THE WINDOWthe symbols of marriage, husband and wife. Then,after an instant, the symbolical outline which tran-scended the real figures sank down again, and theybecame, as they met them, Mr. and Mrs. Ramsaywatching the children throwing catches. But stillfor a moment, though Mrs. Ramsay greeted themwith her usual smile (oh, she’s thinking we’re goingto get married, Lily thought) and said, "I havetriumphed tonight," meaning that for once Mr.Bankes had agreed to dine with them and not runoff to his own lodging where his man cookedvegetables properly; still, for one moment, there wasa sense of things having been blown apart, of space,of irresponsibility as the ball soared high, and theyfollowed it and lost it and saw the one star and thedraped branches. In the failing light they all lookedsharp-edged and ethereal and divided by great dis-tances. Then, darting backwards over the vast space(for it seemed as if solidity had vanished alto-gether), Prue ran full tilt into them and caught theball brilliantly high up in her left hand, and hermother said, "Haven’t they come back yet?" where-upon the spell was broken. Mr. Ramsay felt freenow to laugh out loud at the thought that Humehad stuck in a bog and an old woman rescued himon condition he said the Lord’s Prayer, and chuck-ling to himself he strolled off to his study. Mrs.111
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