Chapters 14-15 Summary
Carrie returns home, completely in love. She agreed to meet Hurstwood in town. Mrs. Hale notices that Carrie has gone out with Hurstwood and is suspicious that Carrie, whom she thinks is married to Drouet, is going out with another man. The housemaid also takes notice. She has a preference for Drouet because of his attention to her, so she spreads her gossip to the cook. From there, Carrie’s relationship with Hurstwood becomes the topic of much conversation.
Hurstwood is enjoying his new life. He thinks only of the pleasure of it, not the responsibility. He does not intend for it to intrude on the rest of his life. He sees that Carrie takes their relationship more seriously than he does, but she resists consummating it, so he resolves not to push it—at least, not yet. They make arrangements to meet in secret later. At this time, Drouet returns from his business trip. Hurstwood sees him first. He tells Drouet that he visited Carrie to ease her loneliness but urges him to return home because his “wife” is anxious to see him. Hurstwood invites the Drouets to join him for a night at the theater the following Wednesday.
At home, Carrie seems distant to Drouet. He tells her of his success on the road and says he plans to ask for a raise. He says that when he finishes up his real estate deal, he will marry Carrie, but she does not believe it. She meets Hurstwood on Wednesday before they go to the theater. Drouet is talkative that evening, acting as if he were the host rather than Hurstwood. Afterward, a beggar approaches the trio. Drouet gives him a dime but the other two ignore the indigent man.
Hurstwood ignores his own family. His wife demands that he get season tickets to the races. Hurstwood resents being forced to provide entertainment for his family and receiving little gratitude in return. He sees his daughter as spoiled and his son as disrespectful.
He no longer feels comfortable visiting Carrie at her home, but he writes to her daily and sees her often. He asks her to go away with him. She resists, wanting the assurance of a marriage. Hurstwood has not taken this into consideration; he has no intention of divorcing his wife and facing the societal stigma this would bring. Carrie agrees, as long as they leave Chicago. Hurstwood concedes to her request but only promises that they will get married when they arrive at their destination. Carrie accepts this, though Hurstwood is vague about this promise.