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178 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEso tormented with sympathy for him that, as shestooped too, the blood rushed to her face, and, think-ing of her callousness (she had called him a play-actor) she felt her eyes swell and tingle with tears?Thus occupied he seemed to her a figure of infinitepathos. He tied knots. He bought boots. Therewas no helping Mr Ramsay on the journey he wasgoing. But now just as she wished to say something,could have said something, perhaps, here they were—Cam and James. They appeared on the terrace.They came, lagging, side by side, a serious, melan-choly couple.

But why was it like that that they came? Shecould not help feeling annoyed with them; theymight have come more cheerfully; they might havegiven him what, now that they were off, she wouldnot have the chance of giving him. For she felt asudden emptiness; a frustration. Her feeling hadcome too late; there it was ready; but he no longerneeded it. He had become a very distinguished,elderly man, who had no need of her whatsoever.She felt snubbed. He slung a knapsack round hisshoulders. He shared out the parcels—there were anumber of them, ill tied, in brown paper. He sentCam for a cloak. He had all the appearance of aleader making ready for an expedition. Then,wheeling about, he led the way with his firm militarytread, in those wonderful boots, carrying brownpaper parcels, down the path, his children followinghim. They looked, she thought, as if fate had de-voted them to some stern enterprise, and they wentto it, still young enough to be drawn acquiescent intheir father’s wake, obediently, but with a pallor in