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168 TO THE LIGHTHOUSENancy had vanished. There he was, marching upand down the terrace in a rage. One seemed to heardoors slamming and voices calling all over the house.Now Nancy burst in, and asked, looking round theroom, in a queer half dazed, half desperate way:'What does one send to the Lighthouse?’ as if shewere forcing herself to do what she despaired of everbeing able to do.

What does one send to the Lighthouse indeed! Atany other time Lily could have suggested reasonablytea, tobacco, newspapers. But this morning every-thing seemed so extraordinarily queer that a questionlike Nancy’s—What does one send to the Light-house?—opened doors in one’s mind that went bang-ing and swinging to and fro and made one keepasking, in a stupefied gape: What does one send?What does one do? Why is one sitting here after all?

Sitting alone (for Nancy went out again) amongthe clean cups at the long table she felt cut off fromother people, and able only to go on watching, asking,wondering. The house, the place, the morning, allseemed strangers to her. She had no attachmenthere, she felt, no relations with it, anything mighthappen, and whatever did happen, a step outside, avoice calling (‘It’s not in the cupboard; it’s on thelanding,’ some one cried), was a question, as if thelink that usually bound things together had beencut, and they floated up here, down there, off, any-how. How aimless it was, how chaotic, how unrealit was, she thought, looking at her empty coffee cup.Mrs Ramsay dead; Andrew killed; Prue dead too—repeat it as she might, it roused no feeling in her.And we all get together in a house like this on a