26 June

26 June 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

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

[. . .] She felt his eyes travel over her big bunch of flowers, over her muff and gloves and handbag, until they rested finally upon her, where she sat with her purple veil thrown back and her travelling cape with the fur collar dropping off her shoulders. Her heart beat up hot and hard; she pressed her knees together like a frightened girl and the malignant little voice mocked: "If you were perfectly certain that he was admiring you would not mind at all. On the contrary."
Then just as suddenly as he had turned he wheeled round again and stood with his back towards her. Again he began to sing:
"Daisy, Daisy, giv me your onze heures do."
Was it just her fancy or did she really detect in his shoulders and in his twanging voice real, laughing contempt. Wasn't he singing again just to show her that he had looked and seen quite enough, ‘thank you'. But what did he matter - an insolent underbred boy! What on earth had she to do with him! She tapped with her spoon for the waiter, paid, gathered up her flowers, her muff, her bag, and keeping her eyes fixed on the café door as though she was not perfectly certain whether it was the door or not, she walked out into the street.
It had positively grown colder while she was in that café. The sun was hidden for a moment behind a wing of cloud and the clatter and rattle of the morning traffic pouring over the cobbles sounded so loud and harsh that it bruised her nerves. How tired she was - very tired! She must find a room and escape from this street immediately. It was ridiculous to walk about like this after a racking night in the train. [. . .] [KM Notebooks, undated]