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THE WINDOW 79after himself. Then, he wanted to tell her that whenhe was walking on the terrace just now—here he be-came uncomfortable, as if he were breaking into thatsolitude, that aloofness, that remoteness of hers. . . .But she pressed him. What had he wanted to tellher, she asked, thinking it was about going to theLighthouse; and that he was sorry he had said'Damn you.' But no. He did not like to see herlook so sad, he said. Only wool gathering, she pro-tested, flushing a little. They both felt uncom-fortable, as if they did not know whether to go onor go back. She had been reading fairy tales toJames, she said. No, they could not share that; theycould not say that.

They had reached the gap between the two clumpsof red-hot pokers, and there was the Lighthouseagain, but she would not let herself look at it. Hadshe known that he was looking at her, she thought,she would not have let herself sit there, thinking.She disliked anything that reminded her that shehad been seen sitting thinking. So she looked overher shoulder, at the town. The lights were ripplingand running as if they were drops of silver water heldfirm in a wind. And all the poverty, all the sufferinghad turned to that, Mrs Ramsay thought. Thelights of the town and of the harbour and of the boatsseemed like a phantom net floating there to marksomething which had sunk. Well, if he could notshare her thoughts, Mr Ramsay said to himself, hewould be off, then, on his own. He wanted to go onthinking, telling himself the story how Hume wasstuck in a bog; he wanted to laugh. But first it wasnonsense to be anxious about Andrew. When he