`How many dessiatinas?
`Why not sow all?' cried Levin.
That they were only sowing the clover on six dessiatinas, not in all the twenty, was still more annoying to him. Clover, as he knew, both from books and from his own experience, never did well except when it was sown as early as possible, almost in the snow. And yet Levin could never get this done.
`There's no one to send. What would you do with such people? Three haven't turned up. And there's Semion...'
`Well, you should have taken some men from the chaffcutter.'
`And so I have, as it is.'
`Where are the peasants, then?'
`Five are making compote' (which meant compost), `and four are shifting the oats for fear of being touched, Konstantin Dmitrich.'
Levin knew very well that `touching' meant that his English seed oats were already spoiled. Again they had not done as he had ordered.
`Why, but I told you during Lent to put in pipes,' he cried.
`Don't be put out; we shall get it all done in time.'
Levin made an angry gesture, and went into the granary to glance at the oats, and then to the stable. The oats were not yet spoiled. But the laborers were carrying the oats in spades when they might simply let them slide down into the lower granary; and arranging for this to be done, and taking two laborers from there for sowing clover, Levin got over the vexation his bailiff had caused him. Indeed, it was such a lovely day that one could not be angry.
`Ignat!' he called to the coachman, who, with his sleeves tucked up, was washing the carriage wheels, `saddle...'
`Well, let it be Kolpik.'
While they were saddling his horse, Levin again called the bailiff, who was hanging about in sight, to make it up with him, and began talking to him about the spring operations before them, and his plans for the farming.
The wagons were to begin carting manure earlier, so as to get all done before the early mowing. And the plowing of the outlying land was to go on without a break, so as to let it lie black fallow and furrowed. And the moving to be all done by hired labor, not on half-profits.
The bailiff listened attentively, and obviously made an effort to approve of his employer's projects. But still he had that look Levin knew so well that always irritated him, a look of hopelessness and despondency. That look said: `That's all very well, but as God wills.'
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