THE LIGHTHOUSEcould remember, saying anything about it! It meantto him the annihilation of womanhood, and dirt anddisorder, and servants leaving and beds not made atmid-day—all the things he most abhorred. He hada way of shuddering and spreading his fingers outas if to cover an unsightly object which he did now—holding his hand in front of him. And Mintawalked on ahead, and presumably Paul met her andshe went off with Paul in the garden.

The Rayleys, thought Lily Briscoe, squeezingher tube of green paint. She collected her im-pressions of the Rayleys. Their lives appeared toher in a series of scenes; one, on the staircase atdawn. Paul had come in and gone to bed early;Minta was late. There was Minta, wreathed, tinted,garish on the stairs about three o’clock in the morn-ing. Paul came out in his pyjamas carryinga poker in case of burglars. Minta was eating asandwich, standing half-way up by a window, in thecadaverous early morning light, and the carpet hada hole in it. But what did they say? Lily asked her-self, as if by looking she could hear them. Mintawent on eating her sandwich, annoyingly, while hespoke something violent, abusing her, in a mutterso as not to wake the children, the two little boys.He was withered, drawn; she flamboyant, careless.For things had worked loose after the first year257
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