。， The place smelled of the oil of the machines and the new leather--a combination which, added to the stale odours of the building,was not pleasant even in cold weather. The floor, thoughregularly swept every evening, presented a littered surface. Notthe slightest provision had been made for the comfort of theemployees, the idea being that something was gained by givingthem as little and making the work as hard and unremunerative aspossible. What we know of foot-rests, swivel-back chairs,dining-rooms for the girls, clean aprons and curling ironssupplied free, and a decent cloak room, were unthought of. Thewashrooms were disagreeable, crude, if not foul places, and thewhole atmosphere was sordid.
"Why, Sister Carrie!" she began, and there was embrace ofwelcome.。， She felt so relieved in his radiant presence, so much lookedafter and cared for, that she assented gladly, though with theslightest air of holding back.
If anything, her efforts were more poorly rewarded on this trialthan the last. Her clothes were nothing suitable for fallwearing. Her last money she had spent for a hat. For three daysshe wandered about, utterly dispirited. The attitude of the flatwas fast becoming unbearable. She hated to think of going backthere each evening. Hanson was so cold. She knew it could notlast much longer. Shortly she would have to give up and go home.。， Carrie looked about her, very much disturbed and quite sure thatshe did not want to work here. Aside from making heruncomfortable by sidelong glances, no one paid her the leastattention. She waited until the whole department was aware ofher presence. Then some word was sent around, and a foreman, inan apron and shirt sleeves, the latter rolled up to hisshoulders, approached.
Minnie was no companion for her sister--she was too old. Herthoughts were staid and solemnly adapted to a condition. IfHanson had any pleasant thoughts or happy feelings he concealedthem. He seemed to do all his mental operations without the aidof physical expression. He was as still as a deserted chamber.Carrie, on the other hand, had the blood of youth and someimagination. Her day of love and the mysteries of courtship werestill ahead. She could think of things she would like to do, ofclothes she would like to wear, and of places she would like tovisit. These were the things upon which her mind ran, and it waslike meeting with opposition at every turn to find no one here tocall forth or respond to her feelings.。， "Come on," he said, "I'll see you through all right. Get yourselfsome clothes."
"Well, well!" said a voice. In the first glance she beheldDrouet. He was not only rosy-cheeked, but radiant. He was theessence of sunshine and good-humour. "Why, how are you, Carrie?"he said. "You're a daisy. Where have you been?"。，
。， The new arrangement might have worked if sickness had notintervened. It blew up cold after a rain one afternoon whenCarrie was still without a jacket. She came out of the warm shopat six and shivered as the wind struck her. In the morning shewas sneezing, and going down town made it worse. That day herbones ached and she felt light-headed. Towards evening she feltvery ill, and when she reached home was not hungry. Minnienoticed her drooping actions and asked her about herself.
， "Oh, it's not very far from here," answered Minnie. "It's inHalstead Street, right up here."。， He led the way through dark, box-lined aisles which had the smellof new shoes, until they came to an iron door which opened intothe factory proper. There was a large, low-ceiled room, withclacking, rattling machines at which men in white shirt sleevesand blue gingham aprons were working. She followed himdiffidently through the clattering automatons, keeping her eyesstraight before her, and flushing slightly. They crossed to a farcorner and took an elevator to the sixth floor. Out of the arrayof machines and benches, Mr. Brown signalled a foreman.