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220 TO THE LIGHTHOUSElet whatever one thought expand like a leaf in water;and if it did well here, among the old gentlemensmoking and The Times crackling, then it was right.And watching her father as he wrote in his study, shethought (now sitting in the boat) he was most lovable,he was most wise; he was not vain nor a tyrant. In-deed, if he saw she was there, reading a book, hewould ask her, as gently as any one could, Was therenothing he could give her?

Lest this should be wrong, she looked at him read-ing the little book with the shiny cover mottled likea plover’s egg. No; it was right. Look at himnow, she wanted to say aloud to James. (But Jameshad his eye on the sail.) He is a sarcastic brute,James would say. He brings the talk round to him-self and his books, James would say. He is in-tolerably egotistical. Worst of all, he is a tyrant.But look! she said, looking at him. Look at himnow. She looked at him reading the little book withhis legs curled; the little book whose yellowish pagesshe knew, without knowing what was written onthem. It was small; it was closely printed; on thefly-leaf, she knew, he had written that he had spentfifteen francs on dinner; the wine had been so much;he had given so much to the waiter; all was added upneatly at the bottom of the page. But what mightbe written in the book which had rounded its edgesoff in his pocket, she did not know. What he thoughtthey none of them knew. But he was absorbed init, so that when he looked up, as he did now for aninstant, it was not to see anything; it was to pindown some thought more exactly. That done, hismind flew back again and he plunged into his reading.