THE LIGHTHOUSEare we dawdling about here for, eh? " as, oncebefore he had brought his blade down among themon the terrace and she had gone stiff all over, and ifthere had been an axe handy, a knife, or anythingwith a sharp point he would have seized it andstruck his father through the heart. His motherhad gone stiff all over, and then, her arm slacken—ing, so that he felt she listened to him no longer,she had risen somehow and gone away and lefthim there, impotent, ridiculous, sitting on theHoor grasping a pair of scissors.

Not a breath of wind blew. The waterchuckled and gurgled in the bottom of the boatwhere three or four mackerel beat their tails upand down in a pool of water not deep enough tocover them. At any moment Mr. Ramsay (jamesscarcely dared look at him) might rouse himself,shut his book, and say something sharp, but forthe moment he was reading, so that Jamesstealthily, as if he were stealing downstairs on barefeet, afraid of waking a watch-dog by a creakingboard, went on thinking what was she like, wheredid she go that day? He began following herfrom room to room and at last they came to aroom where in a blue light, as if the reflectioncame from many china dishes, she talked to somebody; he listened to her talking. She talked toa servant, saying simply whatever came into her287

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