Chapter 20

"Where the devil is Rochester?” cried Colonel Dent. “I cannot find him in his bed.” / “Here! here!” was shouted in return. “Be composed, all of you: I’m coming.” / And the door at the end of the gallery opened, and Mr. Rochester advanced with a candle: he had just descended from the upper storey. One of the ladies ran to him directly; she seized his arm: it was Miss Ingram. / “What awful event has taken place?” said she. “Speak! let us know the worst at once!” / “But don’t pull me down or strangle me,” he replied: for the Misses Eshton were clinging about him now; and the two dowagers, in vast white wrappers, were bearing down on him like ships in full sail.

An easy-chair was near the bed-head: a man sat in it...he was still; his head leant back; his eyes were closed. Mr. Rochester held the candle over him; I recognised in his pale and seemingly lifeless face—the stranger, Mason: I saw too that his linen on one side, and one arm, was almost soaked in blood.
"Fairfax—” / “Well what is it?” / “Let her be taken care of; let her be treated as tenderly as may be: let her—” he stopped and burst into tears. / “I do my best; and have done it, and will do it,” was the answer: he shut up the chaise door, and the vehicle drove away. / “Yet would to God there was an end of all this!” added Mr. Rochester, as he closed and barred the heavy yard-gates.