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Cymric Strain - Book 2
By Una Howell (USA - circa 1893)
Chapter 29 - Plans for a New Marriage
Copyright Scott Dunbar 2010
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Plans for a New Marriage
It was midnight when we tore ourselves away and taxied to the Chicago train, the first lap of the much-discussed honeymoon.
The presence of the Rich Young Man was a complication I had neither wished nor planned on, and became a disturbing influence both to my work and my peace of mind that fall. When the Dean demanded to know what the Rich Young Man was doing ‘round these parts, I knew that a crisis was impending, that I should no longer beg the question. It was a difficult decision.
I was no longer in doubt as to whether I loved the Rich Young Man - his set-up and background were far from what I had hoped for. In the first place, I still disliked the aroma of wealth. Secondly, I felt utterly incapable of filling the role of wife to a man engaged in religious work.
I, who disliked family prayers, who loathed pious manners and hypocrisies, would not see myself leading a missionary meeting. In my terms, that Bishop’s daughter would do it much better.
Then there was that little matter of the Rich Young Man’s mother, who from the first moment of my appearance at her board had found it difficult to conceal her aversion for me. When I first mentioned it to the Rich Young Man, he had condoned it as a natural attitude for a mother, who would regard all women as potential enemies of her son. Now, since the years had given no evidence of her piratical tendencies, the Rich Young Man assured me that her objections to me had vanished in thin air. I am sure I had hoped he was right, but there was a curious regularity in the breaking of dates that fall.
My mother had become very fond of the Rich Young Man and she espoused his cause with fervor. Divorce had not extinguished her love of romance. Then, too, she felt sorry for the Rich Young Man and his need of me. So, one by one, my oppositions were neutralized and we became engaged. My diamond solitaire, set in pure gold, dug from the mine of the Rich Young Man’s father, by my fiancé, aroused genuine admiration.
Before George and I became engaged I was in very poor health and he suggested to Mama that I consult the Cook family physician and surgeon, Dr. Albert Ochsner of Chicago. Dr. Oschner was a fine man and he gave me what in those days was supposed to be a good check-up. He found nothing seriously the matter, only digestive difficulties plus extreme nervousness and fatigue – in fact, nothing that could not be cured by rest and care and a few bad-tasting medicines. The rest was to be complete after at least three months.
Another obstacle to accepting an engagement to marry was my attitude toward pregnancy. I had no intention to have a baby until I was good and ready. I intended to make a go of my marriage and, when I had a baby, it would be when I was able to do it successfully – able for both babies and myself. I knew better than many the cost of children in energy and strain.
I had never read anything about sex and its ramifications but I had observed that brides were barely married before they plunged into pregnancy, and gossips counted the months and oohed and aahed as if it were shameful. That would not be my way.
I would first learn to live with a man. I had seen many of the pitfalls involved in that adjustment at close range in my childhood, and was none too sanguine about my ability to handle them. At any rate, I intended to go slow, taking one thing at a time. When I had learned to cook, manage a house and satisfy a husband, I’d order the babies.
This was exceedingly important to me, so I talked things over with George. He agreed and gave me a solemn promise that there would be no babies ‘til I said the word, was strong and adjusted to married living. In the meantime my health was a first consideration, so Florida was agreed upon as the most comfortable honeymoon spot – there I could recuperate from the pressure I had experienced for so many years. For three month we were to live there in the sunshine and warmth of a tropical climate. I was so tired from putting together an inexpensive but suitable trousseau, planning a wedding, and long hours of teaching, almost to the wedding date, that a honeymoon seemed like heaven to contemplate.
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