(19)and vanished. She had locked the door; she had gone. It wasbeyond the work of one woman, she said. They never sent. Theynever wrote. There were things up there rotting in the drawers -it was a shame to leave things so, she said. The place was goneto rack and ruin.

Only the lighthouse beam entered the rooms for a moment, sentits sudden glare into the drawing room or bedroom, over bed andwall, looked with contentment at the thistle and the swallow, therat and the straw,severelywhen the night was dark, caressed them lovinglyin the soft nights of spring.

As for the spirits, who in sleep had left their bodies, anddreamed of some communion, had dreamed that grasping the hand ofa sharer, they might complete, down on the beach alone, in thepresence of sea and sky, that pattern that vision, that beginningwhich sought fulfilment, either they had been woken by thatprodigious cannonading which made the wine glasses tinkle in thecupboards, or the snout protruding, the stain bleeding, had sogravely damaged the picture that they had fled. They had dashedthe mirror to the ground. They saw nothing now. They stumbledand strove, blindly pulling one foot out of the mud, blindlystamping the other in. Let the wind blow; let the poppy seeditself, and the carnation mate with the cabbage. Let theswallow build in the drawing room, and the thistle thrust asidethe tiles, and the butterfly sun itself on the faded chintz of thearm chairs. Let the broken glass and china lie out on the lawnand be tangled over with grass and wild berries.
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