TO THE LIGHTHOUSEseemed, could survive the flood, the profusion ofdarkness which, creeping in at keyholes andcrevices, stole round window blinds, came intobedrooms, swallowed up here a jug and basin,there a bowl of red and yellow dahlias, there thesharp edges and firm bulk of a chest of drawers.Not only was furniture confounded; there wasscarcely anything left of body or mind by whichone could say "This is he" or "This is she."Sometimes a hand was raised as if to clutch some-thing or ward off something, or somebodygroaned, or somebody laughed aloud as if sharinga joke with nothingness.

Nothing stirred in the drawing-room or in thedining-room or on the staircase. Only throughthe rusty hinges and swollen sea-moistened wood-work certain airs, detached from the body of thewind (the house was ramshackle after all) creptround corners and ventured indoors. Almost onemight imagine them, as they entered the drawing-room questioning and wondering, toying with theflap of hanging wall-paper, asking, would it hangmuch longer, when would it fall? Then smoothlybrushing the walls, they passed on musingly as ifasking the red and yellow roses on the wall-paperwhether they would fade, and questioning (gently,for there was time at their disposal) the torn lettersin the wastepaper basket, the flowers, the books,196
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