T0 THE LIGHTHOUSEshoulders (but avoiding her face), in the glass.And then, while the children rummaged amongher things, she looked out of the window at a sightwhich always amused her—the rooks trying todecide which tree to settle on. Every time, theyseemed to change their minds and rose up intothe air again, because, she thought, the old rook,the father rook, old joseph was her name for him,was a bird of a very trying and diflicult disposition.He was a disreputable old bird, with half his wingfeathers missing. He was like some seedy oldgentleman in a top hat she had seen playing thehorn in front of a public house.

‘Look! " she said, laughing. They wereactually lighting. joseph and Mary were fighting.Anyhow they all went up again, and the air wasshoved aside by their black wings and cut intoexquisite scimitar shapes. The movement of thewings beating out, out, out—she could neverdescribe it accurately enough to please herselfwas one of the loveliest of all to her. Look atthat, she said to Rose, hoping that Rose wouldsee it more clearly than she could. For one’schildren so often gave one’s own perceptions a {little thrust forwards.

But which was it to be? They had all thetrays of her jewel—case open. The gold necklace,which was Italian, or the opal necklace, which126

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