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THE WINDOW 131make off at once with an air of secrecy to do some-thing alone. And directly she went a sort of disin-tegration set in; they wavered about, went differentways, Mr Bankes took Charles Tansley by the armand went off to finish on the terrace the discussionthey had begun at dinner about politics, thus givinga turn to the whole poise of the evening, making theweight fall in a different direction, as if, Lily thought,seeing them go, and hearing a word or two about thepolicy of the Labour Party, they had gone up on tothe bridge of the ship and were taking their bearings;

the change from poetry to politics struck her like

that; so Mr Bankes and Charles Tansley went off,

while the others stood looking at Mrs Ramsay goingupstairs in the lamplight alone. Where, Lily won-

dered, was she going so quickly?

Not that she did in fact run or hurry; she went

indeed rather slowly. She felt rather inclined justfor a moment to stand still after all that chatter, andpick out one particular thing; the thing that mat-tered; to detach it; separate it off; clean it of all theemotions and odds and ends of things, and so hold itbefore her, and bring it to the tribunal where, rangedabout in conclave, sat the judges she had set up todecide these things. Is it good, is it bad, is it rightor wrong? Where are we going to? and so on. Soshe righted herself after the shock of the event, andquite unconsciously and incongruously, used thebranches of the elm trees outside to help her tostabilize her position. Her world was changing:they were still. The event had given her a sense ofmovement. All must be in order. She must getthat right and that right, she thought, insensibly