“But thee mightst ask her,” he said presently. “She took no offence at me for asking, and thee’st more right than I had, only thee’t not in the Society. But Dinah doesn’t hold wi’ them as are for keeping the Society so strict to themselves. She doesn’t mind about making folks enter the Society, so as they’re fit t’ enter the kingdom o’ God. Some o’ the brethren at Treddles’on are displeased with her for that.”
“Where will she be the rest o’ the day?” said Adam.
“She said she shouldn’t leave the farm again to-day,” said Seth, “because it’s her last Sabbath there, and she’s going t’ read out o’ the big Bible wi’ the children.”
Adam thought—but did not say—“Then I’ll go this afternoon; for if I go to church, my thoughts ’ull be with her all the while. They must sing th’ anthem without me to-day.”
Adam and Dinah
It was about three o’clock when Adam entered the farmyard and roused Alick and the dogs from their Sunday dozing. Alick said everybody was gone to church “but th’ young missis”—so he called Dinah—but this did not disappoint Adam, although the “everybody” was so liberal as to include Nancy the dairymaid, whose works of necessity were not unfrequently incompatible with church-going.
There was perfect stillness about the house. The doors were all closed, and the very stones and tubs seemed quieter than usual. Adam heard the water gently dripping from the pump—that was the only sound—and he knocked at the house door rather softly, as was suitable in that stillness.
The door opened, and Dinah stood before him, colouring deeply with the great surprise of seeing Adam at this hour, when she knew it was his regular practice to be at church. Yesterday he would have said to her without any difficulty, “I came to see you, Dinah: I knew the rest were not at home.” But to-day something prevented him from saying that, and he put out his hand to her in silence. Neither of them spoke, and yet both wished they could speak, as Adam entered, and they sat down. Dinah took the chair she had just left; it was at the corner of the table near the window, and there was a book lying on the table, but it was not open. She had been sitting perfectly still, looking at the small bit of clear fire in the bright grate. Adam sat down opposite her, in Mr. Poyser’s three-cornered chair.
“Your mother is not ill again, I hope, Adam?” Dinah said, recovering herself. “Seth said she was well this morning.”
“No, she’s very hearty to-day,” said Adam, happy in the signs of Dinah’s feeling at the sight of him, but shy.
“There’s nobody at home, you see,” Dinah said; “but you’ll wait. You’ve been hindered from going to church to-day, doubtless.”
“Yes,” Adam said, and then paused, before he added, “I was thinking about you: that was the reason.”