Carrie smiled and smiled.。， She felt the drag of a lean and narrow life. The walls of therooms were discordantly papered. The floors were covered withmatting and the hall laid with a thin rag carpet. One could seethat the furniture was of that poor, hurriedly patched togetherquality sold by the instalment houses.
She received the answer in silence and backed awkwardly out. Thepleasant nature of her reception rather astonished her. She hadexpected that it would be more difficult, that something cold andharsh would be said--she knew not what. That she had not beenput to shame and made to feel her unfortunate position, seemedremarkable.。，
Carrie resented this, though she did not reply. She was notgoing to be a common shop-girl, she thought; they need not thinkit, either.。， He was thinking of a full career of vanity and wastefulness whicha young girl might indulge in, and wondering how Carrie couldcontemplate such a course when she had so little, as yet, withwhich to do.
There came a day when the first premonitory blast of winter sweptover the city. It scudded the fleecy clouds in the heavens,trailed long, thin streamers of smoke from the tall stacks, andraced about the streets and corners in sharp and sudden puffs.Carrie now felt the problem of winter clothes. What was she todo? She had no winter jacket, no hat, no shoes. It was difficultto speak to Minnie about this, but at last she summoned thecourage.。， "I don't care to go," he returned. "What does she want to see?"
。， Minnie pondered a while, not upon whether she could or would go--for that point was already negatively settled with her--but uponsome means of diverting the thoughts of her sister to some othertopic.
Hurstwood liked Drouet. The latter's genial nature and dressyappearance pleased him. He knew that Drouet was only atravelling salesman--and not one of many years at that--but thefirm of Bartlett, Caryoe & Company was a large and prosperoushouse, and Drouet stood well. Hurstwood knew Caryoe quite well,having drunk a glass now and then with him, in company withseveral others, when the conversation was general. Drouet hadwhat was a help in his business, a moderate sense of humour, andcould tell a good story when the occasion required. He couldtalk races with Hurstwood, tell interesting incidents concerninghimself and his experiences with women, and report the state oftrade in the cities which he visited, and so managed to makehimself almost invariably agreeable. To-night he wasparticularly so, since his report to the company had beenfavourably commented upon, his new samples had beensatisfactorily selected, and his trip marked out for the next sixweeks.。，
"I think so," she replied, very respectfully.。， In walking a few blocks to fix upon some probable place, sheagain encountered the firm of Storm and King, and this timemanaged to get in. Some gentlemen were conferring close at hand,but took no notice of her. She was left standing, gazingnervously upon the floor. When the limit of her distress hadbeen nearly reached, she was beckoned to by a man at one of themany desks within the near-by railing.