The Legacy of Cain HTML version

12. Eunice's Diary
The air of London feels very heavy. There is a nasty smell of smoke in London. There are
too many people in London. They seem to be mostly people in a hurry. The head of a
country girl, when she goes into the streets, turns giddy--I suppose through not being
used to the noise.
I do hope that it is London that has put me out of temper. Otherwise, it must be I myself
who am ill-tempered. I have not yet been one whole day in the Staveleys' house, and they
have offended me already. I don't want Helena to hear of this from other people, and then
to ask me why I concealed it from her. We are to read each other's journals when we are
both at home again. Let her see what I have to say for myself here.
There are seven Staveleys in all: Mr. and Mrs. (two); three young Masters (five); two
young Misses (seven). An eldest miss and the second young Master are the only ones at
home at the present time.
Mr., Mrs., and Miss kissed me when I arrived. Young Master only shook hands. He
looked as if he would have liked to kiss me too. Why shouldn't he? It wouldn't have
mattered. I don't myself like kissing. What is the use of it? Where is the pleasure of it?
Mrs. was so glad to see me; she took hold of me by both hands. She said: "My dear child,
you are improving. You were wretchedly thin when I saw you last. Now you are almost
as well-developed as your sister. I think you are prettier than your sister." Mr. didn't agree
to that. He and his wife began to dispute about me before my face. I do call that an
aggravating thing to endure.
Mr. said: "She hasn't got her sister's pretty gray eyes."
Mrs. said; "She has got pretty brown eyes, which are just as good."
Mr. said: "You can't compare her complexion with Helena's."
Mrs. said: "I like Eunice's pale complexion. So delicate."
Young Miss struck in: "I admire Helena's hair--light brown."
Young Master took his turn: "I prefer Eunice's hair--dark brown."
Mr. opened his great big mouth, and asked a question: "Which of you two sisters is the
oldest? I forget."
Mrs. answered for me: "Helena is the oldest; she told us so when she was here last."
I really could not stand that. "You must be mistaken," I burst out.