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THE WINDOW 65they stood, looking at the sky, wondering about theweather, and she had said, thinking partly to covertheir shyness, partly to encourage them to be off (forher sympathies were with Paul):

'There isn't a cloud anywhere within miles,’ atwhich she could feel little Charles Tansley, who hadfollowed them out, snigger. But she did it on purpose.Whether Nancy was there or not, she could not be cer-tain, looking from one to the other in her mind’s eye.

She read on: ‘"Ah, wife," said the man, "why shouldwe be King? I do not want to be King." "Well,"said the wife, "if you won’t be King, I will; go to theFlounder, for I will be King."

'Come in or go out, Cam,’ she said, knowing thatCam was attracted only by the word ‘Flounder’ andthat in a moment she would fidget and fight withJames as usual. Cam shot off. Mrs Ramsay wenton reading, relieved, for she and James shared thesame tastes and were comfortable together.

'And when he came to the sea it was quite darkgrey, and the water heaved up from below, and smeltputrid. Then he went and stood by it and said:"Flounder, flounder, in the sea,Come, I pray thee, here to me;For my wife, good Ilsabil,Wills not as I'd have her will.""Well, what does she want then?" said the Floun-der.' And where were they now? Mrs Ramsaywondered, reading and thinking, quite easily, bothat the same time; for the story of the Fisherman andhis Wife was like the bass gently accompanying atune, which now and then ran up unexpectedly intothe melody. And when should she be told? If