At the very beginning of The Demon Lover, Mrs. Drover is returning to her house, which has been closed up for some time, to retrieve some things she needs. Elizabeth Bowen shows from the very first line, that the house has been empty for a while.
She details that the house has been boarded up. As Mrs. Drover is inside the house, she sees images of her past life there. She sees the yellow smoke stain, and the marks the piano had left on the floor. When she receives the letter and reads it, the letter lets us know it has been years since their was life inside the house. Mrs. Drover goes to look in the mirror and has to wipe the dust away to see her reflection. Elizabeth Bowen goes into great detail to let us know the house has been empty.
Mrs. Drover has also hired a person to watch over the house as well, which tells us that no one has been at the house. The Demon Lover is a short story with lots of details. Elizabeth Bowen gives wonderful descriptions of how she wants to convey the loneliness of the house and the haunted memories Mrs. Drover has in the house. You can see from the first words of the story, how long the house has been sitting empty, just waiting for the return of two people.