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Journal of Katherine Mansfield

Weak Tea

Weak Tea.

… “I have just partaken of that saddest of things—a cup of weak tea. Oh, why must it be weak! How much more than pathetic it is to hear someone say as she puts it down before you: “I am afraid it is rather weak.” One feels such a brute to take advantage of it until it is a little stronger. I grasp the cup; it seems to quiver—to breathe—“coward!” I confess, I can never hear a person at a tea party say (in that timid whisper you know, as though they were shamefully page 168 conscious): “Very weak for me, please,” without wanting to burst into tears. Not that I like desperately strong tea—No, let it be a moderate strength—tea that rings the bell. Very strong tea does seem to give you your penny back—in the teapot from the taste of it.

Now and again Fred talked in his sleep. But even then you could say he was quiet…. She would wake up and hear him say suddenly: “it wants a couple of screws,” or “try the other blade,” but never more than that.