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Bliss, And Other Stories

by Katherine Mansfield

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Text extracted from opening pages of book: BLISS AND OTHER STORIES BY KATHERINE MANSFIELD OSMAN1A UNIVERSITY LIBRARY LONDON : CONSTABLE & COMPANY LIMITED CONTENTS PAQI PRELUDE ....... i JE NE PARLE PAS FRAN? AIS . . . 71 Buss 116 THE WIND BLOWS 137 PSYCHOLOGY 145 PICTURES 157 THE MAN WITHOUT A TEMPERAMENT . .172 MR. REGINALD PEACOCK'S DAY . . .194 SUN AND MOON 208 FEUILLE D'ALBUM 218 A DILL PICKLE 228 THE LITTLE GOVERNESS .... 239 REVELATIONS 262 THE ESCAPE 272 PRELUDE THERE was not an inch of room for Lottie and Kezia in the buggy. When Pat swung them on top of the luggage they wobbled ; the grandmother's lap was full and Linda Burnell could not possibly have held a lump of a child on hers for any distance. Isabel, very superior, was perched beside the new handy-man on the driver's seat. Hold-alls, bags and boxes were piled upon the floor. These are absolute necessities that I will not let out of my sight for one instant/' said Linda Burnell, her voice tremb ling with fatigue and excitement. Lottie and Kezia stood on the patch of lawn just inside the gate all ready for the fray in their coats with brass anchor buttons and little round caps with battleship ribbons. Hand in hand, they stared with round solemn eyes first at the absolute necessities and then at their mother. We shall simply have to leave them. That is all. We shall simply have to cast them off/ 1 said Linda Burnell. A strange little laugh flew from her lips ; she leaned back against the buttoned leather cushions and shut her eyes, her lips tremb-B I PRELUDE ling with laughter. Happily at that moment Mrs. Samuel Josephs, who had been watching the scene from behind her drawing-room blind, waddled down the garden path, Why nod leave the chudren with be for the afterdoon, Brs. Burnell ? They could go on the dray with the storeban when he comes in the eveding. Those thigs on the path have to go, dod'tthey? Yes, everything outside the house is supposed to go, said Linda Burnell, and she waved a white hand at the tables and chairs standing on their heads on the front lawn. How absurd they looked ! Either they ought to be the other way up, or Lottie and Kezia ought to stand on their heads, too. And she longed to say : Stand on your heads, children, and wait for the store-man. It seemed to her that would be so exquisitely funny that she could not attend to Mrs. Samuel Josephs. The fat creaking body leaned across the gate, and the big jelly of a face smiled. Dod't you worry, Brs. Burnell. Loddie and Kezia can have tea with by chudren in the dursery, and Til see theb on the dray afterwards. The grandmother considered. Yes, it really is quite the best plan. We are very obliged to you, Mrs. Samuel Josephs. Children, say ' thank you f to Mrs. Samuel Josephs. Two subdued chirrups : Thank you, Mrs. Samuel Josephs, PRELUDE And be good little girls, and come closer they advanced, don't forget to tell Mrs. Samuel Josephs when you want to. . . . No, granma. Dod't worry, Brs. Burnell. At the last moment Kezia let go Lottie's hand and darted towards the buggy. I want to kiss my granma good-bye again. But she was too late. The buggy rolled off up the road, Isabel bursting with pride, her nose turned up at all the world, Linda Burnell prostrated, and the grandmother rummaging among the very curious oddments she had had put in her black silk reticule at the last moment, for something to give her daughter. The buggy tiwnkled away in the sunlight and fine golden dust up the hill and over. Kezia bit her lip, but Lottie, carefully finding her handkerchief first, set up a wail. Mother! Granma ! Mrs. Samuel Josephs, like a huge warm black silk tea cosy, enveloped her. It's all right, by dear. Be a brave child. You come and blay in the dursery ! She put her arm round weeping Lottie and led her away. Kezia followed, making a face at Mrs. Samuel Josephs' placket, which was undone as usual, with two long pink corset laces hanging out of it. ... * Lottie's weeping died down as she mounted the stair



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