THE WINDOWso did Prue Ramsay; so did they all. But he was notgoing to be made a fool of by women, so he turneddeliberately in his chair and looked out of thewindow and said, all in a jerk, very rudely, it wouldbe too rough for her tomorrow. She would be sick.

It annoyed him that she should have made himspeak like that, with Mrs. Ramsay listening. If onlyhe could be alone in his room working, he thought,among his books. That was where he felt at his ease.And he had never run a penny into debt; he hadnever cost his father a penny since he was fifteen;he had helped them at home out of his savings; hewas educating his sister. Still, he wished he hadknown how to answer Miss Briscoe properly; hewished it had not come out all in a jerk like that."You'd be sick." He wished he could think of some-thing to say to Mrs. Ramsay, something whichwould show her that he was not just a dry prig.That was what they all thought him. He turnedto her. But Mrs. Ramsay was talking about peoplehe had never heard of to William Bankes.

"Yes, take it away," she said briefly, interruptingwhat she was saying to Mr. Bankes to speak to themaid. "It must have been fifteen—no, twenty yearsago—that I last saw her," she was saying, turningback to him again as if she could not lose a momentof their talk, for she was absorbed by what they131
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