He was reading very quickly, as if he wereeager to get to the end. Indeed they were veryclose to the Lighthouse now. There it loomedup, stark and straight, glaring white and black,and one could see the waves breaking in whitesplinters like smashed glass upon the rocks. Onecould see lines and creases in the rocks. Onecould see the windows clearly; a dab of white onone of them, and a little tuft of green on the rock.A man had come out and looked at them througha glass and gone in again. So it was like that,James thought, the Lighthouse one had seenacross the bay all these years; it was a stark toweron a bare rock. It satisfied him. It confirmedsome obscure feeling of his about his own char-acter. The old ladies, he thought, thinking of thegarden at home, went dragging their chairs abouton the lawn. Old Mrs. Beckwith, for example,was always saying how nice it was and how sweetit was and how they ought to be so proud andthey ought to be so happy, but as a matter of factJames thought, looking at the Lighthouse stoodthere on its rock, it’s like that. He looked at hisFather reading fiercely with his legs curled tight.They sharedthat knowledge. “We are drivingbefore a gale—we must sink,” he began saying tohimself, half aloud.[∧] That was howexactlyashis fathersaiddid it314
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