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For Cam grazed the easel by an inch; she would notstop for Mr. Bankes and Lily Briscoe; though Mr.Bankes, who would have liked a daughter of his own,held out his hand; she would not stop for her father,whom she grazed also by an inch; nor for her mother,who called ‘Cam! I want you a moment!' as shedashed past. She was off like a bird, bullet, or arrow,impelled by what desire, shot by whom, at what di-rected, who could say? What, what? Mrs. Ramsaypondered, watching her. It might be a vision — ofa shell, of a wheelbarrow, of a fairy kingdom on thefar side of the hedge; or it might be the glory ofspeed; no one knew. But when Mrs. Ramsay called‘Cam!’ a second time, the projectile dropped in midcareer, and Cam came lagging back, pulling a leafby the way, to her mother.

What was she dreaming about, Mrs. Ramsay won-dered, seeing her engrossed, as she stood there, withsome thought of her own, so that she had to repeatthe message twice — ask Mildred if Andrew, MissDoyle, and Mr. Rayley have come back? — The wordsseemed to be dropped into a well, where, if the waterswere clear, they were also so extraordinarily distortingthat, even as they descended, one saw them twistingabout to make Heaven knows what pattern on thefloor of the child’s mind. What message would Camgive the cook? Mrs. Ramsay wondered. And indeedit was only by waiting patiently, and hearing thatthere was an old woman in the kitchen with veryred cheeks, drinking soup out of a basin, that Mrs.Ramsay at last prompted that parrot-like instinct66