`I say, I wish you to come with me into the house!' I cried, thinking him deaf, yet highly disgusted at his
`Nor nuh me! I getten summat else to do,' he answered, and continued his work; moving his lantern jaws
meanwhile, and surveying my dress and countenance (the former a great deal too fine, but the latter,
I'm sure, as sad as he could desire) with sovereign contempt.
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
`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 Heathcliff,
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 frightened me off by the help of a bulldog.'
`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 ordered 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 grey; and
the once brilliant pewter dishes, which used to attract my gaze when I was a girl, partook of a similar
obscurity, 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 misanthropical, that I shrank from disturbing him again.
You'll not be surprised, Ellen, at my feeling particularly cheerless, seated in worse than solitude on that
inhospitable 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 Edgar, 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 shelter 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 the house, and filled the interim with wild regrets
and dismal anticipations, which, at last, spoke audibly in irrepressible 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!'