Mrs. Manstey's View
By JOY DEEP SAHA
The sight from Mrs. Manstey's balcony was not spectacular, but at least it was full of interest and beauty to her.
Arriving late on the sidewalk and the gaps in the sidewalk would have stumbled Quinto Curtius, the widow of a clerk at a large wholesale house. His death had left her alone as their only daughter had married in California and couldn't travel to New York to see her mother. Perhaps Ms. Manstey could have seen her daughter again in the west, but now they had been separated for so many years that they no longer felt the need for each other's company, and their relationship was long on the exchange of.
some superficial letters, casually Written by the daughter and laboriously by Mrs. Manstey, whose right hand was stiff with gout. 'Mrs. Manst. The growing ailment of the eye that made him afraid of the three flights of stairs between his room and the street would have brought him to a halt on the eve of such a long journey; And without perhaps formulating these reasons, he had long since taken his lonely life in New York for granted.
Actually, she didn't feel very lonely, as some friends were still busy in her room from time to time; but his visits became rare over the years. Those yards that Mrs. Manstey disapproved of, but she loved the others, the green ones.
He was used to his mess; Broken barrels, empty bottles, and dirt roads no longer bothered her; she had the fortunate ability to live on the more pleasant side of the prospects before her.
Didn't a magnolia in the next room open its complex white blossoms against the watery blue of April? And wasn't there a foamy fence a little further down over every wave of purple wisteria?
The horse-chestnut raised its candlestick of light brown and pink flowers above broad fans of leaves, while in the front yard, June was sweet with the touch of a neglected Syringa that continued to grow despite the myriad of obstacles to its well-being.
But if nature was in the foreground for Ms. Manstey, she was much more interested in the appearance of the houses and their residents. Front window, but it glowed with joy when the house below had painted its old bricks.
The residents of the houses rarely looked out the back windows, but the servants were always in sight. Pronounced the most significant number; he knew their ways and hated them. But Mrs. Manstey expressed her condolences to the quiet cook of the freshly painted house, whose owner harassed her and who secretly fed the stray cats in the evening. For two days, he forgot to provide the parrot in his care. On the third day, despite her gouty hand, Mrs. Manstey had just written a letter that began: "When the forgetful girl appeared at the window with a cup of semen in her hand.
But in Mrs. Manstey's more meditative mood, it was the narrow perspective of the distant courtyards that she liked most. vague memories of a trip to Europe that he had made years ago and which he has now reduced in his head to a pale phantasmagoria of indistinct church towers and dreamy skies. Perhaps Mrs.
Manstey was an artist at heart; if anything, she noticed many unintended color changes in the middle eye and was valued by her since the green of early spring was the black trellis of branches against a cold sulfuric sky at the end of a snowy day. The sunny thaw in March, when patches of earth peeked out from the snow like ink stains on white blotting paper; and, better still, the mist of the branches, leafless but swollen, which replaced the felled tracery of winter.
He even looked with some interest at the plume of smoke from a distant factory chimney, overlooking a detail of the landscape when the factory was in ruins. closed and the smoke disappeared.
Mrs. Manstey was not idle in the long hours she spent at her window. She read a little and knitted innumerable stockings; But the view surrounded and shaped her life as if the sea were a lonely island: When her rare visitors arrived, she found it difficult to part from looking at the window cleaning opposite or the scrutiny of certain green spots in a neighboring flower-bed he may or may not turn into hyacinths while feigning interest in his visitor's anecdotes about an unknown grandson.
Mrs. Manstey's true friends were the courtiers, the hyacinths, the magnolia, the green parrot, the maid who fed the cats, the doctor who studied late behind her mustard-colored curtains; and the confidante of his tender musings was the tower of the church, floating in the setting sun.
One day in April, sitting in her usual place, the fabric put aside and the view fixed on the blue sky with round clouds, a knock on the door announced the entrance of her landlady. But she submitted to her visits with the resignation of a lady. Today, however, it seemed more difficult than usual to go from blue skies and blooming magnolia to Mrs. Sampson's uninviting face, and Mrs. Manstey was conscious of a definite strain. so.
"Magnolia is coming out earlier than usual this year, Mrs. Sampson," he commented, giving in to a rare impulse because he seldom alluded to the captivating interest in his life. He would probably not attract his visitors, besides, he lacked expressiveness and he would not have been able to express his feelings if he had wanted to.
"That what, Mrs. Manstey?" asked the landlady, looking around the room as if she were Mrs.Manstey statement. "The magnolia in the garden next to Mrs. Black's garden," repeated Mrs. Manstey. “Is that it? I didn't know there was a magnolia there, ”Mrs. Sampson said carelessly. Mrs. Manstey looked at her; Little did she know there was a magnolia in the adjacent garden!
"By the way," continued Mrs. Sampson, "when I talk about Mrs. Black, I remember that work on the extension will start next week."
"The what?" now it was Mrs. Manstey's turn to ask.
"The extension," said Mrs.Sampson nods at the ignored magnolia. “Did you know, of course, that Mrs. Black wanted to add an extension to her house? Yes ma'am. I heard it should run back to the end of the yard. How can you afford to build an extension? "I don't see in these troubled times, but she's always been crazy about building. He used to have a boarding house on Seventeenth Street and then he almost went broke for sticking out the front windows and all that; I would have thought that would have cured her of the construction, but I suppose it's a disease, like drinking. In any case, work will start on Monday. " ignored the long pause. Ma nstey said, "Do you know what the spread will be?"
"That's the most absurd thing. The extension is being built up to the roof of the main building, have you done that before?"
"Mrs. Manstey paused again." Won't you be very annoyed, Mrs. Sampson? ", I ask.
"I have to say yes. But you can't do anything about it. If people plan to expand, I know there is no law prohibiting them." Ms. Munstee, knowing this, was silent. "Impossible," repeated Mrs. Sampson, "but if I were a member of the church, I would not regret killing Eliza Black.
Good morning, Mrs. Mansty. I am glad to find you. "You are so comfortable. ."
So comfortable, so comfortable! Alone, the old woman turned back to the window. What a beautiful day! The round clouds illuminate everything around, the Ailan appears yellow-green, the hyacinths are in full bloom, and the magnolia flowers are more than ever.
It's more like a rosette carved out of alabaster; the wisteria will soon bloom, and then the horse chestnuts, but not for them. A physical barrier will be quickly established between them and their eyes; soon, even the needle will disappear, and his entire world of light will be extinguished. When Mrs. Monsti said goodbye, she did not touch the tray she brought to her that night. He stayed in front of the window until the windy evening fell silent with two sounds of twilight; when he went to bed, he stayed up all night.
The next day, he got up very early and looked out the window. It's raining, but even across the inclined gray gauze, the picture has its charm, and rain is so good for trees. The day before, he noticed that Ailanthus altissima was growing. dusty.
"Of course I can move," Mrs. Mansi roared, looking around her room from the window. Of course, he can move to be stripped alive, but he is unlikely to survive the operation. The room is more important to her happiness than the scenery, but it is an integral part of her existence. He lived in it for seventeen years.
He knew every stain on the wallpaper, every crack in the carpet; somehow light fell on his prints, his books shattered on the shelves, his lamp and ivy clinging to his window; they know the direction of tilt to the sun. “We are all too old to move,” he said.
Everything became clear that day. Blue, damp and shining, reappearing through tattered clouds; Ailanthus altissima glows; the lacey mud looks thick and warm. It was Thursday, and the expansion project started on Monday.
On Sunday afternoon, when Mrs. Black was collecting garbage from guests in the basement, someone brought her a postcard. Mrs. Monsti's name is on the blacked-out card.
"An intern of Mrs. Sampson; he wants to move, I think. Well, I can give him a room in the annex next year. Dinah, Mrs. Black said, tell the lady that I am in the house. Minutes. "Mrs.
I'm sorry too. But don't worry, Mrs. Mansty. I think we can solve this problem.
Mrs. Mansty got up from her seat, and Mrs. Black walked to : "What do you mean, solve this problem? Do you think I can persuade you to change your view on the renewal? Oh, Mrs. Black, listen to me. There are two thousand dollars in the bank, I can. I know if "Mrs." I can give you one thousand. Many paused; tears rolled down her cheeks.
"Here, Mrs. Mansty, don't worry," Mrs. Black repeated sweetly.
"I believe we can find the answer. I'm sorry, I can't stay longer, but I'm so busy today, I have to have dinner." Her wrist.
"You didn't give me a clear answer.
Do you think you will accept my proposal?" "Well, I'm thinking about it, Mrs. Mansty, I will definitely. For the sake of the world, I won't bother you."
"But someone told me that I will start work tomorrow," Mrs. Mansi insisted.
Mrs. Black hesitated. "It won't start, I promise you; I want to write to the builder tonight." RS. Monsty squeezed his hand tightly.
"You won't lie to me?" she said.
"No, no," Mrs. Black muttered to herself. "How can you look at me like this, Mrs. Munstee?" Mrs. Munstee's hand slowly let go through the open door. "A thousand dollars," he repeated, stopping in the hall. Then he walked out of the house, hobbled down the steps, and leaned on the cast iron railing.
"My God," Mrs. Black cried as she closed the door and latched it, "I never knew that old lady was crazy!
Mrs. Mansti slept well that night, the following day. Waking up by a hammer, she quickly walked to the window and looked out of the window, only to find that Mrs. Black's yard was full of workers. When they moved piles of stones from the kitchen to the patio, others began to dismantle the decoration Bill. Old wooden balconies on every floor of Mrs. House. Seeing that she was deceived, Mrs.Monsti wanted to entrust her problems to Mrs. Sampson at first but was soon overwhelmed by the constant depression and went back to bed desperately.
But at noon, he got up and put on his clothes, thinking that he should know the worst. This is a difficult task because her hands are stiffer than usual, and the hooks and buttons don't seem to be hers.
When he sat down by the window, he saw that the workers had dismantled the upper part of the balcony, and the number of bricks had increased in the morning.
A magnolia flower, she threw it on the ground when she smelled it; the next person carrying a brick stepped on a flower when she passed by.
"Be careful, Jim," one of them said to the other who was smoking a pipe, "if you throw matches next to those paper barrels, the old powder kegs will burn out unknowingly." Man Mrs. Stey leaned forward and noticed a few buckets of paper and trash under the wooden balcony.
Work finally stopped, and dusk fell.
The afterglow of the setting sun is perfect, and the pink light that transforms the spire in the distance lingers to the west.
He could not sleep that night. The weather changed, the wind was blowing, and the stars were covered by thick clouds. Mrs. Monsti got up several times and looked out the window, but there was nothing to see except one or two night lights in the opposite window. Eventually, those lights were turned off, and Mrs. Mansty, who had thought they would disappear, began to wear clothes.
She just put a thin robe on her nightgown and covered her head with a handkerchief; then, she opened the cabinet and carefully took out a kerosene pot. He put a box of matches in his pocket and began to open the door gingerly. After a while, he felt the dark stairs. Controlled by a gas jet from the lower vestibule. After a while, he reached the bottom of the stairs and began the most difficult descent into the pitch-black darkness of the cellar. However, here, he can move more freely because the danger is less. Heard; he did not hesitate to open the iron gate leading to the courtyard. As soon as she got off the car, she was shaken under the clothesline by a gust of cold wind.
At three o'clock that morning, the fire alarm brought the engine to Mrs. Black's door and the frightened guests to Mrs. Sampson's window. The wooden overhang at the back of Mrs. Black's house was burning, and among those who watched the flame spread, Mrs. Monsty leaned out of the open window in a beautiful robe.
However, the fire was quickly extinguished. Residents in the panicked and exposed house gathered at dawn and found that there was almost no damage except for the cracks in the window glass and the smoke on the ceiling.
The main victim of the fire was Mrs. Mansty. She was found to be suffocated from pneumonia that morning. Everyone noticed that this was a natural result of her wearing a dressing gown hanging by the open window. Seeing that she was very ill, but no one knew how serious the doctor's judgment would be, the people who gathered around Mrs.
Sampson's table that night were surprised and depressed. That none of the prisoners knew Mrs. Munstee well.
They said that she was "isolated" and seemed to think she was too good to her, but it was always uncomfortable when someone died in the house, as one lady said to another, "Honey, maybe It's you or me."
In Chapter, she died when she was alive. If she were not alone, she would be lonely. The doctor sent a nurse, and Mrs. Sampson would come in from a quiet corridor from time to time. But to Madame Monsti, both areas are remote and insignificant as the characters in the dream. He didn't speak all day, but when they asked his daughter's address, he shook his head. Sometimes the nurse noticed that she seemed to be listening for non-existent noise; then, he dozed off again.
The next morning, the daylight was very low. The nurse called Mrs. Sampson, and when they were all leaning on the old woman, they saw her lips move.
"Let me get up," he whispered.
They held her in their arms and pointed their stiff fingers at the window.
"Oh, window, she wants to sit by the window. She sits there all day," Mrs. Sampson explained. I don't think it will hurt you.
It doesn't matter now, my sister said. He fell asleep, but the needle had already caught the gold bar. Mrs. Black's yard was very quiet, and everything was quiet. It was clear that the construction workers would not resume work because of the fire. Several sculptural flowers appeared on the magnolia, and the scenery was calm and difficult. He tried to get her to open the window, but they didn't understand.
If she tastes the smell of the air, with the tingling sweetness, she will be relieved; but at least the scenery is there, now the spire is golden, the sky is warm from mother-of-pearl to blue, and it is covered from east to west during the day. Light up, even the magnolia was exposed to the sun.
Mrs. Munstee raised her head back, smiled, and died. On the day of, the expansion project resumed.