Visit our Bookstore
Home | Fiction | Nonfiction | Novels | Innisfree Poetry | Enskyment Journal | Reserve Books | FACEBOOK | Poetry Scams | Stars & Squadrons | Newsletter | Become an Author-me Editor

Literature Discussion - Lit-Talk.com I_Play_25Coupon_468x60


For Book 1, Click Here

Cymric Strain - Book 2

By Una Howell (USA - circa 1893)

Chapter 32 - Getting to Know Elgin (1901)

Copyright Scott Dunbar 2010

Click here to send comments

Click here if you'd like to exchange critiques

Chapter 32

Getting to Know Elgin (1901)

As soon as we were sleeping in Elgin, Mother Cook began to plan a party. Parties were her delight and, whereas most people were content to have one, she gave three – to introduce us. The first was for the townspeople, the second for the church, and the third for the Publishing House. We donned our bridal clothes and stood in line for three nights. Elgin was sure going to know us.


George had outlined his relatives to me in no uncertain or complimentary terms and I was given to understand that not a one outside his own father’s circle was ever to sit at his table. They were taboo, that’s all. Aunt Elizabeth, commonly known and addressed as Aunt Maria, was his pet irritant. Aunt Maria’s hobby, besides rearing a family of ten children, was introducing the teachings of the Bible into the public schools. She was a sister of President Blanchard, head of Wheaton College and son of the founder of that institution, a tight and fanatical religious college. No smoking, no drinking, no card playing, no theater-going – just Sunday School, church, and prayer-meeting atmosphere.


On the first night I met the various members of the Cook family, the Bookiuses and Uncle Ezra. Then Aunt Maria stopped the show. George had warned me not to get trapped by Aunt Maria’s questions but she shook my hand, announced that she was my Aunt Maria, and said, “I trust, Una, that you have already established family prayers in George’s home.” I nearly passed out. I’m sure she knew from my expression that we had not done so and, without incriminating either of us, I passed her over to my new husband with pleasure.
 Once we were safely launched in town, church and Publishing House, I began to sew for the baby that was expected in January. I was quite miserable for the first three months and, when we had no help, we took our meals in the neighborhood at a boarding house. That summer of 1901 was the historic, hottest Illinois ever had, and is still referred to as a record-breaker. It certainly was a corker. When we went to Evanston to spend a few days over the 4th, the sounding board of my new Steinway cracked. That was a blow that struck me hard.


As for our physical comfort, we went for a ride in our new Mobile, and that is a chapter all by itself.

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