THE WINDOWthe residue of her thirty-three years, the depositof each day’s living mixed with something more se-cret than she had ever spoken or shown in the courseof all those days was an agony. At the same timeit was immensely exciting.

Nothing could be cooler and quieter. Taking outa pen-knife, Mr. Bankes tapped the canvas withthe bone handle. What did she wish to indicate bythe triangular purple shape, "just there"? he asked.

It was Mrs. Ramsay reading to James, she said.She knew his objection—that no one could tell itfor a human shape. But she had made no attemptat likeness, she said. For what reason had she intro-duced them then? he asked. Why indeed?—exceptthat if there, in that corner, it was bright, here, inthis, she felt the need of darkness. Simple, obvious,commonplace, as it was, Mr. Bankes was inter-ested. Mother and child then—objects of universalveneration, and in this case the mother was famousfor her beauty—might be reduced, he pondered, toa purple shadow without irreverence.

But the picture was not of them, she said. Or,not in his sense. There were other senses too inwhich one might reverence them. By a shadow hereand a light there, for instance. Her tribute took thatform if, as she vaguely supposed, a picture must bea tribute. A mother and child might be reduced to81
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