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Guests at Thornfield Hall. Chapter 6




 

Two weeks later, a letter arrived for Mrs Fairfax.

'Mr Rochester will return on Thursday,' Mrs Fairfax said. 'Some of his friends will come here with him. There will be many guests at Thornfield Hall.'

On Thursday evening, Mrs Fairfax, Adиle and I were in Adиle's bedroom. Mrs Fairfax was looking out of the window.

'The guests are arriving now!' Mrs Fairfax said. I went to the window and I looked out. There were three carriages. Two people were riding horses. Mr Rochester was riding his big black horse. A beautiful young woman was riding a white horse.


 

Mrs Fairfax pointed to the young woman.

That is Miss Ingram,' the housekeeper said. Then she went downstairs.

Adиle wanted to go downstairs too.

'No, Adиle,' I said. 'We cannot go downstairs tonight. Mr Rochester is talking to his guests.'

The next day, Mrs Fairfax came into the school­room.

'Mr Rochester wants you to meet his guests tonight, Miss Eyre,' she said. 'Adиle must meet them too.'

Later, Adиle and I went quietly into the sitting- room. And soon, eight ladies came into the room. One of them was tall, dark and very beautiful. She was Blanche Ingram. Adиle ran towards her.

'Good evening, beautiful lady,' she said in French.

'What a pretty little girl!' Blanche Ingram said. Miss Ingram spoke to the other ladies. And she spoke to Adиle. But she did not speak to me.

Half an hour later, the gentlemen came into the room. I looked at Mr Rochester. He saw me, but he did not speak to me.

Miss Ingram pointed at Adиle. 'Why doesn't this little girl live at a school, Mr Rochester?' she asked.

'Adиle learns her lessons at home,' Mr Rochester replied. 'She has a governess.'

'Oh, yes. That small woman by the window,' Miss Ingram said. 'I had many governesses. I hated all of them. They were all ugly and stupid!'

Later, Miss Ingram and Mr Rochester sang some songs together. Mr Rochester had a fine voice. I lis­tened to the songs, then I left the room. Mr Rochester followed me.

'What is wrong, Jane?' he asked.

'Nothing is wrong, sir,' I said. 'But I am tired. I am going to my room. Goodnight, sir.'


'You are tired. And you are unhappy too,' Mr Rochester replied. 'There are tears in your eyes. Rest now, Jane. But please come and meet my guests tomor­row evening. Don't forget, my —, don't forget, Jane.'

The guests stayed at Thornfield Hall for two weeks. Every evening, 1 went to the sitting-room with Adиle. Nobody spoke to me. Mr Rochester and Miss Ingram were always together.

One afternoon, Mr Rochester went to Millcote. He returned late in the evening. I met him at the front door.

'Another guest has arrived, sir,' I told him. 'His name is Mr Mason. He has come from the West Indies.'

Suddenly, Mr Rochester's face was pale. He held my hand tightly.

'Mason. The West Indies. Mason —' he said.

'Are you ill, sir?' I asked.

'Jane, my little friend, I've had a shock,' he said. 'Bring me a glass of wine, please.'

I went quickly to the dining-room. I returned with a glass of wine and I gave it to Mr Rochester.

'What are my guests doing?' he asked.

'They are eating and laughing, sir,' I replied. 'Mr Mason is talking to the other guests.'

'One day, they will all hate me,' Mr Rochester said. 'Now go into the dining-room again. Tell Mason to meet me in the library.'

I gave Mr Mason the message. Then I went to my bedroom. I got into my bed.

Later, I heard Mr Rochester coming up the stairs with Mr Mason. They were laughing and talking. Soon, I was asleep.

 

 







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