PART II. Neighboring Fields
6. CHAPTER VI (continued)
"You are afraid of hurting my feelings, perhaps." Alexandra looked
at him thoughtfully.
"No, I'm afraid of giving you a shock. You've seen yourself for
so long in the dull minds of the people about you, that if I were
to tell you how you seem to me, it would startle you. But you must
see that you astonish me. You must feel when people admire you."
Alexandra blushed and laughed with some confusion. "I felt that
you were pleased with me, if you mean that."
"And you've felt when other people were pleased with you?" he
"Well, sometimes. The men in town, at the banks and the county
offices, seem glad to see me. I think, myself, it is more pleasant
to do business with people who are clean and healthy-looking," she
Carl gave a little chuckle as he opened the Shabatas' gate for her.
"Oh, do you?" he asked dryly.
There was no sign of life about the Shabatas' house except a big
yellow cat, sunning itself on the kitchen doorstep.
Alexandra took the path that led to the orchard. "She often sits
there and sews. I didn't telephone her we were coming, because I
didn't want her to go to work and bake cake and freeze ice-cream.
She'll always make a party if you give her the least excuse. Do
you recognize the apple trees, Carl?"
Linstrum looked about him. "I wish I had a dollar for every bucket
of water I've carried for those trees. Poor father, he was an
easy man, but he was perfectly merciless when it came to watering
"That's one thing I like about Germans; they make an orchard grow
if they can't make anything else. I'm so glad these trees belong
to some one who takes comfort in them. When I rented this place,
the tenants never kept the orchard up, and Emil and I used to come
over and take care of it ourselves. It needs mowing now. There
she is, down in the corner. Maria-a-a!" she called.