THE WINDOWher, so that she only knew this is white, or this isred. She did not know at first what the words meantat all.Steer, hither steer your winged pines, all beaten Marinersshe read and turned the page, swinging herself,zigzagging this way and that, from one line toanother as from one branch to another, from onered and white flower to another, until a little soundroused her—her husband slapping his thighs. Theireyes met for a second; but they did not want tospeak to each other. They had nothing to say, butsomething seemed, nevertheless, to go from him toher. It was the life, it was the power of it, it wasthe tremendous humour, she knew, that made himslap his thighs. Don’t interrupt me, he seemed to besaying, don’t say anything; just sit there. And hewent on reading. His lips twitched. It filled him. Itfortified him. He clean forgot all the little rubs anddigs of the evening, and how it bored him un-utterably to sit still while people ate and drank in-terminably, and his being so irritable with his wifeand so touchy and minding when they passed hisbooks over as if they didn’t exist at all. But now,he felt, it didn’t matter a damn who reached Z (ifthought ran like an alphabet from A to Z). Some-body would reach it—if not he, then another. This179
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