The Native's Return: An American Immigrant Visits Yugoslavia and Discovers His Old Country

The Native's Return: An American Immigrant Visits Yugoslavia and Discovers His Old Country

The Native's Return: An American Immigrant Visits Yugoslavia and Discovers His Old Country

The Native's Return: An American Immigrant Visits Yugoslavia and Discovers His Old Country

Excerpt

THE SECOND OR THIRD DAY AFTER MY RETURN MY SISTER Poldka remarked to me, "There's talk Toné is liable to get married in a month or two."

Toné is one of our numerous cousins in Blato. He is a tall, blond, blue-eyed peasant of thirty-four, with a little mustache and tremendous hands; rawboned, simple, hard‐ working, soft-spoken, and good-humored as a rule, but capable of being otherwise. He is the oldest son of Uncle Mikha, whom I have mentioned in the preceding chapter.

"Whom is he going to take?" I asked.

Poldka smiled. "Even Toné doesn't know that for sure. He has his eyes on two or three"—mentioning the girls, all from adjacent villages,—"but right now, I guess, all he knows is that Mikha is going to give him the homestead in July—maybe."

"Why 'maybe'?"

She smiled again. "It depends on whom Toné will finally decide to marry. They say he's most inclined to take So‐ and-so, but Mikha is not exactly enthused about her."

A week later I spoke with Toné.

I said, "I hear you'll be getting married, now your father is going to give you the place."

"Ah, the devil!" he muttered. He was in a raw mood.

"Why, what's the matter?"

"Everybody in the damned village is trying to tell me what to do, whom to marry, when to marry—"

This, I presently realized, was a typical situation for a young Carniolan peasant to find himself in when he is about to come in possession of his father's property and is ex-

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