AND THIS IS NOT ELF LAND--WHAT GOLD WILL NOT BUY
When Carrie got back on the stage, she found that over
night her dressing-room had been changed.
"You are to use this room, Miss Madenda," said one of
the stage lackeys.
BACK | FORWARD
No longer any need of climbing several flights
of steps to a small coop shared with another.
Instead, a comparatively large and commodious chamber
with conveniences not enjoyed by the small fry overhead.
She breathed deeply and with delight. Her sensations
were more physical than mental. In fact, she was scarcely
thinking at all. Heart and body were having their say.
Gradually the deference and congratulation gave
her a mental appreciation of her state. She
was no longer ordered, but requested, and that politely.
The other members of the cast looked at her enviously
as she came out arrayed in her simple habit, which
she wore all through the play. All those who had supposedly
been her equals and superiors now smiled the smile of sociability,
as much as to say: "How friendly we have always been."
Only the star comedian whose part had been so deeply injured
stalked by himself. Figuratively, he could not kiss the hand
that smote him.
Doing her simple part, Carrie gradually realised
the meaning of the applause which was for her, and
it was sweet. She felt mildly guilty of something--perhaps
unworthiness. When her associates addressed
her in the wings she only smiled weakly. The pride
and daring of place were not for her. It never once crossed
her mind to be reserved or haughty--to be other than she had
been. After the performances she rode to her room with Lola,
in a carriage provided.
Then came a week in which the first fruits of
success were offered to her lips--bowl after bowl.
It did not matter that her splendid salary had not
begun. The world seemed satisfied with the promise.
She began to get letters and cards. A Mr. Withers-- whom
she did not know from Adam--having learned by some hook or crook
where she resided, bowed himself politely in.
"You will excuse me for intruding," he said; "but
have you been thinking of changing your apartments?"
"I hadn't thought of it," returned Carrie.
"Well, I am connected with the Wellington--the
new hotel on Broadway. You have probably seen
notices of it in the papers."
Carrie recognised the name as standing for one
of the newest and most imposing hostelries.
She had heard it spoken of as having a splendid restaurant.
"Just so," went on Mr. Withers, accepting her
acknowledgment of familiarity. "We have some
very elegant rooms at present which we would like
to have you look at, if you have not made up your mind
where you intend to reside for the summer. Our apartments
are perfect in every detail--hot and cold water, private
baths, special hall service for every floor, elevators,
and all that. You know what our restaurant is."
Carrie looked at him quietly. She was wondering
whether he took her to be a millionaire.
"What are your rates?" she inquired.
"Well, now, that is what I came to talk with you
privately about. Our regular rates are anywhere from
three to fifty dollars a day."
"Mercy!" interrupted Carrie. "I couldn't
pay any such rate as that."
"I know how you feel about it," exclaimed Mr.
Withers, halting. "But just let me explain.
I said those are our regular rates. Like every other
hotel we make special ones however. Possibly you
have not thought about it, but your name is worth something to
us." "Oh!" ejaculated Carrie, seeing at a glance.
"Of course. Every hotel depends upon the
repute of its patrons. A well-known actress like yourself,"
and he bowed politely, while Carrie flushed, "draws
attention to the hotel, and--although you may not
"Oh, yes," returned Carrie, vacantly, trying to
arrange this curious proposition in her mind.
"Now," continued Mr. Withers, swaying his derby
hat softly and beating one of his polished shoes upon
the floor, "I want to arrange, if possible, to have
you come and stop at the Wellington. You need
not trouble about terms. In fact, we need hardly
discuss them. Anything will do for the summer--a mere figure--anything
that you think you could afford to pay."
Carrie was about to interrupt, but he gave her
"You can come to-day or to-morrow--the earlier
the better--and we will give you your choice of nice,
light, outside rooms--the very best we have."
"You're very kind," said Carrie, touched by the
agent's extreme affability. "I should like to
come very much. I would want to pay what is
right, however. I shouldn't want to----"
"You need not trouble about that at all," interrupted
Mr. Withers. "We can arrange that to your entire
satisfaction at any time. If three dollars a
day is satisfactory to you, it will be so to us.
All you have to do is to pay that sum to the clerk at the
end of the week or month, just as you wish, and he will give you
a receipt for what the rooms would cost if charged for at our regular
The speaker paused.
"Suppose you come and look at the rooms," he added.
"I'd be glad to," said Carrie, "but I have a rehearsal
"I did not mean at once," he returned. "Any
time will do. Would this afternoon be inconvenient?"
"Not at all," said Carrie.
Suddenly she remembered Lola, who was out at the
"I have a room-mate," she added, "who will have
to go wherever I do. I forgot about that."
"Oh, very well," said Mr. Withers, blandly.
"It is for you to say whom you want with you.
As I say, all that can be arranged to suit yourself."
He bowed and backed toward the door.
"At four, then, we may expect you?"
"Yes," said Carrie.
"I will be there to show you," and so Mr. Withers
After rehearsal Carrie informed Lola. "Did
they really?" exclaimed the latter, thinking of the Wellington
as a group of managers. "Isn't that fine? Oh, jolly! It's
so swell. That's where we dined that night we went with those
two Cushing boys. Don't you know?"
"I remember," said Carrie.
"Oh, it's as fine as it can be."
"We'd better be going up there," observed Carrie
later in the afternoon.
The rooms which Mr. Withers displayed to Carrie
and Lola were three and bath--a suite on the parlour
floor. They were done in chocolate and dark
red, with rugs and hangings to match. Three windows
looked down into busy Broadway on the east, three into a side
street which crossed there. There were two lovely bedrooms,
set with brass and white enamel beds, white ribbon-trimmed
chairs and chiffoniers to match. In the third
room, or parlour, was a piano, a heavy piano lamp,
with a shade of gorgeous pattern, a library table,
several huge easy rockers, some dado book shelves, and
a gilt curio case, filled with oddities. Pictures were upon
the walls, soft Turkish pillows upon the divan footstools
of brown plush upon the floor. Such accommodations
would ordinarily cost a hundred dollars a week.
"Oh, lovely!" exclaimed Lola, walking about.
"It is comfortable," said Carrie, who was lifting
a lace curtain and looking down into crowded Broadway.
The bath was a handsome affair, done in white
enamel, with a large, blue-bordered stone tub and
nickel trimmings. It was bright and commodious,
with a bevelled mirror set in the wall at one end
and incandescent lights arranged in three places.
"Do you find these satisfactory?" observed Mr.
"Oh, very," answered Carrie.
"Well, then, any time you find it convenient to
move in, they are ready. The boy will bring
you the keys at the door."
Carrie noted the elegantly carpeted and decorated
hall, the marbled lobby, and showy waiting-room.
It was such a place as she had often dreamed of occupying.
"I guess we'd better move right away, don't you
think so?" she observed to Lola, thinking of the commonplace
chamber in Seventeenth Street.
"Oh, by all means," said the latter.
The next day her trunks left for the new abode.
Dressing, after the matinee on Wednesday, a knock
came at her dressing-room door.
Carrie looked at the card handed by the boy and
suffered a shock of surprise.
"Tell her I'll be right out," she said softly.
Then, looking at the card, added: "Mrs. Vance."
"Why, you little sinner," the latter exclaimed,
as she saw Carrie coming toward her across the now
vacant stage. "How in the world did this happen?"
Carrie laughed merrily. There was no trace
of embarrassment in her friend's manner. You
would have thought that the long separation had come
"I don't know," returned Carrie, warming, in spite
of her first troubled feelings, toward this handsome,
good-natured young matron.
"Well, you know, I saw your picture in the Sunday
paper, but your name threw me off. I thought
it must be you or somebody that looked just like you,
and I said: 'Well, now, I will go right down there
and see.' I was never more surprised in my life. How are
"Oh, very well," returned Carrie. "How have
"Fine. But aren't you a success! Dear, oh!
All the papers talking about you. I should think
you would be just too proud to breathe. I was
almost afraid to come back here this afternoon."
"Oh, nonsense," said Carrie, blushing. "You
know I'd be glad to see you."
"Well, anyhow, here you are. Can't you come
up and take dinner with me now? Where are you stopping?"
"At the Wellington," said Carrie, who permitted
herself a touch of pride in the acknowledgment.
"Oh, are you?" exclaimed the other, upon whom
the name was not without its proper effect.
Tactfully, Mrs. Vance avoided the subject of Hurstwood,
of whom she could not help thinking. No doubt
Carrie had left him. That much she surmised.
"Oh, I don't think I can," said Carrie, "to-night.
I have so little time. I must be back here by
7.30. Won't you come and dine with me?"
"I'd be delighted, but I can't to-night," said
Mrs. Vance studying Carrie's fine appearance.
The latter's good fortune made her seem more than
ever worthy and delightful in the others eyes.
"I promised faithfully to be home at six." Glancing at the small
gold watch pinned to her bosom, she added: "I must be going,
too. Tell me when you're coming up, if at all."
"Why, any time you like," said Carrie.
"Well, to-morrow then. I'm living at the
"Moved again?" exclaimed Carrie, laughing.
"Yes. You know I can't stay six months in
one place. I just have to move. Remember
"I won't forget," said Carrie, casting a glance
at her as she went away. Then it came to her
that she was as good as this woman now--perhaps better.
Something in the other's solicitude and interest made
her feel as if she were the one to condescend.
Now, as on each preceding day, letters were handed
her by the doorman at the Casino. This was a
feature which had rapidly developed since Monday.
What they contained she well knew. MASH NOTES
were old affairs in their mildest form. She remembered having
received her first one far back in Columbia City. Since then,
as a chorus girl, she had received others--gentlemen who prayed
for an engagement. They were common sport between her and
Lola, who received some also. They both frequently
made light of them.
Now, however, they came thick and fast.
Gentlemen with fortunes did not hesitate to note,
as an addition to their own amiable collection of
virtues, that they had their horses and carriages. Thus
"I have a million in my own right. I could
give you every luxury. There isn't anything
you could ask for that you couldn't have. I
say this, not because I want to speak of my money, but because
I love you and wish to gratify your every desire. It is love
that prompts me to write. Will you not give me one half- hour
in which to plead my cause?"
Such of these letters as came while Carrie was
still in the Seventeenth Street place were read with
more interest--though never delight--than those which
arrived after she was installed in her luxurious quarters
at the Wellington. Even there her vanity--or
that self-appreciation which, in its more rabid form, is
called vanity--was not sufficiently cloyed to make these things
wearisome. Adulation, being new in any form, pleased her.
Only she was sufficiently wise to distinguish between her
old condition and her new one. She had not had
fame or money before. Now they had come. She
had not had adulation and affectionate propositions
before. Now they had come. Wherefore? She smiled to
think that men should suddenly find her so much more attractive.
In the least way it incited her to coolness and indifference.
"Do look here," she remarked to Lola. "See
what this man says: 'If you will only deign to grant
me one half-hour,'" she repeated, with an imitation
of languor. "The idea. Aren't men silly?"
"He must have lots of money, the way he talks,"
observed Lola. "That's what they all say," said Carrie,
"Why don't you see him," suggested Lola, "and
hear what he has to say?"
"Indeed I won't," said Carrie. "I know what
he'd say. I don't want to meet anybody that
Lola looked at her with big, merry eyes.
"He couldn't hurt you," she returned. "You
might have some fun with him."
Carrie shook her head.
"You're awfully queer," returned the little, blue-eyed
Thus crowded fortune. For this whole week,
though her large salary had not yet arrived, it was
as if the world understood and trusted her.
Without money--or the requisite sum, at least--she enjoyed
the luxuries which money could buy. For her the doors of fine
places seemed to open quite without the asking. These palatial
chambers, how marvellously they came to her. The elegant
apartments of Mrs. Vance in the Chelsea--these were hers. Men
sent flowers, love notes, offers of fortune. And still her
dreams ran riot. The one hundred and fifty! the one
hundred and fifty! What a door to an Aladdin's cave
it seemed to be. Each day, her head almost turned
by developments, her fancies of what her fortune must
be, with ample money, grew and multiplied. She conceived
of delights which were not--saw lights of joy that never
were on land or sea. Then, at last, after a world of anticipation,
came her first installment of one hundred and fifty dollars.
It was paid to her in greenbacks--three twenties,
six tens, and six fives. Thus collected it made
a very convenient roll. It was accompanied by
a smile and a salutation from the cashier who paid
"Ah, yes," said the latter, when she applied;
"Miss Madenda--one hundred and fifty dollars.
Quite a success the show seems to have made."
"Yes, indeed," returned Carrie.
Right after came one of the insignificant members
of the company, and she heard the changed tone of
"How much?" said the same cashier, sharply.
One, such as she had only recently been, was waiting
for her modest salary. It took her back to the
few weeks in which she had collected--or rather had
received--almost with the air of a domestic, four-fifty per week
from a lordly foreman in a shoe factory--a man who, in distributing
the envelopes, had the manner of a prince doling out favours
to a servile group of petitioners. She knew that out in Chicago
this very day the same factory chamber was full of poor homely-clad
girls working in long lines at clattering machines; that
at noon they would eat a miserable lunch in a half-hour; that
Saturday they would gather, as they had when she was one of them,
and accept the small pay for work a hundred times harder than
she was now doing. Oh, it was so easy now! The world was so
rosy and bright. She felt so thrilled that she must
needs walk back to the hotel to think, wondering what
she should do.
It does not take money long to make plain its
impotence, providing the desires are in the realm
of affection. With her one hundred and fifty
in hand, Carrie could think of nothing particularly
to do. In itself, as a tangible, apparent thing which
she could touch and look upon, it was a diverting thing for a
few days, but this soon passed. Her hotel bill did not require
its use. Her clothes had for some time been wholly
satisfactory. Another day or two and she would receive
another hundred and fifty. It began to appear
as if this were not so startlingly necessary to maintain
her present state. If she wanted to do anything
better or move higher she must have more--a great deal more.
Now a critic called to get up one of those tinsel
interviews which shine with clever observations, show
up the wit of critics, display the folly of celebrities,
and divert the public. He liked Carrie, and
said so, publicly--adding, however, that she was merely
pretty, good-natured, and lucky. This cut like a knife.
The "Herald," getting up an entertainment for the benefit of
its free ice fund, did her the honour to beg her to appear along
with celebrities for nothing. She was visited by a young author,
who had a play which he thought she could produce. Alas, she
could not judge. It hurt her to think it. Then she found
she must put her money in the bank for safety, and so moving,
finally reached the place where it struck her that the door
to life's perfect enjoyment was not open.
Gradually she began to think it was because it
was summer. Nothing was going on much save such entertainments
as the one in which she was the star. Fifth
Avenue was boarded up where the rich had deserted
their mansions. Madison Avenue was little better.
Broadway was full of loafing thespians in search of next season's
engagements. The whole city was quiet and her nights were
taken up with her work. Hence the feeling that there was little
"I don't know," she said to Lola one day, sitting
at one of the windows which looked down into Broadway,
"I get lonely; don't you?"
"No," said Lola, "not very often. You won't
go anywhere. That's what's the matter with you."
"Where can I go?"
"Why, there're lots of places," returned Lola,
who was thinking of her own lightsome tourneys with
the gay youths. "You won't go with anybody."
"I don't want to go with these people who write
to me. I know what kind they are."
"You oughtn't to be lonely," said Lola, thinking
of Carrie's success. "There're lots would give
their ears to be in your shoes."
Carrie looked out again at the passing crowd.
"I don't know," she said.
Unconsciously her idle hands were beginning to