158 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEnever came, and expected to find things as they hadleft them, ah dear! Why the dressing-table drawerswere full of things (she pulled them open), handker-chiefs, bits of ribbon. Yes, she could see MrsRamsay as she came up the drive with the washing.

‘Good-evening, Mrs McNab,’ she would say.

She had a pleasant way with her. The girls allliked her. But dear, many things had changedsince then (she shut the drawer); many families hadlost their dearest. So she was dead; and Mr Andrewkilled; and Miss Prue dead too, they said, with herfirst baby; but every one had lost someone theseyears. Prices had gone up shamefully, and didn’tcome down again neither. She could well rememberher in her grey cloak.

‘Good-evening, Mrs McNab,’ she said, and toldcook to keep a plate of milk soup for her—quitethought she wanted it, carrying that heavy basketall the way up from town. She could see her now,stooping over her flowers (and faint and flickering,like a yellow beam or the circle at the end of a tele-scope, a lady in a grey cloak, stooping over herflowers, went wandering over the bedroom wall, upthe dressing-table, across the washstand, as MrsMcNab hobbled and ambled, dusting, straightening).And cook’s name now? Mildred? Marian?—some name like that. Ah, she had forgotten—shedid forget things. Fiery, like all red-haired women.Many a laugh they had had. She was always wel-come in the kitchen. She made them laugh, she did.Things were better then than now.

She sighed; there was too much work for onewoman. She wagged her head this side and that.

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