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THE LIGHTHOUSE 193rubbed out; were past; were unreal, and now thiswas real; the boat and the sail with its patch; Mac-alister with his earrings; the noise of the waves—allthis was real. Thinking this, she was murmuringto herself: ‘We perished, each alone,’ for her father’swords broke and broke again in her mind, when herfather, seeing her gazing so vaguely, began to teaseher. Didn’t she know the points of the compass?he asked. Didn’t she know the north from thesouth? Did she really think they lived right outthere? And he pointed again, and showed herwhere their house was, there, by those trees. Hewished she would try to be more accurate, he said:‘Tell me—which is east, which is west?' he said,half laughing at her, half scolding her, for he couldnot understand the state of mind of any one, notabsolutely imbecile, who did not know the points ofthe compass. Yet she did not know. And seeingher gazing, with her vague, now rather frightened,eyes fixed where no house was Mr Ramsay forgothis dream; how he walked up and down between theurns on the terrace; how the arms were stretched outto him. He thought, women are always like that;the vagueness of their minds is hopeless; it was athing he had never been able to understand; but soit was. It had been so with her—his wife. Theycould not keep anything clearly fixed in their minds.But he had been wrong to be angry with her; more-over, did he not rather like this vagueness in women?It was part of their extraordinary charm. I willmake her smile at me, he thought. She looksfrightened. She was so silent. He clutched hisfingers, and determined that his voice and his face