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“Were you asked to tea?” she demanded, tying an apron over
her neat black frock, and standing with a spoonful of the leaf
poised over the pot.

“I shall be glad to have a cup,” I answered.
“Were you asked?” she repeated.

“No,” I said, half smiling. “You are the proper person to ask

She flung the tea back, spoon and all, and resumed her chair in
a pet, her forehead corrugated, and her red underlip pushed out,
like a child’s ready to cry.

Meanwhile, the young man had slung onto his person a
decidedly shabby upper garment, and, erecting himself before the
blaze, looked down on me from the corner of his eyes, for all the
world as if there were some mortal feud unavenged between us. I
began to doubt whether he were a servant or not: his dress and
speech were both rude, entirely devoid of the superiority
observable in Mr. and Mrs. Heathcliff; his thick, brown curls were
rough and uncultivated, his whiskers encroached bearishly over
his cheeks, and his hands were embrowned like those of a
common labourer: still his bearing was free, almost haughty, and
he showed none of a domestic’s assiduity in attending on the lady
of the house. In the absence of clear proofs of his condition, I
deemed it best to abstain from noticing his curious conduct, and,
five minutes afterwards, the entrance of Heathcliff relieved me, in
some measure, from my uncomfortable state.

“You see, sir, I am come, according to promise!” I exclaimed,
assuming the cheerful; “and I fear I shall be weather-bound for
half an hour, if you can afford me shelter during that space.”

“Half an hour?” he said, shaking the white flakes from his

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