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‘Skulker has caught a little girl, sir’ he replied, ‘and there’s a lad
here,’ he added, making a clutch at me, ‘who looks an out-and-
outer! Very like, the robbers were for putting them though the
window to open the doors to the gang after all were asleep, that
they might murder us at their ease. Hold your tongue, you foul-
mouthed thief, you! you shall go to the gallows for this. Mr. Linton,
sir, don’t lay by your gun.’

“‘No, no, Robert,’ said the old fool. ‘The rascals knew that
yesterday was my rent day; they thought to have me cleverly.
Come in; I’ll furnish them a reception. There, John, fasten the
chain. Give Skulker some water, Jenny. To beard a magistrate in
his stronghold, and on the Sabbath, too! Where will their insolence
stop? Oh, my dear Mary, look here! Don’t be afraid, it is but a
boy--yet the villain scowls so plainly in his face; would it not be a
kindness to the country to hang him at once, before he shows his
nature in acts as well as features?’

“He pulled me under the chandelier, and Mrs. Linton placed
her spectacles on her nose and raised her hands in horror. The
cowardly children crept nearer, also, Isabella lisping--‘Frightful
thing! Put him in the cellar, papa. He’s exactly like the son of the
fortune-teller that stole my tame pheasant. Isn’t he, Edgar?’

“While they examined me, Cathy came round; she heard the
last speech, and laughed. Edgar Linton, after an inquisitive stare,
collected sufficient wit to recognise her. They see us at church,
you know, though we seldom meet them elsewhere. ‘That’s Miss
Earnshaw!’ he whispered to his mother, ‘and look how Skulker
has bitten her--how her foot bleeds!’

“‘Miss Earnshaw? Nonsense!’ cried the dame. ‘Miss Earnshaw
scouring the county with a gypsy! And yet, my dear, the child is in

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