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TIME PASSES 157Suppose the house were sold (she stood arms akimboin front of the looking-glass) it would want seeingto—it would. There it had stood all these yearswithout a soul in it. The books and things weremouldy, for, what with the war and help being hardto get, the house had not been cleaned as she couldhave wished. It was beyond one person's strengthto get it straight now. She was too old. Her legspained her. All those books needed to be laid outon the grass in the sun; there was plaster fallen inthe hall; the rain-pipe had blocked over the studywindow and let the water in; the carpet was ruinedquite. But people should come themselves; theyshould have sent somebody down to see. For therewere clothes in the cupboards; they had left clothesin all the bedrooms. What was she to do with them?They had the moth in them—Mrs Ramsay’s things.Poor lady! She would never want them again. Shewas dead, they said; years ago, in London. Therewas the old grey cloak she wore gardening (MrsMcNab fingered it). She could see her, as she cameup the drive with the washing, stooping over herflowers (the garden was a pitiful sight now, all runto riot, and rabbits scuttling at you out of the beds)—she could see her with one of the children by herin that grey cloak. There were boots and shoes;and a brush and comb left on the dressing-table, forall the world as if she expected to come back to-morrow. (She had died very sudden at the end,they said.) And once they had been coming, but

had put off coming, what with the war, and travel

being so difficult these days; they had never come

all these years; just sent her money; but never wrote,* 949