Dorothy would have hastened the lighter repairs inside the house as well, so as to get into it as soon as possible; but her father very wisely argued that it would be a pity to get the house in good condition, and then, as soon as they went into it, and began to find how it could be altered better to suit their tastes and necessities, have to destroy a great part of what had just been done. His plan, therefore, was to leave the house for the winter, now it was weather-tight, and with the first of the summer partly occupy it as it was, find out its faults and capabilities, and have it gradually repaired and altered to their minds and requirements. There would in this way be plenty of time to talk about every thing, even to the merest suggestion of fancy, and discover what they would really like.
But ever since the place had been theirs, Dorothy had been in the habit of going almost daily to the house, with her book and her work, sitting now in this, now in that empty room, undisturbed by the noises of the workmen, chiefly outside: the foreman was a member of her father’s church, a devout man, and she knew every one of his people. She had taken a strange fancy to those empty rooms: perhaps she felt them like her own heart, waiting for something to come and fill them with life. Nor was there any thing to prevent her, though the work was over for a time, from indulging herself in going there still, as often as she pleased, and she would remain there for hours, sometimes nearly the whole day. In her present condition of mind and heart, she desired and needed solitude: she was one of those who when troubled rush from their fellows, and, urged by the human instinct after the divine, seek refuge in loneliness—the cave on Horeb, the top of Mount Sinai, the closet with shut door—any lonely place where, unseen, and dreading no eye, the heart may call aloud to the God hidden behind the veil of the things that do appear.
How different, yet how fit to merge in a mutual sympathy, were the thoughts of the two, as they wandered about the place that evening! Dorothy was thinking her commonest thought—how happy she could be if only she knew there was a Will central to the universe, willing all that came to her—good or seeming-bad—a Will whom she might love and thank for all things. He would be to her no God whom she could thank only when He sent her what was pleasant. She must be able to thank Him for every thing, or she could thank Him for nothing.