herself, finally, to confess, and 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 impression of inward and outward repulsiveness that his present 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 learning. 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 appearance sympathized with mental deterioration: he acquired 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 intention 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 Heathcliff. `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 today: I'll stay with you.'

`Oh, but Joseph will tell,' she suggested; `you'd better go!'

`Joseph is loading lime on the farther side of Pennistow Crag; it will take him till dark, and he'll never know.'

So saying, he lounged to the fire, and sat down. Catherine 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 persisted; `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?'

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