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32 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEand certainly the window on the landing was openfor that she had opened herself. That windowsshould be open, and doors shut—simple as it was,could none of them remember it? She would gointo the maids’ bedrooms at night and find themsealed like ovens, except for Marie’s, the Swiss girl,who would rather go without a bath than withoutfresh air, but then at home, she had said, ‘the moun-tains are so beautiful.' She had said that last nightlooking out of the window with tears in her eyes.‘The mountains are so beautiful.' Her father wasdying there, Mrs Ramsay knew. He was leavingthem fatherless. Scolding and demonstrating (howto make a bed, how to open a window, with handsthat shut and spread like a Frenchwoman’s) all hadfolded itself quietly about her, when the girl spoke,as, after a flight through the sunshine the wings of abird fold themselves quietly and the blue of itsplumage changes from bright steel to soft purple.She had stood there silent for there was nothing tobe said. He had cancer of the throat. At the re-collection—how she had stood there, how the girl hadsaid: ‘At home the mountains are so beautiful,’ andthere was no hope, no hope whatever, she had a spasmof irritation, and speaking sharply said to James:

‘Stand still. Don’t be tiresome,’ so that he knewinstantly that her severity was real, and straightenedhis leg and she measured it.

The stocking was too short by half an inch at least,making allowance for the fact that Sorley’s little boywould be less well grown than James.

'It’s too short,’ she said, ‘ever so much too short.'

Never did anybody look so sad. Bitter and black,