But it would be a mistake, she thought, thinkinghow they walked off together, arm in arm, past thegreenhouse, to simplify their relationship. It was nomonotony of bliss—she with her impulses and quick-nesses; he with his shudders and glooms. Oh, no.The bedroom door would slam violently early in themorning. He would start from the table in a temper.He would whizz his plate through the window. Thenall through the house there would be a sense of doorsslamming and blinds fluttering, as if a gusty windwere blowing and people scudded about trying in ahasty way to fasten hatches and make things ship-shape. She had met Paul Rayley like that one dayon the stairs. It had been an earwig, apparently.Other people might find centipedes. They hadlaughed and laughed.

But it tired Mrs. Ramsay, it cowed her a little—the plates whizzing and the doors slamming. Andthere would fall between them sometimes long rigidsilences, when, in a state of mind which annoyedLily in her, half plaintive, half resentful, she seemedunable to surmount the tempest calmly, or to laughas they laughed, but in her weariness perhaps con-cealed something. She brooded and sat silent. Aftera time he would hang stealthily about the placeswhere she was—roaming under the window whereshe sat writing letters or talking, for she would take296
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