Slide to View Image: Opacity 0%
TIME PASSESsity, remote from the known pleasures and familiarvirtues, something alien to the processes of domesticlife, single, hard, bright, like a diamond in the sand,which would render the possessor secure. Moreover,softened and acquiescent, the spring with her beeshumming and gnats dancing threw her cloak abouther, veiled her eyes, averted her head, and among pass-ing shadows and flights of small rain seemed to havetaken upon her a knowledge of the sorrows of mankind.

[Prue Ramsay died that summer in some illnessconnected with childbirth, which was indeed a tra-gedy, people said. They said nobody deserved happi-ness more.]

And now in the heat of summer the wind sent itsspies about the house again. Flies wove a web in thesunny rooms; weeds that had grown close to the glassin the night tapped methodically at the window pane.When darkness fell, the stroke of the Lighthouse,which had laid itself with such authority upon thecarpet in the darkness, tracing its pattern, came nowin the softer light of spring mixed with moonlightgliding gently as if it laid its caress and lingered steal-thily and looked and came lovingly again. But in thevery lull of this loving caress, as the long stroke leantupon the bed, the rock was rent asunder; anotherfold of the shawl loosened; there it hung, and swayed.Through the short summer nights and the long sum-mer days, when the empty rooms seemed to murmurwith the echoes of the fields and the hum of flies, thelong streamer waved gently, swayed aimlessly; whilethe sun so striped and barred the rooms and filledthem with yellow haze that Mrs. McNab, when shebroke in and lurched about, dusting, sweeping, looked155