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Mr. And Mrs. Dove.

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Mr. And Mrs. Dove.

by Katherine Mansfield

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

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed

EXCERPT:

Of course he knew–no man better–that he hadn’t a ghost of a chance, he hadn’t an earthly. The very idea of such a thing was preposterous. So preposterous that he’d perfectly understand it if her father–well, whatever her father chose to do he’d perfectly understand. In fact, nothing short of desperation, nothing short of the fact that this was positively his last day in England for God knows how long, would have screwed him up to it. And even now… He chose a tie out of the chest of drawers, a blue and cream check tie, and sat on the side of his bed. Supposing she replied, “What impertinence!” would he be surprised? Not in the least, he decided, turning up his soft collar and turning it down over the tie. He expected her to say something like that. He didn’t see, if he looked at the affair dead soberly, what else she could say.

Here he was! And nervously he tied a bow in front of the mirror, jammed his hair down with both hands, pulled out the flaps of his jacket pockets. Making between 500 and 600 pounds a year on a fruit farm in–of all places–Rhodesia. No capital. Not a penny coming to him. No chance of his income increasing for at least four years. As for looks and all that sort of thing, he was completely out of the running. He couldn’t even boast of top-hole health, for the East Africa business had knocked him out so thoroughly that he’d had to take six months’ leave. He was still fearfully pale–worse even than usual this afternoon, he thought, bending forward and peering into the mirror. Good heavens! What had happened? His hair looked almost bright green. Dash it all, he hadn’t green hair at all events. That was a bit too steep. And then the green light trembled in the glass; it was the shadow from the tree outside. Reggie turned away, took out his cigarette case, but remembering how the mater hated him to smoke in his bedroom, put it back again and drifted over to the chest of drawers. No, he was dashed if he could think of one blessed thing in his favour, while she… Ah!… He stopped dead, folded his arms, and leaned hard against the chest of drawers.


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