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


urged haste; my trunk was hoisted up; I was taken from Bessie’s
neck, to which I clung with kisses.

‘Be sure and take good care of her,’ cried she to the guard, as he
lifted me into the inside.

‘Ay, ay!’ was the answer: the door was slapped to, a voice
exclaimed ‘All right,’ and on we drove. Thus was I severed from
Bessie and Gateshead; thus whirled away to unknown, and, as I
then deemed, remote and mysterious regions.

I remember but little of the journey; I only know that the day
seemed to me of a preternatural length, and that we appeared to
travel over hundreds of miles of road. We passed through several
towns, and in one, a very large one, the coach stopped; the horses
were taken out, and the passengers alighted to dine. I was carried
into an inn, where the guard wanted me to have some dinner; but,
as I had no appetite, he left me in an immense room with a
fireplace at each end, a chandelier pendent from the ceiling, and a
little red gallery high up against the wall filled with musical
instruments. Here I walked about for a long time, feeling very
strange, and mortally apprehensive of some one coming in and
kidnapping me; for I believed in kidnappers, their exploits having
frequently figured in Bessie’s fireside chronicles. At last the guard
returned; once more I was stowed away in the coach, my protector
mounted his own seat, sounded his hollow horn, and away we
rattled over the ‘stony street’ of L___.

The afternoon came on wet and somewhat misty: as it waned into
dusk, I began to feel that we were getting very far indeed from
Gateshead: we ceased to pass through towns; the country changed;
great grey hills heaved up round the horizon: as twilight
deepened, we descended a valley, dark with wood, and long after
night had overclouded the prospect, I heard a wild wind rushing
amongst trees.

Lulled by the sound, I at last dropped asleep; I had not long
slumbered when the sudden cessation of motion awoke me; the
coach-door was open, and a person like a servant was standing at
it: I saw her face and dress by the light of the lamps.

‘Is there a little girl called Jane Eyre here?’ she asked. I answered
‘Yes’, and was then lifted out; my trunk was handed down, and the
coach instantly drove away.

I was stiff with long sitting, and bewildered with the noise and
motion of the coach: gathering my faculties, I looked about me.
Rain, wind, and darkness filled the air; nevertheless, I dimly
discerned a wall before me and a door open in it; through this door
I passed with my new guide: she shut and locked it behind her.
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