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 rise himself 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 damaged lip, and watching the conflagration with indignant eyes.
`You'd better hold your tongue, now,' he answered fiercely.
And his agitation precluding further speech, he advanced hastily to the entrance, where I made way for him to pass. But ere he had crossed the doorstones, 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 enjoy his grief and anger in solitude.
Heathcliff gazed after him, and sighed.
`It will be odd if I thwart myself,' he muttered, unconscious 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 escaped to the kitchen, so that I remained alone.
`I'm glad to see you out of doors again, Mr Lockwood,' 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. 1 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 anyone.'
`I'm coming to plead off nothing about it,' I exclaimed, 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 generally 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 appreciate 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 bid adieu early. I would have departed by the back way, to get
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