Also I wonder how it is possible for me to write about that following first week of May when I had to feel the chant die out of my heart and still live and help a lot of other live creatures, both people and animals, to go on breathing also.
Each day Uncle Cradd failed to bring me a letter from the post-office, and after a week I ceased to look for one. I knew that Evan Adam Baldwin was on the high seas and that if he had not written before he sailed he never intended to write. My common sense kindly and plainly spoke this truth to my aching heart: Pan had been simply having a word adventure with me in character.
The beginning of the twentieth century has witnessed many startling inventions, reforms, evolutions, and revolutions, but mankind generally is not aware that the most remarkable result of many combined new forces is a woman whose intellect can go on functioning at the same time that her heart is aching with either requited or unrequited love. Just ten days after I had been jilted, instead of lying in a darkened room in hysterics, I went into a light corner of the barn, sat down on an upturned seed-bucket, took my farm-book on my knee, wet my pencil between my lips, and began to figure up the account between Evan Adam Baldwin and myself. First, I sat still for a long second and tried to set a price on myself the hour before I had first encountered him out on the Riverfield ribbon on the day I had made my entry into rural life. And think as hard as I could I couldn’t think up a single thing I had done worth while to my race; so I had to write a great cipher against myself. Then in another column I set down the word “assets,” and after it I wrote, “The Golden Bird and family, eight hundred dollars.” Then I thought intently back into the past and into the haircloth trunk and wrote, “Clothes, one hundred and fifty dollars.”
Then I sat for another long time and looked out the door to the Paradise Ridge across the Harpeth Valley, after which I smoothed the page, dated it, and again began to take stock of myself and the business. I listed the original investment of Mr. G. Bird and the ladies Leghorn, one of which was at that moment picking wheat from my pocket, on through their fifty progeny, for which I had established a price of twenty dollars per head, through the two lambkins I had bought from Rufus for ten dollars, Mother Cow and the calf, the hundred and fifty pearls in the incubators, half of which I had sold to Owen and Bess and ten of which I had sold to a real chicken dealer who knew Mr. G. Bird’s pedigree and had come all the way from Georgia to buy them. The whole inventory, including the wheat I had paid Matthew for and the improvements I had made on the barn, or rather Adam had made, also including the prospects in the garden, amounted to eighteen hundred dollars. Then I thought still longer and finally after my own name wrote one hundred and fifty dollars’ worth of “education.” The total was nineteen hundred and fifty dollars, thus making a profit on my investments of about eight hundred dollars. After this calculation I sat and chewed the pencil a long time, then turned a fresh page, wrote, “Evan Adam Baldwin,” on the one side, “Profit” in the middle, and a large cipher opposite.