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The Voyage

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The Voyage

by Katherine Mansfield

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

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed


Must I take off my boots, grandma? They’re lace.

Grandma gave them a moment’s deep consideration. “You’d feel a great deal more comfortable if you did, child,” said she. She kissed Fenella. “Don’t forget to say your prayers. Our dear Lord is with us when we are at sea even more than when we are on dry land. And because I am an experienced traveller,” said grandma briskly, “I shall take the upper berth.”

“But, grandma, however will you get up there?”

Three little spider-like steps were all Fenella saw. The old woman gave a small silent laugh before she mounted them nimbly, and she peered over the high bunk at the astonished Fenella.

“You didn’t think your grandma could do that, did you?” said she. And as she sank back Fenella heard her light laugh again.

The hard square of brown soap would not lather, and the water in the bottle was like a kind of blue jelly. How hard it was, too, to turn down those stiff sheets; you simply had to tear your way in. If everything had been different, Fenella might have got the giggles… At last she was inside, and while she lay there panting, there sounded from above a long, soft whispering, as though some one was gently, gently rustling among tissue paper to find something. It was grandma saying her prayers…


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