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T0 THE LIGHTHOUSEprojectile dropped in mid career, and Cam camelagging back, pulling a leaf by the way, to hermother.

What was she dreaming about, Mrs. Ramsaywondered, seeing her engrossed, as she stoodthere, with some thought of her own, so that shehad to repeat the message twice—ask Mildred ifAndrew, Miss Doyle, and Mr. Rayley have comebackP——The words seemed to be dropped into awell, where, if the waters were clear, they werealso so extraordinarily distorting that, even as theydescended, one saw them twisting about to makeHeaven knows what pattern on the floor of thechild’s mind. What message would Cam give thecook? Mrs. Ramsay wondered. And indeed itwas only by waiting patiently, and hearing thatthere was an old woman in the kitchen with veryred cheeks, drinking soup out of a basin, thatMrs. Ramsay at last prompted that parrot-likeinstinct which had picked up Mildred’s wordsquite accurately and could now produce them, ifone waited, in a colourless singsong. Shiftingfrom foot to foot, Cam repeated the words,‘No, they haven’t, and I’ve told Ellen to clearaway tea.

Minta Doyle and Paul Rayley had not comeback then. That could only mean, Mrs. Ramsaythought, one thing. She must accept him, or she88