A LETTER, edged with black,
announced the day of my master's
return, Isabella was dead; and
he wrote to bid me get mourning
for his daughter, and arrange
a room, and other accommodations,
for his youthful nephew. Catherine
ran wild with joy at the idea
of welcoming her father back;
and indulged most sanguine anticipations
of the innumerable excellencies
of her 'real' cousin. The evening
of their expected arrival came.
Since early morning she had been
busy ordering her own small affairs;
and now attired in her new black
frock - poor thing! her aunt's
death impressed her with no definite
sorrow - she obliged me, by constant
worrying, to walk with her down
through the grounds to meet them.
'Linton is just six months
younger than I am,' she chattered,
as we strolled leisurely over
the swells and hollows of mossy
turf, under shadow of the trees.
'How delightful it will be to
have him for a playfellow! Aunt
Isabella sent papa a beautiful
lock of his hair; it was lighter
than mine - more flaxen, and
quite as fine. I have it carefully
preserved in a little glass box;
and I've often thought what a
pleasure it would be to see its
owner. Oh! I am happy - and papa,
dear, dear papa! Come, Ellen,
let us run! come, run.'
She ran, and returned and ran
again, many times before my sober
footsteps reached the gate, and
then she seated herself on the
grassy bank beside the path,
and tried to wait patiently;
but that was impossible: she
couldn't be still a minute.
'How long they are!' she exclaimed.
'Ah, I see, some dust on the
road - they are coming! No! When
will they be here? May we not
go a little way - half a mile,
Ellen, only just half a mile?
Do say Yes: to that clump of
birches at the turn!'
I refused staunchly. At length
her suspense was ended: the travelling
carriage rolled in sight. Miss
Cathy shrieked and stretched
out her arms as soon as she caught
her father's face looking from
the window. He descended, nearly
as eager as herself; and a considerable
interval elapsed ere they had
a thought to spare for any but
themselves. While they exchanged
caresses I took a peep in to
see after Linton. He was asleep
in a corner, wrapped in a warm,
fur-lined cloak, as if it had
been winter. A pale, delicate,
effeminate boy, who might have
been taken for my master's younger
brother, so strong was the resemblance:
but there was a sickly peevishness
in his aspect that Edgar Linton
never had. The latter saw me
looking; and having shaken hands,
advised me to close the door,
and leave him undisturbed; for
the journey had fatigued him.
Cathy would fain have taken one
glance, but her father told her
to come, and they walked together
up the park, while I hastened
before to prepare the servants.
'Now, darling,' said Mr. Linton,
addressing his daughter, as they
halted at the bottom of the front
steps: 'your cousin is not so
strong or so merry as you are,
and he has lost his mother, remember,
a very short time since; therefore,
don't expect him to play and
run about with you directly.
And don't harass him much by
talking: let him be quiet this
evening, at least, will you?'
'Yes, yes, papa,' answered
Catherine: 'but I do want to
see him; and he hasn't once looked
The carriage stopped; and the
sleeper being roused, was lifted
to the ground by his uncle.
'This is your cousin Cathy,
Linton,' he said, putting their
little hands together. 'She's
fond of you already; and mind
you don't grieve her by crying
to-night. Try to be cheerful
now; the travelling is at an
end, and you have nothing to
do but rest and amuse yourself
as you please.'
'Let me go to bed, then,' answered
the boy, shrinking from Catherine's
salute; and he put his fingers
to remove incipient tears.
'Come, come, there's a good
child,' I whispered, leading
him in. 'You'll make her weep
too - see how sorry she is for
I do not know whether it was
sorrow for him, but his cousin
put on as sad a countenance as
himself, and returned to her
father. All three entered, and
mounted to the library, where
tea was laid ready. I proceeded
to remove Linton's cap and mantle,
and placed him on a chair by
the table; but he was no sooner
seated than he began to cry afresh.
My master inquired what was the
'I can't sit on a chair,' sobbed
'Go to the sofa, then, and
Ellen shall bring you some tea,'
answered his uncle patiently.
He had been greatly tried,
during the journey, I felt convinced,
by his fretful ailing charge.
Linton slowly trailed himself
off, and lay down. Cathy carried
a footstool and her cup to his
side. At first she sat silent;
but that could not last: she
had resolved to make a pet of
her little cousin, as she would
have him to be; and she commenced
stroking his curls, and kissing
his cheek, and offering him tea
in her saucer, like a baby. This
pleased him, for he was not much
better: he dried his eyes, and
lightened into a faint smile.
'Oh, he'll do very well,' said
the master to me, after watching
them a minute. 'Very well, if
we can keep him, Ellen. The company
of a child of his own age will
instil new spirit into him soon,
and by wishing for strength he'll
'Ay, if we can keep him!' I
mused to myself; and sore misgivings
came over me that there was slight
hope of that. And then, I thought,
how ever will that weakling live
at Wuthering Heights? Between
his father and Hareton, what
playmates and instructors they'll
be. Our doubts were presently
decided - even earlier than I
expected. I had just taken the
children up-stairs, after tea
was finished, and seen Linton
asleep - he would not suffer
me to leave him till that was
the case - I had come down, and
was standing by the table in
the hall, lighting a bedroom
candle for Mr. Edgar, when a
maid stepped out of the kitchen
and informed me that Mr. Heathcliff's
servant Joseph was at the door,
and wished to speak with the
'I shall ask him what he wants
first,' I said, in considerable
trepidation. 'A very unlikely
hour to be troubling people,
and the instant they have returned
from a long journey. I don't
think the master can see him.'
Joseph had advanced through
the kitchen as I uttered these
words, and now presented himself
in the hall. He was donned in
his Sunday garments, with his
most sanctimonious and sourest
face, and, holding his hat in
one hand, and his stick in the
other, he proceeded to clean
his shoes on the mat.
'Good-evening, Joseph,' I said,
coldly. 'What business brings
you here to-night?'
'It's Maister Linton I mun
spake to,' he answered, waving
me disdainfully aside.
'Mr. Linton is going to bed;
unless you have something particular
to say, I'm sure he won't hear
it now,' I continued. 'You had
better sit down in there, and
entrust your message to me.'
'Which is his rahm?' pursued
the fellow, surveying the range
of closed doors.
I perceived he was bent on
refusing my mediation, so very
reluctantly I went up to the
library, and announced the unseasonable
visitor, advising that he should
be dismissed till next day. Mr.
Linton had no time to empower
me to do so, for Joseph mounted
close at my heels, and, pushing
into the apartment, planted himself
at the far side of the table,
with his two fists clapped on
the head of his stick, and began
in an elevated tone, as if anticipating
'Hathecliff has sent me for
his lad, and I munn't goa back
Edgar Linton was silent a minute;
an expression of exceeding sorrow
overcast his features: he would
have pitied the child on his
own account; but, recalling Isabella's
hopes and fears, and anxious
wishes for her son, and her commendations
of him to his care, he grieved
bitterly at the prospect of yielding
him up, and searched in his heart
how it might be avoided. No plan
offered itself: the very exhibition
of any desire to keep him would
have rendered the claimant more
peremptory: there was nothing
left but to resign him. However,
he was not going to rouse him
from his sleep.
'Tell Mr. Heathcliff,' he answered
calmly, 'that his son shall come
to Wuthering Heights to-morrow.
He is in bed, and too tired to
go the distance now. You may
also tell him that the mother
of Linton desired him to remain
under my guardianship; and, at
present, his health is very precarious.'
'Noa!' said Joseph, giving
a thud with his prop on the floor,
and assuming an authoritative
air. 'Noa! that means naught.
Hathecliff maks noa 'count o'
t' mother, nor ye norther; but
he'll heu' his lad; und I mun
tak' him - soa now ye knaw!'
'You shall not to-night!' answered
Linton decisively. 'Walk down
stairs at once, and repeat to
your master what I have said.
Ellen, show him down. Go - '
And, aiding the indignant elder
with a lift by the arm, he rid
the room of him and closed the
'Varrah weell!' shouted Joseph,
as he slowly drew off. 'To-morn,
he's come hisseln, and thrust
HIM out, if ye darr!'