THE WINDOWand its handles, would need the greatest skill andcare in cutting out. All these young men parodiedher husband, she reflected; he said it would rain;they said it would be a positive tornado.

But here, as she turned the page, suddenly hersearch for the picture of a rake or a mowing-machinewas interrupted. The gruff murmur, irregularlybroken by the taking out of pipes and the putting inof pipes which had kept on assuring her, thoughshe could not hear what was said (as she sat in thewindow which opened on the terrace), that the menwere happily talking; this sound, which had lastednow half an hour and had taken its place soothinglyin the scale of sounds pressing on top of her, suchas the tap of balls upon bats, the sharp, suddenbark now and then, "How's that? How's that?" ofthe children playing cricket, had ceased; so thatthe monotonous fall of the waves on the beach,which for the most part beat a measured and sooth-ing tattoo to her thoughts and seemed consolingly torepeat over and over again as she sat with the chil-dren the words of some old cradle song, murmuredby nature, "I am guarding you—I am your sup-port," but at other times suddenly and unex-pectedly, especially when her mind raised itselfslightly from the task actually in hand, had no suchkindly meaning, but like a ghostly roll of drums re-27
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