This takes place right after Jane has spent her second night out in the fields after being turned away by the villagers.
I wandered in the fields, roving this way and that. I was beginning to feel the effects of inanition even more acutely than before.
Never before had my life and prospects seemed so bleak; I was a friendless wanderer, despised and cast out by my fellow men. I had read of stories of people in my condition taking refuge in the church, but that door was closed to me. At least for the present, till the curate returned.
Evening approached and with it the certainty of yet another frigid night, my very bones shrunk from the prospect of sleeping on the cold, algid ground.
But there was no help for it, I found a secluded spot in which to rest, a hollow at the base of a tree. I curled myself into it, pulling my cloak over me. But I did not find sleep; I was consumed by the bitterness of despair. I had loved, yet I must not. I felt more cast off by man at the moment than when I had been sent to Lowood. Tears trembled on my eye lids.
"Back you foolish harbinger of indulgent self-pity! I will have naught to do with you. I must stay strong, not give in to the abandonment of bathos." I sternly admonished myself.
But it was a struggle; I had to fight a mighty battle in my mind. For my love of Mr. Rochester was strong and would not yield without a struggle.
The edge of the moon rose over the moor, and the wind began to blow with a low keening.
I pulled my cloak closer over me, but it still offered negligible protection. I shivered watching as my breath frosted in the cold air.
My thoughts flew to Mr. Rochester, how was he fairing? What was he feeling at this moment? How was he reacting to my disappearance?
I remembered the evenings we spent in the library by the fire, how he would look sitting in his chair, I must stop this! It is madness, he is a married man!
I have to wonder if I am one of the souls predestined to be alone all of their lives, touching no one. I have lost all that were dear to my heart, Helen, Adel, Mrs. Fairfax. Mr. Rochester. The pain of being so wrenched from all I love is nigh unbearable, I know that I am not naturally suited to be so isolated, I thrive on congenial conversation, stimulating people. To have had it then to have it snatched away is almost worse than never having experienced it. For now I feel so acutely the loss of it.
If I could only have stayed with my Edward, no, Mr. Rochester.
Why did he have to do this, why must I still love him even though I know it is a sin? How long till I cease to feel as if my heart is being constricted to annihilation?
I fell into a fitful sleep, and woke before dawn, my limbs were cramped and numb, and my head was giddy. I had developed a hoarse cough in the night. I noticed my clothes were wet through from the heavy dew that had fallen, mud clung in patches to my skirt, I did my best to brush them away, but I could see that I had only made it worse. I looked around, I did not realize that I had strayed so far from the road, I was unsure how far it would be back to the village, but I had no choice, I must once again beg for my food. It was a humbling thing to be dependant on others for my sustenance, I would not have considered it if I had not been on the very edge of starvation. Maybe God was choosing to punish me for my pride and arrogance, maybe I was meant to suffer.
I set out on weary feet, stumbling as I trudged towards the village.
The sky was a sullen, leaden grey. The clouds hung heavy and low over the moor, and before long a heavy mist began to descend.
My clothes became even heavier as they drank in more water.
I walked for a mile over the cold desolate fields growing ever more faint and weak; till I was convinced that I was lost. I turned to retrace my steps, to find my way back to some human habitation - but then my limbs shuddered and grew heavy. I stumbled and fell onto the sweet moor grass - I was convinced that I was to die out in the fields like an animal.
In a cruel twist of fate, my brain remained very alert, lest my suffering be ameliorated prematurely.
I could feel the vibration all through my body of nerves too long strained past their breaking point. My mind began to dwell unbidden on the memories I had of gradually coming alive at Thornfield. I could see Mrs. Fairfax, and smell the tea that we shared so often. Hear Adel's sweet innocent laughter.
But then my body began to be wracked by terrible agues. I was no stranger to cold, but even at Lowood I had never felt a cold like this, it was a bitter and biting cold that seemed to consume my very bones.
I do not want to dwell too vividly on the next passage of time, suffice it to say by the coming of night I had descended into the weird dreams and fantastical horrors of delirium, no longer able to separate my fevered dreams from reality.
By the next sunrise I was close to deaths door, no longer knowing myself.
As I lay there waiting for death to come and claim me, I thought I heard voices in the distance, but I was too weak to call for help. They approached closer to me, then there rose a shouting that brought pain to my head - and then I was taken and born away. I had no idea who had taken me or where I was going, I apathetically let them do as they wished, for indeed I was too weak to resist if I had thought to.
I felt my head being lifted, then something was trickled into my mouth, it burned and caused me to choke, but after I had swallowed it I could feel the faintest vein of warmth run through my body. I felt blankets being heaped over me till I was oppressed by the weight of them.
I managed to open my eyes for a moment, all was indistinct to my eyes, I had difficulty focusing at first, then I saw I was with two men, but they were unfamiliar to me, one of the men seeing my eyes on him spoke to me, "Miss Eyre, we are taking you home." I could not help but wonder who Miss Eyre was.