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Mr. Heathcliff? are they relations?”

“No; he is the late Mrs. Linton’s nephew.”
“The young lady’s cousin, then?”

“Yes; and her husband was her cousin also,--one on the
mother’s, the other on the father’s side. Heathcliff married Mr.
Linton’s sister.”

“I see the house at Wuthering Heights has ‘Earnshaw’ carved
over the front door. Are they an old family?”

“Very old, sir; and Hareton is the last of them, as our Miss
Cathy is of us--I mean of the Lintons. Have you been to
Wuthering Heights? I beg pardon for asking; but I should like to
hear how she is.”

“Mrs. Heathcliff? she looked very well, and very handsome; yet,
I think, not very happy.”

“Oh dear, I don’t wonder! And how did you like the master?”
“A rough fellow, rather, Mrs. Dean. Is not that his character?”
“Rough as a saw-edge, and hard as whinstone! The less you
meddle with him the better.”

“He must have had some ups and downs in life to make him
such a churl. Do you know anything of his history?”

“It’s a cuckoo’s, sir--I know all about it, except where he was
born, and who were his parents, and how he got his money, at
first. And Hareton has been cast out like an unfledged dunnock!
The unfortunate lad is the only one in all this parish that does not
guess how he has been cheated.”

“Well, Mrs. Dean, it will be a charitable deed to tell me
something of my neighbours. I feel I shall not rest if I go to bed, so
be good enough to sit and chat an hour.”

“Oh, certainly, sir! I’ll just fetch a little sewing, and then I’ll sit

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