He was a brotherly sort of creature in his demeanor. When he had scouted the idea of that kind of toil, he took another tack. Carrie was really very pretty. Even then in her commonplace garb, her figure was evidently not bad, and her eyes were large and gentle. Drouet looked at her and his thoughts reached home. She felt his admiration. It was powerfully backed by his liberality and good-humor. She felt that she liked him-that she could continue to like him ever so much. There was something even richer than that, running as a hidden strain, in her mind. Every little while her eyes would meet his, and by that means the interchanging current of feeling would be fully connected.
"Why don't you stay down town and go to the theatre with me?" he said, hitching his chair closer. The table was not very wide.
"Oh, I can't," she said.
"What are you going to do to-night?"
"Nothing," she answered, a little drearily.
"You don't like out there where you are, do you?"
"Oh I don't know."
"What are you going to do if you don't get work?"
"Go back home, I guess."
There was least quaver in her voice as she said this. Somehow, the influence he was exerting was powerful. They came to an understanding of each other without words-he of her situation. she of the fact that he realized it.
"No," he said, " you can't make it!" genuine sympathy filling his mind for the time. " Let me help you. You take some of my money"
"Oh, no! she said, leaning back.
"What are you going to do?" he said.
She sat meditating, merely shaking her head.
He looked at her quite tenderly for his kind. There were some loose bills in his vest pocket-greenbacks They were soft and noiseless, and he got his fingers about them and crumpled them up in his hand.
"Carrie on," he said, " I'll see you through all right. Get yourself some clothes."
It was the first reference he had made to that subject, and now she realized how bad off she was. In his crude way he had struck the key- note. Her lips trembled a little.
She had her hand out on the table before her. They were quite alone in their corner, and he put his larger, warmer hand over it.
"Aw, come, Carrie," he said, " what can you do alone? Let me help you."
He pressed her hand gently and she tried to withdraw it. At this he held it fast, and she no longer protested. Then he slipped the greenbacks he had into her palm, and when she began to protest, he whispered:
"I'll loan to you-that's all right. I'll loan it to you."
He made her take it. She felt bound to him by a strange tie of affection now. They went out, and he walked with her take it. She felt bound to him by a walked with her far out south toward Polk Street, talking.
"You don't want to live with those people?" he said in one place, abstractedly. Carrie heard it, but it made only a slight impression.
"Could down and meet me to-morrow," he said, " and we'll go to the matinee. Will you?
Carrie protested a while, but acquiesced.
"You're not doing anything. Get yourself a nice pair of shoes and a jacket."
She scarcely gave a though to the complication which would trouble her when he was gone. In his presence, she was of his own hopeful, easy- way-out mood.
"Don't you bother about those people out there," he said at parting. " I'll help you."
Carrie left him, feeling as though a great arm had slipped out before her to draw off trouble. The money she had accepted was two soft, green, handsome ten dollar bills.