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Chapter 8

On the morning of a fine June day, my first bonny little
nursling, and the last of the ancient Earnshaw stock, was

We were busy with the hay in a far away field, when the girl
that usually brought our breakfasts came running an hour too
soon, across the meadow and up the lane, calling me as she ran.

“Oh, such a grand bairn!” she panted out. “The finest lad that
ever breathed! But the doctor says missis must go: he says she’s
been in a consumption these many months. I heard him tell Mr.
Hindley; and now she has nothing to keep her, and she’ll be dead
before winter. You must come home directly. You’re to nurse it,
Nelly: to feed it with sugar and milk, and take care of it day and
night. I wish I were you, because it will be all yours when there is
no missis!”

“But is she very ill?” I asked, flinging down my rake, and tying
my bonnet.

“I guess she is; yet she looks bravely,” replied the girl, “and she
talks as if she thought of living to see it grow a man. She’s out of
her head for joy, it’s such a beauty! If I were her, I’m certain I
should not die: I should get better at the bare sight of it, in spite of
Kenneth. I was fairly mad at him. Dame Archer brought the
cherub down to master, in the house, and his face just began to
light up, then the old croaker steps forward, and says he,
‘Earnshaw, it’s a blessing your wife has been spared to leave you
this son. When she came, I felt convinced we shouldn’t keep her
long; and now, I must tell you, the winter will probably finish her.
Don’t take on, and fret about it too much! it can’t be helped. And

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