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Sister Carrie: a Novel by Theodore Dreiser
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insipid prettiness of the formative period, possessed of a figure
promising eventual shapeliness and an eye alight with certain
native intelligence, she was a fair example of the middle
American class--two generations removed from the emigrant. Books
were beyond her interest--knowledge a sealed book. In the
intuitive graces she was still crude. She could scarcely toss
her head gracefully. Her hands were almost ineffectual. The
feet, though small, were set flatly. And yet she was interested
in her charms, quick to understand the keener pleasures of life,
ambitious to gain in material things. A half-equipped little
knight she was, venturing to reconnoitre the mysterious city and
dreaming wild dreams of some vague, far-off supremacy, which
should make it prey and subject--the proper penitent, grovelling
at a woman's slipper.

"That," said a voice in her ear, "is one of the prettiest little
resorts in Wisconsin."

"Is it?" she answered nervously.

The train was just pulling out of Waukesha. For some time she
had been conscious of a man behind. She felt him observing her
mass of hair. He had been fidgetting, and with natural intuition
she felt a certain interest growing in that quarter. Her
maidenly reserve, and a certain sense of what was conventional
under the circumstances, called her to forestall and deny this
familiarity, but the daring and magnetism of the individual, born
of past experiences and triumphs, prevailed. She answered.

He leaned forward to put his elbows upon the back of her seat and