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THE WINDOWlooked at Rose. She looked at Rose sitting betweenJasper and Prue. How odd that one’s child shoulddo that!

How odd to see them sitting there, in a row, herchildren, Jasper, Rose, Prue, Andrew, almost silent,but with some joke of their own going on, she guessed,from the twitching at their lips. It was somethingquite apart from everything else, something they werehoarding up to laugh over in their own room. Itwas not about their father, she hoped. No, she thoughtnot. What was it, she wondered, sadly rather, for itseemed to her that they would laugh when she wasnot there. There was all that hoarded behind thoserather set, still, mask-like faces, for they did not joinin easily; they were like watchers, surveyors, a littleraised or set apart from the grown-up people. Butwhen she looked at Prue to-night, she saw that thiswas now quite true of her. She was just beginning,just moving, just descending. The faintest light wason her face, as if the glow of Minta opposite, someexcitement, some anticipation of happiness was re-flected in her, as if the sun of the love of men andwomen rose over the rim of the table-cloth, and with-out knowing what it was she bent towards it and greet-ed it. She kept looking at Minta, shyly, yet curiously,so that Mrs. Ramsay looked from one to the otherand said, speaking to Prue in her own mind, Youwill be as happy as she is one of these days. You willbe much happier, she added, because you are mydaughter, she meant; her own daughter must be hap-pier than other people’s daughters. But dinner was over.It was time to go. They were only playing with thingson their plates. She would wait until they had done9 - L.129