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24 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEheart, Bankes had thought it, which showed his sim-plicity, his sympathy with humble things; but itseemed to him as if their friendship had ceased, there,on that stretch of road. After that, Ramsay hadmarried. After that, what with one thing andanother, the pulp had gone out of their friendship.Whose fault it was he could not say, only, after atime, repetition had taken the place of newness. Itwas to repeat that they met. But in this dumbcolloquy with the sand dunes he maintained that hisaffection for Ramsay had in no way diminished; butthere, like the body of a young man laid up in peatfor a century, with the red fresh on his lips, was hisfriendship, in its acuteness and reality laid up acrossthe bay among the sandhills.

He was anxious for the sake of this friendship andperhaps too in order to clear himself in his own mindfrom the imputation of having dried and shrunk—for Ramsay lived in a welter of children, whereasBankes was childless and a widower—he was anxiousthat Lily Briscoe should not disparage Ramsay (agreat man in his own way) yet should understandhow things stood between them. Begun long yearsago, their friendship had petered out on a Westmor-land road, where the hen spread her wings before herchicks; after which Ramsay had married, and theirpaths lying different ways, there had been, certainlyfor no one’s fault, some tendency, when they met,to repeat.

Yes. That was it. He finished. He turned fromthe view. And, turning to walk back the other way,up the drive, Mr Bankes was alive to things whichwould not have struck him had not those sandhills