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The Voyage Out

Chapter VI
"That's the tragedy of life--as I always say!" said Mrs. Dalloway. "Beginning things and
having to end them. Still, I'm not going to let _this_ end, if you're willing." It was the
morning, the sea was calm, and the ship once again was anchored not far from another
shore.
She was dressed in her long fur cloak, with the veils wound around her head, and once
more the rich boxes stood on top of each other so that the scene of a few days back
seemed to be repeated.
"D'you suppose we shall ever meet in London?" said Ridley ironically. "You'll have
forgotten all about me by the time you step out there."
He pointed to the shore of the little bay, where they could now see the separate trees with
moving branches.
"How horrid you are!" she laughed. "Rachel's coming to see me anyhow--the instant you
get back," she said, pressing Rachel's arm. "Now--you've no excuse!"
With a silver pencil she wrote her name and address on the flyleaf of _Persuasion_, and
gave the book to Rachel. Sailors were shouldering the luggage, and people were
beginning to congregate. There were Captain Cobbold, Mr. Grice, Willoughby, Helen,
and an obscure grateful man in a blue jersey.
"Oh, it's time," said Clarissa. "Well, good-bye. I _do_ like you," she murmured as she
kissed Rachel. People in the way made it unnecessary for Richard to shake Rachel by the
hand; he managed to look at her very stiffly for a second before he followed his wife
down the ship's side.
The boat separating from the vessel made off towards the land, and for some minutes
Helen, Ridley, and Rachel leant over the rail, watching. Once Mrs. Dalloway turned and
waved; but the boat steadily grew smaller and smaller until it ceased to rise and fall, and
nothing could be seen save two resolute backs.
"Well, that's over," said Ridley after a long silence. "We shall never see _them_ again,"
he added, turning to go to his books. A feeling of emptiness and melancholy came over
them; they knew in their hearts that it was over, and that they had parted for ever, and the
knowledge filled them with far greater depression than the length of their acquaintance
seemed to justify. Even as the boat pulled away they could feel other sights and sounds
beginning to take the place of the Dalloways, and the feeling was so unpleasant that they
tried to resist it. For so, too, would they be forgotten.
 
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