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Chapter 20
TO obviate the danger of this threat being fulfilled, Mr. Linton commissioned me to take
the boy home early, on Catherine's pony; and, said he:
"As we shall now have no influence over his destiny, good or bad, you must say nothing
of where he is gone, to my daughter: she cannot associate with him hereafter, and it is
better for her to remain in ignorance of his proximity; lest she should be restless, and
anxious to visit the Heights. Merely tell her that his father sent for him suddenly, and he
has been obliged to leave us."
Linton was very reluctant to be roused from his bed at five o'clock, and quite astonished
to be informed that he must prepare for further travelling; but I softened off the matter by
stating that he was going to spend some time with his father, Mr. Heathcliff, who wished
to see him so much, he did not like to defer the pleasure till he should recover from his
late journey.
"My father!" he cried, in strange perplexity. "Mamma never told me I had a father. Where
does he live? I'd rather stay with uncle."
"He lives a little distance from the Grange," I replied; "just beyond those hills: not so far,
but you may walk over here when you get hearty. And you should be glad to go home,
and to see him. You must try to love him, as you did your mother, and then he will love
"But why have I not heard of him before?" asked Linton. "Why didn't mamma and he live
together, as other people do?"
"He had business to keep him in the north," I answered, "and your mother's health
required her to reside in the south."
"And why didn't mamma speak to me about him?" persevered the child. "She often talked
of uncle, and I learnt to love him long ago. How am I to love papa? I don't know him."
"Oh, all children love their parents," I said. "Your mother, perhaps, thought you would
want to be with him if she mentioned him often to you. Let us make haste. An early ride
on such a beautiful morning is much preferable to an hour's more sleep."
"Is she to go with us," he demanded: "the little girl I saw yesterday?"
"Not now," replied I.
"Is uncle?" he continued.