Study Guide

Sister Carrie Chapter 24

By Theodore Dreiser

Chapter 24

Ashes of Tinder: A Face at the Window

  • Hurstwood is staying in a hotel. He's all worried about what his wife is going to do and fears that he might lose his job and his friends if news of his indiscretions gets around. Plus he's worried about losing his money and property since a lot of it is in Mrs. Hurstwood's name.
  • His only comfort is thinking of how great things are going with Carrie (little does he know...).
  • Hurstwood checks his mail, eats breakfast, and goes to meet Carrie at the park. He waits for an hour but she still doesn't show. His mind races—he's worried that Mrs. H has somehow found her and told her that he's married.
  • He leaves the park to go back to work and it starts to rain, adding to his gloom.
  • Back at work, Hurstwood can barely concentrate. He goes to lunch and when he returns, a messenger delivers him a letter from Mrs. H. It says to give money to the messenger to give to her. Nice try—he refuses and the messenger leaves.
  • A few hours later, he gets another note from Mrs. H telling him that if he doesn't give her the money by tonight, she's going to tell his employers about the affair tomorrow.
  • He takes a cab to his house, but discovers that his key won't work. He rings the doorbell and gets no answer.
  • Fuming, he gets back in the cab.