Phase the First: The Maiden
10. CHAPTER X (continued)
She did not discover the coincidence of the market with
the fair till she had reached the place, by which time
it was close upon dusk. Her limited marketing was soon
completed; and then as usual she began to look about
for some of the Trantridge cottagers.
At first she could not find them, and she was informed
that most of them had gone to what they called a
private little jig at the house of a hay-trusser and
peat-dealer who had transactions with their farm. He
lived in an out-of-the-way nook of the townlet, and in
trying to find her course thither her eyes fell upon
Mr d'Urberville standing at a street corner.
"What--my Beauty? You here so late?" he said.
She told him that she was simply waiting for company
"I'll see you again," said he over her shoulder as she
went on down the back lane.
Approaching the hay-trussers she could hear the fiddled
notes of a reel proceeding from some building in the
rear; but no sound of dancing was audible--an
exceptional state of things for these parts, where as a
rule the stamping drowned the music. The front door
being open she could see straight through the house
into the garden at the back as far as the shades of
night would allow; and nobody appearing to her knock
she traversed the dwelling and went up the path to the
outhouse whence the sound had attracted her.
It was a windowless erection used for storage, and from
the open door there floated into the obscurity a mist
of yellow radiance, which at first Tess thought to be
illuminated smoke. But on drawing nearer she perceived
that it was a cloud of dust, lit by candles within the
outhouse, whose beams upon the haze carried forward the
outline of the doorway into the wide night of the