Click here to Download The Harvester PDF Book by Gene Stratton-Porter Language English having PDF Size 3.4 MB and No of Pages 234.
“Bel, come here!” The Harvester sat in the hollow worn in the hewed log stoop by the feet of his father and mother and his own sturdier tread, and rested his head against the casing of the cabin door when he gave the command. The tip of the dog’s nose touched the gravel between his paws as he crouched flat on earth, with beautiful eyes steadily watching the master, but he did not move a muscle.
The Harvester PDF Book by Gene Stratton-Porter
|Name of Book||The Harvester|
|PDF Size||3.4 MB|
|No of Pages||234|
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“Bel, come here!” Twinkles flashed in the eyes of the man when he repeated the order, while his voice grew more imperative as he stretched a lean, wiry hand toward the dog. The animal’s eyes gleamed and his sensitive nose quivered, yet he lay quietly. “Belshazzar, kommen Sie hier!” The body of the dog arose on straightened legs and his muzzle dropped in the outstretched palm.
A wind slightly perfumed with the odour of melting snow and unsheathing buds swept the lake beside them, and lifted a waving tangle of light hair on the brow of the man, while a level ray of the setting sun flashed across the water and illumined the graven, sensitive face, now alive with keen interest in the game being played.
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“Bel, dost remember the day?” inquired the Harvester. The eager attitude and anxious eyes of the dog betrayed that he did not, but was waiting with every sense alert for a familiar word that would tell him what was expected. “Surely you heard the killdeers crying in the night,” prompted the man. “I called your attention when the ecstasy of the first bluebird waked the dawn.
All day you have seen the gold-yellow and blood-red osiers, the sap-wet maples and spring tracing announcements of her arrival on the sunny side of the levee.” The dog found no clew, but he recognized tones he loved in the suave, easy voice, and his tail beat his sides in vigorous approval. The man nodded gravely.
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“Ah, so! Then you realize this day to be the most important of all the coming year to me; this hour a solemn one that influences my whole after life. It is time for your annual decision on my fate for a twelve-month. Are you sure you are fully alive to the gravity of the situation, Bel?” The dog felt himself safe in answering a rising inflection ending in his name uttered in that tone, and wagged eager assent.
“Well then,” said the man, “which shall it be? Do I leave home for the noise and grime of the city, open an office and enter the money-making scramble?” Every word was strange to the dog, almost breathlessly waiting for a familiar syllable. The man gazed steadily into the animal’s eyes.
After a long pause he continued: “Or do I remain at home to harvest the golden seal, mullein, and ginseng, not to mention an occasional hour with the black bass or tramps for partridge and cotton-tails?” The dog recognized each word of that. Before the voice ceased, his sleek sides were quivering, his nostrils twitching, his tail lashing, and at the pause he leaped up and thrust his nose against the face of the man. The Harvester PDF Book
The Harvester leaned back laughing in deep, full-chested tones; then he patted the dog’s head with one hand and renewed his grip with the other. Belshazzar sat on the opposite bank and watched the operation; and Ajax came down and, flying to a dead stump, erected and slowly waved his train to attract the sober-faced man who paid no heed.
He left the roots to drain while he prepared supper, then placed them on the trays, now filled to overflowing, and was glad he had finished. He could not cure anything else at present if he wanted to. He was as far advanced as he had been at the same time the previous year. Then he dressed neatly and locking the Girl’s room, and leaving Belshazzar to protect it, he went to Onabasha.
“Bravo!” cried Doctor Carey as the Harvester entered his office. “You are heroic to wait all day for news. How much stuff have you gathered?” “Three crops. How many missing women have you located?” The doctor laughed. There was no sign of a smile on the face of the Harvester. “You didn’t really expect her to come to light the first day? The Harvester PDF Book
That would be too easy! We can’t find her in a minute.” “It will be no surprise to me if you can’t find her at all. I am not expecting another man to do what I don’t myself.” “You are not hunting her. You are harvesting the woods. The men you employ are to find her.” “Maybe I am, and maybe I am not,” said the Harvester slowly.
“To me it appears to be a poor stick of a man who coolly proceeds with money making, and trusts to men who haven’t even seen her to search for the girl he loves. I think a few hours of this is about all my patience will endure.” “What are you going to do?” “I don’t know,” said the Harvester. “But you can bank on one thing sure——I’m going to do something!
I’ve had my fill of this. Thank you for all you’ve done, and all you are going to do. My head is not clear enough yet to decide anything with any sense, but maybe I’ll hit on something soon. I’m for the streets for a while.” “Better go home and go to bed. You seem very tired.” “I am,” said the Harvester. “The only way to endure this is to work myself down. I’m all right, and I’ll be careful, but I rather think I’ll find her myself.” The Harvester PDF Book
Again the Harvester stood and watched an entire basket counted over and carried away, and he felt the robber he had been called as he took the money. At the next house he had learned a lesson. He carpeted a basket with leaves and counted out a dozen and a half into it, leaving the remainder in the wagon. Three blocks on one side of the street exhausted his store and he was showered with orders.
He had not seen any one that even resembled a dark-eyed girl. As he came from the last house a big, red motor shot past and then suddenly slowed and backed beside his wagon. “What in the name of sense are you doing?” demanded Doctor Carey. “Invading the residence district of Onabasha,” said the Harvester.
“Madam, would you like some nice, fresh, country mushrooms? I guarantee that there are no poisonous ones among them, and they were gathered this morning. Considering their rarity and the difficult work of collecting, they are exceedingly low at my price. I am offering these for five dollars a dozen, madam, and for mercy sake don’t take them or I’ll have no excuse to go to the next house.” The Harvester PDF Book
The doctor stared, then understood, and began to laugh. When at last he could speak he said, “David, I’ll bet you started with three bushels and began at the head of this street, and they are all gone.” “Put up a good one!” said the Harvester. “You win. The first house I tried they ordered me to the back door, took a market basket full away from me by force, tried to buy the load, and I didn’t see any one save a maid.”
The doctor lay on the steering gear and faintly groaned. The Harvester regarded him sympathetically. “Isn’t it a crime?” he questioned. “Mushrooms are no go. I can see that!——or rather they are entirely too much of a go. I never saw anything in such demand. I must seek a less popular article for my purpose.
To-morrow look out for me. I shall begin where I left off to-day, but I will have changed my product.” “David, for pity sake,” peeped the doctor. “What do I care how I do it, so I locate her?” superbly inquired the Harvester. “But you won’t find her!” gasped the doctor. “I’ve come as close it as you so far, anyway,” said the Harvester. The Harvester PDF Book Download
“Your mushrooms are on the desk in your office.” He drove slowly up and down the streets until Betsy wabbled on her legs. Then he left her to rest and walked until he wabbled; and by that time it was dark, so he went home. At the first hint of dawn he was at work the following morning. With loaded baskets closely covered, he started to Onabasha, and began where he had quit the day before.
This time he carried a small, crudely fashioned bark basket, leaf-covered, and he rang at the front door with confidence. Every one seemed to have a maid in that part of the city, for a freshly capped and aproned girl opened the door. “Are there any young women living here?” blandly inquired the Harvester.
“What’s that of your business?” demanded the maid. The Harvester flushed, but continued, “I am offering something especially intended for young women. If there are none, I will not trouble you.” “There are several.” “Will you please ask them if they would care for bouquets of violets, fresh from the woods?” The Harvester PDF Book Download
When the Harvester saw the Girl coming toward the woods, he spread the rug, opened and placed the table and chair, laid out the colour box, and another containing the last luna. “Did the green one come out?” she asked, touching the box lightly. “It did!” said the Harvester proudly, as if he were responsible for the performance.
“It is an omen! It means that I am to have my long-coveted pattern for my best candlestick. It also clearly indicates that the gods of luck are with me for the day, and I get my way about everything. There won’t be the least use in your asking ‘why’ or interposing objections. This is my clean sweep.
I shall be fearfully dictatorial and you must submit, because the fates have pointed out that they favour me to-day, and if you go contrary to their decrees you will have a bad time.” The Girl’s smile was a little wan. She sank on a chair and picked up a pencil. “Lay that down!” cried the Harvester. The Harvester PDF Book Download
“You haven’t had permission from the Dictator to begin drawing. You are to sit and rest a long time.” “Please may I speak?” asked the Girl. The Harvester grew foolishly happy. Was she really going to play the game? Of course he had hoped, but it was a hope without any foundation.
“You may,” he said soberly. “I am afraid that if you don’t allow me to draw the moth at once, I’ll never get it done. I dislike to mention it on your good day, but Aunt Molly is very restless. I got a neighbour’s little girl to watch her and call me if I’m wanted. It’s quite certain that I must go soon, so if you would like the moth——” “When luck is coming your way, never hurry it!
You always upset the bowl if you grow greedy and crowd. If it is a gamble whether I get this moth, I’ll take the chance; but I won’t change my foreordained programme for this afternoon. First, you are to sit still ten minutes, shut your eyes, and rest. I can’t sing, but I can whistle, and I’m going to entertain you so you won’t feel alone. Ready now!” The Harvester PDF Book Free
The Girl leaned her elbows on the table, closed her eyes, and pressed her slender white hands over them. “Please don’t call the birds,” she said. “I can’t rest if you do. It was so exciting trying to see all of them and guess what they were saying.” “No,” said the Harvester gently. “This ten minutes is for relaxation, you know.
You ease every muscle, sink limply on your chair, lean on the table, let go all over, and don’t think. Just listen to me. I assure you it’s going to be perfectly lovely.” Watching intently he saw the strained muscles relaxing at his suggestion and caught the smile over the last words as he slid into a soft whistle.
It was an easy, slow, old-fashioned tune, carrying along gently, with neither heights nor depths, just monotonous, sleepy, soothing notes, that went on and on with a little ripple of change at times, only to return to the theme, until at last the Girl lifted her head. “After a while,” he said. “I was thirsty when I made it, so I don’t care for any more now. Try the fruit and those wafers. The Harvester PDF Book Free
Of course they are not home made—they are the best I could do at a bakery. Take time enough to eat slowly. I’m going to tell you a tale while you lunch, and it’s about a Medicine Man named David Langston. It’s a very peculiar story, but it’s quite true. This man lives in the woods east of Onabasha, accompanied by his dog, horse, cow, and chickens, and a forest full of birds, flowers, and matchless trees.
He has lived there in this manner for six long years, and every spring he and his dog have a seance and agree whether he shall go on gathering medicinal herbs and trying his hand at making medicine or go to the city and live as other men. Always the dog chooses to remain in the woods.
“Then every spring, on the day the first bluebird comes, the dog also decides whether the man shall go on alone or find a mate and bring her home for company. Each year the dog regularly has decided that they live as always. This spring, for some unforeseen reason, he changed his mind, and compelled the man, according to his vow in the beginning, to go courting. The Harvester PDF Book Free
The man was so very angry at the idea of having a woman in his home, interfering with his work, disturbing his arrangements, and perhaps wanting to spend more money than he could afford, that he struck the dog for making that decision; struck him for the very first time in his life——I believe you’d like those apricots. Please try one.”