Full text: Mrs. Dalloway

portance against the dove-grey upholstery, before a 
male hand drew the blind and there was nothing to be 
seen except a square of dove grey. 
Yet rumours were at once in circulation from the 
middle of Bond Street to Oxford Street on one side, to 
Atkinson’s scent shop on the other, passing invisibly, 
inaudibly, like a cloud, swift, veil-like upon hills, falling 
indeed with something of a cloud’s sudden sobriety and 
stillness upon faces which a second before had been 
utterly disorderly. But now mystery had brushed them 
with her wing; they had heard the voice of authority; 
the spirit of religion was abroad with her eyes bandaged 
tight and her lips gaping wide. But nobody knew 
whose face had been seen. Was it the Prince of Wales's, 
the Queen's, the Prime Minister’s? Whose face was it ? 
Nobody knew. 
Edgar J. Watkiss, with his roll of lead piping round 
his arm, said audibly, humorously of course: “The 
Proime Minister’s kyar.” 
Septimus Warren Smith, who found himself unable to 
pass, heard him. 
Septimus Warren Smith, aged about thirty, pale- 
faced, beak-nosed, wearing brown shoes and a shabby 
overcoat, with hazel eyes which had that look of ap- 
prehension in them which makes complete strangers 
apprehensive too. The world has raised its whip; where 
will it descend ? 
Everything had come to a standstill. The throb of 
the motor engines sounded like a pulse irregularly 
drumming through an entire body. The sun became 
extraordinarily hot because the motor car had stopped 
outside Mulberry’s shop window; old ladies on the tops 
of omnibuses spread their black parasols; here a green, 
here a red parasol opened with a little pop. Mrs. 

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