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Cymric Strain - Book 2
By Una Howell (USA - circa 1893)
Chapter 9 - A grand Piano for Me?
Copyright Scott Dunbar 2010
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A Grand Piano for Me?
A little time to myself had convinced me that I was not in love with anyone yet and I was troubled that prospects for my return to Evanston in the fall seemed decidedly slim.
The Music Department of Hardin College in Mexico, Missouri each year awarded a grand piano to the student who could show the most improvement at the end of the school year, and the offer caught the attention of Mrs. Boker. Scherwanka, Polish pianist and composer, was a director of the school and Mrs.Boker was sure that once Scherwanka heard me play he would take me back to Europe with him and my future would be secure. The more she thought the more convinced she became. In her opinion, the piano was practically mine; all I had to do was enroll and collect it.
I was not enthusiastic over transferring to another school. I had made a fine start at Northwestern and was eager to return. However, I wrote to Mr. Lutkin and told him of my plan. By return mail I had a reply assuring me that I should make a great mistake in going to Mexico. He offered me a position in the office and a half scholarship, and promised to throw more moneymaking opportunities my way. I wrote a letter of appreciation and the matter was allowed to ride until some of the lesser mysteries could be solved.
The summer was hot and exacting and Lilly looked worn to death with two babies and a home to care for in addition to a position on the newspaper. Howie and David were charming children but both were high-strung, and visiting the relatives only partly contributed to their welfare.
The problem of my school had been held in abeyance for weeks when an emissary from Mexico came to urge my enrolment. That brought matters to a head. Mary had secured a position in the public schools of Springfield; Oklahoma still help father captive, so it was decided that Mother and I should return to Evanston. (No one regarded me as being capable of going under my own steam.)
Our departure was very like the one a year before except that we knew definitely what to expect. The train was unbearably hot, and St. Louis worse, but Bill was waiting at the gate in the station to take us to dinner. Although I looked forward to seeing him, when he kissed me I wished that he hadn’t, and when he pressed into my hand a lovely fleur-de-lis stickpin enameled in the colors of Kappa, one he had made for me at Mermod and Jacquard’s, I was miserable that I could not deliver the return he so much wanted and deserved. I was glad that Mother was along, and when he put us aboard our car and the train sped screeching through the night, I thought long and seriously about him, only to come to the same old conclusion. Until I had gone further with my education, I was not ready to consider marriage. At least I had found and recognized my limitations.
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)