As today is Women Writers day we have selected a text from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights
Cathy Linton’s Ghost
This time, I remembered I was lying in the room, and I heard distinctly the wind, and the driving of the snow; I heard, also, the tree branch repeat its sound, which annoyed me so much, that I resolved to silence it, if possible; and, I thought, I got up and tried to unhook the window. The hook was soldered into the staple: a circumstance observed by me when awake, but forgotten. ‘I must stop it, anyway!’ I said to myself, knocking my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an arm out to pick up the importunate branch that was hitting the window. Instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice said,
‘Let me in—let me in!’
‘Who are you?’ I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself.
‘Catherine Linton,’ it replied, shiveringly
(why did I think of Linton? I had read Earnshaw twenty times for Linton)
‘I’m come home: I’d lost my way on the moor!’
As it spoke, I discerned, obscurely, a child’s face looking through the window. Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes;
‘Let me in!’
and maintained its tenacious gripe, almost maddening me with fear. ‘How can I!’ I said at length. ‘Let me go, if you want me to let you in!’ The fingers relaxed, I snatched mine through the hole, hurriedly piled the books up in a pyramid against it, and stopped my ears to exclude the lamentable prayer. I seemed to keep them closed above a quarter of an hour; yet, the instant I listened again, there was the doleful cry moaning on! ‘
‘Begone!’ I shouted.
‘I’ll never let you in, not if you beg for twenty years.’
‘It is twenty years,’ mourned the voice: ‘twenty years. I’ve been waiting for twenty years!’
The pile of books started moving. I tried to jump up but couldn’t move so I cried aloud full of fright