TO THE LIGHTHOUSEAt a certain moment, she supposed, the house wouldbecome so shabby that something must be done.If they could be taught to wipe their feet and notbring the beach in with them—that would be some-thing. Crabs, she had to allow, if Andrew reallywished to dissect them, or if Jasper believed that onecould make soup from seaweed, one could not pre-vent it; or Rose’s objects—shells, reeds, stones; forthey were gifted, her children, but all in quite differ-ent ways. And the result of it was, she sighed, tak-ing in the whole room from floor to ceiling, as sheheld the stocking against James’s leg, that things gotshabbier and got shabbier summer after summer.The mat was fading; the wall-paper was flapping.You couldn’t tell any more that those were roses onit. Still, if every door in a house is left perpetuallyopen, and no lockmaker in the whole of Scotlandcan mend a bolt, things must spoil. Every door wasleft open. She listened. The drawing-room door wasopen; the hall door was open; it sounded as if thebedroom doors were open; and certainly the windowon the landing was open, for that she had openedherself. That windows should be open, and doorsshut—simple as it was, could none of them re-member it? She would go into the maids’ bedroomsat night and find them sealed like ovens, except forMarie’s, the Swiss girl, who would rather go without44
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