The Legacy of Cain
19. Eunice's Diary
When people are interested in some event that is coming, do they find the dull days,
passed in waiting for it, days which they are not able to remember when they look back?
This is my unfortunate case. Night after night, I have gone to bed without so much as
opening my Journal. There was nothing worth writing about, nothing that I could
recollect, until the postman came to-day. I ran downstairs, when I heard his ring at the
bell, and stopped Maria on her way to the study. There, among papa's usual handful of
letters, was a letter for me.
"DEAR MISS EUNICE:
. . . . . . .
"Yours ever truly."
I quote the passages in Philip's letter which most deeply interested me--I am his dear
miss; and he is mine ever truly. The other part of the letter told me that he had been
detained in London, and he lamented it. At the end was a delightful announcement that he
was coming to me by the afternoon train. I ran upstairs to see how I looked in the glass.
My first feeling was regret. For the thousandth time, I was obliged to acknowledge that I
was not as pretty as Helena. But this passed off. A cheering reflection occurred to me.
Philip would not have found, in my sister's face, what seems to have interested him in my
face. Besides, there is my figure.
The pity of it is that I am so ignorant about some things. If I had been allowed to read
novels, I might (judging by what papa said against them in one of his sermons) have felt
sure of my own attractions; I might even have understood what Philip really thought of
me. However, my mind was quite unexpectedly set at ease on the subject of my figure.
The manner in which it happened was so amusing--at least, so amusing to me--that I
cannot resist mentioning it.
My sister and I are forbidden to read newspapers, as well as novels. But the teachers at
the Girls' Scripture Class are too old to be treated in this way. When the morning lessons
were over, one of them was reading the newspaper to the other, in the empty schoolroom;
I being in the passage outside, putting on my cloak.
It was a report of "an application made to the magistrates by the lady of his worship the
Mayor." Hearing this, I stopped to listen. The lady of his worship (what a funny way of
describing a man's wife!) is reported to be a little too fond of notoriety, and to like
hearing the sound of her own voice on public occasions. But this is only my writing; I
had better get back to the report. "In her address to the magistrates, the Mayoress stated
that she had seen a disgusting photograph in the shop window of a stationer, lately
established in the town. She desired to bring this person within reach of the law, and to