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on town; and Ingram was mentioning a Georgiana Reed of the
same place, who was much admired for her beauty a season or two
ago in London.’

‘John Reed is dead, too, sir: he ruined himself and half-ruined his
family, and is supposed to have committed suicide. The news so
shocked his mother that it brought on an apoplectic attack.’ ‘And
what good can you do her? Nonsense, Jane! I would never think of
running a hundred miles to see an old lady who will, perhaps, be
dead before you reach her: besides, you say she cast you off.’ ‘Yes,
sir, but that is long ago; and when her circumstances were very
different: I could not be easy to neglect her wishes now.’ ‘How
long will you stay?’ ‘As short a time as possible, sir.’ ‘Promise me
only to stay a week-’ ‘I had better not pass my word: I might be
obliged to break it.’ ‘At all events you will come back: you will not
be induced under any pretext to take up a permanent residence
with her?’ ‘Oh, no! I shall certainly return if all be well.’ ‘And who
goes with you? You don’t travel a hundred miles alone.’ ‘No, sir,
she has sent her coachman.’ ‘A person to be trusted?’ ‘Yes, sir, he
has lived ten years in the family.’

Mr. Rochester meditated. ‘When do you wish to go?’ ‘Early to-
morrow morning, sir.’ ‘Well, you must have some money; you
can’t travel without money, and I daresay you have not much: I
have given you no salary yet. How much have you in the world,
Jane?’ he asked, smiling.

I drew out my purse; a meagre thing it was. ‘Five shillings, sir.’ He
took the purse, poured the hoard into his palm, and chuckled over
it as if its scantiness amused him. Soon he produced his pocket-
book: ‘Here,’ said he, offering me a note; it was fifty pounds, and
he owed me but fifteen. I told him I had no change.

‘I don’t want change; you know that. Take your wages.’ I declined
accepting more than was my due. He scowled at first; then, as if
recollecting something, he said‘Right, right! Better not give you all
now: you would, perhaps, stay away three months if you had fifty
pounds. There are ten; is it not plenty?’ ‘Yes, sir, but now you owe
me five.’ ‘Come back for it, then; I am your banker for forty
pounds.’ ‘Mr. Rochester, I may as well mention another matter of
business to you while I have the opportunity.’ ‘Matter of business?
I am curious to hear it.’

‘You have as good as informed me, sir, that you are going shortly
to be married?’ ‘Yes; what then?’ ‘In that case, sir, Adele ought to
go to school: I am sure you will perceive the necessity of it.’ ‘To get
her out of my bride’s way, who might otherwise walk over her
rather too emphatically? There’s sense in the suggestion; not a
doubt of it. Adele, as you say, must go to school; and you, of
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