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THE LIGHTHOUSEreluctantly and hesitatingly, but without questionor complaint—had she not the faculty of obedienceto perfection?—went too. Down fields, acrossvalleys, white, flower-strewn—that was how shewould have painted it. The hills were austere.It was rocky; it was steep. The waves soundedhoarse on the stones beneath. They went, thethree of them together, Mrs. Ramsay walkingrather fast in front, as if she expected to meetsome one round the corner.

Suddenly the window at which she was lookingwas whitened by some light stuff behind it. Atlast then somebody had come into the drawing-room; somebody was sitting in the chair. ForHeaven’s sake, she prayed, let them sit still thereand not come floundering out to talk to her.Mercifully, whoever it was stayed still inside;had settled by some stroke of luck so as to throwan odd-shaped triangular shadow over the step.It altered the composition of the picture a little.It was interesting. It might be useful. Hermood was coming back to her. One must keepon looking without for a second relaxing theintensity of emotion, the determination not to beput off, not to be bamboozled. One must holdthe scene—so—in a vice and let nothing come inand spoil it. One wanted, she thought, dippingher brush deliberately, to be on a level with309