TO THE LIGHTHOUSEin the air with excitement. Or he might sit at thehead of the table dead silent from one end ofdinner to the other. Yes, thought James, whilethe boat slapped and dawdled there in the hotsun; there was a waste of snow and rock verylonely and austere; and there he had come tofeel, quite often lately, when his father said some-thing or did something which surprised the others,there were two pairs of footprints only; his ownand his father's. They alone knew each other.What then was this terror, this hatred? Turningback among the many leaves which the past hadfolded in him, peering into the heart of thatforest where light and shade so chequer each otherthat all shape is distorted, and one blunders,floundersnow with the sun in one’s eyes now witha dark shadow, looking into the past he sought animage to cool and detach and round off his feelingin a concrete shape. Suppose then that as a childsitting helpless in a perambulator, or on some-one’s knee, he had seen a waggon crush ignorantlyand innocently, someone’s foot? Suppose he hadseen the foot first, in the grass, smooth, and whole;then the wheel; and the same foot, purple,crushed. But the wheel was innocent. So now,when his father came striding down the passageknocking them up early in the morning to go tothe Lighthouse down it came over his foot, over284THE LIGHTHOUSEthe firmness of her lips, made the air thick, rolleddown her cheeks. She had perfect control ofherself—Oh yes!—in every other way. Was shecrying then for Mrs. Ramsay, without beingaware of any unhappiness? She addressed oldMr. Carmichael again. What was it then? Whatdid it mean? Could things thrust their hands upand grip one; the blade cut; the fist grasp? Wasthere no safety? No learning by heart of the waysof the world? No guide, no shelter, but all wasmiracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a towerinto the air? Could it be, even for elderly people,that this was life?—startling, unexpected, un-known? For one moment she felt that if theyboth got up, herenow on the lawn, and demandedan explanation, why was it so short, why was itso inexplicable, said it with violence, as two fullyequipped human beings from whom nothing shouldbe hid might speak, then, beauty would roll itselfup; the space would fill; those empty flourisheswould form into shape; if they shouted loud enoughMrs. Ramsay would return. "Mrs. Ramsay!”she said aloud, "Mrs. Ramsay!" The tears randown her face.7

(Macalister's boy took one of the fish and cuta square out of its side to bait his hook with. The277
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