Damie’s whining and sensitive nature was very disgusting to Crappy Zachy, and he tried to cure him of it by giving him plenty to cry about and teasing him whenever he could.
Thus the two little stems which had sprouted in the same garden were transplanted into different soils. The position and the nature of the ground, and the qualities that were inherent in each stem, made them grow up very differently.
All Souls’ Day came. It was dull and foggy, and the children stood among a crowd of people assembled in the churchyard. Crappy Zachy had led Damie there by the hand, but Amrei had come alone, without Black Marianne; many were angry at the hard-hearted woman, while a few hit a part of the truth when they said that Marianne did not like to visit graves, because she did not know where her husband’s grave was. Amrei was quiet and did not shed a tear, while Damie wept bitterly at the pitying remarks of the bystanders, more especially because Crappy Zachy had given him several sly pinches and pokes. For a time Amrei, in a dreamy, forgetful way, stood gazing at the lights on the heads of the graves, watching the flame consume the wax and the wick grow blacker, and blacker, until at last the light was quite burnt out.
In the crowd a man, wearing handsome, town-made clothes and with a ribbon in his button-hole, was moving about here and there. It was the High Commissioner of Public Works, Severin, who, on a trip of inspection, had come to visit the graves of his parents, Brosi and Moni. His brothers and sisters and other relatives were constantly crowding around him with a kind of deferential respect; in fact, the usual reverence of the occasion was almost entirely diverted, nearly all the attention being fixed upon this stranger. Amrei also looked at him, and asked Crappy Zachy:
“Is that a bridegroom?”
“Because he has a ribbon in his button-hole.”