When fall came she was to husk corn for the neighbors until Christmas, as she had done the year before; but grandmother saved her from this by getting her a place to work with our neighbors, the Harlings. GRANDMOTHER often said that if she had to live in town, she thanked God she lived next the Harlings.
She was quick at understanding the grandmothers who spoke no English, and the most reticent and distrustful of them would tell her their story without realizing they were doing so. She went to country funerals and weddings in all weathers. A farmer’s daughter who was to be married could count on a wedding present from Frances Harling. In August the Harlings’ Danish cook had to leave them.
'I think I'd better go home and look after Antonia, I said. 'I think you had. Lena looked up at me in frank amusement. 'It's a good thing the Harlings are friendly with her again. Larry's afraid of them. They ship so much grain, they have influence with the railroad people. What are you studying? She leaned her elbows on the table and drew my book toward her.
On winter nights, the lights in the Harlings' windows drew me like the painted glass. Inside that warm, roomy house there was colour, too. After supper I used to catch up my cap, stick my hands in my pockets, and dive through the willow hedge as if witches were after me. Of course, if Mr.
The Vannis often said that Ántonia was the best dancer of them all. I sometimes heard murmurs in the crowd outside the pavilion that Mrs. Harling would soon have her hands full with that girl. The young men began to joke with each other about “the Harlings’ Tony” as they did about “the Marshalls’ Anna” or “the Gardeners’ Tiny.” Ántonia talked and thought of nothing but the tent.
I sometimes heard murmurs in the crowd outside the pavilion that Mrs. Harling would soon have her hands full with that girl. The young men began to joke with each other about 'the Harlings' Tony' as they did about 'the Marshalls' Anna' or 'the Gardeners' Tiny. Antonia talked and thought of nothing but the tent. She hummed the dance tunes all day.
Hitherto she had been looked upon more as a ward of the Harlings than as one of the 'hired girls. She had lived in their house and yard and garden; her thoughts never seemed to stray outside that little kingdom. But after the tent came to town she began to go about with Tiny and Lena and their friends. The Vannis often said that Antonia was the best dancer of them all.
Gardener’s health is n’t what it was, and she can’t see after everything like she used to. She has great confidence in Tony. Tony’s made it up with the Harlings, too. Little Nina is so fond of her that Mrs. Harling kind of overlooked things.” “Is she still going with Larry Donovan?” “Oh, that’s on, worse than ever! I guess they’re engaged.
When dusk came on, and the new moon hung in the sky, I went quietly to the Harlings’ front door with my offering, rang the bell, and then ran away as was the custom. Through the willow hedge I could hear Nina’s cries of delight, and I felt comforted.
Her enthusiasm, and her violent likes and dislikes, asserted themselves in all the everyday occupations of life. Wash-day was interesting, never dreary, at the Harlings'. Preserving-time was a prolonged festival, and house-cleaning was like a revolution. When Mrs. Harling made garden that spring, we could feel the stir of her undertaking through the willow hedge that separated our place from hers.