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


I now glanced sideways at this piece of architecture. Yes, I was
right: it was Mr. Brocklehurst, buttoned up in a surtout, and
looking longer, narrower, and more rigid than ever.

I had my own reasons for being dismayed at this apparition; too
well I remembered the perfidious hints given by Mrs. Reed about
my disposition, etc.; the promise pledged by Mr. Brocklehurst to
apprise Miss Temple and the teachers of my vicious nature. All
along I had been dreading the fulfilment of this promise,- I had
been looking out daily for the ‘Coming Man,’ whose information
respecting my past life and conversation was to brand me as a bad
child for ever: now there he was.

He stood at Miss Temple’s side; he was speaking low in her ear: I
did not doubt he was making disclosures of my villainy; and I
watched her eye with painful anxiety, expecting every moment to
see its dark orb turn on me a glance of repugnance and contempt. I
listened too; and as I happened to be seated quite at the top of the
room, I caught most of what he said: its import relieved me from
immediate apprehension.

‘I suppose, Miss Temple, the thread I bought at Lowton will do; it
struck me that it would be just of the quality for the calico
chemises, and I sorted the needles to match. You may tell Miss
Smith that I forgot to make a memorandum of the darning needles,
but she shall have some papers sent in next week; and she is not,
on any account, to give out more than one at a time to each pupil: if
they have more, they are apt to be careless and lose them. And, O
ma’am! I wish the woollen stockings were better looked to!- when I
was here last, I went into the kitchen-garden and examined the
clothes drying on the line; there was a quantity of black hose in a
very bad state of repair: from the size of the holes in them I was
sure they had not been well mended from time to time.’ He

‘Your directions shall be attended to, sir,’ said Miss Temple.
‘And, ma’am,’ he continued, ‘the laundress tells me some of the
girls have two clean tuckers in the week: it is too much; the rules
limit them to one.’ ‘I think I can explain that circumstance, sir.
Agnes and Catherine Johnstone were invited to take tea with some
friends at Lowton last Thursday, and I gave them leave to put on
clean tuckers for the occasion.’ Mr. Brocklehurst nodded.

‘Well, for once it may pass; but please not to let the circumstance
occur too often. And there is another thing which surprised me; I
find, in settling accounts with the housekeeper, that a lunch,
consisting of bread and cheese, has twice been served out to the
girls during the past fortnight. How is this? I looked over the
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