Carrie's in her dressing room when she hears "a familiar voice."
No, it's not Hurstwood. It's a blast from her past: Drouet. Remember him?
He's stopping by to congratulate Carrie on her success, and invites her to come out with him and his friend. She declines, but invites him to dinner the next night at her latest pad: the Waldorf, a super fancy famous hotel in NYC.
Drouet and Carrie meet up for lunch. When Drouet asks about Hurstwood. Carrie only says that she thinks he's still in New York. Drouet fills her in about Hurstwood having stolen the money back in Chicago, and she's shocked. Hearing the news actually makes her feel sorry for Hurstwood.
Drouet flirts a bit with Carrie, trying to rekindle their flame, but she's not having it and she leaves. The next night on her way into the theater, Carrie runs smack into Hurstwood, who's hanging around waiting for her. She hardly recognizes him because he looks so bad, and when he asks for money, she immediately gives it to him.
She asks what's wrong with him and he says that he's been sick and that he's living in a room in the Bowery. Then he leaves.
Carrie becomes withdrawn. The show she's starring in gets transferred to London and it looks like she's setting off for England—cheerio.
Months pass, during which Hurstwood continues to suffer homelessness and Carrie returns from London to New York to appear in a new Broadway play.
And Ames is back, and he and Mrs. Vance (they're cousins, remember) go to see Carrie in a play. But Carrie is no longer romantically interested in Ames. She seems to still be pretty influenced by his opinions, though, and he tells her that she would be better off doing comedy-dramas than comedies (what she's been doing) because she's more suited to that genre. Carrie tells Lola—surprise, surprise—that she wants to start doing drama.