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Chapter 13
FOR two months the fugitives remained absent; in those two months, Mrs. Linton
encountered and conquered the worst shock of what was denominated a brain fever. No
mother could have nursed an only child more devotedly than Edgar tended her. Day and
night he was watching, and patiently enduring all the annoyances that irritable nerves and
a shaken reason could inflict; and, though Kenneth remarked that what he saved from the
grave would only recompense his care by forming the source of constant future anxiety---
in fact, that his health and strength were being sacrificed to preserve a mere ruin of
humanity---he knew no limits in gratitude and joy when Catherine's life was declared out
of danger; and hour after hour he would sit beside her, tracing the gradual return to bodily
health, and flattering his too sanguine hopes with the illusion that her mind would settle
back to its right balance also, and she would soon be entirely her former self.
The first time she left her chamber was at the commencement of the following March.
Mr. Linton had put on her pillow, in the morning, a handful of golden crocuses; her eye,
long stranger to any gleam of pleasure, caught them in waking, and shone delighted as
she gathered them eagerly together.
"These are the earliest flowers at the Heights," she exclaimed. "They remind me of soft
thaw winds, and warm sunshine, and nearly melted snow. Edgar, is there not a south
wind, and is not the snow almost gone?"
"The snow is quite gone down here, darling," replied her husband; "and I only see two
white spots on the whole range of moors: the sky is blue, and the larks are singing, and
the becks and brooks are all brim full. Catherine, last spring at this time, I was longing to
have you under this roof, now, I wish you were a mile or two up those hills: the air blows
so sweetly, I feel that it would cure you."
"I shall never be there but once more," said the invalid; "and then you'll leave me, and I
shall remain for ever. Next spring you'll long again to have me under this roof, and you'll
look back and think you were happy to-day."
Linton lavished on her the kindest caresses, and tried to cheer her by the fondest words;
but, vaguely regarding the flowers, she let the tears collect on her lashes and stream down
her cheeks unheeding.
We knew she was really better, and, therefore, decided that long confinement to a single
place produced much of this despondency, and it might be partially removed by a change
of scene.
The master told me to light a fire in the many-weeks-deserted parlour, and to set an easy-
chair in the sunshine by the window; and then he brought her down, and she sat a long