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Cymric Strain - Book 2

By Una Howell (USA - circa 1893)

Chapter 26 - Rich Young Man - Not so Much

Copyright Scott Dunbar 2010

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Chapter 26

Rich Young Man – Not so Much

I had gone in deeply for composition and completed a suite of five piano pieces to be included on my spring program. While I was in the midst of it an artist cousin who had an exhibit on at the Art Institute visited us and tried to badger me into sending a copy to Walter Damrosch, who was his friend. The suite was of mountain scenes and he was to make suitable illustrations and bind it in the Roycrofter style. He interpreted my reluctance as a lack of enterprise and the pictures were never made.

Now that the Rich Young Man was no longer available, it was necessary to find a new soloist for my recital and Mr. Hackett suggested a gifted young baritone who was a student of his. As a matter of fact, the boy had as a child collected cigar butts from gutters. He was known only as John when his talent was discovered but such shortcomings are quickly remedied. He sang gorgeously and, shortly after, our programme was sent to London where Mr. Georg Hanschel gave him a series of lessons on singing, gratis.

The first of July I fled the country and the Rich Young Man tried all his arts to storm the fortress. During the winter he had made a quick trip east on business but I had been too insulated to be in danger. Now he wanted to come back and see me and, secure in the peace of a quiet retreat, I wrote to tell him to stay where he was. Affairs were going well and I was satisfied. I had reckoned without my host. His answer was to take the train for Chicago. My cool retreat was suddenly shaken by a telegram that read: “Will you return to Chicago or shall I come to you?” It was nearly time for Jeannie and me to be traveling homeward but our hostess said, “Why not invite him here?”

“Why not?” I said.

It was warm August weather when he drove in to the cottage. The porch was filled with girls, all of them prickly with curiosity. Briefly he told me that he had sold his father’s acres, the beautiful rancho Ramona had loved, and he was home to stay, whatever that may mean.

Our hostess saw a chance to keep us all busy and immediately invited all the cottagers for a musicale. We stripped the woods of ferns, and converted the place into a bower of greenery.

The guests arrived by lanterned boat and catamaran to the sounds of grinding locks, and we gave them lilt and rune by candlelight. The next day, by blazing sunlight, we boarded a train for Chicago. Once there the Rich Young Man began to make plans but there was little need to for his father’s business devoured him as swiftly as the whale swallowed Jonah.

Then ----------- a strange thing happened.

Just as I set out on my familiar, pedagogical, way, I suddenly tripped and fell on a fact. THE RICH YOUNG MAN WAS NOT RICH AT ALL. Not that it made any difference. HE WAS IN NEED. He had mentioned his want on many occasions but it had only now become convincing.

Early in fall the Dean had asked me what the Rich Young Man was doing around these parts. Now that I knew the answer I told him. What has to be, must be.


Cymric Strain - Book 2, by Una Howell (USA - circa 1893) Current

Chapter 1 - Evanston

Chapter 2 - The Department of Music
Chapter 3 - Northwestern University

Chapter 4 - Beaued

Chapter 5 - Late for the 1am Train!

Chapter 6 - A Visit from Home

Chapter 7 - Bill Declares Himself

Chapter 8 - Engaged to be Married
Chapter 9 - A Grand Piano for Me?

Chapter 10 - Apartment Life in Evanston

Chapter 11 - On the Train with a Pass

Chapter 12 - Eric’s Decline

Chapter 13 - The Organist

Chapter 14 - Lilly Dies

Chapter 15 - An Unprincipled Woman

Chapter 16 - Music Critic

Chapter 17 - A Rich Young Man

Chapter 18 - Helping the World

Chapter 19 - On a Bicycle Built for Two

Chapter 20 - Mendelssohn Concerto in E Major

Chapter 21 - The Meister Way

Chapter 22 - An Admirer

Chapter 23 - Gentlemen Callers

Chapter 24 - The Scotchman

Chapter 25 - Checking on Maynard

Chapter 26 - Rich Young Man - Not so Much

Chapter 27 - A Page Removed!

Chapter 28 - The Marriage

Chapter 29 - Plans for a New Marriage

Chapter 30 - Honeymoon

Chapter 31 - A New Home

Chapter 32 - Getting to Know Elgin -1901

Chapter 33 - Our First Mobile (Auto)

Chapter 34 - Life in Elgin

Chapter 35 - Preparing for Birth

Chapter 36 - Stillborn!

Chapter 37 - Leave Leeches to Treat an Ear Ache

Chapter 38 - Winfield Illinois Sanatorium