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Cymric Strain - Book 2
By Una Howell (USA - circa 1893)
Chapter 28 - The Marriage
Copyright Scott Dunbar 2010
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(Note: This section of the manuscript was written on a different typewriter, and clearly was written years later in Una’s life - the innocence and beauty of her youth now somewhat dimmed.)
My health was none too good; my mother felt that marriage looked like security for me.
Now that marriage was inevitable, the date had to be set. The Rich Young Man's mother wanted it solemnized in her home on Christmas Day. My mother, being Welsh, thought that would place me in the category of a housemaid, and the Bishop had to be ruled out. As for Christmas, I tabooed that date as we went by semesters at Northwestern and I had no intention of forsaking the Dean in the middle of a semester after eight years of happy service. That was headache one. Headache No. 2 - we finally compromised on the 20th of February, two days after the Rich Young Man's birthday.
February 20th was one of the coolest winter nights I can remember. Snow had fallen for days and drifts that staggered even a thrifty village like Evanston were like walls along the edges of sidewalks. Sharp winds cut around buildings like knives of ice. Honeymooning in Florida seemed an ideal objective.
When the day was fairly underway and last minute jobs being attacked, the doorbell rang and Jeannie came dashing into my room and handed me a letter: "Noonie, the Superintendent (Mr. Richardson) of the Cook Publishing Company has brought this letter for you, and wished you to sign this receipt. I did as Jeannie said and, with much apprehension, tore open the envelope. I drew out a long letter and a check for $5,000. It was from the Rich Young Man's mother - a long dissertation on marriage, most of which I only vaguely comprehended.
Two days before, on the 18th, George had arrived at our house to celebrate his birthday. He was in a white heat when Jeannie admitted him and, observing his anger, she asked him what the matter was. His answer was that he had quarrelled with his mother and that he would never "darken her door for as long as [he] lived." He told Jeannie much more but that was the most I was allowed to hear. Jeannie believed in strict censorship.
It was not a fortuitous beginning for any marriage but the __________ had practically anesthetized me; one couldn't back out at the altar and live with herself afterward! We brushed aside the troubling missive. It was the consensus of the _________ that the groom's parents would be among the missing when the role was called on the 20th.
The check and letter were supposed to have power to soothe and win the bridegroom's favour once more. When the Redfords of Oshkosh, who had come to Chicago for the wedding, heard the news they sighed deeply and Charley suggested that the prospects for Una's happiness looked pretty dim to him. (When the rites were over, and he met George's [The Rich Young Man - George Cook] mother, his language was stronger!)
At the reception she refused to partake of refreshments or be otherwise agreeable and their arrival was followed by the departure in a matter of minutes.
I have often wondered if brides, who seem so very happy, are really so, or if they, like me, were merely strung to a snapping pitch, aching, physically worn out, leaving my home where we had valiantly fought side by side, asking little more than food and shelter, and a chance to be together.
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