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Chapter 10
A CHARMING introduction to a hermit's life! Four weeks' torture, tossing, and sickness!
Oh! these bleak winds and bitter northern skies, and impassable roads, and dilatory
country surgeons! And, oh, this dearth of the human physiognomy! and, worse than all,
the terrible intimation of Kenneth that I need not expect to be out of doors till spring.
Mr. Heathcliff has just honoured me with a call. About seven days ago he sent me a brace
of grouse---the last of the season. Scoundrel! He is not altogether guiltless in this illness
of mine; and that I had a great mind to tell him. But, alas! how could I offend a man who
was charitable enough to sit at my bedside a good hour, and talk on some other subject
than pills and draughts, blisters and leeches?
This is quite an easy interval. I am too weak to read; yet I feel as if I could enjoy
something interesting. Why not have up Mrs. Dean to finish her tale? I can recollect its
chief incidents as far as she had gone. Yes: I remember her hero had run off, and never
been heard of for three years; and the heroine was married. I'll ring: she'll be delighted to
find me capable of talking cheerfully.
Mrs. Dean came.
"It wants twenty minutes, sir, to taking the medicine," she commenced.
"Away, away with it!" I replied; "I desire to have-"
"The doctor says you must drop the powders."
"With all my heart! Don't interrupt me. Come and take your seat here. Keep your fingers
from that bitter phalanx of vials. Draw your knitting out of your pocket---that will do---
now continue the history of Mr. Heathcliff, from where you left off, to the present day.
Did he finish his education on the Continent, and come back a gentleman? or did he get a
sizer's place at college, or escape to America, and earn honours by drawing blood from
his foster-country? or make a fortune more promptly on the English highways?"
"He may have done a little in all these vocations, Mr. Lockwood; but I couldn't give my
word for any. I stated before that I didn't know how he gained his money; neither am I
aware of the means she took to raise his mind from the savage ignorance into which it
was sunk: but, with your leave, I'll proceed in my own fashion, if you think it will amuse
and not weary you. Are you feeling better this morning?"
"That's good news."