Then the men got up and praised the dead woman's virtues. 'I am bringing you a bird, then said Grochowski, turning to Gryb; 'he is slightly wounded. 'What do you mean? 'It's your Jasiek. He attempted to steal my horses last night, and I treated him to a little lead. 'Where is he? 'In the sledge outside. Gryb ran off at a heavy trot.
At first Gryb wouldn't listen and shouted and banged his fists on the table, but at last Josel drew him off to his room with Orzchewski, and they made some arrangement among themselves. 'He's a fool, said Slimak; 'he wasn't cute enough to buy the land, he won't be able to cope with the Germans. 'Not cute enough? cried the old woman.
'Do you know, cried the gospodyni, coming up,'we have seen Jasiek Gryb who knows all about the law; we told him about Jendrek's giving it to Hermann, and he swore by a happy death that the Court would let Jendrek off; Jasiek has been tried for these tricks himself, he knows. 'Let them try and put me in prison! shouted Jendrek.
'I know I am stupid, that is because I can't read or write, but Jasiek Gryb can, and therefore he is clever, and he says there must be equality, and there will be when the peasants have taken the land from the nobility. 'Jasiek had better leave off taking money from his father's chest before he disposes of other people's property!
'What makes you take the cow to Gryb? asked the gospodyni. 'Because he wants to buy her. 'We might buy her ourselves. 'Yes, that might be so, put in Slimak; 'the girl is here, the cow should be here too. 'That's right, isn't it, Maciek? asked the woman. 'Oho, ho! laughed Maciek, till the soup ran out of his spoon.
'That's true, but I am afraid they think more of the Germans than of our people. 'How could they think more of unbelievers? 'Look at the police-sergeant, he talks to Hamer as he wouldn't even talk to Gryb. 'That is so, but when he has looked round to see that no one is listening, he tells you that a German is a mangy dog.
Seeing that Slimak was getting pale with anger, Lukasiak took Gryb by the arm. 'Let us go home, neighbour, he said. 'What is the good of talking about things that may never come off? Come along. Gryb looked at Josel and got up. 'So you are going to buy without me? asked Slimak. 'You bought without us last summer. They shook hands with the innkeeper and took no notice of Slimak.
He smiled, when he paid the labourer a rouble for the corn, including the sack; he smiled, when the girl handed over the goose and got a bottle of sour beer in return; he smiled, when he listened to the gospodarze discussing the purchase of the land, and he smiled when he paid old Gryb two roubles per cent., and took two roubles from young Gryb for every ten he lent him.
'What's wrong with you? he asked. 'Wrong with me? She raised her voice. 'Can't I afford the cow? Gryb has bought his wife a new cart, and you grudge me the beasts? There are two cows in the shed; do you ever trouble about them? You wouldn't have a shirt to your back if it weren't for them.
Let the squire take it into his head not to employ me, or not to sell me fodder, what then? I should have to drive the cattle to market and die of hunger. 'I am not as well off as Gryb or Lukasiak or Sarnecki. They live like gentlemen. One drives to church with his wife, the other wears a cap like a burgher, and the third would like to turn out the Wojt and wear the chain himself.