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17 Mr Lockwood visits Wuthering Heights again

 

1802 After hearing the end of Mrs Dean's storyI made my plans for the futureI decided I did not want to spend another winter at the Grangeand told her I would ride to the Heights to inform my landlordShe handed me a letter to give to Cathy Heathcliff

When I arrived at the gateHareton met me and took me into the houseCathy was therepreparing vegetables for lunchShe did not bother to greet me

She may be beautiful,’I thought,‘but she's not very polite.’I passed by her chairand cleverly dropped Mrs Dean's note in front of herso that Hareton wouldn't see itShehoweverjust said aloud,‘What's that?’

A letter from the housekeeper at the Grange,’I saidannoyed with herShe gaspedand tried to pick it upbut Hareton got there first

Mr Heathcliff will want to look at this,’he saidputting it in his pocketBut when Cathy pretended to cryHareton could not bear to make her sadand he threw the letter down on the tableShe eagerly read every wordand asked me several questions about the people at the Grange

Mrs Dean will want an answer to her letter,’I reminded her

You must tell her that I have no paper or pens to write withI haven't even any books'she answered sadly

No books!’I cried.‘How can you manage without them in this lonely place?’

I always used to read so much that Mr Heathcliff decided to take away my only pleasure and destroy my booksI've looked all over the house for themJoseph only reads the Biblebut some of my books are in Hareton's roomWhy did you take themHaretonJust because you enjoy stealingThey can't be any use to you!’

I think Mr Hareton wants to learn,’I saidhoping to prevent a quarrel between them.‘No doubt he took them away to study them.’

Yes'replied Cathylaughing.‘I hear him trying to read to himself sometimes and it's extremely funnyHe makes some terrible mistakes!’

After a moment's shocked silence Hareton left the roomHe returned almost immediately with his arms full of booksand threw them angrily down at Cathy's feet

Take them!’he shouted.‘I never want to see them again!’

I won't have them now'she said.‘I'll hate them because they'll make me think of you.’

Hareton picked up the books and threw them on the firethen walked quickly out of the house

Mr Heathcliff came in as Hareton went outHe had a restlessanxious expression on his face

Mr Heathcliff,’I said,‘I must tell you I'm leaving for London next weekfor six monthsand I shan't want to rent the Grange any more after October.’

SoMr Lockwoodyou've got tired of the moors alreadyhave youWellhave your lunch with Hareton and meanywayCathytake your lunch in the kitchen with Joseph and Zillah.’

I did not enjoy lunch with my two silent companionsand left the Heights straight afterwards

What a pity,’I thought,‘that Cathy Heathcliff and I didn't fall in loveas Mrs Dean would have likedThen I could have taken her away from this miserable place for ever!’

Several months laterin SeptemberI was travelling to visit friends in YorkshireI found myself near Thrushcross Grangeand decided to spend a night thereAfter allI was still paying rent for itWhen I arrivedI was surprised to find a different housekeeperwho told me Mrs Dean had become housekeeper at the HeightsI wanted to have a walk after travelling all dayso I left orders for the woman to cook my supper and prepare bedroom for meand I walked the four miles to Wuthering Heights

As I came close to the old houseI noticed that there were flowers in the gardenand the doors and windows stood openI could see two people insideand I stopped for a momentcurious to hear a little of their conversation

Read it againstupid'said a voice as sweet as a silver bell.‘Read it correctly this timeor I'll pull your hair!’

You must kiss me if I get it right,’answered a deep voiceThe man was sitting at a tablereading from a bookHis handsome face shone with pleasureand his eyes often left the book to look at the small white hand that lay on his shoulderThe girl stood behind himbending over to help himHer faceit was fortunate he could not see her faceor he would never have been able to concentrate on his studiesI could see itand I was bitterly sorry that I had thrown away my chance of seeing that beauty every day of my life

I did not want to disturb their happinessso I went round to the back doorwhere I discovered my old friend Ellen Dean

OhMr Lockwoodwelcome back'she cried.‘Are you staying at the Grange again?’

YesMrs Deanjust for one nightBut tell mewhy are you housekeeper here now and not at the Grange?’

Zillah leftyou seeand Mr Heathcliff wanted me here.’

I have a little business with himabout the rent.’

OhMr Heathcliff is deadsirHe died three months agoI manage all Mrs Heathcliff's business for herShe hasn't learnt to do it herself yetyou see.’

Heathcliff is dead!’I repeatedsurprised.‘WellTell me how it happenedMrs Dean!’

Sit downsirand drink some beerI'll gladly tell youHis life ended very strangely.’

 


 

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