THE LIGHTHOUSEhappen, and whatever did happen, a step outside, avoice calling ("It's not in the cupboard; it's on thelanding," some one cried), was a question, as if thelink that usually bound things together had beencut, and they floated up here, down there, off, any-how. How aimless it was, how chaotic, how unreal itwas, she thought, looking at her empty coffee cup.Mrs. Ramsay dead; Andrew killed; Prue dead too—repeat it as she might, it roused no feeling in her.And we all get together in a house like this on amorning like this, she said, looking out of the win-dow. It was a beautiful still day.

Suddenly Mr. Ramsay raised his head as hepassed and looked straight at her, with his dis-traught wild gaze which was yet so penetrating, as ifhe saw you, for one second, for the first time, forever; and she pretended to drink out of her emptycoffee cup so as to escape him—to escape his demandon her, to put aside a moment longer that imperiousneed. And he shook his head at her, and strode on("Alone" she heard him say, "Perished" she heardhim say) and like everything else this strange morn-ing the words became symbols, wrote themselves allover the grey-green walls. If only she could putthem together, she felt, write them out in some sen-tence, then she would have got at the truth of things.Old Mr. Carmichael came padding softly in, fetched219
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