Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers

Help / FAQ

<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

again, our infernal witness-“the easy and perfect way to meet it. I’ve done my best, but
I’ve lost you.

Goodbye.” For Mrs. Grose I had an imperative, an almost frantic “Go, go!” before
which, in infinite distress, but mutely possessed of the little girl and clearly convinced,
in spite of her blindness, that something awful had occurred and some collapse
engulfed us, she retreated, by the way we had come, as fast as she could move.

Of what first happened when I was left alone I had no subsequent memory. I only
knew that at the end of, I suppose, a quarter of an hour, an odorous dampness and
roughness, chilling and piercing my trouble, had made me understand that I must have
thrown myself, on my face, on the ground and given way to a wildness of grief. I must
have lain there long and cried and sobbed, for when I raised my head the day was
almost done. I got up and looked a moment, through the twilight, at the gray pool and
its blank, haunted edge, and then I took, back to the house, my dreary and difficult
course. When I reached the gate in the fence the boat, to my surprise, was gone, so that
I had a fresh reflection to make on Flora’s extraordinary command of the situation. She
passed that night, by the most tacit, and I should add, were not the word so grotesque a
false note, the happiest of arrangements, with Mrs. Grose. I saw neither of them on my
return, but, on the other hand, as by an ambiguous compensation, I saw a great deal of

I saw-I can use no other phrase-so much of him that it was as if it were more than it
had ever been. No evening I had passed at Bly had the portentous quality of this one; in
spite of which-and in spite also of the deeper depths of consternation that had opened
beneath my feet-there was literally, in the ebbing actual, an extraordinarily sweet
sadness. On reaching the house I had never so much as looked for the boy; I had simply
gone straight to my room to change what I was wearing and to take in, at a glance,
much material testimony to Flora’s rupture.

Her little belongings had all been removed. When later, by the schoolroom fire, I was
served with tea by the usual maid, I indulged, on the article of my other pupil, in no
inquiry whatever. He had his freedom now-he might have it to the end! Well, he did
have it; and it consisted-in part at least-of his coming in at about eight o’clock and
sitting down with me in silence. On the removal of the tea things I had blown out the
candles and drawn my chair closer: I was conscious of a mortal coldness and felt as if I
should never again be warm. So, when he appeared, I was sitting in the glow with my
thoughts. He paused a moment by the door as if to look at me; then-as if to share them-
came to the other side of the hearth and sank into a chair. We sat there in absolute
stillness; yet he wanted, I felt, to be with me.
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

All Contents Copyright © All rights reserved.
Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.

About Us | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page

In Association with