Emily's Quest

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"April 15, 19—

"This evening I went away up the hill and prowled about the Disappointed House by moonlight. The Disappointed House was built thirty-seven years ago—partly built, at least—for a bride who never came to it. There it has been ever since, boarded up, unfinished, heart-broken, haunted by the timid, forsaken ghosts of things that should have happened but never did. I always feel so sorry for it. For its poor blind eyes that have never seen—that haven't even memories. No homelight ever shone out through them—only once, long ago, a gleam of firelight. It might have been such a nice little house, snuggled against that wooded hill, pulling little spruces all around it to cover it. A warm, friendly little house. And a good-natured little house. Not like the new one at the Corner that Tom Semple is putting up. It is a bad-tempered house. Vixenish, with little eyes and sharp elbows. It's odd how much personality a house can have even before it is ever lived in at all. Once long ago, when Teddy and I were children, we pried a board off the window and climbed in and made a fire in the fireplace. Then we sat there and planned out our lives. We meant to spend them together in that very house. I suppose Teddy has forgotten all about that childish nonsense. He writes often and his letters are full and jolly and Teddy-like. And he tells me all the little things I want to know about his life. But lately they have become rather impersonal, it seems to me. They might just as well have been written to Ilse as to me.

"Poor little Disappointed House. I suppose you will always be disappointed."

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