chapter xxviii of Jane Eyre this is a LibriVox recording all the prophets recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by elizabeth klett jane eyre by charlotte brontë chapter twenty eight two days have passed it is a summer evening the coachman has set me down at a place called whitcross he could take me no father for the summer had given and I was not possessed of another shilling in the world the coach is a mile off by this time I'm alone at this moment I discover that I forgot to take my parcel out of the pocket of the coach where I had placed it for safety there it remains there it must remain and now I am absolutely destitute whitcross is no town nor even a hamlet it is but a stone pillar set up where four roads meet whitewashed I supposed to be more obvious at a distance and in darkness for arms spring from its summit the nearest town to which this point is according to the inscription distant ten miles the farthest above twenty from the well-known names of these towns I learn in what county I have lighted a North Midland Shire dusk with moorland ridged with Mountain this I see there are great moors behind and on each hand of me there are waves of mountains far beyond that deep valley at my feet the population here must be thin and I see no passengers on these roads they stretch out east west north and south white broad lonely they are all cut in the mall and the heather grows deep and wild to their very verge yet a chance traveller might pass by and I wish no eye to see me now strangers would wonder what I'm doing lingering here at the signpost evidently objectless and lost I might be questioned I could give no answer but what would sound in de belen excites especial not a tie holds me to human society at this moment not a charm or hope calls me when my fellow-creatures are none that saw me would have a kind thought or a good wish for me I have no relative but the universal mother nature I will seek her breast and ask repose I struck straight into the heath I held on to a hollow I saw deeply following the brown Moorside I waded knee-deep in its dark growth I turned with its turnings and finding a moss blackened granite crag in a hidden angle I sat down under it high banks of moher were about me the crag protected my head the sky was over that some time passed before i felt a tranquil even here i had a vague dread that wild cattle might be near or that some sportsmen or poacher might discover me if a gust of wind swept the waist I looked up fearing it was the rush of a bull if a plover whistled I imagined it a man finding my apprehensions unfounded however and calmed by the deep silence that reigned as evening declined at nightfall I took confidence as yet I had not thought I had only listened watched dreaded now I regained the Faculty of reflection what was I to do where to go o intolerable questions when I could do nothing and go nowhere when a long way must yet be measured by my weary trembling limbs before I could reach human habitation when cold charity must be entreated before I could get a lodging reluctant sympathy importuned almost certain repulse incurred before my tale could be listened to or one of my once relieved I touched the heath it was dry and yet warm with the heat of the summer day I looked at the sky it was pure a kindly star twinkled just above the Kazon ridge the dew fell but with propitious softness no breeze whispered nature seemed to me benign and good I thought she loved me outcast as I was and I who from man could anticipate only mistrust projection insult clung to her with filial fondness tonight at least I would be her guest as I was a child my mother would Lodge me without money and without price I had one morsel of bread yet the remnant of a roll I had bought in a town we passed through at noon with a stray penny my last coin I saw ripe Bill Murray's gleaming here and there like jet beads in the heath I gathered a handful and ate them with the bread my hunger sharp before was if not satisfied appeased by this Hermits meal I said my evening prayers at its conclusion and then chose my couch beside the crag the Heath was very deep when I laid down my feet were buried in it rising high on each side it left only a narrow space for the night air to invade I folded my shawl double and spread it over me for a coverlet alone mossy swell was my pillow thus lodged I was not at least at the commencement of the night cold my rest might have been blissful enough only a sad heart broke it it planed of its gaping wounds its inward bleeding its ribbon cords gets trembled to mr. Rochester and his doom it bemoaned him with bitter pity it demanded him with ceaseless longing and impotent as a bird with both wings broken it still quivered it shattered pinions and vain attempts to seek him worn out with this torture of thought I rose to my knees night was come and her planets were risen a safe still night too serene for the companionship of fear we know that God is everywhere but certainly we feel his presence most when his works are on the grandest scale spread before us and it is in the unclouded night-sky we're his worlds wheel their silent course that we read clearest his infinitude his omnipotence his omnipresence I had risen to my knees to pray for mr. Rochester looking up I with tear-dimmed eyes saw the mighty Milky Way remembering what it was what countless systems they're swept spaced like a soft trace of light I felt the might and strength of God sure was I've his efficiency to save what he had made convinced I grew that neither earth should perish nor one of the souls it treasured I turned my prayer to Thanksgiving the source of life was also the savior of spirits mr. Rochester was safe he was God's and by God would he be guarded I again nestled to the breast of the hill and ere long and sleep forgot sorrow but next day want came to me pale and bare long after the little birds had left their nests long after bees had come in the sweet prime of day to gather the heath honey before the dew was dried when the long morning shadows were curtailed and the Sun filled earth and sky I got up and I looked round me what a still hot perfect day what a golden desert the spreading mall everywhere sunshine I wished I could live in it and on it I saw a lizard run over the crag I saw a be busy among the sweet bilberries I would fain at the moment have become be your lizard that I might have found fitting nutriment permanent shelter here but I was a human being and had a human beings once I must not linger where there was nothing to supply them I rose I looked back at the bed I had left hopeless of the future I wished for this that my maker had that night thought good to require my soul of me while I slept and that this weary frame absolved by death from further conflict with fate had now but to decay choir me and mingle in peace with the soil of this wilderness life however was yet in my possession with all its requirements and pains and responsibilities the burden must be carried the want provided for the suffering endured the responsibilities fulfilled I set out which cross regained I followed a road which led from the Sun now fervent and high by no other circumstance had I will to decide my choice I walked a long time and when I thought I had nearly done enough and might conscientiously yield to the fatigue that doe most overpowered me might relax this forced action and sitting down on the stone I saw near submit resistlessly to the apathy that clogged heart and limb I heard a bell chime a church bell I turned in the direction of the sound and there amongst the romantic hills whose changes and aspect I had ceased to note an hour ago I saw a hamlet and a spire all the valley at my right hand was full of pasture fields and cornfields and wood and a glittering stream ran zigzag through the varied shades of green the mellowing grain the sombre woodland the clear and sunny Lee recalled by the rumbling of wheels to the road before me I saw a heavily-laden waggon labouring up the hill and not far beyond were two cows and their drover human life and human labor with near I must struggle on strive to live and Bend toil like the rest about two o'clock p.m. I entered the village at the bottom of its one Street there was a little shop with some cakes of bread in the window I coveted a cake of bread with that refreshment I could perhaps regain a degree of energy without it it would be difficult to proceed the wish to have some strength and some vigour returned to me as soon as I was amongst my fellow beings I felt it would be degrading to faint with hunger on the causeway of a hamlet had I nothing about me I could offer in exchange from one of those rolls I considered I had a small silk handkerchief tied round my throat I had my gloves I could hardly tell how men and women in extremities of destitution proceeded I did not know whether either of these articles would be accepted probably they would not but I must try I entered the shop a woman was there seeing a respectably dressed person a lady as she supposed she came forward with civility how could she serve me I was seized with shame my tongue would not utter the requests I had prepared I dared not offer her the half worn gloves the creased handkerchief besides I felt it would be absurd I only beg permission to sit down a moment as I was tired disappointed in the expectation of a customer she coolly acceded to my request she pointed to a seat I sank into it I felt sorely to weep but conscious how unreasonable such a manifestation would be I restrained it soon I asked her if there were any dressmaker or plane work woman in the village yes two or three quite as many as there was employment for I reflected I was driven to the point now I was brought face to face with necessity I stood in the position of one without a resource without a friend without a coin I must do something what I must apply somewhere where did she know of any place in the neighborhood where a servant was wanted nay she couldn't say what was the chief trade in this place what did most of the people do some were farm labourers a good deal work to mr. Oliver's needle Factory and at the foundry did mr. Oliver employ women nay twas men's work and what do the women do and was the answer some does one thing in some another poor folk might get on as they can she seemed to be tired of my questions and indeed what claim had I to importing her a neighbor or two came in my chair was evidently wanted I took leave I passed up the street looking as I went at all the houses to the right hand and to the left but I could discover no pretext nor seen inducement to enter any I rambled round the hamlet going sometimes to a little distance and returning again for an hour or more much exhausted and suffering greatly now for one to food I turned aside into a lane and sat down under the hedge and many minutes had elapsed I was again on my feet however and again searching something a resource or at least an informant a pretty little house stood at the top of the lane with a garden before it exquisitely neat and brilliantly blooming I stopped at it what business had I to approach the white door a touch the glittering knocker in what way could it possibly be the interest of the inhabitants of that dwelling to serve me yet I drew near and not a mild looking cleanly attired young woman opened the door in such a voice as might be expected from a hopeless heart and fainting frame her voice wretchedly low and faltering I asked of a servant was wanted here no said she we do not keep a servant can you tell me where I could get employment of any kind I continued I am a stranger without acquaintance in this place I want some work no matter what but it was not her business to think for me or to seek place for me besides in her eyes how doubtful must have appeared my character position tale she shook her head she was sorry she could give me no information and the white door closed quite gently and civilly but had shut me out if she had held it open a little longer I believe I should have begged a piece of bread for hours now brought low I could not bear to return to the sordid village where besides no prospect of aid was visible I should have longed rather to deviate to abroad I saw not far off which appeared in its thick shade to offer inviting shelter but I was so sick so weak so Nord with nature's cravings instinct kept me roaming round abodes where there was a chance of food solitude would be no solitude rest no rest while the vulture hunger thus sank beaconed talons in my side I drew near houses I left them and came back again and again I wandered away always repelled by the consciousness of having no claim to ask no right to expect interest in my isolated lot meantime the afternoon advanced while i thus wandered about like a lost and starving dog in crossing a field i saw the church spire before me i hastened towards it near the church garden in the middle of the garden stood a well-built though small house which I had no doubt was the parsonage I remembered that strangers who arrived to place where they have no friends and who want employment sometimes apply to the clergyman for introduction and aid it is the clergyman's function to help at least with advice those who wish to help themselves I seem to have something like a right to seek counsel here renewing then my courage and gathering my feeble remains of strength I pushed on I reached the house and knocked at the kitchen door an old woman opened I asked resist the parsonage yes was the clergyman in no would he be ensued no he was gone from home to a distance not so far happened three mile he'd been called away by the sudden death of his father he was at marsh end now would very likely stay there a fortnight longer was there any lady of the house nay there was naught but her and she was housekeeper and of her reader I could not bear to ask the relief for want of which I was sinking I could not yet beg and again I crawled away once more I took off my handkerchief once more I thought of the cakes of bread in the little shop Oh for but a crust for but one mouthful to allay the pang of famine instinctively I turned my face again to the village I found the shop again and I went in and though others were there besides the woman I ventured the request would she give me a roll for this handkerchief she looked at me with evident suspicions nay she never sold stuff it that way almost desperate I asked for half a cake she again refused how could she tell where I had got the handkerchief she said would she take my gloves no what could she do with them Rita it is not pleasant to dwell on these details some say there is enjoyment and looking back to painful experience past but at this day I can scarcely bear to review the times to which I allude the moral degradation blend with the physical suffering formed too distressing a recollection ever to be willingly dwelt on I blamed none of those who repulsed me I felt it was what was to be expected and what could not be helped an ordinary beggar is frequently an object of suspicion a well-dressed beggar inevitably so to be sure what I begged was employment but whose business was it to provide me with employment naught certainly that of persons who saw me then for the first time as you knew nothing about my character and as to the woman who would not take my handkerchief in exchange for her bread while she was right if the offer appeared to her sinister at the exchange unprofitable let me condense now I am sick of the subject a little before dark I passed a farmhouse at the open door of which the farmer was sitting eating his supper of bread and cheese I stopped and said will you give me a piece of bread for I am very hungry he cast on me a glance of surprise but without answering he cut a thick slice from his loaf and gave it to me I imagine he did not think I was a beggar but only an eccentric sort of lady who had taken a fancy to his brown loaf as soon as I was out of side of his house I sat down and ate it I could not hope to get a lodging under a roof and sorted in the wood I had before alluded to but my night was wretched my rest broken the ground was damp the air cold besides intruders passed near me more than once and I had again and again change my quarters no sense of safety or tranquility prevented me towards morning it rained the whole of the following day was wet do not ask me reader to give a minut account of that day as before I sought work as before I was repulsed ass before I starved but one stood food past my lips at the door of a cottage I saw a little girl about to throw a mess of cold porridge into a pig trough will you give me that I asked she stared at me mother she exclaimed there is a woman wants me to give her these porridge well laughs replied a voice within give at her if she's a beggar to Pig don't want it the girl emptied the stiffened mould into my hand and I devoured it ravenously as the wet Twilight deepened I stopped in a solitary bridle-path which I had been pursuing an hour or more my strength is quite failing me I said in a soliloquy I feel I cannot go much farther shall I be an outcast again this night while the rain descends so must I lay my head on the cold drenched ground I fear I cannot do otherwise for who will receive me but it will be very dreadful with this feeling of hunger faintness chill and the sense of desolation this total prostration of hope in all likelihood though I should die before morning and why Cannot I reconcile myself to the prospect of death why do I struggle to retain a valueless life because I know or believe mr. Rochester is living and then to die of want and cold as a fate to which nature cannot submit passively how providence sustained me a little longer aid direct me my glazed eye wandered over the dim and Misty landscape I saw I had strayed far from the village it was quite out of sight the very cultivation surrounding it had disappeared I had by crossways and by paths once more drawn near the tract of moorland and now only a few fields almost as wild and unproductive as the heath from which they were scarcely reclaimed lay between me and the dusky Hill well I would rather die yonder than in the street or a frequented Road I reflected and far better that crows and ravens if any Ravens there be in these regions should pick my flesh from my bones than that they should be prisoned in a workhouse coffin and mold or a porpoise grave to the hill then I turned I reached it it remained now only to find a hollow where I could lie down and feel at least hidden if not secured but all the surface of the waste looked level it showed no variation but of tint green where rash and moss overgrew the marshes black with a dry soil bore only heath dark as it was getting I could still see these changes though but as mere alternations of light and shade for color had faded with the daylight my aysil roved over the southern swell and along the moor edge vanishing emits the wildest scenery when at one dim point far in among the marshes and the ridges a light sprang up that as an Ignace fattest was my first thought and I expected it would soon vanish it's burnt on however quite steadily neither receding nor advancing is it then a bonfire just kindled I questioned I watched to see whether it would spread but no as it did not diminish so it did not enlarge it maybe a candle and a house I then conjectured but if so I can never reach it it is much too far away and were it within a yard of me what would it avail I should but knock at the door to have it shut in my face and I sank down where I stood and hid my face against the ground I lay still awhile the night wind swept over the hill and over me and died moaning in the distance the rain fell fast wetting me afresh to the skin could i but have stiffened to the still frost the friendly numbness of death it might have pelted I should not have felt it but my yet living flesh shuddered at its chilling influence I Rose ere long the light was yet their shining dim but constant through the rain I tried to walk again I dragged my exhausted limbs slowly towards it he's led me a slant over the hill through a wide bog which would have been impassable in winter and was splashing and shaking even now in the height of summer here I fell twice but as often I rose and rallied my faculties this light was my full-on hope I must gain it having crossed the marsh I saw a trace of white over the moor I approached it it was a road or a track it led straight up to the light which now beamed from a sort of knoll amidst a clump of trees firs apparently from what I could distinguish up the character of their forms and foliage to the gloom my star vanished as I drew near some obstacle had intervened between me and it I put out my hand to feel the dark moths before me I discriminated the rough stones of a low wall above it something like Palisades and within a high and prickly hedge I groped on again a whitish object gleamed before me it was a gate a wicket it moved on its hinges as I touched it on each side stood a sable bush Holly or you entering the gate in passing the shrubs the silhouette of a house rose to view black low and rather long but the guiding light shown nowhere or was obscurity were the end mates retired to rest I feared it must be so in seeking the door I turned an angle there shot out the friendly gleam again from the laws honest panes of a very small latticed window within a foot of the ground made still smaller by the growth of ivy or some other creeping plant whose leaves clustered thick over the portion of the house wall in which it was set the aperture was so screened and narrow that curtain or shutter had been deemed unnecessary and when I stooped down and put aside the spray of foliage shooting over it I could see all within I could clearly a room with a sanded floor cleaned scoured her dresser of walnut with pewter plates ranged in rows reflecting the redness and radiance of a glowing peat fire I could see a clock a white deal table some chairs the candle whose raid been my beacon burnt on the table and by its light an elderly woman somewhat rough-looking but scrupulously clean my call about her was knitting a stocking I noticed these objects cursorily only in them there was nothing extraordinary a group of more interest appeared near the hearth sitting still amidst the rosy peace and warmth suffusing it too young graceful women ladies in every point sat one and a low rocking chair the other and a lower stool both wore deep mourning of crepe and bombazine which sombre garb singularly set off very fair necks and faces a large old pointed dog rest in its massive head on the knee of one girl in the lap of the other was cushioned a black cat a strange place was this humble kitchen for such occupants who were they they could not be the daughters of the elderly person at the table she looked like a rustic and they were all delicacy and cultivation I had nowhere seen such faces as theirs and yet as I gazed on them I seemed intimate with every lineaments call them handsome they were too pale and grave for the word as they each bent over a book they looked thoughtful omus to severity a stand between them supported a second candle and two great volumes to which they frequently referred comparing them seemingly with the smaller books they held in their hands like people consulting a dictionary to aid them in the task of translation this scene was as silent as if all the figures had been shadows and the file at apartment a picture so hushed was it I could hear the cinders fall from the grate the clock tick in its obscure corner and I even fancied I could distinguish the click a click of the woman's knitting needles when therefore a voice broke the strange stillness at last it was audible enough me listen Diana said one of the absorbed students Franz and old Daniel are together in the nighttime and France is telling a dream from which he has awakened in terror listen and in a low voice she read something of which not one word was intelligible to me for it was in an unknown tongue neither French in all Latin whether it were Greek or German I could not tell that is strong she said when she had finished I relish it the other girl who had lifted her head to listen to her sister repeated while she gazed at the fire a line of what had been read at a later day I knew the language and the book therefore I will here quote the line there when I first heard it it was only like a stroke on sounding brass to me conveying no meaning the trot hare Warriner ons was saying v - turnin nacht good good she exclaimed while her dark and deep eyes sparkled there you have a dim and mighty Archangel fitly set before you the line is worth a hundred pages of fustian Ivar Gerda Gedanken in - alla - soreness aunt de Vaca missed em Gavita - Grimm's I like it both were again silent is there only country where they talk of that way said the old woman looking up from her knitting yes Hannah a far larger country than England where they talk in no other way well for sure case I know and how they can understand to one t'other and if either you went over there you could tell what they said I guess we could probably tell something of what they said but not all if we are not as clever as you think us Hannah we don't speak German and we cannot read it without a dictionary to help us and what good does it do you we mean to teach it sometime or at least the elements as they say and then we shall get more money than we do now very like but give our study and you've done enough for tonight I think we have at least I'm tired Mary are you mortally after all it's tough work fagging away at language with no master but a lexicon it is especially such language as this crabbed but glorious Deutsch how wonder when Sinjin will come home surely he will not be long now it is just ten looking at a little gold watch she drew from her girdle it rains fast Hannah will you have the goodness to look at the fire in the parlor the woman rose she opened a door through which I dimly saw a passage soon I heard her stir a fire in an inner room she presently came back ah childer said she it fair troubles me to go into yonder room now it looked so lonesome with a chair empty and set back in a corner she wiped her eyes with her apron the two girls grave before looked sad now but he is in a better place continued Hannah we shouldn't wish him here again and then nobody need to have a quieter death nor he had you say he never mentioned us inquired one of the ladies he hadn't time Baron he was gone in a minute was your father he'd been a bit ailing like the day before but not to signify and when mr. Sinjin asked if he would like either II to be sent for he fair laughed at him he began again with a bit of heaviness in his head the next day that his fortnight sin and he went to sleep and never wake and he were almost stark when your brother went into the chamber and found him o childer that's to last the old stock for ye and mr. Sinjin is of like a different sort to them it's gone for all your mother warm itchy Erway and all must hiss book-learned she would have picked you remarry Dianna's more like your father I thought them so similar I could not tell where the old servant for such I now concluded her to be saw the difference both were fair complexioned and slenderly made both possessed faces full of distinction and intelligence one to be sure had hair a shade darker than the other and there was a difference in their style of wearing it Mary's pale brown locks were parted and braided smooth Diana's duskier tresses covered her neck with thick curls the clock struck ten he'll want her supper I'm sure observed Hannah and so will mr. Sinjin when he comes in and she proceeded to prepare the meal the lady's rose they seemed about to withdraw to the parlor till this moment I had been so intent on watching them their appearance and conversation had excited in me so keen an interest I had have forgotten my own wretched position now it recurred to me more desolate more desperate than ever it seemed from contrast and how impossible did it appear to touch the inmates of this house with concern on my behalf to make them believe in the truth of my wants and woes to induce them to vouchsafe arrest for my wanderings as I groped out the door and knocked dead at hesitatingly I felt that last idea to me a mere chimera Hannah opened what do you want she inquired in a voice of surprise as she surveyed me by the light of the candle she held may I speak to your mistresses I said you had better tell me what you have to say to them where do you come from I am a stranger what is your business here at this hour I want tonight's shelter in an outhouse or anywhere and a morsel of bread to eat distrust the very feeling I dreaded appeared in Hannah's face I'll give you a piece of bread she said after a pause but we can't take in a vagrant to lodge it isn't likely do let me speak to your mistresses no not I what can they do for you you should not be roving about now it looks very ill but where shall I go if you drive me away what shall I do oh I'll warrant you know where to go and what to do mind you don't do wrong that's all here is a penny now go penny cannot feed me and I have no strength to go Father don't shut the door oh don't for God's sake I must the rain is driving in tell the ladies let me see them indeed I will not you are not what you ought to be you wouldn't make such a noise move off but I must die if I am turned away not you I'm feared you'd have some ill plans a gate that brings about folks houses at this time a night if you many followers house breakers are such like anywhere near you may tell him we are not by ourselves in the house we have a gentleman and dogs and guns here the honest but inflexible servant clapped the door too and bolted it within this was the climax a pang of exquisite suffering a throw of true despair rent and heaved my heart worn-out indeed I was not another step could i stir i sank on the wet doorstep i groaned i wrung my hands i wept in utter anguish oh this spectre of death oh this last hour approaching in such horror alas this isolation this banishment from my kind not only the anchor of hope but the footing of fortitude was gone at least for a moment but the last I soon endeavored to regain I can but die I said and I believe in God let me try to wait his will and silence these words I not only thought but uttered and thrusting back all my misery into my heart I made an effort to compel it to remain there dumb and still all men must die said a voice quite close at hand but all are not condemned to meet a lingering and premature doom such as yours would be if you perished here of want who or what speaks I asked terrified at the unexpected sound and incapable now after riving from any occurrence a hope of aid her form was near what formed the pitch dark night and my enfeebled vision prevented me from distinguishing with a loud long knock the newcomer appealed to the door is a to mr. Sinjin cried Hannah yes yes open quickly well how wet and cold you must be such a wild night Tiz come in your sisters are quite uneasy about you and I believe they're a bad folks about there has been a beggar woman I declare she is not gone yet lay down there get up for shame move off I say hush Hannah I have a word to say to the woman you have done your duty in excluding now let me do mine in admitting her I was near and listened to both you and her I think this is a peculiar case I must at least examine into it young woman rise and passed before me into the house with difficulty I obeyed him presently I stood within that clean bright kitchen on the very half trembling sickening conscious of an aspect in the last degree ghastly wild and weather-beaten the two ladies their brother mr. Sinjin the old servant were all gazing at me Sinjin who is it I heard one ask I cannot tell I found her at the door was the reply she does look white said Hannah as white as clay or death was responded she will fall let her sit and indeed my head swam I dropped but a chair received me I still possessed my senses though just now I could not speak perhaps under water would restore her Hannah fetch some but she is worn to nothing how very thin and how very bloodless a mere spectre is she either only famished famished I think Hannah is that milk give it me and a piece of bread Diana I knew her by the long curls which I saw drooping between me and the fire as she bent over me broke some bread dipped it in milk and put it to my lips her face was near mine I saw there was pity in it and I felt sympathy in a hurry breathing in her simple words to the same bomb-like emotion spoke try to eat yes try repeated Mary gently and mary's hand removed my sodden bonnet and my head I tasted what they offered me feebly at first eagerly soon not too much at first restrain her said the brother she has had enough and he withdrew the cup of bilk in the plate of bread a little more Sinjin look at the avidity in her eyes no more at present sister tribe she can speak now ask her her name I felt I could speak and I answered my name is Jane Elliott anxious as ever to avoid discovery I had before resolved to assume an alias and where do you live where are your friends I was silent and can we send for anyone you know I shook my head what account can you give of yourself somehow now that I had once crossed the threshold of this house and once was brought face to face with its owners I felt no longer outcast vagrant and disowned by the wide world I dared to put off the mendicant to resume my natural manner and character I began once more to know myself and when mr. Sinjin demanded an account which at present I was far too weak to render I said after a brief pause sir I can give you no details tonight but what then said he do you expect me to do for you nothing I replied my strength sufficed but for short answers Diana took the word do you mean she asked that we have now given you what aids you require and that we may dismiss you to the moor in the rainy night I looked at her she had I thought a remarkable countenance instinct both with power and goodness I took sudden courage answering her compassionate gaze with a smile I said I will trust you if I were a masterless and stray dog I know that she would not turn me from your hath tonight as it is I really have no fear do with me and for me as you like the excuse me from much discourse my breath is short I feel a spasm when I speak all three surveyed me and all three were silent Hannah said mister Sinjin at last let us sit there at present and ask her no questions in ten minutes more give her the remainder of that milk and bread Mary and Diana let us go into the parlour and talk the matter over they withdrew very soon one of the ladies returned I could not tell which a kind of pleasant stupor was stealing over me as I sat by the genial fire in an undertone she gave some directions to Hannah ere long with the servants aid I contrived to mount a staircase my dripping clothes were removed soon a warm dry bed received me I thanked God experienced amidst unutterable exhaustion a glow of grateful joy and slept end of chapter 28
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Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre", a free-use public domain recording by Elizabeth Klett, courtesy of LibriVox: https://librivox.org/
Published in 1847, it follows the emotions & experiences of Jane, an orphan who survives neglect and abuse, including her growth to adulthood and her love for Mr. Rochester, the mysterious and brooding master of Thornfield Hall who hides a terrible secret.
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