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


incredulous if you did doubt it,’ was my mental comment. ‘I don’t
doubt it.’ The question followed, ‘Where was I to go?’ I dreamt of
Miss Ingram all the night: in a vivid morning dream I saw her
closing the gates of Thornfield against me and pointing me out
another road; and Mr. Rochester looked on with his arms folded-
smiling sardonically, as it seemed, at both her and me.

I had not notified to Mrs. Fairfax the exact day of my return; for I
did not wish either car or carriage to meet me at Millcote. I
proposed to walk the distance quietly by myself; and very quietly,
after leaving my box in the ostler’s care, did I slip away from the
George Inn, about six o’clock of a June evening, and take the old
road to Thornfield: a road which lay chiefly through fields, and
was now little frequented.

It was not a bright or splendid summer evening, though fair and
soft: the haymakers were at work all along the road; and the sky,
though far from cloudless, was such as promised well for the
future: its blue-where blue was visible-was mild and settled, and
its cloud strata high and thin. The west, too, was warm: no watery
gleam chilled it-it seemed as if there was a fire lit, an altar burning
behind its screen of marbled vapour, and out of apertures shone a
golden redness.

I felt glad as the road shortened before me: so glad that I stopped
once to ask myself what that joy meant: and to remind reason that
it was not to my home I was going, or to a permanent resting-place,
or to a place where fond friends looked out for me and waited my
arrival. ‘Mrs. Fairfax will smile you a calm welcome, to be sure,’
said I; ‘and little Adele will clap her hands and jump to see you:
but you know very well you are thinking of another than they, and
that he is not thinking of you.’ But what is so headstrong as youth?
What so blind as inexperience? These affirmed that it was pleasure
enough to have the privilege of again looking on Mr. Rochester,
whether he looked on me or not; and they added-‘Hasten! hasten!
be with him while you may: but a few more days or weeks, at
most, and you are parted from him for ever!’ And then I strangled
a new-born agony-a deformed thing which I could not persuade
myself to own and rear-and ran on.

They are making hay, too, in Thornfield meadows: or rather, the
labourers are just quitting their work, and returning home with
their rakes on their shoulders, now, at the hour I arrive. I have but
a field or two to traverse, and then I shall cross the road and reach
the gates. How full the hedges are of roses! But I have no time to
gather any; I want to be at the house. I passed a tall briar, shooting
leafy and flowery branches across the path; I see the narrow stile
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