Infomotions, Inc.Wuthering Heights / Bronte, Emily



Author: Bronte, Emily
Title: Wuthering Heights
Publisher: Wiretap Electronic Text Archive
Tag(s): heathcliff; linton; hareton; catherine; earnshaw; cathy; wuthering heights; grange; nelly; edgar; miss cathy; ellen; thrushcross grange; joseph; edgar linton; english literature
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 116,587 words (average) Grade range: 7-10 (grade school) Readability score: 69 (easy)
Identifier: bronte-wuthering-179
Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious

Discover what books you consider "great". Take the Great Books Survey.

[obi/Emily.Bronte/wuther.Z]

WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Bronte.  CHAPTER I.

l80l.---I have just returned from a visit to my land-
lord---the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled
with. This is certainly a beautiful country. In all Eng-
land I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situa-
tion so completely removed from the stir of society---a
perfect misanthropist's heaven; and Mr. Heathcliff and
I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation be-
tween us. A capital fellow! He little imagined how my
heart warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyes
withdraw so suspiciously under their brows, as I rode
up, and when his fingers sheltered themselves, with a
jealous resolution, still further in his waistcoat, as I
announced my name.

     "Mr. Heathcliff?" I said.

     A nod was the answer.

     "Mr. Lockwood, your new tenant, sir. I do myself
the honour of calling as soon as possible after my ar-
rival, to express the hope that I have not incon-
venienced you by my perseverance in soliciting the oc-
cupation of Thrushcross Grange. I heard yesterday you
had had some thoughts------"

     "Thrushcross Grange is my own, sir," he interrupted,
wincing. "I should not allow any one to inconvenience
me, if I could hinder it. Walk in!"

     The "walk in" was uttered with closed teeth, and ex-
pressed the sentiment, "Go to the deuce." Even the gate
over which he leant manifested no sympathizing move-
ment to the words; and I think that circumstance deter-
mined me to accept the invitation. I felt interested in a
man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved than
myself.

     When he saw my horse's breast fairly pushing the bar-
rier, he did put out his hand to unchain it, and then sul-
lenly preceded me up the causeway, calling, as we en-
tered the court, "Joseph, take Mr. Lockwood's horse,
and bring up some wine."

     "Here we have the whole establishment of domestics,
I suppose," was the reflection suggested by this com-
pound order. "No wonder the grass grows up between
the flags, and cattle are the only hedge-cutters."

     Joseph was an elderly, nay, an old man---very old,
perhaps, though hale and sinewy. "The Lord help us!"
he soliloquized in an undertone of peevish displeasure,
while relieving me of my horse, looking, meantime, in
my face so sourly that I charitably conjectured he must
have need of divine aid to digest his dinner, and his
pious ejaculation had no reference to my unexpected
advent.

     Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's
dwelling, "wuthering" being a significant provincial
adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to
which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure,
bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times,
indeed. One may guess the power of the north wind
blowing over the edge by the excessive slant of a few
stunted firs at the end of the house, and by a range of
gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if
craving alms of the sun. Happily the architect had fore-
sight to build it strong. The narrow windows are deeply
set in the wall, and the corners defended with large jut-
ting stones.

     Before passing the threshold, I paused to admire a
quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front,
and especially about the principal door; above which,
among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shame-
less little boys, I detected the date "1500," and the name
"Hareton Earnshaw." I would have made a few com-
ments, and requested a short history of the place from
the surly owner; but his attitude at the door appeared
to demand my speedy entrance or complete departure,
and I had no desire to aggravate his impatience
previous to inspecting the penetralium.

     One step brought us into the family sitting-room,
without any introductory lobby or passage. They call it
here "the house" pre-eminently. It includes kitchen and
parlour generally. But, I believe, at Wuthering Heights
the kitchen is forced to retreat altogether into another
quarter---at least I distinguished a chatter of tongues
and a clatter of culinary utensils deep within; and I ob-
served no signs of roasting, boiling, or baking about the
huge fireplace, nor any glitter of copper saucepans and
tin cullenders on the walls. One end, indeed, reflected
splendidly both light and heat from ranks of immense
pewter dishes, interspersed with silver jugs and tank-
ards, towering row after row, on a vast oak dresser, to
the very roof. The latter had never been underdrawn; its
entire anatomy lay bare to an inquiring eye, ex-
cept where a frame of wood laden with oatcakes and
clusters of legs of beef, mutton, and ham concealed it.
Above the chimney were sundry villainous old guns
and a couple of horse-pistols, and, by way of orna-
ment, three gaudily painted canisters disposed along its
ledge. The floor was of smooth, white stone; the chairs,
high-backed, primitive structures painted green, one or
two heavy black ones lurking in the shade. In an arch
under the dresser reposed a huge liver-coloured bitch
pointer surrounded by a swarm of squealing puppies,
and other dogs haunted other recesses.

     The apartment and furniture would have been noth-
ing extraordinary as belonging to a homely, northern
farmer with a stubborn countenance and stalwart limbs
set out to advantage in knee-breeches and gaiters. Such
an individual seated in his armchair, his mug of
ale frothing on the round table before him, is to be seen
in any circuit of five or six miles among these hills, if
you go at the right time after dinner. But Mr. Heathcliff
forms a singular contrast to his abode and style of liv-
ing. He is a dark-skinned gipsy in aspect. in dress and
manners a gentleman---that is, as much a gentleman as
many a country squire; rather slovenly, perhaps, yet
not looking amiss with his negligence, because he has
an erect and handsome figure, and rather morose.
Possibly, some people might suspect him of a degree
of underbred pride; I have a sympathetic chord within
that tells me it is nothing of the sort. I know, by instinct,
his reserve springs from an aversion to showy displays
of feeling, to manifestations of mutual kindliness. He'll
love and hate equally under cover, and esteem it a
species of impertinence to be loved or hated again. No,
I'm running on too fast. I bestow my own attributes
over liberally on him. Mr. Heathcliff may have entirely
dissimilar reasons for keeping his hand out of the way
when he meets a would-be acquaintance to those which
actuate me. Let me hope my constitution is almost pe-
culiar. My dear mother used to say I should never have
a comfortable home, and only last summer I proved
myself perfectly unworthy of one.

     While enjoying a month of fine weather at the sea
coast, I was thrown into the company of a most fasci-
nating creature---a real goddess in my eyes, as long as
she took no notice of me. I "never told my love" vocally;
still, if looks have language, the merest idiot might have
guessed I was over head and ears. She understood me
at last, and looked a return---the sweetest of all imagina-
ble looks. And what did I do? I confess it with shame---
shrank icily into myself, like a snail; at every glance re-
tired colder and farther, till finally the poor innocent
was led to doubt her own senses, and, overwhelmed
with confusion at her supposed mistake, persuaded her
mamma to decamp. By this curious turn of disposition
I have gained the reputation of deliberate heartlessness;
how undeserved I alone can appreciate.

     I took a seat at the end of the hearthstone opposite
that towards which my landlord advanced, and filled
up an interval of silence by attempting to caress the
canine mother, who had left her nursery, and was sneak-
ing wolfishly to the back of my legs, her lip curled up,
and her white teeth watering for a snatch. My caress
provoked a long, guttural gnarl.

     "You'd better let the dog alone," growled Mr. Heath-
cliff, in unison, checking fiercer demonstrations with a
punch of his foot. "She's not accustomed to be spoiled
---not kept for a pet." Then, striding to a side door, he
shouted again, "Joseph!"

     Joseph mumbled indistinctly in the depths of the
cellar, but gave no intimation of ascending; so his
master dived down to him, leaving me vis-a-vis the ruf-
fianly bitch and a pair of grim shaggy sheep-dogs, who
shared with her a jealous guardianship over all my
movements. Not anxious to come in contact with their
fangs, I sat still; but, imagining they would scarcely
understand tacit insults, I unfortunately indulged in
winking and making faces at the trio, and some turn of
my physiognomy so irritated madam that she sud-
denly broke into a fury and leapt on my knees. I flung
her back, and hastened to interpose the table between
us. This proceeding roused the whole hive. Half a		
dozen four-footed fiends, of various sizes and ages, is-
sued from hidden dens to the common centre. I felt my
heels and coat-laps peculiar subjects of assault; and par-
rying off the larger combatants as effectually as I could
with the poker, I was constrained to demand, aloud,
assistance from some of the household in re-establish-
ing peace.

     Mr. Heathcliff and his man climbed the cellar steps
with vexatious phlegm. I don't think they moved one
second faster than usual, though the hearth was an ab-
solute tempest of worrying and yelping. Happily, an
inhabitant of the kitchen made more dispatch. A lusty
dame, with tucked-up gown, bare arms, and fire-flushed
cheeks, rushed into the midst of us flourishing a fry-
ing-pan, and used that weapon and her tongue to such
purpose that the storm subsided magically, and she only
remained, heaving like a sea after a high wind, when
her master entered on the scene.

     "What the devil is the matter?" he asked, eyeing me
in a manner that I could ill endure after this inhospita-
ble treatment.

     "What the devil, indeed!" I muttered. "The herd of
possessed swine could have had no worse spirits in
them than those animals of yours, sir. You might as well
leave a stranger with a brood of tigers!"

     "They won't meddle with persons who touch noth-
ing," he remarked, putting the bottle before me, and
restoring the displaced table. "The dogs do right to be
vigilant. Take a glass of wine."

     "No, thank you."

     "Not bitten, are you?"

     "If I had been, I would have set my signet on the
biter."

     Heathcliff's countenance relaxed into a grin.

     "Come, come," he said; "you are flurried, Mr.
Lockwood. Here, take a little wine. Guests are so ex-
ceedingly rare in this house that I and my dogs, I am
willing to own, hardly know how to receive them. Your
health, sir!"

     I bowed and returned the pledge, beginning to per-
ceive that it would be foolish to sit sulking for the mis-
behaviour of a pack of curs; besides, I felt loath to yield
the fellow further amusement at my expense, since his
humour took that turn. He---probably swayed by pru-
dential consideration of the folly of offending a good
tenant---relaxed a little in the laconic style of chipping
off his pronouns and auxiliary verbs, and introduced
what he supposed would be a subject of interest to me
---a discourse on the advantages and disadvantages of
my present place of retirement. I found him very intel-
ligent on the topics we touched; and before I went home
I was encouraged so far as to volunteer another visit to-
morrow. He evidently wished no repetition of my in-
trusion. I shall go, notwithstanding. It is astonishing
how sociable I feel myself, compared with him.


CHAPTER II.

Yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold. I had
half a mind to spend it by my study fire, instead
of wading through heath and mud to Wuthering
Heights. On coming up from dinner, however (N.B.
---I dine between twelve and one o'clock. The house-
keeper, a matronly lady, taken as a fixture along with
the house, could not, or would not, comprehend my
request that I might be served at five), on mounting the
stairs with this lazy intention, and stepping into the
room, I saw a servant girl on her knees surrounded by
brushes and coal-scuttles, and raising an infernal dust
as she extinguished the flames with heaps of cinders.
This spectacle drove me back immediately. I took my
hat, and after a four miles' walk, arrived at Heathcliff's
garden gate just in time to escape the first feathery flakes
of a snow-shower.

     On that bleak hill-top the earth was hard with a black
frost, and the air made me shiver through every limb.
Being unable to remove the chain, I jumped over, and
running up the flagged causeway bordered with strag-
gling gooseberry bushes, knocked vainly for admit-
tance, till my knuckles tingled and the dogs howled.

     "Wretched inmates!" I ejaculated mentally, "you de-
serve perpetual isolation from your species for your
churlish inhospitality. At least, I would not keep my
doors barred in the daytime. I don't care; I will get in!"
So resolved, I grasped the latch and shook it ve-
hemently. Vinegar-faced Joseph projected his head
from a round window of the barn.

     "What are ye for?" he shouted. "T' maister's down i'
t' fowld. Go round by th' end ot' laith, if ye went to
spake to him."

     "Is there nobody inside to open the door?" I hallooed
responsively.

     "There's nobbut t' missis, and shoo'll not oppen't an
ye mak yer flaysome dins till neeght."

     "Why? Cannot you tell her who I am, eh, Joseph?"

     "Nor-ne me! I'll hae no hend wi't," muttered the
head, vanishing.

     The snow began to drive thickly. I seized the handle
to essay another trial, when a young man without
coat, and shouldering a pitchfork, appeared in the yard
behind. He hailed me to follow him; and, after march-
ing through a wash-house, and a paved area containing
a coal-shed, pump, and pigeon-cot, we at length arrived
in the huge, warm, cheerful apartment where I was for-
merly received. It glowed delightfully in the radiance of
an immense fire, compounded of coal, peat, and wood;
and near the table, laid for a plentiful evening meal, I
was pleased to observe the "missis," an individual
whose existence I had never previously suspected. I
bowed and waited, thinking she would bid me take a
seat. She looked at me, leaning back in her chair, and
remained motionless and mute.

     "Rough weather!" I remarked. "I'm afraid, Mrs.
Heathcliff, the door must bear the consequence of your
servants' leisure attendance. I had hard work to make
them hear me."

     She never opened her mouth. I stared---she stared
also. At any rate, she kept her eyes on me in a cool, re-
gardless manner, exceedingly embarrassing and dis-
agreeable.

     "Sit down," said the young man gruffly. "He'll be in
soon."

     I obeyed, and hemmed, and called the villain Juno,
who deigned, at this second interview, to move the ex-
treme tip of her tail, in token of owning my acquaint-
ance.

     "A beautiful animal!" I commenced again. "Do you
intend parting with the little ones, madam?"
     
     "They are not mine," said the amiable hostess, more
repellingly than Heathcliff himself could have replied.

     "Ah, your favourites are among these?" I continued,
turning to an obscure cushion full of something like
cats.

     "A strange choice of favourites!" she observed
scornfully.

     Unluckily it was a heap of dead rabbits. I hemmed
once more, and drew closer to the hearth, repeating
my comment on the wildness of the evening.

     "You should not have come out," she said, rising and
reaching from the chimney-piece two of the painted
canisters.

     Her position before was sheltered from the light;
now, I had a distinct view of her whole figure and
countenance. She was slender, and apparently scarcely
past girlhood; an admirable form, and the most exqui-
site little face that I have ever had the pleasure of be-
holding; small features, very fair; flaxen ringlets, or
rather golden, hanging loose on her delicate neck; and
eyes, had they been agreeable in expression, that
would have been irresistible. Fortunately for my suscep-
tible heart, the only sentiment they evinced hovered be-
tween scorn and a kind of desperation, singularly un-
natural to be detected there. The canisters were almost
out of her reach. I made a motion to aid her. She
turned upon me as a miser might turn if any one at-
tempted to assist him in counting his gold.

     "I don't want your help," she snapped. "I can get
them for myself."

     "I beg your pardon," I hastened to reply.

     "Were you asked to tea?" she demanded, tying an
apron over her neat black frock, and standing with a
spoonful of the leaf poised over the pot.

     "I shall be glad to have a cup," I answered.

     "Were you asked?" she repeated.

      "No," I said, half smiling. "You are the proper per-
son to ask me."

     She flung the tea back, spoon and all, and resumed
her chair in a pet. Her forehead corrugated, and her
red under-lip pushed out, like a child's ready to cry.

     Meanwhile, the young man had slung on to his per-
son a decidedly shabby upper garment, and, erecting
himself before the blaze, looked down on me from the
corner of his eyes, for all the world as if there were some
mortal feud unavenged between us. I began to doubt
whether he were a servant or not. His dress and speech
were both rude, entirely devoid of the superiority ob-
servable in Mr. and Mrs. Heathcliff. His thick brown
curls were rough and uncultivated, his whiskers en-
croached bearishly over his cheeks, and his hands were
embrowned like those of a common labourer. Still his
bearing was free, almost haughty, and he showed none
of a domestic's assiduity in attending on the lady of the
house. In the absence of clear proofs of his condition, I
deemed it best to abstain from noticing his curious
conduct; and, five minutes afterwards, the entrance of
Heathcliff relieved me, in some measure, from my un-
comfortable state.

     "You see, sir, I am come, according to promise," I
exclaimed, assuming the cheerful; "and I fear I shall be
weather-bound for half an hour, if you can afford me
shelter during that space."

     "Half an hour?" he said, shaking the white flakes
from his clothes. "I wonder you should select the thick
of a snowstorm to ramble about in. Do you know that
you run a risk of being lost in the marshes? People fa-
miliar with these moors often miss their road on such
evenings; and I can tell you there is no chance of
a change at present."

     "Perhaps I can get a guide among your lads, and he
might stay at the Grange till morning. Could you spare
me one?"

     "No, I could not."

     "Oh, indeed! Well, then, I must trust to my own sa-
gacity."

     "Umph!"

     "Are you going to mak th' tea?" demanded he of
the shabby coat, shifting his ferocious gaze from me to
the young lady.

     "Is he to have any?" she asked, appealing to Heath-
cliff.

     "Get it ready, will you?" was the answer, uttered so
savagely that I started. The tone in which the words
were said revealed a genuine bad nature. I no longer felt
inclined to call Heathcliff a capital fellow. When the
preparations were finished, he invited me with---"Now,
sir, bring forward your chair." And we all, including
the rustic youth, drew round the table, an austere si-
lence prevailing while we discussed our meal.

     I thought, if I had caused the cloud, it was my duty to
make an effort to dispel it. They could not every day sit
so grim and taciturn; and it was impossible, however
ill-tempered they might be, that the universal scowl they
wore was their everyday countenance.

     "It is strange," I began, in the interval of swallowing
one cup of tea and receiving another---"it is strange
how custom can mould our tastes and ideas. Many
could not imagine the existence of happiness in a life
of such complete exile from the world as you spend,
Mr. Heathcliff; yet, I'll venture to say, that surrounded by your
family, and with your amiable lady as the presiding genius over
your home and heart--"

     "My amiable lady!" he interrupted, with an almost diabolical
sneer on his face.  "Where is she--my amiable lady?"

     "Mrs. Heathcliff, your wife, I mean."

     "Well, yes--Oh! you would intimate that her spirit has taken
the post of ministering angel, and guards the fortunes of Wuthering
Heights, even when her body is gone.  Is that it?"

     Perceiving myself in a blunder, I attempted to correct it.  I might
have seen there was too great a disparity between the ages of the
parties to make it likely that they were man and wife.  One was about
forty, a period of mental vigour at which men seldom cherish 
the delusion of being married for love, by girls:  that dream is reserved
for the solace of our decling years.  The other did not look seventeen.

     Then it flashed upon me--"The clown at my elbow, who is
drinking his tea out of a basin and eating his bread with unwashed 
hands, may be her husband.  Heathcliff, junior, of course.  Here is
the consequence of being buried alive:  she has thrown herself away
upon that boor, from sheer ignorance that better individuals existed!
A sad pity--I must beware how I cause her to regret her choice."

     The last reflection may seem conceited; it was not.  My neighbour
struck me as bordering on repulsive.  I knew, through experience,
that I was tolerably attractive.

     "Mrs. Heathcliff is my daughter-in-law," said Heathcliff, 
corroborating my surmise.  He turned, as he spoke, a peculiar look in her 
direction, a look of hatred, unless he has a most perverse set of
facial muscles that will not, like those of other people, interpret the 
language of his soul.

     "Ah, certainly--I see now; you are the favoured possessor of the 
beneficent fairy," I remarked, turning to my neighbour.

     This was worse than before:  the youth grew crimson, and
clenched his fist with every appearance of a meditated assault.  But
he seemed to recollect himself, presently, and smothered the storm 
in a brutal curse, muttered on my behalf, which however, I took care 
not to notice.

     "Unhappy in your conjectures, sir!" observed my host; "we 
neither of us have the privilege of owning your good fairy; her mate
is dead.  I said she was my daughter-in-law, therefore, she must have
married my son."

     "And this young man is--"

     "Not my son, assuredly."

     Heathcliff smiled again, as if it were rather too bold
a jest to attribute the paternity of that bear to him.
     "My name is Hareton Earnshaw," growled the other;
"and I'd counsel you to respect it!"

     "I've shown no disrespect," was my reply, laughing
internally at the dignity with which he announced him-
self.

     He fixed his eye on me longer than I cared to return
the stare, for fear I might be tempted either to box his
ears or render my hilarity audible. I began to feel un-
mistakably out of place in that pleasant family circle.
The dismal spiritual atmosphere overcame, and more
than neutralized, the glowing physical comforts round
me; and I resolved to be cautious how I ventured under
those rafters a third time.

     The business of eating being concluded, and no one
uttering a word of sociable conversation, I approached
a window to examine the weather. A sorrowful sight I
saw---dark night coming down prematurely, and sky
and hills mingled in one bitter whirl of wind and suf-
focating snow.

     "I don't think it possible for me to get home now
without a guide," I could not help exclaiming. "The
roads will be buried already; and, if they were bare, I
could scarcely distinguish a foot in advance."

     "Hareton, drive those dozen sheep into the barn
porch. They'll be covered if left in the fold all night.
And put a plank before them," said Heathcliff.

     "How must I do?" I continued, with rising irritation.

     There was no reply to my question; and on looking
round I saw only Joseph bringing in a pail of porridge
for the dogs, and Mrs. Heathcliff leaning over the fire,
diverting herself with burning a bundle of matches
which had fallen from the chimney-piece as she re-
stored the tea-canister to its place. The former, when he
had deposited his burden, took a critical survey of the
room, and in cracked tones grated out,---

     "Aw wonder how yah can faishion to stand thear i'
idleness un war, when all on 'em's goan out! Bud
yah're a nowt, and it's no use talking; yah'll niver mend
o' yer ill ways, but goa raight to t' divil, like yer mother
afore ye!"

     I imagined for a moment that this piece of eloquence
was addressed to me; and, sufficiently enraged, stepped
towards the aged rascal with an intention of kicking
him out of the door. Mrs. Heathcliff, however, checked
me by her answer.

     "You scandalous old hypocrite!" she replied. "Are
you not afraid of being carried away bodily, whenever
you mention the devil's name? I warn you to refrain
from provoking me, or I'll ask your abduction as a spe-
cial favour. Stop! Look here, Joseph," she continued,
taking a long, dark book from a shelf; "I'll show you
how far I've progressed in the black art. I shall soon be
competent to make a clear house of it. The red cow
didn't die by chance, and your rheumatism can hardly
be reckoned among providential visitations!"

     "Oh, wicked, wicked!" gasped the elder; "may the
Lord deliver us from evil!"

     "No, reprobate; you are a castaway. Be off, or I'll hurt
you seriously. I'll have you all modelled in wax and clay;
and the first who passes the limits I fix shall---I'll not
say what he shall be done to, but you'll see! Go! I'm
looking at you."

     The little witch put a mock malignity into her beau-
tiful eyes, and Joseph, trembling with sincere horror,
hurried out, praying and ejaculating "wicked" as he
went. I thought her conduct must be prompted by a
species of dreary fun; and, now that we were alone, I en-
deavoured to interest her in my distress.

     "Mrs. Heathcliff," I said earnestly, "you must ex-
cuse me for troubling you. I presume, because, with that
face, I'm sure you cannot help being good-hearted.
Do point out some landmarks by which I may know my
way home. I have no more idea how to get there than
you would have how to get to London."

     "Take the road you came," she answered, ensconc-
ing herself in a chair, with a candle, and the long book
open before her. "It is brief advice, but as sound as I can
give."

     "Then, if you hear of me being discovered dead in a
bog or a pit full of snow, your conscience won't whis-
per that it is partly your fault?"

     "How so? I cannot escort you. They wouldn't let me
go to the end of the garden wall."

     "You! I should be sorry to ask you to cross the
threshold for my convenience on such a night," I cried.
"I want you to tell me my way, not to show it, or else to
persuade Mr. Heathcliff to give me a guide."

     "Who? There is himself, Earnshaw, Zillah, Joseph,
and I. Which would you have?"

     "Are there no boys at the farm?"

     "No; those are all."

     "Then, it follows that I am compelled to stay."

     "That you may settle with your host. I have nothing
to do with it."

     "I hope it will be a lesson to you to make no more
rash journeys on these hills," cried Heathcliff's stern
voice from the kitchen entrance. "As to staying here, I
don't keep accommodations for visitors. You must
share a bed with Hareton or Joseph, if you do."

     "I can sleep on a chair in this room," I replied.

     "No, no! A stranger is a stranger, be he rich or poor.
It will not suit me to permit any one the range of the
place while I am off guard!" said the unmannerly
wretch.

     With this insult, my patience was at an end. I uttered
an expression of disgust, and pushed past him into the
yard, running against Earnshaw in my haste. It was so
dark that I could not see the means of exit; and, as I
wandered round, I heard another specimen of their civil
behaviour amongst each other. At first the young man
appeared about to befriend me.

     "I'll go with him as far as the park," he said.

     "You'll go with him to hell!" exclaimed his master,
or whatever relation he bore. "And who is to look after
the horses, eh?"

     "A man's life is of more consequence than one eve-
ning's neglect of the horses. Somebody must go," mur-
mured Mrs. Heathcliff, more kindly than I expected.

     "Not at your command!" retorted Hareton. "If you
set store on him, you'd better be quiet."

     "Then I hope his ghost will haunt you; and I hope
Mr. Heathcliff will never get another tenant till the
Grange is a ruin!" she answered sharply.

     "Hearken, hearken; shoo's cursing on 'em!" mut-
tered Joseph, towards whom I had been steering.

     He sat within earshot, milking the cows by the light
of a lantern, which I seized unceremoniously, and call-
ing out that I would send it back on the morrow, rushed
to the nearest postern.

     "Maister, maister, he's staling t' lanthern!" shouted
the ancient, pursuing my retreat. "Hey, Gnasher! Hey,
dog! Hey, Wolf, holld him, holld him!"

     On opening the little door, two hairy monsters flew at
my throat, bearing me down and extinguishing the light;
while a mingled guffaw from Heathcliff and Hareton
put the copestone on my rage and humiliation. Fortu-
nately, the beasts seemed more bent on stretching their
paws and yawning, and flourishing their tails, than de-
vouring me alive; but they would suffer no resurrection,
and I was forced to lie till their malignant masters
pleased to deliver me. Then, hatless and trembling with
wrath, I ordered the miscreants to let me out---on their
peril to keep me one minute longer---with several inco-
herent threats of retaliation that, in their indefinite
depth of virulency, smacked of King Lear.

     The vehemence of my agitation brought on a copious
bleeding at the nose; and still Heathcliff laughed, and
still I scolded. I don't know what would have concluded
the scene had there not been one person at hand rather
more rational than myself and more benevolent than my
entertainer. This was Zillah, the stout housewife, who
at length issued forth to inquire into the nature of the
uproar. She thought that some of them had been laying
violent hands on me; and, not daring to attack her mas-
ter, she turned her vocal artillery against the younger
scoundrel.

     "Well, Mr. Earnshaw," she cried, "I wonder what
you'll have agait next! Are we going to murder folk on
our very door-stones? I see this house will never do for
me. Look at t' poor lad; he's fair choking!--Wisht,
wisht! you munn't go on so. Come in, and I'll cure that.
There now, hold ye still."

     With these words she suddenly splashed a pint of
icy water down my neck, and pulled me into the kitchen.
Mr. Heathcliff followed, his accidental merriment ex-
piring quickly in his habitual moroseness.

     I was sick exceedingly, and dizzy and faint, and thus
compelled perforce to accept lodgings under his roof.
He told Zillah to give me a glass of brandy, and then
passed on to the inner room; while she condoled with
me on my sorry predicament, and having obeyed his
orders, whereby I was somewhat revived, ushered me
to bed.


CHAPTER III.

While leading the way upstairs, she recommended
that I should hide the candle, and not make a
noise, for her master had an odd notion about the cham-
ber she would put me in, and never let anybody lodge
there willingly. I asked the reason. She did not know,
she answered. She had only lived there a year or two;
and they had so many queer goings on, she could not
begin to be curious.

     Too stupefied to be curious myself, I fastened my
door and glanced round for the bed. The whole furni-
ture consisted of a chair, a clothes-press, and a large
oak case, with squares cut out near the top resembling
coach windows. Having approached this structure, I
looked inside, and perceived it to be a singular sort of
old-fashioned couch, very conveniently designed to ob-
viate the necessity for every member of the family hav-
ing a room to himself. In fact, it formed a little closet;
and the ledge of a window, which it enclosed, served
as a table. I slid back the panelled sides, got in with my
light, pulled them together again, and felt secure against
the vigilance of Heathcliff and every one else.

     The ledge where I placed my candle had a few mil-
dewed books piled up in one corner, and it was covered
with writing scratched on the paint. This writing, how-
ever, was nothing but a name repeated in all kinds of
characters, large and small---Catherine Earnshaw,
here and there varied to Catherine Heathcliff and then
again to Catherine Linton.

     In vapid listlessness I leant my head against the win-
dow, and continued spelling over Catherine Earnshaw
---Heathcliff---Linton, till my eyes closed. But they had
not rested five minutes when a glare of white letters
started from the dark as vivid as spectres---the air
swarmed with Catherines; and rousing myself to dispel
the obtrusive name, I discovered my candle-wick re-
clining on one of the antique volumes, and perfum-
ing the place with an odour of roasted calf-skin. I
snuffed it off, and, very ill at ease under the influence
of cold and lingering nausea, sat up and spread open
the injured tome on my knee. It was a Testament, in
lean type, and smelling dreadfully musty. A fly-leaf
bore the inscription, "Catherine Earnshaw, her book,"
and a date some quarter of a century back. I shut it,
and took up another, and another, till I had examined
all. Catherine's library was select, and its state of dilapi-
dation proved it to have been well used, though not al-
together for a legitimate purpose. Scarcely one chapter
had escaped a pen-and-ink commentary---at least, the
appearance of one---covering every morsel of blank
that the printer had left. Some were detached sentences;
other parts took the form of a regular diary, scrawled in
an unformed, childish hand. At the top of an extra page
(quite a treasure, probably, when first lighted on) I
was greatly amused to behold an excellent caricature
of my friend Joseph, rudely yet powerfully sketched.
An immediate interest kindled within me for the un-
known Catherine, and I began forthwith to decipher
her faded hieroglyphics.

     "An awful Sunday!" commenced the paragraph be-
neath. "I wish my father were back again. Hindley is
a detestable substitute---his conduct to Heathcliff is
atrocious---H. and I are going to rebel---we took our
initiatory step this evening.

     "All day had been flooding with rain. We could not
go to church, so Joseph must needs get up a congrega-
tion in the garret; and while Hindley and his wife basked
downstairs before a comfortable fire---doing anything
but reading their Bibles, I'll answer for it---Heathcliff,
myself, and the unhappy plough-boy were commanded
to take our prayer-books and mount. We were ranged
in a row on a sack of corn, groaning and shivering, and
hoping that Joseph would shiver too, so that he might
give us a short homily for his own sake. A vain idea!
The service lasted precisely three hours; and yet my
brother had the face to exclaim, when he saw us de-
scending, 'What! done already?' On Sunday evenings
we used to be permitted to play, if we did not make
much noise; now a mere titter is sufficient to send us
into corners!

     " 'You forget you have a master here,' says the ty-
rant. 'I'll demolish the first who puts me out of temper!
I insist on perfect sobriety and silence. O boy! was that
you?----Frances darling, pull his hair as you go by. I
heard him snap his fingers.' Frances pulled his hair
heartily, and then went and seated herself on her hus-
band's knee; and there they were, like two babies, kiss-
ing and talking nonsense by the hour---foolish palaver
that we should be ashamed of. We made ourselves as
snug as our means allowed in the arch of the dresser.
I had just fastened our pinafores together, and hung
them up for a curtain, when in comes Joseph on an er-
rand from the stables. He tears down my handiwork,
boxes my ears, and croaks,---

     " 'T' maister nobbut just buried, and Sabbath no
o'ered, und t' sound o' t' gospel still i' yer lugs, and ye
darr be laiking! Shame on ye! Sit ye down, ill childer;
there's good books eneugh if ye'll read 'em. Sit ye down,
and think o' yer sowls!'

     "Saying this, he compelled us so to square our posi-
tions that we might receive from the far-off flre a dull
ray to show us the text of the lumber he thrust upon us.
I could not bear the employment. I took my dingy vol-
ume by the scroop, and hurled it into the dog-kennel,
vowing I hated a good book. Heathcliff kicked his to
the same place. Then there was a hubbub!

     " 'Maister Hindley!' shouted our chaplain. 'Maister,
coom hither! Miss Cathy's riven th' back off "Th' Hel-
met o' Salvation," un Heathcliff's pawsed his fit into t'
first part o' "T' Brooad Way to Destruction!" It's fair
flaysome that ye let 'em go on this gait. Ech! th' owd
man wad ha' laced 'em properly; but he's goan!'

     "Hindley hurried up from his paradise on the hearth,
and seizing one of us by the collar, and the other by the
arm, hurled both into the back kitchen, where, Joseph asseverated,
`owd Nick' would fetch us as sure as we were living; and, so 
comforted, we each sought a separate nook to await his advent.

     "I reached this book, and a pot of ink from a shelf, and pushed
the house-door ajar to give me light, and I have got the time on
with writing for twenty minutes; but my companion is impatient
and proposes that we should appropriate the dairy woman's cloak, and
have a scamper on the moors, under its shelter.  A pleasant suggestion--
and then, if the surly old man come in, he may believe his prophesy
verified--we cannot be damper, or colder, in the rain than we are here."

     I suppose Catherine fulfilled her project, for the next sentence 
took up another subject; she waxed lachrymose.

     "How little did I dream that Hindley would ever make me cry so!"
she wrote.  "My head aches, till I cannot keep it on the pillow;
and still I can't give over.  Poor Heathcliff!  Hindley calls him a
vagabond, and won't let him sit with us, nor eat with us any more;
and he says, he and I must not play together, and threatens to turn 
him out of the house if we break his orders.

     "He has been blaming our father (how dared he?) for treating
H. too liberally; and swears he will reduce him to his right place--"
     I began to nod drowsily over the dim page; my eye wandered from
manuscript to print.  I saw a red ornamented title--"Seventy 
Times Seven, and the First of the Seventy-First.  A Pious Discourse
delivered by the Reverend Jabes Branderham, in the Chapel of
Gimmerden Sough."  And while I was, half consciously, worrying
my brain to guess what Jabes Branderham would make of his subject,
I sank back in bed, and fell asleep.

     Alas, for the effects of bad tea and bad temper! what else could it
be that made me pass such a terrible night?  I don't remember another
that I can at all compare with it since I was capable of suffering.

     I began to dream, almost before I ceased to be sensible of my
locality.  I thought it was morning, and I had set out on my way
home, with Joseph for a guide.  The snow lay yards deep in our 
road; and, as we floundered on, my companion wearied me with
constant reproaches that I had not brought a pilgrim's staff, telling
me I could never get into the house without one, and boastfully
flourishing a heavy-headed cudgel, which I understood to be so
denominated.

     For a moment I considered it absurd that I should need such 
a weapon to gain admittance into my own residence. Then a new
idea flashed across me. I was not going there. We were
journeying to hear the famous Jabes Branderham
preach from the text, "Seventy Times Seven," and either
Joseph the preacher or I had committed the "First
of the Seventy-First," and were to be publicly exposed
and excommunicated.

     We came to the chapel. I have passed it really in my
walks twice or thrice. It lies in a hollow between two
hills---an elevated hollow, near a swamp, whose peaty
moisture is said to answer all the purposes of embalm-
ing on the few corpses deposited there. The roof has
been kept whole hitherto; but as the clergyman's sti-
pend is only twenty pounds per annum, and a house
with two rooms, threatening speedily to determine into
one, no clergyman will undertake the duties of pastor,
especially as it is currently reported that his flock would
rather let him starve than increase the living by one
penny from their own pockets. However, in my dream,
Jabes had a full and attentive congregation, and he
preached--good God! what a sermon, divided into
four hundred and ninety parts, each fully equal to an
ordinary address from the pulpit, and each discussing
a separate sin! Where he searched for them, I cannot
tell. He had his private manner of interpreting the
phrase, and it seemed necessary the brother should
sin different sins on every occasion. They were of the
most curious character---odd transgressions that I never
imagined previously.

     Oh, how weary I grew! How I writhed, and yawned,
and nodded, and revived! How I pinched, and pricked
myself, and rubbed my eyes, and stood up, and sat down
again, and nudged Joseph to inform me if he would
ever have done! I was condemned to hear all out. Fi-
nally, he reached the "First of the Seventy-First." At
that crisis, a sudden inspiration descended on me. I
was moved to rise and denounce Jabes Branderham as
the sinner of the sin that no Christian need pardon.

     "Sir," I exclaimed, "sitting here within these four
walls, at one stretch, I have endured and forgiven the
four hundred and ninety heads of your discourse. Sev-
enty times seven times have I plucked up my hat and
been about to depart; seventy times seven times have
you preposterously forced me to resume my seat. The
four hundred and ninety-first is too much.---Fellow-
martyrs, have at him! Drag him down, and crush him
to atoms, that the place which knows him may know
him no more!"

     "Thou art the man!" cried Jabes, after a solemn
pause, leaning over his cushion. "Seventy times seven
times didst thou gapingly contort thy visage; seventy
times seven did I take counsel with my soul. Lo, this is
human weakness; this also may be absolved! The 'First
of the Seventy-First' is come. Brethren, execute upon
him the judgment written. Such honour have all His
saints!"

     With that concluding word, the whole assembly, ex-
alting their pilgrim's staves, rushed round me in a body;
and I, having no weapon to raise in self-defence, com-
menced grappling with Joseph, my nearest and most
ferocious assailant, for his. In the confluence of the
multitude several clubs crossed; blows aimed at me fell
on other sconces. Presently the whole chapel resounded
with rappings and counter-rappings. Every man's hand
was against his neighbour; and Branderham, unwilling
to remain idle, poured forth his zeal in a shower of loud
taps on the boards of the pulpit, which responded so
smartly that at last, to my unspeakable relief, they woke
me. And what was it that had suggested the tremendous
tumult? What had played Jabes's part in the row?
Merely the branch of a fir-tree that touched my lattice,
as the blast wailed by, and rattled its dry cones against
the panes! I listened doubtingly an instant, detected the
disturber, then turned and dozed, and dreamt again---
if possible, still more disagreeably than before.

     This time I remembered I was lying in the oak closet,
and I heard distinctly the gusty wind and the driving
of the snow. I heard also the fir-bough repeat its teasing
sound, and ascribed it to the right cause. But it an-
noyed me so much that I resolved to silence it, if pos-
sible; and I thought I rose and endeavoured to unhasp
the casement. The hook was soldered into the staple---a
circumstance observed by me when awake, but forgot-
ten. "I must stop it, nevertheless!" I muttered, knock-
ing my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an
arm out to seize the importunate branch; instead of
which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-
cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over
me. I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung
to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, "Let me in
---let me in!" "Who are you?" I asked, struggling,
meanwhile, to disengage myself. "Catherine Linton,"
it replied shiveringly. (Why did I think of Linton? I
had read Earnshaw twenty times for Linton.) "I'm
come home. I'd lost my way on the moor." As it spoke,
I discerned, obscurely, a child's face looking through
the window. Terror made me cruel; and finding it use-
less to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its
wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro
till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes. Still
it wailed, "Let me in!" and maintained its tenacious
gripe, almost maddening me with fear. "How can I?"
I said at length. "Let me go, if you want me to let you
in!" The fingers relaxed; I snatched mine through the
hole, hurriedly piled the books up in a pyramid against
it, and stopped my ears to exclude the lamentable
prayer. I seemed to keep them closed above a quarter
of an hour; yet the instant I listened again, there was
the doleful cry moaning on! "Begone!" I shouted; "I'll
never let you in---not if you beg for twenty years." "It
is twenty years," mourned the voice---"twenty years.
I've been a waif for twenty years!" Thereat began a fee-
ble scratching outside, and the pile of books moved as
if thrust forward. I tried to jump up, but could not stir
a limb, and so yelled aloud in a frenzy of fright. To my
confusion, I discovered the yell was not ideal. Hasty
footsteps approached my chamber door; somebody
pushed it open with a vigorous hand, and a light glim-
mered through the squares at the top of the bed. I sat
shuddering yet, and wiping the perspiration from my
forehead. The intruder appeared to hesitate, and mut-
tered to himself. At last he said in a half-whisper, plainly
not expecting an answer, "Is any one here?" I consid-
ered it best to confess my presence, for I knew Heath-
cliff's accents, and feared he might search further if I
kept quiet. With this intention I turned and opened
the panels. I shall not soon forget the effect my action
produced.

     Heathcliff stood near the entrance, in his shirt and
trousers, with a candle dripping over his fingers, and
his face as white as the wall behind him. The first creak
of the oak startled him like an electric shock. The light
leaped from his hold to a distance of some feet, and his
agitation was so extreme that he could hardly pick it up.

     "It is only your guest, sir," I called out, desirous to
spare him the humiliation of exposing his cowardice
further. "I had the misfortune to scream in my sleep,
owing to a frightful nightmare. I'm sorry I disturbed
you."

     "Oh, God confound you, Mr. Lockwood! I wish
you were at the---" commenced my host, setting the
candle on a chair, because he found it impossible to hold
it steady. "And who showed you up into this room?"
he continued, crushing his nails into his palms and
grinding his teeth to subdue the maxillary convulsions.
"Who was it? I've a good mind to turn them out of the
house this moment."

     "It was your servant Zillah," I replied, flinging my-
self on to the floor, and rapidly resuming my garments.
"I should not care if you did, Mr. Heathcliff; she richly
deserves it. I suppose that she wanted to get another
proof that the place was haunted, at my expense. Well,
it is---swarming with ghosts and goblins! You have
reason in shutting it up, I assure you. No one will thank
you for a doze in such a den!"

     "What do you mean?" asked Heathcliff, "and what
are you doing? Lie down and finish out the night, since
you are here; but, for Heaven's sake, don't repeat that
horrid noise. Nothing could excuse it, unless you were
having your throat cut!"

     "If the little fiend had got in at the window, she prob-
ably would have strangled me!" I returned. "I'm not
going to endure the persecutions of your hospitable an-
cestors again. Was not the Reverend Jabes Branderham
akin to you on the mother's side? And that minx, Cath-
erine Linton, or Earnshaw, or however she was called,
she must have been a changeling----wicked little soul!
She told me she had been walking the earth those
twenty years---a just punishment for her mortal trans-
gressions, I've no doubt."

     Scarcely were these words uttered, when I recol-
lected the association of Heathcliff's with Catherine's
name in the book, which had completely slipped from
my memory, till thus awakened. I blushed at my incon-
sideration; but without showing further consciousness
of the offence, I hastened to add, "The truth is, sir, I
passed the first part of the night in-----" Here I stopped
afresh. I was about to say "perusing those old volumes"
---then it would have revealed my knowledge of their
written as well as their printed contents; so, correcting
myself, I went on, "In spelling over the name scratched
on that window-ledge---a monotonous occupation, cal-
culated to set me asleep, like counting, or---"

     "What can you mean by talking in this way to me?"
thundered Heathcliff, with savage vehemence. "How
---how dare you, under my roof?---God, he's mad to
speak so!" And he struck his forehead with rage.

     I did not know whether to resent this language or
pursue my explanation; but he seemed so powerfully
affected that I took pity and proceeded with my dreams,
affirming I had never heard the appellation of "Cather-
ine Linton" before, but reading it often over produced
an impression which personified itself when I had no
longer my imagination under control. Heathcliff grad-
ually fell back into the shelter of the bed as I spoke,
finally sitting down almost concealed behind it. I
guessed, however, by his irregular and intercepted
breathing, that he struggled to vanquish an excess of
violent emotion. Not liking to show him that I had
heard the conflict, I continued my toilet rather noisily,
looked at my watch, and soliloquized on the length of
the night. Not three o'clock yet! I could have taken
oath it had been six. Time stagnates here. We must
surely have retired to rest at eight!

     "Always at nine in winter, and rise at four," said my
host, suppressing a groan, and, as I fancied, by the mo-
tion of his arm's shadow, dashing a tear from his eyes.
"Mr. Lockwood," he added, "you may go into my room.
You'll only be in the way, coming downstairs so early;
and your childish outcry has sent sleep to the devil for
me."

     "And for me too," I replied. "I'll walk in the yard
till daylight, and then I'll be off; and you need not dread
a repetition of my intrusion. I'm now quite cured of
seeking pleasure in society, be it country or town. A
sensible man ought to find sufficient company in him-
self."

     "Delightful company!" muttered Heathcliff. "Take
the candle, and go where you please. I shall join you
directly. Keep out of the yard, though---the dogs are
unchained; and the house---Juno mounts sentinel
there, and----nay, you can only ramble about the steps
and passages. But away with you! I'll come in two min-
utes!"

     I obeyed, so far as to quit the chamber; when, igno-
rant where the narrow lobbies led, I stood still, and was
witness, involuntarily, to a piece of superstition on the
part of my landlord which belied oddly his apparent
sense. He got on to the bed and wrenched open the
lattice, bursting, as he pulled at it, into an uncontrol-
lable passion of tears. "Come in! come in!" he sobbed.

"Cathy, do come! Oh, do---once more! Oh, my heart's
darling! hear me this time, Catherine, at last!" The
spectre showed a spectre's ordinary caprice. It gave no
sign of being; but the snow and wind whirled wildly
through, even reaching my station, and blowing out the
light.

     There was such anguish in the gush of grief that ac-
companied this raving that my compassion made me
overlook its folly, and I drew off, half angry to have lis-
tened at all, and vexed at having related my ridiculous
nightmare, since it produced that agony; though why
was beyond my comprehension. I descended cautiously
to the lower regions, and landed in the back kitchen,
where a gleam of fire, raked compactly together, en-
abled me to rekindle my candle. Nothing was stirring
except a brindled, gray cat, which crept from the ashes,
and saluted me with a querulous mew.

     Two benches, shaped in sections of a circle, nearly
enclosed the hearth. On one of these I stretched myself,
and Grimalkin mounted the other. We were both of us
nodding ere any one invaded our retreat, and then it
was Joseph, shuffling down a wooden ladder that
vanished in the roof, through a trap---the ascent to his
garret, I suppose. He cast a sinister look at the little
flame which I had enticed to play between the ribs,
swept the cat from its elevation, and bestowing himself
in the vacancy, commenced the operation of stuffing a
three-inch pipe with tobacco. My presence in his sanc-
tum was evidently esteemed a piece of impudence too

shameful for remark. He silently applied the tube to
his lips, folded his arms, and puffed away. I let him en-
joy the luxury unannoyed; and after sucking out his last
wreath, and heaving a profound sigh, he got up, and de-
parted as solemnly as he came.

     A more elastic footstep entered next; and now I
opened my mouth for a "good-morning," but closed it
again, the salutation unachieved, for Hareton Earn-
shaw was performing his orisons, sotto voce, in a series
of curses directed against every object he touched, while
he rummaged a corner for a spade or shovel to dig
through the drifts. He glanced over the back of the
bench, dilating his nostrils, and thought as little of ex-
changing civilities with me as with my companion the
cat. I guessed by his preparations that egress was al-
lowed, and leaving my hard couch, made a movement
to follow him. He noticed this, and thrust at an inner
door with the end of his spade, intimating by an inar-
ticulate sound that there was the place where I must go
if I changed my locality.

     It opened into the house, where the females were al-
ready astir---Zillah urging flakes of flame up the chim-
ney with a colossal bellows; and Mrs. Heathcliff, kneel-
ing on the hearth, reading a book by the aid of the blaze.
She held her hand interposed between the furnace-heat
and her eyes, and seemed absorbed in her occupation,
desisting from it only to chide the servant for covering
her with sparks, or to push away a dog, now and then,
that snoozled its nose over-forwardly into her face. I
was surprised to see Heathcliff there also. He stood by
the fire, his back towards me, just finishing a stormy
scene to poor Zillah, who ever and anon interrupted her
labour to pluck up the corner of her apron and heave
an indignant groan.

     "And you, you worthless----" he broke out as I en-
tered, turning to his daughter-in-law, and employing an
epithet as harmless as duck or sheep, but generally rep-
resented by a dash------. "There you are at your idle
tricks again! The rest of them do earn their bread;
you live on my charity! Put your trash away, and find
something to do. You shall pay me for the plague of
having you eternally in my sight. Do you hear, dam-
nable jade?"

     "I'll put my trash away, because you can make me
if I refuse," answered the young lady, closing her book
and throwing it on a chair. "But I'll not do anything,
though you should swear your tongue out, except what
I please!"

     Heathcliff lifted his hand, and the speaker sprang to
a safer distance, obviously acquainted with its weight.
Having no desire to be entertained by a cat-and-dog
combat, I stepped forward briskly, as if eager to par-
take the warmth of the hearth, and innocent of any
knowledge of the interrupted dispute. Each had enough
decorum to suspend further hostilities. Heathcliff placed
his fists, out of temptation, in his pockets; Mrs. Heath-
cliff curled her lip, and walked to a seat far off, where
she kept her word by playing the part of a statue during
the remainder of my stay. That was not long. I declined
joining their breakfast, and at the first gleam of dawn
took an opportunity of escaping into the free air, now
clear, and still, and cold as impalpable ice.

     My landlord hallooed for me to stop ere I reached
the bottom of the garden, and offered to accompany me
across the moor. It was well he did, for the whole hill-
back was one billowy, white ocean, the swells and falls
not indicating corresponding rises and depressions in
the ground. Many pits, at least, were filled to a level,
and entire ranges of mounds, the refuse of the quarries,
blotted from the chart which my yesterday's walk left
pictured in my mind. I had remarked on one side of the
road, at intervals of six or seven yards, a line of upright
stones, continued through the whole length of the
barren. These were erected and daubed with lime on
purpose to serve as guides in the dark, and also when a
fall, like the present, confounded the deep swamps on
either hand with the firmer path; but, exceptiog a dirty
dot pointing up here and there, all traces of their exist-
ence had vanished, and my companion found it neces-
sary to warn me frequently to steer to the right or left,
when I imagined I was following correctly the windings
of the road.

     We exchanged little conversation, and he halted at
the entrance of Thrushcross Park, saying I could make
no error there. Our adieus were limited to a hasty
bow, and then I pushed forward, trusting to my own
resources, for the porter's lodge is untenanted as yet.
The distance from the gate to the Grange is two miles;
I believe I managed to make it four, what with losing
myself among the trees, and sinking up to the neck in
snow---a predicament which only those who have ex-
perienced it can appreciate. At any rate, whatever were
my wanderings, the clock chimed twelve as I entered
the house, and that gave exactly an hour for every mile
of the usual way from Wuthering Heights.

     My human fixture and her satellites rushed to wel-
come me, exclaiming tumultuously they had completely
given me up. Everybody conjectured that I perished last
night, and they were wondering how they must set
about the search for my remains. I bid them be quiet,
now that they saw me returned, and, benumbed to my
very heart, I dragged upstairs; whence, after putting
on dry clothes, and pacing to and fro thirty or forty
minutes, to restore the animal heat, I am adjourned to
my study, feeble as a kitten---almost too much so to
enjoy the cheerful fire and smoking coffee which the
servant has prepared for my refreshment.


CHAPTER IV.

What vain weather-cocks we are! I, who had de-
termined to hold myself independent of all social
intercourse, and thanked my stars that at length I had
lighted on a spot where it was next to impracticable--- I,
weak wretch, after maintaining till dusk a struggle with
low spirits and solitude, was finally compelled to strike
my colours; and under pretence of gaining information
concerning the necessities of my establishment, I de-
sired Mrs. Dean, when she brought in supper, to sit
down while I ate it, hoping sincerely she would prove a
regular gossip, and either rouse me to animation or lull
me to sleep by her talk.

     "You have lived here a considerable time," I com-
menced---"did you not say sixteen years?"

     "Eighteen, sir. I came, when the mistress was mar-
ried, to wait on her; after she died, the master retained
me for his housekeeper."

     "Indeed."

     There ensued a pause. She was not a gossip, I feared
---unless about her own affairs, and those could hardly
interest me. However, having studied for an interval,
with a fist on either knee, and a cloud of meditation
over her ruddy countenance, she ejaculated,---

     "Ah, times are greatly changed since thenl"

     "Yes," I remarked; "you've seen a good many altera-
tions, I suppose?"

     "I have; and troubles too," she said.

     "Oh, I'll turn the talk on my landlord's family!" I
thought to myself. "A good subject to start! And that
pretty girl-widow, I should like to know her history---
whether she be a native of the country, or, as is more
probable, an exotic that the surly indigenae will not
recognize for kin." With this intention I asked Mrs.
Dean why Heathcliff let Thrushcross Grange, and pre-
ferred living in a situation and residence so much in-
ferior. "Is he not rich enough to keep the estate in good
order?" I inquired.

     "Rich, sir!" she returned. "He has nobody knows
what money, and every year it increases. Yes, yes; he's
rich enough to live in a finer house than this. But he's
very near---cose-handed; and if he had meant to flit
to Thrushcross Grange, as soon as he heard of a good
tenant he could not have borne to miss the chance of
getting a few hundreds more. It is strange people should
be so greedy when they are alone in the world!"

     "He had a son, it seems?"

     "Yes, he had one. He is dead."

     "And that young lady, Mrs. Heathcliff, is his
widow?"

     "Yes."

     "Where did she come from originally?"

     "Why, sir, she is my late master's daughter. Catherine
Linton was her maiden name. I nursed her, poor thing!
I did wish Mr. Heathcliff would remove here, and then
we might have been together again."

     "What! Catherine Linton?" I exclaimed, astonished.
But a minute's reflection convinced me it was not my
ghostly Catherine. "Then," I continued, "my predeces-
sor's name was Linton?"

     "It was."

     "And who is that Earnshaw---Hareton Earnshaw---
who lives with Mr. Heathcliff? Are they relations?"

     "No; he is the late Mrs. Linton's nephew."

     "The young lady's cousin, then?"

     "Yes; and her husband was her cousin also---one
on the mother's side, the other on the father's side.
Heathcliff married Mr. Linton's sister."

     "I see the house at Wuthering Heights has 'Earn-
shaw' carved over the front door. Are they an old fam-
ily?"

     "Very old, sir; and Hareton is the last of them, as our
Miss Cathy is of us---I mean of the Lintons. Have you
been to Wuthering Heights? I beg pardon for asking;
but I should like to hear how she is."

     "Mrs. Heathcliff? She looked very well, and very
handsome; yet, I think, not very happy."

     "Oh dear, I don't wonder! And how did you like
the master?"

     "A rough fellow, rather, Mrs. Dean. Is not that his
character?"

     "Rough as a saw-edge, and hard as whinstone. The
less you meddle with him the better."

     "He must have had some ups and downs in life to
make him such a churl. Do you know anything of his
history?"

     "It's a cuckoo's, sir. I know all about it---except
where he was born, and who were his parents, and
how he got his money at first. And Hareton has been
cast out like an unfledged dunnock! The unfortunate
lad is the only one in all this parish that does not guess
how he has been cheated."

     "Well, Mrs. Dean, it will be a charitable deed to tell
me something of my neighbours. I feel I shall not rest if
I go to bed, so be good enough to sit and chat an hour."

     "Oh, certainly, sir! I'll just fetch a little sewing, and
then I'll sit as long as you please. But you've caught
cold---I saw you shivering; and you must have some
gruel to drive it out."

     The worthy woman bustled off, and I crouched
nearer the fire. My head felt hot, and the rest of me
chill; moreover, I was excited, almost to a pitch of fool-
ishness, through my nerves and brain. This caused me
to feel, not uncomfortable, but rather fearful (as I am
still) of serious effects from the incidents of to-day and
yesterday. She returned presently, bringing a smoking
basin and a basket of work; and having placed the
former on the hob, drew in her seat, evidently pleased
to find me so companionable.

     	* * * * *

     Before I came to live here, she commenced--- waiting
no further invitation to her story---I was almost always
at Wuthering Heights, because my mother had nursed
Mr. Hindley Earnshaw (that was Hareton's father),
and I got used to playing with the children. I ran er-
rands, too, and helped to make hay, and hung about
the farm, ready for anything that anybody would set
me to. One fine summer morning---it was the beginning
of harvest, I remember--- Mr. Earnshaw, the old master,
came downstairs, dressed for a journey; and after he
had told Joseph what was to be done during the day,
he turned to Hindley, and Cathy, and me---for I sat
eating my porridge with them---and he said, speaking
to his son, "Now, my bonny man, I'm going to Liver-
pool to-day; what shall I bring you? You may choose
what you like. Only let it be little, for I shall walk
there and back. Sixty miles each way---that is a long
spell!" Hindley named a fiddle, and then he asked Miss
Cathy. She was hardly six years old, but she could ride
any horse in the stable, and she chose a whip. He did
not forget me, for he had a kind heart, though he was
rather severe sometimes. He promised to bring me a
pocketful of apples and pears; and then he kissed his
children, said good-bye, and set off.

     It seemed a long while to us all---the three days of his
absence---and often did little Cathy ask when he would
be home. Mrs. Earnshaw expected him by supper-time
on the third evening, and she put the meal off hour after
hour. There were no signs of his coming, however, and
at last the children got tired of running down to the
gate to look. Then it grew dark. She would have had
them to bed, but they begged sadly to be allowed to
stay up; and just about eleven o'clock the door-latch
was raised quietly, and in stepped the master. He threw
himself into a chair, laughing and groaning, and bid
them all stand off, for he was nearly killed. He would
not have such another walk for the three kingdoms.

     "And at the end of it, to be flighted to death!" he
said, opening his greatcoat, which he held bundled up
in his arms. "See here, wife! I was never so beaten with
anything in my life; but you must e'en take it as a gift
of God, though it's as dark almost as if it came from the
devil."

     We crowded round, and over Miss Cathy's head I
had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black-haired child, big
enough both to walk and talk. Indeed, its face looked
older than Catherine's; yet when it was set on its feet it
only stared round, and repeated over and over again
some gibberish that nobody could understand. I was
frightened, and Mrs. Earnshaw was ready to fling it out
of doors. She did fly up, asking how he could fashion
to bring that gipsy brat into the house, when they had
their own bairns to feed and fend for; what he meant to
do with it, and whether he were mad. The master tried
to explain the matter; but he was really half dead with
fatigue, and all that I could make out, amongst her
scolding, was a tale of his seeing it starving, and house-
less, and as good as dumb, in the streets of Liverpool,
where he picked it up and inquired for its owner. Not
a soul knew to whom it belonged, he said; and his
money and time being both limited, he thought it better
to take it home with him at once, than run into vain
expenses there, because he was determined be would
not leave it as he found it. Well, the conclusion was that
my mistress grumbled herself calm; and Mr. Earnshaw
told me to wash it, and give it clean things, and let it
sleep with the children.

     Hindley and Cathy contented themselves with look-
ing and listening till peace was restored; then both be-
gan searching their father's pockets for the presents he
had promised them. The former was a boy of fourteen,
but when he drew out what had been a fiddle, crushed
to morsels in the greatcoat, he blubbered aloud; and
Cathy, when she learned the master had lost her whip
in attending on the stranger, showed her humour by
grinning and spitting at the stupid little thing, earning
for her pains a sound blow from her father to teach her
cleaner manners. They entirely refused to have it in
bed with them, or even in their room; and I had no
more sense, so I put it on the landing of the stairs, hop-
ing it might be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else
attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earn-
shaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his cham-
ber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there. I was
obliged to confess, and in recompense for my coward-
ice and inhumanity was sent out of the house.

     This was Heathcliff's first introduction to the family.
On coming back a few days afterwards (for I did not
consider my banishment perpetual) I found they had
christened him "Heathcliff." It was the name of a son
who died in childhood, and it has served him ever since,
both for Christian and surname. Miss Cathy and he
were now very thick; but Hindley hated him, and, to
say the truth, I did the same; and we plagued and went
on with him shamefully, for I wasn't reasonable enough
to feel my injustice, and the mistress never put in a
word on his behalf when she saw him wronged.

     He seemed a sullen, patient child, hardened, perhaps,
to ill-treatment. He would stand Hindley's blows with-
out winking or shedding a tear, and my pinches moved
him only to draw in a breath and open his eyes, as if he
had hurt himself by accident and nobody was to blame.
This endurance made old Earnshaw furious when he
discovered his son persecuting the poor, fatherless child,
as he called him. He took to Heathcliff strangely, be-
lieving all he said (for that matter, he said precious
little, and generally the truth), and petting him up far
above Cathy, who was too mischievous and wayward
for a favourite.

     So from the very beginning he bred bad feeling in
the house; and at Mrs. Earnshaw's death, which hap-
pened in less than two years after, the young master
had learned to regard his father as an oppressor rather
than a friend, and Heathcliff as a usurper of his parent's
affections and his privileges, and he grew bitter with
brooding over these injuries. I sympathized a while;
but when the children fell ill of the measles, and I had
to tend them, and take on me the cares of a woman at
once, I changed my ideas. Heathcliff was dangerously
sick; and while he lay at the worst he would have me
constantly by his pillow. I suppose he felt I did a good
deal for him, and he hadn't wit to guess that I was com-
pelled to do it. However, I will say this---he was the
quietest child that ever nurse watched over. The dif-
ference between him and the others forced me to be
less partial. Cathy and her brother harassed me ter-
ribly; he was as uncomplaining as a lamb, though hard-
ness, not gentleness, made him give little trouble.

     He got through, and the doctor affirmed it was in a
great measure owing to me, and praised me for my care.
I was vain of his commendations, and softened towards
the being by whose means I earned them; and thus
Hindley lost his last ally. Still I couldn't dote on Heath-
cliff, and I wondered often what my master saw to ad-
mire so much in the sullen boy, who never, to my recol-
lection, repaid his indulgence by any sign of gratitude.
He was not insolent to his benefactor, he was simply
insensible, though knowing perfectly the hold he had on
his heart, and conscious he had only to speak and all
the house would be obliged to bend to his wishes. As an
instance, I remember Mr. Earnshaw once bought a
couple of colts at the parish fair, and gave the lads each
one. Heathcliff took the handsomest, but it soon fell
lame, and when he discovered it, he said to Hindley,---

     "You must exchange horses with me---I don't like
mine; and if you won't, I shall tell your father of the
three thrashings you've given me this week, and show
him my arm, which is black to the shoulder." Hindley
put out his tongue and cuffed him over the ears. "You'd
better do it at once," he persisted, escaping to the
porch (they were in the stable). "You will have to; and
if I speak of these blows, you'll get them again with in-
terest." "Off, dog!" cried Hindley, threatening him with
an iron weight used for weighing potatoes and hay.
"Throw it," he replied, standing still, "and then I'll tell
how you boasted that you would turn me out of doors
as soon as he died, and see whether he will not turn
you out directly." Hindley threw it, hitting him on the
breast, and down he fell, but staggered up immediately,
breathless and white; and had I not prevented it, he
would have gone just so to the master, and got full re-
venge by letting his condition plead for him, intimating
who had caused it. "Take my colt, gipsy, then!" said
young Earnshaw. "And I pray that he may break your
neck. Take him, and be damned, you beggarly inter-
loper; and wheedle my father out of all he has. Only
afterwards show him what you are, imp of Satan. And
take that! I hope he'll kick out your brains!"

     Heathcliff had gone to loose the beast and shift it to
his own stall. He was passing behind it, when Hindley
finished his speech by knocking him under its feet, and
without stopping to examine whether his hopes were
fulfilled, ran away as fast as he could. I was surprised
to witness how coolly the child gathered himself up, and
went on with his intention---exchanging saddles and
all, and then sitting down on a bundle of hay to over-
come the qualm which the violent blow occasioned, be-
fore he entered the house. I persuaded him easily to let
me lay the blame of his bruises on the horse. He minded
little what tale was told, since he had what he wanted.
He complained so seldom, indeed, of such stirs as these,
that I really thought him not vindictive. I was de-
ceived completely, as you will hear.


CHAPTER V.

In the course of time Mr. Earnshaw began to fail. He
had been active and healthy, yet his strength left
him suddenly; and when he was confined to the chim-
ney-corner he grew grievously irritable. A nothing vexed
him, and suspected slights of his authority nearly threw
him into fits. This was especially to be remarked if any
one attempted to impose upon or domineer over his
favourite. He was painfully jealous lest a word should
be spoken amiss to him, seeming to have got into his
head the notion that, because he liked Heathcliff, all
hated and longed to do him an ill turn. It was a disad-
vantage to the lad, for the kinder among us did not
wish to fret the master, so we humoured his partiality;
and that humouring was rich nourishment to the child's
pride and black tempers. Still it became in a manner
necessary. Twice or thrice Hindley's manifestation of
scorn, while his father was near, roused the old man to
a fury. He seized his stick to strike him, and shook with
rage that he could not do it.

     At last our curate (we had a curate then, who made
the living answer by teaching the little Lintons and
Earnshaws and farming his bit of land himself) advised
that the young man should be sent to college; and Mr.
Earnshaw agreed, though with a heavy spirit, for he
said, "Hindley was nought, and would never thrive as
where he wandered."

     I hoped heartily we should have peace now. It hurt
me to think the master should be made uncomfortable
by his own good deed. I fancied the discontent of age
and disease arose from his family disagreements, as he
would have it that it did. Really, you know, sir, it was
in his sinking frame. We might have got on tolerably,
notwithstanding, but for two people---Miss Cathy and
Joseph the servant. You saw him, I dare say, up yonder.
He was, and is yet most likely, the wearisomest self-
righteous Pharisee that ever ransacked a Bible to rake
the promises to himself and fling the curses to his neigh-
bours. By his knack of sermonizing and pious dis-
coursing he contrived to make a great impression on
Mr. Earnshaw; and the more feeble the master became,
the more influence he gained. He was relentless in wor-
rying him about his soul's concerns, and about ruling
his children rigidly. He encouraged him to regard
Hindley as a reprobate; and night after night he regu-
larly grumbled out a long string of tales against Heath-
cliff and Catherine, always minding to flatter Earn-
shaw's weakness by heaping the heaviest blame on the
latter.

     Certainly she had ways with her such as I never saw
a child take up before; and she put all of us past our
patience fifty times and oftener in a day. From the hour
she came downstairs till the hour she went to bed we
had not a minute's security that she wouldn't be in mis-
chief. Her spirits were always at high-water mark, her
tongue always going---singing, laughing, and plaguing
everybody who would not do the same. A wild, wicked
slip she was; but she had the bonniest eye, the sweetest
smile, and lightest foot in the parish. And, after all, I
believe she meant no harm; for when once she made
you cry in good earnest, it seldom happened that she
would not keep you company, and oblige you to be
quiet, that you might comfort her. She was much too
fond of Heathcliff. The greatest punishment we could
invent for her was to keep her separate from him; yet
she got chided more than any of us on his account. In
play she liked exceedingly to act the little mistress,
using her hands freely, and commanding her compan-
ions. She did so to me, but I would not bear shopping
and ordering, and so I let her know.

     Now, Mr. Earnshaw did not understand jokes from
his children. He had always been strict and grave with
them; and Catherine, on her part, had no idea why her
father should be crosser and less patient in his ailing
condition than he was in his prime. His peevish reproofs
wakened in her a naughty delight to provoke him. She
was never so happy as when we were all scolding her at
once, and she defying us with her bold, saucy look and
her ready words, turning Joseph's religious curses into
ridicule, baiting me, and doing just what her father
hated most---showing how her pretended insolence,
which he thought real, had more power over Heathcliff
than his kindness; how the boy would do her bidding
in anything, and his only when it suited his own inclina-
tion. After behaving as badly as possible all day, she
sometimes came fondling to make it up at night. "Nay,
Cathy," the old man would say, "I cannot love thee;
thou'rt worse than thy brother. Go say thy prayers,
child, and ask God's pardon. I doubt thy mother and I
must rue that we ever reared thee!" That made her cry
at first; and then being repulsed continually hardened
her, and she laughed if I told her to say she was sorry
for her faults, and beg to be forgiven.

     But the hour came at last that ended Mr. Earnshaw's
troubles on earth. He died quietly in his chair one Octo-
ber evening, seated by the fireside. A high wind blus-
tered round the house and roared in the chimney. It
sounded wild and stormy, yet it was not cold, and
we were all together---I, a little removed from the
hearth, busy at my knitting, and Joseph reading his
Bible near the table (for the servants generally sat in
the house then, after their work was done). Miss Cathy
had been sick, and that made her still. She leant against
her father's knee, and Heathcliff was lying on the floor
with his head in her lap.

     I remember the master, before he fell into a doze, stroking
her bonny hair--it pleased him rarely to see her gentle--and 
saying--

     "Why canst thou not always be a good lass, Cathy?"

     And she turned her face up to his, and laughed, and answered--

     "Why cannot you always be a good man, father?"

     But as soon as she saw him vexed again, she kissed his hand, 
and said she would sing him to sleep.  She began singing very low,
till his fingers dropped from hers, and his head sank on his breast.
Then I told her to hush, and not stir, for fear she should wake
him.  We all kept as mute as mice a full half-hour, and should 
have done so longer, only Joseph, having finished his chapter, got
up and said that he must rouse the master for prayers and bed.
He stepped forward, and called him by name, and touched his 
shoulder, but he would not move--so he took the candle and
looked at him.

     I thought there was something wrong as he set down the light;
and seizing the children each by an arm, whispered them to
"frame upstairs, and make little din--they might pray alone that
evening--he had summut to do."

     "I shall bid father good-night first," said Catherine, putting
her arms round his neck, before we could hinder her.

     The poor thing discovered her loss directly--she screamed out--

     "Oh, he's dead, Heathcliff! he's dead!"

     And they both set up a heart-breaking cry.

     I joined my wail to theirs, loud and bitter; but Joseph asked
what we could be thinking of to roar in that way over a saint in 
heaven.

     He told me to put on my cloak and run to Gimmerton for the
doctor and the parson.  I could not guess the use that either would
be of, then.  However, I went, through wind and rain, and brought
one, the doctor, back with me; the other said he would come in
the morning.

     Leaving Joseph to explain matters, I ran to the children's room; 
their door was ajar, I saw they had never laid down, though it was
past midnight; but they were calmer, and did not need me to 
console them.  The little souls were comforting each other with
better thoughts than I could have hit on; no parson in the world
ever pictured heaven so beautifully as they did, in their innocent
talk; and, while I sobbed and listened, I could not help wishing
we were all there safe together.


CHAPTER VI.

Mr. Hindley came home to the funeral; and--a thing that 
amazed us, and set the neighbours gossipping right and left--he
brought a wife with him.  

     What she was, and where she was born he never informed us;
probably, she had neither money nor name to recommend her, 
or he would scarcely have kept the union from his father.

     She was not one that would have disturbed the house much
on her own account.  Every object she saw, the moment she crossed
the threshold, appeared to delight her; and every circumstance that 
took place about her, except the preparing for the burial, and the
presence of the mourners.

     I thought she was half silly, from her behaviour while that went
on; she ran into her chamber, and made me come with her, though
I should have been dressing the children; and there she sat shivering
and clasping her hands, and asking repeatedly--

     "Are they gone yet?"

     Then she began describing with hysterical emotion the effect
it produced on her to see black; and started, and trembled, and, at 
last, fell a weeping--and when I asked what the matter? answered, 
she didn't know; but she felt so afraid of dying!

     I imagined her as little likely to die as myself.  She was rather
thin, but young, and fresh complexioned, and her eyes sparkled as
bright as diamonds.  I did remark, to be sure, that mounting the
stairs made her breathe very quick, that the least sudden noise
set her all in a quiver, and that she coughed troublesomely sometimes:
but I knew nothing of what these symptoms portended, and 
had no impulse to sympathize with her.  We don't in general take 
to foreigners here, Mr. Lockwood, unless they take to us first.

     Young Earnshaw was altered considerably in the three years of 
his absence.  He had grown sparer, and lost his colour, and spoke
and dressed quite differently; and, on the very day of his return, 
he told Joseph and me we must thenceforth quarter ourselves in
the back-kitchen, and leave the house for him.  Indeed, he would
have carpeted and papered a small spare room for a parlour; but
his wife expressed such pleasure at the white floor, and huge
glowing fire-place, at the pewter dishes, and delf-case, and 
dog-kennel, and the wide space there was to move about in, where
they usually sat, that he thought it unneccessary to her comfort, 
and so dropped the intention.

     She expressed pleasure, too, at finding a sister among her new
acquaintance, and she prattled to Catherine and kissed her and 
ran about with her, and gave her quantities of presents, at the
beginning.  Her affection tired very soon, however, and when she
grew peevish, Hindley became tyrannical.  A few words from her,
evincing a dislike to Heathcliff, were enough to rouse in him all
his old hatred of the boy.  He drove him from their company to
the servants, deprived him of the instructions of the curate and
insisted that he should labour out of doors instead, compelling
him to do so, as hard as any other lad on the farm.

     Heathcliff bore his degradation pretty well at first, because Cathy
taught him what she learnt, and worked or played with him in the
fields.  They both promised fair to grow up as rude as savages, the
young master being entirely negligent how they behaved, and what 
they did, so they kept clear of him.  He would not even have seen
after their going to church on Sundays, only Joseph and the curate
reprimanded his carelessness when they absented themselves, and
that reminded him to order Heathcliff a flogging, and Catherine a 
fast from dinner or supper.

     But it was one of their chief amusements to run away to the 
moors in the morning and remain there all day, and the after-
punishment grew a mere thing to laugh at.  The curate might set
as many chapters as he pleased for Catherine to get by heart, and
Joseph might thrash Heathcliff till his arm ached; they forgot
everything the minute they were together again, at least the minute
they contrived some naughty plan of revenge; and many a time 
I've cried to myself to watch them growing more reckless
daily, and I not daring to speak a syllable for fear of losing the
small power I still retained over the unfriended creatures.

     One Sunday evening, it chanced that they were banished from the
sitting-room, for making a noise, or a light offence of the 
kind, and when I went to call them to supper, I could discover
them nowhere.

     We searched the house, above and below, and the yard and
stables; they were invisible; and, at last, Hindley in a passion told
us to bolt the doors, and swore nobody should let them in that night.

     The household went to bed; and I, too anxious to lie down, 
opened my lattice and put my head out to hearken, though it
rained, determined to admit them in spite of the prohibition,
should they return.

     In a while, I distinguished steps coming up the road, and the 
light of a lantern glimmered through the gate.

     I threw a shawl over my head and ran to prevent them from waking 
Mr. Earnshaw by knocking.  There was Heathcliff, by himself;
it gave me a start to see him alone.

     "Where is Miss Catherine?" I cried hurriedly.  "No accident, I
hope?"

     "At Thrushcross Grange," he answered, "and I would have 
been there too, but they had not the manners to ask me to
stay."

     "Well, you will catch it!" I said, "you'll never be content will
you're sent about your business.  What in the world led you wandering 
to Thrushcross Grange?"

     "Let me get off my wet clothes, and I'll tell you all about it,
Nelly," he replied.

     I bid him beware of rousing the master, and while he undressed,
and I waited to put out the candle, he continued--

     "Cathy and I escaped from the wash-house to have a ramble
at liberty, and getting a glimpse of the Grange lights, we thought
we would just go and see whether the Lintons passed their
Sunday evenings standing shivering in corners, while their father
and mother sat eating and drinking, and singing and laughing, and
burning their eyes out before the fire.  Do you think they do?  Or
reading sermons, and being catechised by their man-servant, and 
set to learn a column of Scripture names, if they don't answer
properly?"

     "Probably not," I responded.  "They are good children, no
doubt, and don't deserve the treatment you receive, for your bad
conduct."

     "Don't you cant, Nelly" he said.  "Nonsense!  We ran from the
top of the Heights to the park, without stopping--Catherine completely
beaten in the race, because she was barefoot.  You'll have to 
seek for her shoes in the bog to-morrow.  We crept through a 
broken hedge, groped our way up the path, and planted ourselves 
on a flower-plot under the drawing-room window.  The light came 
from thence; they had not put up the shutters, and the curtains
were only half closed.  Both of us were able to look in by standing
on the basement, and clinging to the ledge, and we saw--ah! it
was beautiful--a splendid place carpeted with crimson, and 
crimson-covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered 
by gold, a shower of glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the 
centre, and shimmering with little soft tapers.  Old Mr. and Mrs.
Linton were not there.  Edgar and his sister had it entirely to
themselves; shouldn't they have been happy?  We should have thought
ourselves in heaven!  And new, guess what your good children 
were doing?  Isabella--I believe she is eleven, a year younger than
Cathy--lay screaming at the farther end of the room, shrieking
as if witches were running red hot needles into her.  Edgar stood
on the hearth weeping silently, and in the middle of the table sat
a little dog shaking its paw and yelping, which from their mutual
accusations, we understood they had nearly pulled in two be-
tween them. The idiots! That was their pleasure---to
quarrel who should hold a heap of warm hair, and each
begin to cry because both, after struggling to get it,
refused to take it. We laughed outright at the petted
things. We did despise them. When would you catch
me wishing to have what Catherine wanted, or find us
by ourselves seeking entertainment in yelling, and sob-
bing, and rolling on the ground, divided by the whole
room? I'd not exchange for a thousand lives my condi-
tion here for Edgar Linton's at Thrushcross Grange---
not if I might have the privilege of flinging Joseph off
the highest gable, and painting the house-front with
Hindley's blood!"

     "Hush, hush!" I interrupted. "Still you have not
told me, Heathcliff, how Catherine is left behind."

     "I told you we laughed," he answered. "The Lintons
heard us, and with one accord they shot like arrows
to the door. There was silence, and then a cry, 'O
mamma, mamma! O papa! O mamma, come here. O
papa, oh!' They really did howl out something in that
way. We made frightful noises to terrify them still more,
and then we dropped off the ledge because somebody
was drawing the bars, and we felt we had better flee. I
had Cathy by the hand, and was urging her on, when
all at once she fell down. 'Run, Heathcliff, run!' she
whispered. 'They have let the bull-dog loose, and he
holds me!' The devil had seized her ankle, Nelly; I
heard his abominable snorting. She did not yell out---
no! she would have scorned to do it if she had been
spitted on the horns of a mad cow. I did, though. I
vociferated curses enough to annihilate any fiend in
Christendom; and I got a stone and thrust it between
his jaws, and tried with all my might to cram it down
his throat. A beast of a servant came up with a lantern
at last, shouting, 'Keep fast, Skulker, keep fast!' He
changed his note, however, when he saw Skulker's
game. The dog was throttled off, his huge purple tongue
hanging half a foot out of his mouth, and his pendent
lips streaming with bloody slaver. The man took Cathy
up. She was sick---not from fear, I'm certain, but from
pain. He carried her in. I followed, grumbling execra-
tions and vengeance. 'What prey, Robert?' hallooed
Linton from the entrance. 'Skulker has caught a little
girl, sir,' he replied; 'and there's a lad here,' he added,
making a clutch at me, 'who looks an out-and-outer.
Very like, the robbers were for putting them through
the window to open the doors to the gang after all were
asleep, that they might murder us at their ease---Hold
your tongue, you foul-mouthed thief, you! You shall
go to the gallows for this---Mr. Linton, sir, don't lay
by your gun.' 'No, no, Robert,' said the old fool. 'The
rascals knew that yesterday was my rent-day. They
thought to have me cleverly. Come in; I'll furnish them
a reception.----There, John, fasten the chain---Give
Skulker some water, Jenny. To beard a magistrate in
his stronghold, and on the Sabbath, too! Where will
their insolence stop?---Oh, my dear Mary, look here!
Don't be afraid; it is but a boy, yet the villain scowls
so plainly in his face; would it not be a kindness to the
country to hang him at once, before he shows his nature
in acts as well as features?' He pulled me under the
chandelier, and Mrs. Linton placed her spectacles on
her nose and raised her hands in horror. The cowardly
children crept nearer also, Isabella lisping, 'Frightful
thing! Put him in the cellar, papa. He's exactly like the
son of the fortune-teller that stole my tame pheasant.
---Isn't he, Edgar?'

     "While they examined me Cathy came round. She
heard the last speech, and laughed. Edgar Linton, after
an inquisitive stare, collected sufficient wit to recognize
her. They see us at church, you know, though we sel-
dom meet them elsewhere. 'That's Miss Earnshaw!'
he whispered to his mother; 'and look how Skulker
has bitten her---how her foot bleeds!'

     " 'Miss Earnshaw! Nonsense!' cried the dame;
'Miss Earnshaw scouring the country with a gipsy!
And yet, my dear, the child is in mourning. Surely it
is. And she may be lamed for life.'

     " 'What culpable carelessness in her brother!' ex-
claimed Mr. Linton, turning from me to Catherine.
'I've understood from Shielders' " (that was the curate,
sir) " 'that he lets her grow up in absolute heathenism.
But who is this? Where did she pick up this compan-
ion? Oho! I declare he is that strange acquisition my
late neighbour made in his journey to Liverpool---a
little Lascar, or an American or Spanish castaway.'

     " 'A wicked boy, at all events,' remarked the old
lady, 'and quite unfit for a decent house! Did you notice
his language, Linton? I'm shocked that my children
should have heard it.'

     "I recommenced cursing---don't be angry, Nelly---
and so Robert was ordered to take me off. I refused to
go without Cathy. He dragged me into the garden,
pushed the lantern into my hand, assured me that Mr.
Earnshaw should be informed of my behaviour, and
bidding me march directly, secured the door again.
The curtains were still looped up at one corner, and I
resumed my station as spy; because, if Catherine had
wished to return, I intended shattering their great glass
panes to a million of fragments, unless they let her out.
She sat on the sofa quietly. Mrs. Linton took off the
gray cloak of the dairymaid which we had borrowed
for our excursion, shaking her head and expostulating
with her, I suppose. She was a young lady, and they
made a distinction between her treatment and mine.
Then the woman-servant brought a basin of warm
water, and washed her feet; and Mr. Linton mixed a
tumbler of negus, and Isabella emptied a plateful of
cakes into her lap, and Edgar stood gaping at a distance.
Afterwards they dried and combed her beautiful hair,
and gave her a pair of enormous slippers, and wheeled
her to the fire; and I left her, as merry as she could be,
dividing her food between the little dog and Skulker,
whose nose she pinched as he ate, and kindling a spark
of spirit in the vacant blue eyes of the Lintons---a dim
reflection from her own enchanting face. I saw they
were full of stupid admiration; she is so immeasurably
superior to them---to everybody on earth, is she not,
Nelly?"

     "There will more come of this business than you
reckon on," I answered, covering him up and extin-
guishing the light. "You are incurable, Heathcliff; and
Mr. Hindley will have to proceed to extremities---see
if he won't." My words came truer than I desired. The
luckless adventure made Earnshaw furious. And then
Mr. Linton, to mend manners, paid us a visit himself
on the morrow, and read the young master such a lec-
ture on the road he guided his family that he was stirred
to look about him in earnest. Heathcliff received no
flogging, but he was told that the first word he spoke to
Miss Catherine should ensure a dismissal; and Mrs.
Earnshaw undertook to keep her sister-in-law in due
restraint when she returned home, employing art, not
force. With force she would have found it impossible.


CHAPTER VII.

Cathy stayed at Thrushcross Grange five weeks----
till Christmas. By that time her ankle was thor-
oughly cured, and her manners much improved. The
mistress visited her often in the interval, and com-
menced her plan of reform by trying to raise her self-
respect with fine clothes and flattery, which she took
readily; so that, instead of a wild, hatless little savage
jumping into the house, and rushing to squeeze us all
breathless, there lighted from a handsome black pony
a very dignified person, with brown ringlets falling
from the cover of a feathered beaver, and a long cloth
habit, which she was obliged to hold up with both
hands, that she might sail in. Hindley lifted her from
her horse, exclaiming delightedly, "Why, Cathy, you
are quite a beauty! I should scarcely have known you.
You look like a lady now---Isabella Linton is not to be
compared with her, is she, Frances?"

     "Isabella has not her natural advantages," replied
his wife; "but she must mind and not grow wild again
here---Ellen, help Miss Catherine off with her things.
---Stay, dear; you will disarrange your curls. Let me
untie your hat."

     I removed the habit, and there shone forth beneath
a grand plaid silk frock, white trousers, and burnished
shoes; and while her eyes sparkled joyfully when the
dogs came bounding up to welcome her, she dare hardly
touch them lest they should fawn upon her splendid
garments. She kissed me gently. I was all flour making
the Christmas cake, and it would not have done to give
me a hug; and then she looked round for Heathcliff.
Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw watched anxiously their meet-
ing, thinking it would enable them to judge, in some
measure, what grounds they had for hoping to suc-
ceed in separating the two friends.

     Heathcliff was hard to discover at first. If he were
careless and uncared for before Catherine's absence,
he had been ten times more so since. Nobody but I even
did him the kindness to call him a dirty boy, and bid
him wash himself, once a week; and children of his age
seldom have a natural pleasure in soap and water.
Therefore, not to mention his clothes, which had seen
three months' service in mire and dust, and his thick
uncombed hair, the surface of his face and hands was
dismally beclouded. He might well skulk behind the
settle, on beholding such a bright, graceful damsel en-
ter the house, instead of a rough-headed counterpart
of himself, as he expected. "Is Heathcliff not here?" she
demanded, pulling off her gloves, and displaying fin-
gers wonderfully whitened with doing nothing and
staying indoors.

     "Heathcliff, you may come forward," cried Mr. Hind-
ley, enjoying his discomfiture, and gratified to see what
a forbidding young blackguard he would be compelled
to present himself. "You may come and wish Miss
Catherine welcome, like the other servants."

     Cathy, catching a glimpse of her friend in his con-
cealment, flew to embrace him. She bestowed seven or
eight kisses on his cheek within the second, and then
stopped, and drawing back, burst into a laugh, exclaim-
ing, "Why, how very black and cross you look! and
how---how funny and grim! But that's because I'm
used to Edgar and Isabella Linton. Well, Heathcliff,
have you forgotten me?"

     She had some reason to put the question, for shame
and pride threw double gloom over his countenance,
and kept him immovable.

     "Shake hands, Heathcliff," said Mr. Earnshaw, con-
descendingly; "once in away that is permitted."

     "I shall not," replied the boy, finding his tongue at
last; "I shall not stand to be laughed at. I shall not bear
it."

     And he would have broken from the circle, but Miss
Cathy seized him again.

     "I did not mean to laugh at you," she said; "I could
not hinder myself. Heathcliff, shake hands at least.
What are you sulky for? It was only that you looked
odd. If you wash your face and brush your hair it will
be all right; but you are so dirty!"

     She gazed concernedly at the dusky fingers she held
in her own, and also at her dress, which she feared had
gained no embellishment from its contact with his.

     "You needn't have touched me," he answered, fol-
lowing her eye and snatching away his hand. "I shall
be as dirty as I please; and I like to be dirty, and I will
be dirty."

     With that he dashed head foremost out of the room,
amid the merriment of the master and mistress, and to
the serious disturbance of Catherine, who could not
comprehend how her remarks should have produced
such an exhibition of bad temper.

     After playing lady's-maid to the newcomer, and put-
ting my cakes in the oven, and making the house and
kitchen cheerful with great fires, befitting Christmas
Eve, I prepared to sit down and amuse myself by sing-
ing carols all alone, regardless of Joseph's affirmations
that he considered the merry tunes I chose as next door
to songs. He had retired to private prayer in his cham-
ber, and Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw were engaging Missy's
attention by sundry gay trifles bought for her to present
to the little Lintons, as an acknowledgment of their
kindness. They had invited them to spend the morrow
at Wuthering Heights, and the invitation had been ac-
cepted, on one condition. Mrs. Linton begged that her
darlings might be kept carefully apart from that
"naughty, swearing boy."

     Under these circumstances I remained solitary. I
smelt the rich scent of the heating spices, and admired
the shining kitchen utensils, the polished clock, decked
in holly, the silver mugs ranged on a tray ready to be
filled with mulled ale for supper, and, above all, the
speckless purity of my particular care---the scoured
and well-swept floor. I gave due inward applause to
every object, and then I remembered how old Earn-
shaw used to come in when all was tidied, and call me
a cant lass, and slip a shilling into my hand as a Christ-
mas-box; and from that I went on to think of his fond-
ness for Heathcliff, and his dread lest he should suffer
neglect after death had removed him; and that natur-
ally led me to consider the poor lad's situation now, and
from singing I changed my mind to crying. It struck me
soon, however, there would be more sense in endeav-
ouring to repair some of his wrongs than shedding tears
over them. I got up and walked into the court to seek
him. He was not far. I found him smoothing the glossy
coat of the new pony in the stable, and feeding the other
beasts, according to custom.

     "Make haste, Heathcliff!" I said; "the kitchen is so
comfortable, and Joseph is upstairs. Make haste, and
let me dress you smart before Miss Cathy comes out,
and then you can sit together, with the whole hearth
to yourselves, and have a long chatter till bedtime."

     He proceeded with his task, and never turned his
head towards me.

     "Come; are you coming?" I continued. "There's a
little cake for each of you, nearly enough; and you'll
need half an hour's donning."'

     I waited five minutes, but getting no answer left him.
Catherine supped with her brother and sister-in-law.
Joseph and I joined at an unsociable meal, seasoned
with reproofs on one side and sauciness on the other.
His cake and cheese remained on the table all night for
the fairies. He managed to continue work till nine
o'clock, and then marched dumb and dour to his
chamber. Cathy sat up late, having a world of things
to order for the reception of her new friends. She came
into the kitchen once to speak to her old one; but he
was gone, and she only stayed to ask what was the mat-
ter with him, and then went back. In the morning he
rose early; and as it was a holiday carried his ill-hu-
mour on to the moors, not reappearing till the family
were departed for church. Fasting and reflection seemed
to have brought him to a better spirit. He hung about
me for a while, and having screwed up his courage, ex-
claimed abruptly,---

     "Nelly, make me decent; I'm going to be good."

     "High time, Heathcliff," I said; "you have grieved
Catherine. She's sorry she ever came home, I dare say.
It looks as if you envied her because she is more thought
of than you."

     The notion of envying Catherine was incomprehen-
sible to him, but the notion of grieving her he under-
stood clearly enough.

     "Did she say she was grieved?" he inquired, looking
very serious.

     "She cried when I told her you were off again this
morning."

     "Well, I cried last night," he returned, "and I had
more reason to cry than she."

     "Yes. You had the reason of going to bed with a
proud heart and an empty stomach," said I. "Proud
people breed sad sorrows for themselves. But, if you
be ashamed of your touchiness, you must ask pardon,
mind, when she comes in. You must go up and offer
to kiss her, and say---you know best what to say; only
do it heartily, and not as if you thought her converted
into a stranger by her grand dress. And now, though I
have dinner to get ready, I'll steal time to arrange you
so that Edgar Linton shall look quite a doll beside you;
and that he does. You are younger, and yet, I'll be
bound, you are taller and twice as broad across the
shoulders. You could knock him down in a twinkling.
Don't you feel that you could?"

     Heathcliff's face brightened a moment; then it was
overcast afresh, and he sighed.

     "But, Nelly, if I knocked him down twenty times,
that wouldn't make him less handsome or me more so.
I wish I had light hair and a fair skin, and was dressed
and behaved as well, and had a chance of being as rich
as he will be."

     "And cried for mamma at every turn," I added,
"and trembled if a country lad heaved his fist against
you, and sat at home all day for a shower of rain. Oh,
Heathcliff, you are showing a poor spirit! Come to
the glass, and I'll let you see what you should wish. Do
you mark those two lines between your eyes; and those
thick brows that, instead of rising arched, sink in the
middle; and that couple of black fiends, so deeply bur-
ied, who never open their windows boldly, but lurk
glinting under them, like devil's spies? Wish and learn
to smooth away the surly wrinkles, to raise your lids
frankly, and change the fiends to confident, innocent
angels, suspecting and doubting nothing, and always
seeing friends where they are not sure of foes. Don't
get the expression of a vicious cur that appears to know
the kicks it gets are its desert, and yet hates all the
world as well as the kicker for what it suffers."

     "In other words, I must wish for Edgar Linton's
great blue eyes and even forehead," he replied. "I do,
and that won't help me to them."

     "A good heart will help you to a bonny face, my
lad," I continued, "if you were a regular black; and a
bad one will turn the bonniest into something worse
than ugly. And now that we've done washing, and
combing, and sulking, tell me whether you don't think
yourself rather handsome? I'll tell you I do. You're fit
for a prince in disguise. Who knows but your father
was Emperor of China, and your mother an Indian
queen, each of them able to buy up, with one week's
income, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange
together? And you were kidnapped by wicked sailors
and brought to England. Were I in your place, I would
frame high notions of my birth; and the thoughts of
what I was should give me courage and dignity to sup-
port the oppressions of a little farmer."

     So I chattered on; and Heathcliff gradually lost his
frown and began to look quite pleasant, when all at
once our conversation was interrupted by a rumbling
sound moving up the road and entering the court. He
ran to the window and I to the door, just in time to be-
hold the two Lintons descend from the family carriage,
smothered in cloaks and furs, and the Earnshaws dis-
mount from their horses. They often rode to church
in winter. Catherine took a hand of each of the chil-
dren, and brought them into the house and set them be-
fore the fire, which quickly put colour into their white
faces.

     I urged my companion to hasten now and show his
amiable humour, and he willingly obeyed; but ill luck
would have it that, as he opened the door leading from
the kitchen on one side, Hindley opened it on the other.
They met, and the master, irritated at seeing him clean
and cheerful, or, perhaps, eager to keep his promise to
Mrs. Linton, shoved him back with a sudden thrust,
and angrily bade Joseph "keep the fellow out of the
room; send him into the garret till dinner is over. He'll
be cramming his fingers in the tarts and stealing the
fruit, if left alone with them a minute."

     "Nay, sir," I could not avoid answering; "he'll touch
nothing----not he; and I suppose he must have his share
of the dainties as well as we."

     "He shall have his share of my hand if I catch him
downstairs till dark," cried Hindley---"Begone, you
vagabond! What! you are attempting the coxcomb, are
you? Wait till I get hold of those elegant locks; see if I
won't pull them a bit longer."

     "They are long enough already," observed Master
Linton, peeping from the doorway; "I wonder they
don't make his head ache. It's like a colt's mane over
his eyes."

     He ventured this remark without any intention to
insult; but Heathcliff's violent nature was not prepared
to endure the appearance of impertinence from one
whom he seemed to hate, even then, as a rival. He
seized a tureen of hot apple sauce---the first thing that
came under his gripe---and dashed it full against the
speaker's face and neck, who instantly commenced a
lament that brought Isabella and Catherine hurrying
to the place. Mr. Earnshaw snatched up the culprit di-
rectly, and conveyed him to his chamber, where,
doubtless, he administered a rough remedy to cool
the fit of passion, for he appeared red and breathless. I
got the dish-cloth, and rather spitefully scrubbed
Edgar's nose and mouth, affirming it served him right
for meddling. His sister began weeping to go home,
and Cathy stood by confounded, blushing for all.

     "You should not have spoken to him!" she expos-
tulated with Master Linton. "He was in a bad temper;
and now you've spoilt your visit, and he'll be flogged.
I hate him to be flogged. I can't eat my dinner. Why
did you speak to him, Edgar?"

     "I didn't," sobbed the youth, escaping from my
hands and finishing the remainder of the purifica-
tion with his cambric pocket-handkerchief. "I promised
mamma that I wouldn't say one word to him, and I
didn't."

     "Well, don't cry," replied Catherine contemptu-
ously; "you're not killed. Don't make more mischief.
My brother is coming; be quiet!---Hush, Isabella! Has
anybody hurt you?"

     "There, there, children; to your seats," cried Hind-
ley, bustling in. "That brute of a lad has warmed me
nicely. Next time, Master Edgar, take the law into your
own fists; it will give you an appetite."

     The little party recovered its equanimity at sight of
the fragrant feast. They were hungry after their ride,
and easily consoled, since no real harm had befallen
them. Mr. Earnshaw carved bountiful platefuls, and
the mistress made them merry with lively talk. I waited
behind her chair, and was pained to behold Catherine,
with dry eyes and an indifferent air, commence cutting
up the wing of a goose before her. "An unfeeling child,"
I thought to myself; "how lightly she dismisses her old
playmate's troubles! I could not have imagined her to
be so selfish." She lifted a mouthful to her lips, then she
set it down again; her cheeks flushed, and the tears
gushed over them. She slipped her fork to the floor, and
hastily dived under the cloth to conceal her emotion.
I did not call her unfeeling long, for I perceived she was
in purgatory throughout the day, and wearying to find
an opportunity of getting by herself, or paying a visit to
Heathcliff, who had been locked up by the master, as
I discovered, on endeavouring to introduce to him a
private mess of victuals.

     In the evening we had a dance. Cathy begged that
he might be liberated then, as Isabella Linton had no
partner. Her entreaties were vain, and I was appointed
to supply the deficiency. We got rid of all gloom in the
excitement of the exercise, and our pleasure was in-
creased by the arrival of the Gimmerton band, muster-
ing fifteen strong---a trumpet, a trombone, clarionets,
bassoons, French horns, and a bass viol, besides singers.
They go the rounds of all the respectable houses, and
receive contributions every Christmas, and we esteemed
it a first-rate treat to hear them. After the usual carols
had been sung, we set them to songs and glees. Mrs.
Earnshaw loved the music, and so they gave us plenty.

     Catherine loved it too, but she said it sounded sweet-
est at the top of the steps, and she went up in the dark;
I followed. They shut the house door below, never
noting our absence, it was so full of people. She made
no stay at the stairs' head, but mounted farther to the
garret where Heathcliff was confined, and called him.
He stubbornly declined answering for a while; she per-
severed, and finally persuaded him to hold communion
with her through the boards. I let the poor things con-
verse unmolested, till I supposed the songs were going
to cease, and the singers to get some refreshment; then
I clambered up the ladder to warn her. Instead of find-
ing her outside, I heard her voice within. The little
monkey had crept by the skylight of one garret, along
the roof, into the skylight of the other, and it was with
the utmost difficulty I could coax her out again. When
she did come, Heathcliff came with her, and she in-
sisted that I should take him into the kitchen, as my fel-
low-servant had gone to a neighbour's to be removed
from the sound of our "devil's psalmody," as it pleased
him to call it. I told them I intended by no means to
encourage their tricks, but as the prisoner had never
broken his fast since yesterday's dinner, I would wink
at his cheating Mr. Hindley that once. He went down.
I set him a stool by the fire, and offered him a quantity
of good things; but he was sick, and could eat littie, and
my attempts to entertain him were thrown away. He
leant his two elbows on his knees, and his chin on his
hands, and remained wrapt in dumb meditation. On
my inquiring the subject of his thoughts he answered
gravely,---

     "I'm trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I
don't care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I
hope he will not die before I do!"

     "For shame, Heathcliff!" said I "It is for God to
punish wicked people; we should learn to forgive."

     "No; God won't have the satisfaction that I shall,"
he returned. "I only wish I knew the best way. Let me
alone, and I'll plan it out; while I'm thinking of that I
don't feel pain."

     But, Mr. Lockwood, I forget these tales cannot divert
you. I'm annoyed how I should dream of chattering on
at such a rate, and your gruel cold, and you nodding
for bed! I could have told Heathcliff's history---all
that you need hear---in half a dozen words.

     Thus interrupting herself, the housekeeper rose and
proceeded to lay aside her sewing; but I felt incapable
of moving from the hearth, and I was very far from
nodding. "Sit still, Mrs. Dean," I cried, "do sit still an-
other half-hour! You've done just right to tell the story
leisurely---that is the method I like; and you must fin-
ish it in the same style. I am interested in every charac-
ter you have mentioned, more or less."

     "The clock is on the stroke of eleven, sir."

     "No matter. I'm not accustomed to go to bed in the
long hours. One or two is early enough for a person
who lies till ten."

     "You shouldn't lie till ten. There's the very prime of
the morning gone long before that time. A person who
has not done one half his day's work by ten o'clock
runs a chance of leaving the other half undone."

     "Nevertheless, Mrs. Dean, resume your chair, be-
cause to-morrow I intend lengthening the night till
afternoon. I prognosticate for myself an obstinate cold,
at least."

     "I hope not, sir. Well, you must allow me to leap over
some three years. During that space Mrs. Earn-
shaw---"

     "No, no; I'll allow nothing of the sort. Are you ac-
quainted with the mood of mind in which, if you were
seated alone, and the cat licking its kitten on the rug
before you, you would watch the operation so intently
that puss's neglect of one ear would put you seriously
out of temper?"

     "A terribly lazy mood, I should say."

     "On the contrary, a tiresomely active one. It is mine
at present; and, therefore, continue minutely. I per-
ceive that people in these regions acquire over people
in towns the value that a spider in a dungeon does over
a spider in a cottage, to their various occupants; and
yet the deepened attraction is not entirely owing to the
situation of the looker-on. They do live more in earnest,
more in themselves, and less in surface, change, and
frivolous external things. I could fancy a love for life
here almost possible; and I was a fixed unbeliever in
any love of a year's standing. One state resembles set-
ting a hungry man down to a single dish, on which he
may concentrate his entire appetite and do it justice;
the other, introducing him to a table laid out by French
cooks. He can perhaps extract as much enjoyment
from the whole, but each part is a mere atom in his re-
gard and remembrance."

     "Oh, here we are the same as anywhere else, when
you get to know us," observed Mrs. Dean, somewhat
puzzled at my speech.

     "Excuse me," I responded. "You, my good friend,
are a striking evidence against that assertion. Except-
ing a few provincialisms of slight consequence, you
have no marks of the manners which I am habituated
to consider as peculiar to your class. I am sure you
have thought a great deal more than the generality
of servants think. You have been compelled to cultivate
your reflective faculties, for want of occasions for frit-
tering your life away in silly trifles."

     Mrs. Dean laughed.
     
     "I certainly esteem myself a steady, reasonable kind
of body," she said--"not exactly from living among
the hills and seeing one set of faces and one series of
actions from year's end to year's end, but I have under-
gone sharp discipline, which has taught me wisdom;
and then, I have read more than you would fancy, Mr.
Lockwood. You could not open a book in this library
that I have not looked into, and got something out of
also---unless it be that range of Greek and Latin, and
that of French; and those I know one from another. It
is as much as you can expect of a poor man's daughter.
However, if I am to follow my story in true gossip's
fashion, I had better go on; and instead of leaping three
years, I will be content to pass to the next summer
---the summer of 1778; that is nearly twenty-three
years ago."


CHAPTER VIII.

On the morning of a fine June day my first bonny
little nursling, and the last of the ancient Earn-
shaw stock, was born. We were busy with the hay in a
far-away field when the girl that usually brought our
breakfasts came running an hour too soon, across the
meadow and up the lane, calling me as she ran.

     "Oh, such a grand bairn!" she panted out. "The
finest lad that ever breathed! But the doctor says missis
must go. He says she's been in a consumption these
many months. I heard him tell Mr. Hindley; and now
she has nothing to keep her, and she'll be dead before
winter. You must come home directly. You're to nurse
it, Nelly---to feed it with sugar and milk, and take care
of it day and night. I wish I were you, because it will be
all yours when there is no missis!"

     "But is she very ill?" I asked, flinging down my rake
and tying my bonnet.

     "I guess she is; yet she looks bravely," replied the
girl, "and she talks as if she thought of living to see it
grow a man. She's out of her head for joy, it's such a
beauty! If I were her, I'm certain I should not die; I
should get better at the bare sight of it, in spite of Ken-
neth. I was fairly mad at him. Dame Archer brought
the cherub down to master, in the house, and his face
just began to light up, when the old croaker steps for-
ward, and says he, 'Earnshaw, it's a blessing your wife
has been spared to leave you this son. When she came,
I felt convinced we shouldn't keep her long; and now,
I must tell you, the winter will probably finish her.
Don't take on and fret about it too much. It can't be
helped. And besides, you should have known better than    
to choose such a rush of a lass!' "

     "And what did the master answer?" I inquired.

     "I think he swore; but I didn't mind him---I was
straining to see the bairn." And she began again to de-
scribe it rapturously. I, as zealous as herself, hurried
eagerly home to admire, on my part, though I was very
sad for Hindley's sake. He had room in his heart only
for two idols---his wife and himself. He doted on both,
and adored one, and I couldn't conceive how he would
bear the loss.

     When we got to Wuthering Heights, there he stood at
the front door; and, as I passed in, I asked, "How was
the baby?"

     "Nearly ready to run about, Nell!" he replied, put-
ting on a cheerful smile.

     "And the mistress?" I ventured to inquire; "the doc-
tor says she's------"

     "Damn the doctor!" he interrupted, reddening.
"Frances is quite right; she'll be perfectly well by this
time next week. Are you going upstairs? Will you tell
her that I'll come, if she'll promise not to talk. I left
her because she would not hold her tongue; and she
must. Tell her Mr. Kenneth says she must be quiet."

     I delivered this message to Mrs. Earnshaw. She
seemed in flighty spirits, and replied merrily,---

     "I hardly spoke a word, Ellen, and there he has gone
out twice, crying. Well, say I promise I won't speak; but
that does not bind me not to laugh at him."

     Poor soul! Till within a week of her death that gay
heart never failed her, and her husband persisted dog-
gedly---nay, furiously---in affirming her health im-
proved every day. When Kenneth warned him that his
medicines were useless at that stage of the malady, and
he needn't put him to further expense by attending her,
he retorted,---

     "I know you need not; she's well---she does not
want any more attendance from you! She never was
in a consumption. It was a fever, and it is gone; her
pulse is as slow as mine now, and her cheek as cool."

     He told his wife the same story, and she seemed to
believe him; but one night, while leaning on his shoul-
der in the act of saying she thought she should be able
to get up to-morrow, a fit of coughing took her---a very
slight one. He raised her in his arms; she put her two
hands about his neck, her face changed, and she was
dead.

     As the girl had anticipated, the child Hareton fell
wholly into my hands. Mr. Earnshaw, provided he saw
him healthy, and never heard him cry, was contented, as
far as regarded him. For himself, he grew desperate;
his sorrow was of that kind that will not lament. He
neither wept nor prayed; he cursed and defied---exe-
crated God and man, and gave himself up to reckless
dissipation. The servants could not bear his tyrannical
and evil conduct long. Joseph and I were the only two
that would stay. I had not the heart to leave my charge;
and besides, you know I had been his foster-sister, and
excused his behaviour more readily than a stranger
would. Joseph remained to hector over tenants and
labourers, and because it was his vocation to be where
he had plenty of wickedness to reprove.

     The master's bad ways and bad companions formed
a pretty example for Catherine and Heathcliff. His treat-
ment of the latter was enough to make a fiend of a saint.
And, truly, it appeared as if the lad were possessed
of something diabolical at that period. He delighted to
witness Hindley degrading himself past redemption,
and became daily more notable for savage sullenness
and ferocity. I could not half tell what an infernal house
we had. The curate dropped calling, and nobody decent
came near us at last, unless Edgar Linton's visits to Miss
Cathy might be an exception. At fifteen she was the
queen of the countryside; she had no peer, and she did
turn out a haughty, headstrong creature! I own I did
not like her after her infancy was past, and I vexed her
frequently by trying to bring down her arrogance; she
never took an aversion to me, though. She had a won-
drous constancy to old attachments---even Heathcliff
kept his hold on her affections unalterably; and young
Linton, with all his superiority, found it difficult to
make an equally deep impression. He was my late mas-
ter; that is his portrait over the fireplace. It used to hang
on one side, and his wife's on the other; but hers has
been removed, or else you might see something of what
she was. Can you make that out?

     Mrs. Dean raised the candle, and I discerned a soft-
featured face, exceedingly resembling the young lady
at the Heights, but more pensive and amiable in ex-
pression. It formed a sweet picture. The long light hair
curled slightly on the temples; the eyes were large and
serious, the figure almost too graceful. I did not marvel
how Catherine Earnshaw could forget her first friend
for such an individual. I marvelled much how he,
with a mind to correspond with his person, could fancy
my idea of Catherine Earnshaw.

     "A very agreeable portrait," I observed to the house-
keeper. "Is it like?"

     "Yes," she answered; "but he looked better when he
was animated. That is his everyday countenance.
He wanted spirit in general."

     Catherine had kept up her acquaintance with the
Lintons since her five weeks' residence among them;
and as she had no temptation to show her rough side
in their company, and had the sense to be ashamed of
being rude where she experienced such invariable
courtesy, she imposed unwittingly on the old lady and
gentleman by her ingenious cordiality, gained the ad-
miration of Isabella, and the heart and soul of her
brother---acquisitions that flattered her from the first,
for she was full of ambition, and led her to adopt a
double character without exactly intending to deceive
any one. In the place where she heard Heathcliff termed
a "vulgar young ruffian," and "worse than a brute,"
she took care not to act like him; but at home she had
small inclination to practise politeness that would only
be laughed at, and restrain an unruly nature when it
would bring her neither credit nor praise.

     Mr. Edgar seldom mustered courage to visit Wuther-
ing Heights openly. He had a terror of Earnshaw's repu-
tation, and shrank from encountering him; and yet he
was always received with our best attempts at civility.
The master himself avoided offending him, knowing
why he came; and if he could not be gracious, kept out
of the way. I rather think his appearance there was dis-
tasteful to Catherine. She was not artful, never played
the coquette, and had evidently an objection to her two
friends meeting at all; for when Heathcliff expressed
contempt of Linton in his presence, she could not half
coincide as she did in his absence; and when Linton
evinced disgust and antipathy to Heathcliff, she dared
not treat his sentiments with indifference, as if deprecia-
tion of her playmate were of scarcely any consequence
to her. I've had many a laugh at her perplexities and
untold troubles, which she vainly strove to hide from
my mockery. That sounds ill-natured, but she was so
proud it became really impossible to pity her distresses,
till she should be chastened into more humility. She
did bring herself, finally, to confess, and to confide in
me. There was not a soul else that she might fashion
into an adviser.

     Mr. Hindley had gone from home one afternoon,
and Heathcliff presumed to give himself a holiday on
the strength of it. He had reached the age of sixteen
then, I think, and without having bad features or being
deficient in intellect, he contrived to convey an impres-
sion of inward and outward repulsiveness that his pres-
ent aspect retains no traces of. In the first place, he
had by that time lost the benefit of his early education.
Continual hard work, begun soon and concluded late,
had extinguished any curiosity he once possessed in
pursuit of knowledge, and any love for books or learn-
ing. His childhood's sense of superiority instilled into
him by the favours of old Mr. Earnshaw was faded
away. He struggled long to keep up an equality with
Catherine in her studies, and yielded with poignant
though silent regret; but he yielded completely, and
there was no prevailing on him to take a step in the way
of moving upward, when he found he must necessarily
sink beneath his former level. Then personal appear-
ance sympathized with mental deterioration. He ac-
quired a slouching gait and ignoble look; his naturally
reserved disposition was exaggerated into an almost
idiotic excess of unsociable moroseness, and he took a
grim pleasure, apparently, in exciting the aversion
rather than the esteem of his few acquaintance.

     Catherine and he were constant companions still at
his seasons of respite from labour, but he had ceased
to express his fondness for her in words, and recoiled
with angry suspicion from her girlish caresses, as if
conscious there could be no gratification in lavishing
such marks of affection on him. On the before-named
occasion he came into the house to announce his in-
tention of doing nothing, while I was assisting Miss
Cathy to arrange her dress. She had not reckoned on
his taking it into his head to be idle, and imagining she
would have the whole place to herself, she managed,
by some means, to inform Mr. Edgar of her brother's
absence, and was then preparing to receive him.

     "Cathy, are you busy this afternoon?" asked Heath-
cliff. "Are you going anywhere?"

     "No; it is raining," she answered.

     "Why have you that silk frock on, then?" he said.
"Nobody coming here, I hope?"

     "Not that I know of," stammered miss; "but you
should be in the field now, Heathcliff. It is an hour past
dinner-time. I thought you were gone."

     "Hindley does not often free us from his accursed
presence," observed the boy. "I'll not work any more
to-day; I'll stay with you."

     "Oh, but Joseph will tell," she suggested. "You'd bet-
ter go."

     "Joseph is loading lime on the further side of Pen-
iston Crag; it will take him till dark, and he'll never
know."

     So saying, he lounged to the fire and sat down. Cath-
erine reflected an instant with knitted brows; she found
it needful to smooth the way for an intrusion. "Isabella
and Edgar Linton talked of calling this afternoon,"
she said, at the conclusion of a minute's silence. "As it
rains, I hardly expect them; but they may come, and if
they do you run the risk of being scolded for no good."

     "Order Ellen to say you are engaged, Cathy," he per-
sisted. "Don't turn me out for those pitiful, silly friends
of yours! I'm on the point, sometimes, of complaining
that they---but I'll not."

     "That they what?" cried Catherine, gazing at him
with a troubled countenance.---"Oh, Nelly!" she added
petulantly, jerking her head away from my hands,
"you've combed my hair quite out of curl. That's
enough; let me alone.---What are you on the point of
complaining about, Heathcliff?"

     "Nothing---only look at the almanac on that wall."
He pointed to a framed sheet hanging near the window,
and continued, "The crosses are for the evenings you
have spent with the Lintons, the dots for those spent
with me. Do you see? I've marked every day."

     "Yes; very foolish---as if I took notice!" replied
Catherine, in a peevish tone. "And where is the sense
of that?"

     "To show that I do take notice," said Heathcliff.

     "And should I always be sitting with you?" she de-
manded, growing more irritated. "What good do I get?
What do you talk about? You might be dumb, or
a baby, for anything you say to amuse me, or for any-
thing you do either."

     "You never told me before that I talked too little,
or that you disliked my company, Cathy," exclaimed
Heathcliff in much agitation.

     "It's no company at all, when people know nothing,
and say nothing," she muttered.

     Her companion rose up; but he hadn't time to ex-
press his feelings further, for a horse's feet were heard
on the flags; and, having knocked gently, young Lin-
ton entered, his face brilliant with delight at the unex-
pected summons he had received. Doubtless Catherine
marked the difference between her friends, as one came
in and the other went out. The contrast resembled what
you see in exchanging a bleak, hilly, coal country for a
beautiful fertile valley; and his voice and greeting were
as opposite as his aspect. He had a sweet, low manner
of speaking, and pronounced his words as you do---
that's less gruff than we talk here, and softer.

     "I'm not come too soon, am I?" he said, casting a
look at me. I had begun to wipe the plate and tidy some
drawers at the far end in the dresser.

     "No," answered Catherine---"What are you doing
there, Nelly?"

     "My work, miss," I replied. (Mr. Hindley had given
me directions to make a third party in any private
visits Linton chose to pay.)

   She stepped behind me and whispered crossly, "Take
yourself and your dusters off. When company are in the
house, servants don't commence scouring and cleaning
in the room where they are."

     "It's a good opportunity, now that master is away,"
I answered aloud. "He hates me to be fidgeting over
these things in his presence. I'm sure Mr. Edgar will ex-
cuse me."

     "I hate you to be fidgeting in my presence," ex-
claimed the young lady imperiously, not allowing her
guest time to speak. She had failed to recover her equa-
nimity since the little dispute with Heathcliff.

     "I'm sorry for it, Miss Catherine," was my response;
and I proceeded assiduously with my occupation.

     She, supposing Edgar could not see her, snatched
the cloth from my hand, and pinched me, with a pro-
longed wrench, very spitefully on the arm. I've said I
did not love her, and rather relished mortifying her
vanity now and then---besides, she hurt me extremely;
so I started up from my knees, and screamed out, "O
miss, that's a nasty trick! You have no right to nip me,
and I'm not going to bear it."

     "I didn't touch you, you lying creature!" cried she,
her fingers tingling to repeat the act, and her ears red
with rage. She never had power to conceal her pas-
sion; it always set her whole complexion in a blaze.

     "What's that, then?" I retorted, showing a decided
purple witness to refute her.

     She stamped her foot, wavered a moment, and then,
irresistibly impelled by the naughty spirit within her,
slapped me on the cheek---a stinging blow that filled
both eyes with water.

     "Catherine, love! Catherine!" interposed Linton,
greatly shocked at the double fault of falsehood and
violence which his idol had committed.

     "Leave the room, Ellen!" she repeated, trembling all
over.

     Little Hareton, who followed me everywhere, and
was sitting near me on the floor, at seeing my tears com-
menced crying himself, and sobbed out complaints
against "wicked Aunt Cathy," which drew her fury on
to his unlucky head. She seized his shoulders, and shook
him till the poor child waxed livid, and Edgar thought-
lessly laid hold of her hands to deliver him. In an in-
stant one was wrung free, and the astonished young
man felt it applied over his own ear in a way that could
not be mistaken for jest. He drew back in consterna-
tion. I lifted Hareton in my arms, and walked off to the
kitchen with him, leaving the door of communication
open, for I was curious to watch how they would settle
their disagreement. The insulted visitor moved to the
spot where he had laid his hat, pale and with a quiver-
ing lip.

     "That's right!" I said to myself. "Take warning and
begone! It's a kindness to let you have a glimpse of her
genuine disposition."

     "Where are you going?" demanded Catherine, ad-
vancing to the door.

     He swerved aside, and attempted to pass.

     "You must not go!" she exclaimed energetically.

     "I must and shall!" he replied in a subdued voice.

     "No," she persisted, grasping the handle; "not yet,
Edgar Linton. Sit down. You shall not leave me in
that temper. I should be miserable all night, and I won't
be miserable for you!"

     "Can I stay, after you have struck me?" asked Lin-
ton.

     Catherine was mute.

     "You've made me afraid and ashamed of you," he
continued. "I'll not come here again."

     Her eyes began to glisten, and her lids to twinkle.

     "And you told a deliberate untruth," he said.

     "I didn't," she cried, recovering her speech. "I did
nothing deliberately. Well, go, if you please---get away.
And now I'll cry---I'll cry myself sick."

     She dropped down on her knees by a chair, and set
to weeping in serious earnest. Edgar persevered in his
resolution as far as the court; there he lingered. I re-
solved to encourage him.

     "Miss is dreadfully wayward, sir," I called out. "As
bad as any marred child. You'd better be riding home,
or else she will be sick only to grieve us."

     The soft thing looked askance through the window.
He possessed the power to depart as much as a cat pos-
sesses the power to leave a mouse half killed or a bird
half eaten. Ah, I thought, there will be no saving him;
he's doomed, and flies to his fate! And so it was. He
turned abruptly, hastened into the house again, shut
the door behind him; and when I went in a while after
to inform them that Earnshaw had come home rabid
drunk, ready to pull the whole place about our ears
(his ordinary frame of mind in that condition), I saw
the quarrel had merely effected a closer intimacy---
had broken the outworks of youthful timidity, and
enabled them to forsake the disguise of friendship, and
confess themselves lovers.

     Intelligence of Mr. Hindley's arrival drove Linton
speedily to his horse, and Catherine to her chamber. I
went to hide little Hareton, and to take the shot out
of the master's fowling-piece, which he was fond of
playing with in his insane excitement, to the hazard of
the lives of any who provoked or even attracted his
notice too much; and I had hit upon the plan of remov-
ing it, that he might do less mischief if he did go the
length of firing the gun.


CHAPTER IX.

He entered, vociferating oaths dreadful to hear, and
caught me in the act of stowing his son away in  
the kitchen cupboard. Hareton was impressed with a
wholesome terror of encountering either his wild beast's
fondness or his madman's rage; for in one he ran a
chance of being squeezed and kissed to death, and in
the other of being flung into the fire or dashed against
the wall; and the poor thing remained perfectly quiet
wherever I chose to put him.

     "There, I've found it out at last," cried Hindley, pull-
ing me back by the skin of my neck, like a dog. "By
heaven and hell, you've sworn between you to mur-
der that child! I know how it is, now, that he is always
out of my way. But, with the help of Satan, I shall make
you swallow the carving-knife, Nelly! You needn't
laugh, for I've just crammed Kenneth, head-downmost,
in the Blackhorse marsh; and two is the same as one---
and I want to kill some of you. I shall have no rest till I
do."

     "But I don't like the carving-knife, Mr. Hindley," I
answered; "it has been cutting red herrings. I'd rather
be shot, if you please."

     "You'd rather be damned!" he said; "and so you
shall. No law in England can hinder a man from keep-
ing his house decent, and mine's abominable. Open
your mouth."

     He held the knife in his hand, and pushed its point
between my teeth; but, for my part, I was never much
afraid of his vagaries. I spat out, and affirmed it tasted
detestably; I would not take it on any account.

     "Oh!" said he, releasing me, "I see that hideous little
villain is not Hareton. I beg your pardon, Nell. If it
be, he deserves flaying alive for not running to wel-
come me, and for screaming as if I were a goblin. Un-
natural cub, come hither. I'll teach thee to impose on a
good-hearted, deluded father. Now, don't you think
the lad would be handsomer cropped? It makes a dog
fiercer, and I love something fierce---get me a scissors
---something fierce and trim! Besides, it's infernal
affectation---devilish conceit it is to cherish our ears---
we're asses enough without them. Hush, child, hush!
Well, then, it is my darling! Wisht, dry thy eyes---
there's a joy; kiss me. What! it won't? Kiss me, Hare-
ton! Damn thee, kiss me! By God, as if I would rear
such a monster! As sure as I'm living, I'll break the
brat's neck."

     Poor Hareton was squalling and kicking in his
father's arms with all his might, and redoubled his yells
when he carried him upstairs and lifted him over the
banister. I cried out that he would frighten the child into
fits, and ran to rescue him. As I reached them, Hindley
leant forward on the rails to listen to a noise below, al-
most forgetting what he had in his hands. "Who is
that?" he asked, hearing some one approaching the
stair's foot. I leant forward also, for the purpose of
signing to Heathcliff, whose step I recognized, not to
come farther; and at the instant when my eye quitted
Hareton, he gave a sudden spring, delivered himself
from the careless grasp that held him, and fell.

     There was scarcely time to experience a thrill of
horror before we saw that the little wretch was safe.
Heathcliff arrived underneath just at the critical mo-
ment; by a natural impulse he arrested his descent, and
setting him on his feet, looked up to discover the author
of the accident. A miser who has parted with a lucky
lottery ticket for five shillings, and finds next day he has
lost in the bargain five thousand pounds, could not
show a blanker countenance than he did on beholding
the figure of Mr. Earnshaw above. It expressed, plainer
than words could do, the intensest anguish at having
made himself the instrument of thwarting his own re-
venge. Had it been dark, I dare say he would have tried
to remedy the mistake by smashing Hareton's skull on
the steps; but we witnessed his salvation, and I was
presently below with my precious charge pressed to
my heart. Hindley descended more leisurely, sobered
and abashed.

     "It is your fault, Ellen," he said; "you should have
kept him out of sight. You should have taken him from
me. Is he injured anywhere?"

     "Injured!" I cried angrily; "if he's not killed, he'll
be an idiot! Oh, I wonder his mother does not rise from
her grave to see how you use him! You're worse than a
heathen---treating your own flesh and blood in that
manner!"

     He attempted to touch the child, who, on finding him-
self with me, sobbed off his terror directly. At the first
finger his father laid on him, however, he shrieked
again louder than before, and struggled as if he would
go into convulsions.

     "You shall not meddle with him," I continued.
"He hates you; they all hate you---that's the truth! A
happy family you have, and a pretty state you're come
to!"

     "I shall come to a prettier yet, Nelly," laughed the
misguided man, recovering his hardness. "At present,
convey yourself and him away.---And hark you, Heath-
cliff; clear you too quite from my reach and hearing. I
wouldn't murder you to-night, unless, perhaps, I set
the house on fire; but that's as my fancy goes."

     While saying this he took a pint bottle of brandy
from the dresser and poured some into a tumbler.

     "Nay, don't!" I entreated. "Mr. Hindley, do take
warning. Have mercy on this unfortunate boy, if you
care nothing for yourself!"

     "Any one will do better for him than I shall," he an-
swered.

     "Have mercy on your own soul!" I said, endeavour-
ing to snatch the glass from his hand.

     "Not I! On the contrary I shall have great pleasure
in sending it to perdition to punish its Maker," ex-
claimed the blasphemer. "Here's to its hearty damna-
tion!"

     He drank the spirits and impatiently bade us go,
terminating his command with a sequel of horrid im-
precations too bad to repeat or remember.

     "It's a pity he cannot kill himself with drink," ob-
served Heathcliff, muttering an echo of curses back
when the door was shut. "He's doing his very utmost,
but his constitution defies him. Mr. Kenneth says he
would wager his mare that he'll outlive any man on this
side Gimmerton, and go to the grave a hoary sinner,
unless some happy chance out of the common course
befall him."

     I went into the kitchen and sat down to lull my little
lamb to sleep. Heathcliff, as I thought, walked through
to the barn. It turned out afterwards that he only got
as far as the other side the settle, when he flung him-
self on a bench by the wall, removed from the fire, and
remained silent.

     I was rocking Hareton on my knee, and humming a
song that began---

          "It was far in the night, and the bairnies grat,
          The mither beneath the mools heard that"---

when Miss Cathy, who had listened to the hubbub from
her room, put her head in and whispered,---

     "Are you alone, Nelly?"

     "Yes, miss," I replied.

     She entered and approached the hearth. I, supposing
she was going to say something, looked up. The ex-
pression of her face seemed disturbed and anxious. Her
lips were half asunder, as if she meant to speak, and she
drew a breath; but it escaped in a sigh instead of a sen-
tence. I resumed my song, not having forgotten her re-
cent behaviour.

     "Where's Heathcliff?" she said, interrupting me.

     "About his work in the stable," was my answer.

     He did not contradict me; perhaps he had fallen into a
doze. There followed another long pause, during which
I perceived a drop or two trickle from Catherine's cheek
to the flags. Is she sorry for her shameful conduct? I
asked myself. That will be a novelty. But she may come
to the point as she will; I shan't help her. No; she felt
small trouble regarding any subject save her own
concerns.

     "Oh dear!" she cried at last, "I'm very unhappy!"

     "A pity," observed I. "You're hard to please. So
many friends, and so few cares, and can't make your-
self content!"

     "Nelly, will you keep a secret for me?" she pursued,
kneeling down by me and lifting her winsome eyes to
my face with that sort of look which turns off bad tem-
per even when one has all the right in the world to in-
dulge it.

     "Is it worth keeping?" I inquired less sulkily.

     "Yes, and it worries me, and I must let it out. I want
to know what I should do. To-day Edgar Linton has
asked me to marry him, and I've given him an answer.
Now, before I tell you whether it was a consent or de-
nial, you tell me which it ought to have been."

     "Really, Miss Catherine, how can I know?" I re-
plied. "To be sure, considering the exhibition you per-
formed in his presence this afternoon, I might say it
would be wise to refuse him; since he asked you after
that, he must either be hopelessly stupid or a venture-
some fool."

     "If you talk so, I won't tell you any more," she re-
turned peevishly, rising to her feet. "I accepted him,
Nelly. Be quick, and say whether I was wrong."

     "You accepted him! Then what good is it discussing
the matter? You have pledged your word, and cannot
retract."

     "But say whether I should have done so---do!"
she exclaimed in an irritated tone, chafing her hands to-
gether and frowning.

     "There are many things to be considered before that
question can be answered properly," I said sen-
tentiously. "First and foremost, do you love Mr.
Edgar?"

     "Who can help it? Of course I do," she answered.

     Then I put her through the following catechism; for
a girl of twenty-two it was not injudicious.

     "Why do you love him, Miss Cathy?"

     "Nonsense; I do--that's sufficient."

     "By no means; you must say why."

     "Well, because he is handsome and pleasant to be
with."

     "Bad!" was my commentary.

     "And because he is young and cheerful."

     "Bad still."

     "And because he loves me."

     "Indifferent, coming there."

     "And he will be rich, and I shall like to be the great-
est woman of the neighbourhood, and I shall be proud
of having such a husband."

     "Worst of all. And now, say how you love him."

     "As everybody loves. You're silly, Nelly."

     "Not at all---answer."

     "I love the ground under his feet, and the air over
his head, and everything he touches, and every word
he says. I love all his looks, and all his actions, and him
entirely and altogether. There now!"

     "And why?"

     "Nay, you are making a jest of it. It is exceedingly
ill-natured. It's no jest to me!" said the young lady,
scowling and turning her face to the fire.

     "I'm very far from jesting, Miss Catherine," I replied.

     "You love Mr. Edgar because he is handsome, and
young, and cheerful, and rich, and loves you. The last,
however, goes for nothing---you would love him with-
out that probably; and with it you wouldn't, unless he
possessed the four former attractions."

     "No; to be sure not. I should only pity him---hate
him, perhaps, if he were ugly and a clown."

     "But there are several other handsome, rich young
men in the world---handsomer, possibly, and richer
than he is. What should hinder you from loving them?"

     "If there be any, they are out of my way. I've seen
none like Edgar."

     "You may see some. And he won't always be hand-
some and young, and may not always be rich."

     "He is now; and I have only to do with the present.
I wish you would speak rationally."

     "Well, that settles it. If you have only to do with the
present, marry Mr. Linton."

     "I don't want your permission for that---I shall
marry him; and yet you have not told me whether I'm
right."

     "Perfectly right, if people be right to marry only for
the present. And now, let us hear what you are unhappy
about. Your brother will be pleased; the old lady and
gentleman will not object, I think; you will escape from
a disorderly, comfortless home into a wealthy, respecta-
ble one; and you love Edgar, and Edgar loves you. All   
seems smooth and easy. Where is the obstacle?"

     "Here, and here!" replied Catherine, striking one
hand on her forehead and the other on her breast; "in
whichever place the soul lives. In my soul and in my
heart I'm convinced I'm wrong."

     "That's very strange. I cannot make it out."

     "It's my secret. But if you will not mock at me, I'll
explain it. I can't do it distinctly, but I'll give you a
feeling of how I feel."

     She seated herself by me again; her countenance
grew sadder and graver, and her clasped hands trem-
bled.

     "Nelly, do you never dream queer dreams?" she said
suddenly, after some minutes' reflection.

     "Yes; now and then," I answered.

     "And so do I. I've dreamt in my life dreams that have
stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
they've gone through and through me, like wine
through water, and altered the colour of my mind. And
this is one. I'm going to tell it; but take care not to smile
at any part of it."

     "Oh! don't, Miss Catherine!" I cried. "We're dismal
enough without conjuring up ghosts and visions to per-
plex us. Come, come, be merry and like yourself! Look
at little Hareton! He's dreaming nothing dreary. How
sweetly he smiles in his sleep!"

     "Yes; and how sweetly his father curses in his soli-
tude! You remember him, I dare say, when he was just
such another as that chubby thing---nearly as young
and innocent. However, Nelly, I shall oblige you to
listen; it's not long, and I've no power to be merry to-
night."

     "I won't hear it, I won't hear it!" I repeated hastily.

     I was superstitious about dreams then, and am still;
and Catherine had an unusual gloom in her aspect that
made me dread something from which I might shape a
prophecy and foresee a fearful catastrophe. She was
vexed, but she did not proceed. Apparently taking up
another subject, she recommenced in a short time.

     "If I were in heaven, Nelly, I should be extremely
miserable."

     "Because you are not fit to go there," I answered.

     "All sinners would be miserable in heaven."

     "But it is not for that. I dreamt once that I
was there."

     "I tell you I won't hearken to your dreams, Miss
Catherine! I'll go to bed," I interrupted again.

     She laughed and held me down, for I made a motion
to leave my chair.

     "This is nothing," cried she. "I was only going to
say that heaven did not seem to be my home, and I
broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth;
and the angels were so angry that they flung me out
into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering
Heights, where I woke sobbing for joy. That will do to
explain my secret as well as the other. I've no
more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to
be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not
brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn't have thought
of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now, so
he shall never know how I love him; and that not be-
cause he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more my-
self than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and
mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a
moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire."

     Ere this speech ended I became sensible of Heath-
cliff's presence. Having noticed a slight movement, I
turned my head and saw him rise from the bench and
steal out noiselessly. He had listened till he heard
Catherine say it would degrade her to marry him, and
then he stayed to hear no further. My companion, sit-
ting on the ground, was prevented by the back of the
settle from remarking his presence or departure; but I
started and bade her hush.

     "Why?" she asked, gazing nervously round.

     "Joseph is here," I answered, catching opportunely
the roll of his cart-wheels up the road, "and Heathcliff
will come in with him. I'm not sure whether he were
not at the door this moment."

     "Oh, he couldn't overhear me at the door," said she.
"Give me Hareton while you get the supper, and when
it is ready ask me to sup with you. I want to cheat
my uncomfortable conscience, and be convinced that
Heathcliff has no notion of these things. He has not, has
he? He does not know what being in love is?"

     "I see no reason that he should not know, as well as
you," I returned; "and if you are his choice, he'll be the
most unfortunate creature that ever was born. As soon
as you become Mrs. Linton, he loses friend, and love,
and all. Have you considered how you'll bear the
separation, and how he'll bear to be quite deserted in
the world? Because, Miss Catherine------"

     "He quite deserted! we separated!" she exclaimed
with an accent of indignation. "Who is to separate us,
pray? They'll meet the fate of Milo. Not as long as I
live, Ellen---for no mortal creature. Every Linton on
the face of the earth might melt into nothing before I
could consent to forsake Heathcliff. Oh, that's not what
I intend---that's not what I mean! I shouldn't be Mrs.
Linton were such a price demanded! He'll be as much
to me as he has been all his lifetime. Edgar must shake
off his antipathy, and tolerate him, at least. He will,
when he learns my true feelings towards him. Nelly,
I see now--you think me a selfish wretch; but did it
never strike you that if Heathcliff and I married, we
should be beggars? Whereas, if I marry Linton, I can
aid Heathcliff to rise, and place him out of my broth-
er's power."

     "With your husband's money, Miss Catherine?" I
asked. "You'll find him not so pliable as you calculate
upon; and, though I'm hardly a judge, I think that's
the worst motive you've given yet for being the wife of
young Linton."

     "It is not!" retorted she; "it is the best! The others
were the satisfaction of my whims; and for Edgar's sake,
too---to satisfy him. This is for the sake of one who com-
prehends in his person my feelings to Edgar and my-
self. I cannot express it, but surely you and everybody
have a notion that there is or should be an existence of
yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation if
I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this
world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched
and felt each from the beginning. My great thought in
living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained,
I should still continue to be. And if all else remained,
and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a
mighty stranger---I should not seem a part of it. My
love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods; time will
change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees.
My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks be-
neath---a source of little visible delight, but necessary.
Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind
---not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleas-
ure to myself, but as my own being. So don't talk of
our separation again. It is impracticable, and-----"

     She paused, and hid her face in the folds of my gown,
but I jerked it forcibly away. I was out of patience with
her folly.

     "If I can make any sense of your nonsense, miss," I
said, "it only goes to convince me that you are ignorant
of the duties you undertake in marrying, or else that
you are a wicked, unprincipled girl. But trouble me
with no more secrets; I'll not promise to keep them."

     "You'll keep that?" she asked eagerly.

     "No, I'll not promise," I repeated.

     She was about to insist, when the entrance of Joseph
finished our conversation; and Catherine removed her
seat to a corner and nursed Hareton, while I made the
supper. After it was cooked, my fellow-servant and I
began to quarrel who should carry some to Mr. Hind-
ley; and we didn't settle it till all was nearly cold. Then
we came to the agreement that we would let him ask if
he wanted any, for we feared particularly to go into his
presence when he had been some time alone.

     "And how isn't that nowt comed in fro' th' field be
this time? What is he about? girt idle seeght!"
demanded the old man, looking round for Heathcliff.

     "I'll call him," I replied. "He's in the barn, I've no
doubt."

     I went and called, but got no answer. On returning,
I whispered to Catherine that he had heard a good
part of what she said, I was sure, and told how I saw
him quit the kitchen just as she complained of
her brother's conduct regarding him. She jumped up in
a fine fright, flung Hareton on to the settle, and ran to
seek for her friend herself, not taking leisure to con-
sider why she was so flurried, or how her talk would
have affected him. She was absent such a while that
Joseph proposed we should wait no longer. He cun-
ningly conjectured they were staying away in order to
avoid hearing his protracted blessing. They were "ill     
eneugh for ony fahl manners," he affirmed. And on
their behalf he added that night a special prayer to the
usual quarter of an hour's supplication before meat,
and would have tacked another to the end of the grace,
had not his young mistress broken in upon him
with a hurried command that he must run down the
road, and wherever Heathcliff had rambled, find and
make him re-enter directly.

     "I want to speak to him, and I must before I go up-
stairs," she said. "And the gate is open. He is some-
where out of hearing, for he would not reply, though I
shouted at the top of the fold as loud as I could."

     Joseph objected at first. She was too much in earnest,
however, to suffer contradiction; and at last he placed
his hat on his head and walked grumbling forth. Mean-
time, Catherine paced up and down the floor, exclaim-
ing,---

     "I wonder where he is---I wonder where he can be.
What did I say, Nelly? I've forgotten. Was he vexed at
my bad humour this afternoon? Dear! tell me what
I've said to grieve him. I do wish he'd come. I do wish
he would."

     "What a noise for nothing!" I cried, though rather
uneasy myself. "What a trifle scares you! It's surely no
great cause of alarm that Heathcliff should take a
moonlight saunter on the moors, or even lie too sulky to
speak to us in the hay-loft. I'll engage he's lurking there.
See if I don't ferret him out!"

     I departed to renew my search. Its result was disap-
pointment, and Joseph's quest ended in the same.

     "Yon lad gets war un war!" observed he on re-en-
tering. "He's left th' yate at t' full swing, and miss's
pony has trodden dahn two rigs o' corn, and plottered
through, raight o'er into t' meadow! Hahsomdiver, t'
maister 'ull play t' devil to-morn, and he'll do weel. He's
patience itsseln wi' sich careless, offald craters---pa-
tience itsseln he is! Bud he'll not be soa allus---yah's
see, all on ye! Yah munn't drive him out of his heead
for nowt!"

     "Have you found Heathcliff, you ass?" interrupted
Catherine. "Have you been looking for him, as I or-
dered?"

     "I sud more likker look for th' horse," he replied. "It
'ud be to more sense. Bud I can look for norther horse
nur man of a neeght loike this---as black as t'
chimbley; und Heathcliff's noan t' chap to coom at my
whistle. Happen he'll be less hard o' hearing wi' ye!"

     It was a very dark evening for summer. The clouds
appeared inclined to thunder, and I said we had better
all sit down; the approaching rain would be certain to
bring him home without further trouble. However,
Catherine would not be persuaded into tranquillity.
She kept wandering to and fro, from the gate to the
door, in a state of agitation which permitted no repose,
and at length took up a permanent situation on one
side of the wall, near the road, where, heedless of my
expostulations and the growling thunder, and the great
drops that began to plash around her, she remained,
calling at intervals, and then listening, and then crying
outright. She beat Hareton, or any child, at a good pas-
sionate fit of crying.

     About midnight, while we still sat up, the storm
came rattling over the Heights in full fury. There was a
violent wind, as well as thunder, and either one or the
other split a tree off at the corner of the building; a huge
bough fell across the roof, and knocked down a por-
tion of the east chimney stack, sending a clatter of
stones and soot into the kitchen fire. We thought a bolt
had fallen in the middle of us, and Joseph swung on to
his knees, beseeching the Lord to remember the pa-
triarchs Noah and Lot, and, as in former times, spare
the righteous, though He smote the ungodly. I felt some
sentiment that it must be a judgment on us also. The
Jonah, in my mind, was Mr. Earnshaw; and I shook
the handle of his den, that I might ascertain if he were
yet living. He replied audibly enough in a fashion
which made my companion vociferate, more clamor-
ously than before, that a wide distinction might be
drawn between saints like himself and sinners like his
master. But the uproar passed away in twenty min-
utes, leaving us all unharmed, excepting Cathy, who got
thoroughly drenched for her obstinacy in refusing to
take shelter, and standing bonnetless and shawl-less to
catch as much water as she could with her hair and
clothes. She came in and lay down on the settle, all
soaked as she was, turning her face to the back and
putting her hands before it.

     "Well, miss!" I exclaimed, touching her shoulder;
"you are not bent on getting your death, are you? Do
you know what o'clock it is? Half-past twelve. Come,
come to bed! There's no use waiting longer on that
foolish boy. He'll be gone to Gimmerton, and he'll stay
there now. He guesses we shouldn't wake for him till
this late hour---at least he guesses that only Mr. Hind-
ley would be up; and he'd rather avoid having the door
opened by the master."

     "Nay, nay; he's noan at Gimmerton," said Joseph.
"I's niver wonder but he's at t' bothom of a bog-hoile.
This visitation worn't for nowt, and I wod hev ye to look
out, miss; yah muh be t' next. Thank Hivin for all! All
warks togither for gooid to them as is chozzen, and
piked out fro' th' rubbidge. Yah knaw whet t' Scripture
ses." And he began quoting several texts, referring us
to chapters and verses where we might find them.

     I, having vainly begged the wilful girl to rise and re-
move her wet things, left him preaching and her shiver-
ing, and betook myself to bed with little Hareton, who
slept as fast as if every one had been sleeping round
him. I heard Joseph read on a while afterwards; then I
distinguished his slow step on the ladder, and then I
dropped asleep.

     Coming down somewhat later than usual, I saw, by
the sunbeams piercing the chinks of the shutters, Miss
Catherine still seated near the fireplace. The house
door was ajar too; light entered from its unclosed win-
dows. Hindley had come out, and stood on the kitchen
hearth, haggard and drowsy.

     "What ails you, Cathy?" he was saying when I en-
tered; "you look as dismal as a drowned whelp. Why
are you so damp and pale, child?"

     "I've been wet!" she answered reluctantly, "and
I'm cold; that's all."

     "Oh, she is naughty!" I cried, perceiving the master
to be tolerably sober. "She got steeped in the shower of
yesterday evening, and there she has sat the night
through, and I couldn't prevail on her to stir."

     Mr. Earnshaw stared at us in surprise. "The night
through!" he repeated. "What kept her up? Not fear
of the thunder, surely? That was over hours since."

     Neither of us wished to mention Heathcliff's absence
as long as we could conceal it, so I replied I didn't
know how she took it into her head to sit up, and she
said nothing. The morning was fresh and cool. I threw
back the lattice, and presently the room filled with
sweet scents from the garden; but Catherine called
peevishly to me, "Ellen, shut the window. I'm starv-
ing!" And her teeth chattered as she shrank closer to
the almost extinguished embers.

     "She's ill," said Hindley, taking her wrist; "I sup-
pose that's the reason she would not go to bed. Damn
it! I don't want to be troubled with more sickness here.
What took you into the rain?"

     "Running after t' lads as usuald!" croaked Joseph,
catching an opportunity, from our hesitation, to thrust
in his evil tongue. "If I war yah, maister, I'd just slam t'
boards i' their faces all on 'em, gentle and simple.
Never a day ut yah're off, but yon cat o' Linton comes
sneaking hither; and Miss Nelly---shoo's a fine lass---
shoo sits watching for ye i' t' kitchen; and as yah're in
at one door, he's out at t'other, and then wer grand
lady goes a-coorting of her side! It's bonny behaviour,
lurking amang t' fields after twelve o' t' night wi' that
fahl, flaysome divil of a gipsy, Heathcliff! They think
I'm blind, but I'm noan---nowt ut t' soart! I seed young
Linton boath coming and going, and I seed yah" (di-
recting his discourse to me), "yah gooid fur nowt,
slattenly witch, nip up and bolt into th' house, t' minute
yah heard t' maister's horse fit clatter up t' road."

     "Silence, eavesdropper!" cried Catherine; "none of
your insolence before me!---Edgar Linton came yester-
day by chance, Hindley, and it was I who told him
to be off, because I knew you would not like to have
met him as you were."

     "You lie, Cathy, no doubt," answered her brother,
"and you are a confounded simpleton! But never mind
Linton at present; tell me---were you not with Heath-
cliff last night? Speak the truth, now. You need not be
afraid of harming him. Though I hate him as much as
ever, he did me a good turn a short time since that will
make my conscience tender of breaking his neck. To
prevent it, I shall send him about his business this very
morning; and after he's gone, I'd advise you all to look
sharp. I shall only have the more humour for you."

     "I never saw Heathcliff last night," answered Cath-
erine, beginning to sob bitterly, "and if you do turn
him out of doors, I'll go with him. But perhaps you'll
never have an opportunity; perhaps he's gone." Here
she burst into uncontrollable grief, and the remainder
of her words were inarticulate.

     Hindley lavished on her a torrent of scornful abuse,
and bade her get to her room immediately, or she
shouldn't cry for nothing. I obliged her to obey; and I
shall never forget what a scene she acted when we
reached her chamber---it terrified me. I thought she
was going mad, and I begged Joseph to run for the doc-
tor. It proved the commencement of delirium. Mr. Ken-
neth, as soon as he saw her, pronounced her dan-
gerously ill. She had a fever. He bled her, and he told
me to let her live on whey and water-gruel, and take
care she did not throw herself downstairs or out of the
window; and then he left, for he had enough to do in
the parish, where two or three miles was the ordinary
distance between cottage and cottage.

     Though I cannot say I made a gentle nurse,
and Joseph and the master were no better, and though
our patient was as wearisome and headstrong as a pa-
tient could be, she weathered it through. Old Mrs. Lin-
ton paid us several visits, to be sure, and set things to
rights, and scolded and ordered us all; and when Cath-
erine was convalescent she insisted on conveying her
to Thrushcross Grange, for which deliverance we were
very grateful; but the poor dame had reason to repent
of her kindness. She and her husband both took the
fever, and died within a few days of each other.

     Our young lady returned to us, saucier and more pas-
sionate and haughtier than ever. Heathcliff had never
been heard of since the evening of the thunderstorm;
and one day I had the misfortune, when she had pro-
voked me exceedingly, to lay the blame of his disap-
pearance on her---where indeed it belonged, as she
well knew. From that period, for several months, she
ceased to hold any communication with me, save in the
relation of a mere servant. Joseph fell under a ban also.
He would speak his mind, and lecture her all the same
as if she were a little girl; and she esteemed herself
a woman, and our mistress, and thought that her re-
cent illness gave her a claim to be treated with consid-
eration. Then the doctor had said that she would not
bear crossing much---she ought to have her own way;
and it was nothing less than murder in her eyes for any
one to presume to stand up and contradict her. From
Mr. Earnshaw and his companions she kept aloof; and
tutored by Kenneth, and serious threats of a fit that
often attended her rages, her brother allowed her what-
ever she pleased to demand, and generally avoided
aggravating her fiery temper. He was rather too indul-
gent in humouring her caprices---not from affection,
but from pride. He wished earnestly to see her bring
honour to the family by an alliance with the Lintons;
and as long as she let him alone she might trample on
us like slaves, for aught he cared. Edgar Linton, as mul-
titudes have been before, and will be after him, was in-
fatuated, and believed himself the happiest man alive
on the day he led her to Gimmerton Chapel, three years
subsequent to his father's death.

     Much against my inclination, I was persuaded to
leave Wuthering Heights and accompany her here.
Little Hareton was nearly five years old, and I had just
begun to teach him his letters. We made a sad parting,
but Catherine's tears were more powerful than ours.
When I refused to go, and when she found her entreaties
did not move me, she went lamenting to her husband
and brother. The former offered me munificent wages;
the latter ordered me to pack up. He wanted no women
in the house, he said, now that there was no mistress;
and as to Hareton, the curate should take him in hand
by-and-by. And so I had but one choice left---to do as
I was ordered. I told the master he got rid of all decent
people only to ride to ruin a little faster. I kissed Hare-
ton, said good-bye, and since then he has been a
stranger; and it's very queer to think it, but I've no
doubt he has completely forgotten all about Ellen
Dean, and that he was ever more than all the world to
her, and she to him.

    *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

     At this point of the housekeeper's story she chanced
to glance towards the timepiece over the chimney, and
was in amazement on seeing the minute-hand measure
half-past one. She would not hear of staying a second
longer---in truth, I felt rather disposed to defer the
sequel of her narrative myself. And now that she is van-
ished to her rest, and I have meditated for another
hour or two, I shall summon courage to go also, in spite
of aching laziness of head and limbs.


CHAPTER X.

A charming introduction to a hermit's life! Four
weeks' torture, tossing, and sickness. Oh, these
bleak winds, and bitter northern skies, and impassable
roads, and dilatory country surgeons! And, oh, this
dearth of the human physiognomy! and, worse than
all, the terrible intimation of Kenneth that I need not
expect to be out of doors till spring!

     Mr. Heathcliff has just honoured me with a call.
About seven days ago he sent me a brace of grouse---
the last of the season. Scoundrel! He is not altogether
guiltless in this illness of mine, and that I had a great
mind to tell him; but, alas! how could I offend a man
who was charitable enough to sit at my bedside a good
hour, and talk on some other subject than pills and
draughts, blisters, and leeches? This is quite an easy in-
terval. I am too weak to read, yet I feel as if I could
enjoy something interesting. Why not have up Mrs.
Dean to finish her tale? I can recollect its chief incidents
as far as she had gone. Yes; I remember her hero had
run off, and never been heard of for three years; and the
heroine was married. I'll ring. She'll be delighted to find
me capable of talking cheerfully. Mrs. Dean came.	   

     "It wants twenty minutes, sir, to taking the medi-
cine," she commenced.

     "Away, away with it!" I replied. "I desire to
have------"

     "The doctor says you must drop the powders."

     "With all my heart! Don't interrupt me. Come and
take your seat here. Keep your fingers from that bitter
phalanx of vials. Draw your knitting out of your pocket
---that will do; now continue the history of Mr. Heath-
cliff, from where you left off to the present day. Did he
finish his education on the Continent, and come back a
gentleman? or did he get a sizar's place at college, or
escape to America, and earn honours by drawing blood
from his foster-country, or make a fortune more
promptly on the English highways?"

     "He may have done a little in all these vocations,
Mr. Lockwood, but I couldn't give my word for any. I
stated before that I didn't know how he gained
his money, neither am I aware of the means he took to
raise his mind from the savage ignorance into which
it was sunk; but, with your leave, I'll proceed in my
own fashion, if you think it will amuse and not weary
you. Are you feeling better this morning?"

     "Much."

     "That's good news.-----I got Miss Catherine and
myself to Thrushcross Grange, and, to my agreeable dis-
appointment, she behaved infinitely better than I dared
to expect. She seemed almost over-fond of Mr. Linton,
and even to his sister she showed plenty of affection.
They were both very attentive to her comfort, certainly.
It was not the thorn bending to the honeysuckles, but
the honeysuckles embracing the thorn. There were no
mutual concessions---one stood erect and the others
yielded; and who can be ill-natured and bad-tempered
when they encounter neither opposition nor indiffer-
ence? I observed that Mr. Edgar had a deep-rooted
fear of ruffling her humour. He concealed it from
her; but if ever he heard me answer sharply, or saw
any other servant grow cloudy at some imperious or-
der of hers, he would show his trouble by a frown of dis-
pleasure that never darkened on his own account. He
many a time spoke sternly to me about my pertness, and
averred that the stab of a knife could not inflict a worse
pang than he suffered at seeing his lady vexed. Not to
grieve a kind master, I learned to be less touchy; and
for the space of half a year the gunpowder lay as harm-
less as sand, because no fire came near to explode it.
Catherine had seasons of gloom and silence now and
then; they were respected with sympathizing silence
by her husband, who ascribed them to an alteration in
her constitution, produced by her perilous illness, as
she was never subject to depression of spirits before.
The return of sunshine was welcomed by answering
sunshine from him. I believe I may assert that they were
really in possession of deep and growing happiness.

     It ended. Well, we must be for ourselves in the long
run; the mild and generous are only more justly selfish
than the domineering, and it ended when circumstances
caused each to feel that the one's interest was not the
chief consideration in the other's thoughts. On a mel-
low evening in September I was coming from the gar-
den with a heavy basket of apples which I had been
gathering. It had got dusk, and the moon looked over
the high wall of the court, causing undefined shadows
to lurk in the corners of the numerous projecting por-
tions of the building. I set my burden on the house steps
by the kitchen door, and lingered to rest, and drew in a
few more breaths of the soft, sweet air. My eyes were
on the moon, and my back to the entrance, when I
heard a voice behind me say,---

     "Nelly, is that you?"

     It was a deep voice, and foreign in tone, yet there
was something in the manner of pronouncing my name
which made it sound familiar. I turned about to dis-
cover who spoke, fearfully; for the doors were shut,
and I had seen nobody on approaching the steps. Some-
thing stirred in the porch; and moving nearer, I dis-
tinguished a tall man dressed in dark clothes, with dark
face and hair. He leant against the side, and held his
fingers on the latch, as if intending to open for him-
self. "Who can it be?" I thought. "Mr. Earnshaw? Oh
no! The voice has no resemblance to his."

     "I have waited here an hour," he resumed, while I
continued staring; "and the whole of that time all
round has been as still as death. I dared not enter. You
do not know me? Look, I'm not a stranger!"

     A ray fell on his features; the cheeks were sallow and
half covered with black whiskers, the brows lowering,
the eyes deep-set and singular. I remembered the eyes.

     "What!" I cried, uncertain whether to regard him
as a worldly visitor, and I raised my hands in amaze-
ment. "What! you come back? Is it really you? Is it?"

     "Yes, Heathcliff," he replied, glancing from me up
to the windows, which reflected a score of glittering
moons, but showed no lights from within. "Are they
at home? Where is she? Nelly, you are not glad. You
needn't be so disturbed. Is she here? Speak! I want to
have one word with her---your mistress. Go, and say
some person from Gimmerton desires to see her."

     "How will she take it?" I exclaimed. "What will she
do? The surprise bewilders me. It will put her out of
her head. And you are Heathcliff, but altered! Nay,
there's no comprehending it. Have you been for a sol-
dier?"

     "Go and carry my message," he interrupted impa-
tiently. "I'm in hell till you do!"

     He lifted the latch, and I entered; but when I got to
the parlour where Mr. and Mrs. Linton were, I could
not persuade myself to proceed. At length I resolved
on making an excuse to ask if they would have the
candles lighted, and I opened the door.

     They sat together in a window whose lattice lay back
against the wall, and displayed, beyond the garden trees
and the wild green park, the valley of Gimmerton, with
a long line of mist winding nearly to its top (for very
soon after you pass the chapel, as you may have no-
ticed, the sough that runs from the marshes joins a beck
which follows the bend of the glen). Wuthering Heights
rose above this silvery vapour, but our old house was
invisible; it rather dips down on the other side. Both
the room and its occupants, and the scene they gazed
on, looked wondrously peaceful. I shrank reluctantly
from performing my errand, and was actually going
away leaving it unsaid, after having put my question
about the candles, when a sense of my folly compelled
me to return and mutter. "A person from Gimmerton
wishes to see you, ma'am."

     "What does he want?" asked Mrs. Linton.

     "I did not question him," I answered.

     "Well, close the curtains, Nelly," she said, "and
bring up tea. I'll be back again directly."

     She quitted the apartment. Mr. Edgar inquired care-
lessly who it was.

     "Some one mistress does not expect," I replied.
"That Heathcliff---you recollect him, sir---who used
to live at Mr. Earnshaw's."

     "What! The gipsy---the ploughboy?" he cried. "Why
did you not say so to Catherine?"

     "Hush! you must not call him by those names, mas-
ter," I said. "She'd be sadly grieved to hear you. She
was nearly heartbroken when he ran off. I guess his re-
turn will make a jubilee to her."

     Mr. Linton walked to a window on the other side of
the room that overlooked the court. He unfastened it
and leant out. I suppose they were below, for he ex-
claimed quickly, "Don't stand there, love! Bring the
person in, if it be any one particular." Ere long I heard
the click of the latch, and Catherine flew upstairs,
breathless and wild, too excited to show gladness; in-
deed, by her face, you would rather have surmised an
awful calamity.

     "O Edgar, Edgar!" she panted, flinging her arms
round his neck. "O Edgar darling! Heathcliff's come
back---he is!" And she tightened her embrace to a
squeeze.

     "Well, well," cried her husband crossly, "don't
strangle me for that. He never struck me as such a
marvellous treasure. There is no need to be frantic."

     "I know you didn't like him," she answered, repress-
ing a little the intensity of her delight. "Yet, for my
sake, you must be friends now. Shall I tell him to come
up?"

     "Here?" he said---"into the parlour?"

     "Where else?" she asked.

     He looked vexed, and suggested the kitchen as a more
suitable place for him. Mrs. Linton eyed him with a
droll expression---half angry, half laughing, at his fas-
tidiousness.

     "No," she added, after a while; "I cannot sit in the
kitchen.---Set two tables here, Ellen---one for your
master and Miss Isabella, being gentry; the other for
Heathcliff and myself, being of the lower orders.---Will
that please you, dear? Or must I have a fire lighted else-
where? If so, give directions. I'll run down and secure
my guest. I'm afraid the joy is too great to be real!"

     She was about to dart off again, but Edgar arrested
her.

     "You bid him step up," he said, addressing me, "and,
Catherine, try to be glad without being absurd. The
whole household need not witness the sight of your wel-
coming a runaway servant as a brother."

     I descended and found Heathcliff waiting under the
porch, evidently anticipating an invitation to enter. He
followed my guidance without waste of words, and
I ushered him into the presence of the master and mis-
tress, whose flushed cheeks betrayed signs of warm
talking. But the lady's glowed with another feeling when
her friend appeared at the door. She sprang forward,
took both his hands, and led him to Linton; and then
she seized Linton's reluctant fingers and crushed them
into his. Now fully revealed by the fire and candle-
light, I was amazed more than ever to behold the trans-
formation of Heathcliff. He had grown a tall, athletic,
well-formed man, beside whom my master seemed
quite slender and youth-like. His upright carriage sug-
gested the idea of his having been in the army. His
countenance was much older in expression and de-
cision of feature than Mr. Linton's; it looked intelligent,
and retained no marks of former degradation. A half-
civilized ferocity lurked yet in the depressed brows and
eyes full of black fire, but it was subdued, and his man-
ner was even dignified---quite divested of roughness,
though too stern for grace. My master's surprise
equalled or exceeded mine. He remained for a minute
at a loss how to address the ploughboy, as he had called
him. Heathcliff dropped his slight hand, and stood
looking at him coolly till he chose to speak.

     "Sit down, sir," he said at length. "Mrs. Linton, re-
calling old times, would have me give you a cordial
reception; and, of course, I am gratified when anything
occurs to please her."

     "And I also," answered Heathcliff, "especially if it
be anything in which I have a part. I shall stay an hour
or two willingly."

     He took a seat opposite Catherine, who kept her gaze
fixed on him as if she feared he would vanish were she
to remove it. He did not raise his to her often---a quick
glance now and then sufficed; but it flashed back, each
time more confidently, the undisguised delight he drank
from hers. They were too much absorbed in their mu-
tual joy to suffer embarrassment. Not so Mr. Edgar.
He grew pale with pure annoyance---a feeling that
reached its climax when his lady rose, and stepping
across the rug, seized Heathcliff's hands again, and
laughed like one beside herself.

     "I shall think it a dream to-morrow!" she cried. "I
shall not be able to believe that I have seen,
and touched, and spoken to you once more. And yet,
cruel Heathcliff! you don't deserve this welcome. To be
absent and silent for three years, and never to think of
me!"

     "A little more than you have thought of me," he
murmured. "I heard of your marriage, Cathy, not long
since; and while waiting in the yard below I meditated
this plan---just to have one glimpse of your face, a stare
of surprise, perhaps, and pretended pleasure; after-
wards settle my score with Hindley; and then prevent
the law by doing execution on myself. Your welcome
has put these ideas out of my mind; but beware of meet-
ing me with another aspect next time! Nay, you'll
not drive me off again. You were really sorry for me,
were you? Well, there was cause. I've fought through a
bitter life since I last heard your voice; and you must
forgive me, for I struggled only for you!"

     "Catherine, unless we are to have cold tea, please to
come to the table," interrupted Linton, striving to pre-
serve his ordinary tone, and a due measure of polite-
ness. "Mr. Heathcliff will have a long walk, wherever
he may lodge to-night, and I'm thirsty."

     She took her post before the urn; and Miss Isabella
came, summoned by the bell; then having handed
their chairs forward, I left the room. The meal hardly
endured ten minutes. Catherine's cup was never filled.
She could neither eat nor drink. Edgar had made a slop
in his saucer, and scarcely swallowed a mouthful. Their
guest did not protract his stay that evening above an
hour longer. I asked, as he departed, if he went to Gim-
merton?

     "No; to Wuthering Heights," he answered. "Mr.
Earnshaw invited me when I called this morning."

     Mr. Earnshaw invited him! and he called on Mr.
Earnshaw! I pondered this sentence painfully after
he was gone. Is he turning out a bit of a hypocrite, and
coming into the country to work mischief under a
cloak? I mused. I had a presentiment in the bottom of
my heart that he had better have remained away.

     About the middle of the night I was wakened from
my first nap by Mrs. Linton gliding into my chamber,
taking a seat on my bedside, and pulling me by the hair
to rouse me.

     "I cannot rest, Ellen," she said, by way of apology.
"And I want some living creature to keep me company
in my happiness. Edgar is sulky because I'm glad of a
thing that does not interest him. He refuses to open his
mouth, except to utter pettish, silly speeches; and he
affirmed I was cruel and selfish for wishing to talk when
he was so sick and sleepy. He always contrives to be sick
at the least cross! I gave a few sentences of commen-
dation to Heathcliff, and he, either for a headache or a
pang of envy, began to cry; so I got up and left him."

     "What use is it praising Heathcliff to him?" I an-
swered. "As lads they had an aversion to each other,
and Heathcliff would hate just as much to hear him
praised; it's human nature. Let Mr. Linton alone about
him, unless you would like an open quarrel between
them."

     "But does it not show great weakness?" pursued she.
"I'm not envious. I never feel hurt at the brightness of
Isabella's yellow hair and the whiteness of her skin, at
her dainty elegance and the fondness all the family
exhibit for her. Even you, Nelly, if we have a dispute
sometimes, you back Isabella at once; and I yield like a
foolish mother. I call her a darling, and flatter her into a
good temper. It pleases her brother to see us cordial,
and that pleases me. But they are very much alike. They
are spoiled children, and fancy the world was made for
their accommodation; and though I humour both, I
think a smart chastisement might improve them, all the
same."

     "You're mistaken, Mrs. Linton," said I. "They
humour you. I know what there would be to do if they
did not. You can well afford to indulge their passing
whims as long as their business is to anticipate all your
desires. You may, however, fall out at last over some-
thing of equal consequence to both sides; and then
those you term weak are very capable of being as ob-
stinate as you."

     "And then we shall fight to the death, shan't we,
Nelly?" she returned, laughing. "No; I tell you I
have such faith in Linton's love that I believe I might
kill him, and he wouldn't wish to retaliate."

     I advised her to value him the more for his affection.

     "I do," she answered; "but he needn't resort to whin-
ing for trifles. It is childish; and instead of melting into
tears because I said that Heathcliff was now worthy of
any one's regard, and it would honour the first gentle-
man in the country to be his friend, he ought to have
said it for me, and been delighted from sympathy. He
must get accustomed to him, and he may as well like
him. Considering how Heathcliff has reason to object
to him, I'm sure he behaved excellently."

     "What do you think of his going to Wuthering
Heights?" I inquired. "He is reformed in every respect,
apparently---quite a Christian---offering the right hand
of fellowship to his enemies all around!"

     "He explained it," she replied. "I wonder as much as
you. He said he called to gather information concern-
ing me from you, supposing you resided there still; and
Joseph told Hindley, who came out and fell to ques-
tioning him of what he had been doing, and how he had
been living, and finally desired him to walk in. There
were some persons sitting at cards. Heathcliff joined
them. My brother lost some money to him; and finding
him plentifully supplied, he requested that he would
come again in the evening, to which he consented.
Hindley is too reckless to select his acquaintance pru-
dently. He doesn't trouble himself to reflect on the
causes he might have for mistrusting one whom he has
basely injured. But Heathcliff affirms his principal rea-
son for resuming a connection with his ancient per-
secutor is a wish to install himself in quarters at walk-
ing distance from the Grange, and an attachment to
the house where we lived together, and likewise a hope
that I shall have more opportunities of seeing him there
than I could have if he settled in Gimmerton. He means
to offer liberal payment for permission to lodge at the
Heights; and doubtless my brother's covetousness will
prompt him to accept the terms. He was always greedy,
though what he grasps with one hand he flings away
with the other."

     "It's a nice place for a young man to fix his dwelling in!" 
said I.  Have you no fear of the consequences, Mrs. Linton?"

     "None for my friend," she replied.  "His strong head will keep
him from danger; a little for Hindley, but he can't be made morally
worse than he is; and I stand between him and bodily harm.  The
event of this evening reconciled me to God and humanity!  I 
had risen in angry rebellion against providence.  Oh, I've
endured very, very bitter misery, Nelly!  If that creature
knew how bitter, he'd be ashamed to cloud its removal
with idle petulance.  It was kindness for him which
induced me to bear it alone. Had I expressed the agony
I frequently felt, he would have been taught to long
for its alleviation as ardently as I. However, it's over,
and I'll take no revenge on his folly. I can afford to suf-
fer anything hereafter. Should the meanest thing alive
slap me on the cheek, I'd not only turn the other, but
I'd ask pardon for provoking it; and as a proof I'll go
make my peace with Edgar instantly. Good-night! I'm
an angel!"

     In this self-complacent conviction she departed; and
the success of her fulfilled resolution was obvious on
the morrow. Mr. Linton had not only abjured his peev-
ishness (though his spirits seemed still subdued by
Catherine's exuberance of vivacity), but he ventured
no objection to her taking Isabella with her to
Wuthering Heights in the afternoon; and she rewarded
him with such a summer of sweetness and affection in
return as made the house a paradise for several days,
both master and servants profiting from the perpetual
sunshine.

     Heathcliff---Mr. Heathcliff, I should say in future---
used the liberty of visiting at Thrushcross Grange cau-
tiously, at first. He seemed estimating how far its owner
would bear his intrusion. Catherine, also, deemed it
judicious to moderate her expressions of pleasure in re-
ceiving him; and he gradually established his right to
be expected. He retained a great deal of the reserve
for which his boyhood was remarkable; and that served
to repress all startling demonstrations of feeling. My
master's uneasiness experienced a lull, and further cir-
cumstances diverted it into another channel for a
space.

     His new source of trouble sprang from the not-an-
ticipated misfortune of Isabella Linton evincing a sud-
den and irresistible attraction towards the tolerated
guest. She was at that time a charming young lady of
eighteen, infantile in manners, though possessed of
keen wit, keen feelings, and a keen temper, too, if ir-
ritated. Her brother, who loved her tenderly, was ap-
palled at this fantastic preference. Leaving aside the
degradation of an alliance with a nameless man, and
the possible fact that his property, in default of heirs,
male, might pass into such a one's power, he had sense
to comprehend Heathcliff's disposition---to know that,
though his exterior was altered, his mind was un-
changeable and unchanged. And he dreaded that mind.
It revolted him. He shrank forebodingly from the idea
of committing Isabella to its keeping. He would have
recoiled still more had he been aware that her attach-
ment rose unsolicited, and was bestowed where it awak-
ened no reciprocation of sentiment, for the minute he
discovered its existence he laid the blame on Heathcliff's
deliberate designing.

     We had all remarked, during some time, that Miss
Linton fretted, and pined over something. She grew
cross and wearisome, snapping at and teasing Catherine
continually, at the imminent risk of exhausting her
limited patience. We excused her, to a certain extent,
on the plea of ill-health. She was dwindling and fading
before our eyes. But one day, when she had been
peculiarly wayward, rejecting her breakfast, complain-
ing that the servants did not do what she told them; that
the mistress would allow her to be nothing in the house,
and Edgar neglected her; that she had caught a cold
with the doors being left open, and we let the parlour
fire go out on purpose to vex her, with a hundred yet
more frivolous accusations, Mrs. Linton peremptorily
insisted that she should get to bed, and having scolded
her heartily, threatened to send for the doctor. Men-
tion of Kenneth caused her to exclaim instantly that her
health was perfect, and it was only Catherine's harsh-
ness which made her unhappy.

     "How can you say I am harsh, you naughty fond-
ling?" cried the mistress, amazed at the unreasonable
assertion. "You are surely losing your reason. When
have I been harsh, tell me?"

     "Yesterday," sobbed Isabella, "and now!"

     "Yesterday!" said her sister-in-law. "On what occa-
sion?"

     "In our walk along the moor. You told me to ramble
where I pleased, while you sauntered on with Mr.
Heathcliff!"

     "And that's your notion of harshness?" said Cather-
ine, laughing. "It was no hint that your company was
superfluous. We didn't care whether you kept with us
or not. I merely thought Heathcliff's talk would have
nothing entertaining for your ears."

     "Oh no," wept the young lady; "you wished me away
because you knew I liked to be there!"

     "Is she sane?" asked Mrs. Linton, appealing to me.
"I'll repeat our conversation, word for word, Isabella;
and you point out any charm it could have had for you."

     "I don't mind the conversation," she answered. "I
wanted to be with------"

     "Well?" said Catherine, perceiving her hesitate to
complete the sentence.

     "With him; and I won't be always sent off!" she con-
tinued, kindling up. "You are a dog in the manger,
Cathy, and desire no one to be loved but yourself!"

     "You are an impertinent little monkey!" exclaimed
Mrs. Linton, in surprise. "But I'll not believe this
idiocy. It is impossible that you can covet the admira-
tion of Heathcliff---that you consider him an agreeable
person! I hope I have misunderstood you, Isabella?"

     "No, you have not," said the infatuated girl. "I
love him more than ever you loved Edgar; and he might
love me, if you would let him!"

     "I wouldn't be you for a kingdom, then!" Catherine
declared emphatically; and she seemed to speak sin-
cerely.---"Nelly, help me to convince her of her mad-
ness. Tell her what Heathcliff is---an unreclaimed
creature, without refinement, without cultivation, an
arid wilderness of furze and whinstone. I'd as soon
put that little canary into the park on a winter's day,
as recommend you to bestow your heart on him. It is
deplorable ignorance of his character, child, and noth-
ing else, which makes that dream enter your head. Pray
don't imagine that he conceals depths of benevolence
and affection beneath a stern exterior. He's not a rough
diamond, a pearl-containing oyster of a rustic. He's a
fierce, pitiless, wolfish man. I never say to him, 'Let
this or that enemy alone, because it would be ungener-
ous or cruel to harm them.' I say, 'Let them alone, be-
cause I should hate them to be wronged.' And he'd crush
you like a sparrow's egg, Isabella, if he found you a
troublesome charge. I know he couldn't love a Linton;
and yet he'd be quite capable of marrying your fortune
and expectations. Avarice is growing with him a be-
setting sin. There's my picture; and I'm his friend---so
much so, that had he thought seriously to catch you, I
should perhaps have held my tongue, and let you fall
into his trap."

     Miss Linton regarded her sister-in-law with indigna-
tion.

     "For shame! for shame!" she repeated angrily;
"you are worse than twenty foes, you poisonous
friend!"

     "Ah! you won't believe me, then?" said Catherine.
"You think I speak from wicked selfishness?"

     "I'm certain you do," retorted Isabella; "and I shud-
der at you!"

     "Good!" cried the other. "Try for yourself, if that
be your spirit. I have done, and yield the argument to
your saucy insolence."

     "And I must suffer for her egotism!" she sobbed, as
Mrs. Linton left the room. "All, all is against me. She
has blighted my single consolation. But she uttered
falsehoods, didn't she? Mr. Heathcliff is not a fiend. He
has an honourable soul, and a true one, or how could
he remember her?"

     "Banish him from your thoughts, miss," I said. "He's
a bird of bad omen---no mate for you. Mrs. Linton
spoke strongly, and yet I can't contradict her. She is bet-
ter acquainted with his heart than I, or any one besides;
and she never would represent him as worse than he is.
Honest people don't hide their deeds. How has he been
living? How has he got rich? Why is he staying at
Wuthering Heights, the house of a man whom he ab-
hors? They say Mr. Earnshaw is worse and worse since
he came. They sit up all night together continually, and
Hindley has been borrowing money on his land, and
does nothing but play and drink. I heard only a week
ago---it was Joseph who told me---I met him at Gim-
merton. 'Nelly,' he said, 'we's hae a crowner's 'quest
enow, at ahr folks. One on 'em's a'most getten his finger
cut off wi' hauding t'other fro' stickin hisseln loike a
cawlf. That's maister, yah knaw, 'at's soa up o' going
tuh t' grand 'sizes. He's noan feared o' t' bench o' judges,
norther Paul, nur Peter, nur John, nur Matthew, nor
noan on 'em, not he. He fair likes---he langs to set his
brazened face agean 'em. And yon bonny lad Heath-
cliff, yah mind, he's a rare un! He can girn a laugh as
well's onybody at a raight divil's jest. Does he niver say
nowt of his fine living amang us, when he goes to t'
Grange? This is t' way on't. Up at sundown; dice,
brandy, cloised shutters, un can'le-light till next day at
noon; then, t' fooil gangs banning un raving to his
cham'er, makking dacent fowks dig thur fingers i' thur
lugs fur varry shame; un the knave, why he can caint
his brass, un ate, un sleep, un off to his neighbour's to
gossip wi' t' wife. I' course, he tells Dame Catherine
how her fathur's goold runs into his pocket, and her
fathur's son gallops down t' broad road, while he flees
afore to oppen t' pikes!' Now, Miss Linton, Joseph is
an old rascal, but no liar; and if his account of Heath-
cliff's conduct be true, you would never think of desir-
ing such a husband, would you?"

     "You are leagued with the rest, Ellen!" she replied.
"I'll not listen to your slanders. What malevolence you
must have to wish to convince me that there is no happi-
ness in the worldl"

     Whether she would have got over this fancy if left
to herself, or persevered in nursing it perpetually, I
cannot say. She had little time to reflect. The day after,
there was a justice meeting at the next town. My mas-
ter was obliged to attend; and Mr. Heathcliff, aware
of his absence, called rather earlier than usual. Cather-
ine and Isabella were sitting in the library, on hostile
terms, but silent---the latter alarmed at her recent in-
discretion, and the disclosure she had made of her se-
cret feelings in a transient fit of passion; the former,
on mature consideration, really offended with her
companion, and if she laughed again at her pertness, in-
clined to make it no laughing matter to her. She did
laugh as she saw Heathcliff pass the window. I was
sweeping the hearth, and I noticed a mischievous smile
on her lips. Isabella, absorbed in her meditations, or a
book, remained till the door opened; and it was too late
to attempt an escape, which she would gladly have
done had it been practicable.

     "Come in; that's right!" exclaimed the mistress
gaily, pulling a chair to the fire. "Here are two people
sadly in need of a third to thaw the ice between them;
and you are the very one we should both of us choose.
Heathcliff, I'm proud to show you, at last, somebody
that dotes on you more than myself. I expect you to feel
flattered. Nay, it's not Nelly; don't look at her! My
poor little sister-in-law is breaking her heart by mere
contemplation of your physical and moral beauty. It
lies in your own power to be Edgar's brother.---No, no,
Isabella; you shan't run off," she continued, arresting,
with feigned playfulness, the confounded girl, who had
risen indignantly.---"We were quarrelling like cats
about you, Heathcliff, and I was fairly beaten in protes-
tations of devotion and admiration; and, moreover, I
was informed that if I would but have the manners to
stand aside, my rival, as she will have herself to be,
would shoot a shaft into your soul that would fix you
for ever, and send my image into eternal oblivion!"

     "Catherine!" said Isabella, calling up her dignity,
and disdaining to struggle from the tight grasp that
held her, "I'd thank you to adhere to the truth, and not
slander me, even in joke.---Mr. Heathcliff, be kind
enough to bid this friend of yours release me. She for-
gets that you and I are not intimate acquaintances;
and what amuses her is painful to me beyond expres-
sion."

     "As the guest answered nothing, but took his seat,
and looked thoroughly indifferent what sentiments she
cherished concerning him, she turned and whispered
an earnest appeal for liberty to her tormentor.

     "By no means!" cried Mrs. Linton in answer. "I
won't be named a dog in the manger again. You shall
stay.---Now, then, Heathcliff, why don't you evince
satisfaction at my pleasant news? Isabella swears that
the love Edgar has for me is nothing to that she enter-
tains for you. I'm sure she made some speech of the
kind---did she not, Ellen? And she has fasted ever since
the day before yesterday's walk, from sorrow and rage
that I dispatched her out of your society under the idea
of its being unacceptable."

     "I think you belie her," said Heathcliff, twisting his
chair to face them. "She wishes to be out of my society
now, at any rate."

     And he stared hard at the object of discourse, as one
might do at a strange, repulsive animal---a centipede
from the Indies, for instance, which curiosity leads one
to examine in spite of the aversion it raises. The poor
thing couldn't bear that. She grew white and red in
rapid succession, and, while tears beaded her lashes,
bent the strength of her small fingers to loosen the firm
clutch of Catherine; and perceiving that as fast as she 
raised one finger off her arm another closed down, and
she could not remove the whole together, she began to
make use of her nails; and their sharpness presently
ornamented the detainer's with crescents of red.

     "There's a tigress!" exclaimed Mrs. Linton, setting
her free, and shaking her hand with pain. "Begone, for
God's sake, and hide your vixen face! How foolish to
reveal those talons to him! Can't you fancy the con-
clusions he'll draw?---Look, Heathcliff! they are in-
struments that will do execution; you must beware of
your eyes."

     "I'd wrench them off her fingers if they ever menaced
me," he answered brutally, when the door had closed
after her. "But what did you mean by teasing the crea-
ture in that manner, Cathy? You were not speaking the
truth, were you?"

     "I assure you I was," she returned. "She has been
dying for your sake several weeks, and raving about
you this morning, and pouring forth a deluge of abuse,
because I represented your failings in a plain light, for
the purpose of mitigating her adoration. But don't no-
tice it further. I wished to punish her sauciness---that's
all. I like her too well, my dear Heathcliff, to let you ab-
solutely seize and devour her up."

     "And I like her too ill to attempt it," said he, "ex-
cept in a very ghoulish fashion. You'd hear of odd
things if I lived alone with that mawkish, waxen face.
The most ordinary would be painting on its white the
colours of the rainbow, and turning the blue eyes black,
every day or two. They detestably resemble Linton's."

     "Delectably!" observed Catherine. "They are dove's
eyes---angel's!"

     "She's her brother's heir, is she not?" he asked, after
a brief silence.

     "I should be sorry to think so," returned his com-
panion. "Half a dozen nephews shall erase her title
please Heaven! Abstract your mind from the subject
at present. You are too prone to covet your neigh-
bour's goods. Remember this neighbour's goods are
mine."

     "If they were mine, they would be none the less that,"
said Heathcliff; "but though Isabella Linton may be
silly, she is scarcely mad; and, in short, we'll dismiss
the matter, as you advise."

     From their tongues they did dismiss it; and Cather-
ine, probably, from her thoughts. The other, I felt cer-
tain, recalled it often in the course of the evening. I saw
him smile to himself---grin rather---and lapse into omi-
nous musing whenever Mrs. Linton had occasion to
be absent from the apartment.

     I determined to watch his movements. My heart in-
variably cleaved to the master's, in preference to Cath-
erine's side---with reason, I imagined, for he was
kind, and trustful, and honourable; and she---she could
not be called the opposite, yet she seemed to allow her-
self such wide latitude that I had little faith in her prin-
ciples, and still less sympathy for her feelings. I wanted
something to happen which might have the effect of
freeing both Wuthering Heights and the Grange of Mr.
Heathcliff quietly, leaving us as we had been prior to
his advent. His visits were a continual nightmare to me,
and, I suspected, to my master also. His abode at the
Heights was an oppression past explaining. I felt that
God had forsaken the stray sheep there to its own
wicked wanderings, and an evil beast prowled between
it and the fold, waiting his time to spring and destroy.


CHAPTER XI.

Sometimes, while meditating on these things in
solitude, I've got up in a sudden terror, and put
on my bonnet to go see how all was at the farm. I've
persuaded my conscience that it was a duty to warn
him how people talked regarding his ways; and then
I've recollected his confirmed bad habits, and, hopeless
of benefiting him, have flinched from re-entering the
dismal house, doubting if I could bear to be taken at
my word.

     One time I passed the old gate, going out of my way,
on a journey to Gimmerton. It was about the period
that my narrative has reached---a bright, frosty after-
noon, the ground bare, and the road hard and dry. I
came to a stone where the highway branches off on to
the moor at your left hand---a rough sand-pillar, with
the letters W. H. cut on its north side, on the east, G.,
and on the south-west, T. G. It serves as a guide-post
to the Grange, the Heights, and village. The sun shone
yellow on its gray head, reminding me of summer; and
I cannot say why, but all at once a gush of child's sensa-
tions flowed into my heart. Hindley and I held it a fa-
vourite spot twenty years before. I gazed long at the
weather-worn block, and stooping down, perceived a
hole near the bottom still full of snail-shells and pebbles,
which we were fond of storing there with more perish-
able things; and, as fresh as reality, it appeared that I
beheld my early playmate seated on the withered turf,
his dark, square head bent forward, and his little hand
scooping out the earth with a piece of slate. "Poor Hind-
ley!" I exclaimed involuntarily. I started. My bodily
eye was cheated into a momentary belief that the child
lifted its face and stared straight into mine! It vanished
in a twinkling; but immediately I felt an irresistible
yearning to be at the Heights. Superstition urged me to
comply with this impulse. Supposing he should be
dead, I thought, or should die soon!---supposing it
were a sign of death! The nearer I got to the house the
more agitated I grew; and on catching sight of it I trem-
bled every limb. The apparition had outstripped me. It
stood looking through the gate. That was my first idea
on observing an elf-locked, brown-eyed boy setting his
ruddy countenance against the bars. Further reflection
suggested this must be Hareton, my Hareton, not al-
tered greatly since I Ieft him, ten months since.

     "God bless thee, darling!" I cried, forgetting instan-
taneously my foolish fears. "Hareton, it's Nelly---Nelly,
thy nurse."

     He retreated out of arm's length, and picked up a
large flint.

     "I am come to see thy father, Hareton," I added,
guessing from the action that Nelly, if she lived in his
memory at all, was not recognized as one with me.

     He raised his missile to hurl it. I commenced a sooth-
ing speech, but could not stay his hand. The stone
struck my bonnet; and then ensued, from the stammer-
ing lips of the little fellow, a string of curses, which,
whether he comprehended them or not, were delivered
with practised emphasis, and distorted his baby features
into a shocking expression of malignity. You may be
certain this grieved more than angered me. Fit to cry, I
took an orange from my pocket, and offered it to pro-
pitiate him. He hesitated, and then snatched it from my
hold, as if he fancied I only intended to tempt and dis-
appoint him. I showed another, keeping it out of his
reach.

     "Who has taught you those fine words, my bairn?"
I inquired---"the curate?"

     "Damn the curate, and thee! Gie me that," he re-
plied.

     "Tell us where you got your lessons, and you shall
have it," said I. "Who's your master?"

     "Devil daddy," was his answer.

     "And what do you learn from daddy?" I continued.

     He jumped at the fruit. I raised it higher. "What does
he teach you?" I asked.

     "Naught," said he, "but to keep out of his gait.
Daddy cannot bide me, because I swear at him."

     "Ah! and the devil teaches you to swear at daddy?"
I observed.

     "Ay---nay," he drawled.

     "Who, then?"

     "Heathcliff."

     I asked if he liked Mr. Heathcliff.

     "Ay!" he answered again.

     Desiring to have his reasons for liking him, I could
only gather the sentences, "I known't. He pays dad
back what he gies to me; he curses daddy for cursing
me. He says I mun do as I will."

     "And the curate does not teach you to read and write
then?" I pursued.

     "No, I was told the curate should have his ------
teeth dashed down his ------ throat if he stepped over
the threshold. Heathcliff had promised that!"

     I put the orange in his hand, and bade him tell his
father that a woman called Nelly Dean was waiting to
speak with him by the garden gate. He went up the
walk, and entered the house; but instead of Hindley,
Heathcliff appeared on the door stones; and I turned
directly and ran down the road as hard as ever I could
race, making no halt till I gained the guide-post, and
feeling as scared as if I had raised a goblin. This is not
much connected with Miss Isabella's affair, except that
it urged me to resolve further on mounting vigilant
guard, and doing my utmost to check the spread of such
bad influence at the Grange, even though I should
wake a domestic storm by thwarting Mrs. Linton's
pleasure.

     The next time Heathcliff came, my young lady
chanced to be feeding some pigeons in the court. She
had never spoken a word to her sister-in-law for three
days; but she had likewise dropped her fretful com-
plaining, and we found it a great comfort. Heathcliff
had not the habit of bestowing a single unnecessary
civility on Miss Linton, I knew. Now, as soon as he
beheld her, his first precaution was to take a sweeping
survey of the house-front. I was standing by the kitchen
window, but I drew out of sight. He then stepped
across the pavement to her, and said something. She
seemed embarrassed and desirous of getting away; to
prevent it, he laid his hand on her arm. She averted her
face. He apparently put some question which she had
no mind to answer. There was another rapid glance
at the house; and supposing himself unseen, the scoun-
drel had the impudence to embrace her.

     "Judas! traitor!" I ejaculated. "You are a hypocrite,
too, are you---a deliberate deceiver?"

     "Who is, Nelly?" said Catherine's voice at my elbow.
I had been over-intent on watching the pair outside to
mark her entrance.

     "Your worthless friend!" I answered warmly--"the
sneaking rascal yonder. Ah, he has caught a glimpse of
us; he is coming in! I wonder will he have the heart to
find a plausible excuse for making love to miss, when
he told you he hated her?"

     Mrs. Linton saw Isabella tear herself free, and run
into the garden; and a minute after Heathcliff opened
the door. I couldn't withhold giving some loose to my
indignation; but Catherine angrily insisted on silence,
and threatened to order me out of the kitchen, if I dared
to be so presumptuous as to put in my insolent tongue.

     "To hear you, people might think you were the mis-
tress!" she cried. "You want setting down in your right
place!---Heathcliff, what are you about, raising this
stir? I said you must let Isabella alone! I beg you will,
unless you are tired of being received here, and wish
Linton to draw the bolts against you!"

     "God forbid that he should try!" answered the black
villain. I detested him just then. "God keep him meek
and patient! Every day I grow madder after sending
him to heaven!"

     "Hush!" said Catherine, shutting the inner door.
"Don't vex me. Why have you disregarded my request?
Did she come across you on purpose?"

     "What is it to you?" he growled. "I have a right to
kiss her, if she chooses; and you have no right to object.
I am not your husband; you needn't be jealous of me."

     "I'm not jealous of you," replied the mistress---"I'm
jealous for you. Clear your face; you shan't scowl at
me! If you like Isabella, you shall marry her. But do
you like her? Tell the truth, Heathcliff. There, you
won't answer. I'm certain you don't."

     "And would Mr. Linton approve of his sister marry-
ing that man?" I inquired.

     "Mr. Linton should approve," returned my lady de-
cisively.

     "He might spare himself the trouble," said Heathcliff;
"I could do as well without his approbation. And as to
you, Catherine, I have a mind to speak a few words
now, while we are at it. I want you to be aware that I
know you have treated me infernally---infernally! Do
you hear? And if you flatter yourself that I don't per-
ceive it, you are a fool; and if you think I can be con-
soled by sweet words, you are an idiot; and if you
fancy I'll suffer unrevenged, I'll convince you of the
contrary in a very little while. Meantime, thank you
for telling me your sister-in-law's secret. I swear I'll
make the most of it. And stand you aside."

     "What new phase of his character is this?" exclaimed
Mrs. Linton, in amazement. "I've treated you infer-
nally, and you'll take your revenge! How will you take
it, ungrateful brute? How have I treated you infer-
nally?"

     "I seek no revenge on you," replied Heathcliff, less
vehemently. "That's not the plan. The tyrant grinds
down his slaves, and they don't turn against him; they
crush those beneath them. You are welcome to torture
me to death for your amusement, only allow me to
amuse myself a little in the same style, and refrain from
insult as much as you are able. Having levelled my
palace, don't erect a hovel and complacently admire
your own charity in giving me that for a home. lf I imag-
ined you really wished me to marry Isabel, I'd cut my
throat!"

     "Oh, the evil is that I am not jealous, is it?" cried
Catherine. "Well, I won't repeat my offer of a wife. It
is as bad as offering Satan a lost soul. Your bliss lies,
like his, in inflicting misery. You prove it. Edgar is re-   
stored from the ill-temper he gave way to at your com-
ing. I begin to be secure and tranquil; and you, restless
to know us at peace, appear resolved on exciting a quar-
rel. Quarrel with Edgar, if you please, Heathcliff, and
deceive his sister. You'll hit on exactly the most effi-
cient method of revenging yourself on me."

     The conversation ceased. Mrs. Linton sat down by
the fire, flushed and gloomy. The spirit which served
her was growing intractable; she could neither lay
nor control it. He stood on the hearth with folded arms,
brooding on his evil thoughts; and in this position I
left them to seek the master, who was wondering what
kept Catherine below so long.

     "Ellen," said he, when I entered, "have you seen
your mistress?"

     "Yes; she's in the kitchen, sir," I answered. "She's
sadly put out by Mr. Heathcliff's behaviour; and, in-
deed, I do think it's time to arrange his visits on another
footing. There's harm in being too soft, and now it's
come to this------" And I related the scene in the court,
and, as near as I dared, the whole subsequent dispute.
I fancied it could not be very prejudicial to Mrs. Linton,
unless she made it so afterwards by assuming the de-
fensive for her guest. Edgar Linton had difficulty in
hearing me to the close. His first words revealed that
he did not clear his wife of blame.

     "This is insufferable!" he exclaimed. "It is disgrace-
ful that she should own him for a friend, and force his
company on me! Call me two men out of the hall, Ellen.
Catherine shall linger no longer to argue with the low
ruffian. I have humoured her enough."

     He descended, and bidding the servants wait in the
passage, went, followed by me, to the kitchen. Its oc-
cupants had recommenced their angry discussion. Mrs.
Linton, at least, was scolding with renewed vigour.
Heathcliff had moved to the window, and hung his head,
somewhat cowed by her violent rating apparently. He
saw the master first, and made a hasty motion that she
should be silent; which she obeyed abruptly, on dis-
covering the reason of his intimation.

     "How is this?" said Linton, addressing her. "What
notion of propriety must you have to remain here, after
the language which has been held to you by that black-
guard? I suppose, because it is his ordinary talk, you
think nothing of it. You are habituated to his baseness,
and, perhaps, imagine I can get used to it too."

     "Have you been listening at the door, Edgar?" asked
the mistress, in a tone particularly calculated to pro-
voke her husband, implying both carelessness and
contempt of his irritation. Heathcliff, who had raised
his eyes at the former speech, gave a sneering laugh at
the latter---on purpose, it seemed, to draw Mr. Linton's
attention to him. He succeeded; but Edgar did not mean
to entertain him with any high flights of passion.

     "I have been so far forbearing with you, sir," he said
quietly---"not that I was ignorant of your miserable,
degraded character, but I felt you were only partly
responsible for that; and Catherine wishing to keep up
your acquaintance, I acquiesced---foolishly. Your
presence is a moral poison that would contaminate the
most virtuous. For that cause, and to prevent worse
consequences, I shall deny you hereafter admission
into this house, and give notice now that I require your
instant departure. Three minutes' delay will render it
involuntary and ignominious."

     Heathcliff measured the height and breadth of the
speaker with an eye full of derision.

     "Cathy, this lamb of yours threatens like a bull!" he
said. "It is in danger of splitting its skull against my
knuckles.---By God, Mr. Linton, I'm mortally sorry
that you are not worth knocking downl"

     My master glanced towards the passage, and signed
me to fetch the men. He had no intention of hazarding a
personal encounter. I obeyed the hint; but Mrs. Linton,
suspecting something, followed; and when I attempted
to call them, she pulled me back, slammed the door to,
and locked it.

     "Fair means!" she said, in answer to her husband's
look of angry surprise. "If you have not courage to at-
tack him, make an apology, or allow yourself to be
beaten. It will correct you of feigning more valour
than you possess. No, I'll swallow the key before you
shall get it! I'm delightfully rewarded for my kindness
to each! After constant indulgence of one's weak na-
ture, and the other's bad one, I earn for thanks two
samples of blind ingratitude, stupid to absurdity! Ed-
gar, I was defending you and yours; and I wish Heath-
cliff may flog you sick for daring to think an evil thought
of me!"

     It did not need the medium of a flogging to produce
that effect on the master. He tried to wrest the key from
Catherine's grasp, and for safety she flung it into the
hottest part of the fire; whereupon Mr. Edgar was taken
with a nervous trembling, and his countenance grew
deadly pale. For his life he could not avert that excess
of emotion; mingled anguish and humiliation over-
came him completely. He leant on the back of a chair,
and covered his face.

     "O heavens! In old days this would win you knight-
hood!" exclaimed Mrs. Linton. "We are vanquished!
we are vanquished! Heathcliff would as soon lift a fin-
ger at you as a king would march his army against a
colony of mice. Cheer up; you shan't be hurt! Your
type is not a lamb; it's a sucking leveret."

     "I wish you joy of the milk-blooded coward, Cathy!"
said her friend. "I compliment you on your taste. And
that is the slavering, shivering thing you preferred to
me! I would not strike him with my fist, but I'd kick him
with my foot, and experience considerable satisfaction.
Is he weeping, or is he going to faint for fear?"

     The fellow approached and gave the chair on which
Linton rested a push. He'd better have kept his distance.
My master quickly sprang erect, and struck him full on
the throat a blow that would have levelled a slighter
man. It took his breath for a minute; and while he
choked, Mr. Linton walked out by the back door into
the yard, and from thence to the front entrance.

     "There! you've done with coming here," cried Cath-
erine. "Get away, now. He'll return with a brace of
pistols and half a dozen assistants. If he did overhear us,
of course he'd never forgive you. You've played me an
ill turn, Heathcliff. But go---make haste! I'd rather see
Edgar at bay than you."

     "Do you suppose I'm going with that blow burning
in my gullet?" he thundered. "By hell, no! I'll crush his
ribs in like a rotten hazel-nut before I cross the thresh-
old! If I don't floor him now, I shall murder him some
time; so, as you value his existence, let me get at him!"

     "He is not coming," I interposed, framing a bit of a
lie. "There's the coachman and the two gardeners.
You'll surely not wait to be thrust into the road by
them! Each has a bludgeon; and master will very likely
be watching from the parlour windows, to see that they
fulfil his orders."

     The gardeners and coachman were there, but Linton
was with them. They had already entered the court.
Heathcliff, on second thoughts, resolved to avoid a
struggle against the three underlings. He seized the
poker, smashed the lock from the inner door, and
made his escape as they tramped in.

     Mrs. Linton, who was very much excited, bade me
accompany her upstairs. She did not know my share
in contributing to the disturbance, and I was anxious
to keep her in ignorance.

     "I'm nearly distracted, Nelly!" she exclaimed, throw-
ing herself on the sofa. "A thousand smiths' hammers
are beating in my head! Tell Isabella to shun me; this
uproar is owing to her; and should she or any one else
aggravate my anger at present, I shall get wild. And,
Nelly, say to Edgar, if you see him again to-night, that
I'm in danger of being seriously ill. I wish it may prove
true. He has startled and distressed me shockingly. I
want to frighten him. Besides, he might come and be-
gin a string of abuse or complainings. I'm certain I
should recriminate, and God knows where we should
end! Will you do so, my good Nelly? You are aware
that I am no way blamable in this matter. What pos-
sessed him to turn listener? Heathcliff's talk was out-
rageous after you left us; but I could soon have diverted
him from Isabella, and the rest meant nothing. Now all
is dashed wrong, by the fool's craving to hear evil of
self that haunts some people like a demon. Had Edgar
never gathered our conversation, he would never have
been the worse for it. Really, when he opened on me
in that unreasonable tone of displeasure after I had
scolded Heathcliff till I was hoarse for him, I did not
care hardly what they did to each other---especially as
I felt that, however the scene closed, we should all be
driven asunder for nobody knows how long! Well, if
I cannot keep Heathcliff for my friend---if Edgar will
be mean and jealous---I'll try to break their hearts by
breaking my own. That will be a prompt way of finish-
ing all, when I am pushed to extremity. But it's a deed to
be reserved for a forlorn hope; I'd not take Linton by
surprise with it. To this point he has been discreet in
dreading to provoke me. You must represent the peril
of quitting that policy, and remind him of my passion-
ate temper, verging, when kindled, on frenzy. I wish
you could dismiss that apathy out of that countenance,
and look rather more anxious about me."

     The stolidity with which I received these instructions
was, no doubt, rather exasperating, for they were de-
livered in perfect sincerity; but I believed a person who
could plan the turning of her fits of passion to account
beforehand might, by exerting her will, manage to con-
trol herself tolerably, even while under their influence;
and I did not wish to "frighten" her husband, as she
said, and multiply his annoyances for the purpose of
serving her selfishness. Therefore I said nothing when
I met the master coming towards the parlour; but I
took the liberty of turning back to listen whether they
would resume their quarrel together. He began to speak
first.

     "Remain where you are, Catherine," he said, without
any anger in his voice, but with much sorrowful de-
spondency. "I shall not stay. I am neither come to
wrangle nor be reconciled; but I wish just to learn
whether, after this evening's events, you intend to con-
tinue your intimacy with------"

     "Oh, for mercy's sake," interrupted the mistress,
stamping her foot---"for mercy's sake, let us hear
no more of it now! Your cold blood cannot be worked
into a fever. Your veins are full of ice-water; but mine
are boiling, and the sight of such chillness makes them
dance."

     "To get rid of me, answer my question," persevered
Mr. Linton. "You must answer it, and that violence
does not alarm me. I have found that you can be as
stoical as any one, when you please. Will you give up
Heathcliff hereafter, or will you give up me? It is im-
possible for you to be my friend and his at the same
time; and I absolutely require to know which you
choose."

     "I require to be let alone!" exclaimed Catherine
furiously. "I demand it! Don't you see I can scarcely
stand? Edgar, you---you leave me!"

     She rang the bell till it broke with a twang. I entered
leisurely. It was enough to try the temper of a saint,
such senseless, wicked rages! There she lay dashing
her head against the arm of the sofa, and grinding her
teeth, so that you might fancy she would crash them to
splinters! Mr. Linton stood looking at her in sudden
compunction and fear. He told me to fetch some wa-
ter. She had no breath for speaking. I brought a glass
full; and as she would not drink, I sprinkled it on her
face. In a few seconds she stretched herself out stiff,
and turned up her eyes, while her cheeks, at once
blanched and livid, assumed the aspect of death. Lin-
ton looked terrified.

     "There is nothing in the world the matter," I whis-
pered. I did not want him to yield, though I could not
help being afraid in my heart.

     "She has blood on her lips!" he said, shuddering.

     "Never mind!" I answered tartly. And I told him
how she had resolved, previous to his coming, on ex-
hibiting a fit of frenzy. I incautiously gave the account
aloud, and she heard me, for she started up, her hair
flying over her shoulders, her eyes flashing, the mus-
cles of her neck and arms standing out preternaturally.
I made up my mind for broken bones at least; but she
only glared about her for an instant, and then rushed
from the room. The master directed me to follow. I did,
to her chamber door. She hindered me from going
farther by securing it against me.

     As she never offered to descend to breakfast next
morning, I went to ask whether she would have some
carried up. "No!" she replied peremptorily. The same
question was repeated at dinner and tea, and again on
the morrow after, and received the same answer. Mr.
Linton, on his part, spent his time in the library, and
did not inquire concerning his wife's occupations. Isa-
bella and he had had an hour's interview, during which
he tried to elicit from her some sentiment of proper hor-
ror for Heathcliff's advances; but he could make noth-
ing of her evasive replies, and was obliged to close the
examination unsatisfactorily, adding, however, a sol-
emn warning that if she were so insane as to encourage
that worthless suitor, it would dissolve all bonds of re-
lationship between herself and him.


CHAPTER XII.

While Miss Linton moped about the park and
garden, always silent, and almost always in tears,
and her brother shut himself up among books that he
never opened---wearying, I guessed, with a continual
vague expectation that Catherine, repenting her con-
duct, would come of her own accord to ask pardon,
and seek a reconciliation---and she fasted pertina-
ciously, under the idea, probably, that at every meal
Edgar was ready to choke for her absence, and pride
alone held him from running to cast himself at her feet,
I went about my household duties, convinced that the
Grange had but one sensible soul in its walls, and that
lodged in my body. I wasted no condolences on miss,
nor any expostulations on my mistress; nor did I pay
much attention to the sighs of my master, who yearned
to hear his lady's name, since he might not hear her
voice. I determined they should come about as they
pleased for me; and though it was a tiresomely slow
process, I began to rejoice at length in a faint dawn of
its progress, as I thought at first.

     Mrs. Linton on the third day unbarred her door, and
having finished the water in her pitcher and decanter,
desired a renewed supply, and a basin of gruel, for she	   
believed she was dying. That I set down as a speech
meant for Edgar's ears. I believed no such thing, so I
kept it to myself, and brought her some tea and dry
toast. She ate and drank eagerly, and sank back on her
pillow again, clenching her hands and groaning. "Oh,
I will die," she exclaimed, "since no one cares anything
about me. I wish I had not taken that." Then a good
while after I heard her murmur, "No, I'll not die---
he'd be glad---he does not love me at all---he would
never miss me!"

     "Did you want anything, ma'am?" I inquired, still  
preserving my external composure, in spite of her
ghastly countenance and strange, exaggerated manner.

     "What is that apathetic being doing?" she demanded,
pushing the thick entangled locks from her wasted face.
"Has he fallen into a lethargy, or is he dead?"

     "Neither," replied I, "if you mean Mr. Linton. He's
tolerably well, I think, though his studies occupy him
rather more than they ought. He is continually among
his books, since he has no other society."

     I should not have spoken so if I had known her
true condition, but I could not get rid of the notion
that she acted a part of her disorder.

     "Among his books!" she cried, confounded. "And
I dying---I on the brink of the grave! My God! does he
know how I'm altered?" continued she, staring at her
reflection in a mirror hanging against the opposite wall.
"Is that Catherine Linton? He imagines me in a pet---
in play, perhaps. Cannot you inform him that it is fright-
ful earnest? Nelly, if it be not too late, as soon as I learn
how he feels I'll choose between these two---either to
starve at once (that would be no punishment unless he
had a heart), or to recover, and leave the country. Are
you speaking the truth about him now? Take care. Is
he actually so utterly indifferent for my life?"

     "Why, ma'am," I answered, "the master has no idea
of your being deranged; and, of course, he does not
fear that you will let yourself die of hunger."

     "You think not? Cannot you tell him I will?" she
returned. "Persuade him; speak of your own mind; say
you are certain I will!"

     "No, you forget, Mrs. Linton," I suggested, "that you
have eaten some food with a relish this evening, and to-
morrow you will perceive its good effects."

     "If I were only sure it would kill him," she inter-
rupted, "I'd kill myself directly! These three awful
nights I've never closed my lids; and oh, I've been tor-
mented! I've been haunted, Nelly! But I begin to fancy
you don't like me. How strange! I thought, though
everybody hated and despised each other, they could
not avoid loving me. And they have all turned to en-
emies in a few hours. They have, I'm positive---the
people here. How dreary to meet death, surrounded by
their cold faces! Isabella, terrified and repelled, afraid
to enter the room; it would be so dreadful to watch
Catherine go! And Edgar standing solemnly by to see
it over; then offering prayers of thanks to God for re-
storing peace to his house, and going back to his books!
What in the name of all that feels has he to do with
books when I am dying?"

     She could not bear the notion which I had put into
her head of Mr. Linton's philosophical resignation.
Tossing about, she increased her feverish bewilderment
to madness, and tore the pillow with her teeth; then
raising herself up, all burning, desired that I would
open the window. We were in the middle of winter,
the wind blew strong from the north-east, and I ob-
jected. Both the expressions flitting over her face and
the changes of her moods began to alarm me terribly,
and brought to my recollection her former illness, and
the doctor's injunction that she should not be crossed.
A minute previously she was violent; now, supported
on one arm, and not noticing my refusal to obey her,
she seemed to find childish diversion in pulling the    
feathers from the rents she had just made, and ranging
them on the sheet according to their different species.
Her mind had strayed to other associations.

     "That's a turkey's," she murmured to herself, "and
this is a wild duck's, and this is a pigeon's. Ah, they
put pigeons' feathers in the pillows; no wonder I
couldn't die! Let me take care to throw it on the floor
when I lie down. And here is a moor-cock's; and this---   
I should know it among a thousand---it's a lapwing's.
Bonny bird, wheeling over our heads in the middle of
the moor. It wanted to get to its nest, for the clouds
had touched the swells, and it felt rain coming. This
feather was picked up from the heath; the bird was not
shot. We saw its nest in the winter, full of little skele-
tons. Heathcliff set a trap over it, and the old ones dare
not come. I made him promise he'd never shoot a lap-
wing after that, and he didn't. Yes, here are more! Did
he shoot my lapwings, Nelly? Are they red, any of
them? Let me look."

     "Give over with that baby-work!" I interrupted,
dragging the pillow away, and turning the holes towards
the mattress, for she was removing its contents by hand-
fuls. "Lie down and shut your eyes; you're wandering.
There's a mess! The down is flying about like snow."

     I went here and there collecting it.

     "I see in you, Nelly," she continued dreamily, "an
aged woman. You have gray hair and bent shoulders.
This bed is the fairy cave under Peniston Crag, and you
are gathering elf-bolts to hurt our heifers, pretending,
while I am near, that they are only locks of wool. That's
what you'll come to fifty years hence. I know you are
not so now. I'm not wandering; you're mistaken, or
else I should believe you really were that withered hag,
and I should think I was under Peniston Crag; and I'm
conscious it's night, and there are two candles on the
table making the black press shine like jet."

     "The black press? Where is that?" I asked. "You are
talking in your sleep!"

     "It's against the wall, as it always is," she replied.
"It does appear odd. I see a face in it!"

     "There's no press in the room, and never was," said
I, resuming my seat, and looping up the curtain, that I
might watch her.

     "Don't you see that face?" she inquired, gazing
earnestly at the mirror.

     And say what I could, I was incapable of making her
comprehend it to be her own; so I rose and covered it
with a shawl.

     "It's behind there still!" she pursued anxiously.
"And it stirred. Who is it? I hope it will not come out
when you are gone! O Nelly, the room is haunted! I'm
afraid of being alone!"

     I took her hand in mine, and bade her be composed,
for a succession of shudders convulsed her frame, and
she would keep straining her gaze towards the glass.
"There's nobody here!" I insisted. "It was yourself
Mrs. Linton. You knew it a while since."

     "Myself!" she gasped; "and the clock is striking
twelve! It's true, then; that's dreadful!"

     Her fingers clutched the clothes, and gathered them
over her eyes. I attempted to steal to the door, with an
intention of calling her husband; but I was summoned    
back by a piercing shriek. The shawl had dropped
from the frame.

     "Why, what is the matter?" cried I. "Who is coward
now? Wake up! That is the glass---the mirror, Mrs.
Linton; and you see yourself in it; and there am I too,
by your side."

     Trembling and bewildered, she held me fast, but the
horror gradually passed from her countenance. Its pale-
ness gave place to a glow of shame.

     "Oh dear! I thought I was at home," she sighed---
"I thought I was lying in my chamber at Wuthering
Heights. Because I'm weak, my brain got confused,
and I screamed unconsciously. Don't say anything,
but stay with me. I dread sleeping. My dreams appall
me."

     "A sound sleep would do you good, ma'am," I an-
swered; "and I hope this suffering will prevent your
trying starving again."

     "Oh, if I were but in my own bed in the old house!"
she went on bitterly, wringing her hands. "And that
wind sounding in the firs by the lattice. Do let me feel
it---it comes straight down the moor---do let me have  
one breath!"

     To pacify her, I held the casement ajar a few sec-
onds. A cold blast rushed through. I closed it, and re-
turned to my post. She lay still now, her face bathed
in tears. Exhaustion of body had entirely subdued her
spirit. Our fiery Catherine was no better than a wailing
child.

     "How long is it since I shut myself in here?" she
asked, suddenly reviving.

     "It was Monday evening," I replied; "and this is
Thursday night, or rather Friday morning, at present."

     "What! of the same week?" she exclaimed. "Only
that brief time?"

     "Long enough to live on nothing but cold water and
ill-temper," observed I.

     "Well, it seems a weary number of hours," she mut-
tered doubtfully. "It must be more. I remember being
in the parlour after they had quarrelled, and Edgar be-
ing cruelly provoking, and me running into this room
desperate. As soon as ever I had barred the door, utter
blackness overwhelmed me, and I fell on the floor. I
couldn't explain to Edgar how certain I felt of having
a fit, or going raging mad, if he persisted in teasing me.
I had no command of tongue or brain, and he did not
guess my agony perhaps; it barely left me sense to try
to escape from him and his voice. Before I recovered
sufficiently to see and hear, it began to be dawn; and,
Nelly, I'll tell you what I thought, and what has kept
recurring and recurring till I feared for my reason. I
thought as I lay there, with my head against that table
leg, and my eyes dimly discerning the gray square of
the window, that I was enclosed in the oak-panelled
bed at home; and my heart ached with some great grief
which, just waking, I could not recollect. I pondered,
and worried myself to discover what it could be; and,
most strangely, the whole last seven years of my life
grew a blank! I did not recall that they had been at all.
I was a child; my father was just buried, and my misery
arose from the separation that Hindley had ordered
between me and Heathcliff. I was laid alone, for the first
time; and rousing from a dismal doze, after a night of
weeping, I lifted my hand to push the panels aside. It
struck the table-top! I swept it along the carpet; and
then memory burst in. My late anguish was swallowed
in a paroxysm of despair. I cannot say why I felt so
wildly wretched. It must have been temporary derange-
ment, for there is scarcely cause. But, supposing at
twelve years old I had been wrenched from the Heights,
and every early association, and my all in all, as Heath-
cliff was at that time, and been converted at a stroke
into Mrs. Linton, the lady of Thrushcross Grange, and
the wife of a stranger, an exile and outcast thenceforth
from what had been my world---you may fancy a
glimpse of the abyss where I grovelled! Shake your
head as you will, Nelly, you have helped to unsettle me!
You should have spoken to Edgar---indeed you should
---and compelled him to leave me quiet! Oh, I'm burn-
ing! I wish I were out of doors! I wish I were a girl
again, half savage and hardy and free, and laughing at
injuries, not maddening under them! Why am I so
changed? Why does my blood rush into a hell of tumult
at a few words? I'm sure I should be myself were I once
among the heather on those hills. Open the window
again wide---fasten it open! Quick! Why don't you
move?"

     "Because I won't give you your death of cold," I an-
swered.

     "You won't give me a chance of life, you mean," she
said sullenly. "However, I'm not helpless yet. I'll open
it myself."

     And sliding from the bed before I could hinder her,
she crossed the room, walking very uncertainly, threw
it back, and bent out, careless of the frosty air that cut
about her shoulders as keen as a knife. I entreated, and
finally attempted to force her to retire. But I soon    
found her delirious strength much surpassed mine (she
was delirious, I became convinced by her subsequent
actions and ravings). There was no moon, and every-
thing beneath lay in misty darkness. Not a light gleamed
from any house, far or near---all had been extinguished
long ago; and those at Wuthering Heights were never
visible---still she asserted she caught their shining.

     "Look!" she cried eagerly; "that's my room with the
candle in it, and the tree swaying before it; and the
other candle is in Joseph's garret. Joseph sits up late,
doesn't he? He's waiting till I come home, that he may
lock the gate. Well, he'll wait a while yet. It's a rough
journey, and a sad heart to travel it; and we must pass
by Gimmerton Kirk to go that journey! We've braved
its ghosts often together, and dared each other to stand
among the graves and ask them to come. But, Heath-
cliff, if I dare you now, will you venture? If you do, I'll
keep you. I'll not lie there by myself. They may bury
me twelve feet deep, and throw the church down over
me, but I won't rest till you are with me. I never will!"

     She paused, and resumed with a strange smile. "He's
considering; he'd rather I'd come to him! Find a way,
then---not through that kirkyard. You are slow! Be
content; you always followed me!"

     Perceiving it vain to argue against her insanity, I was
planning how I could reach something to wrap about
her, without quitting my hold of herself (for I could not
trust her alone by the gaping lattice), when, to my
consternation, I heard the rattle of the door-handle,
and Mr. Linton entered. He had only then come from
the library, and in passing through the lobby had no-
ticed our talking, and been attracted by curiosity, or
fear, to examine what it signified, at that late hour.

     "O sir!" I cried, checking the exclamation risen to
his lips at the sight which met him, and the bleak atmos-
phere of the chamber, "my poor mistress is ill, and she
quite masters me. I cannot manage her at all. Pray,
come and persuade her to go to bed. Forget your anger,
for she's hard to guide any way but her own."

     "Catherine ill?" he said, hastening to us. "Shut the
window, Ellen!---Catherine! why------"

     He was silent. The haggardness of Mrs. Linton's
appearance smote him speechless, and he could only
glance from her to me in horrified astonishment.

     "She's been fretting here," I continued, "and eating
scarcely anything, and never complaining. She would
admit none of us till this evening, and so we couldn't
inform you of her state, as we were not aware of it our-
selves; but it is nothing."

     I felt I uttered my explanations awkwardly. The
master frowned. "It is nothing, is it, Ellen Dean?" he
said sternly. "You shall account more clearly for keep-
ing me ignorant of this!" And he took his wife in his
arms, and looked at her with anguish.

     At first she gave him no glance of recognition; he
was invisible to her abstracted gaze. The delirium was
not fixed, however; having weaned her eyes from con-
templating the outer darkness, by degrees she centred
her attention on him, and discovered who it was that
held her.

     "Ah! you are come, are you, Edgar Linton?" she
said, with angry animation. "You are one of those
things that are ever found when least wanted, and when
you are wanted, never! I suppose we shall have plenty
of lamentations now---I see we shall; but they can't
keep me from my narrow home out yonder---my rest-
ing-place, where I'm bound before spring is over! There
it is---not among the Lintons, mind, under the chapel-
roof, but in the open air, with a head-stone; and you
may please yourself whether you go to them or come
to me!"

     "Catherine, what have you done?" commenced the
master. "Am I nothing to you any more? Do you love
that wretch Heath------"

     "Hush!" cried Mrs. Linton---"hush, this moment!
You mention that name, and I end the matter instantly
by a spring from the window! What you touch at
present you may have; but my soul will be on that hill-
top before you lay hands on me again. I don't want you,
Edgar. I'm past wanting you. Return to your books.
I'm glad you possess a consolation, for all you had in
me is gone."

     "Her mind wanders, sir," I interposed---"she has
been talking nonsense the whole evening; but let her
have quiet and proper attendance, and she'll rally.
Hereafter we must be cautious how we vex her."

     "I desire no further advice from you," answered Mr.
Linton. "You knew your mistress's nature, and you
encouraged me to harass her. And not to give me one
hint of how she has been these three days! It was heart-
less! Months of sickness could not cause such a
change!"

     I began to defend myself, thinking it too bad to be
blamed for another's wicked waywardness. "I knew
Mrs. Linton's nature to be headstrong and domineer-
ing," cried I, "but I didn't know that you wished to fos-
ter her fierce temper. I didn't know that, to humour her,
I should wink at Mr. Heathcliff. I performed the duty
of a faithful servant in telling you, and I have got a
faithful servant's wages! Well, it will teach me to be
careful next time. Next time you may gather intelli-
gence for yourself."

     "The next time you bring a tale to me you shall quit
my service, Ellen Dean," he replied.

     "You'd rather hear nothing about it, I suppose, then,
Mr. Linton?" said I. "Heathcliff has your permission
to come a-courting to miss, and to drop in at every op-
portunity your absence offers, on purpose to poison
the mistress against you?"

     Confused as Catherine was, her wits were alert at
applying our conversation.

     "Ah! Nelly has played traitor!" she exclaimed pas-
sionately---"Nelly is my hidden enemy! You witch!
So you do seek elf-bolts to hurt us! Let me go, and I'll
make her rue! I'll make her howl a recantation!"

     A maniac's fury kindled under her brows. She strug-
gled desperately to disengage herself from Linton's
arms. I felt no inclination to tarry the event; and re-
solving to seek medical aid on my own responsibility,
I quitted the chamber.

     In passing the garden to reach the road, at a place
where a bridle hook is driven into the wall, I saw some-
thing white moved irregularly, evidently by another
agent than the wind. Notwithstanding my hurry, I
stayed to examine it, lest ever after I should have the
conviction impressed on my imagination that it was a
creature of the other world. My surprise and perplexity
were great on discovering, by touch more than vision,
Miss Isabella's springer, Fanny, suspended by a hand-
kerchief, and nearly at its last gasp. I quickly released
the animal, and lifted it into the garden. I had seen it
follow its mistress upstairs when she went to bed, and
wondered much how it could have got out there, and
what mischievous person had treated it so. While un-
tying the knot round the hook, it seemed to me that I
repeatedly caught the beat of horses' feet galloping at
some distance; but there were such a number of things
to occupy my reflections that I hardly gave the circum-
stance a thought, though it was a strange sound in
that place at two o'clock in the morning.

     Mr. Kenneth was fortunately just issuing from his
house to see a patient in the village as I came up the
street, and my account of Catherine Linton's malady in-
duced him to accompany me back immediately. He
was a plain, rough man; and he made no scruple to
speak his doubts of her surviving this second attack,
unless she were more submissive to his directions than
she had shown herself before.

     "Nelly Dean," said he, "I can't help fancying there's
an extra cause for this. What has there been to do at
the Grange? We've odd reports up here. A stout, hearty
lass like Catherine does not fall ill for a trifle; and that
sort of people should not, either. It's hard work bring-
ing them through fevers and such things. How did it
begin?"

     "The master will inform you," I answered; "but
you are acquainted with the Earnshaws' violent dis-
positions, and Mrs. Linton caps them all. I may say
this; it commenced in a quarrel. She was struck during
a tempest of passion with a kind of fit. That's her
account, at least, for she flew off in the height of it, and
locked herself up. Afterwards she refused to eat, and
now she alternately raves and remains in a half dream,
knowing those about her, but having her mind filled
with all sorts of strange ideas and illusions."

     "Mr. Linton will be sorry?" observed Kenneth in-
terrogatively.

     "Sorry? He'll break his heart should anything hap-
pen!" I replied. "Don't alarm him more than necessary."

     "Well, I told him to beware," said my companion;
"and he must bide the consequences of neglecting my
warning. Hasn't he been intimate with Mr. Heathcliff
lately?"

     "Heathcliff frequently visits at the Grange," an-
swered I, "though more on the strength of the mistress
having known him when a boy than because the master
likes his company. At present he's discharged from the
trouble of calling, owing to some presumptuous aspira-
tions after Miss Linton which he manifested. I hardly
think he'll be taken in again."

     "And does Miss Linton turn a cold shoulder on
him?" was the doctor's next question.

     "I'm not in her confidence," returned I, reluctant to
continue the subject.

     "No; she's a sly one," he remarked, shaking his head.
"She keeps her own counsel. But she's a real little fool.
I have it from good authority that last night (and a
pretty night it was) she and Heathcliff were walking
in the plantation at the back of your house above two
hours; and he pressed her not to go in again, but just
mount his horse and away with him. My informant
said she could only put him off by pledging her word of
honour to be prepared on their first meeting after that.
When it was to be, he didn't hear; but you urge Mr.
Linton to look sharp."

     This news filled me with fresh fears. I outstripped
Kenneth, and ran most of the way back. The little dog
was yelping in the garden yet. I spared a minute to
open the gate for it, but instead of going to the house
door, it coursed up and down snuffing the grass, and
would have escaped to the road had I not seized and
conveyed it in with me. On ascending to Isabella's
room my suspicions were confirmed. It was empty.
Had I been a few hours sooner, Mrs. Linton's illness
might have arrested her rash step. But what could be
done now? There was a bare possibility of overtaking
them if pursued instantly. I could not pursue them,
however; and I dare not rouse the family, and fill the
place with confusion---still less unfold the business to
my master, absorbed as he was in his present calamity,
and having no heart to spare for a second grief. I saw
nothing for it but to hold my tongue, and suffer matters
to take their course; and Kenneth being arrived, I went
with a badly composed countenance to announce him.
Catherine lay in a troubled sleep. Her husband had
succeeded in soothing the excess of frenzy. He now
hung over her pillow, watching every shade and every
change of her painfully expressive features.

     The doctor, on examining the case for himself, spoke
hopefully to him of its having a favourable termination,
if we could only preserve around her perfect and con-
stant tranquillity. To me he signified the threatening
danger was not so much death, as permanent aliena-
tion of intellect.

     I did not close my eyes that night, nor did Mr. Lin-
ton---indeed, we never went to bed; and the servants
were all up long before the usual hour, moving through
the house with stealthy tread, and exchanging whispers
as they encountered each other in their vocations. Every
one was active but Miss Isabella; and they began to
remark how sound she slept. Her brother, too, asked
if she had risen, and seemed impatient for her presence,
and hurt that she showed so little anxiety for her sister-
in-law. I trembled lest he should send me to call her;
but I was spared the pain of being the first proclaimant
of her flight. One of the maids, a thoughtless girl, who
had been on an early errand to Gimmerton, came pant-
ing upstairs, open mouthed, and dashed into the cham-
ber, crying,---

     "Oh dear, dear! What mun we have next? Master,
master, our young lady-----"

     "Hold your noise!" cried I hastily, enraged at her
clamorous manner.
     "Speak lower, Mary. What is the matter?" said Mr.
Linton. "What ails your young lady?"

     "She's gone, she's gone! Yon Heathcliff's run off wi'
her!" gasped the girl.

     "That is not true!" exclaimed Linton, rising in agi-
tation. "It cannot be. How has the idea entered your
head?---Ellen Dean, go and seek her. It is incredible.
It cannot be."

     As he spoke he took the servant to the door, and
then repeated his demand to know her reasons for such
an assertion.

     "Why, I met on the road a lad that fetches milk
here," she stammered, "and he asked whether we
weren't in trouble at the Grange. I thought he meant
for missis's sickness, so I answered yes. Then says he,
'There's somebody gone after 'em, I guess?' I stared.
He saw I knew nought about it, and he told how a
gentleman and lady had stopped to have a horse's
shoe fastened at a blacksmith's shop, two miles out of
Gimmerton, not very long after midnight; and how the
blacksmith's lass had got up to spy who they were. She
knew them both directly. And she noticed the man---
Heathcliff it was, she felt certain; nob'dy could mistake
him, besides---put a sovereign in her father's hand for
payment. The lady had a cloak about her face; but hav-
ing desired a sup of water, while she drank it fell back,
and she saw her very plain. Heathcliff held both bridles
as they rode on, and they set their faces from the village,
and went as fast as the rough roads would let them. The
lass said nothing to her father, but she told it all over
Gimmerton this morning."

     I ran and peeped, for form's sake, into Isabella's
room, confirming, when I returned, the servant's state-
ment. Mr. Linton had resumed his seat by the bed.
On my re-entrance he raised his eyes, read the meaning
of my blank aspect, and dropped them without giving
an order or uttering a word.

     "Are we to try any measures for overtaking and
bringing her back?" I inquired. "How should we do?"

     "She went of her own accord," answered the master;
"she had a right to go if she pleased. Trouble me no
more about her. Hereafter she is only my sister in name
...not because I disown her, but because she has dis-
owned me."

     And that was all he said on the subject. He did not
make a single inquiry further, or mention her in any
way, except directing me to send what property she
had in the house to her fresh home, wherever it was,
when I knew it.


CHAPTER XIII.

For two months the fugitives remained absent. In
those two months Mrs. Linton encountered and
conquered the worst shock of what was denominated
a brain fever. No mother could have nursed an only
child more devotedly than Edgar tended her. Day and
night he was watching and patiently enduring all the
annoyances that irritable nerves and a shaken reason
could inflict; and though Kenneth remarked that what
he saved from the grave would only recompense his
care by forming the source of constant future anxiety
---in fact, that his health and strength were being sacri-
ficed to preserve a mere ruin of humanity---he knew
no limits in gratitude and joy when Catherine's life
was declared out of danger; and hour after hour he
would sit beside her, tracing the gradual return to bod-
ily health, and flattering his too sanguine hopes with
the illusion that her mind would settle back to its right
balance also, and she would soon be entirely her former
self.

     The first time she left her chamber was at the com-
mencement of the following March. Mr. Linton had
put on her pillow, in the morning, a handful of golden 
crocuses. Her eye, long stranger to any gleam of pleas-
ure, caught them in waking, and shone delighted as
she gathered them eagerly together.

     "These are the earliest flowers at the Heights," she
exclaimed. "They remind me of soft thaw winds, and
warm sunshine, and nearly melted snow. Edgar, is
there not a south wind, and is not the snow almost
gone?"

     "The snow is quite gone down here, darling," replied
her husband, "and I only see two white spots on the
whole range of moors. The sky is blue, and the larks
are singing, and the becks and brooks are all brim full.
Catherine, last spring at this time I was longing to have
you under this roof; now I wish you were a mile or two
up those hills; the air blows so sweetly, I feel that it
would cure you."

     "I shall never be there but once more," said the
invalid; "and then you'll leave me, and I shall remain
for ever. Next spring you'll long again to have me un-
der this roof, and you'll look back and think you were
happy to-day."

     Linton lavished on her the kindest caresses, and
tried to cheer her by the fondest words; but, vaguely
regarding the flowers, she let the tears collect on her
lashes and stream down her cheeks unheeding. We
knew she was really better, and therefore decided that
long confinement to a single place produced much of
this despondency, and it might be partially removed
by a change of scene. The master told me to light a fire
in the many-weeks-deserted parlour, and to set an
easy-chair in the sunshine by the window; and then
he brought her down, and she sat a long while enjoy-
ing the genial heat, and, as we expected, revived by
the objects round her, which, though familiar, were
free from the dreary associations investing her hated
sick chamber. By evening she seemed greatly exhausted,
yet no arguments could persuade her to return to that
apartment; and I had to arrange the parlour sofa for
her bed, till another room could be prepared. To obvi-
ate the fatigue of mounting and descending the stairs,
we fitted up this, where you lie at present, on the same
floor with the parlour; and she was soon strong enough
to move from one to the other, leaning on Edgar's arm.
Ah, I thought myself she might recover, so waited on
as she was. And there was double cause to desire it, for
on her existence depended that of another; we cher-
ished the hope that in a little while Mr. Linton's heart
would be gladdened, and his lands secured from a
stranger's gripe, by the birth of an heir.

     I should mention that Isabella sent to her brother,
some six weeks from her departure, a short note an-
nouncing her marriage with Heathcliff. It appeared
dry and cold, but at the bottom was dotted in with
pencil an obscure apology, and an entreaty for kind
remembrance and reconciliation, if her proceeding
had offended him, asserting that she could not help it
then, and, being done, she had now no power to repeal
it. Linton did not reply to this, I believe; and in a fort-
night more I got a long letter which I considered odd,
coming from the pen of a bride just out of the honey-
moon. I'll read it, for I keep it yet. Any relic of the dead
is precious if they were valued living.

     DEAR ELLEN, it begins, I came last night to Wuther-
ing Heights, and heard for the first time that Catherine
has been, and is yet, very ill. I must not write to her, I
suppose, and my brother is either too angry or too dis-
tressed to answer what I sent him. Still, I must write to
somebody, and the only choice left me is you.

     Inform Edgar that I'd give the world to see his face
again---that my heart returned to Thrushcross Grange
in twenty-four hours after I left it, and is there at this
moment, full of warm feelings for him and Catherine.
I can't follow it, though  (those words are underlined);
they need not expect me; and they may draw what con-
clusions they please, taking care, however, to lay noth-
ing at the door of my weak will or deficient affection.

     The remainder of the letter is for yourself alone. I
want to ask you two questions; the first is---How did
you contrive to preserve the common sympathies of
human nature when you resided here? I cannot recog-
nize any sentiment which those around share with me.

     The second question I have great interest in; it is
this----Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And
if not, is he a devil? I shan't tell my reasons for making
this inquiry, but I beseech you to explain, if you can,
what I have married---that is, when you call to see me;
and you must call, Ellen, very soon. Don't write, but
come, and bring me something from Edgar.

     Now you shall hear how I have been received in my
new home, as I am led to imagine the Heights will
be. It is to amuse myself that I dwell on such subjects
as the lack of external comforts; they never occupy my
thoughts, except at the moment when I miss them. I
should laugh and dance for joy if I found their absence
was the total of my miseries, and the rest was an un-
natural dream.

     The sun set behind the Grange as we turned on to
the moors: by that I judged it to be six o'clock; and my
companion halted half an hour to inspect the park and
the gardens, and probably the place itself, as well as
he could; so it was dark when we dismounted in the
paved yard of the farmhouse, and your old fellow-serv-
ant Joseph issued out to receive us by the light of a dip
candle. He did it with a courtesy that redounded to
his credit. His first act was to elevate his torch to a level
with my face, squint malignantly, project his under
lip, and turn away. Then he took the two horses and
led them into the stables, reappearing for the purpose
of locking the outer gate, as if we lived in an ancient
castle.

     Heathcliff stayed to speak to him, and I entered the
kitchen---a dingy, untidy hole. I dare say you would
not know it, it is so changed since it was in your charge.
By the fire stood a ruffianly child, strong in limb and
dirty in garb, with a look of Catherine in his eyes and
about his mouth.

     "This is Edgar's legal nephew," I reflected---"mine
in a manner. I must shake hands, and---yes---I must
kiss him. It is right to establish a good understanding
at the beginning."

     I approached, and attempting to take his chubby
fist, said,---

     "How do you do, my dear?"

     He replied in a jargon I did not comprehend.

     "Shall you and I be friends, Hareton?" was my next
essay at conversation.

     An oath, and a threat to set Throttler on me if I did
not "frame off," rewarded my perseverance.

     "Hey, Throttler, lad!" whispered the little wretch,
rousing a half-bred bull-dog from its lair in a corner.
"Now, wilt thou be ganging?" he asked authorita-
tively.

     Love for my life urged a compliance. I stepped over
the threshold to wait till the others should enter. Mr.
Heathcliff was nowhere visible, and Joseph, whom I
followed to the stables and requested to accompany me
in, after staring and muttering to himself, screwed up
his nose and replied,---

     "Mim! mim! mim! Did iver Christian body hear
aught like it? Minching un munching! How can I tell
whet ye say?"

     "I say I wish you to come with me into the house!"
I cried, thinking him deaf, yet highly disgusted at his
rudeness.

     "None o' me. I getten summut else to do," he an-
swered, and continued his work, moving his lantern
jaws meanwhile, and surveying my dress and counte-
nance (the former a great deal too fine, but the latter,
I'm sure, as sad as he could desire) with sovereign con-
tempt.

     I walked round the yard and through a wicket to
another door, at which I took the liberty of knocking,
in hopes some more civil servant might show himself.
After a short suspense it was opened by a tall, gaunt
man, without neckerchief, and otherwise extremely
slovenly; his features were lost in masses of shaggy
hair that hung on his shoulders, and his eyes, too,
were like a ghostly Catherine's with all their beauty
annihilated.

     "What's your business here?" he demanded grimly.
"Who are you?"

     "My name was Isabella Linton," I replied. "You've
seen me before, sir. I'm lately married to Mr. Heath-
cliff, and he has brought me here--I suppose by your
permission."

     "Is he come back, then?" asked the hermit, glaring
like a hungry wolf,

     "Yes, we came just now," I said; "but he left me
by the kitchen door, and when I would have gone in
your little boy played sentinel over the place, and fright-
ened me off by the help of a bull-dog."

     "It's well the hellish villain has kept his word!"
growled my future host, searching the darkness beyond
me in expectation of discovering Heathcliff; and then
he indulged in a soliloquy of execrations, and threats
of what he would have done had the "fiend" deceived
him.

     I repented having tried this second entrance, and
was almost inclined to slip away before he finished
cursing; but ere I could execute that intention he or-
dered me in, and shut and refastened the door. There
was a great fire, and that was all the light in the huge
apartment, whose floor had grown a uniform gray, and
the once brilliant pewter dishes, which used to attract
my gaze when I was a girl, partook of a similar obscu-
rity, created by tarnish and dust. I inquired whether I
might call the maid, and be conducted to a bedroom.
Mr. Earnshaw vouchsafed no answer. He walked up
and down, with his hands in his pockets, apparently
quite forgetting my presence; and his abstraction was
evidently so deep, and his whole aspect so misanthrop-
ical, that I shrank from disturbing him again.

     You'll not be surprised, Ellen, at my feeling particu-
larly cheerless, seated in worse than solitude on that in-
hospitable hearth, and remembering that four miles
distant lay my delightful home, containing the only
people I loved on earth; and there might as well be the
Atlantic to part us, instead of those four miles. I could
not overpass them. I questioned with myself--Where
must I turn for comfort? and (mind you don't tell Ed-
gar or Catherine) above every sorrow beside, this rose
pre-eminent---despair at finding nobody who could or
would be my ally against Heathcliff. I had sought shel-
ter at Wuthering Heights almost gladly, because I was
secured by that arrangement from living alone with
him; but he knew the people we were coming amongst,
and he did not fear their intermeddling.

     I sat and thought a doleful time. The clock struck
eight, and nine, and still my companion paced to and
fro, his head bent on his breast, and perfectly silent,
unless a groan or a bitter ejaculation forced itself out
at intervals. I listened to detect a woman's voice in tbe
house, and filled the interim with wild regrets and dis-
mal anticipations, which at last spoke audibly in irre-
pressible sighing and weeping. I was not aware how
openly I grieved, till Earnshaw halted opposite, in his
measured walk, and gave me a stare of newly-awakened
surprise. Taking advantage of his recovered attention,
I exclaimed,---

     "I'm tired with my journey, and I want to go to bed!
Where is the maidservant? Direct me to her, as she
won't come to me."

     "We have none," he answered. "You must wait on
yourself."

     "Where must I sleep, then?" I sobbed. I was beyond
regarding self-respect, weighed down by fatigue and
wretchedness.

     "Joseph will show you Heathcliff's chamber," said
he. "Open that door; he's in there."

     I was going to obey, but he suddenly arrested me,
and added in the strangest tone,---

     "Be so good as to turn your lock and draw your bolt;
don't omit it!"

     "Well!" I said; "but why, Mr. Earnshaw?" I did not
relish the notion of deliberately fastening myself in with
Heathcliff.

     "Look here!" he replied, pulling from his waistcoat
a curiously constructed pistol, having a double-edged
spring knife attached to the barrel. "That's a great
tempter to a desperate man, is it not? I cannot resist
going up with this every night and trying his door. If
once I find it open, he's done for! I do it invariably,
even though the minute before I have been recalling
a hundred reasons that should make me refrain. It is
some devil that urges me to thwart my own schemes
by killing him. You fight against that devil for love as
long as you may; when the time comes, not all the an-
gels in heaven shall save him!"

     I surveyed the weapon inquisitively. A hideous no-
tion struck me. How powerful I should be, possessing
such an instrument! I took it from his hand and touched
the blade. He looked astonished at the expression my
face assumed during a brief second; it was not horror
---it was covetousness. He snatched the pistol back
jealously, shut the knife, and returned it to its conceal-
ment.

     "I don't care if you tell him," said he. "Put him on
his guard, and watch for him. You know the terms we
are on, I see. His danger does not shock you."

     "What has Heathcliff done to you?" I asked. "In
what has he wronged you, to warrant this appalling
hatred? Wouldn't it be wiser to bid him quit the
house?"

     "No!" thundered Earnshaw. "Should he offer to
leave me, he's a dead man. Persuade him to attempt
it, and you are a murderess. Am I to lose all without
a chance of retrieval? Is Hareton to be a beggar? Oh,
damnation! I wilj have it back, and I'll have his gold
too, and then his blood, and hell shall have his soul!
It will be ten times blacker with that guest than ever it
was before!"

     You've acquainted me, Ellen, with your old master's
habits. He is clearly on the verge of madness. He was
so last night at least. I shuddered to be near him, and
thought on the servant's ill-bred moroseness as com-
paratively agreeable. He now recommenced his moody
walk, and I raised the latch and escaped into the
kitchen. Joseph was bending over the fire, peering into
a large pan that swung above it, and a wooden bowl of
oatmeal stood on the settle close by. The contents of the
pan began to boil, and he turned to plunge his hand
into the bowl. I conjectured that this preparation was
probably for our supper, and being hungry, I resolved
it should be eatable; so, crying out sharply, "I'll make
the porridge!" I removed the vessel out of his reach,
and proceeded to take off my hat and riding-habit.

     "Mr. Earnshaw," I continued, "directs me to wait on
myself. I will. I'm not going to act the lady among you,
for fear I should starve."

     "Gooid Lord!" he muttered, sitting down and strok-
ing his ribbed stockings from the knee to the ankle.
"If there's to be fresh ortherings, just when I getten
used to two maisters, if I mun hev a mistress set o'er
my heead, it's like time to be flitting. I niver did think
to see t' day that I mud lave th' owld place, but I doubt
it's nigh at hand!"

     This lamentation drew no notice from me. I went
briskly to work, sighing to remember a period when it
would have been all merry fun, but compelled speedily
to drive off the remembrance. It racked me to recall
past happiness and the greater peril there was of con-
juring up its apparition, the quicker the thible ran
round, and the faster the handfuls of meal fell into the
water. Joseph beheld my style of cookery with grow-
ing indignation.

     "Thear!" he ejaculated. "Hareton, thou willn't sup
thy porridge to-neeght; they'il be naught but lumps as
big as my neive. Thear, agean! I'd fling in bowl un all,
if I wer ye! There, pale t' guilp off, un then ye'll hae
done wi't. Bang, bang. It's a mercy t' bothom isn't
deaved out!"

     It was rather a rough mess, I own, when poured into
the basins. Four had been provided, and a gallon
pitcher of new milk was brought from the dairy, which
Hareton seized and commenced drinking and spilling
from the expansive lip. I expostulated, and desired
that he should have his in a mug, affirming that I could
not taste the liquid treated so dirtily. The old cynic
chose to be vastly offended at this nicety, assuring me
repeatedly that "the barn was every bit as good" as I,
"and every bit as wollsome," and wondering how I
could fashion to be so conceited. Meanwhile the infant
ruffian continued sucking, and glowered up at me defy-
ingly as he slavered into the jug.

     "I shall have my supper in another room," I said.
"Have you no place you call a parlour?"

     "Parlour!" he echoed sneeringly--"parlour! Nay,
we've noa parlours. If yah dunnut loike wer company,
there's maister's; un if yah dunnut loike maister,
there's us."

     "Then I shall go upstairs," I answered. "Show me
a chamber."

     I put my basin on a tray, and went myself to fetch
some more milk. With great grumblings the fellow rose
and preceded me in my ascent. We mounted to the
garrets. He opened a door now and then to look into
the apartments we passed.

     "Here's a rahm," he said at last, flinging back a
cranky board on hinges. "It's weel eneugh to ate a
few porridge in. There's a pack o' corn i' t' corner,
thear, meeterly clane. If ye're feared o' muckying yer
grand silk cloes, spread yer hankerchir o' to' top
on't."

     The "rahm" was a kind of lumber-hole smelling
strong of malt and grain, various sacks of which articles
were piled around, leaving a wide, bare space in the
middle.

     "Why, man!" I exclaimed, facing him angrily, "this
is not a place to sleep in. I wish to see my bedroom."

     "Bedrume!" he repeated, in a tone of mockery.
"Yah's see all t'bedrumes thear is. Yon's mine."

     He pointed into the second garret, only differing
from the first in being more naked about the walls,
and having a large, low, curtainless bed with an indigo-
coloured quilt at one end.

     "What do I want with yours?" I retorted. "I suppose
Mr. Heathcliff does not lodge at the top of the house,
does he?"

     "Oh, it's Maister Hathecliff's ye're wanting?" cried
he, as if making a new discovery. "Couldn't ye ha' said
soa, at onst? Un then I mud ha' telled ye, baht all this
wark, that that's just one ye cannut see. He allas keeps
it locked, un nob'dy iver mells on't but hisseln."

     "You've a nice house, Joseph," I could not refrain
from observing, "and pleasant inmates; and I think
the concentrated essence of all the madness in the
world took up its abode in my brain the day I linked
my fate with theirs! However, that is not to the present
purpose. There are other rooms. For Heaven's sake be
quick, and let me settle somewbere!"

     He made no reply to this adjuration, only plodding
doggedly down the wooden steps, and halting before
an apartment which, from that halt and the superior
quality of its furniture, I conjectured to be the best one.
There was a carpet---a good one--but the pattern was
obliterated by dust; a fireplace hung with cut paper,
dropping to pieces; a handsome oak bedstead with
ample crimson curtains of rather expensive material     
and modern make, but they had evidently experi-
enced rough usage---the vallances hung in festoons,
wrenched from their rings, and the iron rod support-
ing them was bent in an arc on one side, causing the
drapery to trail upon the floor. The chairs were also
damaged, many of them severely, and deep indenta-
tions deformed the panels of the walls. I was endeav-
ouring to gather resolution for entering and taking pos-
session, when my fool of a guide announced, "This
here is t' maister's." My supper by this time was cold,
my appetite gone, and my patience exhausted. I in-
sisted on being provided instantly with a place of refuge
and means of repose.

     "Whear the divil?" began the religious elder. "The
Lord bless us! The Lord forgie us! Whear the hell
wold ye gang, ye marred, wearisome nowt? Ye've seen
all but Hareton's bit of a cham'er. There's not another
hoile to lig down in i' th' hahsel"

     I was so vexed, I flung my tray and its contents on
the ground, and then seated myself at the stairs-head,
hid my face in my hands, and cried.

     "Ech! ech!" exclaimed Joseph. "Weel done, Miss
Cathy! weel done, Miss Cathy! Howsiver, t' maister sall
just tum'le o'er them brocken pots, un then we's hear
summut---we's hear how it's to be. Gooid-for-naught
madling! ye desarve pining fro' this to Churstmas, fling-
ing t' precious gifts o' God under fooit i' yer flaysome
rages! But I'm mista'en if ye show yer sperrit lang. Will
Hathecliff bide sich bonny ways, think ye? I nobbut
wish he may catch ye i' that plisky. I nobbut wish he
may."

     And so he went on scolding to his den beneath, tak-
ing the candle with him, and I remained in the dark.
The period of reflection succeeding this silly action com-
pelled me to admit the necessity of smothering my pride
and choking my wrath, and bestirring myself to remove
its effects. An unexpected aid presently appeared in the
shape of Throttler, whom I now recognized as a son of
our old Skulker. It had spent its whelphood at
the Grange, and was given by my father to Mr. Hindley.
I fancy it knew me. It pushed its nose against mine by
way of salute, and then hastened to devour the por-
ridge, while I groped from step to step, collecting the
shattered earthenware, and drying the spatters of milk
from the banister with my pocket-handkerchief. Our
labours were scarcely over when I heard Earnshaw's
tread in the passage. My assistant tucked in his tail and
pressed to the wall. I stole into the nearest doorway.
The dog's endeavour to avoid him was unsuccessful, as
I guessed by a scutter downstairs, and a prolonged,
piteous yelping. I had better luck. He passed on, en-
tered his chamber, and shut the door. Directly after,
Joseph came up with Hareton, to put him to bed. I had
found shelter in Hareton's room, and the old man, on
seeing me, said,---

     "They's rahm for boath ye un yer pride now, I sud
think, i' the hahse. It's empty; ye may hev it all to yer-
seln, un Him as allas maks a third i' sich ill company!"

     Gladly did I take advantage of this intimation, and
the minute I flung myself into a chair by the fire
I nodded and slept. My slumber was deep and sweet,
though over far too soon. Mr. Heathcliff awoke me. He
had just come in, and demanded, in his loving manner,
what I was doing there. I told him the cause of my stay-
ing up so late--that he had the key of our room in his
pocket. The adjective our gave mortal offence. He
swore it was not, nor ever should be mine, and
he'd------ But I'll not repeat his language, nor describe
his habitual conduct. He is ingenious and unresting in
seeking to gain my abhorrence. I sometimes wonder at
him with an intensity that deadens my fear; yet I assure
you a tiger or a venomous serpent could not rouse ter-
ror in me equal to that which he wakens. He told me
of Catherine's illness, and accused my brother of caus-
ing it, promising that I should be Edgar's proxy in suf-
fering till he could get hold of him.

     I do hate him---I am wretched---I have been a fooll
Beware of uttering one breath of this to any one at the
Grange. I shall expect you every day. Don't disappoint
me.

                                   ISABELLA.


CHAPTER XIV.

As soon as I had perused this epistle I went to the
master and informed him that his sister had ar-
rived at the Heights, and sent me a letter expressing
her sorrow for Mrs. Linton's situation, and her ardent
desire to see him, with a wish that he would transmit
to her, as early as possible, some token of forgiveness
by me.

     "Forgiveness!" said Linton. "I have nothing to for-
give her, Ellen. You may call at Wuthering Heights this
afternoon, if you like, and say that I am not angry, but
I'm sorry to have lost her---especially as I can never
think she'll be happy. It is out of the question my going
to see her, however; we are eternally divided, and
should she really wish to oblige me, let her persuade
the villain she has married to leave the country."

     "And you won't write her a little note, sir?" I asked
imploringly.

     "No," he answered; "it is needless. My communica-
tion with Heathcliff's family shall be as sparing as his
with mine. It shall not exist."

     Mr. Edgar's coldness depressed me exceedingly, and
all the way from the Grange I puzzled my brains how
to put more heart into what he said, when I repeated it,
and how to soften his refusal of even a few lines to con-
sole Isabella. I dare say she had been on the watch for
me since morning. I saw her looking through the lattice
as I came up the garden causeway, and I nodded to her;
but she drew back as if afraid of being observed. I en-
tered without knocking. There never was such a dreary,
dismal scene as the formerly cheerful house presented.
I must confess that if I had been in the young lady's
place I would, at least, have swept the hearth and wiped
the tables with a duster. But she already partook of the
pervading spirit of neglect which encompassed her.
Her pretty face was wan and listless, her hair uncurled
--some locks hanging lankly down, and some care-
lessly twisted round her head. Probably she had not
touched her dress since yester evening. Hindley was not
there. Mr. Heathcliff sat at a table, turning over some
papers in his pocket-book; but he rose when I
appeared, asked me how I did, quite friendly, and of-
fered me a chair. He was the only thing there that
seemed decent, and I thought he never looked better.
So much had circumstances altered their positions that
he would certainly have struck a stranger as a born and
bred gentleman, and his wife as a thorough little slat-
tern! She came forward eagerly to greet me, and held
out one hand to take the expected letter. I shook my
head. She wouldn't understand the hint, but followed
me to a sideboard where I went to lay my bonnet, and
importuned me in a whisper to give her directly what I
had brought. Heathcliff guessed the meaning of her
manoeuvres, and said,--

     "If you have got anything for Isabella---as no
doubt you have, Nelly--give it to her. You needn't
make a secret of it. We have no secrets between us."

     "Oh, I have nothing," I replied, thinking it best
to speak the truth at once. "My master bade me tell his
sister that she must not expect either a letter or a visit
from him at present. He sends his love, ma'am, and his
wishes for your happiness, and his pardon for the grief
you have occasioned; but he thinks that after this time
his household and the household here should drop in-
tercommunication, as nothing could come of keeping
it up."

     Mrs. Heathcliff's lip quivered slightly, and she re-
turned to her seat in the window. Her husband took his
stand on the hearthstone near me, and began to put
questions concerning Catherine. I told him as much as
I thought proper of her illness, and he extorted from
me, by cross-examination, most of the facts connected
with its origin. I blamed her, as she deserved, for bring-
ing it all on herself, and ended by hoping that he would
follow Mr. Linton's example, and avoid future inter-
ference with his family, for good or evil.

     "Mrs. Linton is now just recovering," I said. "She'll
never be like she was, but her life is spared; and if you
really have a regard for her, you'll shun crossing her
way again---nay, you'll move out of this country en-
tirely; and that you may not regret it, I'll inform you
Catherine Linton is as different now from your old
friend Catherine Earnshaw as that young lady is dif-
ferent from me. Her appearance is changed greatly, her
character much more so; and the person who is com-
pelled, of necessity, to be her companion will only sus-
tain his affection hereafter by the remembrance of what
she once was, by common humanity, and a sense of
duty."

     "That is quite possible," remarked Heathcliff, forcing
himself to seem calm---"quite possible that your master
should have nothing but common humanity and a
sense of duty to fall back upon. But do you imagine that
I shall leave Catherine to his duty and humanity? and
can you compare my feelings respecting Catherine to
his? Before you leave this house, I must exact a promise
from you that you'll get me an interview with her. Con-
sent or refuse, I wil see her! What do you say?"

     "I say, Mr. Heathcliff," I replied, "you must not.
You never shall, through my means. Another encounter
between you and the master would kill her altogether."

     "With your aid that may be avoided," he continued;
"and should there be danger of such an event---should
he be the cause of adding a single trouble more to her
existence---why, I think I shall be justified in going to
extremes. I wish you had sincerity enough to tell me
whether Catherine would suffer greatly from his loss;
the fear that she would restrains me. And there you see
the distinction between our feelings: had he been in
my place, and I in his, though I hated him with a hatred
that turned my life to gall, I never would have raised a
hand against him. You may look incredulous if you
please. I never would have banished him from her so-
ciety as long as she desired his. The moment her regard
ceased, I would have torn his heart out and drunk his
blood! But till then---if you don't believe me you don't
know me---till then I would have died by inches before
I touched a single hair of his head!"

     "And yet," I interrupted, "you have no scruples in
completely ruining all hopes of her perfect restoration
by thrusting yourself into her remembrance now, when
she has nearly forgotten you, and involving her in a
new tumult of discord and distress."

     "You suppose she has nearly forgotten me?" he said.
"O Nelly, you know she has not! You know as well     
as I do that for every thought she spends on Linton, she
spends a thousand on me! At a most miserable period
of my life I had a notion of the kind. It haunted me on
my return to the neighbourhood last summer; but only
her own assurance could make me admit the horrible
idea again. And then Linton would be nothing, nor
Hindley, nor all the dreams that ever I dreamt. Two
words would comprehend my future---death and hell;
existence, after losing her, would be hell. Yet I was a
fool to fancy for a moment that she valued Edgar Lin-
ton's attachment more than mine. If he loved with all
the powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as much
in eighty years as I could in a day. And Catherine has a
heart as deep as I have; the sea could be as readily
contained in that horse-trough as her whole affection
be monopolized by him! Tush! He is scarcely a degree
dearer to her than her dog or her horse. It is not in him
to be loved like me. How can she love in him what he
has not?"

     "Catherine and Edgar are as fond of each other as
any two people can be," cried Isabella with sudden
vivacity. "No one has a right to talk in that manner,
and I won't hear my brother depreciated in silencel"

     "Your brother is wondrous fond of you too, isn't
he?" observed Heathcliff scornfully. "He turns you
adrift on the world with surprising alacrity."

     "He is not aware of what I suffer," she replied. "I
didn't tell him that."

     "You have been telling him something, then. You
have written, have you?"

     "To say that I was married, I did write; you saw the
note."

     "And nothing since?"

     "No."

     "My young lady is looking sadly the worse for her
change of condition," I remarked. "Somebody's love
comes short in her case obviously. Whose, I may guess,
but perhaps I shouldn't say."

     "I should guess it was her own," said Heathcliff.
She degenerates into a mere slut. She is tired of trying
to please me uncommonly early. You'd hardly credit it,
but the very morrow of our wedding she was weeping
to go home. However, she'll suit this house so much the
better for not being overnice, and I'll take care she does
not disgrace me by rambling abroad."

     "Well, sir," returned I, "I hope you'll consider that
Mrs. Heathcliff is accustomed to be looked after and
waited on, and that she has been brought up like an
only daughter, whom every one was ready to serve. You
must let her have a maid to keep things tidy about her,
and you must treat her kindly. Whatever be your notion
of Mr. Edgar, you cannot doubt that she has a
capacity for strong attachments, or she wouldn't have
abandoned the elegances, and comforts, and friends of
her former home to fix contentedly in such a wilder-
ness as this with you."

     "She abandoned them under a delusion," he an-
swered, "picturing in me a hero of romance, and expect-
ing unlimited indulgences from my chivalrous devo-
tion. I can hardly regard her in the light of a rational
creature, so obstinately has she persisted in forming a
fabulous notion of my character, and acting on the
false impressions she cherished. But at last I think she
begins to know me. I don't perceive the silly smiles
and grimaces that provoked me at first, and the sense-
less incapability of discerning that I was in earnest
when I gave her my opinion of her infatuation and
herself. It was a marvellous effort of perspicacity to
discover that I did not love her. I believed, at one time,
no lessons could teach her that. And yet it is poorly
learned, for this morning she announced, as a piece of
appalling intelligence, that I had actually succeeded in
making her hate me--a positive labour of Hercules, I
assure you! If it be achieved, I have cause to return
thanks.---Can I trust your assertion, Isabella? Are you
sure you hate me? If I let you alone for half a day, won't
you come sighing and wheedling to me again?---I
dare say she would rather I had seemed all tenderness
before you; it wounds her vanity to have the truth ex-
posed. But I don't care who knows that the passion was
wholly on one side; and I never told her a lie about it.
She cannot accuse me of showing one bit of deceitful
softness. The first thing she saw me do on coming out of
the Grange was to hang up her little dog, and when she
pleaded for it, the first words I uttered were a wish that
I had the hanging of every being belonging to her, ex-
cept one. Possibly she took that exception for herself.
But no brutality disgusted her. I suppose she has an
innate admiration of it, if only her precious person were
secure from injury. Now, was it not the depth of ab-
surdity, of genuine idiocy, for that pitiful, slavish,
mean-minded brach to dream that I could love her?
Tell your master, Nelly, that I never, in all my life, met
with such an abject thing as she is. She even disgraces
the name of Linton; and I've sometimes relented, from
pure lack of invention, in my experiments on what she
could endure and still creep shamefully cringing back.
But tell him also to set his fraternal and magisterial
heart at ease; that I keep strictly within the limits of the
law. I have avoided, up to this period, giving her the
slightest right to claim a separation; and, what's more,
she'd thank nobody for dividing us. If she desired to
go, she might; the nuisance of her presence outweighs
the gratification to be derived from tormenting her."

     "Mr. Heathcliff," said I, "this is the talk of a mad-
man. Your wife, most likely, is convinced you are mad,
and for that reason she has borne with you hitherto;
but now that you say she may go, she'll doubtless avail
herself of the permission.---You are not so bewitched,
ma'am, are you, as to remain with him of your own
accord?"

     "Take care, Ellen!" answered Isabella, her eyes
sparkling irefully. There was no misdoubting, by their
expression, the full success of her partner's endeavours
to make himself detested. "Don't put faith in a single
word he speaks. He's a lying fiend---a monster, and not
a human being! I've been told I might leave him be-
fore, and I've made the attempt, but I dare not repeat
it. Only, Ellen, promise you'll not mention a syllable
of his infamous conversation to my brother or Cather-
ine. Whatever he may pretend, he wishes to provoke
Edgar to desperation. He says he has married me on
purpose to obtain power over him; and he shan't ob-
tain it. I'll die first! I just hope---I pray--that he may
forget his diabolical prudence and kill me! The single
pleasure I can imagine is to die or to see him dead!"

     "There--that will do for the present!" said Heath-
cliff.----"If you are called upon in a court of law you'll
remember her language, Nelly. And take a good look at
that countenance; she's near the point which would
suit me--No; you're not fit to be your own guardian,
Isabella, now; and I, being your legal protector, must
retain you in my custody, however distasteful the
obligation may be. Go upstairs; I have something to say

to Ellen Dean in private. That's not the way. Upstairs, I
tell you! Why, this is the road upstairs, child."

     He seized and thrust her from the room, and returned
muttering,---

     "I have no pity! I have no pity! The more the worms
writhe, the more I yearn to crush out their entrails! It
is a moral teething; and I grind with greater energy in
proportion to the increase of pain."

     "Do you understand what the word pity means?"
I said, hastening to resume my bonnet. "Did you ever
feel a touch of it in your life?"

     "Put that down!" he interrupted, perceiving my in-
tention to depart. "You are not going yet. Come here
now, Nelly. I must either persuade or compel you to
aid me in fulfilling my determination to see Catherine,
and that without delay. I swear that I meditate no
harm. I don't desire to cause any disturbance, or to ex-
asperate or insult Mr. Linton. I only wish to hear from
herself how she is, and why she has been ill, and to ask
if anything that I could do would be of use to her.
Last night I was in the Grange garden six hours, and I'Il
return there to-night; and every night I'll haunt the
place, and every day, till I find an opportunity of enter-
ing. If Edgar Linton meets me I shall not hesitate to
knock him down, and give him enough to assure his
quiescence while I stay. If his servants oppose me I
shall threaten them off with these pistols. But
wouldn't it be better to prevent my coming in contact
with them or their master? And you could do it so eas-
ily. I'd warn you when I came, and then you might
let me in unobserved, as soon as she was alone, and
watch till I departed, your conscience quite calm. You
would be hindering mischief."

     I protested against playing that treacherous part in
my employer's house, and, besides, I urged the cruelty
and selfishness of his destroying Mrs. Linton's tran-
quillity for his satisfaction. "The commonest occur-
rence startles her painfully," I said. "She's all nerves,
and she couldn't bear the surprise, I'm positive. Don't
persist, sir, or else I shall be obliged to inform my mas-
ter of your designs, and he'll take measures to secure
his house and its inmates from any such unwarranta-
ble intrusions!"

     "In that case, I'll take measures to secure you,
woman," exclaimed Heathcliff. "You shall not leave
Wuthering Heights till to-morrow morning. It is a fool-
ish story to assert that Catherine could not bear to see
me; and as to surprising her, I don't desire it. You must
prepare her; ask her if I may come. You say she never
mentions my name, and that I am never mentioned to
her. To whom should she mention me if I am a forbid-
den topic in the house? She thinks you are all spies for
her husband. Oh, I've no doubt she's in hell among
you! I guess by her silence, as much as anything, what
she feels. You say she is often restless and anxious-look-
ing. Is that a proof of tranquillity? You talk of her mind
being unsettled. How the devil could it be otherwise in
her frightful isolation? And that insipid, paltry crea-
ture attending her former duty and humanity, from pity
and chariry! He might as well plant an oak in a flower-
pot, and expect it to thrive, as imagine he can restore
her to vigour in the soil of his shallow cares! Let us set-
tle it at once. Will you stay here, and am I to fight my
way to Catherine over Linton and his footman? or
will you be my friend, as you have been hitherto, and
do what I request? Decide, because there is no reason
for my lingering another minute if you persist in your
stubborn ill-nature."

     Well, Mr. Lockwood, I argued and complained, and
flatly refused him fifty times; but in the long run he
forced me to an agreement. I engaged to carry a letter
from him to my mistress; and should she consent, I
promised to let him have intelligence of Linton's next
absence from home, when he might come, and get in
as he was able. I wouldn't be there, and my fellow-
servants should be equally out of the way. Was it right
or wrong? I fear it was wrong, though expedient. I
thought I prevented another explosion by my com-
pliance, and I thought, too, it might create a favourable
crisis in Catherine's mental illness. And then I remem-
bered Mr. Edgar's stern rebuke of my carrying tales,
and I tried to smooth away all disquietude on the sub-
ject by affirming, with frequent iteration, that that be-
trayal of trust, if it merited so harsh an appellation,
should be the last. Notwithstanding, my journey home-
ward was sadder than my journey thither, and many
misgivings I had ere I could prevail on myself to put the
missive into Mrs. Linton's hand.

     But here is Kenneth. I'll go down and tell him how
much better you are. My history is dree, as we say, and
will serve to while away another morning.

     	* * * * *

     Dree and dreary, I reflected, as the good woman de-
scended to receive the doctor, and not exactly of the
kind which I should have chosen to amuse me. But
never mind. I'll extract wholesome medicines from
Mrs. Dean's bitter herbs; and firstly, let me beware the
fascination that lurks in Catherine Heathcliff's bril-
liant eyes. I should be in a curious taking if I surren-
dered my heart to that young person, and the daughter
turned out a second edition of the mother.


CHAPTER XV.

Another week over, and I am so many days nearer
health and spring! I have now heard all my
neighbour's history, at different sittings, as the house-
keeper could spare time from more important occupa-
tions. I'll continue it in her own words, only a little
condensed. She is, on the whole, a very fair narrator,
and I don't think I could improve her style.

     In the evening, she said---the evening of my visit to
the Heights---I knew, as well as if I saw him, that Mr.
Heathcliff was about the place; and I shunned going
out, because I still carried his letter in my pocket, and
didn't want to be threatened or teased any more. I had
made up my mind not to give it till my master went
somewhere, as I could not guess how its receipt would
affect Catherine. The consequence was that it did not
reach her before the lapse of three days. The fourth was
Sunday, and I brought it into her room after the family
were gone to church. There was a manservant left to
keep the house with me, and we generally made a prac-
tice of locking the doors during the hours of service; but
on that occasion the weather was so warm and pleas-
ant that I set them wide open, and, to fulfil my engage-
ment, as I knew who would be coming, I told my com-
panion that the mistress wished very much for some
oranges, and he must run over to the village and get a
few, to be paid for on the morrow. He departed, and I
went upstairs.

     Mrs. Linton sat in a loose, white dress, with a light
shawl over her shoulders, in the recess of the open win-
dow as usual. Her thick, long hair had been partly re-
moved at the beginning of her illness, and now she
wore it simply combed in its natural tresses over her
temples and neck. Her appearance was altered, as I
had told Heathcliff; but when she was calm there
seemed unearthly beauty in the change. The flash of her
eyes had been succeeded by a dreamy and melancholy
softness; they no longer gave the impression of looking
at the objects around her; they appeared always to gaze
beyond, and far beyond---you would have said out of
this world. Then the paleness of her face---its haggard
aspect having vanished as she recovered flesh---and
the peculiar expression arising from her mental state,
though painfully suggestive of their causes, added to
the touching interest which she awakened, and----in-
variably to me, I know, and to any person who saw her,
I should think---refuted more tangible proofs of con-
valescence, and stamped her as one doomed to decay.

     A book lay spread on the sill before her, and the
scarcely perceptible wind fluttered its leaves at in-
tervals. I believe Linton had laid it there, for she never
endeavoured to divert herself with reading or occupa-
tion of any kind, and he would spend many an hour
in trying to entice her attention to some subject which
had formerly been her amusement. She was conscious
of his aim, and in her better moods endured his efforts
placidly, only showing their uselessness by now and
then suppressing a wearied sigh, and checking him at
last with the saddest of smiles and kisses. At other times

she would turn petulantly away, and hide her face in
her hands, or even push him off angrily; and then he
took care to let her alone, for he was certain of doing
no good.

     Gimmerton chapel bells were still ringing, and the
full, mellow flow of the beck in the valley came sooth-
ingly on the ear. It was a sweet substitute for the yet ab-
sent murmur of the summer foliage which drowned
that music about the Grange when the trees were in leaf.
At Wuthering Heights it always sounded on quiet days
following a great thaw or a season of steady rain. And
of Wuthering Heights Catherine was thinking as she
listened---that is, if she thought or listened at all; but
she had the vague, distant look I mentioned before,
which expressed no recognition of material things
either by ear or eye.

     "There's a letter for you, Mrs. Linton," I said, gently
inserting it in one hand that rested on her knee. "You
must read it immediately, because it wants an answer.
Shall I break the seal?" "Yes," she answered, without
altering the direction of her eyes. I opened it; it was
very short. "Now," I continued, "read it." She drew
away her hand, and let it fall. I replaced it in her lap,
and stood waiting till it should please her to glance
down; but that movement was so long delayed that at
last I resumed---

     "Must I read it, ma'am? It is from Mr. Heathcliff."

     There was a start and a troubled gleam of recollec-
tion, and a struggle to arrange her ideas. She lifted the
letter, and seemed to peruse it, and when she came to
the signature she sighed; yet still I found she had not
gathered its import, for, upon my desiring to hear her
reply, she merely pointed to the name and gazed at me
with mournful and questioning eagerness.

     "Well, he wishes to see you," said I, guessing her
need of an interpreter. "He's in the garden by this time,
and impatient to know what answer I shall bring."

     As I spoke I observed a large dog lying on the sunny
grass beneath raise its ears as if about to bark, and then,
smoothing them back, announce, by a wag of the tail,
that some one approached whom it did not consider a
stranger. Mrs. Linton bent forward and listened breath-
lessly. The minute after a step traversed the hall. The
open house was too tempting for Heathcliff to resist
walking in. Most likely he supposed that I was inclined
to shirk my promise, and so resolved to trust to his own
audacity. With straining eagerness Catherine gazed to-
wards the entrance of her chamber. He did not hit the
right room directly. She motioned me to admit him, but
he found it out ere I could reach the door, and in a stride
or two was at her side, and had her grasped in
his arms.

     He neither spoke nor loosed his hold for some five
minutes, during which period he bestowed more kisses 
than ever he gave in his life before, I dare say; but then
my mistress had kissed him first, and I plainly saw that
he could hardly bear, for downright agony, to look into
her face. The same conviction had stricken him as me,
from the instant he beheld her, that there was no pros-
pect of ultimate recovery there; she was fated, sure to
die.

     "O Cathy! O my life! how can I bear it?" was the
first sentence he uttered, in a tone that did not seek to
disguise his despair. And now he stared at her so earn-
estly that I thought the very intensity of his gaze would
bring tears into his eyes; but they burned with anguish
--they did not melt.

     "What now?" said Catherine, leaning back and re-
turning his look with a suddenly clouded brow. Her
humour was a mere vane for constantly varying ca-
prices. "You and Edgar have broken my heart, Heath-
cliff! And you both come to bewail the deed to me, as
if you were the people to be pitied! I shall not pity you,
not I. You have killed me---and thriven on it, I think.
How strong you are! How many years do you mean to
live after I am gone?"

     Heathcliff had knelt on one knee to embrace her. He
attempted to rise, but she seized his hair and kept him
down.

     "I wish I could hold you," she continued bitterly,
"till we were both dead! I shouldn't care what you suf-
fered. I care nothing for your sufferings. Why shouldn't
you suffer? I do! Will you forget me? Will you be
happy when I am in the earth? Will you say twenty years
hence, 'That's the grave of Catherine Earnshaw. I loved
her long ago, and was wretched to lose her; but it is
past. I've loved many others since. My children are
dearer to me than she was, and at death I shall not re-
joice that I am going to her; I shall be sorry that I must
leave them.' Will you say so, Heathcliff?"

     "Don't torture me till I'm as mad as yourself,"
cried he, wrenching his head free and grinding his teeth.

     The two, to a cool spectator, made a strange and
fearful picture. Well might Catherine deem that heaven
would be a land of exile to her, unless with her mortal
body she cast away her moral character also. Her pres-
ent countenance had a wild vindictiveness in its white
cheek, and a bloodless lip and a scintillating eye; and
she retained in her closed fingers a portion of the locks
she had been grasping. As to her companion, while rais-
ing himself with one hand, he had taken her arm with
the other, and so inadequate was his stock of gentle-
ness to the requirements of her condition that on his
letting go I saw four distinct impressions left blue in
the colourless skin.

     "Are you possessed with a devil," he pursued sav-
agely, "to talk in that manner to me when you are dy-
ing? Do you reflect that all those words will be branded
in my memory, and eating deeper eternally after you
have left me? You know you lie to say I have killed you;
and, Catherine, you know that I could as soon forget
you as my existence! Is it not sufficient for your in-
fernal selfishness that, while you are at peace, I shall
writhe in the torments of hell?"

     "I shall not be at peace," moaned Catherine, recalled
to a sense of physical weakness by the violent, unequal
throbbing of her heart, which beat visibly and audibly
under this excess of agitation. She said nothing further
till the paroxysm was over, then she continued more
kindly,---

     "I'm not wishing you greater torment than I have,
Heathcliff. I only wish us never to be parted; and
should a word of mine distress you hereafter, think I
feel the same distress underground, and for my own
sake forgive me! Come here and kneel down again.
You never harmed me in your life. Nay, if you nurse
anger, that will be worse to remember than my harsh
words. Won't you come here again? Do!"

     Heathcliff went to the back of her chair and leant
over, but not so far as to let her see his face, which was
livid with emotion. She bent round to look at him. He
would not permit it. Turning abruptly, he walked to the
fireplace, where he stood, silent, with his back towards
us. Mrs. Linton's glance followed him suspiciously.
Every movement woke a new sentiment in her. After a
pause and a prolonged gaze she resumed, addressing
me in accents of indignant disappointment,---

     "Oh, you see, Nelly, he would not relent a moment
to keep me out of the grave! That is how I'm loved!
Well, never mind. That is not my Heathcliff. I shall love
mine yet, and take him with me; he's in my soul. And,"
added she musingly, "the thing that irks me most is
this shattered prison, after all. I'm tired of being en-
closed here. I'm wearying to escape into that glorious
world, and to be always there--not seeing it dimly
through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of
an aching heart, but really with it and in it. Nelly, you
think you are better and more fortunate than I, in full
health and strength. You are sorry for me. Very soon
that will be altered. I shall be sorry for you. I shall be in-
comparably beyond and above you all. I wonder he
won't be near mel" she went on to herself. "I thought
he wished it---Heathcliff dear, you should not be sul-
len now. Do come to me, Heathcliff."

     In her eagerness she rose nnd supported herself on
the arm of the chair. At that earnest appeal he turned
to her, looking absolutely desperate. His eyes, wide
and wet, at last flashed fiercely on her; his breast heaved
convulsively. An instant they held asunder, and then
how they met I hardly saw, but Catherine made a
spring, and he caught her, and they were locked in an
embrace from which I thought my mistress would never
be released alive--in fact, to my eyes, she seemed di-
rectly insensible. He flung himself into the nearest seat,
and on my approaching hurriedly to ascertain if she had
fainted, he gnashed at me and foamed like a mad dog,
and gathered her to him with greedy jealousy. I did not
feel as if I were in the company of a creature of my own
species. It appeared that he would not understand,
though I spoke to him, so I stood off and held my
tongue in great perplexity.

     A movement of Catherine's relieved me a little pres-
ently. She put up her hand to clasp his neck, and bring
her cheek to his as he held her; while he, in return,
covering her with frantic caresses, said wildly,----

     "You teach me now how cruel you've been---cruel
and false. Why did you despise me? Why did you be-
tray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of
comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself.
Yes, you may kiss me, and cry, and wring out my kisses
and tears; they'll blight you---they'll damn you. You
loved me; then what right had you to leave me? What
right---answer me---for the poor fancy you felt for Lin-
ton? Because misery, and degradation, and death, and
nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have
parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have
not broken your heart---you have broken it; and in
breaking it you have broken mine. So much the worse
for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of
living will it be when you----- O God! would you like
to live with your soul in the grave?"

     "Let me alone! let me alone!" sobbed Catherine.
"If I've done wrong, I'm dying for it. It is enough! You
left me too; but I won't upbraid you. I forgive you. For-
give me."

     "It is hard to forgive, and to look at those eyes, and
feel those wasted hands," he answered. "Kiss me again,
and don't let me see your eyes. I forgive what you have
done to me. I love my murderer---but yours! How can
I?"

     They were silent----their faces hid against each other,
and washed by each other's tears. At least, I suppose
the weeping was on both sides, as it seemed Heathcliff
could weep on a great occasion like this.

     I grew very uncomfortable, meanwhile, for the after-
noon wore fast away, the man whom I had sent off re-
turned from his errand, and I could distinguish by the
shine of the western sun up the valley a concourse
thickening outside Gimmerton chapel porch.

     "Service is over," I announced. "My master will be
here in half an hour."

     Heathcliff groaned a curse, and strained Catherine
closer. She never moved.

     Ere long I perceived a group of the servants pass-
ing up the road towards the kitchen wing. Mr. Linton
was not far behind. He opened the gate himself, and
sauntered slowly up, probably enjoying the lovely
afternoon, that breathed as soft as summer.

     "Now he is here!" I exclaimed. "For Heaven's sake
hurry down! You'll not meet any one on the front
stairs. Do be quick, and stay among the trees till he is
fairly in."

     "I must go, Cathy," said Heathcliff, seeking to ex-
tricate himself from his companion's arms. "But if I
live I'll see you again before you are asleep. I won't
stray five yards from your window."

     "You must not go!" she answered, holding him as
firmly as her strength allowed. "You shall not, I tell
you."

     "For one hour," he pleaded earnestly.

     "Not for one minute," she replied.

     "I must; Linton will be up immediately," persisted
the alarmed intruder.

     He would have risen and unfixed her fingers by the
act; she clung fast, gasping. There was mad resolution
in her face.

     "No!" she shrieked. "Oh, don't, don't go! It is the
last time! Edgar will not hurt us. Heathcliff, I shall die!
I shall die!"

     "Damn the fool! There he is!" cried Heathcliff, sink-
ing back into his seat. "Hush, my darling! Hush, hush,
Catherine! I'll stay. If he shot me so, I'd expire with a
blessing on my lips."

     And there they were fast again. I heard my master
mounting the stairs. The cold sweat ran from my fore-
head; I was horrified.

     "Are you going to listen to her ravings?" I said pas-
sionately. "She does not know what she says. Will you
ruin her because she has not wit to help herself? Get
up! You could be free instantly. That is the most dia-
bolical deed that ever you did. We are all done for---
master, mistress, and servant."

     I wrung my hands and cried out, and Mr. Linton
hastened his step at the noise. In the midst of my agita-
tion I was sincerely glad to observe that Catherine's
arms had fallen relaxed, and her head hung down.

     "She's fainted or dead," I thought; "so much the
better. Far better that she should be dead than lingering
a burden and a misery-maker to all about her."

     Edgar sprang to his unbidden guest, blanched with
astonishment and rage. What he meant to do I cannot
tell. However, the other stopped all demonstrations at
once by placing the lifeless-looking form in his arms.

     "Look there!" he said. "Unless you be a fiend, help
her first; then you shall speak to me!"

     He walked into the parlour and sat down. Mr. Linton
summoned me, and with great difficulty, and after re-
sorting to many means, we managed to restore her to
sensation; but she was all bewildered. She sighed and
moaned, and knew nobody. Edgar, in his anxiety for
her, forgot her hated friend. I did not. I went at the ear-
liest opportunity and besought him to depart, affirming
that Catherine was better, and he should hear from me
in the morning how she passed the night.

     "I shall not refuse to go out of doors," he answered,
"but I shall stay in the garden; and, Nelly, mind you
keep your word to-morrow. I shall be under those
larch trees. Mind! or I pay another visit, whether Lin-
ton be in or not."

     He sent a rapid glance through the half-open door of
the chamber, and, ascertaining that what I stated was
apparently true, delivered the house of his luckless
presence.


CHAPTER XVI.

About twelve o'clock that night was born the Cath-
erine you saw at Wuthering Heights---a puny
seven months' child; and two hours after, the mother
died, having never recovered sufficient consciousness
to miss Heathcliff or know Edgar. The latter's distrac-
tion at his bereavement is a subject too painful to be
dwelt on; its after effects showed how deep the sorrow
sank. A great addition, in my eyes, was his being left
without an heir. I bemoaned that as I gazed on the
feeble orphan, and I mentally abused old Linton for----
what was only natural partiality---the securing his es-
tate to his own daughter instead of his son's. An unwel-
comed infant it was, poor thing! It might have wailed
out of life and nobody cared a morsel, during those first
hours of existence. We redeemed the neglect after-
wards, but its beginning was as friendless as its end is
likely to be.

     Next morning---bright and cheerful out of doors----
stole softened in through the blinds of the silent room,
and suffused the couch and its occupant with a mellow,
tender glow. Edgar Linton had his head laid on the pil-
low, and his eyes shut. His young and fair features were
almost as deathlike as those of the form beside him,
and almost as fixed; but his was the hush of exhausted
anguish, and hers of perfect peace. Her brow smooth,
her lids closed, her lips wearing the expression of a
smile---no angel in heaven could be more beautiful
than she appeared. And I partook of the infinite calm
in which she lay. My mind was never in a holier frame

than while I gazed on that untroubled image of Divine
rest. I instinctively echoed the words she had uttered a
few hours before. "Incomparably beyond and above us
all! Whether still on earth or now in heaven, her spirit
is at home with God!"

     I don't know if it be a peculiarity in me, but I am
seldom otherwise than happy while watching in the
chamber of death, should no frenzied or despair-
ing mourner share the duty with me. I see a repose that
neither earth nor hell can break, and I feel an assur-
ance of the endless and shadowless hereafter---the eter-
nity they have entered---where life is boundless in its
duration, and love in its sympathy, and joy in its full-
ness. I noticed on that occasion how much selfishness
there is even in a love like Mr. Linton's, when he so
regretted Catherine's blessed release. To be sure, one
might have doubted, after the wayward and impatient
existence she had led, whether she merited a haven of
peace at last. One might doubt in seasons of cold re-
flection, but not then, in the presence of her corpse. It
asserted its own tranquillity, which seemed a pledge of
equal quiet to its former inhabitants.

     Do you believe such people are happy in the other
world, sir? I'd give a great deal to know.

     I declined answering Mrs. Dean's question, which
struck me as something heterodox. She proceeded,----

     Retracing the course of Catherine Linton, I fear we
have no right to think she is; but we'll leave her with
her Maker.

     The master looked asleep, and I ventured soon
after sunrise to quit the room and steal out to the pure
refreshing air. The servants thought me gone to shake
off the drowsiness of my protracted watch; in re-
ality, my chief motive was seeing Mr. Heathcliff. If he
had remained among the larches all night he would
have heard nothing of the stir at the Grange--unless,
perhaps, he might catch the gallop of the messenger
going to Gimmerton. If he had come nearer he would
probably be aware, from the lights flitting to and fro,
and the opening and shutting of the outer doors, that
all was not right within. I wished yet feared to find him.
I felt the terrible news must be told, and I longed to get
it over; but how to do it I did not know. He was there
--at least a few yards farther in the park---leant
against an old ash tree, his hat off, and his hair soaked
with the dew that had gathered on the budded branches,
and fell pattering round him. He had been standing a
long time in that position, for I saw a pair of ousels pass-
ing and repassing scarcely three feet from him, busy
in building their nest, and regarding his proximity no
more than that of a piece of timber. They flew off at
my approach, and he raised his eyes and spoke.

     "She's dead!" he said. "I've not waited for you to
learn that. Put your handkerchief away; don't snivel
before me. Damn you all! she wants none of your
tears!"

     I was weeping as much for him as her; we do some-
times pity creatures that have none of the feeling either
for themselves or others. When I first looked into his
face, I perceived that he had got intelligence of the
catastrophe; and a foolish notion struck me that his
heart was quelled, and he prayed, because his lips
moved, and his gaze was bent on the ground.

     "Yes, she's dead!" I answered, checking my sobs
and drying my cheeks---"gone to heaven, I hope, where
we may, every one, join her, if we take due warn-
ing and leave our evil ways to follow good!"

     "Did she take due warning, then?" asked Heathcliff,
attempting a sneer. "Did she die like a saint? Come,
give me a true history of the event. How did------"

     He endeavoured to pronounce the name, but
could not manage it; and compressing his mouth he
held a silent combat with his inward agony, defying,
meanwhile, my sympathy with an unflinching ferocious
stare. "How did she die?" he resumed at last, fain, not-
withstanding his hardihood, to have a support behind
him; for, after the struggle, he trembled, in spite of
himself, to his very finger-ends.

     "Poor wretch!" I thought, "you have a heart and
nerves the same as your brother men! Why should
you be anxious to conceal them? Your pride cannot
blind God. You tempt Him to wring them till He forces
a cry of humiliation."

     "Quietly as a lamb!" I answered aloud. "She drew a
sigh, and stretched herself, like a child reviving, and
sinking again to sleep; and five minutes after I felt
one little pulse at her heart, and nothing more!"

     "And---did she ever mention me?" he asked, hesi-
tating, as if he dreaded the answer to his question
would introduce details that he could not bear to hear.

     "Her senses never returned. She recognized nobody
from the time you left her," I said. "She lies with a
sweet smile on her face, and her latest ideas wandered
back to pleasant early days. Her life closed in a gentle
dream. May she wake as kindly in the other world!"

     "May she wake in torment!" he cried with fright-
ful vehemence, stamping his foot and groaning in a sud-
den paroxysm of ungovernable passion. "Why, she's a
liar to the end. Where is she? Not there--not in heaven
--not perished---where?---Oh! you said you cared
nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer---I
repeat it till my tongue stiffens---Catherine Earnshaw,
may you not rest as long as I am living! You said I
killed you---haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt
their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have
wandered on earth. Be with me always----take any form
---drive me mad---only do not leave me in this abyss,
where I cannot find you! O God! it is unutterable! I
cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my
soul!"

     He dashed his head against the knotted trunk, and,
lifting up his eyes, howled---not like a man, but like a
savage beast being goaded to death with knives and
spears. I observed several splashes of blood about the
bark of the tree, and his hand and forehead were both
stained; probably the scene I witnessed was a repetition
of others acted during the night. It hardly moved my
compassion--it appalled me; still I felt reluctant to
quit him so. But the moment he recollected himself
enough to notice me watching, he thundered a com-
mand for me to go, and I obeyed. He was beyond my
skill to quiet or console.

     Mrs. Linton's funeral was appointed to take place on
the Friday following her decease, and till then her coffin
remained uncovered and strewn with flowers and
scented leaves in the great drawing-room. Linton spent
his days and nights there, a sleepless guardian; and----   
a circumstance concealed from all but me---Heathcliff
spent his nights, at least, outside, equally a stranger
to repose. I held no communication with him. Still, I
was conscious of his design to enter, if he could; and
on the Tuesday, a little after dark, when my master,
from sheer fatigue, had been compelled to retire a cou-
ple of hours, I went and opened one of the windows,
moved by his perseverance to give him a chance of be-
stowing on the faded image of his idol one final adieu.
He did not omit to avail himself of the opportunity,
cautiously and briefly---too cautiously to betray his
presence by the slightest noise. Indeed, I shouldn't have
discovered that he had been there, except for the disar-
rangement of the drapery about the corpse's face, and
for observing on the floor a curl of light hair fastened
with a silver thread, which, on examination, I ascer-
tained to have been taken from a locket hung round
Catherine's neck. Heathcliff had opened the trinket
and cast out its contents, replacing them by a black
lock of his own. I twisted the two, and enclosed them
together.

     Mr. Earnshaw was, of course, invited to attend the
remains of his sister to the grave. He sent no excuse,
but he never came; so that, besides her husband, the
mourners were wholly composed of tenants and serv-
ants. Isabella was not asked.

     The place of Catherine's interment, to the surprise of
the villagers, was neither in the chapel under the carved
monument of the Lintons, nor yet by the tombs of her
own relations outside. It was dug on a green slope in a
corner of the kirkyard, where the wall is so low that
heath and bilberry plants have climbed over it from
the moor, and peat mould almost buries it. Her hus-
band lies in the same spot now, and they have each a
simple headstone above, and a plain gray block at their
feet, to mark the graves.


CHAPTER XVII.

That Friday made the last of our fine days for a
month. In the evening the weather broke; the wind
shifted from south to north-east, and brought rain first,
and then sleet and snow. On the morrow one could
hardly imagine that there had been three weeks of
summer---the primroses and crocuses were hidden
under windy drifts, the larks were silent, the young
leaves of the early trees smitten and blackened. And
dreary, and chill, and dismal, that morrow did creep
over! My master kept his room; I took possession of the
lonely parlour, converting it into a nursery, and there
I was, sitting with the moaning doll of a child laid on   
my knee, rocking it to and fro, and watching, mean-
while, the still driving flakes build up the uncurtained
window, when the door opened, and some person en-
tered, out of breath and laughing. My anger was greater
than my astonishment for a minute. I supposed it one
of the maids, and I cried,---

     "Have done! How dare you show your giddiness
here? What would Mr. Linton say if he heard you?"

     "Excuse me," answered a familiar voice; "but I know
Edgar is in bed, and I cannot stop myself."

     With that the speaker came forward to the fire, pant-
ing and holding her hand to her side.

     "I have run the whole way from Wuthering Heights,"
she continued, after a pause, "except where I've flown.
I couldn't count the number of falls I've had. Oh, I'm
aching all over! Don't be alarmed! There shall be an
explanation as soon as I can give it, only just have the
goodness to step out and order the carriage to take me
on to Gimmerton, and tell a servant to seek up a few
clothes in my wardrobe."

     The intruder was Mrs. Heathcliff. She certainly
seemed in no laughing predicament. Her hair streamed
on her shoulders, dripping with snow and water; she
was dressed in the girlish dress she commonly wore,
befitting her age more than her position---a low frock
with short sleeves, and nothing on either head or neck.
The frock was of light silk, and clung to her with wet,
and her feet were protected merely by thin slippers;
add to this a deep cut under one ear, which only the
cold prevented from bleeding profusely, a white face
scratched and bruised, and a frame hardly able to sup-
port itself, through fatigue, and you may fancy my first
fright was not much allayed when I had had leisure to
examine her.

     "My dear young lady," I exclaimed, "I'll stir no-
where, and hear nothing, till you have removed every
article of your clothes, and put on dry things; and cer-
tainly you shall not go to Gimmerton to-night, so it is
needless to order the carriage."

     "Certainly I shall," she said---"walking or riding.
Yet I've no objection to dress myself decently. And---
Ah, see how it flows down my neck now! The fire does
make it smart."

     She insisted on my fulfilling her directions before she
would let me touch her; and not till after the coachman
had been instructed to get ready, and a maid set to pack
up some necessary attire, did I obtain her consent for
binding the wound, and helping to change her gar-
ments.

     "Now, Ellen," she said, when my task was finished
and she was seated in an easy-chair on the hearth, with
a cup of tea before her, "you sit down opposite me, and
put poor Catherine's baby away. I don't like to see it.
You mustn't think I care little for Catherine because I
behaved so foolishly on entering. I've cried, too, bit-
terly--yes, more than any one else has reason to cry.
We parted unreconciled, you remember, and I shan't
forgive myself. But, for all that, I was not going to sym-
pathize with him---the brute beast! Oh, give me the
poker! This is the last thing of his I have about me."
She slipped the gold ring from her third finger, and
threw it on the floor. "I'll smash it!" she continued,
striking it with childish spite, "and then I'll burn itl"
And she took and dropped the misused article among
the coals. "There! he shall buy another if he gets me
back again. He'd be capable of coming to seek me, to
tease Edgar. I dare not stay, lest that notion should pos-
sess his wicked head! And besides, Edgar has not
been kind, has he? And I won't come suing for his as-
sistance, nor will I bring him into more trouble.
Necessity compelled me to seek shelter here, though, if
I had not learned he was out of the way, I'd have
halted at the kitchen, washed my face, warmed myself,
got you to bring what I wanted, and departed again
to anywhere out of the reach of my accursed---off that
incarnate goblin! Ah, he was in such a fury! If he had
caught me! It's a pity Earnshaw is not his match
in strength. I wouldn't have run till I'd seen him all
but demolished, had Hindley been able to do it."

     "Well, don't talk so fast, miss," I interrupted; "you'll
disorder the handkerchief I have tied round your face,
and make the cut bleed again. Drink your tea, and take
breath, and give over laughing; laughter is sadly out
of place under this roof, and in your condition!"

     "An undeniable truth," she replied. "Listen to that
child! It maintains a constant wail. Send it out of my
hearng for an hour; I shan't stay any longer."

     I rang the bell and committed it to a servant's care,
and then I inquired what had urged her to escape from
Wuthering Heights in such an unlikely plight, and
where she meant to go, as she refused remaining with
us.

     "I ought and I wish to remain," answered she---"to
cheer Edgar and take care of the baby, for two things,
and because the Grange is my right home. But I tell you
he wouldn't let me. Do you think he could bear to see
me grow fat and merry, could bear to think that we
were tranquil, and not resolve on poisoning our com-
fort? Now, I have the satisfaction of being sure that he
detests me to the point of its annoying him seriously to
have me within earshot or eyesight. I notice, when I
enter his presence, the muscles of his countenance are
involuntarily distorted into an expression of hatred,
partly arising from his knowledge of the good causes I
have to feel that sentiment for him, and partly from
original aversion. It is strong enough to make me feel
pretty certain that he would not chase me over England
supposing I contrived a clear escape, and therefore I
must get quite away. I've recovered from my first de-
sire to be killed by him; I'd rather he'd kill himself!
He has extinguished my love effectually, and so I'm at
my ease. I can recollect yet how I loved him, and can
dimly imagine that I could still be loving him, if---no,
no! Even if he had doted on me, the devilish nature
would have revealed its existence somehow. Catherine
had an awfully perverted taste to esteem him so dearly,
knowing him so well. Monster! Would that he could be
blotted out of creation and out of my memory!"

     "Hush, hush! He's a human being," I said. "Be
more charitable. There are worse men than he is yet."

     "He's not a human being," she retorted, "and he has
no claim on my charity. I gave him my heart, and he
took and pinched it to death, and flung it back to me.
People feel with their hearts, Ellen; and since he has
destroyed mine, I have not power to feel for him, and
I would not, though he groaned from this to his dy-
ing day, and wept tears of blood for Catherine! No, in-
deed, indeed, I wouldn't!" And here Isabella began
to cry; but, immediately dashing the water from her
lashes, she recommenced. "You asked, what has
driven me to flight at last? I was compelled to attempt
it, because I had succeeded in rousing his rage a pitch
above his malignity. Pulling out the nerves with red-
hot pincers requires more coolness than knocking on
the head. He was worked up to forget the fiendish pru-
dence he boasted of, and proceeded to murderous vio-
lence. I experienced pleasure in being able to exasper-
ate him; the sense of pleasure woke my instinct of self-
preservation, so I fairly broke free; and if ever I come
into his hands again, he is welcome to a signal revenge.

     "Yesterday, you know, Mr. Earnshaw should have
been at the funeral. He kept himself sober for the pur-
pose, tolerably sober---not going to bed mad at six
o'clock and getting up drunk at twelve. Consequently
he rose, in suicidal low spirits, as fit for the church as
for a dance; and instead, he sat down by the fire and
swallowed gin or brandy by tumblerfuls.

     "Heathcliff---I shudder to name him!--has been a
stranger in the house from last Sunday till to-day.
Whether the angels have fed him, or his kin beneath, I
cannot tell; but he has not eaten a meal with us for
nearly a week. He has just come home at dawn, and
gone upstairs to his chamber, locking himself in---as if
anybody dreamt of coveting his company! There he
has continued, praying like a Methodist---only the deity
he implored is senseless dust and ashes; and God, when
addressed, was curiously confounded with his own
black father! After concluding these precious orisons
--and they lasted generally till he grew hoarse and his
voice was strangled in his throat--he would be off
again, always straight down to the Grange! I wonder
Edgar did not send for a constable, and give him into
custody. For me, grieved as I was about Catherine, it
was impossible to avoid regarding this season of de-
liverance from degrading oppression as a holiday.

     "I recovered spirits sufficient to hear Joseph's eter-
nal lectures without weeping, and to move up and
down the house less with the foot of a frightened thief
than formerly. You wouldn't think that I should cry at
anything Joseph could say; but he and Hareton are de-
testable companions. I'd rather sit with Hindley, and
hear his awful talk, than with 't' little maister' and his
stanch supporter, that odious old man! When Heath-
cliff is in, I'm often obliged to seek the kitchen and
their society, or starve among the damp uninhabited
chambers. When he is not, as was the case this week, I
establish a table and chair at one corner of the house
fire, and never mind how Mr. Earnshaw may occupy
himself; and he does not interfere with my arrange-
ments. He is quieter now than he used to be, if no one
provokes him---more sullen and depressed and less
furious. Joseph affirms he's sure he's an altered man,
that the Lord has touched his heart, and he is saved
'so as by fire.' I'm puzzled to detect signs of the favour-
ble change; but it is not my business.

     "Yester-evening I sat in my nook reading some old
books till late on towards twelve. It seemed so dismal
to go upstairs, with the wild snow blowing outside, and
my thoughts continually reverting to the kirkyard and
the new-made grave. I dared hardly lift my eyes from
the page before me, that melancholy scene so instantly
usurped its place. Hindley sat opposite, his head leant
on his hand, perhaps meditating on the same subject.
He had ceased drinking at a point below irrationality,
and had neither stirred nor spoken during two or three
hours. There was no sound through the house but the
moaning wind, which shook the windows every now
and then, the faint crackling of the coals, and the click
of my snuffers as I removed at intervals the long wick of
the candle. Hareton and Joseph were probably fast
asleep in bed. It was very, very sad; and while I read
I sighed, for it seemed as if all joy had vanished from
the world, never to be restored.

     "The doleful silence was broken at length by the
sound of the kitchen latch. Heathcliff had returned
from his watch earlier than usual, owing, I suppose, to
the sudden storm. That entrance was fastened, and we
heard him coming round to get in by the other. I
rose with an irrepressible expression of what I felt on
my lips, which induced my companion, who had been
staring towards the door, to turn and look at me.

     " 'I'll keep him out five minutes,' he exclaimed. 'You
won't object?'

     " 'No; you may keep him out the whole night for
me,' I answered. 'Do; put the key in the lock, and draw
the bolts.'

     "Earnshaw accomplished this ere his guest reached
the front. He then came and brought his chair to the
other side of my table, leaning over it, and searching in
my eyes for a sympathy with the burning hate that
gleamed from his. As he both looked and felt like an
assassin, he couldn't exactly find that; but he discov-
ered enough to encourage him to speak.

     " 'You and I,' he said, 'have each a great debt to set-
tle with the man out yonder. If we were neither of us
cowards, we might combine to discharge it. Are you as
soft as your brother? Are you willing to endure to
the last, and not once attempt a repayment?'

     " 'I'm weary of enduring now,' I replied, 'and I'd be
glad of a retaliation that wouldn't recoil on myself; but
treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends.
They wound those who resort to them worse than
their enemies.'

     " 'Treachery and violence are a just return for
treachery and violence!' cried Hindley. 'Mrs. Heath-
cliff, I'll ask you to do nothing but sit still and be dumb.
Tell me now, can you? I'm sure you would have as much
pleasure as I in witnessing the conclusion of the fiend's
existence. He'll be your death unless you overreach
him; and he'll be my ruin. Damn the hellish villain!
He knocks at the door as if he were master here al-
ready! Promise to hold your tongue, and before that
clock strikes---it wants three minutes of one---you're
a free woman!'

     "He took the implements which I described to you
in my letter from his breast, and would have turned
down the candle. I snatched it away, however, and
seized his arm.

     " 'I'll not hold my tongue,' I said; 'you mustn't touch
him. Let the door remain shut, and be quiet.'

     " 'No! I've formed my resolution, and by God I'll
execute it!' cried the desperate being. 'I'll do you a
kindness in spite of yourself, and Hareton justice! And
you needn't trouble your head to screen me; Catherine
is gone. Nobody alive would regret me, or be ashamed,
though I cut my throat this minute; and it's time to
make an end!'

     "I might as well have struggled with a bear or rea-
soned with a lunatic. The only resource left me was
to run to a lattice and warn his intended victim of the
fate which awaited him.

     " 'You'd better seek shelter somewhere else to-night,'
I exclaimed, in rather a triumphant tone. 'Mr. Earn-
shaw has a mind to shoot you, if you resist in endeav-
ouring to enter.'

     " 'You'd better open the door, you-----,' be an-
swered, addressing me by some elegant term that I
don't care to repeat.

     " 'I shall not meddle in the matter,' I retorted again.
'Come in and get shot, if you please. I've done my
duty.'

     "With that I shut the window and returned to my
place by the fire, having too small a stock of hypocrisy
at my command to pretend any anxiety for the danger
that menaced him. Earnshaw swore passionately at
me, affirming that I loved the villain yet, and calling
me all sorts of names for the base spirit I evinced. And
I, in my secret heart (and conscience never reproached
me), thought what a blessing it would be for him
should Heathcliff put him out of misery; and what a
blessing for me should he send Heathcliff to his right
abode! As I sat nursing these reflections, the casement
behind me was banged on to the floor by a blow from
the latter individual, and his black countenance looked
blightingly through. The stanchions stood too close to
suffer his shoulders to follow, and I smiled, exulting in
my fancied security. His hair and clothes were whitened
with snow, and his sharp cannibal teeth, revealed by
cold and wrath, gleamed through the dark.

     " 'Isabella, let me in, or I'll make you repent!' he
'girned,' as Joseph calls it.

     " 'I cannot commit murder,' I replied. 'Mr. Hindley
stands sentinel with a knife and loaded pistol.'

     " 'Let me in by the kitchen door,' he said.

     " 'Hindley will be there before me,' I answered; 'and
that's a poor love of yours that cannot bear a shower
of snow! We were left at peace in our beds as long as
the summer moon shone, but the moment a blast of
winter returns, you must run for shelterl Heathcliff,
if I were you, I'd go stretch myself over her grave and
die like a faithful dog. The world is surely not worth
living in now, is it? You had distinctly impressed on
me the idea that Catherine was the whole joy of your
life. I can't imagine how you think of surviving her
loss.'

     " 'He's there, is he?' exclaimed my companion, rush-
ing to the gap. 'If I can get my arm out I can hit him!'

     "I'm afraid, Ellen, you'll set me down as really
wicked; but you don't know all, so don't judge.
I wouldn't have aided or abetted an attempt on even
his life for anything. Wish that he were dead, I must;
and therefore I was fearfully disappointed, and un-
nerved by terror for the consequences of my taunting
speech, when he flung himself on Earnshaw's weapon
and wrenched it from his grasp.

     "The charge exploded, and the knife, in springing
back, closed into its owner's wrist. Heathcliff pulled it
away by main force, slitting up the flesh as it passed
on, and thrust it dripping into his pocket. He then
took a stone, struck down the division between two
windows, and sprang in. His adversary had fallen sense-
less with excessive pain and the flow of blood that
gushed from an artery or a large vein. The ruffian
kicked and trampled on him, and dashed his head re-
peatedly against the flags, holding me with one hand
meantime to prevent me summoning Joseph. He ex-
erted preterhuman self-denial in abstaining from fin-
ishing him completely; but getting out of breath he
finally desisted, and dragged the apparently inanimate
body on to the settle. There he tore off the sleeve of
Earnshaw's coat, and bound up the wound with brutal
roughness, spitting and cursing during the operation as
energetically as he had kicked before. Being at liberty,
I lost no time in seeking the old servant, who, having
gathered by degrees the purport of my hasty tale, hur-
ried below, gasping as he descended the steps two at
once.

     " 'What is ther to do now---what is ther to do now?'

     " 'There's this to do,' thundered Heathcliff, 'that
your master's mad; and should he last another
month, I'll have him to an asylum. And how the devil
did you come to fasten me out, you toothless hound?
Don't stand muttering and mumbling there. Come, I'm
not going to nurse him. Wash that stuff away; and mind
the sparks of your candle---it is more than half
brandy.'

     " 'And so ye've been murthering on him!' exclaimed
Joseph, lifting his hands and eyes in horror. 'If iver I
seed a seeght loike this! May the Lord-----'

     "Heathcliff gave him a push on to his knees in
the middle of the blood, and flung a towel to him; but
instead of proceeding to dry it up, he joined his hands
and began a prayer, which excited my laughter from its
odd phraseology. I was in the condition of mind to be
shocked at nothing; in fact, I was as reckless as some
malefactors show themselves at the foot of the gallows.

     " 'Oh, I forgot you,' said the tyrant. 'You shall do
that. Down with you! And you conspire with him
against me, do you, viper? There, that is work fit for
you!"

     "He shook me till my teeth rattled, and pitched me
beside Joseph, who steadily concluded his supplica-
tions, and then rose, vowing he would set off for the
Grange directly. Mr. Linton was a magistrate, and
though he had fifty wives dead, he should inquire into
this. He was so obstinate in his resolution that Heath-
cliff deemed it expedient to compel from my lips a
recapitulation of what had taken place, standing over
me, heaving with malevolence, as I reluctantly de-
livered the account in answer to his questions. It re-
quired a great deal of labour to satisfy the old man that
Heathcliff was not the aggressor, especially with my
hardly-wrung replies. However, Mr. Earnshaw soon
convinced him that he was alive still. Joseph hastened
to administer a dose of spirits, and by their succour his
master presently regained motion and consciousness.
Heathcliiff, aware that his opponent was ignorant of
the treatment received while insensible, called him
deliriously intoxicated, and said he should not notice
his atrocious conduct further, but advised him to get
to bed. To my joy, he left us, after giving this judicious
counsel, and Hindley stretched himself on the hearth-
stone. I departed to my own room, marvelling that I
had escaped so easily.

     "This morning when I came down, about half an
hour before noon, Mr. Earnshaw was sitting by the fire
deadly sick. His evil genius, almost as gaunt and
ghastly, leant against the chimney. Neither appeared
inclined to dine; and, having waited till all was cold on
the table, I commenced alone. Nothing hindered me
from eating heartily, and I experienced a certain sense
of satisfaction and superiority as, at intervals, I cast a
look towards my silent companions, and felt the com-
fort of a quiet conscience within me. After I had done,
I ventured on the unusual liberty of drawing near the
fire, going round Earnshaw's seat, and kneeling in the
corner beside him.

     "Heathcliff did not glance my way, and I gazed up,
and contemplated his features almost as confidently
as if they had been turned to stone. His forehead, that I
once thought so manly, and that I now think so dia-
bolical, was shaded with a heavy cloud; his basilisk
eyes were nearly quenched by sleeplessness, and weep-
ing, perhaps, for the lashes were wet then; his lips
devoid of their ferocious sneer, and sealed in an ex-
pression of unspeakable sadness. Had it been another,
I would have covered my face in the presence of such
grief. In his case, I was gratified; and, ignoble as it
seems to insult a fallen enemy, I couldn't miss this
chance of sticking in a dart. His weakness was the
only time when I could taste the delight of paying
wrong for wrong."

     "Fie, fie, miss!" I interrupted. "One might suppose
you had never opened a Bible in your life. If God af-
flict your enemies, surely that ought to suffice you. It is
both mean and presumptuous to add your torture to
His."

     "In general I'll allow that it would be, Ellen," she
continued; "but what misery laid on Heathcliff could
content me, unless I have a hand in it? I'd rather he
suffered less, if I might cause his sufferings, and he
might know that I was the cause. Oh, I owe him so
much! On only one condition can I hope to forgive
him. It is, if I may take an eye for an eye, a tooth for a
tooth, for every wrench of agony return a wrench, re-
duce him to my level; as he was the first to injure, make
him the first to implore pardon; and then--why, then,
Ellen, I might show you some generosity. But it is ut-
terly impossible I can ever be revenged, and therefore
I cannot forgive him. Hindley wanted some water,
and I handed him a glass, and asked him how he was.

     " 'Not as ill as I wish,' he replied. 'But leaving out
my arm, every inch of me is as sore as if I had been
fighting with a legion of imps.'

     " 'Yes, no wonder,' was my next remark. 'Catherine
used to boast that she stood between you and bodily
harm. She meant that certain persons would not hurt
you for fear of offending her. It's well people don't
really rise from their grave, or last night she might have
witnessed a repulsive scene! Are not you bruised
and cut over your chest and shoulders?'

     " 'I can't say,' he answered; 'but what do you mean?
Did he dare to strike me when I was down?'

     " 'He trampled on and kicked you, and dashed you
on the ground,' I whispered. 'And his mouth watered
to tear you with his teeth, because he's only half man---
not so much---and the rest fiend.'

     "Mr. Earnshaw looked up, like me, to the counte-
nance of our mutual foe, who, absorbed in his anguish,
seemed insensible to anything around him. The
longer he stood, the plainer his reflections revealed
their blackness through his features.

     " 'Oh, if God would but give me strength to strangle
him in my last agony, I'd go to hell with joy,' groaned
the impatient man, writhing to rise, and sinking back in
despair, convinced of his inadequacy for the struggle.

     " 'Nay, it's enough that he has murdered one of you,'
I observed aloud. 'At the Grange, every one knows
your sister would have been living now had it not been
for Mr. Heathcliff. After all, it is preferable to be hated
than loved by him. When I recollect how happy we
were, how happy Catherine was before he came, I'm fit
to curse the day.'

     "Most likely Heathcliff noticed more the truth of
what was said than the spirit of the person who said it.
His attention was roused, I saw, for his eyes rained
down tears among the ashes, and he drew his breath
in suffocating sighs. I stared full at him, and laughed
scornfully. The clouded windows of hell flashed a mo-
ment towards me; the fiend which usually looked out,
however, was so dimmed and drowned that I did not
fear to hazard another sound of derision.

     " 'Get up, and begone out of my sight,' said the
mourner.

     "I guessed he uttered those words, at least, though
his voice was hardly intelligible.

     " 'I beg your pardon,' I replied. 'But I loved Cather-
ine too; and her brother requires attendance, which,
for her sake, I shall supply. Now that she's dead, I
see her in Hindley. Hindley has exactly her eyes, if
you had not tried to gouge them out, and made them
black and red; and her---'

     " 'Get up, wretched idiot, before I stamp you to
death!' he cried, making a movement that caused me
to make one also.

     " 'But, then,' I continued, holding myself ready to
flee, 'if poor Catherine had trusted you, and assumed
the ridiculous, contemptible, degrading title of Mrs.
Heathcliff, she would soon have presented a similar pic-
ture. She wouldn't have borne your abominable be-
haviour quietly. Her detestation and disgust must
have found voice.'

     "The back of the settle and Earnshaw's person inter-
posed between me and him; so instead of endeavouring
to reach me, he snatched a dinner knife from the table
and flung it at my head. It struck beneath my ear, and
stopped the sentence I was uttering; but, pulling it
out, I sprang to the door and delivered another, which
I hope went a little deeper than his missile. The last
glimpse I caught of him was a furious rush on his part,
checked by the embrace of his host; and both fell
locked together on the hearth. In my flight through the
kitchen I bade Joseph speed to his master. I knocked
over Hareton, who was hanging a litter of puppies
from a chair-back in the doorway; and, blest as a soul
escaped from purgatory, I bounded, leaped, and flew
down the steep road; then, quitting its windings, shot
direct across the moor, rolling over banks, and wading
through marshes, precipitating myself, in fact, towards
the beacon light of the Grange. And far rather would I
be condemned to a perpetual dwelling in the infernal
regions than, even for one night, abide beneath the roof
of Wuthering Heights again."

     Isabella ceased speaking, and took a drink of tea;
then she rose, and bidding me put on her bonnet and
a great shawl I had brought, and turning a deaf ear to
my entreaties for her to remain another hour, she
stepped on to a chair, kissed Edgar's and Catherine's
portraits, bestowed a similar salute on me, and
descended to the carriage, accompanied by Fanny, who
yelped wild with joy at recovering her mistress. She was
driven away, never to revisit this neighbourhood; but
a regular correspondence was established between her
and my master when things were more settled. I believe
her new abode was in the south, near London; there
she had a son born, a few months subsequent to her
escape. He was christened Linton, and, from the first,
she reported him to be an ailing, peevish creature.

     Mr. Heathcliff, meeting me one day in the village, in-
quired where she lived. I refused to tell. He remarked
that it was not of any moment, only she must be-
ware of coming to her brother. She should not be with
him, if he had to keep her himself. Though I would give
no information, he discovered, through some of the
other servants, both her place of residence and the
existence of the child. Still he didn't molest her, for
which forbearance she might thank his aversion, I sup-
pose. He often asked about the infant, when he saw
me; and on hearing its name, smiled grimly, and ob-
served---

     "They wish me to hate it too, do they?"

     "I don't think they wish you to know anything about
it," I answered.

     "But I'll have it," he said, "when I want it. They may
reckon on that."

     Fortunately its mother died before the time arrived,
some thirteen years after the decease of Catherine, when
Linton was twelve or a little more.

     On the day succeeding Isabella's unexpected visit,
I had no opportunity of speaking to my master. He
shunned conversation, and was fit for discussing noth-
ing. When I could get him to listen, I saw it pleased him
that his sister had left her husband, whom he abhorred
with an intensity which the mildness of his nature
would scarcely seem to allow. So deep and sensitive was
his aversion that he refrained from going anywhere
where he was likely to see or hear of Heathcliff. Grief
and that together transformed him into a complete her-
mit. He threw up his office of magistrate, ceased even
to attend church, avoided the village on all occasions,
and spent a life of entire seclusion within the limits of
his park and grounds, only varied by solitary rambles
on the moors and visits to the grave of his wife, mostly
at evening, or early morning before other wanderers
were abroad. But he was too good to be thoroughly un-
happy long. He didn't pray for Catherine's soul to
haunt him. Time brought resignation and a melancholy
sweeter than common joy. He recalled her memory with
ardent, tender love, and hopeful aspiring to the better
world, where he doubted not she was gone.

     And he had earthly consolation and affections also.
For a few days, I said, he seemed regardless of the puny
successor to the departed; that coldness melted as fast
as snow in April, and ere the tiny thing could stammer
a word or totter a step, it wielded a despot's sceptre in
his heart. It was named Catherine; but he never called
it the name in full, as he had never called the first Cath-
erine short, probably because Heathcliff had a habit
of doing so. The little one was always Cathy; it formed
to him a distinction from the mother, and yet a connec-
tion with her; and his attachment sprang from its rela-
tion to her far more than from its being his own.

     I used to draw a comparison between him and Hind-
ley Earnshaw, and perplex myself to explain satisfac-
torily why their conduct was so opposite in similar cir-
cumstances. They had both been fond husbands, and
were both attached to their children; and I could not
see how they shouldn't both have taken the same road,
for good or evil. But, I thought in my mind, Hindley,
with apparently the stronger head, has shown himself
sadly the worse and the weaker man. When his ship
struck, the captain abandoned his post; and the crew,
instead of trying to save her, rushed into riot and con-
fusion, leaving no hope for their luckless vessel. Lin-
ton, on the contrary, displayed the true courage of a
loyal and faithful soul. He trusted God, and God com-
forted him. One hoped, and the other despaired. They
chose their own lots, and were righteously doomed to
endure them. But you'll not want to hear my moralizing,
Mr. Lockwood; you'll judge as well as I can all these
things. At least, you'll think you will, and that's the
same. The end of Earnshaw was what might have been
expected; it followed fast on his sister's; there were
scarcely six months between them. We at the Grange
never got a very succinct account of his state preceding
it; all that I did learn was on occasion of going to aid
in the preparations for the funeral. Mr. Kenneth came
to announce the event to my master.

     "Well, Nelly," said he, riding into the yard one morn-
ing, too early not to alarm me with an instant presenti-
ment of bad news, "it's yours and my turn to go into
mourning at present. Who's given us the slip now,
do you think?"

     "Who?" I asked in a flurry.

     "Why, guess," he returned, dismounting, and sling-
ing his bridle on a hook by the door. "And nip up the
corner of your apron. I'm certain you'll need it."

     "Not Mr. Heathcliff, surely?" I exclaimed.

     "What! would you have tears for him?" said the doc-
tor. "No, Heathcliff's a tough young fellow; he looks
blooming to-day. I've just seen him. He's rapidly re-
gaining flesh since he lost his better half."

     "Who is it, then, Mr. Kenneth?" I repeated impa-
tiently.

     "Hindley Earnshaw--your old friend Hindley," he
replied, "and my wicked gossip, though he's been too
wild for me this long while. There! I said we should
draw water. But cheer up. He died true to his character
--drunk as a lord. Poor lad! I'm sorry, too. One can't
help missing an old companion, though he had the
worst tricks with him that ever man imagined, and has
done me many a rascally turn. He's barely twenty-seven,
it seems; that's your own age. Who would have thought
you were born in one year?"

     I confess this blow was greater to me than the shock
of Mrs. Linton's death. Ancient associations lingered
round my heart. I sat down in the porch and wept as
for a blood relation, desiring Mr. Kenneth to get an-
other servant to introduce him to the master. I could
not hinder myself from pondering on the question,
"Had he had fair play?" Whatever I did, that idea
would bother me. It was so tiresomely pertinacious that
I resolved on requesting leave to go to Wuthering
Heights and assist in the last duties to the dead. Mr.
Linton was extremely reluctant to consent, but I
pleaded eloquently for the friendless condition in
which he lay, and I said my old master and fos-
ter-brother had a claim on my services as strong as
his own. Besides, I reminded him that the child Hare-
ton was his wife's nephew, and, in the absence of nearer
kin, he ought to act as its guardian; and he ought to
and must inquire how the property was left, and look
over the concerns of his brother-in-law. He was unfit
for attending to such matters then, but he bade me
speak to his lawyer, and at length permitted me to go.
His lawyer had been Earnshaw's also. I called at the vil-
lage, and asked him to accompany me. He shook his
head, and advised that Heathcliff should be let alone,
affirming, if the truth were known, Hareton would be
found little else than a beggar.

     "His father died in debt," he said; "the whole prop-
erty is mortgaged, and the sole chance for the natural
heir is to allow him an opportunity of creating some
interest in the creditor's heart, that he may be inclined
to deal leniently towards him."

     When I reached the Heights, I explained that I had
come to see everything carried on decently; and Joseph,
who appeared in sufficient distress, expressed satisfac-
tion at my presence. Mr. Heathcliff said he did not per-
ceive that I was wanted; but I might stay and order the
arrangements for the funeral, if I chose.

     "Correctly," he remarked, "that fool's body should
be buried at the cross-roads, without ceremony of any
kind. I happened to leave him ten minutes yesterday
afternoon, and in that interval he fastened the two doors
of the house against me, and he has spent the night in
drinking himself to death deliberately! We broke in
this morning, for we heard him snorting like a horse;
and there he was, laid over the settle; flaying and scalp-
ing would not have wakened him. I sent for Kenneth,
and he came, but not till the beast had changed into
carrion. He was both dead and cold and stark; and so
you'll allow it was useless making more stir about him."

     The old servant confirmed this statement, but mut-
tered,---

     "I'd rayther he'd goan hisseln for t' doctor! I sud
ha' taen tent o' t' maister better nor him; and he warn't
deead when I left, naught o' t' soart!"

     I insisted on the funeral being respectable. Mr.
Heathcliff said I might have my own way there too;
only, he desired me to remember that the money for the
whole affair came out of his pocket. He maintained a
hard, careless deportment, indicative of neither joy
nor sorrow; if anything, it expressed a flinty gratifica-
tion at a piece of difficult work successfully executed.
I observed once, indeed, something like exultation in
his aspect; it was just when the people were bearing
the coffin from the house. He had the hypocrisy to rep-
resent a mourner; and previous to following with Hare-
ton, he lifted the unfortunate child on to the table, and
muttered, with peculiar gusto, "Now, my bonny lad,
you are mine! And we'll see if one tree won't grow
as crooked as another, with the same wind to twist it!"
The unsuspecting thing was pleased at this speech. He
played with Heathcliff's whiskers, and stroked his
cheek; but I divined its meaning, and observed tartly,
"That boy must go back with me to Thrushcross
Grange, sir. There is nothing in the world less yours
than he is."

     "Does Linton say so?" he demanded.

     "Of course; he has ordered me to take him," I re-
plied.

     "Well," said the scoundrel, "we'll not argue the
subject now; but I have a fancy to try my hand at rear-
ing a young one, so intimate to your master that I must
supply the place of this with my own, if he attempt to
remove it. I don't engage to let Hareton go undis-
puted, but I'll be pretty sure to make the other come!
Remember to tell him."

     This hint was enough to bind our hands. I repeated
its substance on my return; and Edgar Linton, little
interested at the commencement, spoke no more of in-
terfering. I'm not aware that he could have done it to
any purpose, had he been ever so willing.

     The guest was now the master of Wuthering Heights.
He held firm possession, and proved to the attorney--
who, in his turn, proved it to Mr. Linton---that
Earnshaw had mortgaged every yard of land he owned
for cash to supply his mania for gaming; and he, Heath-
cliff, was the mortgagee. In that manner Hareton, who
should now be the first gentleman in the neigh-
bourhood, was reduced to a state of complete depend-
ence on his father's inveterate enemy, and lives in his
own house as a servant, deprived of the advantage of
wages, quite unable to right himself, because of
his friendlessness and his ignorance that he has been
wronged.


CHAPTER XVIII.

The twelve years, continued Mrs. Dean, following
that dismal period were the happiest of my life.
My greatest troubles in their passage rose from our
little lady's trifling illnesses, which she had to experi-
ence in common with all children, rich and poor. For
the rest, after the first six months, she grew like a larch,
and could walk and talk too, in her own way, before
the heath blossomed a second time over Mrs. Linton's
dust. She was the most winning thing that ever brought
sunshine into a desolate house--a real beauty in face,
with the Earnshaws' handsome dark eyes, but the Lin-
tons' fair skin and small features and yellow curling
hair. Her spirit was high, though not rough, and
qualified by a heart sensitive and lively to excess in its
affections. That capacity for intense attachments re-
minded me of her mother. Still she did not resemble
her, for she could be soft and mild as a dove, and she
had a gentle voice and pensive expression. Her anger
was never furious, her love never fierce. It was deep
and tender. However, it must be acknowledged, she
had faults to foil her gifts. A propensity to be saucy
was one; and a perverse will, that indulged children in-
variably acquire, whether they be good-tempered or
cross. If a servant chanced to vex her, it was always, "I
shall tell papa!" And if he reproved her, even by a
look, you would have thought it a heart-breaking busi-
ness. I don't believe he ever did speak a harsh word to
her. He took her education entirely on himself, and
made it an amusement. Fortunately, curiosity and a
quick intellect made her an apt scholar. She learned
rapidly and eagerly, and did honour to his teaching.

     Till she reached the age of thirteen, she had not once
been beyond the range of the park by herself. Mr.
Linton would take her with him a mile or so outside,
on rare occasions; but he trusted her to no one else.
Gimmerton was an unsubstantial name in her ears; the
chapel the only building she had approached or entered,
except her own home. Wuthering Heights and Mr.
Heathcliff did not exist for her. She was a perfect re-
cluse, and, apparently, perfectly contented. Sometimes,
indeed, while surveying the country from her nursery
window, she would observe,---

     "Ellen, how long will it be before I can walk to the
top of those hills? I wonder what lies on the other side.
Is it the sea?"

     "No, Miss Cathy," I would answer; "it is hills again,
just like these."

     "And what are those golden rocks like when you
stand under them?" she once asked.

     The abrupt descent of Peniston Crags particularly
attracted her notice, especially when the setting sun
shone on it and the topmost heights, and the whole ex-
tent of landscape besides lay in shadow. I explained
that they were bare masses of stone, with hardly enough
earth in their clefts to nourish a stunted tree.

     "And why are they bright so long after it is evening
here?" she pursued.

     "Because they are a great deal higher up than we
are," replied I; "you could not climb them---they are
too high and steep. In winter the frost is always there
before it comes to us; and deep into summer I have
found snow under that black hollow on the north-east
side."

     "Oh, you have been on them!" she cried gleefully.
"Then I can go, too, when I am a woman. Has papa
been, Ellen?"

     "Papa would tell you, miss," I answered hastily,
"that they are not worth the trouble of visiting. The
moors, where you ramble with him, are much nicer;
and Thrushcross Park is the finest place in the world."

     "But I know the park, and I don't know those," she
murmured to herself. "And I should delight to look
round me from the brow of that tallest point. My little
pony Minny shall take me some time."

     One of the maids mentioning the Fairy Cave quite
turned her head with a desire to fulfil this project. She
teased Mr. Linton about it, and he promised she should
have the journey when she got older. But Miss Cath-
erine measured her age by months, and, "Now, am I
old enough to go to Peniston Crags?" was the constant
question in her mouth. The road thither wound close
by Wuthering Heights. Edgar had not the heart to pass
it, so she received as constantly the answer, "Not yet,
love; not yet."

     I said Mrs. Heathcliff lived above a dozen years after
quitting her husband. Her family were of a delicate
constitution. She and Edgar both lacked the ruddy
health that you will generally meet in these parts. What
her last illness was I am not certain. I conjecture they
died of the same thing---a kind of fever, slow at its com-
mencement, but incurable, and rapidly consuming life
towards the close. She wrote to inform her brother of
the probable conclusion of a four months' indisposi-
tion under which she had suffered, and entreated him
to come to her, if possible, for she had much to settle,
and she wished to bid him adieu, and deliver Linton
safely into his hands. Her hope was, that Linton might
be left with him, as he had been with her. His father,
she would fain convince herself, had no desire to as-
sume the burden of his maintenance or education. My
master hesitated not a moment in complying with her
request. Reluctant as he was to leave home at ordinary
calls, he flew to answer this, commending Catherine
to my peculiar vigilance, in his absence, with reiterated
orders that she must not wander out of the park, even
under my escort. He did not calculate on her going
unaccompanied.

     He was away three weeks. The first day or two my
charge sat in a corner of the library, too sad for either
reading or playing. In that quiet state she caused me
little trouble; but it was succeeded by an interval of
impatient fretful weariness; and being too busy and
too old then to run up and down amusing her, I hit on
a method by which she might entertain herself. I used
to send her on her travels round the grounds, now on
foot and now on a pony, indulging her with a patient
audience of all her real and imaginary adventures,
when she returned.

     The summer shone in full prime, and she took such
a taste for this solitary rambling that she often con-
trived to remain out from breakfast till tea; and then
the evenings were spent in recounting her fanciful
tales. I did not fear her breaking bounds, because the
gates were generally locked, and I thought she would
scarcely venture forth alone, if they had stood wide
open. Unluckily, my confidence proved misplaced.
Catherine came to me one morning at eight o'clock,
and said she was that day an Arabian merchant, going
to cross the desert with his caravan, and I must give
her plenty of provision for herself and beasts---a horse
and three camels, personated by a large hound and a
couple of pointers. I got together good store of daint-
ies, and slung them in a basket on one side of the saddle;
and she sprang up as gay as a fairy, sheltered by her
wide-brimmed hat and gauze veil from the July sun,
and trotted off with a merry laugh, mocking my cau-
tious counsel to avoid galloping and come back early.
The naughty thing never made her appearance at tea.
One traveller, the hound, being an old dog and fond of
its ease, returned; but neither Cathy, nor the pony,
nor the two pointers were visible in any direction. I
dispatched emissaries down this path and that path,
and at last went wandering in search of her myself.
There was a labourer working at a fence round a plan-
tation, on the borders of the grounds. I inquired of him
if he had seen our young lady.

     "I saw her at morn," he replied. "She would have
me to cut her a hazel switch, and then she leapt her
Galloway over the hedge yonder, where it is lowest,
and galloped out of sight."

     You may guess how I felt at hearing this news. It
struck me directly she must have started for Peniston
Crags. "What will become of her?" I ejaculated, push-
ing through a gap which the man was repairing, and
making straight to the highroad. I walked as if for a
wager, mile after mile, till a turn brought me in view of
the Heights; but no Catherine could I detect far or near.
The Crags lie about a mile and a half beyond Mr.
Heathcliff's place, and that is four from the Grange, so
I began to fear night would fall ere I could reach them.
"And what if she should have slipped in clambering
among them," I reflected, "and been killed or broken
some of her bones?" My suspense was truly painful;
and at first it gave me delightful relief to observe, in
hurrying by the farmhouse, Charlie, the fiercest of the
pointers, lying under a window, with swelled head
and bleeding ear. I opened the wicket and ran to the
door, knocking vehemently for admittance. A woman
whom I knew, and who formerly lived at Gimmerton,
answered. She had been servant there since the death of
Mr. Earnshaw.

     "Ah," said she, "you are come a-seeking your little
mistress! Don't be frightened. She's here safe; but I'm
glad it isn't the master."

     "He is not at home, then, is he?" I panted, quite
breathless with quick walking and alarm.

     "No, no," she replied; "both he and Joseph are off,
and I think they won't return this hour or more. Step
in and rest you a bit."

     I entered, and beheld my stray lamb seated on the
hearth, rocking herself in a little chair that had been
her mother's when a child. Her hat was hung against
the wall, and she seemed perfectly at home, laughing
and chattering, in the best spirits imaginable, to Hare-
ton---now a great, strong lad of eighteen---who stared
at her with considerable curiosity and astonishment,
comprehending precious little of the fluent succession
of remarks and questions which her tongue never
ceased pouring forth.

     "Very well, miss!" I exclaimed, concealing my joy
under an angry countenance. "This is your last ride till
papa comes back. I'll not trust you over the threshold
again, you naughty, naughty girl!"

     "Aha, Ellenl" she cried gaily, jumping up and run-
ning to my side. "I shall have a pretty story to tell to-
night. And so you've found me out. Have you ever been
here in your life before?"

     "Put that hat on, and home at once," said I. "I'm
dreadfully grieved at you, Miss Cathy; you've done
extremely wrong. It's no use pouting and crying; that
won't repay the trouble I've had, scouring the country
after you. To think how Mr. Linton charged me to keep
you in; and you stealing off so! It shows you are a cun-
ning little fox, and nobody will put faith in you any
more."

     "What have I done?" sobbed she, instantly checked.
"Papa charged me nothing. He'll not scold me, Ellen;
he's never cross like you."

     "Come, come!" I repeated. "I'll tie the ribbon. Now,
let us have no petulance. Oh, for shame! You thirteen
years old, and such a baby!"

     This exclamation was caused by her pushing the
hat from her head, and retreating to the chimney out
of my reach.

     "Nay," said the servant; "don't be hard on the bonny
lass, Mrs. Dean. We made her stop. She'd fain have
ridden forwards, afeard you should be uneasy. Hare-
ton offered to go with her, and I thought he should. It's
a wild road over the hills."

     Hareton, during the discussion, stood with his hands
in his pockets, too awkward to speak, though he looked
as if he did not relish my intrusion.

     "How long am I to wait?" I continued, disregarding
the woman's interference. "It will be dark in ten min-
utes.--Where is the pony, Miss Cathy? And where is
Phoenix? I shall leave you, unless you be quick; so
please yourself."

     "The pony is in the yard," she replied, "and Phoenix
is shut in there. He's bitten, and so is Charlie. I was go-
ing to tell you all about it; but you are in a bad temper,
and don't deserve to hear."

     I picked up her hat, and approached to reinstate it;
but perceiving that the people of the house took her
part, she commenced capering round the room; and
on my giving chase, ran like a mouse over and under
and behind the furniture, rendering it ridiculous for
me to pursue. Hareton and the woman laughed, and
she joined them, and waxed more impertinent still, till
I cried, in great irritation,---

     "Well, Miss Cathy, if you were aware whose house
this is, you'd be glad enough to get out."

     "It's your father's, isn't it?" said she, turning to
Hareton.

     "Nay," he replied, looking down, and blushing bash-
fully.

     He could not stand a steady gaze from her eyes,
though they were just his own.

     "Whose, then---your master's?" she asked.

     He coloured deeper, with a different feeling, mut-
tered an oath, and turned away.

     "Who is his master?" continued the tiresome girl,
appealing to me. "He talked about 'our house,' and
'our folk.' I thought he had been the owner's son. And
he never said miss. He should have done, shouldn't
he, if he's a servant?"

     Hareton grew black as a thunder-cloud at this child-
ish speech. I silently shook my questioner, and at last
succeeded in equipping her for departure.

     "Now, get my horse," she said, addressing her un-
known kinsman as she would one of the stable-boys at
the Grange. "And you may come with me. I want to
see where the goblin-hunter rises in the marsh, and
to hear about the fairishes, as you call them. But make
haste! What's the matter? Get my horse, I say."

     "I'll see thee damned before I be thy servant!"
growled the lad.

     "You'll see me what?" asked Catherine in surprise.

     "Damned, thou saucy witch!" he replied.

     "There, Miss Cathy, you see you have got into pretty
company," I interposed. "Nice words to be used to a
young lady! Pray don't begin to dispute with him.
Come, let us seek for Minny ourselves, and begone."

     "But, Ellen," cried she, staring, fixed in astonish-
ment, "how dare he speak so to me? Mustn't he be made
to do as I ask him?---You wicked creature, I shall tell
papa what you said. Now, then!"

     Hareton did not appear to feel this threat, so the
tears sprang into her eyes with indignation. "You bring
the pony," she exclaimed, turning to the woman,
"and let my dog free this moment!"

     "Softly, miss," answered she addressed; "you'll lose
nothing by being civil. Though Mr. Hareton there be
not the master's son, he's your cousin; and I was never
hired to serve you."

     "He my cousin!" cried Cathy, with a scornful laugh.

     "Yes, indeed," responded her reprover.

     "O Ellen! don't let them say such things," she pur-
sued, in great trouble. "Papa is gone to fetch my cousin
from London. My cousin is a gentleman's son. That
my------" She stopped, and wept outright, upset at
the bare notion of relationship with such a clown.

     "Hush, hush!" I whispered; "people can have many
cousins, and of all sorts, Miss Cathy, without being any
the worse for it; only they needn't keep their company,
if they be disagreeable and bad."

     "He's not---he's not my cousin, Ellenl" she went on,
gathering fresh grief from reflection, and flinging her-
self into my arms for refuge from the idea.

     I was much vexed at her and the servant for their
mutual revelations, having no doubt of Linton's ap-
proaching arrival, communicated by the former, being
reported to Mr. Heathcliff, and feeling as confident that
Catherine's first thought on her father's return would
be to seek an explanation of the latter's assertion con-
cerning her rude-bred kindred. Hareton, recovering
from his disgust at being taken for a servant, seemed
moved by her distress; and having fetched the pony
round to the door, he took, to propitiate her, a fine
crooked-legged terrier-whelp from the kennel, and put-
ting it into her hand bade her whist, for he meant
nought. Pausing in her lamentations, she surveyed him
a glance of awe and horror, then burst forth anew.

     I could scarcely refrain from smiling at this antipathy
to the poor fellow, who was a well-made, athletic youth,
good-looking in features, and stout and healthy, but
attired in garments befitting his daily occupations of
working on the farm and lounging among the moors
after rabbits and game. Still, I thought I could detect
in his physiognomy a mind owning better qualities than
his father ever possessed--good things lost amid a wil-
derness of weeds, to be sure, whose rankness far over-
topped their neglected growth; yet, notwithstanding,
evidence of a wealthy soil, that might yield luxuriant
crops under other and favourable circumstances. Mr.
Heathcliff, I believe, had not treated him physically ill
---thanks to his fearless nature, which offered no temp-
tation to that course of oppression. He had none of the
timid susceptibility that would have given zest to ill-
treatment, in Heathcliff's judgment. He appeared to
have bent his malevolence on making him a brute. He
was never taught to read or write, never rebuked for
any bad habit which did not annoy his keeper, never
led a single step towards virtue or guarded by a single
precept against vice. And from what I heard, Joseph
contributed much to his deterioration by a narrow-
minded partiality which prompted him to flatter and
pet him, as a boy, because he was the head of the old
family. And as he had been in the habit of accusing
Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, when children, of
putting the master past his patience, and compelling
him to seek solace in drink by what he termed their
"offalld ways," so at present he laid the whole burden
of Hareton's faults on the shoulders of the usurper of
his property. If the lad swore, he wouldn't correct him,
nor however culpably he behaved. It gave Joseph satis-
faction, apparently, to watch him go the worst lengths.
He allowed that the lad was ruined, that his soul was
abandoned to perdition; but then he reflected that
Heathcliff must answer for it. Hareton's blood would
be required at his hands; and there lay immense con-
solation in that thought. Joseph had instilled into him
a pride of name and of his lineage. He would, had he
dared, have fostered hate between him and the present
owner of the Heights; but his dread of that owner
amounted to superstition, and he confined his feelings
regarding him to muttered innuendoes and private com-
minations. I don't pretend to be intimately acquainted
with the mode of living customary in those days at
Wuthering Heights. I only speak from hearsay, for I
saw little. The villagers affirmed Mr. Heathcliff was
near, and a cruel hard landlord to his tenants; but the
house inside had regained its ancient aspect of comfort
under female management, and the scenes of riot com-
mon in Hindley's time were not now enacted within its
walls. The master was too gloomy to seek companion-
ship with any people, good or bad; and he is yet.

     This, however, is not making progress with my story.
Miss Cathy rejected the peace-offering of the terrier,
and demanded her own dogs, Charlie and Phoenix.
They came limping, and hanging their heads; and we
set out for home, sadly out of sorts, every one of us. I
could not wring from my little lady how she had spent
the day, except that, as I supposed, the goal of her pil-
grimage was Peniston Crags; and she arrived without
adventure to the gate of the farmhouse, when Hareton
happened to issue forth, attended by some canine fol-
lowers, who attacked her train. They had a smart battle
before their owners could separate them; that formed
an introduction. Catherine told Hareton who she was,
and where she was going, and asked him to show her
the way, finally beguiling him to accompany her. He
opened the mysteries of the Fairy Cave and twenty
other queer places. But, being in disgrace, I was not
favoured with a description of the interesting objects
she saw. I could gather, however, that her guide had
been a favourite till she hurt his feelings by addressing
him as a servant, and Heathcliff's housekeeper hurt
hers by calling him her cousin. Then the language he
had held to her rankled in her heart; she who was al-
ways "love," and "darling," and "queen," and "angel,"
with everybody at the Grange, to be insulted so shock-
ingly by a stranger! She did not comprehend it; and
hard work I had to obtain a promise that she would not
lay the grievance before her father. I explained how
he objected to the whole household at the Heights, and
how sorry he would be to find she had been there; but
I insisted most on the fact that if she revealed my neg-
ligence of his orders, he would perhaps be so angry
that I should have to leave; and Cathy couldn't bear
that prospect. She pledged her word, and kept it, for
my sake. After all, she was a sweet little girl.


CHAPTER XIX.

A letter edged with black, announced the day of
my master's return. Isabella was dead; and he
wrote to bid me get mourning for his daughter, and ar-
range a room, and other accommodations, for his
youthful nephew. Catherine ran wild with joy at the
idea of welcoming her father back, and indulged most
sanguine anticipations of the innumerable excellences
of her "real" cousin. The evening of their expected ar-
rival came. Since early morning she had been busy or-
dering her own small affairs; and now, attired in her
new black frock---poor thing! her aunt's death im-
pressed her with no definite sorrow---she obliged me,
by constant worrying, to walk with her down through
the grounds to meet them.

     "Linton is just six months younger than I am," she
chattered, as we strolled leisurely over the swells and
hollows of mossy turf, under shadow of the trees. "How
delightful it will be to have him for a playfellowl Aunt
Isabella sent papa a beautiful lock of his hair. It was
lighter than mine---more flaxen, and quite as fine. I
have it carefully preserved in a little glass box; and
I've often thought what pleasure it would be to see its
owner. Oh! I am happy---and papa, dear, dear papa!
Come, Ellen, let us run! Come, run!"

     She ran, and returned and ran again, many times be-
fore my sober footsteps reached the gate; and then she
seated herself on the grassy bank beside the path, and
tried to wait patiently; but that was impossible. She
couldn't be still a minute.

     "How long they are!" she exclaimed. "Ah, I see
some dust on the road; they are coming? No! When
will they be here? May we not go a little way---half a
mile, Ellen---only just half a mile? Do say yes---to that
clump of birches at the turn!"

     I refused stanchly. At length her suspense was
ended; the travelling carriage rolled in sight. Miss
Cathy shrieked and stretched out her arms, as soon as
she caught her father's face looking from the window.
He descended, nearly as eager as herself; and a consid-
erable interval elapsed ere they had a thought to spare
for any but themselves. While they exchanged caresses,
I took a peep in to see after Linton. He was asleep in a
corner, wrapped in a warm, fur-lined cloak, as if it
had been winter---a pale, delicate, effeminate boy, who
might have been taken for my master's younger brother,
so strong was the resemblance; but there was a sickly
peevishness in his aspect that Edgar Linton never had.
The latter saw me looking; and having shaken hands,
advised me to close the door and leave him undisturbed,
for the journey had fatigued him. Cathy would fain
have taken one glance, but her father told her to come,
and they walked together up the park, while I hastened
before to prepare the servants.

     "Now, darling," said Mr. Linton, addressing his
daughter, as they halted at the bottom of the front
steps, "your cousin is not so strong or so merry as you
are, and he has lost his mother, remember, a very short
time since; therefore, don't expect him to play and
run about with you directly. And don't harass him
much by talking. Let him be quiet this evening, at
least, will you?"

     "Yes, yes, papa," answered Catherine; "but I do
want to see him, and he hasn't once looked out."

     The carriage stopped, and the sleeper being roused
was lifted to the ground by his uncle.

     "This is your cousin Cathy, Linton," he said, putting
their little hands together. "She's fond of you already;
and mind you don't grieve her by crying to-night. Try to
be cheerful now; the travelling is at an end, and you
have nothing to do but rest and amuse yourself as you
please."

     "Let me go to bed, then," answered the boy, shrink-
ing from Catherine's salute; and he put up his fingers
to remove incipient tears.

     "Come, come, there's a good child," I whispered,
leading him in. "You'll make her weep too. See how
sorry she is for you!"

     I do not know whether it was sorrow for him, but
his cousin put on as sad a countenance as himself,
and returned to her father. All three entered, and
mounted to the library, where tea was laid ready. I pro-
ceeded to remove Linton's cap and mantle, and placed
him on a chair by the table; but he was no sooner seated
than he began to cry afresh. My master inquired what
was the matter.

     "I can't sit on a chair," sobbed the boy.

     "Go to the sofa, then, and Ellen shall bring you some
tea," answered his uncle patiently.

     He had been greatly tried during the journey, I felt
convinced, by his fretful ailing charge. Linton slowly
trailed himself off, and lay down. Cathy carried a foot-
stool and her cup to his side. At first she sat silent; but
that could not last. She had resolved to make a pet of
her little cousin, as she would have him to be; and she
commenced stroking his curls, and kissing his cheek,
and offering him tea in her saucer, like a baby. This
pleased him, for he was not much better. He dried his
eyes, and lightened into a faint smile.

     "Oh, he'll do very well," said the master to me, after
watching them a minute---"very well, if we can keep
him, Ellen. The company of a child of his own age
will instil new spirit into him soon, and by wishing for
strength he'll gain it."

     "Ay, if we can keep him!" I mused to myself, and
sore misgivings came over me that there was slight
hope of that. And then, I thought, however will that
weakling live at Wuthering Heights? Between his fa-
ther and Hareton, what playmates and instructors
they'll be! Our doubts were presently decided---even
earlier than I expected. I had just taken the children
upstairs, after tea was finished, and seen Linton asleep
---he would not suffer me to leave him till that was the
case; I had come down, and was standing by the table
in the hall, lighting a bedroom candle for Mr. Edgar,
when a maid stepped out of the kitchen and informed
me that Mr. Heathcliff's servant Joseph was at the door,
and wished to speak with the master.

     "I shall ask him what he wants first," I said, in con-
siderable trepidation. "A very unlikely hour to be
troubling people, and the instant they have returned
from a long journey. I don't think the master can see
him."

     Joseph had advanced through the kitchen as I ut-
tered these words, and now presented himself in the
hall. He was donned in his Sunday garments, with his
most sanctimonious and sourest face; and, holding his
hat in one hand and his stick in the other, he proceeded
to clean his shoes on the mat.

     "Good-evening, Joseph," I said coldly. "What busi-
ness brings you here to-night?"

     "It's Maister Linton I mun spake to," he answered,
waving me disdainfully aside.

     "Mr. Linton is going to bed; unless you have some-
thing particular to say, I'm sure he won't hear it now,"
I continued. "You had better sit down in there, and
entrust your message to me."

     "Which is his rahm?" pursued the fellow, surveying
the range of closed doors.

     I perceived he was bent on refusing my mediation,
so very reluctantly I went up to the library, and an-
nounced the unseasonable visitor, advising that he
should be dismissed till next day. Mr. Linton had no
time to empower me to do so, for Joseph mounted close
at my heels, and pushing into the apartnment, planted
himself at the far side of the table, with his two fists
clapped on the head of his stick, and began in an ele-
vated tone, as if anticipating opposition,---

     "Hathecliff has sent me for his lad, and I munn't goa
back 'bout him."

     Edgar Linton was silent a minute; an expression of
exceeding sorrow overcast his features. He would
have pitied the child on his own account; but recalling
Isabella's hopes and fears, and anxious wishes for her
son, and her commendations of him to his care, he
grieved bitterly at the prospect of yielding him up, and
searched in his heart how it might be avoided. No plan
offered itself. The very exhibition of any desire to keep
him would have rendered the claimant more peremp-
tory. There was nothing left but to resign him. How-
ever, he was not going to rouse him from his sleep.

     "Tell Mr. Heathcliff," he answered calmly, "that his
son shall come to Wuthering Heights to-morrow. He is
in bed, and too tired to go the distance now. You may
also tell him that the mother of Linton desired him to
remain under my guardianship; and at present his
health is very precarious."

     "Noa!" said Joseph, giving a thud with his prop on
the floor, and assuming an authoritative air; "noa! that
means naught. Hathecliff maks noa 'count o' t' mother,
nor ye norther, but he'll hev his lad, und I mun tak
him; soa now ye knaw!"

     "You shall not to-night!" answered Linton decisively.

     "Walk downstairs at once, and repeat to your master
what I have said.---Ellen, show him down.---Go!"

     And aiding the indignant elder with a lift by the arm,
he rid the room of him, and closed the door.

     "Varrah weell!" shouted Joseph, as he slowly drew
off. "To-morn, he's come hisseln; and thrust him out,
if ye darr!"


CHAPTER XX.

To obviate the danger of this threat being fulfilled,
Mr. Linton commissioned me to take the boy home
early, on Catherine's pony; and said he,---

     "As we shall now have no influence over his destiny,
good or bad, you must say nothing of where he is gone
to my daughter. She cannot associate with him here-
after, and it is better for her to remain in ignorance of
his proximity, lest she should be restless and anxious
to visit the Heights. Merely tell her his father sent for
him suddenly, and he has been obliged to leave us."

     Linton was very reluctant to be roused from his bed
at five o'clock, and astonished to be informed that he
must prepare for further travelling; but I softened off
the matter by stating that he was going to spend some
time with his father, Mr. Heathcliff, who wished to see
him so much, he did not like to defer the pleasure till
he should recover from his late journey.

     "My father!" he cried, in strange perplexity.

     "Mamma never told me I had a father. Where does he
live? I'd rather stay with uncle."

     "He lives a little distance from the Grange," I replied,
just beyond those hills---not so far, but you may walk
over here when you get hearty. And you should be glad
to go home, and to see him. You must try to love him,
as you did your mother, and then he will love you."

     "But why have I not heard of him before?" asked
Linton. "Why didn't mamma and he live together, as
other people do?"

     "He had business to keep him in the north," I an-
swered, "and your mother's health required her to re-
side in the south."

     "And why didn't mamma speak to me about him?"
persevered the child. "She often talked of uncle, and
I learned to love him !ong ago. How am I to love papa?
I don't know him."

     "Oh, all children love their parents," I said. "Your
mother, perhaps, thought you would want to be with
him if she mentioned him often to you. Let us make
haste. An early ride on such a beautiful morning is
much preferable to an hour's more sleep."

     "Is she to go with us," he demanded---"the little girl
I saw yesterday?"

     "Not now," replied I.

     "Is uncle?" he continued.

     "No; I shall be your companion there," I said.

     Linton sank back on his pillow and fell into a brown
study.

     "I won't go without uncle," he cried at length. "I
can't tell whereyou mean to take me."

     I attempted to persuade him of the naughtiness of
showing reluctance to meet his father. Still he obsti-
nately resisted any progress towards dressing, and I
had to call for my master's assistance in coaxing him
out of bed. The poor thing was finally got off, with sev-
eral delusive assurances that his absence should be
short, that Mr. Edgar and Cathy would visit him, and
other promises, equally ill-founded, which I invented
and reiterated at intervals throughout the way. The
pure heather-scented air, the bright sunshine, and the
gentle canter of Minny relieved his despondency after
a while. He began to put questions concerning his new
home and its inhabitants with greater interest and live-
liness.

     "Is Wuthering Heights as pleasant a place as
Thrushcross Grange?" he inquired, turning to take a
last glance into the valley, whence a light mist mounted
and formed a fleecy cloud on the skirts of the blue.

     "It is not so buried in trees," I replied, "and it is not
quite so large, but you can see the country beautifully
all round, and the air is healthier for you---fresher and
dryer. You will perhaps think the building old and
dark at first, though it is a respectable house---the next
best in the neighbourhood. And you will have such nice
rambles on the moors. Hareton Earnshaw---that is Miss
Cathy's other cousin, and so yours in a manner---will
show you all the sweetest spots; and you can bring a
book in fine weather, and make a green hollow your
study; and now and then your uncle may join you in
a walk. He does frequently walk out on the hills."

     "And what is my father like?" he asked. "Is he as
young and handsome as uncle?"

     "He's as young," said I; "but he has black hair and
eyes, and looks sterner, and he is taller and bigger al-
together. He'll not seem to you so gentle and kind at
first, perhaps, because it is not his way; still, mind you
be frank and cordial with him; and naturally he'll be
fonder of you than any uncle, for you are his own."

     "Black hair and eyes!" mused Linton. "I can't fancy
him. Then I am not like him, am I?"

     "Not much," I answered; not a morsel, I thought,
surveying with regret the white complexion and slim
frame of my companion, and his large languid eyes---
his mother's eyes, save that, unless a morbid touchiness
kindled them a moment, they had not a vestige of her
sparkiing spirit.

     "How strange that he should never come to see
mamma and me" he murmured. "Has he ever seen
me? If he has, I must have been a baby. I remember not
a single thing about him."

     "Why, Master Linton," said I, "three hundred miles
is a great distance; and ten years seem very different in
length to a grown-up person compared with what they
do to you. It is probable Mr. Heathcliff proposed going from summer
to summer, but never found a convenient opportunity; and now it is
too late. Don't trouble him with questions on the subject; it will
disturb him for no good."

     The boy was fully occupied with his own cogitations
for the remainder of the ride, till we halted before the
farmhouse garden gate. I watched to catch his impres-
sions in his countenance. He surveyed the carved front
and low-browed lattices, the straggling gooseberry
bushes and crooked firs, with solemn intentness, and
then shook his head. His private feelings entirely dis-
approved of the exterior of his new abode. But he had
sense to postpone complaining. There might be com-
pensation within. Before he dismounted I went and
opened the door. It was half-past six; the family had
just finished breakfast; the servant was clearing and
wiping down the table. Joseph stood by his master's
chair, telling some tale concerning a lame horse, and
Hareton was preparing for the hay-fleld.

     "Hullo, Nelly!" said Mr. Heathcliff when he saw me.
"I feared I should have to come down and fetch my
property myself. You've brought it, have you? Let us
see what we can make of it.

     He got up and strode to the door. Hareton and Jo-
seph followed in gaping curiosity. Poor Linton ran a
frightened eye over the faces of the three.

     "Sure-ly," said Joseph, after a grave inspection, "he's
swopped wi' ye, maister, an' yon's his lass!"
Heathcliff, having stared his son into an ague of con-
fusion, uttered a scornful laugh.

     "God! what a beauty! what a lovely, charming
thing" he exclaimed. "Haven't they reared it on snails
and sour milk, Nelly? Oh, damn my soul! but that's
worse than I expected, and the devil knows I was not
sanguine!"

     I bade the trembling and bewildered child get down
and enter. He did not thoroughly comprehend the
meaning of his father's speech, or whether it were in-
tended for him; indeed, he was not yet certain that the
grim, sneering stranger was his father. But he clung
to me with growing trepidation; and on Mr. Heathcliff's
taking a seat and bidding him "come hither," he hid
his face on my shoulder and wept.

     "Tut, tut!" said Heathcliff, stretching out a hand
and dragging him roughly between his knees, and then
holding up his head by the chin. "None of that non-
sense! We're not going to hurt thee, Linton. Isn't that
thy name? Thou art thy mother's child entirely! Where
is my share in thee, puling chicken?"

     He took off the boy's cap and pushed back his thick
flaxen curls, felt his slender arms and his small fingers,
during which examination Linton ceased crying, and
lifted his great blue eyes to inspect the inspector.

     "Do you know me?" asked Heathcliff, having satis-
fied himself that the limbs were all equally frail nnd
feeble.

     "No," said Linton, with a gaze of vacant fear.

     "You've heard of me, I dare say?"

     "No," he replied again.

     "No! What a shame of your mother, never to waken
your filial regard for me! You are my son, then, I'll tell
you; and your mother was a wicked slut to leave you
in ignorance of the sort of father you possessed. Now,
don't wince and colour up. Though it is something to
see you have not white blood. Be a good lad, and I'll
do for you.---Nelly, if you be tired, you may sit down;
if not, get home again. I guess you'll report what you
hear and see to the cipher at the Grange; and this thing
won't be settled while you linger about it."

     "Well," replied I, "I hope you'll be kind to the boy,
Mr. Heathcliff, or you'll not keep him long; and he's
all you have akin in the wide world that you will ever
know, remember."

     "I'll be very kind to him, you needn't fear," he said,
laughing. "Only nobody else must be kind to him. I'm
jealous of monopolizing his affection. And to begin
my kindness, Joseph, bring the lad some breakfast.---
Hareton, you infernal calf, begone to your work---Yes,
Nell," he added, when they had departed, "my son is
prospective owner of your place, and I should not wish
him to die till I was certain of being his successor. Be-
sides, he's mine, and I want the triumph of seeing my
descendant fairly lord of their estates---my child hiring
their children to till their father's lands for wages. That
is the sole consideration which can make me endure
the whelp. I despise him for himself, and hate him for
the memories he revives. But that consideration is suf-
ficient. He's safe with me, and shall be tended as care-
fully as your master tends his own. I have a room up-
stairs furnished for him in handsome style. I've en-
gaged a tutor also to come three times a week, from
twenty miles distance, to teach him what he pleases
to learn. I've ordered Hareton to obey him; and, in fact,
I've arranged everything with a view to preserve the
superior and the gentleman in him, above his associates.
I do regret, however, that he so little deserves the trou-
ble. If I wished any blessing in the world, it was to find
him a worthy object of pride; and I'm bitterly disap-
pointed with the whey-faced whining wretch!"

     While he was speaking, Joseph returned bearing a
basin of milk-porridge, and placed it before Linton,
who stirred round the homely mess with a look of aver-
sion, and affirmed he could not eat it. I saw the old man-
servant shared largely in his master's scorn of the child,
though he was compelled to retain the sentiment in his
heart, because Heathcliff plainly meant his underlings
to hold him in honour.

     "Cannot ate it?" repeated he, peering in Linton's
face, and subduing his voice to a whisper, for fear of
being overheard. "But Maister Hareton nivir ate naught
else, when he wer a little un; and what wer gooid
eneugh for him's gooid eneugh for ye, I's rayther think."

     "I shan't eat it!" answered Linton snappishly. "Take
it away."
Joseph snatched up the food indignantly, and
brought it to us.

     "Is there aught ails th' victuals?" he asked, thrusting
the tray under Heathcliff's nose.

     "What should ail them?" he said.

     "Wah!" answered Joseph, "yon dainty chap says he
cannut ate 'em. But I guess it's raight. His mother wer
just soa; we wer a'most too mucky to sow t' corn for
makking her breead."

     "Don't mention his mother to me," said the master
angrily. "Get him something that he can eat, that's all.
--What is his usual food, Nelly?"

     I suggested boiled milk or tea; and the housekeeper
received instructions to prepare some. Come, I re-
flected, his father's selfishness may contribute to his
comfort. He perceives his delicate constitution, and
the necessity of treating him tolerably. I'll console Mr.
Edgar by acquainting him with the turn Heathcliff's
humour has taken. Having no excuse for lingering
longer, I slipped out, while Linton was engaged in tim-
idly rebuffing the advances of a friendly sheep-dog.
But he was too much on the alert to be cheated. As I
closed the door, I heard a cry, and a frantic repetition
of the words,---

     "Don't leave me! I'll not stay here! I'll not stay
here"

     Then the latch was raised and fell. They did not
suffer him to come forth. I mounted Minny, and urged
her to a trot; and so my brief guardianship ended.


CHAPTER XXI.

We had sad work with little Cathy that day. She
rose in high glee, eager to join her cousin, and
such passionate tears and lamentations followed the
news of his departure that Edgar himself was obliged
to soothe her by affirming he should come back soon.
He added, however, "if I can get him," and there
were no hopes of that. This promise poorly pacified
her; but time was more potent; and though still at in-
tervals she inquired of her father when Linton would
return, before she did see him again his features had
waxed so dim in her memory that she did not recognize
him.

     When I chanced to encounter the housekeeper of
Wuthering Heights, in paying business visits to Gim-
merton, I used to ask how the young master got on, for
he lived almost as secluded as Catherine herself, and
was never to be seen. I could gather from her that he
continued in weak health, and was a tiresome inmate.
She said Mr. Heathcliff seemed to dislike him ever
longer and worse, though he took some trouble to con-
ceal it. He had an antipathy to the sound of his voice,
and could not do at all with his sitting in the same room
with him many minutes together. There seldom passed
much talk between them. Linton learned his lessons
and spent his evenings in a small apartment they called
the parlour, or else lay in bed all day, for he was con-
stantly getting coughs, and colds, and aches, and pains
of some sort.

     "And I never knew such a faint-hearted creature,"
added the woman, "nor one so careful of hisseln. He
will go on if I leave the window open a bit late in the
evening. Oh, it's killing, a breath of night air! And he
must have a fire in the middle of summer; and Joseph's
bacca pipe is poison; and he must always have sweets
and dainties, and always milk, milk for ever, heeding
naught how the rest of us are pinched in winter; and
there he'll sit, wrapped in his furred cloak in his chair
by the fire, with some toast and water or other slop on
the hob to sip at; and if Hareton, for pity, comes to
amuse him---Hareton is not bad-natured, though he's
rough---they're sure to part, one swearing and the other
crying. I believe the master would relish Earnshaw's
thrashing him to a mummy, if he were not his son; and
I'm certain he would be fit to turn him out of doors if
he knew half the nursing he gives hisseln. But then he
won't go into danger of temptation. He never enters the
parlour, and should Linton show those ways in the
house where he is, he sends him upstairs directly."

     I divined from this account that utter lack of sym-
pathy had rendered young Heathcliff selfish and dis-
agreeable, if he were not so originally; and my interest
in him consequently decayed, though still I was moved
with a sense of grief at his lot, and a wish that he had
been left with us. Mr. Edgar encouraged me to gain
information. He thought a great deal about him, I
fancy, and would have run some risk to see him; and
he told me once to ask the housekeeper whether he ever
came into the village. She said he had only been twice,
on horseback, accompanying his father, and both
times he pretended to be quite knocked up for three or
four days afterwards. That housekeeper left, if I recol-
lect rightly, two years after he came, and another,
whom I did not know, was her successor. She lives there
still.

     Time wore on at the Grange in its former pleasant
way till Miss Cathy reached sixteen. On the anniversary
of her birth we never manifested any signs of rejoicing,
because it was also the anniversary of my late mistress's
death. Her father invariably spent that day alone in the
library, and walked at dusk as far as Gimmerton kirk-
yard, where he would frequently prolong his stay be-
yond midnight. Therefore Catherine was thrown on her
own resources for amusement. This 20th of March was
a beautiful spring day, and when her father had retired,
my young lady came down dressed for going out, and
said she asked to have a ramble on the edge of the moor
with me. Mr. Linton had given her leave, if we went
only a short distance and were back within the hour.

     "So make haste, Ellen!" she cried. "I know where
I wish to go---where a colony of moor game are settled.
I want to see whether they have made their nests yet."

     "That must be a good distance up," I answered.

     "They don't breed on the edge of the moor."

     "No, it's not," she said. "I've gone very near with
papa."

     I put on my bonnet and sallied out, thinking nothing
more of the matter. She bounded before me, and re-
turned to my side, and was off again like a young grey-
hound; and at first I found plenty of entertainment in
listening to the larks singing far and near, and enjoying
the sweet, warm sunshine, and watching her, my pet
and my delight, with her golden ringlets flying loose
behind, and her bright cheek, as soft and pure in its
bloom as a wild rose, and her eyes radiant with cloud-
less pleasure. She was a happy creature, and an angel,
in those days. It's a pity she could not be content.

     "Well," said I, "where are your moor-game, Miss
Cathy? We should be at them. The Grange park fence
is a great way off now."

     "Oh, a little farther---only a little farther, Ellen,"
was her answer continually. "Climb to that hillock,
pass that bank, and by the time you reach the other side
I shall have raised the birds."

     But there were so many hillocks and banks to climb
and pass that at length I began to be weary, and told
oher we must halt and retrace our steps. I shouted to
her, as she had outstripped me a long way. She either
did not hear or did not regard, for she still sprang on,
and I was compelled to follow. Finally she dived into
a hollow, and before I came in sight of her again she was
two miles nearer Wuthering Heights than her own
home; and I beheld a couple of persons arrest her, one
of whom I felt convinced was Mr. Heathcliff himself.

     Cathy had been caught in the fact of plundering, or
at least hunting out the nests of the grouse. The Heights
were Heathcliff's land, and he was reproving the
poacher.

     "I've neither taken any nor found any," she said, as
I toiled to them, expanding her hands in corroboration
of the statement. "I didn't mean to take them; but papa
told me there were quantities up here, and I wished to
see the eggs."

     Heathcliff glanced at me with an all-meaning smile,
expressing his acquaintance with the party, and, conse-
quently, his malevolence towards it, and demanded
who "papa" was.

     "Mr. Linton of Thrushcross Grange," she replied.

     "I thought you did not know me, or you wouldn't
have spoken in that way."

     "You suppose papa is highly esteemed and respected,
then?" he said sarcastically.

     "And what are you?" inquired Catherine, gazing
curiously on the speaker. "That man I've seen before.
Is he your son?"

     She pointed to Hareton, the other individual, who
had gained nothing but increased bulk and strength by
the addition of two years to his age; he seemed as awk-
ward and rough as ever.

     "Miss Cathy," I interrupted, "it will be three hours
instead of one that we are out presently. We really
must go back."

     "No, that man is not my son," answered Heathcliff,
pushing me aside. "But I have one, and you have seen
him before too; and though your nurse is in a hurry,
I think both you and she would be the better for a
little rest. Will you just turn this nab of heath and walk
into my house? You'll get home earlier for the ease,
and you shall receive a kind welcome."

     I whispered Catherine that she mustn't on any ac-
count accede to the proposal. It was entirely out of the
question.

     "Why?" she asked aloud. "I'm tired of running, and
the ground is dewy. I can't sit here. Let us go, Ellen.
Besides, he says I have seen his son. He's mistaken, I
think; but I guess where he lives---at the farmhouse I
isited in coming from Peniston Crags. Don't you?"

     "I do---Come, Nelly, hold your tongue; it will be a
treat for her to look in on us.---Hareton, get forwards
with the lass.---You shall walk with me, Nelly."

     "No, she's not going to any such place," I cried,
struggling to release my arm, which he had seized;
but she was almost at the door-stones already, scamper-
ing round the brow at full speed. Her appointed com-
panion did not pretend to escort her; he shied off by
the roadside and vanished.

     "Mr. Heathcliff, it's very wrong," I continued. "You
know you mean no good. And there she'll see Linton,
and all will be told as soon as ever we return; and I
shall have the blame."

     "I want her to see Linton," he answered. "He's look-
ing better these few days. It's not often he's fit to be
seen. And we'll soon persuade her to keep the visit
secret. Where is the harm of it?"

     "The harm of it is that her father would hate me if
he found I suffered her to enter your house; and I am
convinced you have a bad design in encouraging her
to do so," I replied.

     "My design is as honest as possible. I'll inform you
of its whole scope," he said---"that the two cousins
may fall in love, and get married. I'm acting generously
to your master. His young chit has no expectations,
and should she second my wishes, she'll be provided
for at once as joint successor with Linton."

     "If Linton died," I answered, "and his life is quite
uncertain, Catherine would be the heir."

     "No, she would not," he said. "There is no clause
in the will to secure it so. His property would go to me.
But to prevent disputes I desire their union, and am
resolved to bring it about."

     "And I am resolved she shall never approach your
house with me again," I returned, as we reached the
gate, where Miss Cathy waited our coming.

     Heathcliff bade me be quiet, and preceding us up
the path, hastened to open the door. My young lady
gave him several looks, as if she could not exactly make
up her mind what to think of him; but now he smiled
when he met her eye, and softened his voice in addres-
sing her; and I was foolish enough to imagine the
memory of her mother might disarm him from desiring
her injury. Linton stood on the hearth. He had been out
walking in the fields, for his cap was on, and he was
calling to Joseph to bring him dry shoes. He had grown
tall of his age, still wanting some months of sixteen.
His features were pretty yet, and his eye and complex-
ion brighter than I remembered them, though with
merely temporary lustre borrowed from the salubrious
air and genial sun.

     "Now, who is that?" asked Mr. Heathcliff, turning
to Cathy. "Can you tell?"

     "Your son?" she said, having doubtfully surveyed
first one and then the other.

     "Yes, yes," answered he. "But is this the only time
you have beheld him? Think! Ah! you have a short
memory.---Linton, don't you recall your cousin that
you used to tease us so with wishing to see?"

     "What, Linton!" cried Cathy, kindling into joyful
surprise at the name. "Is that little Linton? He's taller
than I am!---Are you Linton?"

     The youth stepped forward and acknowledged him-
self. She kissed him fervently, and they gazed with
wonder at the change time had wrought in the appear-
ance of each. Catherine had reached her full height;
her figure was both plump and slender, elastic as steel,
and her whole aspect sparkling with health and spirits.
Linton's looks and movements were very languid, and
his form extremely slight; but there was a grace in his
manner that mitigated these defects, and rendered him
not unpleasing. After exchanging numerous marks of
fondness with him, his cousin went to Mr. Heathcliff,
who lingered by the door, dividing his attention be-
tween the objects inside and those that lay without---
pretending, that is, to observe the latter, and really
noting the former alone.

     "And you are my uncle, then!" she cried, reaching
up to salute him. "I thought I liked you, though you
were cross at first. Why don't you visit at the Grange
with Linton? To live all these years such close neigh-
bours, and never see us, is odd. What have you done
so for?"

     "I visited it once or twice too often before you were
born," he answered. "There---damn it! If you have
any kisses to spare, give them to Linton---they are
thrown away on me."

     "Naughty Ellenl" exclaimed Catherine, flying to at-
tack me next with her lavish caresses. "Wicked Ellen,
to try to hinder me from entering! But I'll take this
walk every morning in future---may I, uncle?---and
sometimes bring papa. Won't you be glad to see us?"

     "Of coursel" replied the uncle, with a hardly sup-
pressed grimace, resulting from his deep aversion to
both the proposed visitors. "But stay," he continued,
turning towards the young lady. "Now I think of it, I'd
better tell you. Mr. Linton has a prejudice against me.
We quarrelled at one time of our lives with unchristian
ferocity, and if you mention coming here to him he'll
put a veto on your visits altogether. Therefore you
must not mention it, unless you be careless of seeing
your cousin hereafter. You may come if you will, but
you must not mention it,"

     "Why did you quarrel?" asked Catherine, consider-
ably crestfallen.

     "He thought me too poor to wed his sister," answered
Heathcliff, "and was grieved that I got her. His pride
was hurt, and he'll never forgive it."

     "That's wrong!" said the young lady. "Some time
I'll tell him so. But Linton and I have no share in your
quarrel. I'll not come here then; he shall come to the
Grange."

     "It will be too far for me," murmured her cousin; "to
walk four miles would kill me. No, come here, Miss
Catherine, now and then---not every morning, but
once or twice a week."

     The father launched towards his son a glance of bitter
contempt.

     "I am afraid, Nelly, I shall lose my labour," he mut-
tered to me. "Miss Catherine, as the ninny calls her,
will discover his value, and send him to the devil. Now,
if it had been Hareton! Do you know that, twenty
times a day, I covet Hareton, with all his degradation?
I'd have loved the lad had he been some one else. But
I think he's safe from her love. I'll pit him against that
paltry creature, unless it bestir itself briskly. We cal-
culate it will scarcely last till it is eighteen. Oh, con-
found the vapid thing! He's absorbed in drying his
feet, and never looks at her.---Lintonl"

     "Yes, father," answered the boy.

     "Have you nothing to show your cousin anywhere
about---not even a rabbit or a weasel's nest? Take her
into the garden before you change your shoes, and into
the stable to see your horse."

     "Wouldn't you rather sit here?" asked Linton, ad-
dressing Cathy in a tone which expressed reluctance to
move again.

     "I don't know," she replied, casting a longing look
to the door, and evidently eager to be active.
He kept his seat, and shrank closer to the fire. Heath-
cliff rose and went into the kitchen, and from thence to
the yard, calling out for Hareton. Hareton responded,
and presently the two re-entered. The young man had
been washing himself, as was visible by the glow on
his cheeks and his wetted hair.

     "Oh, I'Il ask you, uncle," cried Miss Cathy, recollect-
ing the housekeeper's assertion. "That is not my cousin,
is he?"

     "'Yes," he replied---"your mother's nephew. Don't
you like him?"
Catherine looked queer.

     "Is he not a handsome lad?" he continued.
The uncivil little thing stood on tiptoe, and whis-
pered a sentence in Heathcliff's ear. He laughed. Hare-
ton darkened. I perceived he was very sensitive to sus-
pected slights, and had obviously a dim notion of his
inferiority. But his master or guardian chased the frown
by exclaiming,---
     
     "You'll be the favourite among us, Hareton! She
says you are a-----What was it? Well, something very
flattering. Here! you go with her round the farm. And
behave like a gentleman, mind! Don't use any bad
words; and don't stare when the young lady is not look-
ing at you, and be ready to hide your face when she is;
and when you speak, say your words slowly, and keep
your hands out of your pockets. Be off, and entertain
her as nicely as you can."

     He watched the couple walking past the window.
Earnshaw had his countenance completely averted
from his companion. He seemed studying the familiar
landscape with a stranger's and an artist's interest. Cath-
erine took a sly look at him, expressing small admira-
tion. She then turned her attention to seeking out ob-
jects of amusement for herself, and tripped merrily
on, lilting a tune to supply the lack of conversation.

     "I've tied his tongue," observed Heathcliff. "He'll
not venture a single syllable all the time! Nelly, you
recollect me at his age---nay, some years younger. Did
I ever look so stupid---so 'gaumless,' as Joseph calls
it?"

     "Worse," I replied, "because more sullen with it."

     "I've a pleasure in him," he continued, reflecting
aloud. "He has satisfied my expectations. If he were
a born fool I should not enjoy it half so much. But he's
no fool; and I can sympathize with all his feelings, hav-
ing felt them myself. I know what he suffers now, for
instance, exactly. It is merely a beginning of what he
shall suffer, though. And he'll never be able to emerge
from his bathos of coarseness and ignorance. I've got
him faster than his scoundrel of a father secured me,
and lower, for he takes a pride in his brutishness. I've
taught him to scorn everything extra-animal as silly and
weak. Don't you think Hindley would be proud of his
son if he could see him---almost as proud as I am of
mine? But there's this difference; one is gold put to the
use of paving-stones, and the other is tin polished to
ape a service of silver. Mine has nothing valuable about
it, yet I shall have the merit of making it go as far as
such poor stuff can go. His had first-rate qualities, and
they are lost, rendered worse than unavailing. I have
nothing to regret; he would have more than any but me
are aware of. And the best of it is, Hareton is damnably
fond of me! You'll own that I've outmatched Hindley
there. If the dead villain could rise from his grave to
abuse me for his offspring's wrongs, I should have the
fun of seeing the said offspring fight him back again,
indignant that he should dare to rail at the one friend
he has in the world."

     Heathcliff chuckled a fiendish laugh at the idea. I
made no reply, because I saw that he expected none.
Meantime our young companion, who sat too removed
from us to hear what was said, began to evince symp-
toms of uneasiness, probably repenting that he had
denied himself the treat of Catherine's society for fear
of a little fatigue. His father remarked the restless
glances wandering to the window, and the hand irreso-
lutely extended towards his cap.

     "Get up, you idle boy!" he exclaimed, with assumed
heartiness. "Away after them! They are just at the cor-
ner, by the stand of hives."

     Linton gathered his energies, and left the hearth.
The lattice was open, and as he stepped out I heard
Cathy inquiring of her unsociable attendant what was
that inscription over the door? Hareton stared up, and
scratched his head like a true clown.

     "It's some damnable writing," he answered. "I can-
not read it."

     "Can't read it?" cried Catherine. "I can read it; it's
English. But I want to know why it is there."

     Linton giggled---the first appearance of mirth he
had exhibited.

     "He does not know his letters," he said to his cousin.

     "Could you believe in the existence of such a colossal
dunce?"

     "Is he all as he should be?" asked Miss Cathy seri-
ously, "or is he simple---not right? I've questioned
him twice now, and each time he looked so stupid I
think he does not understand me. I can hardly under-
stand him, I'm sure."

     Linton repeated his laugh, and glanced at Hareton
tauntingly, who certainly did not seem quite clear of
comprehension at that moment.

     "There's nothing the matter but laziness---is there,
Earnshaw?" he said. "My cousin fancies you are an
idiot. There you experience the consequence of scorn-
ing 'book-larning,' as you would say.---Have you no-
ticed, Catherine, his frightful Yorkshire pronuncia-
tion?"

     "Why, where the devil is the use on't?" growled
Hareton, more ready in answering his daily compan-
ion. He was about to enlarge further, but the two young-
sters broke into a noisy fit of merriment, my giddy miss
being delighted to discover that she might turn his
strange talk to matter of amusement.

     "Where is the use of the devil in that sentence?"
tittered Linton. "Papa told you not to say any bad
words, and you can't open your mouth without one.
Do try to behave like a gentleman---now do!"

     "If thou weren't more a lass than a lad, I'd fell thee
this minute, I would, pitiful lath of a crater!" retorted
the angry boor, retreating, while his face burned with
mingled rage and mortification, for he was conscious
of being insulted, and embarrassed how to resent it.

     Mr. Heathcliff having overheard the conversation
as well as I, smiled when he saw him go, but immedi-
ately afterwards cast a look of singular aversion on the
flippant pair, who remained chattering in the doorway,
the boy finding animation enough while discussing
Hareton's faults and deficiencies and relating anecdotes
of his goings-on, and the girl relishing his pert and
spiteful sayings, without considering the ill-nature they
evinced. I began to dislike more than to compassion-
ate Linton, and to excuse his father, in some measure,
for holding him cheap.

     We stayed till afternoon---I could not tear Miss
Cathy away sooner; but happily my master had not
quitted his apartment, and remained ignorant of our
prolonged absence. As we walked home I would fain
have enlightened my charge on the characters of the
people we had quitted, but she got it into her head that
I was prejudiced against them.

     "Aha!" she cried, "you take papa's side, Ellen. You
are partial, I know, or else you wouldn't have cheated
me so many years into the notion that Linton lived a
long way from here. I'm really extremely angry, only
I'm so pleased I can't show it. But you must hold your
tongue about my uncle. He's my uncle, remember,
and I'll scold papa for quarrelling with him."

     And so she ran on, till I relinquished the endeavour
to convince her of her mistake. She did not mention
the visit that night, because she did not see Mr. Linton.
Next day it all came out, sadly to my chagrin. And
still I was not altogether sorry. I thought the burden
of directing and warning would be more efficiently
borne by him than me. But he was too timid in giving
satisfactory reasons for his wish that she should shun
connection with the household of the Heights, and Cath-
erine liked good reasons for every restraint that ha-
rassed her petted will.

     "Papa!" she exclaimed, after the morning's saluta-
tions, "guess whom I saw yesterday in my walk on the
moors. Ah, papa, you started! You've not done right,
have you, now? I saw----- But listen, and you shall
hear how I found you out, and Ellen, who is in league
with you, and yet pretended to pity me so when I kept
hoping, and was always disappointed about Linton's
coming back."

     She gave a faithful account of her excursion and its
consequences; and my master, though he cast more
than one reproachful look at me, said nothing till she
had concluded. Then he drew her to him, and asked if
she knew why he had concealed Linton's near neigh-
bourhood from her. Could she think it was to deny her
a pleasure that she might harmlessly enjoy?

     "It was because you disliked Mr. Heathcliff," she
answered.

     "Then you believe I care more for my own feelings
than yours, Cathy?" he said. "No, it was not because
I disliked Mr. Heathcliff, but because Mr. Heathcliff
dislikes me, and is a most diabolical man, delighting to
wrong and ruin those he hates, if they give him the
slightest opportunity. I knew that you could not keep
up an acquaintance with your cousin without being
brought into contact with him, and I knew he would
detest you on my account; so for your own good, and
nothing else, I took precautions that you should not
see Linton again. I meant to explain this some time as
you grew older, and I'm sorry I delayed it."

     "But Mr. Heathcliff was quite cordial, papa," ob-
served Catherine, not at all convinced; "and he didn't
object to our seeing each other. He said I might come
to his house when I pleased, only I must not tell you,
because you had quarrelled with him, and would not
forgive him for marrying Aunt Isabella. And you won't.
you are the one to be blamed. He is willing to let us be
friends---at least, Linton and I---and you are not."

     My master, perceiving that she would not take his
word for her uncle-in-law's evil disposition, gave a
hasty sketch of his conduct to Isabella, and the man-
ner in which Wuthering Heights became his property.
He could not bear to discourse long upon the topic, for
though he spoke little of it, he still felt the same horror
and detestation of his ancient enemy that had occupied
his heart ever since Mrs. Linton's death. "She might
have been living yet if it had not been for him!" was his
constant bitter reflection; and in his eyes Heathcliff
seemed a murderer. Miss Cathy---conversant with no
bad deeds except her own slight acts of disobedience,
injustice, and passion, arising from hot temper and
thoughtlessness, and repented of on the day they were
committed---was amazed at the blackness of spirit
that could brood on and cover revenge for years, and
deliberately prosecute its plans without a visitation of
remorse. She appeared so deeply impressed and shocked
at this new view of human nature, excluded from all
her studies and all her ideas till now, that Mr. Edgar
deemed it unnecessary to pursue the subject. He merely
added,---

     "You will know hereafter, darling, why I wish you to
avoid his house and family. Now return to your old
employments and amusements, and think no more
about them."

     Catherine kissed her father and sat down quietly to
her lessons for a couple of hours, according to cus-
tom; then she accompanied him into the grounds, and
the whole day passed as usual. But in the evening, when
she had retired to her room, and I went to help her to
undress, I found her crying on her knees by the bed-
side.

     "Oh, fie, silly child!" I exclaimed. "If you had any
real griefs you'd be ashamed to waste a tear on this
little contrariety. You never had one shadow of sub-
stantial sorrow, Miss Catherine. Suppose, for a minute,
that master and I were dead, and you were by yourself
in the world; how would you feel then? Compare the
present occasion with such an affliction as that, and
be thankful for the friends you have, instead of covet-
ing more."

     "I'm not crying for myself, Ellen," she answered---

     "it's for him. He expected to see me again to-morrow,
and there he'll be so disappointed; and he'll wait for me,
and I shan't come."

     "Nonsense!" said I. "Do you imagine he has
thought as much of you as you have of him? Hasn't he
Hareton for a companion? Not one in a hundred would
weep at losing a relation they had just seen twice, for
two afternoons. Linton will conjecture how it is, and
trouble himself no further about you."

     "But may I not write a note to tell him why I cannot
come," she asked, rising to her feet, "and just send
those books I promised to lend him? His books are not
as nice as mine, and he wanted to have them extremely
when I told him how interesting they were. May I not,
Ellen?"

     "No, indeed! no, indeed!" replied I, with decision.

     "Then he would write to you, and there'd never be
an end of it. No, Miss Catherine, the acquaintance must
be dropped entirely; so papa expects, and I shall see
that it is done."

     "But how can one little note-----" she recom-
menced, putting on an imploring countenance.

     "Silence!" I interrupted. "We'll not begin with your
little notes. Get into bed."

     She threw at me a very naughty look---so naughty
that I would not kiss her good-night at first. I covered
her up and shut her door in great displeasure, but re-
penting half-way, I returned softly, and lo! there was
miss standing at the table with a bit of blank paper be-
fore her and a pencil in her hand, which she guiltily
slipped out of sight on my entrance.

     "You'll get nobody to take that, Catherine," I said,
"if you write it; and at present I shall put out your can-
dle."

     I set the extinguisher on the flame, receiving as I did
so a slap on my hand, and a petulant "Cross thing!" I
then quitted her again, and she drew the bolt in one of
her worst, most peevish humours. The letter was fin-
ished and forwarded to its destination by a milk-fetcher
who came from the village; but that I did not learn till
some time afterwards. Weeks passed on, and Cathy re-
covered her temper, though she grew wondrous fond
of stealing off to corners by herself; and often, if I came
near her suddenly while reading, she would start and
bend over the book, evidently desirous to hide it, and
I detected edges of loose paper sticking out beyond the
leaves. She also got a trick of coming down early in the
morning and lingering about the kitchen, as if she were
expecting the arrival of something; and she had a small
drawer in a cabinet in the library which she would trifle
over for hours, and whose key she took special care to
remove when she left it.

     One day, as she inspected this drawer, I observed that
the playthings and trinkets which recently formed its
contents were transmuted into bits of folded paper. My
curiosity and suspicions were aroused. I determined to
take a peep at her mysterious treasures; so at night, as
soon as she and my master were safe upstairs, I
searched and readily found among my house-keys one
that would fit the lock. Having opened, I emptied
the whole contents into my apron, and took them
with me to examine at leisure in my own chamber.
Though I could not but suspect, I was still surprised to
discover that they were a mass of correspondence---
daily, almost, it must have been---from Linton Heath-
cliff, answers to documents forwarded by her. The
earlier dated were embarrassed and short; gradually,
however, they expanded into copious love-letters, fool-
ish, as the age of the writer rendered natural, yet with
touches here and there which I thought were bor-
rowed from a more experienced source. Some of them
struck me as singularly odd compounds of ardour and
flatness, commencing in strong feeling, and concluding
in the affected, wordy style that a schoolboy might use
to a fancied, incorporeal sweetheart. Whether they sat-
isfied Cathy I don't know, but they appeared very
worthless trash to me. After turning over as many as I
thought proper, I tied them in a handkerchief and set
them aside, relocking the vacant drawer.

     Following her habit, my young lady descended early,
and visited the kitchen. I watched her go to the door
on the arrival of a certain little boy, and while the dairy-
maid filled his can, she tucked something into his
jacket pocket, and plucked something out. I went round
by the garden and laid wait for the messenger, who
fought valorously to defend his trust, and we spilt the
milk between us; but I succeeded in abstracting the
epistle, and threatening serious consequences if he did
not look sharp home, I remained under the wall and
perused Miss Cathy's affectionate composition. It was
more simple and more eloquent than her cousin's---
very pretty and very silly. I shook my head, and went
meditating into the house. The day being wet, she could
not divert herself with rambling about the park, so, at
the conclusion of her morning studies, she resorted to
the solace of the drawer. Her father sat reading at the
table, and I, on purpose, had sought a bit of work in
some unripped fringes of the window curtain, keeping
my eye steadily fixed on her proceedings. Never did any
bird flying back to a plundered nest which it had left
brimful of chirping young ones express more complete
despair in its anguished cries and flutterings than she
by her single "Oh!" and the change that transfigured
her late happy countenance. Mr. Linton looked up.

     "What is the matter, love? Have you hurt yourself?"
he said.

     His tone and look assured her he had not been the
discoverer of the hoard.

     "No, papa," she gasped---"Ellen! Ellenl come up-
stairs! I'm sick!"

     I obeyed her summons, and accompanied her out.

     "O Ellen, you have got them!" she commenced im-
mediately, dropping on her knees, when we were en-
closed alone. "Oh, give them to me, and I'll never,
never do so again! Don't tell papa. You have not told
papa, Ellen? Say you have not. I've been exceedingly
naughty, but I won't do it any more!"

     With a grave severity in my manner I bade her stand
up.

     "So," I exclaimed, "Miss Catherine, you are tolerably
far on, it seems; you may well be ashamed of them. A
fine bundle of trash you study in your leisure hours, to
be sure. Why, it's good enough to be printed. And what
do you suppose the master will think when I display it
before him? I haven't shown it yet, but you needn't
imagine I shall keep your ridiculous secrets. For
shame! And you must have led the way in writing such
absurdities. He would not have thought of beginning,
I'm certain."

     "I didn't! I didn't!" sobbed Cathy, fit to break her
heart. "I didn't once think of loving him till------"

     "Loving!" cried I, as scornfully as I could utter the
word. "Loving! Did anybody ever hear the like? I
might just as well talk of loving the miller who comes
once a year to buy our corn. Pretty loving, indeed! And
both times together you have seen Linton hardly four
hours in your life! Now here is the babyish trash. I'm
going with it to the library, and we'll see what your
father says to such loving."

     She sprang at her precious epistles, but I held them
above my head; and then she poured out further fran-
tic entreaties that I would burn them---do anything
rather than show them. And being really fully as much
inclined to laugh as scold---for I esteemed it all girlish
vanity---I at length relented in a measure, and
asked,---

     "If I consent to burn them, will you promise faith-
fully neither to send nor receive a letter again, nor a
book (for I perceive you have sent him books), nor
locks of hair, nor rings, nor playthings?"

     "We don't send playthings!" cried Catherine, her
pride overcoming her shame.

     "Nor anything at all then, my lady," I said. "Unless
you will, here I go."

     "I promise, Ellen!" she cried, catching my dress.

     "Oh, put them in the fire!---do, do!"
But when I proceeded to open a place with the poker
the sacrifice was too painful to be borne. She earnestly
supplicated that I would spare her one or two.

     "One or two, Ellen, to keep for Linton's sake!"
I unknotted the handkerchief, and commenced drop-
ping them in from an angle, and the flame curled up the
chimney.

     "I will have one, you cruel wretch," she screamed,
darting her hand into the fire and drawing forth some
half-consumed fragments, at the expense of her fin-
gers.

     "Very well; and I will have some to exhibit to papa!"
I answered, shaking back the rest into the bundle, and
turning anew to the door.

     She emptied her blackened pieces into the flames,
and motioned me to finish the immolation. It was done.
I stirred up the ashes, and interred them under a
shovelful of coals; and she mutely, and with a sense of
intense injury, retired to her private apartment. I de-
scended to tell my master that the young lady's qualm
of sickness was almost gone, but I judged it best for her
to lie down a while. She wouldn't dine; but she reap-
peared at tea, pale and red about the eyes, and mar-
vellously subdued in outward aspect. Next morning I
answered the letter by a slip of paper inscribed, "Mas-
ter Heathcliff is requested to send no more notes to
Miss Linton, as she will not receive them." And
thenceforth the little boy came with vacant pockets.


CHAPTER XXII.

Summer drew to an end, and early autumn. It was
past Michaelmas; but the harvest was late that
year, and a few of our fields were still uncleared. Mr.
Linton and his daughter would frequently walk out
among the reapers. At the carrying of the last sheaves
they stayed till dusk, and the evening happening to be
chill and damp, my master caught a bad cold, that set-
tled obstinately on his lungs, and confined him indoors
throughout the whole of the winter, nearly without in-
termission.

     Poor Cathy, frightened from her little romance, had
been considerably sadder and duller since its abandon-
ment; and her father insisted on her reading less, and
taking more exercise. She had his companionship no
longer. I esteemed it a duty to supply its lack, as much
as possible, with mine---an inefficient substitute, for I
could only spare two or three hours from my numerous
diurnal occupations to follow her footsteps, and then
my society was obviously less desirable than his.

     On an afternoon in October or the beginning of No-
vember, a fresh, watery afternoon, when the turf and
paths were rustling with moist, withered leaves, and the
cold blue sky was half hidden by clouds---dark gray
streamers, rapidly mounting from the west and bod-
ing abundant rain---I requested my young lady to
forego her ramble, because I was certain of showers.
She refused, and I unwillingly donned a cloak and took
my umbrella to accompany her on a stroll to the bottom
of the park---a formal walk which she generally affected
if low-spirited (and that she invariably was when Mr.
Edgar had been worse than ordinary)---a thing never
known from his confession, but guessed both by her
and me from his increased silence and the melancholy
of his countenance. She went sadly on. There was no
running or bounding now, though the chill wind might
well have tempted her to race. And often, from the side
of my eye, I could detect her raising a hand and brush-
ing something off her cheeks. I gazed round for a means
of diverting her thoughts. On one side of the road rose
a high, rough bank, where hazels and stunted oaks, with
their roots half exposed, held uncertain tenure. The
soil was too loose for the latter, and strong winds had
blown some nearly horizontal. In summer Miss Cath-
erine delighted to climb along these trunks, and sit in
the branches, swinging twenty feet above the ground;
and I, pleased with her agility and her light, childish
heart, still considered it proper to scold every time I
caught her at such an elevation, but so that she knew
there was no necessity for descending. From dinner to
tea she would lie in her breeze-rocked cradle, doing
nothing except singing old songs---my nursery lore---to
herself, or watching the birds, joint tenants, feed and
entice their young ones to fly; or nestling with closed
lids, half thinking, half dreaming, happier than words
can express.

     "Look, miss!" I exclaimed, pointing to a nook under
the roots of one twisted tree; "winter is not here yet.
There's a little flower up yonder---the last bud from the
multitude of bluebells that clouded those turf steps in
July with a lilac mist. Will you clamber up and pluck
it to show to papa?"

     Cathy stared a long time at the lonely blossom trem-
bling in its earthy shelter, and replied at length,---

     "No, I'll not touch it. But it looks melancholy, does
it not, Ellen?"

     "Yes," I observed---"about as starved and sackless
as you. Your cheeks are bloodless. Let us take hold of
hands and run. You're so low I dare say I shall keep up
with you."

     "No," she repeated, and continued sauntering on,
pausing at intervals to muse over a bit of moss, or a tuft
of blanched grass, or a fungus spreading its bright
orange among the heaps of brown foliage; and ever and
anon her hand was lifted to her averted face.

     "Catherine, why are you crying, love?" I asked, ap-
proaching and putting my arm over her shoulder. "You
mustn't cry because papa has a cold. Be thankful it is
nothing worse."
She now put no further restraint on her tears; her
breath was stifled by sobs.

     "Oh, it will be something worse!" she said. "And
what shall I do when papa and you leave me, and I
am by myself? I can't forget your words, Ellen; they
are always in my ear. How life will be changed, how
dreary the world will be, when papa and you are dead!"

     "None can tell whether you won't die before us," I
replied. "It's wrong to anticipate evil. We'll hope there
are years and years to come before any of us go. Master
is young, and I am strong and hardly forty-five. My
mother lived till eighty, a canty dame to the last. And
suppose Mr. Linton were spared till he saw sixty, that
would be more years than you have counted, miss.
And would it not be foolish to mourn a calamity above
twenty years beforehand?"

     "But Aunt Isabella was younger than papa," she
remarked, gazing up with timid hope to seek further
consolation.

     "Aunt Isabella had not you and me to nurse her," I
replied. "She wasn't as happy as master; she hadn't
as much to live for. All you need do is to wait well on
your father, and cheer him by letting him see you cheer-
ful, and avoid giving him anxiety on any subject. Mind
that, Cathy. I'll not disguise but you might kill him if
you were wild and reckless, and cherished a foolish,
fanciful affection for the son of a person who would be
glad to have him in his grave, and allowed him to dis-
cover that you fretted over the separation he has judged
it expedient to make."

     "I fret about nothing on earth except papa's illness,"
answered my companion. "I care for nothing in com-
parison with papa. And I'll never---never---oh, never,
while I have my senses, do an act or say a word to vex
him. I love him better than myself, Ellen, and I know it
by this: I pray every night that I may live after him, be-
cause I would rather be miserable than that he should
be. That proves I love him better than myself."

     "Good words," I replied. "But deeds must prove it
also. And after he is well, remember you don't forget
resolutions formed in the hour of fear."

     As we talked, we neared a door that opened on the
road; and my young lady, lightening into sunshine
again, climbed up and seated herself on the top of the
wall, reaching over to gather some hips that bloomed
scarlet on the summit branches of the wild rose trees
shadowing the highway side. The lower fruit had dis-
appeared, but only birds could touch the upper, except
from Cathy's present station. In stretching to pull them,
her hat fell off, and as the door was locked she proposed
scrambling down to recover it. I bade her be cautious
lest she got a fall, and she nimbly disappeared. But the
return was no such easy matter. The stones were
smooth and neatly cemented, and the rose bushes and
blackberry stragglers could yield no assistance in re-
ascending. I, like a fool, didn't recollect that till I heard
her laughing and exclaiming,---

     "Ellen, you'll have to fetch the key, or else I must run
round to the porter's lodge. I can't scale the ramparts
on this side."

     "Stay where you are," I answered. "I have my bun-
dle of keys in my pocket. Perhaps I may manage to
open it; if not, I'll go."

    Catherine amused herself with dancing to and fro be-
fore the door, while I tried all the large keys in suc-
cession. I had applied the last, and found that none
would do. So, repeating my desire that she would re-
main there, I was about to hurry home as fast as I could,
when an approaching sound arrested me. It was the
trot of a horse. Cathy's dance stopped also.

     "Who is that?" I whispered.

     "Ellen, I wish you could open the door," whispered
back my companion anxiously.

     "Ho, Miss Lintonl" cried a deep voice (the rider's);

     "I'm glad to meet you. Don't be in haste to enter, for
I have an explanation to ask and obtain."

     "I shan't speak to you, Mr. Heathcliff," answered
Catherine. "Papa says you are a wicked man, and you
hate both him and me; and Ellen says the same."

     "That is nothing to the purpose," said Heathcliff. (He
it was.) "I don't hate my son, I suppose, and it is con-
cerning him that I demand your attention. Yes, you
have cause to blush. Two or three months since were
you not in the habit of writing to Linton---making love
in play, eh? You deserved, both of you, flogging for that
---you especially, the elder, and less sensitive, as it
turns out. I've got your letters, and if you give me any
pertness I'll send them to your father. I presume you
grew weary of the amusement and dropped it, didn't
you? Well, you dropped Linton with it into a Slough of
Despond. He was in earnest---in love, really. As true as
I live, he's dying for you, breaking his heart at your
fickleness---not figuratively, but actually. Though Hare-
ton has made him a standing jest for six weeks, and I
have used more serious measures, and attempted to
frighten him out of his idiocy, he gets worse daily; and
he'll be under the sod before summer unless you restore
him!"

     "How can you lie so glaringly to the poor child?" I
called from the inside. "Pray ride on! How can you
deliberately get up such paltry falsehoods?---Miss
Cathy, I'll knock the lock off with a stone. You won't
believe that vile nonsense. You can feel in yourself it is
impossible that a person should die for love of a stran-
ger."

     "I was not aware there were eavesdroppers," mut-
tered the detected villain. "Worthy Mrs. Dean, I like
you, but I don't like your double-dealing," he added
aloud. "How could you lie so glaringly as to affirm I
hated the 'poor child,' and invent bugbear stories to
terrify her from my door-stones? Catherine Linton (the
very name warms me), my bonny lass, I shall be from
home all this week; go and see if I have not spoken
truth; do---there's a darling! Just imagine your father
in my place, and Linton in yours; then think how you
would value your careless lover if he refused to stir a
step to comfort you when your father himself entreated
him; and don't, from pure stupidity, fall into the same
error. I swear, on my salvation, he's going to his grave,
and none but you can save him!"

     The lock gave way, and I issued out.

     "I swear Linton is dying," repeated Heathcliff, look-
ing hard at me. "And grief and disappointment are
hastening his death. Nelly, if you won't let her go, you
can walk over yourself. But I shall not return till this
time next week; and I think your master himself would
scarcely object to her visiting her cousin."

     "Come in," said I, taking Cathy by the arm and half
forcing her to re-enter; for she lingered, viewing with
troubled eyes the features of the speaker, too stern to
express his inward deceit.

     He pushed his horse close, and bending down, ob-
served,---

     "Miss Catherine, I'll own to you that I have little pa-
tience with Linton; and Hareton and Joseph have less.
I'll own that he's with a harsh set. He pines for kind-
ness as well as love, and a kind word from you would
be his best medicine. Don't mind Mrs. Dean's cruel
cautions, but be generous, and contrive to see him. He
dreams of you day and night, and cannot be persuaded
that you don't hate him, since you neither write nor
call."

     I closed the door and rolled a stone to assist the loos-
ened lock in holding it, and spreading my umbrella, I
drew my charge underneath, for the rain began to drive
through the moaning branches of the trees, and
warned us to avoid delay. Our hurry prevented any
comment on the encounter with Heathcliff as we
stretched towards home, but I divined instinctively that
Catherine's heart was clouded now in double darkness.
Her features were so sad they did not seem hers. She
evidently regarded what she had heard as every syllable
true.

     The master had retired to rest before we came in.
Cathy stole to his room to inquire how he was; he had
fallen asleep. She returned, and asked me to sit with
her in the library. We took our tea together, and after-
wards she lay down on the rug, and told me not to talk,
for she was weary. I got a book, and pretended to read.
As soon as she supposed me absorbed in my occupation
she recommenced her silent weeping; it appeared, at
present, her favourite diversion. I suffered her to en-
joy it a while, then I expostulated, deriding and ridicul-
ing all Mr. Heathcliff's assertions about his son, as if
I were certain she would coincide. Alas! I hadn't skill to
counteract the effect his account had produced; it was
just what he intended.

     "You may be right, Ellen," she answered, "but I shall
never feel at ease till I know. And I must tell Linton it
is not my fault that I don't write, and convince him that
I shall not change."

     What use were anger and protestations against her
silly credulity? We parted that night hostile, but next
day beheld me on the road to Wuthering Heights by the
side of my wilful young mistress's pony. I couldn't bear
to witness her sorrow, to see her pale dejected counte-
nance and heavy eyes; and I yielded, in the faint hope
that Linton himself might prove, by his reception of
us, how little of the tale was founded on fact.


CHAPTER XXIII.

The rainy night had ushered in a misty morn-
ing, half frost, half drizzle, and temporary brooks
crossed our path, gurgling from the uplands. My feet
were thoroughly wetted. I was cross and low---exactly
the humour suited for making the most of these dis-
agreeable things. We entered the farmhouse by the
kitchen way, to ascertain whether Mr. Heathcliff were
really absent, because I put slight faith in his own affir-
mation.

     Joseph seemed sitting in a sort of elysium alone, be-
side a roaring fire, a quart of ale on the table near him,
bristling with large pieces of toasted oat-cake, and his
black, short pipe in his mouth. Catherine ran to the
hearth to warm herself. I asked if the master was in.
My question remained so long unanswered that I
thought the old man had grown deaf, and repeated it
louder.

     "Na---ay!" he snarled, or rather screamed through
his nose. "Na---ay! yah muh goa back whear yah coom
frough."

     "Joseph!" cried a peevish voice, simultaneously
with me, from the inner room. "How often am I to call
you? There are only a few red ashes now. Joseph! come
this moment."

     Vigorous puffs and a resolute stare into the grate de-
clared he had no ear for this appeal. The housekeeper
and Hareton were invisible---one gone on an errand,
and the other at his work probably. We knew Linton's
tones, and entered.

     "Oh, I hope you'll die in a garret, starved to
death," said the boy, mistaking our approach for that
of his negligent attendant.

     He stopped on observing his error. His cousin flew
to him.

     "Is that you, Miss Linton?" he said, raising his head
from the arm of the great chair in which he reclined.

     "No, don't kiss me; it takes my breath. Dear me! Papa
said you would call," continued he, after recovering a
little from Catherine's embrace, while she stood by look-
ing very contrite. "Will you shut the door, if you please?
You left it open; and those---those detestable creatures
won't bring coals to the fire. It's so cold!"

     I stirred up the cinders, and fetched a scuttleful my-
self. The invalid complained of being covered with
ashes; but he had a tiresome cough, and looked fever-
ish and ill, so I did not rebuke his temper.

     "Well, Linton," murmured Catherine, when his
corrugated brow relaxed, "are you glad to see me? Can
I do you any good?"

     "Why didn't you come before?" he asked. "You
should have come, instead of writing. It tired me dread-
fully writing those long letters. I'd far rather have talked
to you. Now, I can neither bear to talk nor anything
else. I wonder where Zillah is! Will you"---looking at
me---"step into the kitchen and see?"

     I had received no thanks for my other service, and
being unwilling to run to and fro at his behest, I re-
plied,---

     "Nobody is out there but Joseph."

     "I want to drink," he exclaimed fretfully, turning
away. "Zillah is constantly gadding off to Gimmerton
since papa went; it's miserable! And I'm obliged to
come down here; they resolved never to hear me up-
stairs."

     "Is your father attentive to you, Master Heathcliff?"
I asked, perceiving Catherine to be checked in her
friendly advances.

     "Attentive? He makes them a little more attentive
at least," he cried. "The wretches! Do you know, Miss
Linton, that brute Hareton laughs at me! I hate him!
Indeed, I hate them all! They are odious beings."

     Cathy began searching for some water; she lighted on
a pitcher in the dresser, filled a tumbler, and brought
it. He bade her add a spoonful of wine from a bottle on
the table; and having swallowed a small portion, ap-
peared more tranquil, and said she was very kind.

     "And are you glad to see me?" asked she, reiterating
her former question, and pleased to detect the faint
dawn of a smile.

     "Yes, I am. It's something new to hear a voice like
yours!" he replied. "But I have been vexed because you
wouldn't come. And papa swore it was owing to me.
He called me a pitiful, shuffling, worthless thing, and
said you despised me, and if he had been in my place
he would be more the master of the Grange than your
father by this time. But you don't despise me, do you,
Miss-------"

     "I wish you would say Catherine, or Cathy," inter-
rupted my young lady. "Despise you? No! Next to
papa and Ellen, I love you better than anybody living.
I don't love Mr. Heathcliff, though, and I dare not come
when he returns. Will he stay away many days?"

     "Not many," answered Linton; "but he goes on to
the moors frequently since the shooting season com-
menced, and you might spend an hour or two with me
in his absence. Do say you will. I think I should not be
peevish with you. You'd not provoke me, and you'd
always be ready to help me, wouldn't you?"

     "Yes," said Catherine, stroking his long soft hair.
"If I could only get papa's consent I'd spend half my
time with you. Pretty Linton! I wish you were my
brother."

     "And then you would like me as well as your father?"
observed he more cheerfully. "But papa says you
would love me better than him and all the world if you
were my wife; so I'd rather you were that."

     "No, I should never love anybody better than
papa," she returned gravely. "And people hate their
wives sometimes, but not their sisters and brothers; and
if you were the latter you would live with us, and papa
would be as fond of you as he is of me."

     Linton denied that people ever hated their wives,
but Cathy affirmed they did, and in her wisdom in-
stanced his own father's aversion to her aunt. I en-
deavoured to stop her thoughtless tongue. I couldn't
succeed till everything she knew was out. Master Heath-
cliff, much irritated, asserted her relation was false.

     "Papa told me, and papa does not tell falsehoods,"
she answered pertly.

     "My papa scorns yours!" cried Linton. "He calls
him a sneaking fool."

     "Yours is a wicked man," retorted Catherine, "and
you are very naughty to dare to repeat what he says.
He must be wicked to have made Aunt Isabella leave
him as she did."

     "She didn't leave him," said the boy. "You shan't
contradict me."

     "She did," cried my young lady.

     "Well, I'll tell you something," said Linton. "Your
mother hated your father. Now then."

     "Oh!" exclaimed Catherine, too enraged to continue.

     "And she loved mine," added he.

     "You little liar! I hate you now!" she panted, and her
face grew red with passion.

     "She did! she did!" sang Linton, sinking into the
recess of his chair, and leaning back his head to enjoy
the agitation of the other disputant, who stood behind.

     "Hush, Master Heathcliff!" I said. "That's your
father's tale too, I suppose."

     "It isn't. You hold your tongue!" he answered.---

     "She did! she did, Catherine! She did! she did!"
Cathy, beside herself, gave the chair a violent push,
and caused him to fall against one arm. He was im-
mediately seized by a suffocating cough that soon ended
his triumph. It lasted so long that it frightened even me.
As to his cousin, she wept with all her might, aghast at
the mischief she had done, though she said nothing. I
held him till the fit exhausted itself. Then he thrust me
away, and leant his head down silently. Catherine
quelled her lamentations also, took a seat opposite, and
looked solemnly into the fire.

     "How do you feel now, Master Heathcliff?" I in-
quired, after waiting ten minutes.

     "I wish she felt as I do," he replied---"spiteful, cruel
thing! Hareton never touches me; he never struck me
in his life. And I was better to-day; and there-----" His
voice died in a whimper.

     "I didn't strike you!" muttered Cathy, chewing her
lip to prevent another burst of emotion.

     He sighed and moaned like one under great suffer-
ing, and kept it up for a quarter of an hour, on purpose
to distress his cousin, apparently, for whenever he
caught a stifled sob from her he put renewed pain and
pathos into the inflections of his voice.

     "I'm sorry I hurt you, Linton," she said at length,
racked beyond endurance. "But I couldn't have been
hurt by that little push, and I had no idea that you could
either. You're not much, are you, Linton? Don't let
me go home thinking I've done you harm. Answer!
Speak to me!"

     "I can't speak to you," he murmured. "You've hurt
me so that I shall lie awake all night choking with this
cough. If you had it you'd know what it was; but you'll
be comfortably asleep while I'm in agony, and nobody
near me. I wonder how you would like to pass those
fearful nights." And he began to wail aloud, for very
pity of himself.

     "Since you are in the habit of passing dreadful
nights," I said, "it won't be miss who spoils your ease;
you'd be the same had she never come. However, she
shall not disturb you again; and perhaps you'll get
quieter when we leave you."

     "Must I go?" asked Catherine dolefully, bending
over him. "Do you want me to go, Linton?"

     "You can't alter what you've done," he replied pet-
tishly, shrinking from her, "unless you alter it for the
worse by teasing me into a fever."

     "Well, then, I must go?" she repeated.

     "Let me alone, at least," said he. "I can't bear your
talking."

     She lingered, and resisted my persuasions to depar-
ture a tiresome while; but as he neither looked up nor
spoke, she finally made a movement to the door, and I
followed. We were recalled by a scream. Linton had slid
from his seat on to the hearth-stone, and lay writhing in
the mere perverseness of an indulged plague of a child,
determined to be as grievous and harassing as it can. I
thoroughly gauged his disposition from his behaviour,
and saw at once it would be folly to attempt humouring
him. Not so my companion. She ran back in terror,
knelt down, and cried, and soothed, and entreated, till
he grew quiet from lack of breath, by no means from
compunction at distressing her.

     "I shall lift him on to the settle," I said, "and he may
roll about as he pleases. We can't stop to watch him.
I hope you are satisfled, Miss Cathy, that you are not
the person to benefit him, and that his condition
of health is not occasioned by attachment to you. Now,
then, there he is! Come away. As soon as he knows
there is nobody by to care for his nonsense, he'll be
glad to lie still."

     She placed a cushion under his head, and offered him
some water. He rejected the latter, and tossed uneasily
on the former, as if it were a stone or a block of wood.
She tried to put it more comfortably.

     "I can't do with that," he said; "it's not high
enough."

     Catherine brought another to lay above it.

     "That's too high," murmured the provoking thing.

     "How must I arrange it, then?" she asked despair-
ingly.

     He twined himself up to her, as she half knelt by the
settle, and converted her shoulder into a support.

     "No, that won't do," I said. "You'll be content with
the cushion, Master Heathcliff. Miss has wasted too
much time on you already; we cannot remain five min-
utes longer."

     "Yes, yes; we can!" replied Cathy. "He's good and
patient now. He's beginning to think I shall have far
greater misery than he will to-night if I believe he is the
worse for my visit, and then I dare not come again.---
Tell the truth about it, Linton; for I mustn't come if I
have hurt you."

     "You must come, to cure me," he answered. "You
ought to come, because you have hurt me; you know
you have extremely. I was not as ill when you entered
as I am at present---was I?"

     "But you've made yourself ill by crying and being
in a passion."

     "I didn't do it all," said his cousin. "However, we'll
be friends now. And you want me---you would wish to
see me sometimes, really?"

     "I told you I did," he replied impatiently. "Sit on
the settle and let me lean on your knee. That's as
mamma used to do, whole afternoons together. Sit
quite still and don't talk; but you may sing a song, if
you can sing, or you may say a nice long interesting
ballad---one of those you promised to teach me---or a
story. I'd rather have a ballad, though. Begin."

     Catherine repeated the longest she could remember.
The employment pleased both mightily. Linton would
have another, and after that another, notwithstanding
my strenuous objections; and so they went on until the
clock struck twelve, and we heard Hareton in the
court, returning for his dinner.

     "And to-morrow, Catherine---will you be here to-
morrow?" asked young Heathcliff, holding her frock
as she rose reluctantly.

     "No," I answered, "nor next day neither." She,
however, gave a different response evidently, for his
forehead cleared as she stooped and whispered in his
ear.

     "You won't go to-morrow, recollect, miss," I com-
menced, when we were out of the house. "You are not
dreaming of it, are you?"

     She smiled.

     "Oh, I'll take good care," I continued. "I'll have that
lock mended, and you can escape by no way else."

     "I can get over the wall," she said, laughing. "The
Grange is not a prison, Ellen, and you are not my ga-
oler. And besides, I'm almost seventeen; I'm a woman.
And I'm certain Linton would recover quickly if he had
me to look after him. I'm older than he is, you know,
and wiser---less childish, am I not? And he'll soon do as
I direct him, with some slight coaxing. He's a pretty
little darling when he's good. I'd make such a pet of him
if he were mine. We should never quarrel, should we,
after we were used to each other? Don't you like him,
Ellen?"

     "Like him!" I exclaimed. "The worst-tempered bit
of a sickly slip that ever struggled into its teens. Hap-
pily, as Mr. Heathcliff conjectured, he'll not win twenty.
I doubt whether he'll see spring, indeed. And small
loss to his family whenever he drops off. And lucky it is
for us that his father took him: the kinder he was
treated, the more tedious and selfish he'd be. I'm glad
you have no chance of having him for a husband,
Miss Catherine."

     My companion waxed serious at hearing this speech.
To speak of his death so regardlessly wounded her feel-
ings.

     "He's younger than I," she answered, after a pro-
tracted pause of meditation, "and he ought to live the
longest. He will---he must live as long as I do. He's as
strong now as when he first came into the north; I'm
positive of that. It's only a cold that ails him---the same
as papa has. You say papa will get better, and why
shouldn't he?"

     "Well, well," I cried, "after all we needn't trouble
ourselves; for listen, miss---and mind I'll keep my
word; if you attempt going to Wuthering Heights again,
with or without me, I shall inform Mr. Linton; and un-
less he allow it, the intimacy with your cousin must
not be revived."

     "It has been revived," muttered Cathy sulkily.

     "Must not be continued, then," I said.

     "We'll see," was her reply; and she set off at a gallop,
leaving me to toil in the rear.

     We both reached home before our dinner-time; my
master supposed we had been wandering through the
park, and therefore he demanded no explanation of our
absence. As soon as I entered I hastened to change my
soaked shoes and stockings, but sitting such a while at
the Heights had done the mischief. On the succeeding
morning I was laid up, and during three weeks I re-
mained incapacitated for attending to my duties---a
calamity never experienced prior to that period, and
never, I am thankful to say, since.

     My little mistress behaved like an angel in coming
to wait on me and cheer my solitude. The confinement
brought me exceedingly low--it is wearisome to a stir-
ring, active body; but few have slighter reasons for
complaint than I had. The moment Catherine Ieft Mr.
Linton's room she appeared at my bedside. Her day
was divided between us; no amusement usurped a mi-
nute. She neglected her meals, her studies, and her
play, and she was the fondest nurse that ever watched.
She must have had a warm heart, when she Ioved her
father so, to give so much to me. I said her days were
divided between us; but the master retired early, and I
generally needed nothing after six o'clock; thus the
evening was her own. Poor thing! I never considered
what she did with herself after tea. And though fre-
quently, when she looked in to bid me good-night, I
remarked a fresh colour in her cheeks and a pinkness
over her slender fingers, instead of fancying the hue
borrowed from a cold ride across the moors, I laid it
to the charge of a hot fire in the library.


CHAPTER XXIV.

At the close of three weeks I was able to quit my
chamber and move about the house; and on the
first occasion of my sitting up in the evening I asked
Catherine to read to me, because my eyes were weak.
We were in the library, the master having gone to bed.
She consented, rather unwillingly, I fancied; and imag-
ining my sort of books did not suit her, I bade her
please herself in the choice of what she perused. She
selected one of her own favourites, and got forward
steadily about an hour; then came frequent questions.

     "Ellen, are not you tired? Hadn't you better lie down
now? You'll be sick keeping up so long, Ellen."

     "No, no, dear; I'm not tired," I returned continually.
Perceiving me immovable, she essayed another
method of showing her disrelish for her occupation. It
changed to yawning and stretching, and---

     "Ellen, I'm tired."

     "Give over, then, and talk," I answered.

     That was worse. She fretted and sighed, and looked at
her watch till eight, and finally went to her room, com-
pletely overdone with sleep, judging by her peevish,
heavy look, and the constant rubbing she inflicted on
her eyes. The following night she seemed more impa-
tient still, and on the third from recovering my com-
pany she complained of a headache and left me. I
thought her conduct odd; and having remained alone
a long while, I resolved on going and inquiring whether
she were better, and asking her to come and lie on the
sofa, instead of upstairs in the dark. No Catherine could
I discover upstairs, and none below. The servants af-
firmed they had not seen her. I listened at Mr. Edgar's
door; all was silence. I returned to her apartment, ex-
tinguished my candle, and seated myself in the window.

     The moon shone bright; a sprinkling of snow cov-
ered the ground, and I reflected that she might possibly
have taken it into her head to walk about the garden
for refreshment. I did detect a figure creeping along
the inner fence of the park, but it was not my young
mistress. On its merging into the light I recognized one
of the grooms. He stood a considerable period, viewing
the carriage-road through the grounds, then started off
at a brisk pace, as if he had detected something, and re-
appeared presently leading miss's pony; and there she
was, just dismounted, and walking by its side. The man
took his charge stealthily across the grass towards the
stable. Cathy entered by the casement window of the
drawing-room, and glided noiselessly up to where I
awaited her. She put the door gently to, slipped off her
snowy shoes, untied her hat, and was proceeding, un-
conscious of my espionage, to lay aside her mantle,
when I suddenly rose and revealed myself. The surprise
petrified her an instant; she uttered an inarticulate ex-
clamation, and stood fixed.

     "My dear Miss Catherine," I began, too vividly im-
pressed by her recent kindness to break into a scold,
"where have you been riding out at this hour? And
why should you try to deceive me by telling a tale?
Where have you been? Speak!"

     "To the bottom of the park," she stammered. "I
didn't tell a tale."

     "And nowhere else?" I demanded.

     "No," was the muttered reply.

     "O Catherine!" I cried sorrowfully. "You know
you have been doing wrong, or you wouldn't be driven
to uttering an untruth to me. That does grieve me. I'd
rather be three months ill than hear you frame a delib-
erate lie."

     She sprang forward, and bursting into tears, threw
her arms round my neck.

     "Well, Ellen, I'm so afraid of you being angry," she
said. "Promise not to be angry, and you shall know
the very truth. I hate to hide it."

     We sat down in the window-seat. I assured her I
would not scold, whatever her secret might be, and I
guessed it, of course; so she commenced,---

     "I've been to Wuthering Heights, Ellen, and I've
never missed going a day since you fell ill, except thrice
before and twice after you left your room. I gave Mi-
chael books and pictures to prepare Minny every eve-
ning, and to put her back in the stable. You mustn't
scold him either, mind. I was at the Heights by half-
past six, and generally stayed till half-past eight, and
then galloped home. It was not to amuse myself that I
went; I was often wretched all the time. Now and then
I was happy---once in a week perhaps. At first I ex-
pected there would be sad work persuading you to let
me keep my word to Linton, for I had engaged to call
again next day when we quitted him; but as you stayed
upstairs on the morrow, I escaped that trouble. While
Michael was refastening the lock of the park door in the
afternoon, I got possession of the key, and told him how
my cousin wished me to visit him, because he was sick
and couldn't come to the Grange, and how papa would
object to my going; and then I negotiated with him
about the pony. He is fond of reading, and he thinks of
leaving soon to get married; so he offered, if I would
lend him books out of the library, to do what I wished;
but I preferred giving him my own, and that satisfied
him better.

     "On my second visit Linton seemed in lively spirits,
and Zillah (that is their housekeeper) made us a clean
room and a good fire, and told us that, as Joseph was
out at a prayer-meeting, and Hareton Earnshaw was
off with his dogs---robbing our woods of pheasants, as I
heard afterwards---we might do what we liked. She
brought me some warm wine and gingerbread, and ap-
peared exceedingly good-natured; and Linton sat in
the arm-chair, and I in the little rocking-chair on the
hearth-stone, and we laughed and talked so merrily,
and found so much to say. We planned where we would
go, and what we would do in summer. I needn't re-
peat that, because you would call it silly.

     "One time, however, we were near quarrelling. He
said the pleasantest manner of spending a hot July day
was lying from morning till evening on a bank of heath
in the middle of the moors, with the bees humming
dreamily about among the bloom, and the larks singing
high up overhead, and the blue sky and bright sun shin-
ing steadily and cloudlessly. That was his most perfect
idea of heaven's happiness. Mine was rocking in a
rustling green tree, with a west wind blowing, and
bright white clouds flitting rapidly above, and not only
larks, but throstles, and blackbirds, and linnets, and
cuckoos pouing ou.t music on every side, and the moors
seen at a distance, broken into cool, dusky dells, but
close by great swells of long grass undulating in waves
to the breeze, and woods and sounding water, and the
whole world awake and wild with joy. He wanted all to
lie in an ecstasy of peace; I wanted all to sparkle and
dance in a glorious jubilee. I said his heaven would be
only half alive, and he said mine would be drunk; I said
I should fall asleep in his, and he said he could not
breathe in mine, and began to grow very snappish. At
last we agreed to try both, as soon as the right weather
came; and then we kissed each other and were friends.

     "After sitting still an hour, I looked at the great room
with its smooth uncarpeted floor, and thought how nice
it would be to play in if we removed the table; and I
asked Linton to call Zillah in to help us, and we'd have
a game at blind-man's buff. She should try to catch us;
you used to, you know, Ellen. He wouldn't. There was
no pleasure in it, he said. But he consented to play at
ball with me. We found two in a cupboard, among a
heap of old toys, tops, and hoops, and battledores, and
shuttlecocks. One was marked C. and the other H. I
wished to have the C., because that stood for Catherine,
and the H. might be for Heathcliff, his name; but the
bran came out of H., and Linton didn't like it. I beat
him constantly, and he got cross again, and coughed,
and returned to his chair. That night, though, he eas-
ily recovered his good-humour. He was charmed with
two or three pretty songs---your songs, Ellen; and when
I was obliged to go he begged and entreated me to come
the following evening, and I promised. Minny and I
went flying home as light as air, and I dreamt of
Wuthering Heights and my sweet darling cousin till
morning.

     "On the morrow I was sad, partly because you were
poorly, and partly that I wished my father knew and
approved of my excursions; but it was beautiful moon-
light after tea, and as I rode on the gloom cleared. I
shall have another happy evening, I thought to myself;
and, what delights me more, my pretty Linton will. I
trotted up their garden, and was turning round to the
back, when that fellow Earnshaw met me, took my
bridle, and bade me go in by the front entrance. He
patted Minny's neck, and said she was a bonny beast,
and appeared as if he wanted me to speak to him. I
only told him to leave my horse alone, or else it would
kick him. He answered in his vulgar accent, 'It wouldn't
do mitch hurt if it did,' and surveyed its legs with a
smile. I was half inclined to make it try; however, he
moved off to open the door, and as he raised the latch
he looked up to the inscription above, and said, with a
stupid mixture of awkwardness and elation,---

     " 'Miss Catherine, I can read yon now.'

     " 'Wonderful!' I exclaimed. 'Pray let us hear you;
you are grown clever.'

     "He spelt, and drawled over by syllables, the name,
'Hareton Earnshaw.'

     " 'And the flgures?' I cried encouragingly, perceiv-
ing that he came to a dead halt.

     " 'I cannot tell them yet,' he answered.

     " 'Oh, you dunce!' I said, laughing heartily at his
failure.

     "The fool stared, with a grin hovering about his lips,
and a scowl gathering over his eyes, as if uncertain
whether he might not join in my mirth---whether it
were not pleasant familiarity, or what it really was,
contempt. I settled his doubts by suddenly retrieving
my gravity and desiring him to walk away, for I came
to see Linton, not him. He reddened---I saw that by
the moonlight---dropped his hand from the latch, and
skulked off, a picture of mortified vanity. He imagined
himself to be as accomplished as Linton, I suppose, be-
cause he could spell his own name, and was mar-
vellously discomfited that I didn't think the same."

     "Stop, Miss Catherine dear!" I interrupted. "I shall
not scold, but I don't like your conduct there. If you
had remembered that Hareton was your cousin as
much as Master Heathcliff, you would have felt how
improper it was to behave in that way. At least, it was
praiseworthy ambition for him to desire to be as ac-
complished as Linton, and probably he did not learn
merely to show off. You had made him ashamed of his
ignorance before, I have no doubt, and he wished to
remedy it and please you. To sneer at his imperfect at-
tempt was very bad breeding. Had you been brought
up in his circumstances, would you be less rude? He
was as quick and as intelligent a child as ever you were,
and I'm hurt that he should be despised now, because
that base Heathcliff has treated him so unjustly."

     "Well, Ellen, you won't cry about it, will you?" she
exclaimed, surprised at my earnestness. "But wait, and
you shall hear if he conned his A B C to please me, and
if it were worth while being civil to the brute. I entered.
Linton was lying on the settle, and half got up to wel-
come me.

     " 'I'm ill to-night, Catherine, love,' he said; 'and you
must have all the talk, and let me listen. Come and sit
by me. I was sure you wouldn't break your word, and
I'll make you promise again before you go.'

     "I knew now that I mustn't tease him, as he was ill;
and I spoke softly, and put no questions, and avoided
irritating him in any way. I had brought some of my
nicest books for him. He asked me to read a little of
one, and I was about to comply, when Earnshaw burst
the door open, having gathered venom with reflection.
He advanced direct to us, seized Linton by the arm,
and swung him off the seat.

     " 'Get to thy own room!' he said, in a voice almost
inarticulate with passion; and his face looked swelled
and furious. 'Take her there if she comes to see thee;
thou shalln't keep me out of this. Begone wi' ye both!'

     "He swore at us, and left Linton no time to answer,
nearly throwing him into the kitchen; and he clenched
his fist as I followed, seemingly longing to knock me
down. I was afraid for a moment, and I let one volume
fall; he kicked it after me, and shut us out. I heard a
malignant, crackly laugh by the fire, and turning, be-
held that odious Joseph standing rubbing his bony
hands, and quivering.

     " 'I wer sure he'd sarve ye out! He's a grand lad!
He's getten t' raight sperrit in him! He knaws---ay, he
knaws as weel as I do---who sud be t' maister yonder!
Ech, ech, ech! He made ye skift properly! Ech, ech,
ech!'

     " 'Where must we go?' I asked of my cousin, disre-
garding the old wretch's mockery.

     "Linton was white and trembling. He was not pretty
then, Ellen---oh no! He looked frightful, for his thin
face and large eyes were wrought into an expression of
frantic, powerless fury. He grasped the handle of the
door, and shook it; it was fastened inside.

     " 'If you don't let me in I'll kill you! if you don't let
me in I'll kill you!' he rather shrieked than said. 'Devil!
devil! I'll kill you! I'll kill you!'

     "Joseph uttered his croaking laugh again.

     " 'Thear, that's t' father!' he cried. 'That's father!
We've allas summut o' either side in us. Niver heed,
Hareton, lad---dunnut be 'feared---he cannot get at
thee!'

     "I took hold of Linton's hands and tried to pull him
away, but he shrieked so shockingly that I dared not
proceed. At last his cries were choked by a dreadful fit
of coughing. Blood gushed from his mouth, and he
fell on the ground. I ran into the yard, sick with terror,
and called for Zillah as loud as I could. She soon heard
me. She was milking the cows in a shed behind the barn,
and hurrying from her work she inquired what there
was to do. I hadn't breath to explain. Dragging her in,
I looked about for Linton. Earnshaw had come out to
examine the mischief he had caused, and he was then
conveying the poor thing upstairs. Zillah and I ascended
after him; but he stopped me at the top of the steps, and
said I shouldn't go in---I must go home. I exclaimed
that he had killed Linton, and I would enter. Joseph
locked the door, and declared I should do 'no sich stuff,'
and asked me whether I were 'bahn to be as mad as
him.' I stood crying till the housekeeper reappeared.
She affirmed he would be better in a bit, but he couldn't
do with that shrieking and din; and she took me and
nearly carried me into the house.

     "Ellen, I was ready to tear my hair off my head. I
sobbed and wept so that my eyes were almost blind; and
the ruffian you have such sympathy with stood opposite,
presuming every now and then to bid me 'wisht,' and
denying that it was his fault; and finally, frightened by
my assertions that I would tell papa, and that he should
be put in prison and hanged, he commenced blubbering
himself, and hurried out to hide his cowardly agitation.
Still I was not rid of him. When at length they com-
pelled me to depart, and I had got some hundred
yards off the premises, he suddenly issued from the
shadow of the roadside, and checked Minny and took
hold of me.

     " 'Miss Catherine, I'm ill grieved,' he began, 'but it's
rayther too bad------'

     "I gave him a cut with my whip, thinking perhaps he
would murder me. He let go, thundering one of his hor-
rid curses, and I galloped home more than half out
of my senses.

     "I didn't bid you good-night that evening, and I
didn't go to Wuthering Heights the next. I wished to go
exceedingly, but I was strangely excited, and dreaded
to hear that Linton was dead, sometimes, and some-
times shuddered at the thought of encountering Hare-
ton. On the third day I took courage---at least I couldn't
bear longer suspense, and stole off once more. I went at
five o'clock, and walked, fancying I might manage to
creep into the house and up to Linton's room unob-
served. However, the dogs gave notice of my approach.
Zillah received me, and saying 'the lad was mend-
ing nicely,' showed me into a small, tidy, carpeted apart-
ment, where, to my inexpressible joy, I beheld Linton
laid on a little sofa, reading one of my books. But he
would neither speak to me nor look at me through a
whole hour, Ellen; he has such an unhappy temper.
And what quite confounded me, when he did open his
mouth it was to utter the falsehood that I had oc-
casioned the uproar, and Hareton was not to blame!
Unable to reply, except passionately, I got up and
walked from the room. He sent after me a faint 'Cath-
erine!' He did not reckon on being answered so. But I
wouldn't turn back; and the morrow was the second
day on which I stayed at home, nearly determined to
visit him no more. But it was so miserable going to bed
and getting up, and never hearing anything about him,
that my resolution melted into air before it was prop-
erly formed. It had appeared wrong to take the jour-
ney once, now it seemed wrong to refrain. Michael
came to ask if he must saddle Minny; I said 'Yes,' and
considered myself doing a duty as she bore me over
the hills. I was forced to pass the front windows to get
to the court; it was no use trying to conceal my presence.

     " 'Young master is in the house,' said Zillah, as she
saw me making for the parlour. I went in. Earnshaw
was there also, but he quitted the room directly. Lin-
ton sat in the great armchair half asleep. Walking up
to the fire, I began in a serious tone, partly meaning it
to be true,---

     " 'As you don't like me, Linton, and as you think I
come on purpose to hurt you, and pretend that I do so
every time, this is our last meeting. Let us say good-bye;
and tell Mr. Heathcliff that you have no wish to see me,
and that he mustn't invent any more falsehoods on the
subject.'

     " 'Sit down and take your hat off, Catherine,' he an-
swered. 'You are so much happier than I am, you ought
to be better. Papa talks enough of my defects and shows
enough scorn of me to make it natural I should doubt
myself. I doubt whether I am not altogether as worth-
less as he calls me frequently; and then I feel so cross
and bitter, I hate everybody! I am worthless, and bad in
temper, and bad in spirit, almost always, and if you
choose you may say good-bye; you'll get rid of an an-
noyance. Only, Catherine, do me this justice: believe
that if I might be as sweet, and as kind, and as good as
you are, I would be---as willingly, and more so, than
as happy and as healthy. And believe that your kind-
ness has made me love you deeper than if I deserved
your love; and though I couldn't and cannot help show-
ing my nature to you, I regret it and repent it, and shall
regret and repent it till I die!'

     "I felt he spoke the truth, and I felt I must forgive
him; and though he should quarrel the next moment,
I must forgive him again. We were reconciled; but we
cried, both of us, the whole time I stayed---not entirely
for sorrow, yet I was sorry Linton had that distorted
nature. He'll never let his friends be at ease, and he'll
never be at ease himself. I have always gone to his
little parlour since that night, because his father re-
turned the day after.

     "About three times, I think, we have been merry and
hopeful, as we were the first evening; the rest of my
visits were dreary and troubled---now with his selfish-
ness and spite, and now with his sufferings; but I've
learned to endure the former with nearly as little resent-
ment as the latter. Mr. Heathcliff purposely avoids me;
I have hardly seen him at all. Last Sunday, indeed, com-
ing earlier than usual, I heard him abusing poor Lin-
ton cruelly for his conduct of the night before. I can't
tell how he knew of it, unless he listened. Linton had
certainly behaved provokingly. However, it was the
business of nobody but me, and I interrupted Mr.
Heathcliff's lecture by entering and telling him so. He
burst into a laugh, and went away, saying he was glad
I took that view of the matter. Since then I've told Lin-
ton he must whisper his bitter things. Now, Ellen, you
have heard all. I can't be prevented from going to
Wuthering Heights except by inflicting misery on two
people; whereas, if you'll only not tell papa, my going
need disturb the tranquillity of none. You'll not tell,
will you? It will be very heartless if you do."

     "I'll make up my mind on that point by to-morrow,
Miss Catherine," I replied. "It requires some study;
and so I'll leave you to your rest, and go think it over."

     I thought it over aloud, in my master's presence,
walking straight from her room to his, and relating the
whole story, with the exception of her conversations
with her cousin, and any mention of Hareton. Mr. Lin-
ton was alarmed and distressed, more than he would
acknowledge to me. In the morning Catherine learned
my betrayal of her confidence, and she learned also
that her secret visits were to end. In vain she wept and
writhed against the interdict, and implored her father to
have pity on Linton. All she got to comfort her was a
promise that he would write and give him leave to come
to the Grange when he pleased, but explaining that he
must no longer expect to see Catherine at Wuthering
Heights. Perhaps, had he been aware of his nephew's
disposition and state of health, he would have seen fit
to withhold even that slight consolation.


CHAPTER XXV.

These things happened last winter, sir," said Mrs.
Dean---"hardly more than a year ago. Last winter
I did not think, at another twelve months' end, I should
be amusing a stranger to the family with relating them!
Yet who knows how long you'll be a stranger? You're
too young to rest always contented, living by yourself,
and I some way fancy no one could see Catherine Lin-
ton and not love her. You smile; but why do you look
so lively and interested when I talk about her? and why
have you asked me to hang her picture over your fire-
place? and why------"

     "Stop, my good friend!" I cried. "It may be very
possible that I should love her, but would she love me?
I doubt it too much to venture my tranquillity by run-
ning into temptation. And then my home is not here.
I'm of the busy world, and to its arms I must return.
Go on. Was Catherine obedient to her father's com-
mands?"

     "She was," continued the housekeeper. "Her affec-
tion for him was still the chief sentiment in her heart;
and he spoke without anger---he spoke in the deep ten-
derness of one about to leave his treasure amid perils
and foes, where his remembered words would be the
only aid that he could bequeath to guide her. He said
to me a few days afterwards,---

     " 'I wish my nephew would write, Ellen, or call.
Tell me sincerely what you think of him. Is he changed
for the better, or is there a prospect of improvement as
he grows a man?'

     " 'He's very delicate, sir,' I replied, 'and scarcely
likely to reach manhood; but this I can say, he does not
resemble his father. And if Miss Catherine had the mis-
fortune to marry him, he would not be beyond her con-
trol, unless she were extremely and foolishly indulgent.
However, master, you'll have plenty of time to get ac-
quainted with him, and see whether he would suit her.
It wants four years and more to his being of age.'

     Edgar sighed, and walking to the window, looked out
towards Gimmerton Kirk. It was a misty afternoon,
but the February sun shone dimly, and we could just
distinguish the two fir-trees in the yard, and the sparely
scattered gravestones.

     "I've prayed often," he half soliloquized, "for the
approach of what is coming, and now I begin to shrink
and fear it. I thought the memory of the hour I came
down that glen a bridegroom would be less sweet than
the anticipation that I was soon, in a few months, or
possibly weeks, to be carried up and laid in its lonely
hollow. Ellen, I've been very happy with my little
Cathy; through winter nights and summer days she was
a living hope at my side. But I've been as happy musing
by myself among those stones, under that old church,
lying through the long June evenings on the green
mound of her mother's grave, and wishing, yearning
for the time when I might lie beneath it. What can I
do for Cathy? How must I quit her? I'd not care one
moment for Linton being Heathcliff's son, nor for his
taking her from me, if he could console her for my loss.
I'd not care that Heathcliff gained his ends, and tri-
umphed in robbing me of my last blessing. But should
Linton be unworthy---only a feeble tool to his father---
I cannot abandon her to him. And, hard though it be
to crush her buoyant spirit, I must persevere in making
her sad while I live, and leaving her solitary when I die.
Darling! I'd rather resign her to God, and lay her in the
earth before me."

     "Resign her to God as it is, sir," I answered; "and
if we should lose you---which may He forbid---under
His providence I'll stand her friend and counsellor to
the last. Miss Catherine is a good girl; I don't fear that
she will go wilfully wrong; and people who do their
duty are always finally rewarded."

     Spring advanced, yet my master gathered no real
strength, though he resumed his walks in the grounds
with his daughter. To her inexperienced notions this
itself was a sign of convalescence. And then his cheek
was often flushed, and his eyes were bright; she felt
sure of his recovery. On her seventeenth birthday he
did not visit the churchyard. It was raining, and I ob-
served,---

     "You'll surely not go out to-night, sir?"
He answered,---

     "No, I'll defer it this year a little longer."

     He wrote again to Linton, expressing his great desire
to see him; and had the invalid been presentable, I've
no doubt his father would have permitted him to come.
As it was, being instructed, he returned an answer, inti-
mating that Mr. Heathcliff objected to his calling at
the Grange; but his uncle's kind remembrance delighted
him, and he hoped to meet him sometimes in his ram-
bles, and personaliy to petition that his cousin and he
might not remain long so utterly divided.

     That part of his letter was simple and probably his
own. Heathcliff knew he could plead eloquently for
Catherine's company, then.

     "I do not ask," he said, "that she may visit here, but
am I never to see her because my father forbids me to
go to her home, and you forbid her to come to mine?
Do, now and then, ride with her towards the Heights,
and let us exchange a few words in your presence. We
have done nothing to deserve this separation; and you
are not angry with me---you have no reason to dislike
me, you allow, yourself. Dear uncle, send me a kind
note to-morrow, and leave to join you anywhere you
please, except at Thrushcross Grange. I believe an in-
terview would convince you that my father's character
is not mine. He affirms I am more your nephew than
his son; and though I have faults which render me un-
worthy of Catherine, she has excused them, and for her
sake you should also. You inquire after my health. It
is better; but while I remain cut off from all hope, and
doomed to solitude or the society of those who never
did and never will like me, how can I be cheerful and
well?"

     Edgar, though he felt for the boy, could not consent
to grant his request, because he could not accompany
Catherine. He said in summer perhaps they might meet.
Meantime he wished him to continue writing at inter-
vals, and engaged to give him what advice and comfort
he was able by letter, being well aware of his hard posi-
tion in his family. Linton complied, and had he been
unrestrained, would probably have spoiled all by filling
his epistles with complaints and lamentations; but his
father kept a sharp watch over him, and of course in-
sisted on every line that my master sent being shown.
So, instead of penning his peculiar personal sufferings
and distresses, the themes constantly uppermost in his
thoughts, he harped on the cruel obligation of being
held asunder from his friend and love, and gently inti-
mated that Mr. Linton must allow an interview soon,
or he should fear he was purposely deceiving him with
empty promises.

     Cathy was a powerful ally at home, and between
them they at length persuaded my master to acquiesce
in their having a ride or a walk together about once a
week, under my guardianship, and on the moors nearest
the Grange---for June found him still declining. Though
he had set aside yearly a portion of his income for my
young lady's fortune, he had a natural desire that she
might retain---or at least return in a short time to---
the house of her ancestors; and he considered her only
prospect of doing that was by a union with his heir.
He had no idea that the latter was failing almost as fast
as himself, nor had any one, I believe. No doctor visited
the Heights, and no one saw Master Heathcliff to make
report of his condition among us. I, for my part, began
to fancy my forebodings were false, and that he must
be actually rallying, when he mentioned riding and
walking on the moors, and seemed so earnest in pursu-
ing his object. I could not picture a father treating a dy-
ing child as tyrannically and wickedly as I afterwards
learned Heathcliff had treated him, to compel this ap-
parent eagerness, his efforts redoubling the more im-
minently his avaricious and unfeeling plans were threat-
ened with defeat by death.


CHAPTER XXVI.

Summer was already past its prime when Edgar
reluctantly yielded his assent to their entreaties,
and Catherine and I set out on our first ride to join her
cousin. It was a close, sultry day, devoid of sunshine,
but with a sky too dappled and hazy to threaten rain;
and our place of meeting had been fixed at the guide-
stone by the crossroads. On arriving there, however,
a little herd-boy, dispatched as a messenger, told us
that---

     "Maister Linton wer just o' this side th' Heights, and
he'd be mitch obleeged to us to gang on a bit further."

     "Then Master Linton has forgot the first injunction
of his uncle," I observed. "He bade us keep on the
Grange land, and here we are off at once."

     "Well, we'll turn our horses' heads round when we
reach him," answered my companion; "our excursion
shall lie towards home."

     But when we reached him, and that was scarcely a
quarter of a mile from his own door, we found he had
no horse, and we were forced to dismount and leave
ours to graze. He lay on the heath awaiting our ap-
proach, and did not rise till we came within a few
yards. Then he walked so feebly, and looked so pale,
that I immediately exclaimed,---

     "Why, Master Heathcliff, you are not fit for enjoying
a ramble this morning. How ill you do look!"

     Catherine surveyed him with grief and astonishment.
She changed the ejaculation of joy on her lips to one of
alarm, and the congratulation on their long-postponed
meeting to an anxious inquiry whether he were worse
than usual.

     "No; better---better!" he panted, trembling, and re-
taining her hand as if he needed its support, while his
large blue eyes wandered timidly over her, the hollow-
ness round them transforming to haggard wildness the
languid expression they once possessed.

     "But you have been worse," persisted his cousin---

     "worse than when I saw you last. You are thinner,
and------"

     "I'm tired," he interrupted hurriedly. "It is too hot
for walking; let us rest here. And in the morning I often
feel sick. Papa says I grow so fast."

     Badly satisfied, Cathy sat down, and he reclined be-
side her.

     "This is something like your paradise," said she,
making an effort at cheerfulness. "You recollect the two
days we agreed to spend in the place and way each
thought pleasantest? This is nearly yours, only there
are clouds; but then they are so soft and mellow, it is
nicer than sunshine. Next week, if you can, we'll ride
down to the Grange Park and try mine."

     Linton did not appear to remember what she talked
of, and he had evidently great difficulty in sustaining
any kind of conversation. His lack of interest in the sub-
jects she started, and his equal incapacity to contribute
to her entertainment, were so obvious that she could
not conceal her disappointment. An indefinite altera-
tion had come over his whole person and manner. The
pettishness that might be caressed into fondness had
yielded to a listless apathy; there was less of the peevish
temper of a child which frets and teases on purpose to
be soothed, and more of the self-absorbed moroseness
of a confirmed invalid, repelling consolation, and ready
to regard the good-humoured mirth of others as an in-
sult. Catherine perceived, as well as I did, that he held
it rather a punishment than a gratification to endure
our company, and she made no scruple of proposing,
presently, to depart. That proposal unexpectedly roused
Linton from his lethargy, and threw him into a strange
state of agitation. He glanced fearfully towards the
Heights, begging she would remain another half-hour at
least.

     "But I think," said Cathy, "you'd be more comfort-
able at home than sitting here; and I cannot amuse you
to-day, I see, by my tales, and songs, and chatter. You
have grown wiser than I in these six months; you have
little taste for my diversions now---or else, if I could
amuse you, I'd willingly stay."

     "Stay to rest yourself," he replied. "And, Catherine,
don't think or say that I'm very unwell. It is the heavy
weather and heat that make me dull; and I walked
about, before you came, a great deal for me. Tell uncle
I'm in tolerable health, will you?"

     "I'll tell him that you say so, Linton. I couldn't af-
firm that you are," observed my young lady, wondering
at his pertinacious assertion of what was evidently an
untruth.

     "And be here again next Thursday," continued he,
shunning her puzzled gaze. "And give him my thanks
for permitting you to come---my best thanks, Catherine.
And---and if you did meet my father, and he asked you
about me, don't lead him to suppose that I've been ex-
tremely silent and stupid. Don't look sad and downcast,
as you are doing; he'll be angry."

     "I care nothing for his anger," exclaimed Cathy,
imagining she would be its object.

     "But I do," said her cousin, shuddering. "Don't pro-
voke him against me, Catherine, for he is very hard."

     "Is he severe to you, Master Heathcliff?" I inquired.

     "Has he grown weary of indulgence, and passed from
passive to active hatred?"

     Linton looked at me, but did not answer; and after
keeping her seat by his side another ten minutes, during
which his head fell drowsily on his breast, and he ut-
tered nothing except suppressed moans of exhaustion
or pain, Cathy began to seek solace in looking for bil-
berries, and sharing the produce of her researches with
me. She did not offer them to him, for she saw further
notice would only weary and annoy.

     "Is it half an hour now, Ellen?" she whispered in my
ear at last. "I can't tell why we should stay. He's asleep,
and papa will be wanting us back."

     "Well, we must not leave him asleep," I answered.

     "Wait till he wakes, and be patient. You were mighty
eager to set off, but your longing to see poor Linton has
soon evaporated."

     "Why did he wish to see me?" returned Catherine.

     "In his crossest humours, formerly, I liked him better
than I do in his present curious mood. It's just as if it
were a task he was compelled to perform---this inter-
view---for fear his father should scold him. But I'm
hardly going to come to give Mr. Heathcliff pleasure,
whatever reason he may have for ordering Linton to
undergo this penance. And though I'm glad he's better
in health, I'm sorry he's so much Iess pleasant, and so
much less affectionate to me."

     "You think he is better in health, then?" I said.

     "Yes," she answered, "because he always made such
a great deal of his sufferings, you know. He is not toler-
ably well, as he told me to tell papa; but he's better, very
likely."

     "There you differ with me, Miss Cathy," I remarked.

     "I should conjecture him to be far worse."

     Linton here started from his slumber in bewildered
terror, and asked if any one had called his name.

     "No," said Catherine, "unless in dreams. I cannot
conceive how you manage to doze out of doors, in the
morning."

     "I thought I heard my father," he gasped, glancing
up to the frowning nab above us. "You are sure no-
body spoke?"

     "Quite sure," replied his cousin. "Only Ellen and I
were disputing concerning your health. Are you truly
stronger, Linton, than when we separated in winter?
If you be, I'm certain one thing is not stronger---your
regard for me. Speak! Are you?"

     The tears gushed from Linton's eyes as he answered,

     "Yes, yes, I am!" And still under the spell of the imag-
inary voice, his gaze wandered up and down to detect
its owner.

     Cathy rose. "For to-day we must part," she said.

     "And I won't conceal that I have been sadly disap-
pointed with our meeting, though I'll mention it to no-
body but you---not that I stand in awe of Mr. Heath-
cliff."

     "Hush!" murmured Linton; "for God's sake, hush!
He's coming." And he clung to Catherine's arm, striv-
ing to detain her; but at that announcement she hastily
disengaged herself and whistled to Minny, who obeyed
her like a dog.

     "I'll be here next Thursday," she cried, springing to
the saddle. "Good-bye.---Quick, Ellenl"
And so we left him, scarcely conscious of our depar-
ture, so absorbed was he in anticipating his father's
approach.

     Before we reached home, Catherine's displeasure
softened into a perplexed sensation of pity and regret,
largely blended with vague, uneasy doubts about Lin-
ton's actual circumstances, physical and social, in
which I partook, though I counselled her not to say
much, for a second journey would make us better
judges. My master requested an account of our ongo-
ings. His nephew's offering of thanks was duly deliv-
ered, Miss Cathy gently touching on the rest. I also
threw little light on his inquiries, for I hardly knew
what to hide and what to reveal.


CHAPTER XXVII.

Seven days glided away, every one marking its
course by the henceforth rapid alteration of Edgar
Linton's state. The havoc that months had previously
wrought was now emulated by the inroads of hours.
Catherine we would fain have deluded yet, but her own
quick spirit refused to delude her; it divined in secret,
and brooded on the dreadful probability, gradually rip-
ening into certainty. She had not the heart to mention
her ride when Thursday came round. I mentioned it for
her, and obtained permission to order her out of doors;
for the library, where her father stopped a short time
daily---the brief period he could bear to sit up---and
his chamber, had become her whole world. She grudged
each moment that did not find her bending over his
pillow or seated by his side. Her countenance grew
wan with watching and sorrow, and my master gladly
dismissed her to what he flattered himself would be a
happy change of scene and society, drawing comfort
from the hope that she would not now be left entirely
alone after his death.

     He had a fixed idea, I guessed by several observa-
tions he let fall, that, as his nephew resembled him in
person, he would resemble him in mind, for Linton's
litters bore few or no indications of his defective char-
acters. And I, through pardonable weakness, refrained
from correcting the error, asking myself what good
there would be in disturbing his last moments with in-
formation that he had neither power nor opportunity
to turn to account.

     We deferred our excursion till the afternoon---a
golden afternoon of August, every breath from the hills
so full of life that it seemed, whoever respired it, though
dying, might revive. Catherine's face was just like the
landscape---shadows and sunshine flitting over it in
rapid succession; but the shadows rested longer, and
the sunshine was more transient; and her poor little
heart reproached itself for even that passing forgetful-
ness of its cares.

     We discerned Linton watching at the same spot he
had selected before. My young mistress alighted, and
told me that, as she was resolved to stay a very little
while, I had better hold the pony and remain on horse-
back; but I dissented. I wouldn't risk losing sight of
the charge committed to me a minute, so we climbed
the slope of heath together. Master Heathcliff received
us with greater animation on this occasion---not the
animation of high spirits though, nor yet of joy; it
looked more like fear.

     "It is late," he said, speaking short and with diffi-
culty. "Is not your father very ill? I thought you
wouldn't come."

     "Why won't you be candid?" cried Catherine, swal-
lowing her greeting. "Why cannot you say at once you
don't want me? It is strange, Linton, that for the second
time you have brought me here on purpose, apparently,
to distress us both, and for no reason besides."

     Linton shivered, and glanced at her, half supplicat-
ing, half ashamed; but his cousin's patience was not
sufficient to endure this enigmatical behaviour.

     "My father is very ill," she said; "and why am I
called from his bedside? Why didn't you send to ab-
solve me from my promise when you wished I wouldn't
keep it? Come! I desire an explanation; playing and
trifling are completely banished out of my mind, and I
can't dance attendance on your affectations now!"

     "My affectations!" he murmured; "what are they?
For Heaven's sake, Catherine, don't look so angryl
Despise me as much as you please. I am a worthless,
cowardly wretch---I can't be scorned enough; but I'm
too mean for your anger. Hate my father, and spare me
for contempt."

     "Nonsense!" cried Catherine in a passion. "Foolish,
silly boy! And there! he trembles, as if I were really go-
ing to touch him! You needn't bespeak contempt, Lin-
ton; anybody will have it spontaneously at your service.
Get off! I shall return home. It is folly dragging you
from the hearthstone, and pretending---what do we
pretend? Let go my frock! If I pitied you for crying
and looking so very frightened, you should spurn such
pity.---Ellen, tell him how disgraceful this conduct is.
---Rise, and don't degrade yourself into an abject rep-
tile--don't!"

     With streaming face and an expression of agony Lin-
ton had thrown his nerveless frame along the ground.
He seemed convulsed with exquisite terror.

     "Oh!" he sobbed, "I cannot bear it! Catherine, Cath-
erine, I'm a traitor too, and I dare not tell you! But leave
me, and I shall be kiljed! Dear Catherine, my life is in
your hands; and you have said you loved me, and if
you did, it wouldn't harm you. You'll not go then, kind,
sweet, good Catherine? And perhaps you will consent
---and he'll let me die with you!"

     My young lady, on witnessing his intense anguish,
stooped to raise him. The old feeling of indulgent
tenderness overcame her vexation, and she grew thor-
oughly moved and alarmed.

     "Consent to what?" she asked. "To stay? Tell me
the meaning of this strange talk, and I will. You con-
tradict your own words and distract me. Be calm and
frank, and confess at once all that weighs on your heart.
You wouldn't injure me, Linton, would you? You
wouldn't let any enemy hurt me, if you could prevent
it? I'll believe you are a coward for yourself, but not a
cowardly betrayer of your best friend."

     "But my father threatened me," gasped the boy,
clasping his attenuated fingers, "and I dread him---I
dread him! I dare not tell!"

     "Oh, well," said Catherine, with scornful compas-
sion, "keep your secret. I'm no coward. Save yourself.
I'm not afraid."

     Her magnanimity provoked his tears. He wept wildly,
kissing her supporting hands, and yet could not sum-
mon courage to speak out. I was cogitating what the
mystery might be, and determined Catherine should
never suffer to benefit him or any one else, by my good-
will, when, hearing a rustle among the ling, I looked
up and saw Mr. Heathcliff almost close upon us, de-
scending the Heights. He didn't cast a glance towards
my companions, though they were sufficiently near for
Linton's sobs to be audible, but hailing me in the al-
most hearty tone he assumed to none besides, and the
sincerity of which I couldn't avoid doubtiing, he said,---

     "It is something to see you so near to my house, Nelly.
How are you at the Grange? Let us hear. The rumour
goes," he added in a lower tone, "that Edgar Linton
is on his deathbed; perhaps they exaggerate his illness?"

     "No. My master is dying," I replied; "it is true
enough. A sad thing it will be for us all, but a blessing
for him."

     "How long will he last, do you think?" he asked.

     "I don't know," I said.

     "Because," he continued, looking at the two young
people, who were fixed under his eye---Linton ap-
peared as if he could not venture to stir or raise his
head, and Catherine could not move on his account---
"because that lad yonder seems determined to beat me,
and I'd thank his uncle to be quick and go before him.
Hullo! has the whelp been playing that game long? I
did give him some lessons about snivelling. Is he pretty
lively with Miss Linton generally?"

     "Lively? No; he has shown the greatest distress," I
answered. "To see him, I should say that, instead of
rambling with his sweetheart on the hills, he ought to
be in bed, under the hands of a doctor."

     "He shall be in a day or two," muttered Heathcliff.
"But first------ Get up, Linton! get up!" he shouted.
     "Don't grovel on the ground there. Up, this moment!"

     Linton had sunk prostrate again in another paroxysm
of helpless fear, caused by his father's glance towards
him, I suppose; there was nothing else to produce such
humiliation. He made several efforts to obey, but his
little strength was annihilated for the time, and he fell
back again with a moan. Mr. Heathcliff advanced, and
lifted him to lean against a ridge of turf.

     "Now," said he, with curbed ferocity, "I'm getting
angry, and if you don't command that paltry spirit of
yours------Damn you! get up directly!"

     "I will, father," he panted. "Only let me alone, or I
shall faint. I've done as you wished, I'm sure. Cathernie
will tell you that I---that I---have been cheerful---Ah!
keep by me, Catherine. Give me your hand."

     "Take mine," said his father. "Stand on your feet.
There now; she'll lend you her arm. That's right; look
at her.---You would imagine I was the devil himself,
Miss Linton, to excite such horror. Be so kind as to
walk home with him, will you? He shudders if I touch
him."

     "Linton dear!" whispered Catherine, "I can't go to
Wuthering Heights; papa has forbidden me. He'll not
harm you. Why are you so afraid?"

     "I can never re-enter that house," he answered. "I'm
not to re-enter it without you."

     "Stop!" cried his father. "We'll respect Catherine's
filial scruples---Nelly, take him in, and l'll follow your
advice concerning the doctor without delay."

     "You'll do well," replied I. "But I must remain with
my mistress; to mind your son is not my business."

     "You are very stiff," said Heathcliff---"I know that;
but you'll force me to pinch the baby and make it
scream before it moves your charity.---Come, then,
my hero. Are you willing to return, escorted by me?"

     He approached once more, and made as if he would
seize the fragile being; but, shrinking back, Linton
clung to his cousin, and implored her to accompany
him, with a frantic importunity that admitted no denial.
However I disapproved, I couldn't hinder her. Indeed,
how could she have refused him herself? What was fill-
ing him with dread we had no means of discerning; but
there he was, powerless under its gripe, and any addi-
tion seemed capable of shocking him into idiocy. We
reached the threshold. Catherine walked in, and I stood
waiting till she had conducted the invalid to a chair,
expecting her out immediately, when Mr. Heathcliff,
pushing me forward, exclaimed,---

     "My house is not stricken with the plague, Nelly,
and I have a mind to be hospitable to-day. Sit down, and
allow me to shut the door."

     He shut and locked it also. I started.

     "You shall have tea before you go home," he added.
"I am by myself. Hareton is gone with some cattle to
the Lees, and Zillah and Joseph are off on a journey
of pleasure; and though I'm used to being alone, I'd
rather have some interesting company, if I can get it.
---Miss Linton, take your seat by him. I give you what
I have; the present is hardly worth accepting, but I have
nothing else to offer. It is Linton I mean. How she does
stare! It's odd what a savage feeling I have to anything
that seems afraid of me. Had I been born where laws
are less strict and tastes less dainty, I should treat my-
self to a slow vivisection of those two as an evening's
amusement."

     He drew in his breath, struck the table, and swore to
himself, "By hell, I hate them!"

     "I'm not afraid of you!" exclaimed Catherine, who
could not hear the latter part of his speech. She stepped
close up, her black eyes flashing with passion and reso-
lution. "Give me that key. I will have it!" she said. "I
wouldn't eat or drink here if I were starving."

     Heathcliff had the key in his hand that remained on
the table. He looked up, seized with a sort of surprise
at her boldness, or possibly reminded by her voice and
glance of the person from whom she had inherited it.
She snatched at the instrument, and half succeeded in
getting it out of his loosened fingers; but her action
recalled him to the present---he recovered it speedily.

     "Now, Catherine Linton," he said, "stand off, or I
shall knock you down, and that will make Mrs. Dean
mad."

     Regardless of this warning, she captured his closed
hand and its contents again. "We will go!" she repeated,
exerting her utmost efforts to cause the iron muscles
to relax; and finding that her nails made no impression,
she applied her teeth pretty sharply. Heathcliff glanced
at me a glance that kept me from interfering a moment.
Catherine was too intent on his fingers to notice his
face. He opened them suddenly, and resigned the ob-
ject of dispute; but ere she had well secured it, he seized
her with the liberated hand, and pulling her on his knee,
administered with the other a shower of terrific slaps
on both sides of the head, each sufficient to have ful-
filled his threat, had she been able to fall.

     At this diabolical violence I rushed on him furiously.
"You villain!" I began to cry, "you villain!" A touch
on the chest silenced me. I am stout, and soon put out
of breath; and what with that and the rage, I staggered
dizzily back, and felt ready to suffocate or to burst a
blood-vessel. The scene was over in two minutes. Cath-
erine, released, put her two hands to her temples, and
looked just as if she were not sure whether her ears
were off or on. She trembled like a reed, poor thing,
and leant against the table perfectly bewildered.

     "I know how to chastise children, you see," said the
scoundrel grimly, as he stooped to repossess himself of
the key, which had dropped to the floor. "Go to Linton
now, as I told you, and cry at your ease. I shall be your
father to-morrow---all the father you'll have in a few
days---and you shall have plenty of that. You can bear
plenty; you're no weakling. You shall have a daily taste,
if I catch such a devil of a temper in your eyes again!"

     Cathy ran to me instead of Linton, and knelt down
and put her burning cheek on my lap, weeping aloud.
Her cousin had shrunk into a corner of the settle, as
quiet as a mouse, congratulating himself, I dare say,
that the correction had lighted on another than him.
Mr. Heathcliff, perceiving us all confounded, rose, and
expeditiously made the tea himself. The cups and sau-
cers were laid ready. He poured it out, and handed me
a cup.

     "Wash away your spleen," he said. "And help your
own naughty pet and mine. It is not poisoned, though
I prepared it. I'm going out to seek your horses."

     Our first thought, on his departure, was to force an
exit somewhere. We tried the kitchen door, but that
was fastened outside. We looked at the windows; they
were too narrow for even Cathy's little figure.

     "Master Linton," I cried, seeing we were regularly
imprisoned, "you know what your diabolical father is
after, and you shall tell us, or I'll box your ears, as he
has done your cousin's."

     "Yes, Linton, you must tell," said Catherine. "It
was for your sake I came, and it will be wickedly un-
grateful if you refuse."

     "Give me some tea---I'm thirsty---and then I'll tell
you," he answered.---"Mrs. Dean, go away. I don't
like you standing over me---Now, Catherine, you are
letting your tears fall into my cup. I won't drink that.
Give me another."

     Catherine pushed another to him, and wiped her
face. I felt disgusted at the little wretch's composure,
since he was no longer in terror for himself. The anguish
he had exhibited on the moor subsided as soon as ever
he entered Wuthering Heights, so I guessed he had
been menaced with an awful visitation of wrath if he
failed in decoying us there; and that accomplished, he
had no further immediate fears.

     "Papa wants us to be married," he continued, after
sipping some of the liquid. "And he knows your papa
wouldn't let us marry now, and he's afraid of my dying
if we wait; so we are to be married in the morning, and
you are to stay here all night; and if you do as he wishes,
you shall return home next day, and take me with you."

     "Take you with her, pitiful changeling!" I exclaimed.
"You marry! Why, the man is mad, or he thinks us
fools every one. And do you imagine that beautiful
young lady, that healthy, hearty girl, will tie herself to
a little perishing monkey like you? Are you cherishing
the notion that anybody, let alone Miss Catherine Lin-
ton, would have you for a husband? You want whipping
for bringing us in here at all, with your dastardly puling
tricks; and---don't look so silly now! I've a very good
mind to shake you severely for your contemptible
treachery and your imbecile conceit."

     I did give him a slight shaking, but it brought on
the cough, and he took to his ordinary resource of
moaning and weeping, and Catherine rebuked me.

     "Stay all night? No," she said, looking slowly round.
"Ellen, I'll burn that door down, but I'll get out."

     And she would have commenced the execution of
her threat directly, but Linton was up in alarm for his
dear self again. He clasped her in his two feeble arms,
sobbing,---

     "Won't you have me, and save me?---not let me
come to the Grange? O darling Catherine, you mustn't
go and leave, after all! You must obey my father---
you must!"

     "I must obey my own," she replied, "and relieve him
from this cruel suspense. The whole night! What
would he think? He'll be distressed already. I'll either
break or burn a way out of the house. Be quiet! You're
in no danger. But if you hinder me------Linton, I
love papa better than you!"

     The mortal terror he felt of Mr. Heathcliff's anger
restored to the boy his coward's eloquence. Catherine
was near distraught; still she persisted that she must
go home, and tried entreaty in her turn, persuading
him to subdue his selfish agony. While they were thus
occupied, our gaoler re-entered.

     "Your beasts have trotted off," he said, "and-----
Now, Linton! snivelling again? What has she been
doing to you? Come, come; have done, and get to bed.
In a month or two, my lad, you'll be able to pay her
back her present tyrannies with a vigorous hand. You're
pining for pure love, are you not?---nothing else in the
world; and she shall have you! There, to bed! Zillah
won't be here to-night. You must undress yourself.
Hush! hold your noise! Once in your own room, I'll not
come near you. You needn't fear. By chance you've
managed tolerably. I'll look to the rest."

     He spoke these words, holding the door open for his
son to pass; and the latter achieved his exit exactly as a
spaniel might which suspected the person who attended
on it of designing a spiteful squeeze. The lock was re-
secured. Heathcliff approached the fire, where my mis-
tress and I stood silent. Catherine looked up, and in-
stinctively raised her hand to her cheek. His neighbour-
hood revived a painful sensation. Anybody else would
have been incapable of regarding the childish act with
sternness, but he scowled on her and muttered,---

     "Oh! you are not afraid of me? Your courage is well
disguised; you seem damnably afraid!"

     "I am afraid now," she replied, "because, if I stay,
papa will be miserable; and how can I endure making
him miserable when he---when he------ Mr. Heathcliff,
let me go home! I promise to marry Linton; papa would
like me to, and I love him. Why should you wish to
force me to do what I'll willingly do of myself?"

     "Let him dare to force you!" I cried. "There's law
in the land---thank God there is!---though we be in an
out-of-the-way place. I'd inform if he were my own son.
And it's felony, without benefit of clergy."

     "Silence!" said the ruffian. "To the devil with your
clamour! I don't want you to speak.---Miss Linton, I
shall enjoy myself remarkably in thinking your father
will be miserable; I shall not sleep for satisfaction. You
could have hit on no surer way of fixing your residence
under my roof for the next twenty-four hours than in-
forming me that such an event would follow. As to your
promise to marry Linton, I'll take care you shall keep
it, for you shall not quit this place till it is fulfilled."

     "Send Ellen, then, to let papa know I'm safe!" ex-
claimed Catherine, weeping bitterly; "or marry me now.
Poor papa!---Ellen, he'll think we're lost. What shall
we do?"

     "Not he! He'll think you are tired of waiting on him,
and run off for a little amusement," answered Heath-
cliff. "You cannot deny that you entered my house of
your own accord, in contempt of his injunctions to the
contrary. And it is quite natural that you should desire
amusement at your age, and that you would weary of
nursing a sick man, and that man only your father.
Catherine, his happiest days were over when your days
began. He cursed you, I dare say, for coming into the
world (I did, at least), and it would just do if he cursed
you as he went out of it. I'd join him. I don't love you.
How should I? Weep away. As far as I can see, it will
be your chief diversion hereafter, unless Linton make
amends for other losses; and your provident parent
appears to fancy he may. His letters of advice and con-
solation entertained me vastly. In his last he recom-
mended my jewel to be careful of his, and kind to her
when he got her. Careful and kind---that's paternal.
But Linton requires his whole stock of care and kind-
ness for himself. Linton can play the little tyrant well.
He'll undertake to torture any number of cats, if their
teeth be drawn and their claws pared. You'll be able to
tell his uncle fine tales of his kindness when you get
home again, I assure you."

     "You're right there!" I said: "explain your son's
character; show his resemblance to yourself; and then,
I hope, Miss Cathy will think twice before she takes the
cockatrice!"

     "I don't much mind speaking of his amiable qualities
now," he answered, "because she must either accept
him or remain a prisoner, and you along with her, till
your master dies. I can detain you both, quite con-
cealed, here. If you doubt, encourage her to retract her
word, and you'll have an opportunity of judging."

     "I'll not retract my word," said Catherine. "I'll marry
him within this hour, if I may go to Thrushcross Grange
afterwards. Mr. Heathcliff, you're a cruel man, but
you're not a fiend; and you won't, from mere malice,
destroy irrevocably all my happiness. If papa thought
I had left him on purpose, and if he died before I re-
turned, could I bear to live? I've given over crying, but
I'm going to kneel here at your knee; and I'll not get up,
and I'll not take my eyes from your face till you look
back at me! No, don't turn away---do look! You'll see
nothing to provoke you. I don't hate you. I'm not
angry that you struck me. Have you never loved any-
body in all your life, uncle? never? Ah! you must look
once. I'm so wretched, you can't help being sorry and
pitying me."

     "Keep your eft's fingers off, and move, or I'll kick
you!" cried Heathcliff, brutally repulsing her. "I'd
rather be hugged by a snake. How the devil can you
dream of fawning on me? I detest you!"

     He shrugged his shoulders, shook himself, indeed,
as if his flesh crept with aversion, and thrust back his
chair, while I got up and opened my mouth to com-
mence a downright torrent of abuse. But I was ren-
dered dumb in the middle of the first sentence by a
threat that I should be shown into a room by myself the
very next syllable I uttered. It was growing dark. We
heard a sound of voices at the garden gate. Our host
hurried out instantly. He had his wits about him; we
had not. There was a talk of two or three minutes, and
he returned alone.

     "I thought it had been your cousin Hareton," I ob-
served to Catherine. "I wish he would arrive. Who
knows but he might take our part?"

     "It was three servants sent to seek you from the
Grange," said Heathcliff, overhearing me. "You should
have opened a lattice and called out; but I could swear
that chit is glad you didn't. She's glad to be obliged to
stay, I'm certain."

     At learning the chance we had missed we both gave
vent to our grief without control, and he allowed us to
wail on till nine o'clock. Then he bade us go upstairs,
through the kitchen, to Zillah's chamber; and I whis-
pered my companion to obey. Perhaps we might con-
trive to get through the window there, or into a garret,
and out by its skylight. The window, however, was
narrow, like those below, and the garret trap was safe
from our attempts, for we were fastened in as before.
We neither of us lay down. Catherine took her station
by the lattice, and watched anxiously for morning, a
deep sigh being the only answer I could obtain to my
frequent entreaties that she would try to rest. I seated
myself in a chair, and rocked to and fro, passing harsh
judgment on my many derelictions of duty, from which,
it struck me then, all the misfortunes of my employers
sprang. It was not the case in reality, I am aware, but
it was in my imagination that dismal night; and I
thought Heathcliff himself less guilty than I.

     At seven o'clock he came and inquired if Miss Lin-
ton had risen. She ran to the door immediately, and
answered, "Yes." "Here, then," he said, opening it,
and pulling her out. I rose to follow, but he turned the
lock again. I demanded my release.

     "Be patient," he replied. "I'll send up your break-
fast in a while."

     I thumped on the panels and rattled the latch angrily,
and Catherine asked why I was still shut up? He an-
swered, I must try to endure it another hour; and they
went away. I endured it two or three hours. At length
I heard a footstep---not Heathcliff's.

     "I've brought you something to eat," said a voice.
"Oppen t' door!"

     Complying eagerly, I beheld Hareton, laden with
food enough to last me all day.

     "Tak it," he added, thursting the tray into my hand.

     "Stay one minute," I began.

     "Nay," cried he, and retired, regardless of any pray-
ers I could pour forth to detain him.

     And there I remained enclosed the whole day, and
the whole of the next night, and another, and another.
Five nights and four days I remained altogether, see-
ing nobody but Hareton, once every morning; and he
was a model of a gaoler---surly and dumb, and deaf to
every attempt at moving his sense of justice or com-
passion.


CHAPTER XXVIII.

On the fifth morning, or rather afternoon, a differ-
ent step approached, lighter and shorter, and
this time the person entered the room. It was Zillah,
donned in her scarlet shawl, with a black silk bonnet
on her head, and a willow basket swung to her arm.

     "Eh, dear, Mrs. Dean!" she exclaimed. "Well, there
is a talk about you at Gimmerton. I never thought but
you were sunk in the Blackhorse marsh, and missy with
you, till master told me you'd been found, and he'd
lodged you here! What! and you must have got on an
island, sure. And how long were you in the hole? Did
master save you, Mrs. Dean? But you're not so thin---
you've not been so poorly, have you?"

     "Your master is a true scoundrel!" I replied. "But
he shall answer for it. He needn't have raised that tale.
It shall all be laid bare."

     "What do you mean?" asked Zillah. "It's not his
tale. They tell that in the village, about your being lost
in the marsh; and I calls to Earnshaw, when I come in,
'Eh, they's queer things, Mr. Hareton, happened since
I went off. It's a sad pity of that likely young lass, and
cant Nelly Dean.' He stared. I thought he had not
heard aught, so I told him the rumour. The master
listened, and he just smiled to himself and said, 'If they
have been in the marsh, they are out now, Zillah. Nelly
Dean is lodged, at this minute, in your room. You can
tell her to flit when you go up; here is the key. The bog-
water got into her head, and she would have run home
quite flighty, but I fixed her till she came round to her
senses. You can bid her go to the Grange at once, if
she be able, and carry a message from me that her
young lady will follow in time to attend the squire's
funeral.' "

     "Mr. Edgar is not dead?" I gasped. "O Zillah, Zil-
lah!"

     "No, no. Sit you down, my good mistress," she re-
plied; "you're right sickly yet. He's not dead. Dr. Ken-
neth thinks he may last another day. I met him on the
road and asked."

     Instead of sitting down, I snatched my outdoor things
and hastened below, for the way was free. On entering
the house I looked about for some one to give informa-
tion of Catherine. The place was filled with sunshine,
and the door stood wide open, but nobody seemed at
hand. As I hesitated whether to go off at once or return
and seek my mistress, a slight cough drew my atten-
tion to the hearth. Linton lay on the settle, sole tenant,
sucking a stick of sugar-candy, and pursuing my move-
ments with apathetic eyes. "Where is Miss Catherine?"
I demanded sternly, supposing I could frighten him
into giving intelligence by catching him thus alone. He
sucked on like an innocent,

     "Is she gone?" I said.

     "No," he replied; "she's upstairs. She's not to go;
we won't let her."

     "You won't let her, little idiot!" I exclaimed. "Direct
me to her room immediately, or I'll make you sing out
sharply."

     "Papa would make you sing out if you attempted to
get there," he answered. "He says I'm not to be soft
with Catherine. She's my wife, and it's shameful that
she should wish to leave me. He says she hates me and
wants me to die, that she may have my money. But she
shan't have it, and she shan't go home---she never
shall! She may cry and be sick as much as she pleases!"

     He resumed his former occupation, closing his lids
as if he meant to drop asleep.

     "Master Heathcliff," I resumed, "have you forgotten
all Catherine's kindness to you last winter, when you
affirmed you loved her, and when she brought you
books and sang you songs, and came many a time
through wind and snow to see you? She wept to miss
one evening, because you would be disappointed;
and you felt then that she was a hundred times too
good to you, and now you believe the lies your father
tells, though you know he detests you both. And you
join him against her. That's fine gratitude, is it not?"

     The corner of Linton's mouth fell, and he took the
sugar-candy from his lips.

     "Did she come to Wuthering Heights because she
hated you?" I continued. "Think for yourself! As to
your money, she does not even know that you will have
any. And you say she's sick, and yet you leave her alone
up there in a strange house--you who have felt what
it is to be so neglected! You could pity your own suf-
ferings, and she pitied them too, but you won't pity
hers! I shed tears, Master Heathcliff, you see---an el-
derly woman, and a servant merely; and you, after pre-
tending such affection  and having reason to worship
her almost, store every tear you have for yourself, and
lie there quite at ease. Ah! you're a heartless, selfish
boy!"

     "I can't stay with her," he answered crossly. "I'll not
stay by myself. She cries so I can't bear it. And she won't
give over, though I say I'll call my father. I did call
him once, and he threatened to strangle her if she was
not quiet; but she began again the instant he left the
room, moaning and grieving all night long, though I
screamed for vexation that I couldn't sleep."

     "Is Mr. Heathcliff out?" I inquired, perceiving that
the wretched creature had no power to sympathize
with his cousin's mental tortures.

     "He's in the court," he replied, "talking to Dr. Ken-
neth, who says uncle is dying, truly, at last. I'm glad,
for I shall be master of the Grange after him. Catherine
always spoke of it as her house. It isn't hers. It's mine.
Papa says everything she has is mine. All her nice books
are mine. She offered to give me them, and her pretty
birds, and her pony Minny, if I would get the key of
our room and let her out; but I told her she had nothing
to give---they were all, all mine. And then she cried,
and took a little picture from her neck, and said I
should have that---two pictures in a gold case, on one
side her mother, and on the other uncle, when they
were young. That was yesterday. I said they were mine
too, and tried to get them from her. The spiteful thing
wouldn't let me; she pushed me off, and hurt me. I
shrieked out; that frightens her. She heard papa com-
ing, and she broke the hinges and divided the case,
and gave me her mother's portrait. The other she at-
tempted to hide; but papa asked what was the matter,
and I explained it. He took the one I had away, and or-
dered her to resign hers to me. She refused, and he---
he struck her down, and wrenched it off the chain,
and crushed it with his foot."

     "And were you pleased to see her struck?" I asked,
having my designs in encouraging his talk.

     "I winked," he answered. "I wink to see my father
strike a dog or a horse; he does it so hard. Yet I was glad
at first. She deserved punishing for pushing me. But
when papa was gone she made me come to the window,
and showed me her cheek cut on the inside, against
her teeth, and her mouth filling with blood; and then
she gathered up the bits of the picture, and went and
sat down with her face to the wall, and she has never
spoken to me since, and I sometimes think she can't
speak for pain. I don't like to think so; but she's a
naughty thing for crying continually, and she looks so
pale and wild, I'm afraid of her."

     "And you can get the key if you choose?" I said.

     "Yes, when I am upstairs," he answered. "But I
can't walk upstairs now."

     "In what apartment is it?" I asked.

     "Oh," he cried, "I shan't tell you where it is! It is our
secret. Nobody, neither Hareton nor Zillah, is to know.
There! you've tired me; go away, go away!" And he
turned his face on to his arm, and shut his eyes again.

     I considered it best to depart without seeing Mr.
Heathcliff, and bring a rescue for my young lady
from the Grange. On reaching it, the astonishment of
my fellow-servants to see me, and their joy also, was
intense; and when they heard that their little mistress
was safe, two or three were about to hurry up and shout
the news at Mr. Edgar's door; but I bespoke the an-
nouncement of it myself. How changed I found him
even in those few days! He lay an image of sadness and
resignation waiting his death. Very young he looked;
though his actual age was thirty-nine, one would have
called him ten years younger, at least. He thought of
Catherine, for he murmured her name. I touched his
hand and spoke.

     "Catherine is coming, dear master," I whispered.

     "She is alive and well, and will be here, I hope, to-
night."

     I trembled at the first effects of this intelligence. He
half rose up, looked eagerly round the apartment, and
then sank back in a swoon. As soon as he recovered I
related our compulsory visit and detention at the
Heights. I said Heathcliff forced me to go in, which
was not quite true. I uttered as little as possible against
Linton, nor did I describe all his father's brutal conduct,
my intentions being to add no bitterness, if I could help
it, to his already overflowing cup.

     He divined that one of his enemy's purposes was to
secure the personal property, as well as the estate, to
his son, or rather himself; yet why he did not wait till
his decease was a puzzle to my master, because igno-
rant how nearly he and his nephew would quit the
world together. However, he felt that his will had better
be altered. Instead of leaving Catherine's fortune at
her own disposal, he determined to put it in the hands
of trustees for her use during life, and for her children,
if she had any, after her. By that means it could not
fall to Mr. Heathcliff, should Linton die.

     Having received his orders, I dispatched a man to
fetch the attorney, and four more, provided with serv-
iceable weapons, to demand my young lady of her
gaoler. Both parties were delayed very late. The single
servant returned first. He said Mr. Green, the lawyer,
was out when he arrived at his house, and he had to
wait two hours for his re-entrance; and then Mr. Green
told him he had a little business in the village that must
be done, but he would be at Thrushcross Grange be-
fore morning. The four men came back unaccompanied
also. They brought word that Catherine was ill---too
ill to quit her room---and Heathcliff would not sufler
them to see her. I scolded the stupid fellows well for
listening to that tale, which I would not carry to my
master, resolving to take a whole bevy up to the Heights
at daylight, and storm it literally, unless the prisoner
were quietly surrendered to us. Her father shall see her,
I vowed, and vowed again, if that devil be killed on
his own door-stones in trying to prevent it!

     Happily I was spared the journey and the trouble.
I had gone downstairs at three o'clock to fetch a jug of
water, and was passing through the hall with it in my
hand, when a sharp knock at the front door made me
jump. "Oh! it is Green," I said, recollecting myself---
"only Green"; and I went on, intending to send some-
body else to open it; but the knock was repeated, not
loud, and still importunately. I put the jug on the ban-
ister and hastened to admit him myself. The harvest
moon shone clear outside. It was not the attorney. My
own sweet little mistress sprang on my neck, sobbing,---

     "Ellen! Ellen! is papa alive?"

     "Yes!" I cried---"yes, my angel, he is! God be
thanked, you are safe with us again!"

     She wanted to run, breathless as she was, upstairs to
Mr. Linton's room, but I compelled her to sit down on
a chair, and made her drink, and washed her pale face,
chafing it into a faint colour with my apron. Then I
said I must go first and tell of her arrival, imploring her
to say she should be happy with young Heathcliff. She
stared, but soon comprehending why I counselled her
to utter the falsehood, she assured me she would not
complain.

     I couldn't abide to be present at their meeting. I
stood outside the chamber door a quarter of an hour,
and hardly ventured near the bed then. All was com-
posed, however. Catherine's despair was as silent as
her father's joy. She supported him calmly, in appear-
ance, and he fixed on her features his raised eyes, that
seemed dilating with ecstasy.

     He died blissfully, Mr. Lockwood; he died so. Kiss-
ing her cheek, he murmured,---

     "I am going to her; and you, darling child, shall
come to us," and never stirred or spoke again, but con-
tinued that rapt, radiant gaze till his pulse impercepti-
bly stopped and his soul departed. None could have
noticed the exact minute of his death, it was so entirely
without a struggle.

     Whether Catherine had spent her tears, or whether
the grief were too weighty to let them flow, she sat there
dry-eyed till the sun rose; she sat till noon, and would
still have remained brooding over that deathbed, but I
insisted on her coming away and taking some repose.
It was well I succeeded in removing her, for at dinner-
time appeared the lawyer, having called at Wuthering
Heights to get his instructions how to behave. He had
sold himself to Mr. Heathcliff; that was the cause of
his delay in obeying my master's summons. Fortunately,
no thought of worldly affairs crossed the latter's mind,
to disturb him, after his daughter's arrival.

     Mr. Green took upon himself to order everything
and everybody about the place. He gave all the servants
but me notice to quit. He would have carried his dele-
gated authority to the point of insisting that Edgar
Linton should not be buried beside his wife, but in the
chapel with his family. There was the will, however,
to hinder that, and my loud protestations against any
infringement of its directions. The funeral was hurried
over. Catherine, Mrs. Linton Heathcliff now, was suf-
fered to stay at the Grange till her father's corpse had
quitted it.

     She told me that her anguish had at last spurred
Linton to incur the risk of liberating her. She heard
the men I sent disputing at the door, and she gathered
the sense of Heathcliff's answer. It drove her desperate.
Linton, who had been conveyed up to the little parlour
soon after I left, was terrified into fetching the key be-
fore his father reascended. He had the cunning to un-
lock and relock the door, without shutting it; and when
he should have gone to bed, he begged to sleep with
Hareton, and his petition was granted for once. Cath-
erine stole out before break of day. She dare not try
the doors, lest the dogs should raise an alarm. She vis-
ited the empty chambers and examined their windows,
and luckily lighting on her mother's, she got easily out
of its lattice, and on to the ground by means of the
fir-tree close by. Her accomplice suffered for his share
in the escape, notwithstanding his timid contrivances.


CHAPTER XXIX.

The evening after the funeral, my young lady and I
were seated in the library, now musing mournfully,
one of us despairingly, on our loss, now venturing con-
jectures as to the gloomy future.

     We had just agreed the best destiny which could
await Catherine would be a permission to continue resi-
dent at the Grange---at least during Linton's life---he
being allowed to join her there, and I to remain as
housekeeper. That seemed rather too favourable an
arrangement to be hoped for, and yet I did hope, and
began to cheer up under the prospect of retaining my
home and my employment, and, above all, my beloved
young mistress, when a servant---one of the discarded
ones, not yet departed---rushed hastily in, and said

     "that devil Heathcliff" was coming through the court;
should he fasten the door in his face?

     If we had been mad enough to order that proceed-
ing, we had not time. He made no ceremony of knock-
ing or announcing his name. He was master, and availed
himself of the master's privilege to walk straight in
without saying a word. The sound of our informant's
voice directed him to the library. He entered, and
motioning him out, shut the door.

     It was the same room into which he had been ush-
ered, as a guest, eighteen years before. The same moon
shone through the window, and the same autumn
landscape lay outside. We had not yet lighted a candle,
but all the apartment was visible, even to the portraits
on the wall---the splendid head of Mrs. Linton, and the
graceful one of her husband. Heathcliff advanced to the
hearth. Time had little altered his person either. There
was the same man, his dark face rather sallower and
more composed, his frame a stone or two heavier, per-
haps, and no other difference. Catherine had risen,
with an impulse to dash out, when she saw him.

     "Stop!" he said, arresting her by the arm. "No more
runnings away! Where would you go? I'm come to
fetch you home, and I hope you will be a dutiful daugh-
ter, and not encourage my son to further disobedience.
I was embarrassed how to punish him when I discov-
ered his part in the business---be's such a cobweb, a
pinch would annihilate him---but you'll see by his
look that he has received his due. I brought him down
one evening, the day before yesterday, and just set him
in a chair, and never touched him afterwards. I sent
Hareton out, and we had the room to ourselves. In two
hours I called Joseph to carry him up again; and since
then my presence is as potent on his nerves as a ghost,
and I fancy he sees me often, though I am not near.
Hareton says he wakes and shrieks in the night by the
hour together, and calls you to protect him from me;
and whether you like your precious mate or not, you
must come. He's your concern now; I yield all my in-
terest in him to you."

     "Why not let Catherine continue here," I pleaded,
"and send Master Linton to her? As you hate them
both, you'd not miss them. They can only be a daily
plague to your unnatural heart."

     "I'm seeking a tenant for the Grange," he answered,

     "and I want my children about me, to be sure. Besides,
that lass owes me her services for her bread. I'm not
going to nurture her in luxury and idleness after Linton
has gone. Make haste and get ready now, and don't
oblige me to compel you."

     "I shall," said Catherine. "Linton is all I have to
love in the world, and though you have done what you
could to make him hateful to me, and me to him, you
cannot make us hate each other. And I defy you to hurt
him when I am by, and I defy you to frighten me."

     "You are a boastful champion," replied Heathcliff,

     "but I don't like you well enough to hurt him; you shall
get the full benefit of the torment as long as it lasts. It
is not I who will make him hateful to you; it is his own
sweet spirit. He's as bitter as gall at your desertion and
its consequences. Don't expect thanks for this noble
devotion. I heard him draw a pleasant picture to Zillah
of what he would do if he were as strong as I. The in-
clination is there, and his very weakness will sharpen
his wits to find a substitute for strength."

     "I know he has a bad nature," said Catherine; "he's
your son. But I'm glad I've a better, to forgive it; and
I know he loves me, and for that reason I love him.
Mr. Heathcliff, you have nobody to love you; and
however miserable you make us, we shall still have the
revenge of thinking that your cruelty arises from your
greater misery. You are miserable, are you not?---
lonely, like the devil, and envious like him? Nobody
loves you---nobody will cry for you when you die. I
wouldn't be you."

     Catherine spoke with a kind of dreary triumph. She
seemed to have made up her mind to enter into the
spirit of her future family, and draw pleasure from the
griefs of her enemies.

     "You shall be sorry to be yourself presently," said
her father-in-law, "if you stand there another minute.
Begone, witch, and get your thingsl"

     She scornfully withdrew. In her absence I began to
beg for Zillah's place at the Heights, offering to resign
mine to her; but he would suffer it on no account. He
bade me be silent; and then, for the first time, allowed
himself a glance round the room and a look at the
pictures. Having studied Mrs. Linton's, he said,---

     "I shall have that home---not because I need it,
but------" He turned abruptly to the fire, and contin-
ued, with what, for lack of a better word, I must call
a smile---"I'll tell you what I did yesterday. I got the
sexton, who was digging Linton's grave, to remove the
earth off her coffin-lid, and I opened it. I thought, once,
I would have stayed there. When I saw her face again
---it is hers yet---he had hard work to stir me; but he
said it would change if the air blew on it, and so I struck
one side of the coffin loose, and covered it up--not
Linton's side, damn him! I wish he'd been soldered in
lead. And I bribed the sexton to pull it away when I'm
laid there, and slide mine out too. I'll have it made so.
And then, by the time Linton gets to us he'll not know
which is which."

     "You are very wicked Mr. Heathcliff!" I exclaimed.
"Were you not ashamed to disturb the dead?"

     "I disturbed nobody, Nelly," he replied, "and I gave
some ease to myself. I shall be a great deal more com-
fortable now, and you'll have a better chance of keep-
ing me underground when I get there. Disturbed her!
No! She has disturbed me, night and day, through
eighteen years, incessantly, remorselessly, till yester-
night; and yesternight I was tranquil. I dreamt I was
sleeping the last sleep by that sleeper, with my heart
stopped and my cheek frozen against hers."

     "And if she had been dissolved into earth, or worse,
what would you have dreamt of then?" I said.

     "Of dissolving with her, and being more happy still,"
he answered. "Do you suppose I dread any change of
that sort? I expected such a transformation on raising
the lid, but I'm better pleased that it should not com-
mence till I share it. Besides, unless I had received a
distinct impression of her passionless features, that
strange feeling would hardly have been removed. It
began oddly. You know I was wild after she died, and
eternally, from dawn to dawn, praying her to return to
me her spirit. I have a strong faith in ghosts; I have a
conviction that they can and do exist among us. The
day she was buried there came a fall of snow. In the
evening I went to the churchyard. It blew bleak as
winter; all round was solitary. I didn't fear that her
fool of a husband would wander up the den so late, and
no one else had business to bring them there. Being
alone, and conscious two yards of loose earth was the
sole barrier between us, I said to myself, 'I'll have her
in my arms again! If she be cold, I'll think it is this
north wind that chills me, and if she be motionless, it is
sleep.' I got a spade from the toolhouse, and began to
delve with all my might. It scraped the coffin. I fell to
work with my hands. The wood commenced cracking
about the screws. I was on the point of attaining my ob-
ject, when it seemed that I heard a sigh from some one
above, close at the edge of the grave, and bending down.
'If I can only get this off,' I muttered, 'I wish they may
shovel in the earth over us both!' and I wrenched at it
more desperately still. There was another sigh close at
my ear. I appeared to feel the warm breath of it dis-
placing the sleet-laden wind. I knew no living thing in
flesh and blood was by; but as certainly as you perceive
the approach to some substantial body in the dark,
though it cannot be discerned, so certainly I felt that
Cathy was there---not under me, but on the earth. A
sudden sense of relief flowed from my heart through
every limb. I relinquished my labour of agony, and
turned consoled at once, unspeakably consoled. Her
presence was with me; it remained while I refilled the
grave, and led me home. You may laugh if you will,
but I was sure I should see her there. I was sure she
was with me, and I could not help talking to her. Having
reached the Heights, I rushed eagerly to the door. It
was fastened, and, I remember, that accursed Earnshaw
and my wife opposed my entrance. I remember stop-
ping to kick the breath out of him, and then hurrying
upstairs to my room and hers. I looked round impa-
tiently; I felt her by me; I could almost see her, and yet
I could not! I ought to have sweat blood then, from
the anguish of my yearning, from the fervour of my
supplications to have but one glimpse. I had not one.
She showed herself, as she often was in life, a devil to
me! And since then, sometimes more and sometimes
less, I've been the sport of that intolerable torture---
infernal! keeping my nerves at such a stretch that, if
they had not resembled catgut, they would long ago
have relaxed to the feebleness of Linton's. When I sat
in the house with Hareton it seemed that on going out
I should meet her; when I walked on the moors I should
meet her coming in; when I went from home I hastened
to return. She must be somewhere at the Heights, I was
certain. And when I slept in her chamber, I was beaten
out of that. I couldn't lie there, for the moment I closed
my eyes she was either outside the window, or sliding
back the panels, or entering the room, or even resting
her darling head on the same pillow as she did when a
child, and I must open my lids to see. And so I opened
and closed them a hundred times a night, to be always
disappointed. It racked me. I've often groaned aloud,
till that old rascal Joseph no doubt believed that my
conscience was playing the fiend inside of me. Now,
since I've seen her, I'm pacified---a little. It was a
strange way of killing---not by inches, but by fractions
of hairbreadths---to beguile me with the spectre of a
hope through eighteen years!"

     Mr. Heathcliff paused and wiped his forehead. His
hair clung to it, wet with perspiration; his eyes were
fixed on the red embers of the fire, the brows not con-
tracted, but raised next the temples, diminishing the
grim aspect of his countenance, but imparting a pecul-
iar look of trouble and a painful appearance of mental
tensioo towards one absorbing subject. He only half
addressed me, and I maintained silence. I didn't like
to hear him talk. After a short period he resumed his
meditation on the picture, took it down and leant it
against the sofa to contemplate it at better advantage;
and while so occupied Catherine entered, announcing
that she was ready, when her pony should be saddled.

     "Send that over to-morrow," said Heathcliff to me;
then turning to her, he added, "You may do without
your pony. It is a fine evening, and you'll need no ponies
at Wuthering Heights, for what journeys you take
your own feet will serve you. Come along."

     "Good-bye, Ellen!" whispered my dear little mistress.
As she kissed me, her lips felt like ice. "Come and see
me, Ellen; don't forget."

     "Take care you do no such thing, Mrs. Dean!" said
her new father. "When I wish to speak to you I'll come
here. I want none of your prying at my house."

     He signed her to precede him, and casting back a
look that cut my heart, she obeyed. I watched them
from the window walk down the garden. Heathcliff
fixed Catherine's arm under his, though she disputed
the act at first evidently, and with rapid strides he hur-
ried her into the alley, whose trees concealed them.


CHAPTER XXX.

I have paid a visit to the Heights, but I have not seen
her since she left. Joseph held the door in his hand
when I called to ask after her, and wouldn't let me pass.
He said Mrs. Linton was "thrang," and the master was
not in. Zillah has told me something of the way they
go on, otherwise I should hardly know who was dead
and who living. She thinks Catherine haughty, and does
not like her, I can guess by her talk. My young lady
asked some aid of her when she first came, but Mr.
Heathcliff told her to follow her own business, and let
his daughter-in-law look after herself; and Zillah will-
ingly acquiesced, being a narrow-minded, selfish
woman. Catherine evinced a child's annoyance at this
neglect, repaid it with contempt, and thus enlisted my
informant among her enemies as securely as if she had
done her some great wrong. I had a long talk with Zil-
lah about six weeks ago, a little before you came, one
day when we forgathered on the moor; and this is
what she told me.

     "The first thing Mrs. Linton did," she said, "on her
arrival at the Heights, was to run upstairs, without even
wishing good-evening to me and Joseph; she shut her-
self into Linton's room, and remained till morning.
Then, while the master and Earnshaw were at break-
fast, she entered the house and asked all in a quiver if
the doctor might be sent for; her cousin was very ill.

     " 'We know that,' answered Heathcliff; 'but his life
is not worth a farthing, and I won't spend a farthing on
him.'

     " 'But I cannot tell how to do,' she said; 'and if no-
body will help me, he'll die.'

     " 'Walk out of the room,' cried the master, 'and let
me never hear a word more about him. None here care
what becomes of him. If you do, act the nurse; if you
do not, lock him up and leave him.'

     "Then she began to bother me, and I said I'd had
enough plague with the tiresome thing. We each had
our tasks, and hers was to wait on Linton; Mr. Heath-
cliff bade me leave that labour to her.

     "How they managed together I can't tell. I fancy he
fretted a great deal, and moaned hisseln night and day;
and she had precious little rest, one could guess by her
white face and heavy eyes. She sometimes came into
the kitchen all wildered like, and looked as if she
would fain beg assistance. But I was not going to dis-
obey the master---I never dare disobey him, Mrs.
Dean; and though I thought it wrong that Kenneth
should not be sent for, it was no concern of mine either
to advise or complain, and I always refused to meddle.
Once or twice, after we had gone to bed, I've happened
to open my door again and seen her sitting crying on
the stairs' top; and then I've shut myself in quick, for
fear of being moved to interfere. I did pity her then,
I'm sure; still I didn't wish to lose my place, you know.

     "At last, one night she came boldly into my cham-
ber, and frightened me out of my wits by saying,---

     " 'Tell Mr. Heathcliff that his son is dying. I'm
sure he is, this time. Get up instantly, and tell him.'

     "Having uttered this speech, she vanished again. I
lay a quarter of an hour listening and trembling. Noth-
ing stirred---the house was quiet.

     "She's mistaken, I said to myself. He's got over it. I
needn't disturb them. And I began to doze. But my
sleep was marred a second time by a sharp ringing of
the bell---the only bell we have, put up on purpose for
Linton; and the master called to me to see what was
the matter, and inform them that he wouldn't have that
noise repeated.

     "I delivered Catherine's message. He cursed to
himself, and in a few minutes came out with a lighted
candle, and proceeded to their room. I followed. Mrs.
Heathcliff was seated by the bedside with her hands
folded on her knees. Her father-in-law went up, held
the light to Linton's face, looked at him, and touched
him. Afterwards he turned to her.

     " 'Now, Catherine,' he said, 'how do you feel?'

     "She was dumb.

     " 'How do you feel, Catherine?' he repeated.

     " 'He's safe, and I'm free,' she answered. 'I should
feel well, but,' she continued, with a bitterness she
couldn't conceal, 'you have left me so long to struggle
against death alone that I feel and see only death. I
feel like death.'

     "And she looked like it too. I gave her a little wine.
Hareton and Joseph, who had been wakened by the
ringing and the sound of feet, and heard our talk from
outside, now entered. Joseph was fain, I believe, of
the lad's removal; Hareton seemed a thought bothered,
though he was more taken up with staring at Cather-
ine than thinking of Linton. But the master bade him
get off to bed again; we didn't want his help. He after-
wards made Joseph remove the body to his chamber,
and told me to return to mine, and Mrs. Heathcliff re-
mained by herself.

     "In the morning he sent me to tell her she must come
down to breakfast. She had undressed, and appeared
going to sleep, and said she was ill, at which I hardly
wondered. I informed Mr. Heathcliff, and he re-
plied,---

     " 'Well, let her be till after the funeral, and go up
now and then to get her what is needful; and as soon
as she seems better, tell me.' "

     Cathy stayed upstairs a fortnight, according to
Zillah, who visited her twice a day, and would have
been rather more friendly, but her attempts at increas-
ing kindness were proudly and promptly repelled.

     Heathcliff went up once to show her Linton's will.
He had bequeathed the whole of his and what had
been her movable property to his father. The poor crea-
ture was threatened or coaxed into that act during her
week's absence when his uncle died. The lands, being a
minor, he could not meddle with. However, Mr. Heath-
cliff has claimed and kept them in his wife's right and
his also--I suppose legally. At any rate, Catherine, des-
titute of cash and friends, cannot disturb his posses-
sion.

     "Nobody," said Zillah, "ever approached her door,
except that once, but I; and nobody asked anything
about her. The first occasion of her coming down into
the house was on a Sunday afternoon. She had cried
out, when I carried up her dinner, that she couldn't
bear any longer being in the cold; and I told her the
master was going to Thrushcross Grange, and Earn-
shaw and I needn't hinder her from descending; so, as
soon as she heard Heathcliff's horse trot off, she made
her appearance, donned in black, and her yellow curls
combed back behind her ears as plain as a Quaker. She
couldn't comb them out.

     "Joseph and I generally go to chapel on Sundays."
The kirk, you know, has no minister now, explained
Mrs. Dean, and they call the Methodists' or Baptists'
place (I can't say which it is) at Gimmerton a chapel.

     "Joseph has gone," she continued, "but I thought
proper to bide at home. Young folks are always the
better for an elder's overlooking; and Hareton, with
all his bashfulness, isn't a model of nice behaviour. I
let him know that his cousin would very likely sit
with us, and she had been always used to see the Sab-
bath respected, so he had as good leave his guns and
bits of indoor work alone while she stayed. He coloured
up at the news, and cast his eyes over his hands and
clothes. The train-oil and gunpowder were shoved out
of sight in a minute. I saw he meant to give her his
company, and I guessed by his way he wanted to be
presentable; so, laughing as I durst not laugh when the
master is by, I offered to help him, if he would, and
joked at his confusion. He grew sullen, and began to
swear.

     "Now, Mrs. Dean," Zillah went on, seeing me not
pleased by her manner, "you happen think your young
lady too fine for Mr. Hareton, and happen you're right,
but I own I should love well to bring her pride a peg
lower. And what will all her learning and her daintiness
do for her now? She's as poor as you or I---poorer, I'll
be bound. You're saving, and I'm doing my little all
that road."

     Hareton allowed Zillah to give him her aid, and she
flattered him into a good humour. So, when Catherine
came, half forgetting her former insults, he tried to
make himself agreeable, by the housekeeper's account.

     "Missis walked in," she said, "as chill as an icicle,
and as high as a princess. I got up and offered her my
seat in the armchair. No, she turned up her nose at
my civility. Earnshaw rose too and bade her come to
the settle, and sit close by the fire; he was sure she
was starved.

     " 'I've been starved a month and more,' she an-
swered, resting on the word as scornful as she could.

     "And she got a chair for herself, and placed it at a
distance from both of us. Having sat till she was warm,
she began to look round, and discovered a number of
books in the dresser. She was instantly upon her feet
again, stretching to reach them; but they were too high
up. Her cousin, after watching her endeavours a while,
at last summoned courage to help her. She held her
frock, and he filled it with the first that came to hand.

     "That was a great advance for the lad. She didn't
thank him, still he felt gratifled that she had accepted
his assistance, and ventured to stand behind as she
examined them, and even to stoop and point out what
struck his fancy in certain old pictures which they con-
tained. Nor was he daunted by the saucy style in which
she jerked the page from his finger. He contented him-
self with going a bit farther back, and looking at her
instead of the book. She continued reading, or seek-
ing for something to read. His attention became, by
degrees, quite centreed in the study of her thick, silky
curls. Her face he couldn't see, and she couldn't see
him. And, perhaps not quite awake to what he did, but
attracted like a child to a candle, at last he proceeded
from staring to touching. He put out his hand and
stroked one curl, as gently as if it were a bird. He
might have stuck a knife into her neck, she started
round in such a taking.

     " 'Get away this moment! How dare you touch me!
Why are you stopping there?' she cried in a tone of dis-
gust. 'I can't endure you! I'll go upstairs again if you
come near me.'

     "Mr. Hareton recoiled, looking as foolish as he could
do. He sat down in the settle very quiet, and she con-
tinued turning over her volumes another half-hour.
Finally Earnshaw crossed over and whispered to me,---

     " 'Will you ask her to read to us, Zillah? I'm stalled
of doing naught; and I do like---I could like to hear her.
Dunnot say I wanted it, but ask of yourseln.'

     " 'Mr. Hareton wishes you would read to us, ma'am,'
I said immediately. 'He'd take it very kind---he'd be
much obliged.'

     "She frowned, and looking up, answered,---

     " 'Mr. Hareton and the whole set of you will be good
enough to understand that I reject any pretence at
kindness you have the hypocrisy to offer! I despise you,
and will have nothing to say to any of you! When I
would have given my life for one kind word, even to
see one of your faces, you all kept off. But I won't com-
plain to you. I'm driven down here by the cold, not
either to amuse you or enjoy your society.'

     " 'What could I ha' done?' began Earnshaw. 'How
was I to blame?'

     " 'Oh, you are an exception,' answered Mrs. Heath-
cliff. 'I never missed such a concern as you.'

     " 'But I offered more than once, and asked,' he said,
kindling up at her pertness---'I asked Mr. Heathcliff
to let me wake for you------'

     " 'Be silent! I'll go out of doors, or anywhere, rather
than have your disagreeable voice in my ear,' said my
lady.

     "Hareton muttered she might go to hell, for him,
and unslinging his gun, restrained himself from his
Sunday occupations no longer. He talked now freely
enough, and she presently saw fit to retreat to her soli-
tude; but the frost had set in, and, in spite of her pride,
she was forced to condescend to our company more and
more. However, I took care there should be no further
scorning at my good nature. Ever since I've been as
stiff as herself, and she has no lover or liker among us;
and she does not deserve one, for, let them say the least
word to her, and she'll curl back without respect of any
one. She'll snap at the master himself, and as good as
dares him to thrash her; and the more hurt she gets,
the more venomous she grows."

     At first, on hearing this account from Zillah, I de-
termined to leave my situation, take a cottage, and
get Catherine to come and live with me; but Mr. Heath-
cliff would as soon permit that as he would set up Hare-
ton in an independent house, and I can see no remedy
at present, unless she could marry again, and that
scheme it does not come within my province to ar-
range.

          * * * * *
     Thus ended Mrs. Dean's story. Notwithstanding the
doctor's prophecy, I am rapidly recovering strength;
and though it be only the second week in January, I
propose getting out on horseback in a day or two, and
riding over to Wuthering Heights to inform my landlord
that I shall spend the next six months in London; and,
if he likes, he may look out for another tenant to take
the place after October. I would not pass another win-
ter here for much.


CHAPTER XXXI.

Yesterday was bright, calm, and frosty. I went
to the Heights as I proposed. My housekeeper en-
treated me to bear a little note from her to her young
lady, and I did not refuse, for the worthy woman was
not conscious of anything odd in her request. The front
door stood open, but the jealous gate was fastened, as
at my last visit. I knocked, and invoked Earnshaw from
among the garden beds. He unchained it, and I en-
tered. The fellow is as handsome a rustic as need be
seen. I took particular notice of him this time; but then
he does his best, apparently, to make the least of his
advantages.

     I asked if Mr. Heathcliff were at home. He answered,
No, but he would be in at dinner-time. It was eleven
o'clock, and I announced my intention of going in and
waiting for him, at which he immediately flung down
his tools and accompanied me, in the office of watch-
dog, not as a substitute for the host.

     We entered together. Catherine was there, making
herself useful in preparing some vegetables for the
approaching meal. She looked more sulky and less
spirited than when I had seen her first. She hardly raised
her eyes to notice me, and continued her employment
with the same disregard to common forms of politeness
as before, never returning my bow and good-morning
by the slightest acknowledgment.

     "She does not seem so amiable," I thought, "as Mrs.
Dean would persuade me to believe. She's a beauty, it
is true, but not an angel."

     Earnshaw surlily bade her remove her things to the
kitchen. "Remove them yourself," she said, pushing
them from her as soon as she had done, and retiring to
a stool by the window, where she began to carve figures
of birds and beasts out of the turnip parings in her lap.
I approached her, pretending to desire a view of the
garden, and, as I fancied, adroitly dropped Mrs. Dean's
note on to her knee, unnoticed by Hareton; but she
asked aloud, "What is that?" and chucked it off.

     "A letter from your old acquaintance, the house-
keeper at the Grange," I answered, annoyed at her ex-
posing my kind deed, and fearful lest it should be im-
agined a missive of my own. She would gladly have
gathered it up at this information, but Hareton beat her.
He seized and put it in his waistcoat, saying Mr. Heath-
cliff should look at it first. Thereat Catherine silently
turned her face from us, and very stealthily drew out
her pocket-handkerchief and applied it to her eyes; and
her cousin, after struggling a while to keep down his
softer feelings, pulled out the letter and flung it on the
floor beside her, as ungraciously as he could. Catherine
caught and perused it eagerly; then she put a few ques-
tions to me concerning the inmates, rational and ir-
rational, of her former home, and gazing towards the
hills, murmured in soliloquy,----

     "I should like to be riding Minny down there! I
should like to be climbing up there! Oh! I'm tired---
I'm stalled,Hareton!" And she leant her pretty head
back against the sill, with half a yawn and half a sigh,
and lapsed into an aspect of abstracted sadness, neither
caring nor knowing whether we remarked her.

     "Mrs. Heathcliff," I said, after sitting some time
mute, "you are not aware that I am an acquaintance of
yours---so intimate that I think it strange you won't
come and speak to me. My housekeeper never wearies
of talking about and praising you, and she'll be greatly
disappointed if I return with no news of or from you,
except that you received her letter and said nothing."

     She appeared to wonder at this speech, and asked,---

     "Does Ellen like you?"

     "Yes, very well," I replied hesitatingly.

     "You must tell her," she continued, "that I would
answer her letter, but I have no materials for writing---
not even a book from which I might tear a leaf."

     "No books!" I exclaimed. "How do you contrive to
live here without them? if I may take the liberty to in-
quire. Though provided with a large library, I'm fre-
quently very dull at the Grange. Take my books away,
and I should be desperate."

     "I was always reading when I had them," said Cath-
erine; "and Mr. Heathcliff never reads, so he took it
into his head to destroy my books. I have not had
a glimpse of one for weeks. Only once I searched
through Joseph's store of theology, to his great ir-
ritation.---And once, Hareton, I came upon a secret
stock in your room---some Latin and Greek, and some
tales and poetry, all old friends. I brought the last here,
and you gathered them, as a magpie gathers silver
spoons, for the mere love of stealing---they are of no
use to you; or else you concealed them in the bad spirit
that as you cannot enjoy them nobody else shall. Per-
haps your envy counselled Mr. Heathcliff to rob me
of my treasures? But I've most of them written on my
brain and printed in my heart, and you cannot de-
prive me of those."

     Earnshaw blushed crimson when his cousin made
this revelation of his private literary accumulations,
and stammered an indignant denial of her accusations.

     "Mr. Hareton is desirous of increasing his amount
of knowledge," I said, coming to his rescue. "He is not
envious but emulous of your attainments. He'll be a
clever scholar in a few years."

     "And he wants me to sink into a dunce meantime,"
answered Catherine. "Yes, I hear him trying to spell
and read to himself, and pretty blunders he makes.----L---I
wish you would repeat 'Chevy Chase' as you did yester-
day; it was extremely funny. I heard you, and I heard
you turning over the dictionary to seek out the hard
words, and then cursing because you couldn't read
their explanations."

     The young man evidently thought it too bad that he
should be laughed at for his ignorance, and then
laughed at for trying to remove it. I had a similar no-
tion; and remembering Mrs. Dean's anecdote of his first
attempt at enlightening the darkness in which he had
been reared, I observed,---

     "But, Mrs. Heathcliff, we have each had a com-
mencement, and each stumbled and tottered on the
threshold. Had our teachers scorned instead of aiding
us, we should stumble and totter yet."

     "Oh!" she replied, "I don't wish to limit his acquire-
ments. Still, he has no right to appropriate what is mine,
and make it ridiculous to me with his vile mistakes and
mispronunciations. Those books, both prose and verse,
are consecrated to me by other associations, and I hate
to have them debased and profaned in his mouth. Be-
sides, of all, he has selected my favourite pieces that
I love the most to repeat, as if out of deliberate malice."
Hareton's chest heaved in silence a minute. He la-
boured under a severe sense of mortification and wrath,
which it was no easy task to suppress. I rose, and, from
a gentlemanly idea of relieving his embarrassment, took
up my station in the doorway, surveying the external
prospect as I stood. He followed my example, and left
the room, but presently reappeared, bearing half a
dozen volumes in his hands, which he threw into Cath-
erine's lap, exclaiming,---

     "Take them! I never want to hear, or read, or think
of them again!"

     "I won't have them now," she answered. "I shall
connect them with you, and hate them."

     She opened one that had obviously been often turned
over, and read a portion in the drawling tone of a be-
ginner, then laughed and threw it from her. "And lis-
ten," she continued provokingly, commencing a verse
of an old ballad in the same fashion.

     But his self-love would endure no further torment.
I heard, and not altogether disapprovingly, a manual
check given to her saucy tongue. The little wretch
had done her utmost to hurt her cousin's sensitive
though uncultivated feelings, and a physical argument
was the only mode he had of balancing the account and
repaying its effects on the inflictor. He afterwards gath-
ered the books and hurled them on the fire. I read in
his countenance what anguish it was to offer that sac-
rifice to spleen. I fancied that as they consumed he re-
called the pleasure they had already imparted and the
triumph and ever-increasing pleasure he had an-
ticipated from them, and I fancied I guessed the in-
citement to his secret studies also. He had been content
with daily labour and rough animal enjoyments till
Catherine crossed his path. Shame at her scorn, and
hope of her approval, were his first prompters to higher
pursuits; and, instead of guarding him from one and
winning him to the other, his endeavours to raise him-
self had produced just the contrary result.

     "Yes, that's all the good that such a brute as you
can get from them!" cried Catherine, sucking her dam-
aged lip, and watching the conflagration with indig-
nant eyes.

     "You'd better hold your tongue now," he answered
fiercely.

     And his agitation precluded further speech. He ad-
vanced hastily to the entrance, where I made way for
him to pass. But ere he had crossed the door-stones,
Mr. Heathcliff, coming up the causeway, encountered
him, and laying hold of his shoulder, asked,---

     "What's to do now, my lad?"

     "Naught, naught," he said, and broke away to en-
joy his grief and anger in solitude.

     Heathcliff gazed after him and sighed.

     "It will be odd if I thwart myself," he muttered, un-
conscious that I was behind him. "But when I look for
his father in his face, I find her every day more. How
the devil is he so like? I can hardly bear to see him."

     He bent his eyes to the ground, and walked moodily
in. There was a restless, anxious expression in his
countenance I had never remarked there before, and
he looked sparer in person. His daughter-in-law, on
perceiving him through the window, immediately es-
caped to the kitchen, so that I remained alone.

     "I'm glad to see you out of doors again, Mr. Lock-
wood," he said, in reply to my greeting, "from selfish
motives partly. I don't think I could readily supply
your loss in this desolation. I've wondered more than
once what brought you here."

     "An idle whim, I fear, sir," was my answer, "or else
an idle whim is going to spirit me away. I shall set out
for London next week, and I must give you warning
that I feel no disposition to retain Thrushcross Grange
beyond the twelve months I agreed to rent it. I believe
I shall not live there any more."

     "Oh, indeed; you're tired of being banished from
the world, are you?" he said. "But if you be coming to
plead off paying for a place you won't occupy, your
journey is useless. I never relent in exacting my due
from any one."

     "I'm coming to plead off nothing about it," I ex-
claimed, considerably irritated. "Should you wish it,
I'll settle with you now." And I drew my notebook
from my pocket.

     "No, no," he replied coolly; "you'll leave sufficient
behind to cover your debts if you fail to return. I'm not
in such a hurry. Sit down and take your dinner with us.
A guest that is safe from repeating his visit can gener-
ally be made welcome.---Catherine, bring the things
in. Where are you?"

     Catherine reappeared, bearing a tray of knives and
forks.

     "You may get your dinner with Joseph," muttered
Heathcliff aside, "and remain in the kitchen till he is
gone."

     She obeyed his directions very punctually; perhaps
she had no temptation to transgress. Living among
clowns and misanthropists, she probably cannot appre-
ciate a better class of people when she meets them.

     With Mr. Heathcliff, grim and saturnine, on the one
hand, and Hareton, absolutely dumb, on the other, I
made a somewhat cheerless meal, and bade adieu early.
I would have departed by the back way, to get a last
glimpse of Catherine and annoy old Joseph; but Hare-
ton received orders to lead up my horse, and my host
himself escorted me to the door, so I could not fulfil my
wish.

     "How dreary life gets over in that house!" I reflected,
while riding down the road. "What a realization of
something more romantic than a fairy tale it would
have been for Mrs. Linton Heathcliff had she and I
struck up an attachment, as her good nurse desired,
and migrated together into the stirring atmosphere of
the town!"


CHAPTER XXXII.

l802.---This September I was invited to devastate the
moors of a friend in the north, and on my journey to
his abode I unexpectedly came within fifteen miles of
Gimmerton. The ostler at a roadside public-house was
holding a pail of water to refresh my horses, when a
cart of very green oats, newly reaped, passed by, and
he remarked,---

     "Yon's frough Gimmerton, nah! They're allas three
wick after other folk wi' ther harvest."

     "Gimmerton!" I repeated. My residence in that
locality had already grown dim and dreamy. "Ah! I
know. How far is it from this?"

     "Happen fourteen mile o'er th' hills, and a rough
road," he answered.

     A sudden impulse seized me to visit Thrushcross
Grange. It was scarcely noon, and I conceived that I
might as well pass the night under my own roof as in
an inn. Besides, I could spare a day easily to arrange
matters with my landlord, and thus save myself the
trouble of invading the neighbourhood again. Having
rested a while, I directed my servant to inquire the way
to the village, and with great fatigue to our beasts we
managed the distance in some three hours.

     I left him there, and proceeded down the valley alone.
The gray church looked grayer, and the lonely church-
yard lonelier. I distinguished a moor sheep cropping
the short turf on the graves. It was sweet, warm weather
---too warm for travelling; but the heat did not hinder
me from enjoying the delightful scenery above and
below. Had I seen it nearer August I'm sure it would
have tempted me to waste a month among its solitudes.
In winter nothing more dreary, in summer nothing
more divine, than those glens shut in by hills, and those
bluff, bold swells of heath.

     I reached the Grange before sunset, and knocked for
admittance; but the family had retreated into the back
premises, I judged, by one thin, blue wreath curling
from the kitchen chimney, and they did not hear. I
rode into the court. Under the porch a girl of nine or
ten sat knitting, and an old woman reclined on the
house-steps, smoking a meditative pipe.

     "Is Mrs. Dean within?" I demanded of the dame.

     "Mistress Dean? Nay!" she answered, "shoo doesn't
bide here; shoo's up at th' Heights."

     "Are you the housekeeper, then?" I continued.

     "Eea, aw keep th' hause," she replied.

     "Well, I'm Mr. Lockwood, the master. Are there any
rooms to lodge me in, I wonder? I wish to stay
all night."

     "T'maister!" she cried in astonishment. "Whet! who-
iver knew yah wur coming? Yah sud ha' send word.
They's nowt norther dry nor mensful abaht t' place,
nowt there isn't."

     She threw down her pipe and bustled in; the girl fol-
lowed, and I entered too. Soon perceiving that her re-
port was true, and, moreover, that I had almost upset
her wits by my unwelcome apparition, I bade her be
composed. I would go out for a walk, and meantime
she must try to prepare a corner of a sitting-room for
me to sup in, and a bedroom to sleep in. No sweeping
and dusting---only good fire and dry sheets were neces-
sary. She seemed willing to do her best, though she
thrust the hearth-brush into the grates in mistake for
the poker; and malappropriated  several other articles
of her craft; but I retired, confiding in her energy for a
resting-place against my return. Wuthering Heights
was the goal of my proposed excursion. An after-
thought brought me back when I had quitted the
court.

     "All well at the Heights?" I inquired of the woman.

     "Eea, f'r owt ee knaw," she answered, skurrying
away with a pan of hot cinders.

     I would have asked why Mrs. Dean had deserted the
Grange, but it was impossible to delay her at such a
crisis, so I turned away and made my exit, rambling
leisurely along with the glow of a sinking sun behind,
and the mild glory of a rising moon in front---one fad-
ing and the other brightening---as I quitted the park
and climbed the stony by-road branching off to Mr.
Heathcliff's dwelling. Before I arrived in sight of it, all
that remained of day was a beamless amber light along
the west; but I could see every pebble on the path, and
every blade of grass, by that splendid moon. I had
neither to climb the gate nor to knock; it yielded to
my hand. That is an improvement, I thought. And I no-
ticed another by the aid of my nostrils---a fragrance of
stocks and wallflowers wafted on the air from amongst
the homely fruit-trees.

     Both doors and lattices were open; and yet, as is usu-
ally the case in a coal district, a fine, red fire illumi-
nated the chimney. The comfort which the eye derives
from it renders the extra heat endurable. But the house
of Wuthering Heights is so large that the inmates have
plenty of space for withdrawing out of its influence,
and accordingly what inmates there were had stationed
themselves not far from one of the windows. I could
both see them and hear them talk before I entered, and
looked and listened in consequence, being moved
thereto by a mingled sense of curiosity and envy that
grew as I lingered.

     "Con-trary!" said a voice as sweet as a silver bell.

     "That for the third time, you dunce! I'm not going to
tell you again. Recollect, or I'll pull your hair."

     "Contrary, then," answered another, in deep but
softened tones. "And now, kiss me for minding so
well."

     "No; read it over first correctly, without a single
mistake."

     The male speaker began to read. He was a young
man respectably dressed and seated at a table, having a
book before him. His handsome features glowed with
pleasure, and his eyes kept impatiently wandering from
the page to a small white hand over his shoulder, which
recalled him by a smart slap on the cheek whenever its
owner detected such signs of inattention. Its owner
stood behind, her light, shining ringlets blending at in-
tervals with his brown locks, as she bent to superintend
his studies; and her face---it was lucky he could not
see her face, or he would never have been so steady. I
could, and I bit my lip in spite at having thrown away
the chance I might have had of doing something be-
sides staring at its smiting beauty.

     The task was done---not free from further blunders;
but the pupil claimed a reward, and received at least
five kisses, which, however, he generously returned.
Then they came to the door, and from their conver-
sation I judged they were about to issue out and have a
walk on the moors. I supposed I should be condemned
in Hareton Earnshaw's heart, if not by his mouth, to
the lowest pit in the infernal regions if I showed my un-
fortunate person in his neighbourhood then; and feel-
ing very mean and malignant, I skulked round to seek
refuge in the kitchen. There was unobstructed admit-
tance on that side also, and at the door sat my old
friend Nelly Dean, sewing and singing a song, which
was often interrupted from within by harsh words of
scorn and intolerance, uttered in far from musical ac-
cents.

     "I'd rayther, by th' haulf, hev 'em swearing i' my
lugs froh morn to neeght nor hearken ye hahsiver!"
said the tenant of the kitchen, in answer to an unheard
speech of Nelly's. "It's a blazing shame that I cannot
oppen t' blessed Book but yah set up them glories to
Sattan, and all t' flaysome wickednesses that iver were
born into th' warld! Oh! ye're a raight nowt, and shoo's
another, and that poor lad'll be lost atween ye. Poor
lad!" he added, with a groan; "he's witched, I'm sartin
on't! O Lord, judge 'em, for there's norther law nor
justice among wer rullers!"

     "No, or we should be sitting in flaming fagots, I sup-
pose," retorted the singer. "But wisht, old man, and
read your Bible like a Christian, and never mind me.
This is 'Fairy Annie's Wedding'---a bonny tune; it goes
to a dance."

     Mrs. Dean was about to recommence when I ad-
vanced; and recognizing me directly, she jumped to her
feet, crying,---

     "Why, bless you, Mr. Lockwood! How could you
think of returning in this way? All's shut up at Thrush-
cross Grange. You should have given us notice."

     "I've arranged to be accommodated there for as long
as I shall stay," I answered. "I depart again tomor-
row. And how are you transplanted here, Mrs. Dean?
Tell me that."

     "Zillah left, and Mr. Heathcliff wished me to come,
soon after you went to London, and stay till you re-
turned. But step in, pray. Have you walked from Gim-
merton this evening?"

     "From the Grange," I replied. "And while they
make me lodging room there, I want to finish my busi-
ness with your master, because I don't think of having
another opportunity in a hurry."

     "What business, sir?" said Nelly, conducting me into
the house. "He's gone out at present, and won't re-
turn soon."

     "About the rent," I answered.

     "Oh! then it is with Mrs. Heathcliff you must settle,"
she observed, "or rather with me. She has not learned
to manage her affairs yet, and I act for her; there's no-
body else."

     I looked surprised.

     "Ah! you have not heard of Heathcliff's death, I
see," she continued.

     "Heathcliff dead!" I exclaimed, astonished. "How
long ago?"

     "Three months since. But sit down, and let me take
your hat, and I'll tell you all about it. Stop; you have
had nothing to eat, have you?"

     "I want nothing; I have ordered supper at home.
You sit down too. I never dreamt of his dying. Let me
hear how it came to pass. You say you don't expect
them back for some time---the young people?"

     "No. I have to scold them every evening for their
late rambles, but they don't care for me. At least have a
drink of our old ale; it will do you good; you seem
weary."

     She hastened to fetch it before I could refuse, and I
heard Joseph asking whether "it warn't a crying scandal
that she should have followers at her time of life. And
then, to get them jocks out o' t' maister's cellar! He
fair shaamed to 'bide still and see it."

     She did not stay to retaliate, but re-entered in a min-
ute, bearing a reaming silver pint, whose contents I
lauded with becoming earnestness. And afterwards she
furnished me with the sequel of Heathcliff's history. He
had a "queer" end, as she expressed it.

     I was summoned to Wuthering Heights within a fort-
night of your leaving us, she said, and I obeyed joyfully,
for Catherine's sake. My first interview with her grieved
and shocked me---she had altered so much since our
separation. Mr. Heathcliff did not explain his reasons
for taking a new mind about my coming here; he only
told me he wanted me, and he was tired of seeing Cath-
erine. I must make the little parlour my sitting-room,
and keep her with me. It was enough if he were obliged
to see her once or twice a day. She seemed pleased at
this arrangement; and by degrees I smuggled over a
great number of books and other articles that had
formed her amusement at the Grange, and flattered my-
self we should get on in tolerable comfort. The delusion
did not last long. Catherine, contented at first, in a brief
space grew irritable and restless. For one thing, she
was forbidden to move out of the garden, and it fretted
her sadly to be confined to its narrow bounds as spring
drew on; for another, in following the house I was
forced to quit her frequently, and she complained of
loneliness. She preferred quarrelling with Joseph in
the kitchen to sitting at peace in her solitude. I did not
mind their skirmishes; but Hareton was often obliged
to seek the kitchen also .when the master wanted to
have the house to himself; and though in the beginning
she either left it at his approach, or quietly joined in
my occupations, and shunned remarking or addressing
him, and though he was always as sullen and silent as
possible, after a while she changed her behaviour and
became incapable of letting him alone, talking at him,
commenting on his stupidity and idleness, expressing
her wonder how he could endure the life he lived, how
he could sit a whole evening staring into the fire and
dozing.

     "He's just like a dog, is he not, Ellen?" she once ob-
served, "or a cart-horse? He does his work, eats his
food, and sleeps eternally. What a blank, dreary mind
he must have!---Do you ever dream, Hareton? And
if you do, what is it about? But you can't speak to me!"

     Then she looked at him, but he would neither open
his mouth nor look again.

     "He's perhaps dreaming now," she continued. "He
twitched his shoulder as Juno twitches hers. Ask him,
Ellen."

     "Mr. Hareton will ask the master to send you up-
stairs, if you don't behave," I said. He had not only
twitched his shoulder but clenched his fist, as if
tempted to use it.

     "I know why Hareton never speaks when I am in
the kitchen," she exclaimed on another occasion. "He
is afraid I shall laugh at him. Ellen, what do you think?
He began to teach himself to read once, and because I
laughed he burned his books and dropped it. Was he
not a fool?"

     "Were not you naughty?" I said. "Answer me that."

     "Perhaps I was," she went on, "but I did not expect
him to be so silly---Hareton, if I gave you a
book, would you take it now? I'll try."

     She placed one she had been perusing on his hand.
He flung it off, and muttered, if she did not give over he
would break her neck.

     "Well, I shall put it here," she said---"in the table
drawer; and I'm going to bed."

     Then she whispered me to watch whether he touched
it, and departed. But he would not come near it; and so
I informed her in the morning, to her great disappoint-
ment. I saw she was sorry for his persevering sulkiness
and indolence. Her conscience reproved her for fright-
ening him off improving himself. She had done it ef-
fectually. But her ingenuity was at work to remedy the
injury. While I ironed or pursued other such sta-
tionary employments as I could not well do in the par-
lour, she would bring some pleasant volume and read
it aloud to me. When Hareton was there she generally
paused in an interesting part and left the book lying
about---that she did repeatedly; but he was as obstinate
as a mule, and, instead of snatching at her bait, in wet
weather he took to smoking with Joseph; and they sat
like automatons, one on each side of the fire, the elder
happily too deaf to understand her wicked nonsense, as
he would have called it, the younger doing his best to
seem to disregard it. On fine evenings the latter fol-
lowed his shooting expeditions, and Catherine yawned
and sighed, and teased me to talk to her, and ran off
into the court or garden the moment I began, and as a
last resource cried and said she was tired of living---her
life was useless.

     Mr. Heathcliff, who grew more and more disinclined
to society, had almost banished Earnshaw from his
apartment. Owing to an accident at the commencement
of March, he became for some days a fixture in the
kitchen. His gun burst while out on the hills by him-
self; a splinter cut his arm, and he lost a good deal
of blood before he could reach home. The conse-
quence was that, perforce, he was condemned to
the fireside and tranquillity till he made it up again. It
suited Catherine to have him there. At any rate, it made
her hate her room upstairs more than ever; and she
would compel me to find out business below, that she
might accompany me.

     On Easter Monday Joseph went to Gimmerton fair
with some cattle, and in the afternoon I was busy get-
ting up linen in the kitchen. Earnshaw sat, morose as
usual, at the chimney-corner, and my little mistress
was beguiling an idle hour with drawing pictures on
the window panes, varying her amusement by smoth-
ered bursts of songs, and whispered ejaculations, and
quick glances of annoyance and impatience in the
direction of her cousin, who steadfastly smoked, and
looked into the grate. At a notice that I could do with
her no longer intercepting my light, she removed to the
hearthstone. I bestowed little attention on her pro-
ceedings, but presently I heard her begin,---

     "I've found out, Hareton, that I want---that I'm glad
---that I should like you to be my cousin now, if you
had not grown so cross to me and so rough."

     Hareton returned no answer.

     "Hareton, Hareton, Hareton! do you hear?" she con-
tinued.

     "Get off wi' ye!" he growled, with uncompromising
gruffness.

     "Let me take that pipe," she said, cautiously ad-
vancing her hand and abstracting it from his mouth.
Before he could attempt to recover it, it was broken
and behind the fire. He swore at her and seized another.

     "Stop," she cried; "you must listen to me first; and I
can't speak while those clouds are floating in my face."

     "Will you go to the devi!" he exclaimed ferociously,

     "and let me be!"

     "No," she persisted, "I won't. I can't tell what to
do to make you talk to me, and you are determined not
to understand. When I call you stupid, I don't mean
anything. I don't mean that I despise you. Come, you
shall take notice of me, Hareton. You are my cousin,
and you shall own me."

     "I shall have naught to do wi' you and your mucky
pride, and your damned mocking tricks!" he answered.

     "I'll go to hell, body and soul, before I look sideways
after you again. Side out o' t' gate now, this minute!"

     Catherine frowned and retreated to the window-seat
chewing her lip, and endeavouring, by humming an
eccentric tune, to conceal a growing tendency to sob.

     "You should be friends with your cousin, Mr. Hare-
ton," I interrupted, "since she repents of her sauciness.
It would do you a great deal of good; it would make
you another man to have her for a companion."

     "A companion!" he cried, "when she hates me, and
does not think me fit to wipe her shoon! Nay! if it
made me a king, I'd not be scorned for seeking her
good-will any more."

     "It is not I who hate you; it is you who hate me!"
wept Cathy, no longer disguising her trouble. "You hate
me as much as Mr. Heathcliff does, and more."

     "You're a damned liar," began Earnshaw. "Why
have I made him angry by taking your part, then, a
hundred times, and that when you sneered at and de-
spised me, and----- Go on plaguing me, and I'll step in
yonder and say you worried me out of the kitchen."

     "I didn't know you took my part," she answered,
drying her eyes, "and I was miserable and bitter at
everybody; but now I thank you, and beg you to forgive
me. What can I do besides?"

     She returned to the hearth, and frankly extended her
hand. He blackened and scowled like a thundercloud,
and kept his fists resolutely clenched, and his gaze fixed
on the ground. Catherine, by instinct, must have
divined it was obdurate perversity, and not dislike, that
prompted this dogged conduct, for, after remaining
an instant undecided, she stooped and impressed on
his cheek a gentle kiss. The little rogue thought I had
not seen her, and drawing back, she took her former
station by the window, quite demurely. I shook my
head reprovingly, and then she blushed and whis-
pered,---

     "Well, what should I have done, Ellen? He wouldn't
shake hands, and he wouldn't look; I must show him
some way that I like him---that I want to be friends."

     Whether the kiss convinced Hareton I cannot tell.
He was very careful, for some minutes, that his face
should not be seen; and when he did raise it, he was
sadly puzzled where to turn his eyes.

     Catherine employed herself in wrapping a handsome
book neatly in white paper, and having tied it with a
bit of ribbon, and addressed it to "Mr. Hareton Earn-
shaw," she desired me to be her ambassadress, and con-
vey the present to its destined recipient.

     "And tell him if he'll take it I'll come and teach him
to read it right," she said; "and if he refuse it I'll go up-
stairs and never tease him again."

     I carried it, and repeated the message, anxiously
watched by my employer. Hareton would not open his
fingers, so I laid it on his knee. He did not strike it off
either. I returned to my work. Catherine leaned her
head and arms on the table, till she heard the slight
rustle of the covering being removed; then she stole
away and quietly seated herself beside her cousin. He
trembled, and his face glowed; all his rudeness and
all his surly harshness had deserted him. He could not
summon courage at first to utter a syllable in reply to
her questioning look and her murmured petition,---

     "Say you forgive me, Hareton, do. You can make me
so happy by speaking that little word."

     He muttered something inaudible.

     "And you'll be my friend?" added Catherine inter-
rogatively.

     "Nay, you'll be ashamed of me every day of your
life," he answered, "and the more ashamed the more
you know me; and I cannot bide it."

     "So you won't be my friend?" she said, smiling as
sweet as honey, and creeping close up.

     I overheard no further distinguishable talk, but, on
looking round again, I perceived two such radiant
countenances bent over the page of the accepted book
that I did not doubt the treaty had been ratified on
both sides, and the enemies were thenceforth sworn
allies.

     The work they studied was full of costly pictures, and
those and their position had charm enough to keep
them unmoved till Joseph came home. He, poor man,
was perfectly aghast at the spectacle of Catherine seated
on the same bench with Hareton Earnshaw, leaning her
hand on his shoulder, and confounded at his favourite's
endurance of her proximity; it affected him too deeply
to allow an observation on the subject that night. His
emotion was only revealed by the immense sighs he
drew as he solemnly spread his large Bible on the table,
and overlaid it with dirty bank-notes from his pocket-
book, the produce of the day's transactions. At length
he summoned Hareton from his seat.

     "Tak' these in to t' maister, lad," he said, "and bide
there. I's gang up to my own rahm. This hoile's neither
mensful nor seemly for us; we mun side out and
seearch another."

     "Come, Catherine," I said, "we must 'side out' too.
I've done my ironing. Are you ready to go?"

     "It is not eight o'clock," she answered, rising un-
willingly---"Hareton, I'll leave this book upon the
chimney-piece, and I'll bring some more to-morrow."

     "Ony books that yah leave I shall tak' into th'
hahse," said Joseph, "and it'll be mitch if yah find 'em
agean. Soa yah may plase yerseln."

     Cathy threatened that his library should pay for hers,
and smiling as she passed Hareton, went singing up-
stairs, lighter of heart, I venture to say, than ever she
had been under that roof before, except, perhaps, dur-
ing her earliest visits to Linton.

     The intimacy thus commenced grew rapidly, though
it encountered temporary interruptions. Earnshaw
was not to be civilized with a wish, and my young lady
was no philosopher and no paragon of patience; but
both their minds tending to the same point---one loving
and desiring to esteem, and the other loving and de-
siring to be esteemed---they contrived in the end to
reach it.

     You see, Mr. Lockwood, it was easy enough to win
Mrs. Heathcliff's heart.--- But now I'm glad you did not
try. The crown of all my wishes will be the union of
those two. I shall envy no one on their wedding-day.
There won't be a happier woman than myself in Eng-
land.


CHAPTER XXXIII.

On the morrow of that Monday, Earnshaw being
still unable to follow his ordinary employments,
and therefore remaining about the house, I speedily
found it would be impracticable to retain my charge
beside me as heretofore. She got downstairs before me,
and out into the garden, where she had seen her cousin
performing some easy work; and when I went to bid
them come to breakfast, I saw she had persuaded him to
clear a large space of ground from currant and goose-
berry bushes, and they were busy planning together an
importation of plants from the Grange.

     I was terrified at the devastation which had been
accomplished in a brief half-hour. The black currant
trees were the apple of Joseph's eye, and she had just
fixed her choice of a flower-bed in the midst of them.

     "There! That will be all shown to the master," I ex-
claimed, "the minute it is discovered. And what excuse
have you to offer for taking such liberties with the gar-
den? We shall have a fine explosion on the head of it
---see if we don't.---Mr. Hareton, I wonder you should
have no more wit than to go and make that mess at her
bidding!"

     "I'd forgotten they were Joseph's," answered Earn-
shaw, rather puzzled, "but I'll tell him I did it."

     We always ate our meals with Mr. Heathcliff. I held
the mistress's post in making tea and carving, so I was
indispensable at table. Catherine usually sat by me,
but to-day she stole nearer to Hareton, and I presently
saw she would have no more discretion in her friend-
ship than she had in her hostility.

     "Now, mind you don't talk with and notice your
cousin too much," were my whispered instructions as
we entered the room. "It will certainly annoy
Mr. Heathcliff, and he'll be mad at you both."

     "I'm not going to," she answered.

     The minute after, she had sidled to him, and was
sticking primroses in his plate of porridge.

     He dared not speak to her there---he dared hardly
look; and yet she went on teasing till he was twice on
the point of being provoked to laugh. I frowned, and
then she glanced toward the master, whose mind was
occupied on other subjects than his company, as his
countenance evinced; and she grew serious for an in-
stant, scrutinizing him with deep gravity. Afterwards
she turned and recommenced her nonsense. At last
Hareton uttered a smothered laugh. Mr. Heathcliff
started; his eye rapidly surveyed our faces. Catherine
met it with her accustomed look of nervousness and yet
defiance, which he abhorred.

     "It is well you are out of my reach," he exclaimed.

     "What fiend possesses you to stare back at me con-
tinually with those infernal eyes? Down with them! and
don't remind me of your existence again. I thought I
had cured you of laughing."

     "It was me," muttered Hareton.

     "What do you say?" demanded the master.

     Hareton looked at his plate, and did not repeat the
confession. Mr. Heathcliff looked at him a bit, and then
silently resumed his breakfast and his interrupted mus-
ing. We had nearly finished, and the two young people
prudently shifted wider asunder, so I anticipated no
further disturbance during that sitting, when Joseph
appeared at the door, revealing by his quivering lip
and furious eyes that the outrage committed on his
precious shrubs was detected. He must have seen Cathy
and her cousin about the spot before he examined it,
for while his jaws worked like those of a cow chewing
its cud, and rendered his speech difficult to under-
stand, he began,---

     "I mun hev my wage, and I mun goa. I hed aimed to
dee wheare I'd sarved fur sixty year, and I thowt I'd
lug my books up into t' garret, and all my bits o' stuff,
and they sud hev t' kitchen to theirseln, for t' sake o'
quietness. It wur hard to gie up my awn hearthstun,
but I thowt I could do that. But nah; shoo's taan my
garden fro' me, and by th' heart, maister, I cannot
stand it. Yah may bend to th' yoak, and ye will; I noan
used to't, and an old man doesn't sooin get used to
new barthens. I'd rayther arn my bite an' my sup wi'
a hammer in th' road."

     "Now, now, idiot," interrupted Heathcliff, "cut it
short! What's your grievance? I'll interfere in no quar-
rels between you and Nelly. She may thrust you into
the coal-hole for anything I care."

     "It's noan Nelly," answered Joseph. "I sudn't shift
for Nelly, nasty ill nowt as shoo is. Thank God! shoo
cannot stale t' sowl o' nob'dy! Shoo wer niver soa hand-
some but what a body mud look at her 'bout winking.
It's yon flaysome, graceless quean that's witched our
lad wi' her bold een and her forrard ways, till------ Nay,
it fair brusts my heart! He's forgotten all I've done for
him, and made on him, and goan and riven up a whole
row o' t' grandest currant trees i' t' garden!" And here
he lamented outright, unmanned by a sense of his bit-
ter injuries and Earnshaw's ingratitude and dangerous
condition.

     "Is the fool drunk?" asked Mr. Heathcliff.---"Hare-
ton, is it you he's finding fault with?"

     "I've pulled up two or three bushes," replied the
young man, "but I'm going to set 'em again."

     "And why have you pulled them up?" said the mas-
ter.

     Catherine wisely put in her tongue.

     "We wanted to plant some flowers there," she cried.

     "I'm the only person to blame, for I wished him to do
it."

     "And who the devil gave you leave to touch a stick
about the place?" demanded her father-in-law, much
surprised---"And who ordered you to obey her?" he
added, turning to Hareton.

     The latter was speechless. His cousin replied,---

     "You shouldn't grudge a few yards of earth for me
to ornament, when you have taken all my land!"

     "Your land, insolent slut! You never had any," said
Heathcliff.

     "And my money," she continued, returning his
angry glare, and meantime biting a piece of crust, the
remnant of her breakfast.

     "Silence!" he exclaimed. "Get done, and begone!"

     "And Hareton's land, and his money," pursued the
reckless thing. "Hareton and I are friends now, and
I shall tell him all about you."

     The master seemed confounded a moment. He grew
pale and rose up, eyeing her all the while with an ex-
pression of mortal hate.

     "If you strike me, Hareton will strike you," she said,
"so you may as well sit down."

     "If Hareton does not turn you out of the room I'll
strike him to hell," thundered Heathcliff. "Damnable
witch! dare you pretend to rouse him against me?---Off
with her! Do you hear? Fling her into the kitchen!---I'll
kill her, Ellen Dean, if you let her come into my sight
again!"

     Hareton tried, under his breath, to persuade her to
go.

     "Drag her away!" he cried savagely. "Are you stay-
ing to talk?" And he approached to execute his own
command.

     "He'll not obey you, wicked man, any more," said
Catherine, "and he'll soon detest you as much as I do."

     "Wisht! wisht!" muttered the young man reproach-
fully. "I will not hear you speak so to him. Have
done."

     "But you won't let him strike me?" she cried.
"Come, then," he whispered earnestly.

     It was too late. Heathcliff had caught hold of her.

     "Now, you go!" he said to Earnshaw. "Accursed
witch! this time she has provoked me when I could
not bear it, and I'll make her repent it for ever!"

     He had his hand in her hair. Hareton attempted to
release her locks, entreating him not to hurt her that
once. Heathcliff's black eyes flashed---he seemed ready
to tear Catherine in pieces; and I was just worked up
to risk coming to the rescue, when of a sudden his fin-
gers relaxed; he shifted his grasp from her head to her
arm, and gazed intently in her face. Then he drew his
hand over her eyes, stood a moment to collect himself
apparently, and turning anew to Catherine, said with
assumed calmness, "You must learn to avoid putting
me in a passion, or I shall really murder you some time!
Go with Mrs. Dean, and keep with her, and confine
your insolence to her ears. As to Hareton Earnshaw, if I
see him listen to you I'll send him seeking his bread
where he can get it. Your love will make him an out-
cast and a beggar.---Nelly, take her; and leave me, all
of you!---leave me!"

     I led my young lady out. She was too glad of her es-
cape to resist. The other followed, and Mr. Heathcliff
had the room to himself till dinner. I had counselled
Catherine to dine upstairs, but as soon as he perceived
her vacant seat he sent me to call her. He spoke to none
of us, ate very little, and went out directly afterwards,
intimating that he should not return before evening.

     The two new friends established themselves in the
house during his absence, when I heard Hareton sternly
check his cousin on her offering a revelation of her
father-in-law's conduct to his father. He said he
wouldn't suffer a word to be uttered in his disparage-
ment. lf he were the devil, it didn't signify---he would
stand by him; and he'd rather she would abuse himself,
as she used to, than begin on Mr. Heathcliff. Catherine
was waxing cross at this, but he found means to make
her hold her tongue by asking how she would like him
to speak ill of her father. Then she comprehended
that Earnshaw took the master's reputation home to
himself, and was attached by ties stronger than reason
could break---chains forged by habit, which it would
be cruel to attempt to loosen. She showed a good heart,
thenceforth, in avoiding both complaints and expres-
sions of antipathy concerning Heathcliff, and confessed
to me her sorrow that she had endeavoured to raise a
bad spirit between him and Hareton. Indeed, I don't
believe she has ever breathed a syllable, in the latter's
hearing, against her oppressor since.

     When this slight disagreement was over, they were
friends again, and as busy as possible in their several
occupations of pupil and teacher. I came in to sit with
them after I had done my work, and I felt so soothed
and comforted to watch them that I did not notice how
time got on. You know they both appeared in a meas-
nre my children. I had long been proud of one, and now
I was sure the other would be a source of equal satisfac-
tion. His honest, warm, and intelligent nature shook off
rapidly the clouds of ignorance and degradation in
which it had been bred, and Catherine's sincere com-
mendations acted as a spur to his industry. His bright-
ening mind brightened his features, and added spirit
and nobility to their aspect. I could hardly fancy it
the same individual I had beheld on the day I discov-
ered my little lady at Wuthering Heights, after her ex-
pedition to the Crags. While I admired and they
laboured, dusk drew on, and with it returned the mas-
ter. He came upon us quite unexpectedly, entering by
the front way, and had a full view of the whole three
ere we could raise our heads to glance at him. Well, I
reflected, there was never a pleasanter or more harm-
less sight, and it will be a burning shame to scold them.
The red firelight glowed on their two bonny heads, and
revealed their faces animated with the eager interest of
children; for though he was twenty-three and she
eighteen, each had so much of novelty to feel and learn
that neither experienced nor evinced the sentiments
of sober, disenchanted maturity.

     They lifted their eyes together, to encounter Mr.
Heathcliff. Perhaps you have never remarked that their
eyes are precisely similar, and they are those of Cath-
erine Earnshaw. The present Catherine has no other
likeness to her, except a breadth of forehead and a cer-
tain arch of the nostril that makes her appear rather
haughty, whether she will or not. With Hareton the
resemblance is carried further. It is singular at all times;
then it was particularly striking, because his senses
were alert, and his mental faculties wakened to un-
wonted activity. I suppose this resemblance disarmed
Mr. Heathcliff. He walked to the hearth in evident
agitation, but it quickly subsided as he looked at the
young man---or, I should say, altered its character, for
it was there yet. He took the book from his hand and
glanced at the open page, then returned it without any
observation, merely signing Catherine away. Her
companion lingered very little behind her; and I was
about to depart also, but he bade me sit still.

     "It is a poor conclusion, is it not?" he observed, hav-
ing brooded a while on the scene he had just witnessed
---"an absurd termination to my violent exertions? I
get levers and mattocks to demolish the two houses, and
train myself to be capable of working like Hercules,
and when everything is ready and in my power I find
the will to lift a slate of either roof has vanished! My
old enemies have not beaten me. Now would be the
precise time to revenge myself on their representatives.
I could do it, and none could hinder me. But where is
the use? I don't care for striking; I can't take the trouble
to raise my hand. That sounds as if I had been labour-
ing the whole time only to exhibit a fine trait of mag-
nanimity. It is far from being the case. I have lost the
faculty of enjoying their destruction, and I am too idle
to destroy for nothing.

     "Nelly, there is a strange change approaching; I'm
in its shadow at present. I take so little interest in my
daily life that I hardly remember to eat and drink.
Those two who have left the room are the only objects
which retain a distinct material appearance to me,
and that appearance causes me pain, amounting to
agony. About her I won't speak, and I don't desire to
think, but I earnestly wish she were invisible. Her pres-
ence invokes only maddening sensations. He moves me
differently; and yet if I could do it without seeming in-
sane, I'd never see him again. You'll perhaps think
me rather inclined to become so," he added, making an
effort to smile, "if I try to describe the thousand forms
of past associations and ideas he awakens or embodies.
But you'll not talk of what I tell you; and my mind is
so eternally secluded in itself, it is tempting at last to
turn it out to another.

     "Five minutes ago Hareton seemed a personification
of my youth, not a human being. I felt to him in such
a variety of ways that it would have been impossible to
have accosted him rationally. In the first place, his star-
tling likeness to Catherine connected him fearfully with
her. That, however, which you may suppose the most
potent to arrest my imagination, is actually the least;
for what is not connected with her to me? and what
does not recall her? I cannot look down to this floor
but her features are shaped in the flags. In every cloud,
in every tree---filling the air at night, and caught by
glimpses in every object by day--I am surrounded with
her image. The most ordinary faces of men and women
---my own features---mock me with a resemblance.
The entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda
that she did exist, and that I have lost her. Well, Hare-
ton's aspect was the ghost of my immortal love, of my
wild endeavours to hold my right, my degradation, my
pride, my happiness, and my anguish------

     "But it is frenzy to repeat these thoughts to you; only
it will let you know why, with a reluctance to be always
alone, his society is no benefit, rather an aggravation of
the constant torment I suffer; and it partly contributes
to render me regardless how he and his cousin go on
together. I can give them no attention any more."

     "But what do you mean by a change, Mr. Heath-
cliff?" I said, alarmed at his manner, though he was
neither in danger of losing his senses nor dying, accord-
ing to my judgment. He was quite strong and healthy;
and as to his reason, from childhood he had a delight
in dwelling on dark things and entertaining odd fancies.
He might have had a monomania on the subject of his
departed idol, but on every other point his wits were as
sound as mine.

     "I shall not know that till it comes," he said, "I'm
only half conscious of it now."

     "You have no feeling of illness, have you?" I asked.

     "No, Nelly, I have not," he answered.

     "Then you are not afraid of death?" I pursued.

     "Afraid? No!" he replied. "I have neither a fear,
nor a presentiment, nor a hope of death. Why should I?
With my hard constitution, and temperate mode of
living, and unperilous occupations, I ought to, and
probably shall, remain above ground till there is
scarcely a black hair on my head. And yet I cannot con-
tinue in this condition. I have to remind myself to
breathe, almost to remind my heart to beat. And it is
like bending back a stiff spring; it is by compulsion that
I do the slightest act not prompted by one thought, and
by compulsion that I notice anything alive or dead
which is not associated with one universal idea. I have a
single wish, and my whole being and faculties are
yearning to attain it. They have yearned towards it so
long and so unwaveringly that I'm convinced it will be
reached---and soon---because it has devoured my
existence. I am swallowed up in the anticipation of its
fulfilment. My confessions have not relieved me, but
they may account for some otherwise unaccountable
phases of humour which I show.---O God! it is a long
fight, I wish it were over!"

     He began to pace the room, muttering terrible things
to himself, till I was inclined to believe, as he said Jo-
seph did, that conscience had turned his heart to an
earthly hell. I wondered greatly how it would end.
Though he seldom before had revealed his state of
mind, even by looks, it was his habitual mood, I had
no doubt. He asserted it himself; but not a soul, from his
general bearing, would have conjectured the fact. You
did not when you saw him, Mr. Lockwood; and at
the period of which I speak he was just the same as
then, only fonder of continued solitude, and perhaps
still more laconic in company.


CHAPTER XXXIV.

For some days after that evening Mr. Heathcliff
shunned meeting us at meals, yet he would not
consent formally to exclude Hareton and Cathy. He had
an aversion to yielding so completely to his feelings,
choosing rather to absent himself; and eating once in
twenty-four hours seemed sufficient sustenance for him.

     One night, after the family were in bed, I heard him
go downstairs and out at the front door. I did not hear
him re-enter, and in the morning I found he was still
away. We were in April then. The weather was sweet
and warm, the grass as green as showers and sun could
make it, and the two dwarf apple-trees near the south-
ern wall in full bloom. After breakfast Catherine insis-
ted on my bringing a chair and sitting with my work
under the fir-trees at the end of the house; and she be-
guiled Hareton, who had perfectly recovered from his
accident, to dig and arrange her little garden, which was
shifted to that corner by the influence of Joseph's com-
plaint. I was comfortably revelling in the spring frag-
rance around, and the beautiful soft blue overhead,
when my young lady, who had run down near the gate
to procure some primrose roots for a border, returned
only half laden, and informed us that Mr. Heathcliff was
coming in. "And he spoke to me," she added, with a
perplexed countenance.

     "What did he say?" asked Hareton.

     "He told me to begone as fast as I could," she an-
swered. "But he looked so different from his usual
iook that I stopped a moment to stare at him."

     "How?" he inquired.

     "Why, almost bright and cheerful. No, almost noth-
ing---very much excited, and wild and glad!" she re-
plied.

     "Night-walking amuses him, then," I remarked,
affecting a careless manner---in reality as surprised as
she was, and anxious to ascertain the truth of her state-
ment, for to see the master looking glad would not be
an every-day spectacle. I framed an excuse to go in.
Heathcliff stood at the open door. He was pale, and
he trembled, yet certainly he had a strange, joyful glit-
ter in his eyes that altered the aspect of his whole face.

     "Will you have some breakfast?" I said. "You must
be hungry rambling about all night." I wanted to dis-
cover where he had been, but I did not like to ask di-
rectly.

     "No, I'm not hungry," he answered, averting his head
and speaking rather contemptuously, as if he guessed
I was trying to divine the occasion of his good-humour.

     I felt perplexed. I didn't know whether it were not a
proper opportunity to offer a bit of admonition.

     "I don't think it right to wander out of doors," I ob-
served, "instead of being in bed. It is not wise, at any
rate, this moist season. I dare say you'll catch a bad cold
or a fever. You have something the matter with you
now."

     "Nothing but what I can bear," he replied, "and with
the greatest pleasure, provided you'll leave me alone.
Get in, and don't annoy me."

     I obeyed, and in passing I noticed he breathed as
fast as a cat.

     "Yes," I reflected to myself, "we shall have a fit of
illness. I cannot conceive what he has been doing."

     That noon he sat down to dinner with us, and re-
ceived a heaped-up plate from my hands, as if he in-
tended to make amends for previous fasting.

     "I've neither cold nor fever, Nelly," he remarked, in
allusion to my morning's speech, "and I'm ready to do
justice to the food you give me."

     He took his knife and fork, and was going to com-
mence eating, when the inclination appeared to become
suddenly extinct. He laid them on the table, looked
eagerly towards the window, then rose and went out.
We saw him walking to and fro in the garden while we
concluded our meal, and Earnshaw said he'd go and ask
why he would not dine; he thought we had grieved
him some way.

     "Well, is he coming?" cried Catherine, when her
cousin returned.

     "Nay," he answered; "but he's not angry. He seemed
rarely pleased indeed; only I made him impatient by
speaking to him twice, and then he bade me be off to
you. He wondered how I could want the company of
anybody else."

     I set his plate to keep warm on the fender, and after
an hour or two he re-entered, when the room was clear,
in no degree calmer---the same unnatural (it was un-
natural) appearance of joy under his black brows; the
same bloodless hue, and his teeth visible, now and
then, in a kind of smile; his frame shivering---not as
one shivers with chill or weakness, but as a tight-
stretched cord vibrates---a strong thrilling rather than
trembling.

     I will ask what is the matter, I thought; or who
should? And I exclaimed,---

     "Have you heard any good news, Mr. Heathcliff?
You look uncommonly animated."

     "Where should good news come from to me?" he
said. "I'm animated with hunger, and seemingly I must
not eat."

     "Your dinner is here," I returned; "why won't you
get it?"

     "I don't want it now," he muttered hastily. "I'll wait
till supper. And, Nelly, once for all, let me beg you to
warn Hareton and the other away from me. I wish to
be troubled by nobody. I wish to have this place to my-
self."

     "Is there some new reason for this banishment?" I
inquired. "Tell me why you are so queer, Mr. Heath-
cliff. Where were you last night? I'm not putting the
question through idle curiosity, but------"

     "You are putting the question through very idle
curiosity," he interrupted, with a laugh. "Yes, I'll an-
swer it. Last night I was on the threshold of hell. To-
day I am within sight of my heaven. I have my eyes on
it---hardly three feet to sever me. And now you'd better
go. You'll neither see nor hear anything to frighten you
if you refrain from prying."

     Having swept the hearth and wiped the table, I de-
parted, more perplexed than ever.

     He did not quit the house again that afternoon, and
no one intruded on his solitude, till, at eight o'clock, I
deemed it proper, though unsummoned, to carry a
candle and his supper to him. He was leaning against
the ledge of an open lattice, but not looking out; his
face was turned to the interior gloom. The fire
had smouldered to ashes; the room was fllled with the
damp, mild air of the cloudy evening, and so still that
not only the murmur of the beck down Gimmerton was
distinguishable, but its ripples and its gurgling over
the pebbles, or through the large stones which it could
not cover. I uttered an ejaculation of discontent at see-
ing the dismal grate, and commenced shutting the
casements, one after another, till I came to his.

     "Must I close this?" I asked, in order to rouse him,
for he would not stir.

     The light flashed on his features as I spoke. O Mr.
Lockwood, I cannot express what a terrible start I got
by the momentary view---those deep black eyes, that
smile and ghastly paleness! It appeared to me not Mr.
Heathcliff, but a goblin; and in my terror I let the
candle bend towards the wall, and it left me in dark-
ness.

     "Yes, close it," he replied, in his familiar voice.

     "There, that is pure awkwardness! Why did you hold
the candle horizontally? Be quick, and bring another."

     I hurried out in a foolish state of dread, and said to
Joseph,---

     "The master wishes you to take him a light and re-
kindle the fire." For I dare not go in myself again just
then.

     Joseph rattled some fire into the shovel, and went;
but he brought it back immediately with the supper-tray
in his other hand, explaining that Mr. Heathcliff was
going to bed, and he wanted nothing to eat till morning.
We heard him mount the stairs directly. He did not pro-
ceed to his ordinary chamber, but turned into that with
the panelled bed. Its window, as I mentioned before, is
wide enough for anybody to get through; and it struck
me that he plotted another midnight excursion, of
which he had rather we had no suspicion.

     "Is he a ghoul or a vampire?" I mused. I had read
of such hideous incarnate demons. And then I set my-
self to reflect how I had tended him in infancy, and
watched him grow to youth, and followed him almost
through his whole course, and what absurd nonsense it
was to yield to that sense of horror. "But where did he
come from, the little dark thing, harboured by a good
man to his bane?" muttered Superstition, as I dozed
into unconsciousness. And I began, half dreaming,
to weary myself with imagining some fit parentage for
him; and repeating my waking meditations, I tracked
his existence over again, with grim variations, at last
picturing his death and funeral, of which all I can re-
member is being exceedingly vexed at having the task
of dictating an inscription for his monument, and con-
sulting the sexton about it; and as he had no surname,
and we could not tell his age, we were obliged to con-
tent ourselves with the single word, "Heathcliff."
That came true; we were. If you enter the kirkyard
you'll read on his headstone only that, and the date of
his death.

     Dawn restored me to common-sense. I rose and went
into the garden as soon as I could see, to ascertain if
there were any footmarks under his window. There were
none. "He has stayed at home," I thought, "and he'll
be all right to-day." I prepared breakfast for the
household, as was my usual custom, but told Hareton
and Catherine to get theirs ere the master came down,
for he lay late. They preferred taking it out of doors,
under the trees, and I set a little table to accommodate
them.

     On my re-entrance I found Mr. Heathcliff below. He
and Joseph were conversing about some farming busi-
ness. He gave clear, minute directions concerning the
matter discussed, but he spoke rapidly, and turned his
head continually aside, and had the same excited ex-
pression, even more exaggerated. When Joseph quitted
the room he took his seat in the place he generally chose,
and I put a basin of coffee before him. He drew
it nearer, and then rested his arms on the table and
looked at the opposite wall, as I supposed, surveying
one particular portion, up and down, with glittering,
restless eyes, and with such eager interest that he
stopped breathing during half a minute together.

     "Come now," I exclaimed, pushing some bread
against his hand, "eat and drink that while it is hot; it
has been waiting near an hour."

     He didn't notice me, and yet he smiled. I'd rather
have seen him gnash his teeth than smile so.

     "Mr. Heathcliff! master!" I cried, "don't, for God's
sake, stare as if you saw an unearthly vision."

     "Don't, for God's sake, shout so loud," he replied.

     "Turn round and tell me---are we by ourselves?"

     "Of course," was my answer---"of course we are."

     Still I involuntarily obeyed him, as if I was not
quite sure. With a sweep of his hand he cleared a vacant
space in front among the breakfast things, and leant
forward to gaze more at his ease.

     Now I perceived he was not looking at the wall, for
when I regarded him alone it seemed exactly that he
gazed at something within two yards' distance. And
whatever it was, it communicated apparently both
pleasure and pain in exquisite extremes---at least the
anguished yet raptured expression of his countenance
suggested that idea. The fancied object was not fixed
either; his eyes pursued it with unwearied diligence,
and, even in speaking to me, were never weaned away.
I vainly reminded him of his protracted abstinence
from food. If he stirred to touch anything in compliance
with my entreaties, if he stretched his hand out to get a
piece of bread, his fingers clenched before they reached
it, and remained on the table, forgetful of their aim.
I sat, a model of patience, trying to attract his ab-
sorbed attentlion from its engrossing speculation, till he
grew irritable, and got up, asking why I would not al-
low him to have his own time in taking his meals, and
saying that on the next occasion I needn't wait---L
might set the things down and go. Having uttered these
words he left the house, slowly sauntered down the
garden path, and disappeared through the gate.
The hours crept anxiously by; another evening came.
I did not retire to rest till late, and when I did I could
not sleep. He returned after midnight, and instead of
going to bed, shut himself into the room beneath. I
listened and tossed about, and finally dressed and de-
scended. It was too irksome to lie there harassing my
brain with a hundred idle misgivings.

     I distinguished Mr. Heathcliff's step restlessly
measuring the floor, and he frequently broke the si-
lence by a deep inspiration resembling a groan. He
muttered detached words also. The only one I couJd
catch was the name of Catherine, coupled with some
wild term of endearment or suffering, and spoken as
one would speak to a person present---low and
earnest, and wrung from the depth of his soul. I had
not courage to walk straight into the apartment, but
I desired to divert him from his reverie, and therefore
fell foul of the kitchen fire, stirred it, and began
to scrape the cinders. It drew him forth sooner than I
expected. He opened the door immediately, and
said,---

     "Nelly, come here. Is it morning? Come in with your
light."

     "It is striking four," I answered. "You want a candle
to take upstairs. You might have lit one at this fire."

     "No, I don't wish to go upstairs," he said. "Come in
and kindle me a fire, and do anything there is to do
about the room."

     "I must blow the coals red first before I can carry
any," I replied, getting a chair and the bellows.

     He roamed to and fro, meantime, in a state ap-
proaching distraction, his heavy sighs succeeding each
other so thick as to leave no space for common breath-
ing between.

     "When day breaks I'll send for Green," he said. "I
wish to make some legal inquiries of him while I can
bestow a thought on those matters, and while I can act
calmly. I have not written my will yet, and how to leave
my property I cannot determine. I wish I could anni-
hilate it from the face of the earth."

     "I would not talk so, Mr. Heathcliff," I interposed.
"Let your will be a while; you'll be spared to repent
of your many injustices yet. I never expected that your
nerves would be disordered. They are at present mar-
vellously so, however, and almost entirely through your
own fault. The way you've passed these three last days
might knock up a Titan. Do take some food and some
repose. You need only look at yourself in a glass to see
how you require both. Your cheeks are hollow, and
your eyes bloodshot, like a person starving with hunger
and going blind with loss of sleep."

     "It is not my fault that I cannot eat or rest," he re-
plied. "I assure you it is through no settled designs. I'll
do both as soon as I possibly can. But you might as
well bid a man struggling in the water rest within
arm's length of the shore! I must reach it first, and then
I'll rest. Well, never mind Mr. Green. As to repent-
ing of my injustices, I've done no injustice, and I re-
pent of nothing. I'm too happy; and yet I'm not happy
enough. My soul's bliss kills my body, but does not
satisfy itself."

     "Happy, master?" I cried. "Strange happiness! If
you would hear me without being angry, I might offer
some advice that would make you happier."

     "What is that?" he asked. "Give it."

     "You are aware, Mr. Heathcliff," I said, "that from
the time you were thirteen years old you have lived a
selfish, unchristian life, and probably hardly had a
Bible in your hands during all that period. You must
have forgotten the contents of the book, and you may
not have space to search it now. Could it be hurtful to
send for some one (some minister of any denomination
---it does not matter which) to explain it, and show
you how very far you have erred from its precepts, and
how unfit you will be for its heaven, unless a change
takes place before you die?"

     "I'm rather obliged than angry, Nelly," he said, "for
you remind me of the manner in which I desire to be
buried. It is to be carried to the churchyard in the eve-
ning. You and Hareton may, if you please, accompany
me; and mind particularly to notice that the sexton
obeys my directions concerning the two coffins. No
minister need come, nor need anything be said over
me. I tell you I have nearly attained my heaven, and
that of others is altogether unvalued and uncoveted
by me."

     "And supposing you persevered in your obstinate
fast, and died by that means, and they refused to bury
you in the precincts of the kirk?" I said, shocked at his
godless indifference. "How would you like it?"

     "They won't do that," he replied. "If they did, you
must have me removed secretly; and if you neglect it
you shall prove, practically, that the dead are not an-
nihilated."

     As soon as he heard the other members of the family
stirring he retired to his den, and I breathed freer. But
in the afternoon, while Joseph and Hareton were at
their work, he came into the kitchen again, and with a
wild look bade me come and sit in the house; he
wanted somebody with him. I declined, telling him
plainly that his strange talk and manner frightened
me, and I had neither the nerve nor the will to be his
companion alone.

     "I believe you think me a fiend," he said, with his
dismal laugh---"something too horrible to live under a
decent roof." Then turning to Catherine, who was
there, and who drew behind me at his approach, he
added, half sneeringly, "Will you come, chuck? I'll
not hurt you. No! To you I've made myself worse than
the devil. Well, there is one who won't shrink from my
company. By God, she's relentless! Oh, damn it! It's
unutterably too much for flesh and blood to bear---even
mine."

     He solicited the society of no one more. At dusk he
went into his chamber. Through the whole night, and
far into the morning, we heard him groaning and mur-
muring to himself. Hareton was anxious to enter, but
I bade him fetch Mr. Kenneth, and he should go in
and see him. When he came, and I requested admit-
tance and tried to open the door, I found it locked,
and Heathcliff bade us be damned. He was better, and
would be left alone; so the doctor went away.

     The following evening was very wet---indeed it
poured down till day-dawn; and as I took my morn-
ing walk round the house I observed the master's win-
dow swinging open, and the rain driving straight in. He
cannot be in bed, I thought; those showers would
drench him through. He must either be up or out. But
I'll make no more ado; I'll go boldly and look."

     Having succeeded in obtaining entrance with another
key, I ran to unclose the panels, for the chamber was
vacant. Quickly pushing them aside, I peeped in. Mr.
Heathcliff was there, laid on his back. His eyes met
mine so keen and fierce, I started; and then he seemed
to smile. I could not think him dead; but his face and
throat were washed with rain, the bedclothes dripped,
and he was perfectly still. The lattice, flapping to and
fro, had grazed one hand that rested on the sill. No
blood trickled from the broken skin, and when I put
my fingers to it I could doubt no more---he was dead
and stark!

     I hasped the window; I combed his black long hair
from his forehead; I tried to close his eyes---to
extinguish, if possible, that frightful, life-like gaze of
exultation before any one else beheld it. They would
not shut---they seemed to sneer at my attempts; and his
parted lips and sharp white teeth sneered too. Taken
with another fit of cowardice, I cried out for Joseph.
Joseph shuffied up and made a noise, but resolutely
refused to meddle with him.

     "Th' divil's harried off his soul," he cried, "and he
may hev his carcass into t' bargain for aught I care!
Ech! what a wicked un he looks girning at death!"
and the old sinner grinned in mockery. I thought he in-
tended to cut a caper round the bed; but suddenly com-
posing himself, he fell on his knees, and raised his
hands, and returned thanks that the lawful master and
the ancient stock were restored to their rights.
I felt stunned by the awful event, and my memory
unavoidably recurred to former times with a sort of
oppressive sadness. But poor Hareton, the most
wronged, was the only one who really suffered much. He
sat by the corpse all night, weeping in bitter earnest.
He pressed its hand, and kissed the sarcastic, savage
face that every one else shrank from contemplating, and
bemoaned him with that strong grief which springs nat-
urally from a generous heart, though it be tough as tem-
pered steel.

     Mr. Kenneth was perplexed to pronounce of what
disorder the master died. I concealed the fact of his
having swallowed nothing for four days, fearing it
might lead to trouble; and then I am persuaded he
did not abstain on purpose---it was the consequence of
his strange illness, not the cause.

     We buried him, to the scandal of the whole neigh-
bourhood, as he wished. Earnshaw and I, the sexton,
and six men to carry the coffin, comprehended the whole
attendance. The six men departed when they had let it
down into the grave. We stayed to see it covered. Hare-
ton, with a streaming face, dug green sods and laid
them over the brown mould himself. At present it is as
smooth and verdant as its companion mounds, and
I hope its tenant sleeps as soundly. But the country
folks, if you ask them, would swear on the Bible that
he walks. There are those who speak to having met
him near the church, and on the moor, and even within
this house. Idle tales, you'll say, and so say I. Yet
that old man by the kitchen fire affirms he has seen
two on 'em, looking out of his chamber window, on
every rainy night since his death. And an odd thing
happened to me about a month ago. I was going to the
Grange one evening---a dark evening, threatening
thunder; and just at the turn of the Heights I encoun-
tered a little boy with a sheep and two lambs before
him. He was crying terribly, and I supposed the lambs
were skittish and would not be guided.

     "What is the matter, my little man?" I asked.

     "There's Heathcliff and a woman yonder, under
t' nab," he blubbered, "un I darnut pass 'em."

     I saw nothing; but neither the sheep nor he would
go on, so I bade him take the road lower down. He
probably raised the phantoms from thinking, as he
traversed the moors alone, on the nonsense he had heard
his parents and companions repeat. Yet, still I don't
like being out in the dark now, and I don't like being
left by myself in this grim house. I cannot help it. I
shall be glad when they leave it and shift to the Grange.

     "They are going to the Grange, then?" I said.

     "Yes," answered Mrs. Dean, "as soon as they are
married, and that will be on New Year's day."

     "And who will live here then?"

     "Why, Joseph will take care of the house, and per-
haps a lad to keep him company. They will live in the
kitchen, and the rest will be shut up."

     "For the use of such ghosts as choose to inhabit it,"
I observed.

     "No, Mr. Lockwood," said Nelly, shaking her head.

     "I believe the dead are at peace, but it is not right to
speak of them with levity."

     At that moment the garden gate swung to; the ram-
blers were returning.

     "They are afraid of nothing," I grumbled, watching
their approach through the window. "Together they
would brave Satan and all his legions."

     As they stepped on to the door-stones, and halted
to take a last look at the moon---or, more correctly, at
each other by her light ---I felt irresistibly impelled to
escape them again; and pressing a remembrance into
the hand of Mrs. Dean, and disregarding her expostu-
lations at my rudeness, I vanished through the kitchen
as they opened the house-door, and so should have
confirmed Joseph in his opinion of his fellow-servant's
gay indiscretions, had he not fortunately recognized
me for a respectable character by the sweet ring of a
sovereign at his feet.

     My walk home was lengthened by a diversion in the
direction of the kirk. When beneath its walls I perceived
decay had made progress, even in seven months. Many
a window showed black gaps deprived of glass, and
slates jutted off here and there beyond the right line
of the roof, to be gradually worked off in coming
autumn storms.

     I sought and soon discovered the three headstones
on the slope next the moor---the middle one gray, and
half buried in heath; Edgar Linton's only harmonized
by the turf and moss creeping up its foot; Heathcliff's
still bare.

     I lingered round them under that benign sky,
watched the moths fluttering among the heath and
harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through
the grass, and wondered how any one could ever im-
agine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet
earth.

			End

.

Colophon

This file was acquired from Wiretap Electronic Text Archive, and it is in the public domain. It is re-distributed here as a part of the Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts (http://infomotions.com/alex/) by Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.) for the purpose of freely sharing, distributing, and making available works of great literature. Its Infomotions unique identifier is bronte-wuthering-179, and it should be available from the following URL:

http://infomotions.com/etexts/id/bronte-wuthering-179



Infomotions, Inc.

Infomotions Man says, "Give back to the 'Net."