PART II. Neighboring Fields
11. CHAPTER XI
Emil came home at about half-past seven o'clock that evening. Old
Ivar met him at the windmill and took his horse, and the young
man went directly into the house. He called to his sister and she
answered from her bedroom, behind the sitting-room, saying that
she was lying down.
Emil went to her door.
"Can I see you for a minute?" he asked. "I want to talk to you
about something before Carl comes."
Alexandra rose quickly and came to the door. "Where is Carl?"
"Lou and Oscar met us and said they wanted to talk to him, so he
rode over to Oscar's with them. Are you coming out?" Emil asked
"Yes, sit down. I'll be dressed in a moment."
Alexandra closed her door, and Emil sank down on the old slat lounge
and sat with his head in his hands. When his sister came out, he
looked up, not knowing whether the interval had been short or long,
and he was surprised to see that the room had grown quite dark.
That was just as well; it would be easier to talk if he were not
under the gaze of those clear, deliberate eyes, that saw so far in
some directions and were so blind in others. Alexandra, too, was
glad of the dusk. Her face was swollen from crying.
Emil started up and then sat down again. "Alexandra," he said
slowly, in his deep young baritone, "I don't want to go away to
law school this fall. Let me put it off another year. I want to
take a year off and look around. It's awfully easy to rush into
a profession you don't really like, and awfully hard to get out of
it. Linstrum and I have been talking about that."
"Very well, Emil. Only don't go off looking for land." She came
up and put her hand on his shoulder. "I've been wishing you could
stay with me this winter."