Their Eyes Were Watching God

by: Zora Neale Hurston

Chapters 3–4

1

“If you don’t want him, you sho oughta. Heah you is wid de onliest organ in town, amongst colored folks, in yo’ parlor. Got a house bought and paid for and sixty acres uh land right on de big road and …Lawd have mussy! Dat’s de very prong all us black women gets hung on. Dis love!”

2

So Janie waited a bloom time, and a green time and an orange time. But when the pollen again golded the sun and sifted down on the world she began to stand around the gate and expect things. What things? She didn’t know exactly.

3

Every day after that they managed to meet in the scrub oaks across the road and talk about when he would be a big ruler of things with her reaping the benefits. Janue pulled back a long time because he did not represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees, but he spoke for far horizon. He spoke for chance and change. Still she hung back. The memory of Nanny was still powerful and strong.

4

“S’posin’ Ah wuz to run off and leave yuh sometime.” There! Jamie had put words in his held-in fears. She might run off sure enough. The thought put a terrible ache in Logan’s body, but he thought it best to put on scorn.

5

What was she losing so much time for? A feeling of sudden newness and change came over her. Janie hurried out of the front gate and turned south. Even if Joe was not there waiting for her the change was bound to do her good. The morning road air was like a new dress. That made her feel the apron tied around her waist. She untied it and flung it on a low bush beside the road and walked on…