`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, the other on the father's side: Heathcliff married Mr Linton's sister.'
`I see the house at Wuthering Heights has "Earnshaw" carved over the front door. Are they an old family?'
`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 foolishness, 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 today 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 errands 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 Liverpool today, 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 goodbye 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
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