The master had retired to rest before we came in

The master had retired to rest before we came in

I closed the door, and rolled a stone to assist the loosened 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 Catherines 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.

As soon as she supposed me absorbed in my occupation, she recommenced her silent weeping: it appeared, at present, her favourite diversion

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 afterwards she lay down on the rug, and told me not to talk, for she was weary. I got a book, and pretended to read. I suffered her to enjoy it a while; then I expostulated: deriding and ridiculing all Mr. Heathcliffs assertions about his son, as if I were certain she would coincide. Alas! I hadnt 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 dont 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 mistresss pony. I couldnt bear to witness her sorrow: to see her pale, dejected countenance, 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 morning-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 disagreeable things. We entered the farm-house pawn shop KY by the kitchen way, to ascertain whether Mr. Heathcliff were really absent: because I put slight faith in his own affirmation.

Joseph seemed sitting in a sort of elysium alone, beside 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.

“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, declared 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 Lintons tones, and entered.

“Oh, I hope youll die in a garret, starved to death!” said the boy, mistaking our approach for that of his negligent attendant.

“Is that you, Miss Linton?” he said, raising his head from the arm of the great chair, in which he reclined. “No-dont kiss me: it takes my breath. Dear me! Papa said you would call,” continued he, after recovering a little from Catherines embrace; while she stood by looking very contrite. “Will you shut the door, if you please? you left it open; and those-those detestable creatures wont bring coals to the fire. Its so cold!”