Jane Eyre (Chapter 5, page 2 of 11)

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Chapter 5

"Is she going by herself?" asked the porter's wife.


"And how far is it?"

"Fifty miles."

"What a long way! I wonder Mrs. Reed is not afraid to trust her so
far alone."

The coach drew up; there it was at the gates with its four horses
and its top laden with passengers: the guard and coachman loudly
urged haste; my trunk was hoisted up; I was taken from Bessie's
neck, to which I clung with kisses.

"Be sure and take good care of her," cried she to the guard, as he
lifted me into the inside.

"Ay, ay!" was the answer: the door was slapped to, a voice
exclaimed "All right," and on we drove. Thus was I severed from
Bessie and Gateshead; thus whirled away to unknown, and, as I then
deemed, remote and mysterious regions.

I remember but little of the journey; I only know that the day
seemed to me of a preternatural length, and that we appeared to
travel over hundreds of miles of road. We passed through several
towns, and in one, a very large one, the coach stopped; the horses
were taken out, and the passengers alighted to dine. I was carried
into an inn, where the guard wanted me to have some dinner; but, as
I had no appetite, he left me in an immense room with a fireplace at
each end, a chandelier pendent from the ceiling, and a little red
gallery high up against the wall filled with musical instruments.
Here I walked about for a long time, feeling very strange, and
mortally apprehensive of some one coming in and kidnapping me; for I
believed in kidnappers, their exploits having frequently figured in
Bessie's fireside chronicles. At last the guard returned; once more
I was stowed away in the coach, my protector mounted his own seat,
sounded his hollow horn, and away we rattled over the "stony street"
of L-.

The afternoon came on wet and somewhat misty: as it waned into
dusk, I began to feel that we were getting very far indeed from
Gateshead: we ceased to pass through towns; the country changed;
great grey hills heaved up round the horizon: as twilight deepened,
we descended a valley, dark with wood, and long after night had
overclouded the prospect, I heard a wild wind rushing amongst trees.

Lulled by the sound, I at last dropped asleep; I had not long
slumbered when the sudden cessation of motion awoke me; the coach-
door was open, and a person like a servant was standing at it: I
saw her face and dress by the light of the lamps.

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