By Virginia Woolf
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Extra resources for A Haunted House and Other Short Stories
What do I know? That’s not Minnie. There never was Moggridge. Who am I? Life’s bare as bone. And yet the last look of them—he stepping from the kerb and she following him round the edge of the big building brims me with wonder—floods me anew. Mysterious figures! Mother and son. Who are you? Why do you walk down the street? Where to–night will you sleep, and then, to–morrow? Oh, how it whirls and surges—floats me afresh! I start after them. People drive this way and that. The white light splutters and pours.
Why so anxious about the sit of cloaks; and gloves—whether to button or unbutton? Then watch that elderly face against the dark canvas, a moment ago urbane and flushed; now taciturn and sad, as if in shadow. Was it the sound of the second violin tuning in the ante–room? Here they come; four black figures, carrying instruments, and seat themselves facing the white squares under the downpour of light; rest the tips of their bows on the music stand; with a simultaneous movement lift them; lightly poise them, and, looking across at the player opposite, the first violin counts one, two, three— Flourish, spring, burgeon, burst!
Remain unsatisfied? I say all’s been settled; yes; laid to rest under a coverlet of rose leaves, falling. Falling. Ah, but they cease. One rose leaf, falling from an enormous height, like a little parachute dropped from an invisible balloon, turns, flutters waveringly. It won’t reach us. “No, no. I noticed nothing. That’s the worst of music—these silly dreams. ” “There’s old Mrs. ” Eyeless old age, grey–headed Sphinx. . There she stands on the pavement, beckoning, so sternly, the red omnibus. “How lovely!
A Haunted House and Other Short Stories by Virginia Woolf