The Legacy of Cain
27. Eunice's Diary
Indeed, I am a most unfortunate creature; everything turns out badly with me. My good,
true friend, my dear Selina, has become the object of a hateful doubt in my secret mind. I
am afraid she is keeping something from me.
Talking with her about my troubles, I heard for the first time that she had written again to
Mrs. Tenbruggen. The object of her letter was to tell her friend of my engagement to
young Mr. Dunboyne. I asked her why she had done this. The answer informed me that
there was no knowing, in the present state of my affairs, how soon I might not want the
help of a clever woman. I ought, I suppose, to have been satisfied with this. But there
seemed to be something not fully explained yet.
Then again, after telling Selina what I heard in the study, and how roughly Philip had
spoken to me afterward, I asked her what she thought of it. She made an
incomprehensible reply: "My sweet child, I mustn't think of it--I am too fond of you."
It was impossible to make her explain what this meant. She began to talk of Philip;
assuring me (which was quite needless) that she had done her best to fortify and
encourage him, before he called on papa. When I asked her to help me in another way--
that is to say, when I wanted to find out where Philip was at that moment--she had no
advice to give me. I told her that I should not enjoy a moment's ease of mind until I and
my dear one were reconciled. She only shook her head and declared that she was sorry
for me. When I hit on the idea of ringing for Maria, this little woman, so bright, and quick
and eager to help me at other times, said "I leave it to you, dear," and turned to the piano
(close to which I was sitting), and played softly and badly stupid little tunes.
"Maria, did you open the door for Mr. Dunboyne when he went away just now?"
Nothing but ill-luck for me! If I had been left to my own devices, I should now have let
the housemaid go. But Selina contrived to give me a hint, on a strange plan of her own.
Still at the piano, she began to confuse talking to herself with playing to herself. The
notes went tinkle, tinkle--and the tongue mixed up words with the notes in this way:
"Perhaps they have been talking in the kitchen about Philip?"
The suggestion was not lost on me. I said to Maria--who was standing at the other end of
the room, near the door--"Did you happen to hear which way Mr. Dunboyne went when
he left us?"
"I know where he was, miss, half an hour ago."
"Where was he?"