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A terrible night. Chapter 7






 

Some hours later, I woke up. A terrible cry had woken me. The moon was bright. Its light was shining through my window. I listened. Then I heard some­body shouting.

'Help! Help! Rochester, help me!' The voice came from the top corridor. 'Help! Help!'

I got out of bed and I put on a dress and some shoes. I opened my door. All the guests were in the corridor outside the bedrooms. They were all asking questions.

'What happened?' they asked. 'Is there a fire? Who is hurt? Where is Mr Rochester?'

'I am here!' Mr Rochester said. He was walking down the stairs from the top corridor.

'What is wrong, Mr Rochester?' Miss Ingram asked. 'What has happened?'

'Nothing is wrong,' Mr Rochester replied. 'One of the servants has had a bad dream. Go back to bed!'

I went back to my room. But something was wrong. I did not get into my bed. I waited. Soon, somebody knocked on my door. I opened the door. Mr Rochester was standing in the corridor.

'Jane, follow me. Do not make a sound,' Mr Rochester said.

We went up to the top corridor. Mr Rochester

unlocked a door and we went inside a room.

Mr Mason was sitting on a chair in the room. His face was pale. And his shirt was covered with blood! Then I heard a terrible laugh. The sound came from the next room.


 

'Grace Poole is a madwoman,' I thought. 'Why does Mr Rochester have a mad servant?'

Mr Rochester spoke quietly to Mr Mason.

'I am going to bring a doctor, Richard,' he said.

Then he spoke to me. 'Stay here, Jane. Wash Mr Mason's arm. But do not speak to him.'

Mr Rochester left the room. I washed Mr Mason's arm. We waited for Mr Rochester and the doctor. Mr Mason did not speak to me and I did not speak to him.

After two hours, Mr Rochester returned. The doctor was with him. The doctor looked at Mr Mason's arm.

'She bit me,' Mr Mason said. 'I came up here. I wanted to see her. I wanted to help her. But she bit me!'

'Be quiet now, Richard,' Mr Rochester said quickly.

The doctor put a bandage on Mr Mason's arm. Mr Rochester put Mr Mason's coat round the injured man's shoulders. Then he spoke to me again.

'Run downstairs, Jane. Unlock the small door at the side of the house,' he said. 'We will follow you.'

I went quickly downstairs and I opened the door. Outside the door, a servant was waiting with a carriage. Mr Mason and the doctor came out of the house. They got into the carriage. Then Mr Rochester came out of the house too. Mr Mason spoke to him through the window of the carriage.

'Help her. Be kind to her, Rochester,' he said.

'Yes, I will, Mason,' Mr Rochester said.

The servant drove the carriage away.

'Will you walk in the garden with me, Jane?' Mr Rochester asked. 'I do not want to sleep now.'

'Yes, I will, sir,' I said.

Soon, it was morning. The birds were beginning to sing. The flowers had a sweet smell.

'It has been a strange night, Jane,' Mr Rochester said. 'Were you frightened?'

'I am frightened of Grace Poole,' I said. 'She will hurt you, one day.'

'I am stronger than she is. She will not hurt me,' Mr Rochester said. He looked at me for a few moments. 'Are you my friend, Jane?' he asked me.

'Yes, sir. I will be your friend forever!' I replied.

Thank you, my dear,' Mr Rochester said. 'I have made mistakes. Now, I want to be happy. That is not wrong, is it, Jane?'

He stopped speaking for a minute. Then he said, 'Go into the house. I'll talk to you tomorrow.'

But the next day, I had a letter from Gateshead Hall, my Aunt Reed's house. The letter was from my Cousin Eliza.

 

 

I started the journey to my Aunt Reed's house immediately. I arrived there the next day. My Aunt Reed was very, very ill. She could not move. And she did not speak to me. I wanted to return to Thornfield Hall. I wanted to see Mr Rochester. But Eliza wanted me to stay at Gateshead Hall.

After three weeks, my aunt spoke to me at last. She spoke very slowly.

'Are you Jane Eyre?' she asked.

'Yes, Aunt Reed. I am Jane Eyre,' I replied.

'There is a letter for you,' Aunt Reed said. 'It is in my desk. Call Eliza, please. She will get the letter.'

Eliza came into the room. She opened the desk and she gave me a letter.


 

'Read the letter, Jane,' my aunt said. The letter had come from Madeira. But it was three years old.


 

'I answered that letter,' Aunt Reed said. 'I hated you, Jane. I did not want you to have your uncle's money. I wrote to John Eyre. I wrote, "Jane Eyre is dead. She died at Lowood School." I am sorry, Jane. I was wrong.'

Mrs Reed died that night. I left Gateshead Hall a few days later. I took my uncle's letter with me.

Mr Rochester met me at Thornfield Hall.

'Welcome back to my house,' he said. 'This is your home, Jane.'

'Thank you, sir,' I said. 'I am very happy here.'

Mr Rochester's guests had left. No other visitors came to Thornfield Hall. Every day, Mr Rochester and I talked together. And every day, I loved him more.







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