Sister Carrie - Theodore Dreiser - Страница 1 из 201

by Theodore Dreiser
When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total
outfit consisted of a small trunk, a cheap imitation alligator-skin
satchel, a small lunch in a paper box, and a yellow leather snap purse,
containing her ticket, a scrap of paper with her sister's address in Van
Buren Street, and four dollars in money. It was in August, 1889. She
was eighteen years of age, bright, timid, and full of the illusions of
ignorance and youth. Whatever touch of regret at parting characterised
her thoughts, it was certainly not for advantages now being given up. A
gush of tears at her mother's farewell kiss, a touch in her throat when
the cars clacked by the flour mill where her father worked by the day,
a pathetic sigh as the familiar green environs of the village passed in
review, and the threads which bound her so lightly to girlhood and home
were irretrievably broken.
To be sure there was always the next station, where one might descend
and return. There was the great city, bound more closely by these very
trains which came up daily. Columbia City was not so very far away,
even once she was in Chicago. What, pray, is a few hours--a few hundred
miles? She looked at the little slip bearing her sister's address and
wondered. She gazed at the green landscape, now passing in swift
review, until her swifter thoughts replaced its impression with vague
conjectures of what Chicago might be.
When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things.

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