27 June

27 June 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

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

[. . .] She longed to take off her tired clothes, and to lie in a hot bath smelling of carnation crystals. At the thought of gliding between incredibly smooth gleaming sheets she gave a nervous shiver of delight.
"But what has happened to your blissful happiness of half an hour ago?" mocked the tiny voice. No, no, she wouldn't listen! ... If only she could get rid of this absurd bunch of flowers. They made her look ridiculous, feel ridiculous, feel like a gushing schoolgirl returned from a school picnic. What would the hotel people think when she arrived without any luggage but ‘simply' carrying flowers. "Very touching! Dear me - really!" she stormed; "you might have waited!" If only she could find some place to throw them away! "Do not throw us away!" pleaded the flowers. No, she couldn't be so cruel. But how she hated them! And she hid them under her cape, like a lady in a melodrama trying to hide a baby, she thought, as she pushed through the swing doors of an hotel.

II

Late afternoon. She woke, she opened her eyes but did not move - did not move a finger. She lay so still that she tricked her body into believing that she was still asleep. All warm and relaxed it lay, breathing deeply and beating with slow, soft pulses. [KM Notebooks, undated]