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The Legacy of Cain

17. Helena's Diary
Miss Jillgall joined us at the dinner-table, in a state of excitement, carrying a book in her
hand.
I am inclined, on reflection, to suspect that she is quite clever enough to have discovered
that I hate her--and that many of the aggravating things she says and does are assumed,
out of retaliation, for the purpose of making me angry. That ugly face is a double face, or
I am much mistaken.
To return to the dinner-table, Miss Jillgall addressed herself, with an air of playful
penitence, to my father.
"Dear cousin, I hope I have not done wrong. Helena left me all by myself. When I had
finished darning the curtain, I really didn't know what to do. So I opened all the bedroom
doors upstairs and looked into the rooms. In the big room with two beds--oh, I am so
ashamed--I found this book. Please look at the first page."
My father looked at the title-page: "Doctor Watts's Hymns. Well, Selina, what is there to
be ashamed of in this?"
"Oh, no! no! It's the wrong page. Do look at the other page--the one that comes first
before that one."
My patient father turned to the blank page.
"Ah," he said quietly, "my other daughter's name is written in it--the daughter whom you
have not seen. Well?"
Miss Jillgall clasped her hands distractedly. "It's my ignorance I'm so ashamed of. Dear
cousin, forgive me, enlighten me. I don't know how to pronounce your other daughter's
name. Do you call her Euneece?"
The dinner was getting cold. I was provoked into saying: "No, we don't."
She had evidently not forgiven me for leaving her by herself. "Pardon me, Helena, when I
want information I don't apply to you: I sit, as it were, at the feet of your learned father.
Dear cousin, is it--"
Even my father declined to wait for his dinner any longer. "Pronounce it as you like,
Selina. Here we say Euni'ce--with the accent on the 'i' and with the final 'e' sounded: Eu-
ni'-see. Let me give you some soup."
 
 
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