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THE LIGHTHOUSE 199the sand and covered it up, by way of burying in itthe perfection of the moment. It was like a drop ofsilver in which one dipped and illumined the darknessof the past.

Lily stepped back to get her canvas—so—intoperspective. It was an odd road to be walking, thisof painting. Out and out one went, further andfurther, until at last one seemed to be on a narrowplank, perfectly alone, over the sea. And as shedipped into the blue paint, she dipped too into thepast there. Now Mrs Ramsay got up, she remem-bered. It was time to go back to the house—timefor luncheon. And they all walked up from thebeach together, she walking behind with WilliamBankes, and there was Minta in front of them with ahole in her stocking. How that little round hole ofpink heel seemed to flaunt itself before them! HowWilliam Bankes deplored it, without, so far as shecould remember, saying anything about it! Itmeant to him the annihilation of womanhood, anddirt and disorder, and servants leaving and beds notmade at midday—all the things he most abhorred.He had a way of shuddering and spreading hisfingers out as if to cover an unsightly object, whichhe did now—holding his hand in front of him. AndMinta walked on ahead, and presumably Paul mether and she went off with Paul in the garden.

The Rayleys, thought Lily Briscoe, squeezing hertube of green paint. She collected her impressionsof the Rayleys. Their lives appeared to her in aseries of scenes; one, on the staircase at dawn. Paulhad come in and gone to bed early; Minta was late.There was Minta, wreathed, tinted, garish on the