`Eea, f'r owt Ee knaw,' she answered, skurrying away with a pan of hot cinders.

I would have asked why Mrs Dean had deserted the Grange, but it was impossible to delay her at such a crisis, so I turned away and made my exit, rambling leisurely along with the glow of a sinking sun behind, and the mild glory of a rising moon in front--one fading, and the other brightening--as I quitted the park, and climbed the stony by-road branching off to Mr Heathcliff's dwelling. Before I arrived in sight of it, all that remained of day was a beamless amber light along the west: but I could see every pebble on the path, and every blade of grass, by that splendid moon. I had neither to climb the gate nor to knock--it yielded to my hand. That is an improvement, I thought. And I noticed another, by the aid of my nostrils; a fragrance of stocks and wallflowers wafted on the air from amongst the homely fruit trees.

Both doors and lattices were open; and yet, as is usually the case in a coal district, a fine, red fire illumined the chimney: the comfort which the eye derives from it renders the extra heat endurable. But the house of Wuthering Heights is so large, that the inmates have plenty of space for withdrawing out of its influence; and accordingly, what inmates there were had stationed themselves not far from one of the windows. I could both see them and hear them talk before I entered, and looked and listened in consequence; being moved thereto by a mingled sense of curiosity and envy, that grew as I lingered.

`Con-trary!' said a voice as sweet as a silver bell--`That for the third time, you dunce! I'm not going to tell you again. Recollect, or I'll pull your hair!'

`Contrary, then,' answered another, in deep but softened tones. `And now, kiss me, for minding so well.'

`No, read it over first correctly, without a single mistake.'

The male speaker began to read: he was a young man, respectably dressed and seated at a table, having a book before him. His handsome features glowed with pleasure, and his eyes kept impatiently wandering from the page to a small white hand over his shoulder, which recalled him by a smart slap on the cheek, whenever its owner detected such signs of inattention. Its owner stood behind; her light, shining ringlets blending, at intervals, with his brown locks, as she bent to superintend his studies; and her face--it was lucky he could not see her face, or he would never have been so steady. I could: and I bit my lip in spite, at having thrown away the chance I might have had of doing something besides staring at its smiling beauty.

The task was done, not free from further blunders; but the pupil claimed a reward, and received at least five kisses: which, however, he generously returned. Then they came to the door, and from their conversation I judged they were about to issue out and have a walk on the moors. I supposed I should be condemned in Hareton Earnshaw's heart, if not by his mouth, to the lowest pit in the infernal regions, if I showed my `unfortunate person in his neighbourhood then; and feeling very mean and malignant, I skulked round to seek refuge in the kitchen. There was unobstructed admittance on that side also, and at the door sat my old friend Nelly Dean, sewing and singing a song; which was often interrupted from within by harsh words of scorn and intolerance, uttered in far from musical accents.

`Aw'd rayther, by th' haulf, hev `em swearing i' my lugs frough morn to neeght, nur hearken yah, hahsiver!' said the tenant of the kitchen, in answer to an unheard speech of Nelly's. `It's a blazing shaime, ut Aw cannut oppen t' blessed Book, bud yah set up them glories tuh Sattan, un' all t' flaysome wickednesses ut iver wer born intuh t' warld! Oh! yah'er a raight nowt; un' shoo's another; un' that poor lad'll be lost atween ye. Poor lad!' he added, with a groan; `he's witched: Aw'm sartin on't! O Lord, judge `em, fur they's norther law nur justice amang wer rullers!'

`No! or we should be sitting in flaming fagots, I suppose,' retorted the singer. `But wisht, old man, and read your Bible like a Christian, and never mind me. This is "Fairy Annie's `Wedding"--a bonny tune--it goes to a dance.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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