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Knitting her reddish-brown hairy stocking, withher head outlined absurdly by the gilt frame, thegreen shawl which she had tossed over the edge ofthe frame, and the authenticated masterpiece by Mi-chael Angelo, Mrs. Ramsay smoothed out what hadbeen harsh in her manner a moment before, raised hishead, and kissed her little boy on the forehead. ‘Let’sfind another picture to cut out,’ she said.6But what had happened?

Someone had blundered.

Starting from her musing she gave meaning towords which she had held meaningless in her mind fora long stretch of time. ‘Someone had blundered' —Fixing her short-sighted eyes upon her husband, whowas now bearing down upon her, she gazed steadilyuntil his closeness revealed to her (the jingle mateditself in her head) that something had happened,someone had blundered. But she could not for the lifeof her think what.

He shivered; he quivered. All his vanity, all his satis-faction in his own splendour, riding fell as a thunder-bolt, fierce as a hawk at the head of his men throughthe valley of death, had been shattered, destroyed.Stormed at by shot and shell, boldly we rode and well,flashed through the valley of death, volleyed and thun-dered — straight into Lily Briscoe and William Bankes.He quivered; he shivered.

Not for the world would she have spoken to him,realising, from the familiar signs, his eyes averted, andsome curious gathering together of his person, as if he38