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Virginia Woolf: Night and Day
29. CHAPTER XXIX
Between twelve and one that Sunday night Katharine lay in bed, not asleep, but in that twilight region where a detached and humorous view of our own lot is possible; or if we must be serious, our seriousness is tempered by the swift oncome of slumber and oblivion. She saw the forms of Ralph, William, Cassandra, and herself, as if they were all equally unsubstantial, and, in putting off reality, had gained a kind of dignity which rested upon each impartially. Thus rid of any uncomfortable warmth of partisanship or load of obligation, she was dropping off to sleep when a light tap sounded upon her door. A moment later Cassandra stood beside her, holding a candle and speaking in the low tones proper to the time of night.
"Are you awake, Katharine?"
"Yes, I'm awake. What is it?"
She roused herself, sat up, and asked what in Heaven's name Cassandra was doing?
"I couldn't sleep, and I thought I'd come and speak to you--only for a moment, though. I'm going home to-morrow."
"Home? Why, what has happened?"
"Something happened to-day which makes it impossible for me to stay here."
Cassandra spoke formally, almost solemnly; the announcement was clearly prepared and marked a crisis of the utmost gravity. She continued what seemed to be part of a set speech.
"I have decided to tell you the whole truth, Katharine. William allowed himself to behave in a way which made me extremely uncomfortable to-day."
Katharine seemed to waken completely, and at once to be in control of herself.
"At the Zoo?" she asked.
"No, on the way home. When we had tea."
As if foreseeing that the interview might be long, and the night chilly, Katharine advised Cassandra to wrap herself in a quilt. Cassandra did so with unbroken solemnity.
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