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TO THE LIGHTHOUSEabout trying in a hasty way to fasten hatchesand make things shipshape. She had met PaulRayley like that one day on the stairs. They hadlaughed and laughed, like a couple of children,all because Mr. Ramsay, finding an earwig in hismilk at breakfast had sent the whole thing flyingthrough the air on to the terrace outside. "Anearwig,” Prue murmured, awestruck, "in hismilk." Other people might find centipedes.But he had built round him such a fence ofsanctity, and occupied the space with such ademeanour of majesty that an earwig in his milkwas a monster.

But it tired Mrs. Ramsay, it cowed her a little—the plates whizzing and the doors slamming.And there would fall between them sometimeslong rigid silences, when, in a state of mind whichannoyed Lily in her, half plaintive, half resentful,she seemed unable to surmount the tempestcalmly, or to laugh as they laughed, but in herweariness perhaps concealed something. Shebrooded and sat silent. After a time he wouldhang stealthily about the places where she was—roaming under the window where she satwriting letters or talking, for she would take careto be busy when he passed, and evade him, andpretend not to see him. Then he would turnsmooth as silk, affable, urbane, and try to win her306