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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Digital Library-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


The man, the human being, broke the spell at once. Nothing ever
rode the Gytrash: it was always alone; and goblins, to my notions,
though they might tenant the dumb carcasses of beasts, could
scarce covet shelter in the commonplace human form. No Gytrash
was this,- only a traveller taking the short cut to Millcote. He
passed, and I went on; a few steps, and I turned: a sliding sound
and an exclamation of ‘What the deuce is to do now?’ and a
clattering tumble, arrested my attention. Man and horse were
down; they had slipped on the sheet of ice which glazed the
causeway. The dog came bounding back, and seeing his master in
a predicament, and hearing the horse groan, barked till the evening
hills echoed the sound, which was deep in proportion to his
magnitude. He snuffed round the prostrate group, and then he ran
up to me; it was all he could do,- there was no other help at hand
to summon. I obeyed him, and walked down to the traveller, by
this time struggling himself free of his steed. His efforts were so
vigorous, I thought he could not be much hurt; but I asked him the
question‘Are you injured, sir?’ I think he was swearing, but am not
certain; however, he was pronouncing some formula which
prevented him from replying to me directly.

‘Can I do anything?’ I asked again.
‘You must just stand on one side,’ he answered as he rose, first to
his knees, and then to his feet. I did; whereupon began a heaving,
stamping, clattering process, accompanied by a barking and baying
which removed me effectually some yards’ distance; but I would
not be driven quite away till I saw the event. This was finally
fortunate; the horse was re-established, and the dog was silenced
with a ‘Down, Pilot!’ The traveller now, stooping, felt his foot and
leg, as if trying whether they were sound; apparently something
ailed them, for he halted to the stile whence I had just risen, and sat

I was in the mood for being useful, or at least officious, I think, for
I now drew near him again.

‘If you are hurt, and want help, sir, I can fetch some one either
from Thornfield Hall or from Hay.’ ‘Thank you: I shall do: I have
no broken bones,- only a sprain;’ and again he stood up and tried
his foot, but the result extorted an involuntary ‘Ugh!’

Something of daylight still lingered, and the moon was waxing
bright: I could see him plainly. His figure was enveloped in a
riding cloak, fur collared and steel clasped; its details were not
apparent, but I traced the general points of middle height and
considerable breadth of chest. He had a dark face, with stern
features and a heavy brow; his eyes and gathered eyebrows looked
ireful and thwarted just now; he was past youth, but had not
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