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THE LIGHTHOUSEa platform (there were ants crawling about amongthe plantains which she disturbed with her brush—red, energetic, shiny ants, rather like Charles Tans-ley). She had looked at him ironically from herseat in the half-empty hall, pumping love into thatchilly space, and suddenly, there was the old cask orwhatever it was bobbing up and down among thewaves and Mrs. Ramsay looking for her spectaclecase among the pebbles. "Oh, dear! What anuisance! Lost again. Don’t bother, Mr. Tansley.I lose thousands every summer," at which he pressedhis chin back against his collar, as if afraid to sanc-tion such exaggeration, but could stand it in herwhom he liked, and smiled very charmingly. He musthave confided in her on one of those long expedi-tions when people got separated and walked backalone. He was educating his little sister, Mrs. Ram-say had told her. It was immensely to his credit.Her own idea of him was grotesque, Lily knew well,stirring the plantains with her brush. Half one’snotions of other people were, after all, grotesque.They served private purposes of one’s own. He didfor her instead of a whipping-boy. She found herselfflagellating his lean flanks when she was out oftemper. If she wanted to be serious about him shehad to help herself to Mrs. Ramsay’s sayings, tolook at him through her eyes.293