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TO THE LIGHTHOUSEeverything still the same? Oh she could remember itas if it were yesterday — going on the river, feelingvery cold. But if the Mannings made a plan they stuckto it. Never should she forget Herbert killing a waspwith a teaspoon on the bank! And it was still goingon, Mrs. Ramsay mused, gliding like a ghost amongthe chairs and tables of that drawing-room on thebanks of the Thames where she had been so very, verycold twenty years ago; but now she went among themlike a ghost; and it fascinated her, as if, while she hadchanged, that particular day, now become very stilland beautiful, had remained there, all these years. HadCarrie written to him herself? she asked.

‘Yes. She says they’re building a new billiard room,’he said. No! No! That was out of the question! Build-ing a billiard room! It seemed to her impossible.

Mr. Bankes could not see that there was anythingvery odd about it. They were very well off now. Shouldhe give her love to Carrie?

‘Oh,’ said Mrs. Ramsay with a little start, ‘No,’ sheadded, reflecting that she did not know this Carriewho built a new billiard room. But how strange, sherepeated, to Mr. Bankes’s amusement, that theyshould be going on there still. For it was extraordinaryto think that they had been capable of going on livingall these years when she had not thought of them morethan once all that time. How eventful her own lifehad been, during those same years. Yet perhaps Car-rie Manning had not thought about her either. Thethought was strange and distasteful.

‘People soon drift apart,’ said Mr. Bankes, feeling,however, some satisfaction when he thought that afterall he knew both the Mannings and the Ramsays. He104