An Ideal Family. | NewMusicalsInc /* Mobile Menu Retract ---------------------------------*/

An Ideal Family.

                                                                                                                                                                   BACK TO LISTINGS

An Ideal Family.

by Katherine Mansfield

Genre: Drama
Setting: New Zealand
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed

EXCERPT:

That evening for the first time in his life, as he pressed through the swing door and descended the three broad steps to the pavement, old Mr. Neave felt he was too old for the spring. Spring–warm, eager, restless–was there, waiting for him in the golden light, ready in front of everybody to run up, to blow in his white beard, to drag sweetly on his arm. And he couldn’t meet her, no; he couldn’t square up once more and stride off, jaunty as a young man. He was tired and, although the late sun was still shining, curiously cold, with a numbed feeling all over. Quite suddenly he hadn’t the energy, he hadn’t the heart to stand this gaiety and bright movement any longer; it confused him. He wanted to stand still, to wave it away with his stick, to say, “Be off with you!” Suddenly it was a terrible effort to greet as usual–tipping his wide-awake with his stick–all the people whom he knew, the friends, acquaintances, shopkeepers, postmen, drivers. But the gay glance that went with the gesture, the kindly twinkle that seemed to say, “I’m a match and more for any of you”–that old Mr. Neave could not manage at all. He stumped along, lifting his knees high as if he were walking through air that had somehow grown heavy and solid like water. And the homeward-looking crowd hurried by, the trams clanked, the light carts clattered, the big swinging cabs bowled along with that reckless, defiant indifference that one knows only in dreams…

It had been a day like other days at the office. Nothing special had happened. Harold hadn’t come back from lunch until close on four. Where had he been? What had he been up to? He wasn’t going to let his father know. Old Mr. Neave had happened to be in the vestibule, saying good-bye to a caller, when Harold sauntered in, perfectly turned out as usual, cool, suave, smiling that peculiar little half-smile that women found so fascinating.


VIEW SOURCE DOCUMENT

                                                                                                                                                                    BACK TO LISTINGS