THE LIGHTHOUSEpresumably. But there was only kind Mrs.Beckwith turning over her sketches`under thelamp. Then, being tired, her mind still risingand falling with the sea, the taste and smell thatplaces have after long absence possessing her,the candles wavering in her eyes, she had lostherself and gone under. It was a wonderful night,starlit; the waves sounded as they went upstairs;the moon surprised them, enormous, pale, as theypassed the staircase window. She had sleptat once.

She set her clean canvas iirmly upon the easel,as a barrier, frail, but she hoped sufficiently substantial to ward oH·` Mr. Ramsay and his exactingness. She did her best to look, when his backWas turned, at her picture; that line there, thatmass there. But it was out of the question.Let him be fifty feet away, let him not evenSpeak to you, let him not even see you, he permeated, he prevailed, he imposed himself. Hechanged everything. She could not see thecolour; she could not see the lines; even with hisback turned to her, she could only think, Buthe’ll be down on me in a moment, demandingSomething she felt she could not give him. Sherejected one brush; she chose another. Whenwould those children come? When would they alloff? she Hdgeted. That man, she thought, her2 31

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