TO THE LIGHTHOUSEupon the carpet in the darkness, tracing its pattern,came now in the softer light of spring mixed withmoonlight gliding gently as if it laid its caress andlingered steathily and looked and came lovinglyagain. But in the very lull of this loving caress, asthe long stroke leant upon the bed, the rock was rentasunder; another fold of the shawl loosened; thereit hung, and swayed. Through the short summernights and the long summer days, when the emptyrooms seemed to murmur with the echoes of thefields and the hum of flies, the long streamer wavedgently, swayed aimlessly; while the sun so stripedand barred the rooms and filled them with yellowhaze that Mrs. McNab, when she broke in andlurched about, dusting, sweeping, looked like atropical fish oaring its way through sun-lancedwaters.

But slumber and sleep though it might there camelater in the summer ominous sounds like themeasured blows of hammers dulled on felt, which,with their repeated shocks still further loosened theshawl and cracked the tea-cups. Now and againsome glass tinkled in the cupboard as if a giantvoice had shrieked so loud in its agony that tumblersstood inside a cupboard vibrated too. Then againsilence fell; and then, night after night, and some-times in plain mid-day when the roses were bright200
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