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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Digital Library-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


‘We must go in,’ said Mr. Rochester: ‘the weather changes. I could
have sat with thee till morning, Jane.’ ‘And so,’ thought I, ‘could I
with you.’ I should have said so, perhaps, but a livid, vivid spark
leapt out of a cloud at which I was looking, and there was a crack,
a crash, and a close rattling peal; and I thought only of hiding my
dazzled eyes against Mr. Rochester’s shoulder.

The rain rushed down. He hurried me up the walk, through the
grounds, and into the house; but we were quite wet before we
could pass the threshold. He was taking off my shawl in the hall,
and shaking the water out of my loosened hair, when Mrs. Fairfax
emerged from her room. I did not observe her at first, nor did Mr.
Rochester. The lamp was lit. The dock was on the stroke of twelve.
‘Hasten to take off your wet things,’ said he; ‘and before you go,
good-nightgood-night, my darling!’ He kissed me repeatedly.
When I looked up, on leaving his arms, there stood the widow,
pale, grave, and amazed. I only smiled at her, and ran upstairs.
‘Explanation will do for another time,’ thought I. Still, when I
reached my chamber, I felt a pang at the idea she should even
temporarily misconstrue what she had seen. But joy soon effaced
every other feeling; and loud as the wind blew, near and deep as
the thunder crashed, fierce and frequent as the lightning gleamed,
cataract-like as the rain fell during a storm of two hours’ duration, I
experienced no fear and little awe. Mr. Rochester came thrice to my
door in the course of it, to ask if I was safe and tranquil: and that
was comfort, that was strength for anything.

Before I left my bed in the morning, little Adele came running in to
tell me that the great horse-chestnut at the bottom of the orchard
had been struck by lightning in the night, and half of it split away.
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