1 When the song is over, it is time for the speech, and old Dede Antanas rises to his feet.
2 This was the experience of Antanas; and then there came also Jonas and Marija with tales to tell.
3 It was agreed, after consultation, that he should make the effort with old Antanas and with Jonas.
4 Dede Antanas is asleep, and so are the Szedvilases, husband and wife, the former snoring in octaves.
5 The sister was married, and her husband had bought the place when old Antanas had decided to go with his son.
6 But old Antanas had begged until he was worn out, and all his courage was gone; he wanted a job, any sort of a job.
7 Yet old Antanas would not quit; he saw the suffering of his family, and he remembered what it had cost him to get a job.
8 It is very solemn, for Antanas Rudkus has become possessed of the idea that he has not much longer to stay with his children.
9 Dede Antanas continued to believe it, while three more hemorrhages came; and then at last one morning they found him stiff and cold.
10 They knew nothing about consumption whatever, except that it made people cough; and for two weeks they had been worrying about a coughing-spell of Antanas.
11 Old Antanas had been a worker ever since he was a child; he had run away from home when he was twelve, because his father beat him for trying to learn to read.
12 In the meantime there was going on in another corner of the room an anxious conference between Teta Elzbieta and Dede Antanas, and a few of the more intimate friends of the family.
13 And Elzbieta would call upon Dede Antanas to support her; there was a fear in the souls of these two, lest this journey to a new country might somehow undermine the old home virtues of their children.
14 Generally it is the custom for the speech at a veselija to be taken out of one of the books and learned by heart; but in his youthful days Dede Antanas used to be a scholar, and really make up all the love letters of his friends.
15 Antanas Rudkus had been into every building in Packingtown by this time, and into nearly every room; he had stood mornings among the crowd of applicants till the very policemen had come to know his face and to tell him to go home and give it up.
16 There are a very few peasants settled in it, holding title from ancient times; and one of these was Antanas Rudkus, who had been reared himself, and had reared his children in turn, upon half a dozen acres of cleared land in the midst of a wilderness.
17 Now Antanas Rudkus was the meekest man that God ever put on earth; and so Jurgis found it a striking confirmation of what the men all said, that his father had been at work only two days before he came home as bitter as any of them, and cursing Durham's with all the power of his soul.
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