TO THE LIGHTHOUSEroused as usual by something incongruous. Therewas a brown spot in the middle of the bay. Itwas a boat. Yes, she realised that after a second.But whose boat? Mr. Ramsay’s boat, she replied.Mr. Ramsay was the man,the man who hadmarched past her, with his hand raised, aloof, atthe head of a procession, in his beautiful boots,asking her for sympathy, which she had refused.The boat was now half way across the bay.

So fine was the morning except for a streak ofwind here and there that the sea and sky lookedall one fabric, as if sails were stuck high up in thesky, or the clouds had dropped down into the sea.A steamer far out at sea had drawn in the air agreat scroll of smoke which stayed there curvingand circling decoratively, as if the air were a finegauze which held things and kept them softly inits mesh, only gently swaying them this way andthat. And as happens sometimes when theweather is very fine, the cliffs looked as if theywere conscious of the ships, and the ships lookedas if they were conscious of the cliffs, as if theysignalled to each other some message of theirown. Sometimes quite close to the shore, theLighthouse looked this morning in the haze anenormous distance away.

“Where are they now?" Lily thought,looking out to sea. Where was he, that very old280THE LIGHTHOUSEman who had gone past her silently, holding abrown paper parcel under his arm? The boatwas in the middle of the bay.9

They don’t feel a thing there, Cam thought,looking at the shore, which rising and falling,became steadily more distant and more peaceful.Her hand cut a trail in the sea, as her mindmade the green swirls and streaks into patternsand numbed and shrouded wandered in imagina-tion in that underworld of waters where the pearlsstuck in clusters to white sprays, where in thegreen light a change came over one’s entire mindand one’s body was half transparent enveloped ina green cloak.

Then the eddy slackened round her hand.The rush of the water ceased; the world becamefull of little creaking and squeaking sounds. Oneheard the waves breaking and flapping againstthe side of the boat as if they were anchored inharbour. Everything became very close to one.For the sail, upon which James had his eyes fixeduntil it had become to him like a person whomhe knew, sagged entirely; there they came to astop, flapping aboutwaiting for a breeze, in thehot sun, miles from shore, miles from the Light-281
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