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Chapter 24

At the close of three weeks, I was able to quit my chamber,
and move about the house. And on the first occasion of my
sitting up in the evening, I asked Catherine to read to me,
because my eyes were weak. We were in the library, the master
having gone to bed; she consented, rather unwillingly, I fancied,
and, imagining my sort of books did not suit her, I bid her please
herself in the choice of what she perused. She selected one of her
own favourites, and got forward steadily about an hour; then came
frequent questions.

“Ellen, are not you tired? Hadn’t you better lie down now?
You’ll be sick, keeping up so long, Ellen.”

“No, no, dear, I’m not tired,” I returned, continually.
Perceiving me immovable, she essayed another method of
showing her disrelish for her occupation. It changed to yawning,
and stretching, and--

“Ellen, I’m tired.”
“Give over then, and talk,” I answered.
That was worse; she fretted and sighed, and looked at her
watch till eight, and finally went to her room, completely overdone
with sleep, judging by her peevish, heavy look, and the constant
rubbing she inflicted on her eyes.

The following night she seemed more impatient still; and on the
third from recovering my company, she complained of a headache,
and left me.

I thought her conduct odd; and having remained alone a long
while, I resolved on going and inquiring whether she were better,
and asking her to come and lie on the sofa, instead of upstairs in

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