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Night after night, summer and winter, the tormentof storms, the arrow-like stillness of fine weather,held their court without interference. Listening(had there been any one to listen) from the upperrooms of the empty house only gigantic chaosstreaked with lightning could have been heard tumb-ling and tossing, as the winds and waves disportedthemselves like the amorphous bulks of leviathanswhose brows are pierced by no light of reason, andmounted one on top of another, and lunged andplunged in the darkness or the daylight (for nightand day, month and year ran shapelessly together)in idiot games, until it seemed as if the universe werebattling and tumbling, in brute confusion andwanton lust aimlessly by itself.

In spring the garden urns, casually filled withwind-blown plants, were gay as ever. Violets cameand daffodils. But the stillness and the brightnessof the day were as strange as the chaos and tumultof night, with the trees standing there, and theflowers standing there, looking before them, lookingup, yet beholding nothing, eyeless, and thus terrible.


Thinking no harm, for the family would not come,never again, some said, and the house would be soldat Michaelmas perhaps, Mrs McNab stooped andpicked a bunch of flowers to take home with her.She laid them on the table while she dusted. Shewas fond of flowers. It was a pity to let them waste.