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settle, and she wished to bid him adieu, and deliver Linton safely
into his hands. Her hope was that Linton might be left with him,
as he had been with her: his father, she would fain convince
herself, had no desire to assume the burden of his maintenance or
My master hesitated not a moment in complying with her
request: reluctant as he was to leave home at ordinary calls, he
flew to answer this; commending Catherine to my peculiar
vigilance, in his absence, with reiterated orders that she must not
wander out of the park, even under my escort: he did not calculate
on her going unaccompanied.
He was away three weeks. The first day or two, my charge sat in
a corner of the library, too sad for either reading or playing: in that
quiet state she caused me little trouble; but it was succeeded by an
interval of impatient, fretful weariness; and being too busy, and
too old then, to run up and down amusing her, I hit on a method
by which she might entertain herself.
I used to send her on travels round the grounds--now on foot,
and now on a pony; indulging her with a patient audience of all
her real and imaginary adventures, when she returned.
The summer shone in full prime; and she took such a taste for
this solitary rambling that she often contrived to remain out from
breakfast till tea; and then the evenings were spent in recounting
her fanciful tales. I did not fear her breaking bounds, because the
gates were generally locked, and I thought she would scarcely
venture forth alone, if they had stood wide open.
Unluckily, my confidence proved misplaced. Catherine came to
me, one morning, at eight o’clock, and said she was that day an
Arabian merchant, going to cross the Desert with his caravan; and