when of a sudden his fingers relaxed



He had his hand in her hair; Hareton attempted to release the locks, entreating him not to hurt her that once. Heathcliff’s black eyes flashed; he seemed ready to tear Catherine in pieces, and I was just worked up to risk coming to the rescue; he shifted his grasp from her head to her arm, and gazed intently in her face. Then he drew his hand over his eyes, stood a moment to collect himself apparently, and turning anew to Catherine, said with assumed calmness: `You must learn to avoid putting me in a passion, or I shall really murder you some time! Go with Mrs Dean, and keep with her; and confine your insolence to her ears. As to Hareton Earnshaw, if I see him listen to you, I’ll send him seeking his bread where he can get it! Your love will make him an outcast and a beggar. Nelly, take her; and leave me all of you! Leave me!’

I led my young lady out: she was too glad of her escape to resist; the other followed, and Mr Heathcliff had the room to himself till dinner. I had counselled Catherine to get hers upstairs; but, as soon as he perceived her vacant seat, he sent me to call her. He spoke to none of us, ate very little, and went out directly afterwards, intimating that he should not return before evening.

The two new friends established themselves in the house during his absence; when I heard Hareton sternly check his cousin, on her offering a revelation of her father-in-law’s conduct to his father. He said he wouldn’t suffer a word to be uttered to him, in his disparagement: if he were the devil, it didn’t signify: he would stand by him; and he’d rather she would abuse himself, as she used to, than begin on Mr Heathcliff. Catherine was waxing cross at this; but he found means to make her hold her tongue, by asking how she would like him to speak ill of her father?

and then she comprehended that Earnshaw took the master’s reputation home to himself; and was attached by ties stronger than reason could break—chains, forged by habit, which it would be cruel to attempt to loosen. She showed a good heart, thenceforth, in avoiding both complaints and expressions of antipathy concerning Heathcliff; and confessed to me her sorrow that she had endeavoured to raise a bad spirit between him and Hareton: indeed, I don’t believe she has ever breathed a syllable, in the latter’s hearing, against her oppressor since.

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