THE WINDOWshould be going on there still. For it was extraor-dinary to think that they had been capable ofgoing on living all these years when she had notthought of them more than once all that time. Howeventful her own life had been, during those sameyears. Yet perhaps Carrie Manning had not thoughtabout her either. The thought was strange anddistasteful.

"People soon drift apart," said Mr. Bankes, feel-ing, however, some satisfaction when he thoughtthat after all he knew both the Mannings and theRamsays. He had not drifted apart he thought, lay-ing down his spoon and wiping his clean-shaven lipspunctiliously. But perhaps he was rather unusual, hethought, in this; he never let himself get into agroove. He had friends in all circles. . . . Mrs.Ramsay had to break off here to tell the maid some-thing about keeping food hot. That was why hepreferred dining alone. All those interruptions an-noyed him. Well, thought William Bankes, preserv-ing a demeanour of exquisite courtesy and merelyspreading the fingers of his left hand on the table-cloth as a mechanic examines a tool beautifullypolished and ready for use in an interval of leisure,such are the sacrifices one’s friends ask of one. Itwould have hurt her if he had refused to come. Butit was not worth it for him. Looking at his hand he133

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