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It grew darker. Clouds covered the moon; in the earlyhours of the morning a thin rain drummed on the roof, andstarlight and moonlight and all light on sky and earth wasquenched. Nothing could survive the flood, the profusion,the downpouring of the immense darkness which, creeping in atkeyholes and crevices, stole round the window blinds, came into the bedrooms, and swallowed up, here a jug and basin, therea bowl of red and yellow dahlias, there the sharp edges andfirm bulk of a chest of drawers. Not only was furnitureconfounded; but there was scarcely anything left of body ormind by which one could say 'this is he' or 'this is she'; butfrom the many bodies lying asleep either in the rigid attitudesof the old passively creased in the creases of the beds, oreasily lying scarcely covered, in childhood, as if a cloudlightly curved under them, there rose, to break silvery on thesurface, thoughts, dreams, impulses, of which the sleepers byday knew nothing. Now a hand was raised as if to clutchsomething or perhaps ward off something; now the anguish whichis forbidden to cry out for comfort parted the lips of thesleepers; now and then somebody laughed out loud, as if sharinga joke with nothingness.

It seemed almost as if there must be ghostly confidantesabout, sharers, comforters, who, stooping by the bedside,