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offering him tea in her saucer, like a baby. This pleased him, for he
was not much better: he dried his eyes, and lightened into a faint
“Oh, he’ll do very well,” said the master to me, after watching
them a minute. “Very well, if we can keep him, Ellen. The
company of a child of his own age will instil new spirit into him
soon, and by wishing for strength he’ll gain it.”
“Ay, if we can keep him!” I mused to myself; and sore
misgivings came over me that there was slight hope of that. And
then, I thought, however will that weakling live at Wuthering
Heights, between his father and Hareton? what playmates and
instructors they’ll be.
Our doubts were presently decided--even earlier than I
expected. I had just taken the children upstairs, after tea was
finished, and seen Linton asleep--he would not suffer me to leave
him till that was the case--I had come down, and was standing by
the table in the hall, lighting a bedroom candle for Mr. Edgar,
when a maid stepped out of the kitchen and informed me that Mr.
Heathcliff’s servant Joseph was at the door, and wished to speak
with the master.
“I shall ask him what he wants first,” I said, in considerable
trepidation. “A very unlikely hour to be troubling people, and the
instant they have returned from a long journey. I don’t think the
master can see him.”
Joseph had advanced through the kitchen as I uttered these
words, and now presented himself in the hall. He was donned in
his Sunday garments, with his most sanctimonious and sourest
face, and, holding his hat in one hand and his stick in the other, he
proceeded to clean his shoes on the mat.