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Chapter 15
ANOTHER week over—and I am so many days nearer health, and spring! I have 
now heard all my neighbour’s history, at different sittings, as the housekeeper could 
spare time from more important occupations. I’ll continue it in her own words, only 
a little condensed. She is, on the whole, a very fair narrator, and I don’t think I could 
improve her style.
In the evening, she said, the evening of my visit to the Heights, I knew, as well as 
if I saw him, that Mr. Heathcliff was about the place; and I shunned going out, because 
I still carried his letter in my pocket, and didn’t want to be threatened or teased any 
more. I had made up my mind not to give it till my master went somewhere, as I could 
not guess how its receipt would affect Catherine. The consequence was, that it did not 
reach her before the lapse of three days. The fourth was Sunday, and I brought it into 
her room after the family were gone to church. There was a man-servant left to keep 
the house with me, and we generally made a practice of locking the doors during the 
hours of service; but on that occasion the weather was so warm and pleasant that I set 
them wide open, and, to fulfil my engagement, as I knew who would be coming, I told 
my companion that the mistress wished very much for some oranges, and he must run 
over to the village and get a few, to be paid for on the morrow. He departed, and I went 
Mrs. Linton sat in a loose, white dress, with a light shawl over her shoulders, in the 
recess of the open window, as usual. Her thick, long hair had been partly removed at 
the beginning of her illness, and now she wore it simply combed in its natural tresses 
over her temples and neck. Her appearance was altered, as I had told Heathcliff; but 
when she was calm, there seemed unearthly beauty in the change. The flash of her 
eyes had been succeeded by a dreamy and melancholy softness; they no longer gave 
the impression of looking at the objects around her: they appeared always to gaze 

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Wuthering Heights, Chapter 15
beyond, and far beyond—you would have said out of this world. Then the paleness 
of her face—its haggard aspect having vanished as she recovered flesh—and the 
peculiar expression arising from her mental state, though painfully suggestive of their 
causes, added to the touching interest which she awakened; and—invariably to me, I 
know, and to any person who saw her, I should think—refuted more tangible proofs of 
convalescence, and stamped her as one doomed to decay.
A book lay spread on the sill before her, and the scarcely perceptible wind fluttered 
its leaves at intervals. I believe Linton had laid it there: for she never endeavoured 
to divert herself with reading, or occupation of any kind, and he would spend many 
an hour in trying to entice her attention to some subject which had formerly been 
her amusement. She was conscious of his aim, and in her better moods endured his 
efforts placidly, only showing their uselessness by now and then suppressing a wearied 
sigh, and checking him at last with the saddest of smiles and kisses. At other times
she would turn petulantly away, and hide her face in her hands, or even push him off 
angrily; and then he took care to let her alone, for he was certain of doing no good.
Gimmerton chapel bells were still ringing; and the full, mellow flow of the beck 
in the valley came soothingly on the ear. It was a sweet substitute for the yet absent 
murmur of the summer foliage, which drowned that music about the Grange when the 
trees were in leaf. At Wuthering Heights it always sounded on quiet days following 
a great thaw or a season of steady rain. And of Wuthering Heights Catherine was 
thinking as she listened: that is, if she thought or listened at all; but she had the vague, 
distant look I mentioned before, which expressed no recognition of material things 
either by ear or eye.
“There’s a letter for you, Mrs. Linton,” I said gently inserting it in one hand that 
rested on her knee. “You must read it immediately, because it wants an answer. Shall 
I break the seal?” “Yes,” she answered, without altering the direction of her eyes. I 
opened it—it was very short. “Now,” I continued, “read it.” She drew away her hand
and let it fall. I replaced it in her lap, and stood waiting till it should please her to 
glance down; but that movement was so long delayed that at last I resumed:
“Must I read it, ma’am? It is from Mr. Heathcliff.”
There was a start and a troubled gleam of recollection, and a struggle to arrange her 
ideas. She lifted the letter, and seemed to peruse it; and when she came to the signature 
she sighed; yet still I found she had not gathered its import, for, upon my desiring to 
hear her reply, she merely pointed to the name, and gazed at me with mournful and 
questioning eagerness.

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