24 June

24 June 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

There is No Answer
by
Katherine Mansfield [Continued...]

[. . .] For the first time she drank a long heady draught this new wine, freedom. There was no-one at her elbow to say: "But my this is not the moment to rave about flowers", no-one to tell her that hotel bedrooms were more important than marigolds, not a soul who simply by standing there could make her realise that she was in all probability in an abnormal, hysterical state through not having slept all night. So, she drank the cup to the sweet dregs and bought an armful of mixed beauties and carried them into the café with her.
They were heaped on the table beside her and their scent mingled with the delicious smell of the coffee, and the cigarette she smoked was too sweet, too exciting to bear. She almost felt that the flowers, in some fairy fashion, changed into wreaths and garlands and lay on her lifting bosom and pressed on her brow until she bent her head, gazing with half shut eyes at the white ring of the cup & the white ring of the saucer, the round, white shape of the pot and jug & the four crossed pieces of sugar on a white dish on the bluey white marble table, at the cigarettes, spilled out of a yellow wrapper and her little hands, folded together so mysteriously, as though they held a butterfly.
"Daisy! Daisy! giv me your onze heures, do!"
Sang someone. She looked up. A young man in a light tweed cap stood against the counter, playing with a black kitten. Except for the flat-footed old waiter who shuffled among the tables at the far end like a forlorn aged crab, she and the young man were quite alone in the cafe. [. . .] [KM Notebooks, undated]