At the age of eighteen, Carolina Meeber, with four dollars in her purse, leaves her hometown of Columbia City, and travels to Chicago, where her older sister and her husband live. In 1889, in America, Sister Kerry, so loved and loved people called her Caroline, inspired by a dream for a better life in a megacity of opportunities. Arriving at the place of our heroine, waiting for a great disappointment, as the sister and her husband live very poorly and every new “mouth” for them is a burden. He works as a cleaner at a slaughterhouse for a small salary, and she is completely engaged in family and household chores. Kerry makes a decision and is sent for work.
Since she did not know how to do anything, the best thing she could find was working at a shoe factory. Low-paid and monotonous work constantly keeps the girl in a depressed state, but soon she becomes ill and loses this earnings. Refusing to hang around the neck of her sister and husband, she is going to return
home to her native Columbia City, but by chance she meets her friend Charles Drouet again, whom she met on the train in Chicago. A young man works as a traveling salesman.
Drouet assists Kerry from a “pure heart” and yet persuades to borrow money from him and takes an apartment for her. In this situation, Kerry takes courtship, although he does not feel any feelings for him, except respect. However, from gratitude she is ready to associate her life with his marriage. Every time this comes up Drouet begins to look for excuses, and constantly promises to marry her, but first he must complete the papers for some inheritance until the end.
Drouet introduces, and this makes a fatal mistake, with George Hurstwood Kerry. George is the manager of the elite bar “My and Fitzgerald.” Mr. Hurstwood, struggling through the thorns, managed to achieve this position, rising from the bottom of the third-rate saloon, where he worked as a barman, and now he works where the cream of Chicago society gathers. Owning, like everything he aspired to, that is, a personal home and a bank account in the bank did
not receive simple family happiness and warmth. Well-bred and cultured Hurstwood makes a huge impression on Kerry. At this time George himself begins to be very interested in a very young and very pretty provincial. This additionally contributes to the coolness in the relationship with his wife.
Meetings George and Kerry first pass together with Drouet, and then increasingly often secretly. To ensure that their relationship is not hindered by Hurstwood offers to change the place of residence, Kerry is ready for such a step, but on condition that she marries him. At this time, Drouet agrees that she played the main role in the amateur performance, but Kerry’s inexperience in acting is immediately manifested, but the debut of the young miss is very successful. The wife of Hurstwood and Mr. Drouet begin to suspect something is not right in their favorite people. Due to the fact that all of his savings and assets are recorded on his wife, Hurstwood understands that she can take away absolutely everything from him and literally leave it with a nose. This pushes him to a desperate step. Using the absolute trust of the hosts, Hurstwood steals money from the club’s cash desk in the amount of ten thousand and takes Kerry away.
Cheating persuades Kerry to go with him, supposedly Drouet had a disaster and urgently need to go to his hospital. On the train, George reveals almost all the cards, explaining that he will divorce his wife and never leave her Kerry just to go with him, but she hides the most important thing that she has appropriated money not belonging to him. Unaware that they are followed closely by a private detective who was hired by the owners to recover the stolen in Montreal, Hurstwood and Kerry are crowned, like Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler. Finding the “newly-made family” reveals the deception of Hurstwood. He returns almost the entire amount of illegally appropriated money and gets permission to return to the US, where they settle in New York.
The remaining funds are invested in a new bar and for a short period of time life is adjusted. Kerry gets to know the neighbor of Mrs. and Mr. Vance. They immediately became friends and began to visit all the theaters and restaurants. One day, Vance introduces Kerry to his cousin Bob Ems, who was a talented inventor. Emsu Kerry has sunk into the soul, but since it was sacred to the bonds of marriage, the acquaintance did not go much further. After Bob’s departure to his home in Indiana, Kerry was not happy with this meeting, because he became an ideal for her, and compared all males to him.
It takes three years and clouds gather over Hurstwood. His partner refuses to work with him, in connection with the change of the owner of the house, where he rented a room for the bar, and the desire of the new owner to rebuild the building. Realizing the whole gravity of the situation, Hurstwood starts to look for a job in panic, but age is not the same and he is always denied. Quite often he meets his friends from the bar “My and Fitzgerald”, but can not appeal to them for help. With each passing day, money is melting, and so they are forced to move to a cheaper apartment, but there is still not enough money. Here, Hurstwood recalls the long-forgotten ability to play poker, and loses the latter.
Since there is no hope for Hurstwood, Kerry is looking for work, remembering the successful debut in the performance. In the end, Kerry was lucky, and she begins to work in an operetta as an onstage, but thanks to her efforts she soon becomes a soloist. During the strike of Brooklyn’s tramway operators, Hurstwood goes on a desperate step and settles down as a car driver, as the failures have brought him to the handle. George is very hard, because he is constantly being bullied, and after a while and generally shoot, but everything was light wounded. He could not stand the blows of fate, throw a tram and go home.
Having achieved another success of Kerry, leaves Hurstwood, for parting, leaving twenty dollars and a note, where he puts it before the fact that she is tired of everything, and she leaves. Now, in a word, they are not following the path. Kerry achieves success, the glory of her society is replenished with rich boyfriends, as critics shower with positive reviews. One of the hotels as an advertising proposes to rent apartments from them for a small fee. Hurstwood remains without a roof over his head, he is so poor that he is forced to stand in lines for free food and spend the night in New York’s flophouse. One day the hotel manager, out of pity, takes him to work in his office, where he performs low-paid, black work and is happy with it. The weakened organism of Hurstwood soon falls ill, after the hospital he again replenishes the ranks of the unemployed. George no longer feels ashamed to beg, and somehow does it under the advertising signboard, where it is told about the performance of his ex-wife. One day, Kerry meets Drouet, who suggests renewing the relationship, but she does not care. After some time, Ems returns to New York, who achieved success in Indiana, and wants to open a laboratory in New York. Bob suggests Kerry move on and try a role in the drama, this conclusion he made after watching the next performance with her participation. Ems is confident that Kerry is burying her talent by playing simple simple template roles. and wants to open a laboratory in New York. Bob suggests Kerry move on and try a role in the drama, this conclusion he made after watching the next performance with her participation. Ems is confident that Kerry is burying her talent by playing simple simple template roles. and wants to open a laboratory in New York. Bob suggests Kerry move on and try a role in the drama, this conclusion he made after watching the next performance with her participation. Ems is confident that Kerry is burying her talent by playing simple simple template roles.
Kerry accepts Bob’s opinion and at the same time does not take a single step in this direction. She is attacked by a terrible depression, since Drouet has left for good, probably forever, and also has died Hurstwood, which she does not even suspect. Fate broke him, and he laid his hands on himself, poisoned with gas at the next place of lodging. Although she perfectly understands that the return “on horseback” and with the good condition of Hurstwood would not change anything in her life. Kerry realized that neither fame nor money brought the pleasure and happiness to which she aspired. Things are going well, she has everything in material terms, new victories do not bring pleasure, and every minute she thinks more and more that her whole life is simple – a mirage.