The beginning of Hareton and Cathy
(Mr Lockwood's POV)
I was beginning to tire on the rickety road leading to Gimmerton. To my dismay, there had been no offer of transport from a local travelling with three extra horses around six miles back. How unfamiliar it still felt to be in the country, away from masses of buildings such as in London! Still, I endured, for soon I would arrive at Thrushcross Grange.
The latch on the door was unlocked, and a marginally familiar voice began: "Well, if it wasn't t man stopp'd by here just three months since! Mr Lockwood, is it?" She was the same elderly woman that I had encountered on my last visit; grey hair and a wrinkled, crooked smile that couldn't have been used very often!
"Yes, I suppose Mrs Dean is here?" I answered, stepping closer to the frame as mild drops of rain began to fall.
"She's in 't kitchen. T supper 'll be ready soon enough!" Her crackly voice replied.
"Then I shall not prolong my stay. I am due to the north in a few hours." I took off my hat, as the woman stepped aside allowing me into the hall.
"Mrs Dean." I called as my dreary eyes met her figure sat at the kitchen table.
"Bless my soul! Mr Lockwood! Why, I wasn't expecting you here never again! It mustn't be three months since you last passed through here." She rose from her seat, but I gestured for her to keep perched.
"I have business in the North, and I'm afraid I won't trouble you long, for I must be there before nightfall."
"You are welcome to supper; I wouldn't expect you to have had any dinner thus far on this fine summer's eve. Though, I have just spotted rain clouds creeping over the moors, sir."
"Yes, I felt a few drops on my shoulder, the way in." I replied, taking a seat beside her. "Tell me, Mrs Dean, what are that young pair, Catherine and Hareton, up to since last?" I was much too eager to hear her latest stories than to stay on the subject of small talk.
"Ah, Mr Lockwood. Since moving here, they have spent at least a dozen hundred days in the fields together! Inseparable, they are. Which, I cannot bring myself to speak is a bad thing. To see them young and prosper together fills my days with more than enough happiness to get on!"
"And so where are they at this moment?" I asked, searching the hall behind, though nobody lingered there.
"Out on the moors as we speak, sir! I dare say Cathy has brought out a venturous soul in that young man, and I wouldn't keep from saying I like to see it! Never have I seen him as content as he is with her, nor her with him. Not an hour goes by they aren't together." Mrs Dean rose to prepare the supper she had most likely planned for herself and the younger two.
How extraordinary. I thought to myself. To think they were once never in the least so fond of each other, and to see, or rather hear of, such a change in their attitudes. To relate that to Mr Heathcliff's death or not was no business of mine, and no business I wanted bothering with. With this decided, I skipped on the subject of his passing, and thought whether Hareton's reading had improved.
When this question was later asked, Mrs Dean answered, "He has improved greatly, Mr Lockwood. In good time he would be able to read a full book without stutter, I should think, with Cathy's enthusiastic spirit to guide him!" She began scraping the skins of potatoes, whilst I sipped at the saucer of tea placed before me.
Suddenly, I thought of the time, and glanced at the pocket watch in the lapel of my coat. "My goodness, Mrs Dean. It's been an hour since I stopped! I best be off at present."
"And stay not for supper, Mr Lockwood? What of your appetite? It is evening, and your stomach rumbles does it not?" She replied, turning. "Must you be where needed this very night, or cannot you travel in the morn?"
"What many a question, Mrs Dean!" I exclaimed. "However, I suppose my host shall not miss my presence, and so, only if my stay will not trouble you, I will accept your kind offer."
"Very well, Mr Lockwood, and I will arrange a cab for your exit the morrow, for I leave early for the groceries."
"Is there a room I should take my suitcase to?" I queried, rising from the chair.
"Leave that for later, now, we should have supper." She answered, taking the seat at the head of the small table. "But, wait for Cathy and Hareton, for that girl will find anything to complain about, not least of all us starting tea without her and Hareton."
Cathy and Hareton did not return from their stroll on the moors until a later hour, to find myself and Mrs Dean started the supper already, for fear of waiting until it ran cold.
"Well, Ellen, that is most unpleasant of you, to say grace without us!" She began, skipping into the dining room.
Hareton followed, walking politely without so much as a syllable.
"Ah, I see we have a guest!" She continued. "And I am quite sure I saw you not long ago." She said directly to me.
"Go and heat your supper Cathy, it has gone cold whilst you were out on your ramble!" Mrs Dean said before I could answer Miss Catherine, or rather Mrs Heathcliff!
"Very well." Cathy answered confidently, skipping on forth into the kitchen.
Hareton followed. He wore a loose white shirt, dirtied by the couple's ramble, and brown trousers, also grimy.
"That girl's got some cheek." Ellen murmured. "You must think me mad when I admit myself glad to see it though. Her defiance is what has brought her through the suffering Heathcliff gave her, as well as her father's and husband's death. Though I think she cared much less for Linton's. A strange death is what Heathcliff experienced. In his last hours he seemed happier than he had been since Catherine Earnshaw's existence."
"But why? Surely Catherine Earnshaw has enjoyed years in heaven, whilst Mr Heathcliff is to be sent to the depths of hell!" I exclaimed, thinking of his abrupt impertinent attitude.
"That is what it would seem, yet many say they walk the moors still, together. In some ways, it would not surprise me. For, as Catherine Earnshaw once said herself, they are as one: The same person in two different bodies. I am not sure that explanation is completely true, yet, in perspective, they are, or were, extremely alike in both selfishness, and in the way they loved." Spoke Mrs Dean.
"And is not the way they love, in itself, selfish?" I asked, enthralled even by Mrs Dean's short conclusions as I had been when she told the full story.
"Yes, Mr Lockwood, it is." She answered, and then rose, taking both hers and mines bowls to wash, just as Cathy and Hareton entered.
"Finished already, Ellen? If I didn't know better I would jump to the conclusion that you mean to skip the meal with me!" Cathy joked, setting her supper on the table.
"Ha! If I had the chance, Cathy!" Mrs Dean laughed in reply.
Cathy sat, and her and Hareton said grace shortly before commencing their meal hungrily.
Halfway, Hareton spoke directly to me: "Sit at t' fire, if you wish't, Mister..."
"Lockwood." I concluded. "If you don't terribly mind, I will accept." I rose and strode to the sofa by the fire, thinking the dining chairs quite uncomfortable.
In another quarter of an hour, Mrs Dean re-entered the room, and Cathy and Hareton exited, deciding to spend another hour or so outside until the sky was pitch black. It was a fine day, and though the evening brought a cool summer breeze as the sun set, the air still was warm.
"As I said; always outside." Mrs Dean commented, joining me on the sofa with some knitting as she watched them stroll into the garden as far as the wide window would allow her eyes to follow.
Hi Guys, thanks for Reading! I hope you liked it, and please review! :)
Special thanks to Tasha, also known as YouHereToFinishMeOffSweetheart, for helping me edit this Chapter! :D