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第4节 第四章 【
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第四章
   

我们是些多么没用的三心二意的人啊!我,本来下决心摒弃所有世俗的来往。感谢我的福星高照,终于来到了一个简直都无法通行的地方——我,软弱的的可怜虫,与消沉和孤独苦斗直到黄昏,最后还是不得不扯起降旗。在丁太太送晚饭来时,我装着打听关于我的住所必需的东西,请她坐下来守着我吃,真诚地希望她是一个地道的爱絮叨的人,希望她的话不是使我兴高采烈,就是催我入眠。

“你在此地住了相当久了吧,”我开始说,“你不是说过有十六年了吗?”

“十八年啦,先生,我是在女主人结婚时,就跟过来伺候她的。她死后,主人就把我留下来当他的管家了。”

“哦。”

跟着一阵静默。我担心她不是一个爱絮叨的人,除非是关于她自己的事,而那些事又不能使我发生兴趣。但是,她沉思了一会,把拳头放在膝上,她那红红的脸上罩着一层冥想的云雾,突然失声叹道:

“啊,从那时起,世道可变得多厉害呀!”

“是的,”我说,“我猜想你看过不少变化了吧?”

“我见过,也见过不少烦恼哩。”她说。

“啊,我要把谈话转到我房东家里来了!”我思忖着。“谈这题目倒不错!还有那个漂亮的小寡妇,我很想知道她的历史。她是本地人呢,还是,更可能的是一个外乡人,因此这乖戾的本地居民就跟她合不来。”这样想着,我就问丁太太,为什么希刺克厉夫把画眉田庄出租,宁可住在一个地点与房屋都差得多的地方。“他难道还不够富裕得把产业好好整顿一下吗?”我问。

“富裕啊,先生!”她回答。“他有钱,谁也不知道他有多少钱,而且每年都增加。是啊,是啊,他富得足够让他住一所比这还好的房子。可是他有点——手紧。而且,假使他有意搬到画眉田庄的话,他一听见有个好房客,他就绝不会放弃这个多拿几百的机会。有的人孤孤单单地活在世上,可还要这么贪财,这真奇怪!”

“好像他有过一个儿子吧?”

“是的,有过一个——死啦。”

“那位年轻的太太,希刺克厉夫夫人,是他的遗孀吧?”

“是的。”

“她本来从哪儿来的?”

“哪,先生,她就是我那过世的主人的女儿啊;凯瑟琳·林惇是她的闺名。我把她带大的,可怜的东西!我真情愿希刺克厉夫先生搬到这儿来,那我们又可以在一起了。”

“什么?凯瑟琳·林惇!”我大为吃惊地叫道。可是只经过一分钟的回想,我就相信那不是我那鬼怪的凯瑟琳了。“那么,”我接着说,“我以前的房主人姓林惇啦?”

“是的。”

“那么跟希刺克厉夫先生同住的那个恩萧,哈里顿·恩萧又是谁呢?他们是亲戚吗?”

“不,他是过世的林惇夫人的侄子。”

“那么,是那年轻太太的表哥啦?”

“是的,她的丈夫也就是她的表兄弟:一个是母亲的内侄,一个是父亲的外甥;希刺克厉夫娶了林惇的妹妹。”

“我看见呼啸山庄的房子的前门上刻着‘恩萧’这个字。

他们是个古老的世家吧?”

“很古老的,先生,哈里顿是他们最后一个了,就像我们的凯蒂小姐也是我们最后一个——我意思是说林惇家的最后一个。你去过呼啸山庄吗?我冒昧地问一声,我很想打听她怎么样了!”

“希刺克厉夫夫人吗?她看上去很好,也很漂亮。可是,我想,不太快乐。”

“啊呀,那我倒不奇怪!你看那位主人怎么样?”

“简直是一个粗暴的人,丁太太。他的性格就是那样吗?”

“像锯齿一样地粗,像岩石一样地硬!你跟他越少来往越好。”

“他一生一定经历过一些坎坷,才使他变成这么一个粗暴的人吧。你知道一点他的经历吗?”

“就像一只布谷鸟的一生似的,先生——除了他生在哪儿,他的父母是谁,还有他当初怎么发财的以外,别的我全知道。哈里顿就像个羽毛还没长好的篱雀似的给扔出去了!在全教区里只有这不幸的孩子,是唯一的料想不到自己是怎么被欺骗的哩。”

“啊,丁太太,做做好事告诉我一点有关我邻居的事吧。我觉得要是我上床睡去,我也不会安心的,所以行行好坐下聊一个钟头吧。”

“啊,当然可以,先生!我就去拿点针线来,然后你要我坐多久,都可以。可是你着凉啦。我看见你直哆嗦,你得喝点粥去去寒气。”

这位可尊敬的女人匆匆忙忙地走开了,我朝炉火边更挨近些。我的头觉得发热,身上却发冷,而且,我的神经和大脑受刺激到发昏的地步。这使我觉得,不是不舒服,可是使我简直害怕(现在还害怕),唯恐今天和昨天的事会有严重的后果。她不久就回来了,带来一个热气腾腾的盆子,还有针线篮子。她把盆子放在炉台上后,又把椅子拉过来,显然发现有我作伴而高兴呢。

在我来这儿住之前——她开始说,不再等我邀请就讲开了——我差不多总是在呼啸山庄的。因为我母亲是带辛德雷·恩萧先生的,他就是哈里顿的父亲,我和孩子们也在一起玩惯了。我也给他们干杂活,帮忙割草,在庄园里荡来荡去,不管谁叫我作点什么我都作。一个晴朗的夏日清晨——我记得那是开始收获的时候——老主人恩萧先生下楼来,穿着要出远门的衣服。在他告诉了约瑟夫这一天要作些什么之后,他转过身来对着辛德雷、凯蒂和我——因为我正在跟他们一块儿吃粥——,他对他的儿子说:“喂,我的漂亮人儿,我今天要去利物浦啦。我给你带个什么回来呢?你喜欢什么就挑什么吧,只是要挑个小东西,因为我要走去走回:一趟六十英里,挺长一趟路哩!”辛德雷说要一把小提琴,然后他就问凯蒂小姐。她还不到六岁,可是她已经能骑上马厩里任何一匹马了,因而选择一根马鞭。他也没有忘掉我,因为他有一颗仁慈的心,虽然有时候他有点严厉。他答应给我带回来一口袋苹果和梨,然后他亲亲孩子们,说了声再会,就动身走了。

他走了三天,我们都觉得仿佛很久了,小凯蒂总要问起他什么时候回家来。第三天晚上恩萧夫人期待他在晚饭时候回来,她把晚饭一点钟一点钟的往后推迟。可是,没有他回来的征象。最后,孩子们连跑到大门口张望也腻了。天黑下来了,她要他们去睡,可是他们苦苦地哀求允许他们再待一会儿。在差不多十一点钟时,门闩轻轻地抬起来了,主人走进来。他倒在一把椅子上,又是笑又是哼,叫他们都站开,因为他都快累坏了——就是给他英伦三岛,他也不肯再走一趟了。

走到后来,就跟奔命似的!他说,打开他的大衣,这件大衣是被他裹成一团抱在怀里的。“瞧这儿,太太!我一辈子没有给任何东西搞得这么狼狈过,可是你一定得当作是上帝赐的礼物来接受,虽然他黑得简直像从魔鬼那儿来的。”

我们围拢来,我从凯蒂小姐的头上望过去,窥见一个肮脏的,穿得破破烂烂的黑头发的孩子。挺大了,已经该能走能说了。的确,他的脸望上去比凯瑟琳还显得年龄大些。可是,让他站在地上的时候,他只会四下呆望,叽哩咕噜地尽重复一些没有人能懂的话。我很害怕,恩萧夫人打算把他丢出门外。她可真跳起来了,质问他怎么想得出把那个野孩子带到家来,自己的孩子已够他们抚养的了。他到底打算怎么办,是不是疯了?主人想把事情解释一下,可是他真的累得半死。我在她的责骂声中,只能听出来是这么回事:他在利物浦的大街上看见这孩子快要饿死了,无家可归,又像哑巴一样。他就把他带着,打听是谁的孩子。他说,没有一个人知道他是谁家的孩子。他的钱和时间又都有限,想想还不如马上把他带回家,总比在那儿白白浪费时间好些。因为他已经决定既然发现了他就不能不管。那么,结局是我的主妇抱怨够了,安静了下来。恩萧先生吩咐我给他洗澡,换上干净衣服,让他跟孩子们一块睡。

在吵闹时,辛德雷和凯蒂先是甘心情愿地又看又听,直到秩序恢复,两个人就开始搜他们父亲的口袋,找他答应过的他们的礼物。辛德雷是一个十四岁的男孩,可是当他从大衣里拉出那只本来是小提琴,却已经挤成碎片的时候,他就放声大哭。至于凯蒂,当她听说主人只顾照料这个陌生人而失落了她的鞭子时,就向那小笨东西呲牙咧嘴啐了一口以发泄她的脾气,然而,她这样费劲却换了他父亲一记很响亮的耳光,这是教训她以后要规矩些。他们完全拒绝和他同床,甚至在他们屋里睡也不行。我也不比他们清醒,因此我就把他放在楼梯口上,希望他明天会走掉。不知是凑巧呢,还是他听见了主人的声音,他爬到恩萧先生的门前,而他一出房门就发现了他。当然他追问他怎么到那儿去的,我不得不承认。

就因为我的卑怯和狠心,我得了报应,被主人撵出家门。

这就是希刺克厉夫到这家来开头的情形。没过几天我回来了(因为我并不认为我的被撵是永远的),发现他们已经给他取了名,叫“希刺克厉夫”。那原是他们一个夭折了的儿子的名字,从此这就算他的名,也算他的姓。凯蒂小姐现在跟他很亲热,可是辛德雷恨他。说实话,我也恨他,于是我们就折磨他,可耻地欺负他,因为我还不能意识到我的不厚道,而女主人看见他受委屈时也从来没有替他说过一句话。

他看来是一个忧郁的、能忍耐的孩子,也许是由于受尽虐待而变得顽强了。他能忍受辛德雷的拳头,眼都不眨一下,也不掉一滴眼泪。我掐他,他也只是吸一口气,张大双眼,好像是他偶然伤害了自己,谁也不能怪似的。当老恩萧发现他的儿子这样虐待他所谓的可怜的孤儿时,这种逆来顺受使老恩萧冒火了。奇怪的是他特别喜欢希刺克厉夫,相信他所说的一切(关于说话,他其实难得开口,要说就总说实话),而爱他远胜过爱凯蒂,凯蒂可是太调皮、太不规矩,够不上充当宠儿。

所以,一开始,他就在这家里惹起了恶感。不到两年,恩萧夫人死去,这时小主人已经学会把他父亲当作一个压迫者而不是当作朋友,而把希刺克厉夫当作一个篡夺他父亲的情感和他的特权的人。他盘算着这些侮辱,心里越发气不过。有一阵我还同情他,但当孩子们都出麻疹时,我看护他们,担负起一个女人的责任,我就改变想法了。希刺克厉夫病得很危险。当他病得最厉害时,他总是要我常在他枕旁。我料想他是觉得我帮他不少忙,还猜不出我是不得已的。无论如何,我得说:他可是做保姆的所从未看护过的最安静的孩子。他与别的孩子不同,迫使我不得不少偏一点心。凯蒂和她哥哥把我磨得要命,他却像个羊羔似的毫不抱怨——虽然他不大麻烦人是出于顽强,而不是出于宽厚。

他死里逃生,医生肯定说这多亏我,并且称赞我看护得好。我因为他的赞赏而得意。对于这个因他而使我受了称赞的孩子,也就软化了。就这样辛德雷失去了他最后一个同盟者。不过我还是不能疼爱希刺克厉夫,我常常奇怪我主人在这阴沉的孩子身上看出哪一点会让他这么喜欢。根据我的记忆,这孩子可从来没有过任何感激的表示以报答他的宠爱。他对他的恩人并非无礼,他只是漫不经心。虽然他完全知道他已经占有了他的心,而且很明白他只要一开口,全家就不得不服从他的愿望。举一个例子,我记得有一次恩萧先生在教区的市集上买来一对小马,给他们一人匹。希刺克厉夫挑了那最漂亮的一匹,可是不久它跛了,当他一发现,他就对辛德雷说:

“你非跟我换马不可。我不喜欢我的了。你要是不肯,我就告诉你父亲,你这星期抽过我三次,还要把我的胳臂给他看,一直青到肩膀上呢。”

辛德雷伸出舌头,又打他耳光。

“你最好马上换,“他坚持着,逃到门廊上(他们是在马厩里)又坚持说:“你非换不可,要是我说出来你打我,你可要连本带利挨一顿。”

“滚开,狗!”辛德雷大叫,用一个称土豆和稻草的秤砣吓唬他。

“扔吧,”他回答,站着不动,“我要告诉他你怎么吹牛说等他一死你就要把我赴出门外,看他会不会马上把你赶出去。”

辛德雷真扔了,打在他的胸上,他倒下去,可又马上踉跄地站起来,气也喘不过来,脸也白了。要不是我去阻止,他真要到主人跟前,只要把他当时的情况说明白,说出是谁惹的,那就会完全报了这个仇。

“吉普赛,那就把我的马拿去吧,”小恩萧说,“我但愿这匹马会把你的脖子跌断。把它拿去,该死的,你这讨饭的碍事的人,把我父亲所有的东西都骗去吧。只是以后可别叫他看出你是什么东西,小魔鬼。记住:我希望它踢出你的脑浆!”

希刺克厉夫去解马缰,把它领到自己的马厩里去。他正走过马的身后,辛德雷结束他的咒骂,把他打倒在马蹄下,也没有停下来查看一下他是否如愿了,就尽快地跑掉了。我非常惊奇地看见这孩子如何冷静地挣扎起来,继续做他要做的事:换马鞍子等等,然后在他进屋以前先坐在一堆稻草上来压制住这重重的一拳所引起的恶心。我很容易地劝他把他那些伤痕归罪于马:他既然已经得到他所要的,扯点瞎话他也不在乎。的确他很少拿这类风波去告状,我真的以为他是个没有报仇心的人。我是完全受骗了,以后你就会知道的。


Chapter 4
   

What vain weather-cocks we are! I, who had determined to hold myself independent of all social intercourse, and thanked my stars that, at length, I had lighted on a spot where it was next to impracticable--I, weak wretch, after maintaining till dusk a struggle with low spirits and solitude, was finally compelled to strike my colours; and, under pretence of gaining information concerning the necessities of my establishment, I desired Mrs Dean, when she brought in supper, to sit down while I ate it; hoping sincerely she would prove a regular gossip, and either rouse me to animation or lull me to sleep by her talk. `You have lived here a considerable time,' I commenced; `did you not say sixteen years?'

`Eighteen, sir: I came, when the mistress was married, to wait on her; after she died, the master retained me for his housekeeper.'

`Indeed.'

There ensued a pause. She was not a gossip, I feared; unless about her own affairs, and those could hardly interest me. However, having studied for an interval, with a fist on either knee, and a cloud of meditation over her ruddy countenance, she ejaculated:

`Ah, times are greatly changed since then!'

`Yes,' I remarked, `you've seen a good many alterations, I suppose?'

`I have: and troubles too,' she said.

`Oh, I'll turn the talk on my landlord's family!' I thought to myself. `A good subject to start--and that pretty girl-widow, I should like to know her history: whether she be a native of the country, or, as is more probable, an exotic that the surly indigenae will not recognize for kin.' With this intention I asked Mrs Dean why Heathcliff let Thrushcross Grange, and preferred living in a situation and residence so much inferior. `Is he not rich enough to keep the estate in good order?' I inquired.

`Rich, sir!' she returned. `He has, nobody knows what money, and every year it increases. Yes, yes, he's rich enough to live in a finer house than this: but he's very near--close-handed; and, if he had meant to flit to Thrushcross Grange, as soon as he heard of a good tenant he could not have borne to miss the chance of getting a few hundreds more. It is strange people should be so greedy, when they are alone in the world!'

`He had a son, it seems?'

`Yes, he had one--he is dead.'

`And, that young lady, Mrs Heathcliff, is his widow?'

`Yes.

`Where did she come from originally?'

`Why, sir, she is my late master's daughter: Catherine Linton was her maiden name. I nursed her, poor thing! I did wish Mr Heathcliff would remove here, and then we might have been together again.'

`What! Catherine Linton?' I exclaimed, astonished. But a minute's reflection convinced me it was not my ghostly Catherine.

`Then,' I continued, `my predecessor's name was Linton?'

`It was.

`And who is that Earnshaw, Hareton Earnshaw, who lives with Mr Heathcliff? are they relations?'

`No; he is the late Mrs Linton's nephew.'

`The young lady's cousin, then?'

`Yes; and her husband was her cousin also: one on the mother's, the other on the father's side: Heathcliff married Mr Linton's sister.'

`I see the house at Wuthering Heights has "Earnshaw" carved over the front door. Are they an old family?'

`Very old, sir; and Hareton is the last of them, as our Miss Cathy is of us--I mean of the Lintons. Have you been to Wuthering Heights? I beg pardon for asking; but I should like to hear how she is!'

`Mrs Heathcliff? She looked very well, and very handsome; yet, I think, not very happy.'

`Oh dear, I don't wonder! And how did you like the master?' `A rough fellow, rather, Mrs Dean. Is not that his character?'

`Rough as a saw edge, and hard as whinstone! The less you meddle with him the better.'

`He must have had some ups and downs in life to make him such a churl. Do you know anything of his history?'

`It's a cuckoo's, sir--I know all about it: except where he was born, and who were his parents, and how he got his money, at first. And Hareton has been cast out like an unfledged dunnock! The unfortunate lad is the only one in all this parish that does not guess how he has been cheated.'

`Well, Mrs Dean, it will be a charitable deed to tell me something of my neighbours: I feel I shall not rest, if I go to bed; so be good enough to sit and chat an hour.'

`Oh, certainly, sir! I'll just fetch a little sewing, and then I'll sit as long as you please. But you've caught cold: I saw you shivering, and you must have some gruel to drive it out.'

The worthy woman bustled off, and I crouched nearer the fire; my head felt hot, and the rest of me chill: moreover, I was excited, almost to a pitch of foolishness, through my nerves and brain.

This caused me to feel, not uncomfortable, but rather fearful (as I am still) of serious effects from the incidents of today and yesterday. She returned presently, bringing a smoking basin and a basket of work; and, having placed the former on the hob, drew in her seat, evidently pleased to find me so companionable.

Before I came to live here, she commenced--waiting no further invitation to her story--I was almost always at Wuthering Heights; because my mother had nursed Mr Hindley Earnshaw, that was Hareton's father, and I got used to playing with the children: I ran errands too, and helped to make hay, and hung about the farm ready for anything that anybody would set me to. One fine summer morning--it was the beginning of harvest, I remember--Mr Earnshaw, the old master, came downstairs, dressed for a journey; and after he had told Joseph what was to be done during the day, he turned to Hindley, and Cathy, and me--for I sat eating my porridge with them--and he said, speaking to his son, `Now my bonny man, I'm going to Liverpool today, what shall I bring you? You may choose what you like: only let it be little, for I shall walk there and back: sixty miles each way, that is a long spell!' Hindley named a fiddle, and then he asked Miss Cathy; she was hardly six years old, but she could ride any horse in the stable, and she chose a whip. He did not forget me; for he had a kind heart, though he was rather severe sometimes. He promised to bring me a pocketful of apples and pears, and then he kissed his children goodbye and set off.

It seemed a long while to us all--the three days of his absence--and often did little Cathy ask when he would be home. Mrs Earnshaw expected him by supper time on the third evening, and she put the meal off hour after hour; there were no signs of his coming, however, and at last the children got tired of running down to the gate to look. Then it grew dark; she would have had them to bed, but they begged sadly to be allowed to stay up; and, just about eleven o'clock, the door latch was raised quietly and in stepped the master. He threw himself into a chair, laughing and groaning, and bid them all stand off, for he was nearly killed--he would not have such another walk for the three kingdoms.

`And at the end of it, to be flighted to death!' he said, opening his greatcoat, which he held bundled up in his arms. `See here, wife! I was never so beaten with anything in my life: but you must e'en take it as a gift of God; though it's as dark almost as if it came from the devil.'

We crowded round, and over Miss Cathy's head, I had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black-haired child; big enough both to walk and talk: indeed, its face looked older than Catherine's; yet, when it was set on its feet, it only stared round, and repeated over and over again some gibberish, that nobody could understand. I was frightened, and Mrs Earnshaw was ready to fling it out of doors: she did fly up, asking how he could fashion to bring that gipsy brat into the house, when they had their own bairns to feed and fend for? What he meant to do with it, and whether he were mad? The master tried to explain the matter; but he was really half dead with fatigue, and all that I could make out, amongst her scolding, was a tale of his seeing it starving, and houseless, and as good as dumb, in the streets of Liverpool; where he picked it up and inquired for its owner. Not a soul knew to whom it belonged, he said; and his money and time being both limited, he thought it better to take it home with him at once, than run into vain expenses there: because he was determined he would not leave it as he found it. Well, the conclusion was that my mistress grumbled herself calm; and Mr Earnshaw told me to wash it, and give it clean things, and let it sleep with the children.

Hindley and Cathy contented themselves with looking and listening till peace was restored: then, both began searching their father's pockets for the presents he had promised them. The former was a boy of fourteen, but when he drew out what had been a fiddle crushed to morsels in the greatcoat, he blubbered aloud; and Cathy, when she learned the master had lost her whip in attending on the stranger, showed her humour by grinning and spitting at the stupid little thing; earning for her pains a sound blow from her father to teach her cleaner manners. They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room; and I had no more sense, so I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it might be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house.

This was Heathcliff's first introduction to the family. On coming back a few days afterwards (for I did not consider my banishment perpetual) I found they had christened him `Heathcliff': it was the name of a son who died in childhood, and it has served him ever since, both for Christian and surname. Miss Cathy and he were now very thick; but Hindley hated him! and to say the truth I did the same; and we plagued and went on with him shamefully: for I wasn't reasonable enough to feel my injustice, and the mistress never put in a word on his behalf when she saw him wronged.

He seemed a sullen, patient child; hardened, perhaps, to ill-treatment: he would stand Hindley's blows without winking or shedding a tear, and my pinches moved him only to draw in a breath and open his eyes, as if he had hurt himself by accident and nobody was to blame. This endurance made old Earnshaw furious, when he discovered his son persecuting the poor, fatherless child, as he called him. He took to Heathcliff strangely, believing all he said (for that matter, he said precious little, and generally the truth), and petting him up far above Cathy, who was too mischievous and wayward for a favourite.

So, from the very beginning, he bred bad feeling in the house; and at Mrs Earnshaw's death, which happened in less than two years after, the young master had learned to regard his father as an oppressor rather than a friend, and Heathcliff as a usurper of his parent's affections and his privileges; and he grew bitter with brooding over these injuries. I sympathized awhile; but when the children fell ill of the measles, and I had to tend them, and take on me the cares of a woman at once, I changed my ideas. Heathcliff was dangerously sick: and while he lay at the worst he would have me constantly by his pillow: I suppose he felt I did a good deal for him, and he hadn't wit to guess that I was compelled to do it. However, I will say this, he was the quietest child that ever nurse watched over. The difference between him and the others forced me to be less partial. Cathy and her brother harassed me terribly: he was as uncomplaining as a lamb; though hardness, not gentleness, made him give little trouble.

He got through, and the doctor affirmed it was in a great measure owing to me, and praised me for my care. I was vain of his commendations, and softened towards the being by whose means I earned them, and thus Hindley lost his last ally: still I couldn't dote on Heathcliff, and I wondered often what my master saw to admire so much in the sullen boy, who never, to my recollection, repaid his indulgence by any sign of gratitude. He was not insolent to his benefactor, he was simply insensible; though knowing perfectly the hold he had on his heart, and conscious he had only to speak and all the house would be obliged to bend to his wishes. As an instance, I remember Mr Earnshaw once bought a couple of colts at the parish fair, and gave the lads each one. Heathcliff took the handsomest, but it soon fell lame, and when he discovered it, he said to Hindley--

`You must exchange horses with me: I don't like mine; and if you won't I shall tell your father of the three thrashings you've given me this week, and show him my arm, which is black to the shoulder.' Hindley put out his tongue and cuffed him over the ears. `You'd better do it at once,' he persisted, escaping to the porch (they were in the stable): `you will have to; and if I speak of these blows, you'll get them again with interest.' `Off, dog!' cried Hindley, threatening him with an iron weight used for weighing potatoes and hay. `Throw it,' he replied, standing still, `and then I'll tell how you boasted that you would turn me out of doors as soon as he died, and see whether he will not turn you out directly.' Hindley threw it, hitting him on the breast, and down he fell, but staggered up immediately, breathless and white; and, had not I prevented it, he would have gone just so to the master, and got full revenge by letting his condition plead for him, intimating who had caused it. `Take my colt, gipsy, then!' said young Earnshaw. `And I pray that he may break your neck: take him, and be damned, you beggarly interloper! and wheedle my father out of all he has: only afterwards show him what you are, imp of Satan.--And take that, I hope he'll kick out your brains!'

Heathcliff had gone to loose the beast, and shift it to his own stall; he was passing behind it, when Hindley finished his speech by knocking him under its feet, and without stopping to examine whether his hopes were fulfilled, ran away as fast as he could. I was surprised to witness how coolly the child gathered himself up, and went on with his intention; exchanging saddles and all, and then sitting down on a bundle of hay to overcome the qualm which the violent blow occasioned, before he entered the house. I persuaded him easily to let me lay the blame of his bruises on the horse: he minded little what tale was told since he had what he wanted. He complained so seldom, indeed, of such stirs as these, that I really thought him not vindictive: I was deceived completely, as you will hear.