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“An idle whim, I fear, sir,” was my answer; “or else an idle
whim is going to spirit me away. I shall set out for London next
week; and I must give you warning that I feel no disposition to
retain Thrushcross Grange beyond the twelve months I agreed to
rent it. I believe I shall not live there any more.”

“Oh, indeed! you’re tired of being banished from the world, are
you?” he said. “But if you be coming to plead off paying for a place
you won’t occupy, your journey is useless; I never relent in
exacting my due from any one.”

“I’m coming to plead off nothing about it!” I exclaimed,
considerably irritated. “Should you wish it, I’ll settle with you
now,” and I drew my note-book from my pocket.

“No, no,” he replied coolly; “you’ll leave sufficient behind to
cover your debts, if you fail to return . . . I’m not in such a hurry.
Sit down and take your dinner with us; a guest that is safe from
repeating his visit can generally be made welcome. Catherine!
bring the things in--where are you?”

Catherine reappeared, bearing a tray of knives and forks.
“You may get your dinner with Joseph,” muttered Heathcliff
aside, “and remain in the kitchen till he is gone.”

She obeyed his directions very punctually--perhaps she had no
temptation to transgress. Living among clowns and
misanthropists, she probably cannot appreciate a better class of
people when she meets them.

With Mr. Heathcliff, grim and saturnine, on one hand, and
Hareton, absolutely dumb, on the other, I made a somewhat
cheerless meal, and bid adieu early. I would have departed by the
back way, to get a last glimpse of Catherine, and annoy old Joseph;
but Hareton received orders to lead up my horse, and my host

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