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9 Isabella's story

 

1784 For two months we heard nothing of Isabella or HeathcliffDuring that time Catherine was dangerously ill with brain feverandhDr Kenneth warned us that even if she recoveredher brain would never return to normalHow ever she did seem to get betterand no one could have been happier than my masterwhen he saw her sitting up in bed for the first timeand beginning to take an interest in the people and things around herHe loved her so muchand took such good care of herthat I really thought she would recoverThere was another reason for her to liveShe was expecting a babyand we all hoped she would have a sonwho would inherit the Linton fortune

Then Mr Edgar received a letter from Isabellatelling him that she and Heathcliff were marriedWith it was a long letter for mewhich said

Wuthering Heights

Dear Ellen

I arrived here last night and heard that Catherine brother refuses to write to meso you are the only one I can write toTell Edgar I still love him and Catherineand want to return to Thrushcross Grangebut I can't

The rest of this letter is for you aloneEllenTwo questionshow did you manage to get on with the people in this houseThay don't seem humanAndthis interests me very muchwhat is Mr HeathcliffA manA madmanA devilWhen you come to visit meyou must explain to me what sort of creature I've marriedAnd you must come very soonwith a message from Edgar

Heathcliff brought me here last nightThis house is going to be my homehe saysHe disappeared as soon as we arrivedso I entered the kitchen aloneWhat a miserabledepressing place it is nowEllenBy the fire stood a dirty childI realized he must be Catherine's nephewHaretonand tried to shake his handBut he greeted me by swearing at meso I went into the hall to find somebody elseWhen I knocked at another doorit was opened by a tallthin manwith longdirty hair hanging down to his shouldersI knew this must be Hindley EarnshawCatherine's brother and Hareton's fatherHis eyesand Hareton'sreminded me of Catherine

What do you want?’he asked roughly

My name was Isabella Linton,’I replied.‘Now I'm married to Mr Heathcliff.’

Ahso that devil has returnedGood!’he growled

You can imagineEllenhow unhappy I felt in that unpleasant houseI knew that only four miles away was my real homeThrushcross Grangecontaining the only people I loved in the worldBut those four miles were like an oceanwhich I could not crossDon't tell Edgar or Catherine thisbut I had hoped to find a friend at Wuthering Heightssome one to support me against HeathcliffNow I realized that no one here would help me

After a long silence I said,‘Please ask a maid to show me my bedroomI'm tired after my journey.’

We have no maids here,’he answered.‘Joseph will show you Heathcliff's roomif you likeAndandyoud better lock the bedroom door tonight!’

WhyMr Earnshaw?’I askedI did not want to lock myself in with Heathcliff

He brought out a gunwhich had a knife attached to it

Look at this,’he said.‘Every night I try to open his bed room doorUp to now he's locked itBut one night he'll forgetand Then I'll kill him!’

Why do you hate him so much?’I asked

Because he's taken everything from me!’he shouted angrily.‘There's nothing left for Hareton to inheritBut I'm going to get it all backand his money tooand then his bloodThen the devil can have his soul!’

He seemed mad to meEllenI left himand went to find the old servantJosephIt seemed that Heathcliff's room was lockedand there were no guest bedroomsso in the end I slept on a chair in the child's roomWhat a welcome to my new home

I know Heathcliff blames Edgar forQCatherine's illnessHe has warned me he'll make me suffer for itOhI do hate himI'm so miserableI've been such a foolDon't tell any one at Thrushcross Grange about thisEllenCome quicklydon't disappoint me

Isabella

 

As soon as I had read thisI asked Mr Edgar if I could take a message from him to his sister

You may visit her this afternoonEllenif you likeTell her I'm not angryjust sorry to have lost herI can't imagine she will ever be happyI shall never visit her or write to her.’

When I arrived at Wuthering Heights that afternoonI was shocked to see how much worse the house looked than when I used to live thereI realized that Hindley did not care what conditions he lived inand Joseph clearly spent more time praying than cleaningHeathcliff and Isabella were both in the main roomHeathcliff looked more like a gentleman than I had ever seen himbut his wife had not bothered to brush her hair or change her dressI had to explain to poor Isabella that Mr Edgar had refused to write to herShe cried a little when she heard thatThen Heathcliff asked me question after question about Catherine's illness

If you really love her,’I told him,‘you'll keep away from her nowShe mustn't be over-excited Her health will always be weakAnd her loving husband is a very good nurse to her!’

Her loving husband'repeated Heathcliff scornfully.‘Don't compare my feeling for her with hisNoEllenbefore you leave this houseI'll make you promise to arrange a meet- ing for me with CatherineI must see her!’

I'll never agree to that,’I said.‘She's just beginning to recoverShe's almost forgotten youand now you want to upset her again!’ Ellenyou know as well as I do that she can never forget meIf she thinks once of Edgar Lintonshe thinks a thousand times of meHe can't love her as I canAnd Catherine has a heart as deep as mine!’

Catherine and Edgar are very fond of each other'said Isabella suddenly.‘Don't speak of my brother like that!’

Your dear brother doesn't care enough abut you to write to you'replied Heathcliffsmiling sourly

That's because be doesn't know how much I've suffered'she answered quietlyturning away to hide the tears on her face

Sir,’I said,‘it seems to me that Miss IsabellaMrs HeathcliffI should sayis unhappyYou must treat her kindlyTry to look after herLet her have a maidfor example.’

I'm not going to be soft with her,’he repliedd with a laugh.‘She was stupid enough to run away with meI never pretended to love herNow I think she's beginning to realize that I scorn herShe's an even weaker fool than her brother but she's going to be useful to meThat's why I'm keeping her with me.’  Ellenhe says he married me to have his revenge on EdgarBut I won't let him carry out his planwhatever it is I'll dieor I'll see him dead first!’

You're getting violentIsabella'said Heathcliff.‘Go up- stairs nowI want to speak to Ellen Dean in privateGo on!’ And he pushed her roughly out of the door  Don't you feel pity for her?’I askedwhen we were alone.‘Have you ever felt pity for anybody in your life?’ Why should IShe's just like an insect under my footThe more she criesthe more I enjoy hurting herNowEllenlis-tenI'll wait every day and every evening in the Grange gar- denuntil I find a chance to see CatherineIf I meet Edgar Linton or his servantsI'll shoot themBut don't you think itd be better to avoid a fightYou could tell me when she'll be aloneThen there'll be no violence.’

I argued and complainedand refused fifty timesbut in the end he forced me to agreeI promised to let him know when Edgar Linton was away from homeI suppose it was wrong of mebut I hoped it would be Heathcliff's last meeting with Catherine

 


 

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