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118 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEWilliam's affection had come back to her, and thateverything was all right again, and that her suspensewas over, and that now she was free both to triumphand to mock, she laughed, she gesticulated, till Lilythought, How childlike, how absurd she was, sittingup there with all her beauty opened again in her,talking about the skins of vegetables. There wassomething frightening about her. She was irresis-tible. Always she got her own way in the end, Lilythought. Now she had brought this off—Paul andMinta, one might suppose, were engaged. MrBankes was dining here. She put a spell on themall, by wishing, so simply, so directly; and Lily con-trasted that abundance with her own poverty ofspirit, and supposed that it was partly that belief(for her face was all lit up—without looking young,she looked radiant) in this strange, this terrifyingthing, which made Paul Rayley, the centre of it, allof a tremor, yet abstract, absorbed, silent. MrsRamsay, Lily felt, as she talked about the skins ofvegetables, exalted that, worshipped that; held herhands over it to warm them, to protect it, and yet,having brought it all about, somehow laughed, ledher victims, Lily felt, to the altar. It came overher too now—the emotion, the vibration of love.How inconspicuous she felt herself by Paul's side!He, glowing, burning; she, aloof, satirical; he,bound for adventure; she, moored to the shore; he,launched, incautious; she solitary, left out—and,ready to implore a share, if it were disaster, in hisdisaster, she said shyly:

'When did Minta lose her brooch?'

He smiled the most exquisite smile, veiled by