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THE WINDOWfrom floor to ceiling, as she held the stocking againstJames’s leg, that things got shabbier and got shabbiersummer after summer. The mat was fading; the wall-paper was flapping. You couldn’t tell any more thatthose were roses on it. Still, if every door in a house isleft perpetually open, and no lockmaker in the wholeof Scotland can mend a bolt, things must spoil. Whatwas the use of flinging a green Cashmere shawl overthe edge of a picture frame? In two weeks it would bethe colour of pea soup. But it was the doors that an-noyed her; every door was left open. She listened. Thedrawing-room door was open; the hall door was open;it sounded as if the bedroom doors were open; andcertainly the window on the landing was open, forthat she had opened herself. That windows should beopen, and doors shut — simple as it was, could noneof them remember it? She would go into the maids’bedrooms at night and find them sealed like ovens,except for Marie’s the Swiss girl, who would rather gowithout a bath than without fresh air, but then athome, she had said, ‘the mountains are so beautiful.'She had said that last night looking out of the windowwith tears in her eyes. ‘The mountains are so beauti-ful.’ Her father was dying there, Mrs. Ramsay knew.He was leaving them fatherless. Scolding and demon-strating (how to make a bed, how to open a window,with hands that shut and spread like a French-woman’s) all had folded itself quietly about her, whenthe girl spoke, as, after a flight through the sunshinethe wings of a bird fold themselves quietly and theblue of its plumage changes from bright steel to softpurple. She had stood there silent for there was no-thing to be said. He had cancer of the throat. At the35