A LETTER, edged with black, announced the day of my master's return, Isabell_as dead; and he wrote to bid me get mourning for his daughter, and arrange _oom, and other accommodations, for his youthful nephew. Catherine ran wil_ith joy at the idea of welcoming her father back; and indulged most sanguin_nticipations of the innumerable excellencies of her 'real' cousin. Th_vening of their expected arrival came. Since early morning she had been bus_rdering her own small affairs; and now attired in her new black frock - poo_hing! her aunt's death impressed her with no definite sorrow - she oblige_e, by constant worrying, to walk with her down through the grounds to mee_hem.
'Linton is just six months younger than I am,' she chattered, as we strolle_eisurely over the swells and hollows of mossy turf, under shadow of th_rees. 'How delightful it will be to have him for a playfellow! Aunt Isabell_ent papa a beautiful lock of his hair; it was lighter than mine - mor_laxen, and quite as fine. I have it carefully preserved in a little glas_ox; and I've often thought what a pleasure it would be to see its owner. Oh!
I am happy - and papa, dear, dear papa! Come, Ellen, let us run! come, run.'
She ran, and returned and ran again, many times before my sober footstep_eached the gate, and then she seated herself on the grassy bank beside th_ath, and tried to wait patiently; but that was impossible: she couldn't b_till a minute.
'How long they are!' she exclaimed. 'Ah, I see, some dust on the road - the_re coming! No! When will they be here? May we not go a little way - half _ile, Ellen, only just half a mile? Do say Yes: to that clump of birches a_he turn!'
I refused staunchly. At length her suspense was ended: the travelling carriag_olled in sight. Miss Cathy shrieked and stretched out her arms as soon as sh_aught her father's face looking from the window. He descended, nearly a_ager as herself; and a considerable interval elapsed ere they had a though_o spare for any but themselves. While they exchanged caresses I took a pee_n to see after Linton. He was asleep in a corner, wrapped in a warm, fur-
lined cloak, as if it had been winter. A pale, delicate, effeminate boy, wh_ight have been taken for my master's younger brother, so strong was th_esemblance: but there was a sickly peevishness in his aspect that Edga_inton never had. The latter saw me looking; and having shaken hands, advise_e to close the door, and leave him undisturbed; for the journey had fatigue_im. Cathy would fain have taken one glance, but her father told her to come,
and they walked together up the park, while I hastened before to prepare th_ervants.
'Now, darling,' said Mr. Linton, addressing his daughter, as they halted a_he bottom of the front steps: 'your cousin is not so strong or so merry a_ou are, and he has lost his mother, remember, a very short time since;
therefore, don't expect him to play and run about with you directly. And don'_arass him much by talking: let him be quiet this evening, at least, wil_ou?'
'Yes, yes, papa,' answered Catherine: 'but I do want to see him; and he hasn'_nce looked out.'
The carriage stopped; and the sleeper being roused, was lifted to the groun_y his uncle.
'This is your cousin Cathy, Linton,' he said, putting their little hand_ogether. 'She's fond of you already; and mind you don't grieve her by cryin_o-night. Try to be cheerful now; the travelling is at an end, and you hav_othing to do but rest and amuse yourself as you please.'
'Let me go to bed, then,' answered the boy, shrinking from Catherine's salute;
and he put his fingers to remove incipient tears.
'Come, come, there's a good child,' I whispered, leading him in. 'You'll mak_er weep too - see how sorry she is for you!'
I do not know whether it was sorrow for him, but his cousin put on as sad _ountenance as himself, and returned to her father. All three entered, an_ounted to the library, where tea was laid ready. I proceeded to remov_inton's cap and mantle, and placed him on a chair by the table; but he was n_ooner seated than he began to cry afresh. My master inquired what was th_atter.
'I can't sit on a chair,' sobbed the boy.
'Go to the sofa, then, and Ellen shall bring you some tea,' answered his uncl_atiently.
He had been greatly tried, during the journey, I felt convinced, by hi_retful ailing charge. Linton slowly trailed himself off, and lay down. Cath_arried a footstool and her cup to his side. At first she sat silent; but tha_ould not last: she had resolved to make a pet of her little cousin, as sh_ould have him to be; and she commenced stroking his curls, and kissing hi_heek, and offering him tea in her saucer, like a baby. This pleased him, fo_e was not much better: he dried his eyes, and lightened into a faint smile.
'Oh, he'll do very well,' said the master to me, after watching them a minute.
'Very well, if we can keep him, Ellen. The company of a child of his own ag_ill instil new spirit into him soon, and by wishing for strength he'll gai_t.'
'Ay, if we can keep him!' I mused to myself; and sore misgivings came over m_hat there was slight hope of that. And then, I thought, how ever will tha_eakling live at Wuthering Heights? Between his father and Hareton, wha_laymates and instructors they'll be. Our doubts were presently decided - eve_arlier than I expected. I had just taken the children up-stairs, after te_as finished, and seen Linton asleep - he would not suffer me to leave hi_ill that was the case - I had come down, and was standing by the table in th_all, lighting a bedroom candle for Mr. Edgar, when a maid stepped out of th_itchen and informed me that Mr. Heathcliff's servant Joseph was at the door,
and wished to speak with the master.
'I shall ask him what he wants first,' I said, in considerable trepidation. '_ery unlikely hour to be troubling people, and the instant they have returne_rom a long journey. I don't think the master can see him.'
Joseph had advanced through the kitchen as I uttered these words, and no_resented himself in the hall. He was donned in his Sunday garments, with hi_ost sanctimonious and sourest face, and, holding his hat in one hand, and hi_tick in the other, he proceeded to clean his shoes on the mat.
'Good-evening, Joseph,' I said, coldly. 'What business brings you here to-
'It's Maister Linton I mun spake to,' he answered, waving me disdainfull_side.
'Mr. Linton is going to bed; unless you have something particular to say, I'_ure he won't hear it now,' I continued. 'You had better sit down in there,
and entrust your message to me.'
'Which is his rahm?' pursued the fellow, surveying the range of closed doors.
I perceived he was bent on refusing my mediation, so very reluctantly I wen_p to the library, and announced the unseasonable visitor, advising that h_hould be dismissed till next day. Mr. Linton had no time to empower me to d_o, for Joseph mounted close at my heels, and, pushing into the apartment,
planted himself at the far side of the table, with his two fists clapped o_he head of his stick, and began in an elevated tone, as if anticipatin_pposition -
'Hathecliff has sent me for his lad, and I munn't goa back 'bout him.'
Edgar Linton was silent a minute; an expression of exceeding sorrow overcas_is features: he would have pitied the child on his own account; but,
recalling Isabella's hopes and fears, and anxious wishes for her son, and he_ommendations of him to his care, he grieved bitterly at the prospect o_ielding him up, and searched in his heart how it might be avoided. No pla_ffered itself: the very exhibition of any desire to keep him would hav_endered the claimant more peremptory: there was nothing left but to resig_im. However, he was not going to rouse him from his sleep.
'Tell Mr. Heathcliff,' he answered calmly, 'that his son shall come t_uthering Heights to-morrow. He is in bed, and too tired to go the distanc_ow. You may also tell him that the mother of Linton desired him to remai_nder my guardianship; and, at present, his health is very precarious.'
'Noa!' said Joseph, giving a thud with his prop on the floor, and assuming a_uthoritative air. 'Noa! that means naught. Hathecliff maks noa 'count o' t'
mother, nor ye norther; but he'll heu' his lad; und I mun tak' him - soa no_e knaw!'
'You shall not to-night!' answered Linton decisively. 'Walk down stairs a_nce, and repeat to your master what I have said. Ellen, show him down. Go - '
And, aiding the indignant elder with a lift by the arm, he rid the room of hi_nd closed the door.
'Varrah weell!' shouted Joseph, as he slowly drew off. 'To-morn, he's com_isseln, and thrust HIM out, if ye darr!'