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242 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEThen, surging up, puffing slightly, old Mr Carmichaelstood beside her, looking like an old pagan God,shaggy, with weeds in his hair and the trident (itwas only a French novel) in his hand. He stood byher on the edge of the lawn, swaying a little in hisbulk, and said, shading his eyes with his hand: ‘Theywill have landed,’ and she felt that she had beenright. They had not needed to speak. They hadbeen thinking the same things and he had answeredher without her asking him anything. He stoodthere spreading his hands over all the weakness andsuffering of mankind; she thought he was surveying,tolerantly, compassionately, their final destiny.Now he has crowned the occasion, she thought, whenhis hand slowly fell, as if she had seen him let fallfrom his great height a wreath of violets and aspho-dels which, fluttering slowly, lay at length uponthe earth.

Quickly, as if she were recalled by something overthere, she turned to her canvas. There it was—herpicture. Yes, with all its green and blues, its linesrunning up and across, its attempt at something. Itwould be hung in the attics, she thought; it would bedestroyed. But what did that matter? she askedherself, taking up her brush again. She looked atthe steps; they were empty; she looked at her canvas;it was blurred. With a sudden intensity, as if shesaw it clear for a second, she drew a line there, in thecentre. It was done; it was finished. Yes, shethought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue,I have had my vision.