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154 TO THE LIGHTHOUSElight gliding gently as if it laid its caress and lingeredstealthily and looked and came lovingly again. Butin the very lull of this loving caress, as the longstroke leant upon the bed, the rock was rent asunder;another fold of the shawl loosened; there it hung, andswayed. Through the short summer nights and thelong summer days, when the empty rooms seemed tomurmur with the echoes of the fields and the humof flies, the long streamer waved gently, swayed aim-lessly; while the sun so striped and barred the roomsand filled them with yellow haze that Mrs McNab,when she broke in and lurched about, dusting, sweep-ing, looked like a tropical fish oaring its way throughsun-lanced waters.

But slumber and sleep though it might therecame later in the summer ominous sounds likethe measured blows of hammers dulled on felt,which, with their repeated shocks still further loosen-ed the shawl and cracked the tea-cups. Now andagain some glass tinkled in the cupboard as if agiant voice had shrieked so loud in its agony thattumblers stood inside a cupboard vibrated too.Then again silence fell; and then, night afternight, and sometimes in plain midday when theroses were bright and light turned on the wall itsshape clearly there seemed to drop into this silencethis indifference, this integrity, the thud of somethingfalling.

[A shell exploded. Twenty or thirty young men

were blown up in France, among them Andrew Ram-

say, whose death, mercifully, was instantaneous.]

At that season those who had gone down to pace

the beach and ask of the sea and sky what message