From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
As Mrs. McIntyre directs Astor in cleaning the barn, she tells him that they will be fine without the Shortleys.
She's glad she didn't have to fire them.
Everyone who works for her eventually leaves, because the type of people she hires is the kind that leaves.
She thinks the Shortleys were "the best" of the bunch, "not quite trash" (2.1).
Mrs. Shortley will be missed.
When she tells Astor that she's seen people come and go, he insinuates that he has been there longer than Mrs. McIntyre (meaning she moved there when she married the Judge, and that he was already there).
Mrs. McIntyre doesn't appreciate this, and tells him that she's finished dealing with "worthless people."
After a bit more verbal sparring, Mrs. McIntyre and Astor run through the list of families that have worked at the farm and have left.
Astor says that they've never had anyone like the Guizacs.
Mrs. McIntyre thinks he might be hinting that the Guizacs are up to something not quite right, and asks him to tell her if he knows anything.
Mrs. McIntyre begins lecturing Astor on the state of the world. With the population growth, she says, "only the smart thrifty energetic ones are going to survive" (1.25).
She sees Mr. Guizac working by the barn, and tells Astor that now that there are so many people like him, people who have to work, she won't need the kind of white people she's had to hire in the past.
Astor wants to know why all these people from overseas are available to work for her.
She says it's because they have too many kids.
Then she begins to lecture Astor again, reminding him that everybody on the farm is dependant on her for everything, but all act like it's the other way around.
None of Mrs. McIntyre's employees knew the Judge, except for Astor.
This makes him think he has some authority about the place.
He did not like the husbands that followed the Judge, Mr. Crooms and Mr. McIntyre.
When she divorced the subsequent husbands, Astor let her know he thought she did the right thing.
Astor finds unique ways to express himself to Mrs. McIntyre, including talking loudly to himself under her window.
Within her range of hearing he would tell the peacock that there used to be twenty of him, back in the Judge's day.
Under Crooms ,the population was reduced to twelve, and under McIntyre, to five.
Now there are two peahens and one peacock (the one Astor is talking to).
Mrs. McIntyre blew up at Astor, screaming at him to put a "MISTER" on it when he says "Crooms" or "McIntyre" (1.34).
She also lets him know that "when that pea-chicken dies there won't be any replacements" (1.34).
Apparently the Judge is buried on the property, in cornfield, in the family plot.
Mr. Crooms is in a "state asylum" (1.35).
Mr. McIntyre is probably drunk.
The Judge was already old when she married him, and she did it for the money, but also because she liked him.
She worked for him as a secretary for three months, and then he noticed that she was into him for reasons other than the money and they got hitched.
He lived for three years, during which time Mrs. McIntyre had a relief from the financial problems she's had for most of her life.
But, when the Judge died, it was revealed that he had no money left, and even the house and the fifty acres (on which the story takes place) were owned by the bank. (Which means Mrs. McIntyre has to pay the bank every month to avoid losing the house and property.)
She has held onto it all these years, even with the parade of workers and buyers and sellers and crooks that all wanted to take advantage of her.
She notices Mr. Guizac going into the barn and she thinks that she understands his situation and wonders if he is grateful to her, as he should be, for giving him a job.
It's hard for her to believe that Mr. Guizac is real.
She sees Mr. Guizac exit the barn and motion to Sulk, who was coming from another direction.
Mr. Guizac puts something in Sulk's hand, and then moves on.
Mrs. McIntyre goes into the barn, admiring how clean it is, mentally comparing Mr. Guizac with Mr. Shortley.
When she sees Sulk standing there, she approaches him.
He holds a photograph.
When asked about it, he shows her.
It's the picture of a blond girl who looks about twelve years old.
Sulk says that she is Mr. Guizac's cousin, that she is older now, and that she is his fiancé.
He has given Mr. Guizac half of the cost of the girl's ticket from Poland to the United States in installments of three dollars a week.
Sulk says he doesn't believe she'll really be coming.
Mrs. McIntyre says she's going to get the money back for him.
Shocked, Mrs. McIntyre goes to her bedroom and gets in bed.
It's been twenty years since the Judge died and there was always some terrible problem. Then she remembers that some employees had even stolen from the Judge's grave.
Before he died he bought a "naked granite cherub" (maybe like this marble one). Its face was similar to Mrs. McIntyre's, but she didn't notice.
She had it attached to his headstone when he died.
When one of the families she'd employed, the Herrins, left, they took the cherub with them.
Mr. Herrins had chopped it off at the toes. Only the toes are left.
After having had a good cry, Mrs. McIntyre goes into the Judge's office, which she has preserved through the years, and thinks that she is the poorest person in the world.
After sitting at his desk for a time she feels stronger and gets in her car and drives out to where Mr. Guizac is working. She plans to confront him.
Mrs. McIntyre screams at Mr. Guizac, suggesting that he is a monster for marrying a young white girl to a black man.
Mr. Guizac explains that his cousin is sixteen now, and has had her first communion.
Mrs. McIntyre still thinks he's a monster, but tries to calmly explain that Sulk can't marry a white girl, and that telling Sulk he can will "excite him" (1.56).
He explains that both of the girl's parents are dead, and that she's been in a "camp" for the past three years and doesn't care if her husband is black. All she wants to do is get out of the camp.
Mrs. McIntyre tells him that if she hears anything about this again he'll be fired.
She depends on her workers and won't have them "stirred up" (1.60)
Mr. Guizac begins agreeing with everything she says, and then begins working again.
She watches him, thinking that he's just like all the rest. She dealt with them and she can deal with him too.
He keeps working long after she stops watching him.