Marie’s father, Albert Tovesky, settled in Omaha and became a leader and adviser among the people. Marie was his youngest child and the apple of his eye. When she was sixteen, Frank Shabata came into town and intrigued many of the girls, since he was handsome and seemed interestingly discontent. Frank flirted with a few of the girls, but with Marie he seemed the most intent. One summer day after Marie’s graduation, she went on a boat trip with Frank and returned home to tell her father she was engaged. Her father launched into a tirade about how Frank didn’t work like the rest of the men in town, deciding to send her to a convent to teach her some sense.
Marie is her father’s favorite, just as she was her uncle’s favorite. Her father objects to her engagement to Frank Shabata, however, because Frank doesn’t work hard enough, like the other men in town. Albert Tovesky looks down on Frank for this reason.
Frank became more determined than ever to have Marie, and Marie pined in the convent until her eighteenth birthday, then ran off and married Frank. Marie’s father forgave her, since there was nothing else he could do, and bought her the Linstrums’ old farm. At the time of Carl’s visit, the Shabatas had lived on the land for five years already, and Frank did turn out to be a hard worker.
Marie and Frank give in to the temptation of physical attraction by getting married, disobeying Marie’s father, who out of love for Marie gives up on staying angry with her and instead buys her a farm on the land she loves. Marie’s affection for the land again reflects her own wild nature, which adores the outdoors. Frank also turns out to be hard worker, which lends him a certain dignity, and yet, again, while Alexandra’s hard work included the creation of a community of workers, Frank is more solitary, angrier, and therefore less successful.