THE LIGHTHOUSE 179their eyes which made her feel that they sufferedsomething beyond their years in silence. So theypassed the edge of the lawn, and it seemed to Lilythat she watched a procession go, drawn on by somestress of common feeling which made it, faltering andflagging as it was, a little company bound togetherand strangely impressive to her. Politely, but verydistantly, Mr Ramsay raised his hand and salutedher as they passed.

But what a face, she thought, immediately findingthe sympathy which she had not been asked to givetroubling her for expression. What had made itlike that? Thinking, night after night, she sup-posed—about the reality of kitchen tables, sheadded, remembering the symbol which in her vague-ness as to what Mr Ramsay did think about Andrewhad given her. (He had been killed by the splinterof a shell instantly, she bethought her.) The kitchentable was something visionary, austere; somethingbare, hard, not ornamental. There was no colourto it; it was all edges and angles; it was uncom-promisingly plain. But Mr Ramsay kept alwayshis eyes fixed upon it, never allowed himself to bedistracted or deluded, until his face became worntoo and ascetic and partook of this unornamentedbeauty which so deeply impressed her. Then, sherecalled (standing where he had left her, holding herbrush), worries had fretted it—not so nobly. Hemust have had his doubts about that table, she sup-posed; whether the table was a real table; whetherit was worth the time he gave to it; whether he wasable after all to find it. He had had doubts, shefelt, or he would have asked less of people. That

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