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THE WINDOW 97meanwhile she waited, passively, for someone toanswer her, for something to happen. But this is not

a thing, she thought, ladling out soup, that one says.Raising her eyebrows at the discrepancy—that

was what she was thinking, this was what she wasdoing—ladling out soup—she felt, more and morestrongly, outside that eddy; or as if a shade hadfallen, and, robbed of colour, she saw things truly.The room (she looked round it) was very shabby.

There was no beauty anywhere. She forebore to lookat Mr Tansley. Nothing seemed to have merged.They all sat separate. And the whole of the effortof merging and flowing and creating rested on her.

Again she felt, as a fact without hostility, the sterilityof men, for if she did not do it nobody would do it,

and so, giving herself the little shake that one givesa watch that has stopped, the old familiar pulse

began beating, as the watch begins ticking—one,two, three, one, two, three. And so on and so on,she repeated, listening to it, sheltering and fosteringthe still feeble pulse as one might guard a weak flamewith a newspaper. And so then, she concluded,addressing herself by bending silently in his directionto William Bankes—poor man! who had no wife and

no children, and dined alone in lodgings except for to-night; and in pity for him, life being now strong enoughto bear her on again, she began all this business, as asailor not without weariness sees the wind fill his sailand yet hardly wants to be off again and thinks how,had the ship sunk, he would have whirled round andround and found rest on the floor of the sea.

'Did you find your letters? I told them to putthem in the hall for you,’ she said to William Bankes.