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THE LIGHTHOUSE 201came home and then there was that scene on thestairs, when he got the poker in case of burglars (nodoubt to frighten her too) and spoke so bitterly,saying she had ruined his life. At any rate whenshe went down to see them at a cottage near Rick-mansworth, things were horribly strained. Paultook her down the garden to look at the Belgian hareswhich he bred, and Minta followed them, singing,and put her bare arm on his shoulder, lest he shouldtell her anything.

Minta was bored by hares, Lily thought. ButMinta never gave herself away. She never saidthings like that about playing chess in coffee-houses.She was far too conscious, far too wary. But to goon with their story—they had got through the dan-gerous stage by now. She had been staying withthem last summer some time and the car broke downand Minta had to hand him his tools. He sat onthe road mending the car, and it was the way shegave him the tools—business-like, straightforward,friendly—that proved it was all right now. Theywere ‘in love’ no longer; no, he had taken up withanother woman, a serious woman, with her hair in aplait and a case in her hand (Minta had describedher gratefully, almost admiringly), who went tomeetings and shared Paul's views (they had got moreand more pronounced) about the taxation of landvalues and a capital levy. Far from breaking up themarriage, that alliance had righted it. They wereexcellent friends, obviously, as he sat on the roadand she handed him his tools.

So that was the story of the Rayleys, Lily smiled.She imagined herself telling it to Mrs Ramsay, who