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Journal of Katherine Mansfield



The red geraniums have bought the garden over my head. They are there, established, back in the old home, every leaf and flower unpacked and in its place—and quite determined that no power page 106 on earth will ever move them again. Well, that I don't mind. But why should they make me feel a stranger? Why should they ask me every time I go near: “And what are you doing in a London garden?” They burn with arrogance and pride. And I am the little Colonial walking in the London garden patch—allowed to look, perhaps, but not to linger. If I lie on the grass they positively shout at me: “Look at her, lying on our grass, pretending she lives here, pretending this is her garden, and that tall back of the house, with the windows open and the coloured curtains lifting, is her house. She is a stranger—an alien. She is nothing but a little girl sitting on the Tinakori hills and dreaming: ‘I went to London and married an Englishman, and we lived in a tall grave house with red geraniums and white daisies in the garden at the back.’ Im-pudence!”

[This note appears later, re-written, in the following form.]

The red geraniums have bought the garden over my head and taken possession. They are settled in, every leaf and flower unpacked and in its place, and never do they mean to move again! Well—that I could bear. But why because I've let them in should they throw me out? They won't even let me lie on the grass without their shouting: “Im-pudence!”