THE LIGHTHOUSE 219hand, ice cold, held deep in the sea, there spurted upa fountain of joy at the change, at the escape, at theadventure (that she should be alive, that she shouldbe there). And the drops falling from this suddenand unthinking fountain of joy fell here and thereon the dark, the slumbrous shapes in her mind;shapes of a world not realized but turning in theirdarkness, catching, here and there, a spark of light;Greece, Rome, Constantinople. Small as it was, andshaped something like a leaf stood on end with thegold sprinkled waters flowing in and about it, it had,she supposed, a place in the universe—even that littleisland? The old gentlemen in the study she thoughtcould have told her. Sometimes she strayed in fromthe garden purposely to catch them at it. Therethey were (it might be Mr Carmichael or Mr Bankes,very old, very stiff) sitting opposite each other intheir low arm-chairs. They were crackling in frontof them the pages of The Times, when she came infrom the garden, all in a muddle, about somethingsomeone had said about Christ; a mammoth had beendug up in a London street; what was the great Napo-leon like? Then they took all this with their cleanhands (they wore grey coloured clothes; they smeltof heather) and they brushed the scraps together,turning the paper, crossing their knees, and saidsomething now and then very brief. In a kind oftrance she would take a book from the shelf and standthere, watching her father write, so equally, so neatlyfrom one side of the page to another, with a littlecough now and then, or something said briefly to theother old gentleman opposite. And she thought,standing there with her book open, here one could
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