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IIITHE LIGHTHOUSE1WHAT does it mean then, what can it all mean? LilyBriscoe asked herself, wondering whether, since shehad been left alone, it behoved her to go to thekitchen to fetch another cup of coffee or wait here.What does it mean?—a catchword that was, caughtup from some book, fitting her thought loosely, forshe could not, this first morning with the Ramsays,contract her feelings, could only make a phrase re-sound to cover the blankness of her mind until thesevapours had shrunk. For really, what did she feel,come back after all these years and Mrs Ramsaydead? Nothing, nothing—nothing that she couldexpress at all.

She had come late last night when it was allmysterious, dark. Now she was awake, at her oldplace at the breakfast table, but alone. It was veryearly too, not yet eight. There was this expedition

—they were going to the Lighthouse, Mr Ramsay,Cam, and James. They should have gone already—they had to catch the tide or something. AndCam was not ready and James was not ready andNancy had forgotten to order the sandwiches andMr Ramsay had lost his temper and banged out ofthe room.

'What 's the use of going now?’ he had stormed.167