TO THE LIGHTHOUSEhouse. Everything in the whole world seemedto stand still. The Lighthouse became immov-able, and the line of the distant shore becamefixed. The sun grew hotter and everybody seemedto come very close together and to feel each other’spresence, which they had almost forgotten.Macalister’s fishing line went plumb down intothe sea. But Mr. Ramsay went on reading withhis legs curled under him.

He was reading a little shiny book with coversmottled like a plover's egg. Now and again, asthey hung about in that horrid calm, he turneda page. And James felt that each page wasturned with a peculiar gesture aimed at him: nowassertively, now commandingly; now with theintention of making people pity him; and all thetime, as his father read and turned one afteranother of those little pages, James kept dreadingthe moment when he would look up and speaksharply to him about something or other. Whywere they lagging about here? he would demand,or something quite unreasonable like that. Andif he does, James thought, then I shall take aknife and strike him to the heart.

He had always kept this old symbol of taking aknife and striking his father to the heart. Onlynow, as he grew older, and sat staring at hisfather in an impotent rage, it was not him, that282
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