Mr. Ramsay had almost done reading. One handhovered over the page as if to be in readiness toturn it the very instant he had finished it. He satthere bareheaded with the wind blowing his hairabout, extraordinarily exposed to everything. Helooked very old. He looked, James thought, gettinghis head now against the Lighthouse, now againstthe waste of waters running away into the open, likesome old stone lying on the sand; he looked as ifhe had become physically what was always at theback of both of their minds—that loneliness whichwas for both of them the truth about things.

He was reading very quickly, as if he were eagerto get to the end. Indeed they were very close tothe Lighthouse now. There it loomed up, stark andstraight, glaring white and black, and one could seethe waves breaking in white splinters like smashedglass upon the rocks. One could see lines and creasesin the rocks. One could see the windows clearly; adab of white on one of them, and a little tuft ofgreen on the rock. A man had come out and lookedat them through a glass and gone in again. So itwas like that, James thought, the Lighthouse onehad seen across the bay all these years; it was astark tower on a bare rock. It satisfied him. It con-301
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