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THE WINDOWtouch and they will snap"—when Mrs. Ramsay saidall this, as the glance in her eyes said it, of coursefor the hundred and fiftieth time Lily Briscoe hadto renounce the experiment—what happens if one isnot nice to that young man there—and be nice.

Judging the turn in her mood correctly—that shewas friendly to him now—he was relieved of hisegotism, and told her how he had been thrown outof a boat when he was a baby; how his father usedto fish him out with a boat-hook; that was how hehad learnt to swim. One of his uncles kept the lighton some rock or other off the Scottish coast, he said.He had been there with him in a storm. This wassaid loudly in a pause. They had to listen to himwhen he said that he had been with his uncle in alighthouse in a storm. Ah, thought Lily Briscoe, asthe conversation took this auspicious turn, and shefelt Mrs. Ramsay’s gratitude (for Mrs. Ramsay wasfree now to talk for a moment herself), ah, shethought, but what haven’t I paid to get it for you?She had not been sincere.

She had done the usual trick—been nice. Shewould never know him. He would never know her.Human relations were all like that, she thought, andthe worst (if it had not been for Mr. Bankes) werebetween men and women. Inevitably these wereextremely insincere she thought. Then her eye139