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Cymric Strain - Book 2
By Una Howell (USA - circa 1893)
Chapter 38 - Winfield Illinois Sanatorium
Copyright Scott Dunbar 2010
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Winfield Illinois Sanatorium
It was a miserable March day when George drove me in the Mobile down to Winfield, a few miles from Wheaton. The wind was blowing and I was chilled to the bone. Our little car had no covering, just a stiff cane-backed seat and Wheaton was a long drive from Elgin over dirt roads. There were gullies and rocks and other inequalities. Our wheels were wire with hard rubber tires. I was thoroughly tired when George left me at the big white colonial place, there to stay for six weeks. I was tucked into a single iron bed.
There the day’s regime would begin with an enormous cup of hot water. Fifteen minutes or a half-hour later, a nurse would appear with a man-sized tray of food. At least four slices of bread were to be consumed at each meal with huge dishes of cereal, fruit juice, bacon or sausage, eggs or – for dinner – meat, vegetables, salad, dessert and coffee, tea, or milk. It was not the food that was difficult…
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…was much pleasanted having a near neighbor and we visited a great deal. At first she had many tantrums and was a trial to the nurses. She was a protégé of Mrs. Brainerd, who later married William Vaughn Moody, the poet. At that time Mrs. Brainerd, a beautiful middle-aged woman who lived near the University of Chicago, made delicious messes of food. She was an expert cook. Working in her own kitchen each morning, she supplied delicacies to Marshall Field’s Tea Room, as well as to professors of the University who delightedly consumed them.
Alice Corwin, the protégé, who later became a poet and the wife of Henderson, was accustomed to Mrs. Brainerd’s style of cooking. The food Alice Corwin was compelled to eat at Miss Forsyth’s was far from palatable. Indeed, when Mother Cook [spelled Mother Book] paid me a visit at dinnertime, she declared it was the first time she had ever been served horse meat. That was Alice Corwin’s real cross to bear. Why hadn’t she eaten Mrs. Brainerd’s delicacies and avoided the dread anemia?
As for me, I really didn’t mind the food too much for I was never hungry. No one could be hungry with a constantly loaded stomach. It was not long before I asked for a cup of hot milk at three a.m. because gnawing and bad dreams kept me from sleeping.
I finally finished the six week course with flying colors, brought up my blood count and my weight. At the peak, I had consumed the required dozen and a half eggs a day, and after George took me home, continued to get down eight a day for several weeks. I learned one valuable lesson during that period – Whether you think you can or not, you (mostly) can. The nurse used to say, “If your stomach hurts, call me and I’ll put a poultice on it for you.” I never needed it.
It was wonderful to get back to Elgin and our own house. Gradually I grew stronger and saw less of Dr. Pelton. With the coming of summer, I looked forward to a vacation at Saugatuck, where the Cooks were to build a summer cottage.
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