She would go and see the workshop. On the way, she would first visit the turret chamber. But so strangely had destruction altered the look of what it had spared, that it was with difficulty she recognised the doors and ways of the house she had once known so well. Here was a great hole to the shining snow where once had been a dark corner; there a heap of stones where once had been a carpeted corridor. All the human look of indwelling had past away. Where she had been used to go about as if by instinct, she had now to fall back upon memory, and call up again, with an effort sometimes painful in its difficulty, that which had vanished altogether except from the minds of its scattered household.
She found the door of the turret chamber, but that was all she found: the chamber was gone. Nothing was there but the blank gap in the wall, and beyond it, far down, the nearly empty moat of the tower. She turned, frightened and sick at heart, and made her way to the bridge. That still stood, but the drawbridge above was gone.
She crossed the moat and entered the workshop. A single glance took in all that was left of the keep. Not a floor was between her and the sky! The reservoir, great as a little mountain-tarn, had vanished utterly! All was cleared out; and the white wintry clouds were sailing over her head. Nearly a third part of the walls had been brought within a few feet of the ground. The furnace was gone—all but its mason-work. It was like the change of centuries rather than months. The castle had half-melted away. Its idea was blotted out, save from the human spirit. She turned from the workshop, in positive pain of body at the sight, and wandered she hardly knew whither, till she found herself in lady Glamorgan’s parlour. There was left a single broken chair: she sat down on it, closed her eyes, and laid back her head.
She opened them with a slight start: there stood Richard a yard or two away.
He had heard of her return, and gone at once to Wyfern. There learning whither she had betaken herself, he had followed, and tracking what of her footsteps he could discover, had at length found her.
Love and no leasing.
Their eyes met in the flashes of a double sunrise. Their hands met, but the hand of each grasped the heart of the other. Two honester purer souls never looked out of their windows with meeting gaze. Had there been no bodies to divide them, they would have mingled in a rapture of faith and high content.
The desolation was gone; the desert bloomed and blossomed as the rose. To Dorothy it was for a moment as if Raglan were rebuilt; the ruin and the winter had vanished before the creative, therefore prophetic throb of the heart of love; then her eyes fell, not defeated by those of the youth, for Dorothy’s faith gave her a boldness that was lovely even against the foil of maidenly reserve, but beaten down by conscience: the words of the marquis shot like an arrow into her memory: ‘Love outlives all but leasing,’ and her eyes fell before Richard’s.