TO THE LIGHTHOUSEMinta’s arm and left the room, it changed, it shapeditself differently; it had become, she knew, givingone last look at it over her shoulder, already thepast.XVIII

As usual, Lily thought. There was always some-thing that had to be done at that precise moment,something that Mrs. Ramsay had decided forreasons of her own to do instantly, it might be withevery one standing about making jokes, as now, notbeing able to decide whether they were going intothe smoking-room, into the drawing-room, up to theattics. Then one saw Mrs. Ramsay in the midstof this hubbub standing there with Minta’s arm inhers, bethink her, "Yes, it is time for that now,"and so make off at once with an air of secrecy todo something alone. And directly she went a sort ofdisintegration set in; they wavered about, went dif-ferent ways, Mr. Bankes took Charles Tansley bythe arm and went off to finish on the terrace thediscussion they had begun at dinner about politics,thus giving a turn to the whole poise of the evening,making the weight fall in a different direction, as if,Lily thought, seeing them go, and hearing a word ortwo about the policy of the Labour Party, they had168

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