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 homeward.
'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 candies within the outhouse, whose beams upon the haze carried forward the outline of the doorway into the wide night of the garden.