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THE WINDOW 69like birds among cherries and raspberries still makingup stories about some little bit of rubbish—some-

thing they had heard, something they had picked upin the garden. They had all their little treasures.. . . And so she went down and said to her husband,Why must they grow up and lose it all? Never willthey be so happy again. And he was angry. Whytake such a gloomy view of life? he said. It is notsensible. For it was odd; and she believed it to betrue; that with all his gloom and desperation he washappier, more hopeful on the whole, than she was.

Less exposed to human worries—perhaps that was it.

He had always his work to fall back on. Not that

she herself was ‘pessimistic,’ as he accused her ofbeing. Only she thought life—and a little strip oftime presented itself to her eyes, her fifty years.There it was before her—life. Life: she thought butshe did not finish her thought. She took a look atlife, for she had a clear sense of it there, somethingreal, something private, which she shared neitherwith her children nor with her husband. A sort oftransaction went on between them, in which she wason one side, and life was on another, and she wasalways trying to get the better of it, as it was of her;and sometimes they parleyed (when she sat alone);there were, she remembered, great reconciliationscenes; but for the most part, oddly enough, shemust admit that she felt this thing that she called lifeterrible, hostile, and quick to pounce on you if yougave it a chance. There were the eternal problems:suffering; death; the poor. There was always awoman dying of cancer even here. And yet she hadsaid to all these children: You shall go through with