TO THE LIGHTHOUSEmost part beat a measured and soothing tattoo toher thoughts and seemed consolingly to repeat overand over again as she sat with the children thewords of some old cradle song, murmured bynature, “I am guarding you—I am your sup-port”, but at other times suddenly and unex-pectedly, especially when her mind raised itselfslightly from the task actually in hand, had nosuch kindly meaning, but like a ghostly roll ofdrums remorselessly beat the measure of life, madeone think of the destruction of the island and itsengulfment in the sea, and warned her whose dayhad slipped past in one quick doing after anotherthat it was all ephemeral as a rainbow—this soundwhich had been obscured and concealed under theother sounds suddenly thundered hollow in her earsand made her look up with an impulse of terror.

They had ceased to talk; that was the explana-tion. Falling in one second from the tensionwhich had gripped her to the other extreme which,as if to recoup her for her unnecessary expense ofemotion, was cool, amused, and even faintlymalicious, she concluded that poor CharlesTansley had been shed. That was of littleaccount to her. If her husband required sacrifices(and indeed he did) she cheerfully offered up to himCharles Tansley, who had snubbed her little boy.

One moment more, with her head raised, she30
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