“Lucy Graham was not looking at Sir Michael, but straight out into the misty twilight and dim landscape far away beyond the little garden. The baronet tried to see her face, but her profile was turned to him, and he could not discover the expression of her eyes. If he could have done so, he would have seen a yearning gaze which seemed as if it would have pierced the far obscurity and looked away—away into another world.” (Chapter I)
“The girl still sat with her face averted from her lover, her hands hanging listlessly in her lap, and her pale gray eyes fixed upon the last low streak of crimson dying out behind the trunks of the trees.” (Chapter III)
Throughout the novel, the theme of hidden faces and expressions repeats, first appearing in chapters I and III. In both examples, a connection can be drawn to the theme of shadow/light, as well as the similarity they have to the secretive lime-tree walk. The lime walk is scarcely 20 paces from the house, yet it remains elusive and hidden, much like how the girls’ expressions are hidden from their lover despite being right next to them. There’s an entirely different world of secrets hidden motivations right under their noses. In a way, Luke and Sir Michael are sheltered by this, like how the oaks shelter the house from light. Allegorically speaking, the shadows (or the hidden truths) are keeping the men safe and contented. To some extent this can be applied to Alicia Audley as well, with the sheltered life that she has been living. Ignorance is bliss, and while it’s true that someone would remain in comfort for as long as they can, the fact that Michael realizes that something is wrong or that Alicia starts speculating about Lucy’s secrets shows us that the shadowy veil will soon be lifted.