TO THE LIGHTHOUSEhis troops, Mr. Ramsay rather sheepishly proddedhis son’s bare legs once more, and then, as if hehad her leave for it, with a movement which oddlyreminded his wife of the great sea lion at the Zootumbling backwards after swallowing his fish andwalloping off so that the water in the tank washesfrom side to side, he dived into the evening airwhich, already thinner, was taking the substancefrom leaves and hedges but, as if in return, restor-ing to roses and pinks a lustre which they had nothad by day.

"Some one had blundered," he said again, strid-ing off, up and down the terrace.

But how extraordinarily his note had changed!It was like the cuckoo; "in June he gets out oftune;" as if he were trying over, tentatively seek-ing, some phrase for a new mood, and having onlythis at hand, used it, cracked though it was. Butit sounded ridiculous—"Some one had blundered"—said like that, almost as a question, without anyconviction, melodiously. Mrs. Ramsay could nothelp smiling, and soon, sure enough, walking upand down, he hummed it, dropped it, fell silent.

He was safe, he was restored to his privacy. Hestopped to light his pipe, looked once at his wifeand son in the window, and as one raises one’s eyesfrom a page in an express train and sees a farm, a52
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