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222 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEfurther and further across the bay. It seemed to beelongated, stretched out; he seemed to become moreand more remote. He and his children seemed to beswallowed up in that blue, that distance; but here,on the lawn, close at hand, Mr Carmichael suddenlygrunted. She laughed. He clawed his book upfrom the grass. He settled into his chair againpuffing and blowing like some sea monster. Thatwas different altogether, because he was so near.And now again all was quiet. They must be out ofbed by this time, she supposed, looking at the house,but nothing appeared there. But then, she remem-bered, they had always made off directly a meal wasover, on business of their own. It was all in keepingwith this silence, this emptiness, and the unreality ofthe early morning hour. It was a way things hadsometimes, she thought, lingering for a moment andlooking at the long glittering windows and the plumeof blue smoke: they became unreal. So comingback from a journey, or after an illness, before habitshad spun themselves across the surface, one felt thatsame unreality, which was so startling; felt some-thing emerge. Life was most vivid then. Onecould be at one’s ease. Mercifully one need not say,very briskly, crossing the lawn to greet old MrsBeckwith, who would be coming out to find a cornerto sit in, ‘Oh good-morning, Mrs Beckwith! What alovely day! Are you going to be so bold as to sit inthe sun? Jasper’s hidden the chairs. Do let mefind you one!’ and all the rest of the usual chatter.One need not speak at all. One glided, one shookone’s sails (there was a good deal of movement inthe bay, boats were starting off) between things, be-