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THE LIGHTHOUSE 237away on some desolate stump. She gazed at theimmense expanse of the sea. The island had grownso small that it scarcely looked like a leaf any longer.It looked like the top of a rock which some big wavewould cover. Yet in its frailty were all those paths,those terraces, those bedrooms—all those innumer-able things. But as, just before sleep, things simplifythemselves so that only one of all the myriad detailshas power to assert itself, so, she felt, lookingdrowsily at the island, all those paths and terracesand bedrooms were fading and disappearing, andnothing was left but a pale blue censer swingingrhythmically this way and that across her mind. Itwas a hanging garden; it was a valley, full of birds,and flowers, and antelopes. . . . She was fallingasleep.

‘Come now,’ said Mr Ramsay, suddenly shuttinghis book.

Come where? To what extraordinary adventure?She woke with a start. To land somewhere, toclimb somewhere? Where was he leading them?For after his immense silence the words startledthem. But it was absurd. He was hungry, he said.It was time for lunch. Besides, look, he said.There’s the Lighthouse. ‘We’re almost there.'

‘He’s doing very well,’ said Macalister, praisingJames. 'He ’s keeping her very steady.'But his father never praised him, James thoughtgrimly.

Mr Ramsay opened the parcel and shared out thesandwiches among them. Now he was happy, eatingbread and cheese with these fishermen. He wouldhave liked to live in a cottage and lounge about in