Hurstwood agreed to without any
expression of opinion. He noticed the new tendency on Carrie's
part, and finally, hearing much of Mrs. Vance and her delightful
ways, suspected whence the change came. He was not inclined to
offer the slightest objection so soon, but he felt that Carrie's
wants were expanding. This did not appeal to him exactly, but he
cared for her in his own way, and so the thing stood. Still,
there was something in the details of the transactions which
caused Carrie to feel that her requests were not a delight to
him. He did not enthuse over the purchases. This led her to
believe that neglect was creeping in, and so another small wedge
Nevertheless, one of the results of Mrs. Vance's suggestions was
the fact that on this occasion Carrie was dressed somewhat to her
own satisfaction. She had on her best, but there was comfort in
the thought that if she must confine herself to a best, it was
neat and fitting. She looked the well-groomed woman of twenty-
one, and Mrs. Vance praised her, which brought colour to her
plump cheeks and a noticeable brightness into her large eyes. It
was threatening rain, and Mr. Vance, at his wife's request, had
called a coach.
"Your husband isn't coming?" suggested Mr. Vance, as he met
Carrie in his little parlour.
"No; he said he wouldn't be home for dinner."
"Better leave a little note for him, telling him where we are.
He might turn up."
"I will," said Carrie, who had not thought of it before.
"Tell him we'll be at Sherry's until eight o'clock. He knows,
though I guess."
Carrie crossed the hall with rustling skirts, and scrawled the
note, gloves on. When she returned a newcomer was in the Vance
"Mrs. Wheeler, let me introduce Mr. Ames, a cousin of mine," said
Mrs. Vance. "He's going along with us, aren't you, Bob?"
"I'm very glad to meet you," said Ames, bowing politely to
The latter caught in a glance the dimensions of a very stalwart
figure. She also noticed that he was smooth-shaven, good
looking, and young, but nothing more.
"Mr. Ames is just down in New York for a few days," put in Vance,
"and we're trying to show him around a little."
"Oh, are you?" said Carrie, taking another glance at the
"Yes; I am just on here from Indianapolis for a week or so," said
young Ames, seating himself on the edge of a chair to wait while
Mrs. Vance completed the last touches of her toilet.
"I guess you find New York quite a thing to see, don't you?" said
Carrie, venturing something to avoid a possible deadly silence.
"It is rather large to get around in a week," answered Ames,
He was an exceedingly genial soul, this young man, and wholly
free of affectation. It seemed to Carrie he was as yet only
overcoming the last traces of the bashfulness of youth. He did
not seem apt at conversation, but he had the merit of being well
dressed and wholly courageous. Carrie felt as if it were not
going to be hard to talk to him.
"Well, I guess we're ready now. The coach is outside."
"Come on, people," said Mrs. Vance, coming in smiling. "Bob,
you'll have to look after Mrs. Wheeler."
"I'll try to," said Bob smiling, and edging closer to Carrie.
"You won't need much watching, will you?" he volunteered, in a
sort of ingratiating and help-me-out kind of way.
"Not very, I hope," said Carrie.
They descended the stairs, Mrs. Vance offering suggestions, and
climbed into the open coach.
"All right," said Vance, slamming the coach door, and the
conveyance rolled away.
"What is it we're going to see?" asked Ames.
"Sothern," said Vance, "in 'Lord Chumley.'"
"Oh, he is so good!" said Mrs. Vance. "He's just the funniest
"I notice the papers praise it," said Ames.
"I haven't any doubt," put in Vance, "but we'll all enjoy it very
Ames had taken a seat beside Carrie, and accordingly he felt it
his bounden duty to pay her some attention. He was interested to
find her so young a wife, and so pretty, though it was only a
respectful interest. There was nothing of the dashing lady's man
about him. He had respect for the married state, and thought
only of some pretty marriageable girls in Indianapolis.
"Are you a born New Yorker?" asked Ames of Carrie.
"Oh, no; I've only been here for two years."
"Oh, well, you've had time to see a great deal of it, anyhow."
"I don't seem to have," answered Carrie. "It's about as strange
to me as when I first came here."
"You're not from the West, are you?"
"Yes. I'm from Wisconsin," she answered.
"Well, it does seem as if most people in this town haven't been
here so very long. I hear of lots of Indiana people in my line
who are here."
"What is your line?" asked Carrie.
"I'm connected with an electrical company," said the youth.
Carrie followed up this desultory conversation with occasional
interruptions from the Vances. Several times it became general
and partially humorous, and in that manner the restaurant was
Carrie had noticed the appearance of gayety and pleasure-seeking
in the streets which they were following. Coaches were numerous,
pedestrians many, and in Fifty-ninth Street the street cars were
crowded. At Fifty-ninth Street and Fifth Avenue a blaze of
lights from several new hotels which bordered the Plaza Square
gave a suggestion of sumptuous hotel life. Fifth Avenue, the
home of the wealthy, was noticeably crowded with carriages, and
gentlemen in evening dress. At Sherry's an imposing doorman
opened the coach door and helped them out. Young Ames held
Carrie's elbow as he helped her up the steps. They entered the
lobby already swarming with patrons, and then, after divesting
themselves of their wraps, went into a sumptuous dining-room.
In all Carrie's experience she had never seen anything like this.
In the whole time she had been in New York Hurstwood's modified
state had not permitted his bringing her to such a place. There
was an almost indescribable atmosphere about it which convinced
the newcomer that this was the proper thing. Here was the place
where the matter of expense limited the patrons to the moneyed or
pleasure-loving class. Carrie had read of it often in the
"Morning" and "Evening World." She had seen notices of dances,
parties, balls, and suppers at Sherry's. The Misses So-and-so
would give a party on Wednesday evening at Sherry's. Young Mr.
So-and-So would entertain a party of friends at a private
luncheon on the sixteenth, at Sherry's. The common run of
conventional, perfunctory notices of the doings of society, which
she could scarcely refrain from scanning each day, had given her
a distinct idea of the gorgeousness and luxury of this wonderful
temple of gastronomy. Now, at last, she was really in it. She
had come up the imposing steps, guarded by the large and portly
doorman. She had seen the lobby, guarded by another large and
portly gentleman, and been waited upon by uniformed youths who
took care of canes, overcoats, and the like. Here was the
splendid dining-chamber, all decorated and aglow, where the
wealthy ate. Ah, how fortunate was Mrs. Vance; young, beautiful,
and well off--at least, sufficiently so to come here in a coach.
What a wonderful thing it was to be rich.
Vance led the way through lanes of shining tables, at which were
seated parties of two, three, four, five, or six. The air of
assurance and dignity about it all was exceedingly noticeable to
the novitiate. Incandescent lights, the reflection of their glow
in polished glasses, and the shine of gilt upon the walls,
combined into one tone of light which it requires minutes of
complacent observation to separate and take particular note of.
The white shirt fronts of the gentlemen, the bright costumes of
the ladies, diamonds, jewels, fine feathers--all were exceedingly
Carrie walked with an air equal to that of Mrs. Vance, and
accepted the seat which the head waiter provided for her. She
was keenly aware of all the little things that were done--the
little genuflections and attentions of the waiters and head
waiter which Americans pay for. The air with which the latter
pulled out each chair, and the wave of the hand with which he
motioned them to be seated, were worth several dollars in
Once seated, there began that exhibition of showy, wasteful, and
unwholesome gastronomy as practised by wealthy Americans, which
is the wonder and astonishment of true culture and dignity the
world over. The large bill of fare held an array of dishes
sufficient to feed an army, sidelined with prices which made
reasonable expenditure a ridiculous impossibility--an order of
soup at fifty cents or a dollar, with a dozen kinds to choose
from; oysters in forty styles and at sixty cents the half-dozen;
entrees, fish, and meats at prices which would house one over
night in an average hotel. One dollar fifty and two dollars
seemed to be the most common figures upon this most tastefully
printed bill of fare.
Carrie noticed this, and in scanning it the price of spring
chicken carried her back to that other bill of fare and far
different occasion when, for the first time, she sat with Drouet
in a good restaurant in Chicago. It was only momentary--a sad
note as out of an old song--and then it was gone. But in that
flash was seen the other Carrie--poor, hungry, drifting at her
wits' ends, and all Chicago a cold and closed world, from which
she only wandered because she could not find work.
On the walls were designs in colour, square spots of robin's-egg
blue, set in ornate frames of gilt, whose corners were elaborate
mouldings of fruit and flowers, with fat cupids hovering in
angelic comfort. On the ceilings were coloured traceries with
more gilt, leading to a centre where spread a cluster of lights--
incandescent globes mingled with glittering prisms and stucco
tendrils of gilt. The floor was of a reddish hue, waxed and
polished, and in every direction were mirrors--tall, brilliant,
bevel-edged mirrors--reflecting and re-reflecting forms, faces,
and candelabra a score and a hundred times.
The tables were not so remarkable in themselves, and yet the
imprint of Sherry upon the napery, the name of Tiffany upon the
silverware, the name of Haviland upon the china, and over all the
glow of the small, red-shaded candelabra and the reflected tints
of the walls on garments and faces, made them seem remarkable.
Each waiter added an air of exclusiveness and elegance by the
manner in which he bowed, scraped, touched, and trifled with
things. The exclusively personal attention which he devoted to
each one, standing half bent, ear to one side, elbows akimbo,
saying: "Soup--green turtle, yes. One portion, yes. Oysters--
certainly--half-dozen--yes. Asparagus. Olives--yes."
It would be the same with each one, only Vance essayed to order
for all, inviting counsel and suggestions. Carrie studied the
company with open eyes. So this was high life in New York. It
was so that the rich spent their days and evenings. Her poor
little mind could not rise above applying each scene to all
society. Every fine lady must be in the crowd on Broadway in the
afternoon, in the theatre at the matinee, in the coaches and
dining-halls at night. It must be glow and shine everywhere,
with coaches waiting, and footmen attending, and she was out of
it all. In two long years she had never even been in such a
place as this.
Vance was in his element here, as Hurstwood would have been in
former days. He ordered freely of soup, oysters, roast meats,
and side dishes, and had several bottles of wine brought, which
were set down beside the table in a wicker basket.
Ames was looking away rather abstractedly at the crowd and showed
an interesting profile to Carrie. His forehead was high, his
nose rather large and strong, his chin moderately pleasing. He
had a good, wide, well-shaped mouth, and his dark-brown hair was
parted slightly on one side. He seemed to have the least touch
of boyishness to Carrie, and yet he was a man full grown.
"Do you know," he said, turning back to Carrie, after his
reflection, "I sometimes think it is a shame for people to spend
so much money this way."
Carrie looked at him a moment with the faintest touch of surprise
at his seriousness. He seemed to be thinking about something
over which she had never pondered.
"Do you?" she answered, interestedly.
"Yes," he said, "they pay so much more than these things are
worth. They put on so much show."
"I don't know why people shouldn't spend when they have it," said
"It doesn't do any harm," said Vance, who was still studying the
bill of fare, though he had ordered.
Ames was looking away again, and Carrie was again looking at his
forehead. To her he seemed to be thinking about strange things.
As he studied the crowd his eye was mild.
"Look at that woman's dress over there," he said, again turning
to Carrie, and nodding in a direction.
"Where?" said Carrie, following his eyes.
"Over there in the corner--way over. Do you see that brooch?"
"Isn't it large?" said Carrie.
"One of the largest clusters of jewels I have ever seen," said
"It is, isn't it?" said Carrie. She felt as if she would like to
be agreeable to this young man, and also there came with it, or
perhaps preceded it, the slightest shade of a feeling that he was
better educated than she was--that his mind was better. He
seemed to look it, and the saving grace in Carrie was that she
could understand that people could be wiser. She had seen a
number of people in her life who reminded her of what she had
vaguely come to think of as scholars. This strong young man
beside her, with his clear, natural look, seemed to get a hold of
things which she did not quite understand, but approved of. It
was fine to be so, as a man, she thought.
The conversation changed to a book that was having its vogue at
the time--"Moulding a Maiden," by Albert Ross. Mrs. Vance had
read it. Vance had seen it discussed in some of the papers.
"A man can make quite a strike writing a book," said Vance. "I
notice this fellow Ross is very much talked about." He was
looking at Carrie as he spoke.
"I hadn't heard of him," said Carrie, honestly.
"Oh, I have," said Mrs. Vance. "He's written lots of things.
This last story is pretty good."
"He doesn't amount to much," said Ames.
Carrie turned her eyes toward him as to an oracle.
"His stuff is nearly as bad as 'Dora Thorne,'" concluded Ames.
Carrie felt this as a personal reproof. She read "Dora Thorne,"
or had a great deal in the past. It seemed only fair to her, but
she supposed that people thought it very fine. Now this clear-
eyed, fine-headed youth, who looked something like a student to
her, made fun of it. It was poor to him, not worth reading. She
looked down, and for the first time felt the pain of not
Yet there was nothing sarcastic or supercilious in the way Ames
spoke. He had very little of that in him. Carrie felt that it
was just kindly thought of a high order--the right thing to
think, and wondered what else was right, according to him. He
seemed to notice that she listened and rather sympathised with
him, and from now on he talked mostly to her.
As the waiter bowed and scraped about, felt the dishes to see if
they were hot enough, brought spoons and forks, and did all those
little attentive things calculated to impress the luxury of the
situation upon the diner, Ames also leaned slightly to one side
and told her of Indianapolis in an intelligent way. He really
had a very bright mind, which was finding its chief development
in electrical knowledge. His sympathies for other forms of
information, however, and for types of people, were quick and
warm. The red glow on his head gave it a sandy tinge and put a
bright glint in his eye. Carrie noticed all these things as he
leaned toward her and felt exceedingly young. This man was far
ahead of her. He seemed wiser than Hurstwood, saner and brighter
than Drouet. He seemed innocent and clean, and she thought that
he was exceedingly pleasant. She noticed, also, that his
interest in her was a far-off one. She was not in his life, nor
any of the things that touched his life, and yet now, as he spoke
of these things, they appealed to her.
"I shouldn't care to be rich," he told her, as the dinner
proceeded and the supply of food warmed up his sympathies; "not
rich enough to spend my money this way."
"Oh, wouldn't you?" said Carrie, the, to her, new attitude
forcing itself distinctly upon her for the first time.
"No," he said. "What good would it do? A man doesn't need this
sort of thing to be happy."
Carrie thought of this doubtfully; but, coming from him, it had
weight with her.
"He probably could be happy," she thought to herself, "all alone.
He's so strong."
Mr. and Mrs. Vance kept up a running fire of interruptions, and
these impressive things by Ames came at odd moments. They were
sufficient, however, for the atmosphere that went with this youth
impressed itself upon Carrie without words. There was something
in him, or the world he moved in, which appealed to her. He
reminded her of scenes she had seen on the stage--the sorrows and
sacrifices that always went with she knew not what. He had taken
away some of the bitterness of the contrast between this life and
her life, and all by a certain calm indifference which concerned
As they went out, he took her arm and helped her into the coach,
and then they were off again, and so to the show.
During the acts Carrie found herself listening to him very
attentively. He mentioned things in the play which she most
approved of--things which swayed her deeply.
"Don't you think it rather fine to be an actor?" she asked once.
"Yes, I do," he said, "to be a good one. I think the theatre a
Just this little approval set Carrie's heart bounding. Ah, if
she could only be an actress--a good one! This man was wise--he
knew--and he approved of it. If she were a fine actress, such
men as he would approve of her. She felt that he was good to
speak as he had, although it did not concern her at all. She did
not know why she felt this way.
At the close of the show it suddenly developed that he was not
going back with them.
"Oh, aren't you?" said Carrie, with an unwarrantable feeling.
"Oh, no," he said; "I'm stopping right around here in Thirty-
Carrie could not say anything else, but somehow this development
shocked her. She had been regretting the wane of a pleasant
evening, but she had thought there was a half-hour more. Oh, the
half-hours, the minutes of the world; what miseries and griefs
are crowded into them!
She said good-bye with feigned indifference. What matter could
it make? Still, the coach seemed lorn.
When she went into her own flat she had this to think about. She
did not know whether she would ever see this man any more. What
difference could it make--what difference could it make?
Hurstwood had returned, and was already in bed. His clothes were
scattered loosely about. Carrie came to the door and saw him,
then retreated. She did not want to go in yet a while. She
wanted to think. It was disagreeable to her.
Back in the dining-room she sat in her chair and rocked. Her
little hands were folded tightly as she thought. Through a fog
of longing and conflicting desires she was beginning to see. Oh,
ye legions of hope and pity--of sorrow and pain! She was rocking,
and beginning to see.
WITHOUT THE WALLED CITY--THE SLOPE OF THE YEARS
The immediate result of this was nothing. Results from such
things are usually long in growing. Morning brings a change of
feeling. The existent condition invariably pleads for itself.
It is only at odd moments that we get glimpses of the misery of
things. The heart understands when it is confronted with
contrasts. Take them away and the ache subsides.
Carrie went on, leading much this same life for six months
thereafter or more. She did not see Ames any more. He called
once upon the Vances, but she only heard about it through the
young wife. Then he went West, and there was a gradual
subsidence of whatever personal attraction had existed. The
mental effect of the thing had not gone, however, and never would
entirely. She had an ideal to contrast men by--particularly men
close to her.
During all this time--a period rapidly approaching three years--
Hurstwood had been moving along in an even path. There was no
apparent slope downward, and distinctly none upward, so far as
the casual observer might have seen. But psychologically there
was a change, which was marked enough to suggest the future very
distinctly indeed. This was in the mere matter of the halt his
career had received when he departed from Chicago. A man's
fortune or material progress is very much the same as his bodily
growth. Either he is growing stronger, healthier, wiser, as the
youth approaching manhood, or he is growing weaker, older, less
incisive mentally, as the man approaching old age. There are no
other states. Frequently there is a period between the cessation
of youthful accretion and the setting in, in the case of the
middle-aged man, of the tendency toward decay when the two
processes are almost perfectly balanced and there is little doing
in either direction. Given time enough, however, the balance
becomes a sagging to the grave side. Slowly at first, then with
a modest momentum, and at last the graveward process is in the
full swing. So it is frequently with man's fortune. If its
process of accretion is never halted, if the balancing stage is
never reached, there will be no toppling. Rich men are,
frequently, in these days, saved from this dissolution of their
fortune by their ability to hire younger brains. These younger
brains look upon the interests of the fortune as their own, and
so steady and direct its progress. If each individual were left
absolutely to the care of his own interests, and were given time
enough in which to grow exceedingly old, his fortune would pass
as his strength and will. He and his would be utterly dissolved
and scattered unto the four winds of the heavens.
But now see wherein the parallel changes. A fortune, like a man,
is an organism which draws to itself other minds and other
strength than that inherent in the founder. Beside the young
minds drawn to it by salaries, it becomes allied with young
forces, which make for its existence even when the strength and
wisdom of the founder are fading. It may be conserved by the
growth of a community or of a state. It may be involved in
providing something for which there is a growing demand. This
removes it at once beyond the special care of the founder. It
needs not so much foresight now as direction. The man wanes, the
need continues or grows, and the fortune, fallen into whose hands
it may, continues. Hence, some men never recognise the turning
in the tide of their abilities. It is only in chance cases,
where a fortune or a state of success is wrested from them, that
the lack of ability to do as they did formerly becomes apparent.
Hurstwood, set down under new conditions, was in a position to
see that he was no longer young. If he did not, it was due
wholly to the fact that his state was so well balanced that an
absolute change for the worse did not show.
Not trained to reason or introspect himself, he could not analyse
the change that was taking place in his mind, and hence his body,
but he felt the depression of it. Constant comparison between
his old state and his new showed a balance for the worse, which
produced a constant state of gloom or, at least, depression.
Now, it has been shown experimentally that a constantly subdued
frame of mind produces certain poisons in the blood, called
katastates, just as virtuous feelings of pleasure and delight
produce helpful chemicals called anastates. The poisons
generated by remorse inveigh against the system, and eventually
produce marked physical deterioration. To these Hurstwood was
In the course of time it told upon his temper. His eye no longer
possessed that buoyant, searching shrewdness which had
characterised it in Adams Street. His step was not as sharp and
firm. He was given to thinking, thinking, thinking. The new
friends he made were not celebrities. They were of a cheaper, a
slightly more sensual and cruder, grade. He could not possibly
take the pleasure in this company that he had in that of those
fine frequenters of the Chicago resort. He was left to brood.
Slowly, exceedingly slowly, his desire to greet, conciliate, and
make at home these people who visited the Warren Street place
passed from him. More and more slowly the significance of the
realm he had left began to be clear. It did not seem so
wonderful to be in it when he was in it. It had seemed very easy
for any one to get up there and have ample raiment and money to
spend, but now that he was out of it, how far off it became. He
began to see as one sees a city with a wall about it. Men were
posted at the gates. You could not get in. Those inside did not
care to come out to see who you were. They were so merry inside
there that all those outside were forgotten, and he was on the
Each day he could read in the evening papers of the doings within
this walled city. In the notices of passengers for Europe he
read the names of eminent frequenters of his old resort. In the
theatrical column appeared, from time to time, announcements of
the latest successes of men he had known. He knew that they were
at their old gayeties. Pullmans were hauling them to and fro
about the land, papers were greeting them with interesting
mentions, the elegant lobbies of hotels and the glow of polished
dining-rooms were keeping them close within the walled city. Men
whom he had known, men whom he had tipped glasses with--rich men,
and he was forgotten! Who was Mr. Wheeler? What was the Warren
Street resort? Bah!
If one thinks that such thoughts do not come to so common a type
of mind--that such feelings require a higher mental development--
I would urge for their consideration the fact that it is the
higher mental development that does away with such thoughts. It
is the higher mental development which induces philosophy and
that fortitude which refuses to dwell upon such things--refuses
to be made to suffer by their consideration. The common type of
mind is exceedingly keen on all matters which relate to its
physical welfare--exceedingly keen. It is the unintellectual
miser who sweats blood at the loss of a hundred dollars. It is
the Epictetus who smiles when the last vestige of physical
welfare is removed.
The time came, in the third year, when this thinking began to
produce results in the Warren Street place. The tide of
patronage dropped a little below what it had been at its best
since he had been there. This irritated and worried him.
There came a night when he confessed to Carrie that the business
was not doing as well this month as it had the month before.
This was in lieu of certain suggestions she had made concerning
little things she wanted to buy. She had not failed to notice
that he did not seem to consult her about buying clothes for
himself. For the first time, it struck her as a ruse, or that he
said it so that she would not think of asking for things. Her
reply was mild enough, but her thoughts were rebellious. He was
not looking after her at all. She was depending for her
enjoyment upon the Vances.
And now the latter announced that they were going away. It was
approaching spring, and they were going North.
"Oh, yes," said Mrs. Vance to Carrie, "we think we might as well
give up the flat and store our things. We'll be gone for the
summer, and it would be a useless expense. I think we'll settle
a little farther down town when we come back."
Carrie heard this with genuine sorrow. She had enjoyed Mrs.
Vance's companionship so much. There was no one else in the
house whom she knew. Again she would be all alone.
Hurstwood's gloom over the slight decrease in profits and the
departure of the Vances came together. So Carrie had loneliness
and this mood of her husband to enjoy at the same time. It was a
grievous thing. She became restless and dissatisfied, not
exactly, as she thought, with Hurstwood, but with life. What was
it? A very dull round indeed. What did she have? Nothing but
this narrow, little flat. The Vances could travel, they could do
the things worth doing, and here she was. For what was she made,
anyhow? More thought followed, and then tears--tears seemed
justified, and the only relief in the world.
For another period this state continued, the twain leading a
rather monotonous life, and then there was a slight change for
the worse. One evening, Hurstwood, after thinking about a way to
modify Carrie's desire for clothes and the general strain upon
his ability to provide, said:
"I don't think I'll ever be able to do much with Shaughnessy."
"What's the matter?" said Carrie.
"Oh, he's a slow, greedy 'mick'! He won't agree to anything to
improve the place, and it won't ever pay without it."
"Can't you make him?" said Carrie.
"No; I've tried. The only thing I can see, if I want to improve,
is to get hold of a place of my own."
"Why don't you?" said Carrie.
"Well, all I have is tied up in there just now. If I had a
chance to save a while I think I could open a place that would
give us plenty of money."
"Can't we save?" said Carrie.
"We might try it," he suggested. "I've been thinking that if
we'd take a smaller flat down town and live economically for a
year, I would have enough, with what I have invested, to open a
good place. Then we could arrange to live as you want to."
"It would suit me all right," said Carrie, who, nevertheless,
felt badly to think it had come to this. Talk of a smaller flat
sounded like poverty.
"There are lots of nice little flats down around Sixth Avenue,
below Fourteenth Street. We might get one down there."
"I'll look at them if you say so," said Carrie.
"I think I could break away from this fellow inside of a year,"
said Hurstwood. "Nothing will ever come of this arrangement as
it's going on now."
"I'll look around," said Carrie, observing that the proposed
change seemed to be a serious thing with him.
The upshot of this was that the change was eventually effected;
not without great gloom on the part of Carrie. It really
affected her more seriously than anything that had yet happened.
She began to look upon Hurstwood wholly as a man, and not as a
lover or husband. She felt thoroughly bound to him as a wife,
and that her lot was cast with his, whatever it might be; but she
began to see that he was gloomy and taciturn, not a young,
strong, and buoyant man. He looked a little bit old to her about
the eyes and mouth now, and there were other things which placed
him in his true rank, so far as her estimation was concerned.
She began to feel that she had made a mistake. Incidentally, she
also began to recall the fact that he had practically forced her
to flee with him.
The new flat was located in Thirteenth Street, a half block west
of Sixth Avenue, and contained only four rooms. The new
neighbourhood did not appeal to Carrie as much. There were no
trees here, no west view of the river. The street was solidly
built up. There were twelve families here, respectable enough,
but nothing like the Vances. Richer people required more space.
Being left alone in this little place, Carrie did without a girl.
She made it charming enough, but could not make it delight her.
Hurstwood was not inwardly pleased to think that they should have
to modify their state, but he argued that he could do nothing.
He must put the best face on it, and let it go at that.
He tried to show Carrie that there was no cause for financial
alarm, but only congratulation over the chance he would have at
the end of the year by taking her rather more frequently to the
theatre and by providing a liberal table. This was for the time
only. He was getting in the frame of mind where he wanted
principally to be alone and to be allowed to think. The disease
of brooding was beginning to claim him as a victim. Only the
newspapers and his own thoughts were worth while. The delight of
love had again slipped away. It was a case of live, now, making
the best you can out of a very commonplace station in life.
The road downward has but few landings and level places. The
very state of his mind, superinduced by his condition, caused the
breach to widen between him and his partner. At last that
individual began to wish that Hurstwood was out of it. It so
happened, however, that a real estate deal on the part of the
owner of the land arranged things even more effectually than ill-
will could have schemed.
"Did you see that?" said Shaughnessy one morning to Hurstwood,
pointing to the real estate column in a copy of the "Herald,"
which he held.
"No, what is it?" said Hurstwood, looking down the items of news.
"The man who owns this ground has sold it."
"You don't say so?" said Hurstwood.
He looked, and there was the notice. Mr. August Viele had
yesterday registered the transfer of the lot, 25 x 75 feet, at
the corner of Warren and Hudson Streets, to J. F. Slawson for the
sum of $57,000.
"Our lease expires when?" asked Hurstwood, thinking. "Next
February, isn't it?"
"That's right," said Shaughnessy.
"It doesn't say what the new man's going to do with it," remarked
Hurstwood, looking back to the paper.
"We'll hear, I guess, soon enough," said Shaughnessy.
Sure enough, it did develop. Mr. Slawson owned the property
adjoining, and was going to put up a modern office building. The
present one was to be torn down. It would take probably a year
and a half to complete the other one.
All these things developed by degrees, and Hurstwood began to
ponder over what would become of the saloon. One day he spoke
about it to his partner.
"Do you think it would be worth while to open up somewhere else
in the neighbourhood?"
"What would be the use?" said Shaughnessy. "We couldn't get
another corner around here."
"It wouldn't pay anywhere else, do you think?"
"I wouldn't try it," said the other.
The approaching change now took on a most serious aspect to
Hurstwood. Dissolution meant the loss of his thousand dollars,
and he could not save another thousand in the time. He
understood that Shaughnessy was merely tired of the arrangement,
and would probably lease the new corner, when completed, alone.
He began to worry about the necessity of a new connection and to
see impending serious financial straits unless something turned
up. This left him in no mood to enjoy his flat or Carrie, and
consequently the depression invaded that quarter.
Meanwhile, he took such time as he could to look about, but
opportunities were not numerous. More, he had not the same
impressive personality which he had when he first came to New
York. Bad thoughts had put a shade into his eyes which did not
impress others favourably. Neither had he thirteen hundred
dollars in hand to talk with. About a month later, finding that
he had not made any progress, Shaughnessy reported definitely
that Slawson would not extend the lease.
"I guess this thing's got to come to an end," he said, affecting
an air of concern.
"Well, if it has, it has," answered Hurstwood, grimly. He would
not give the other a key to his opinions, whatever they were. He
should not have the satisfaction.
A day or two later he saw that he must say something to Carrie.
"You know," he said, "I think I'm going to get the worst of my
deal down there."
"How is that?" asked Carrie in astonishment.
"Well, the man who owns the ground has sold it. and the new
owner won't release it to us. The business may come to an end."
"Can't you start somewhere else?"
"There doesn't seem to be any place. Shaughnessy doesn't want
"Do you lose what you put in?"
"Yes," said Hurstwood, whose face was a study.
"Oh, isn't that too bad?" said Carrie.
"It's a trick," said Hurstwood. "That's all. They'll start
another place there all right."
Carrie looked at him, and gathered from his whole demeanour what
it meant. It was serious, very serious.
"Do you think you can get something else?" she ventured, timidly.
Hurstwood thought a while. It was all up with the bluff about
money and investment. She could see now that he was "broke."
"I don't know," he said solemnly; "I can try."
THE GRIND OF THE MILLSTONES--A SAMPLE OF CHAFF
Carrie pondered over this situation as consistently as Hurstwood,
once she got the facts adjusted in her mind. It took several
days for her to fully realise that the approach of the
dissolution of her husband's business meant commonplace struggle
and privation. Her mind went back to her early venture in
Chicago, the Hansons and their flat, and her heart revolted.
That was terrible! Everything about poverty was terrible. She
wished she knew a way out. Her recent experiences with the
Vances had wholly unfitted her to view her own state with
complacence. The glamour of the high life of the city had, in
the few experiences afforded her by the former, seized her
completely. She had been taught how to dress and where to go
without having ample means to do either. Now, these things--
ever-present realities as they were--filled her eyes and mind.
The more circumscribed became her state, the more entrancing
seemed this other. And now poverty threatened to seize her
entirely and to remove this other world far upward like a heaven
to which any Lazarus might extend, appealingly, his hands.
So, too, the ideal brought into her life by Ames remained. He
had gone, but here was his word that riches were not everything;
that there was a great deal more in the world than she knew; that
the stage was good, and the literature she read poor. He was a
strong man and clean--how much stronger and better than Hurstwood
and Drouet she only half formulated to herself, but the
difference was painful. It was something to which she
voluntarily closed her eyes.
During the last three months of the Warren Street connection,
Hurstwood took parts of days off and hunted, tracking the
business advertisements. It was a more or less depressing
business, wholly because of the thought that he must soon get
something or he would begin to live on the few hundred dollars he
was saving, and then he would have nothing to invest--he would
have to hire out as a clerk.
Everything he discovered in his line advertised as an
opportunity, was either too expensive or too wretched for him.
Besides, winter was coming, the papers were announcing hardships,
and there was a general feeling of hard times in the air, or, at
least, he thought so. In his worry, other people's worries
became apparent. No item about a firm failing, a family
starving, or a man dying upon the streets, supposedly of
starvation, but arrested his eye as he scanned the morning
papers. Once the "World" came out with a flaring announcement
about "80,000 people out of employment in New York this winter,"
which struck as a knife at his heart.
"Eighty thousand!" he thought. "What an awful thing that is."
This was new reasoning for Hurstwood. In the old days the world
had seemed to be getting along well enough. He had been wont to
see similar things in the "Daily News," in Chicago, but they did
not hold his attention. Now, these things were like grey clouds
hovering along the horizon of a clear day. They threatened to
cover and obscure his life with chilly greyness. He tried to
shake them off, to forget and brace up. Sometimes he said to
"What's the use worrying? I'm not out yet. I've got six weeks
more. Even if worst comes to worst, I've got enough to live on
for six months."
Curiously, as he troubled over his future, his thoughts
occasionally reverted to his wife and family. He had avoided
such thoughts for the first three years as much as possible. He
hated her, and he could get along without her. Let her go. He
would do well enough. Now, however, when he was not doing well
enough, he began to wonder what she was doing, how his children
were getting along. He could see them living as nicely as ever,
occupying the comfortable house and using his property.
"By George! it's a shame they should have it all," he vaguely
thought to himself on several occasions. "I didn't do anything."
As he looked back now and analysed the situation which led up to
his taking the money, he began mildly to justify himself. What
had he done--what in the world--that should bar him out this way
and heap such difficulties upon him? It seemed only yesterday to
him since he was comfortable and well-to-do. But now it was all
wrested from him.
"She didn't deserve what she got out of me, that is sure. I
didn't do so much, if everybody could just know."
There was no thought that the facts ought to be advertised. It
was only a mental justification he was seeking from himself--
something that would enable him to bear his state as a righteous
One afternoon, five weeks before the Warren Street place closed
up, he left the saloon to visit three or four places he saw
advertised in the "Herald." One was down in Gold Street, and he
visited that, but did not enter. It was such a cheap looking
place he felt that he could not abide it. Another was on the
Bowery, which he knew contained many showy resorts. It was near
Grand Street, and turned out to be very handsomely fitted up. He
talked around about investments for fully three-quarters of an
hour with the proprietor, who maintained that his health was
poor, and that was the reason he wished a partner.
"Well, now, just how much money would it take to buy a half
interest here?" said Hurstwood, who saw seven hundred dollars as
"Three thousand," said the man.
Hurstwood's jaw fell.
"Cash?" he said.
He tried to put on an air of deliberation, as one who might
really buy; but his eyes showed gloom. He wound up by saying he
would think it over, and came away. The man he had been talking
to sensed his condition in a vague way.
"I don't think he wants to buy," he said to himself. "He doesn't