Wuthering Heights - by Emily Bronte
This time, I remembered I was lying in the oak closet, and I heard
distinctly the gusty wind, and the driving of the snow; I heard,
also, the fir bough repeat its teasing sound, and ascribed it to
the right cause: but it annoyed me so much, that I resolved to
silence it, if possible; and, I thought, I rose and endeavoured to
unhasp the casement. The hook was soldered into the staple: a
circumstance observed by me when awake, but forgotten. 'I must
stop it, nevertheless!' I muttered, knocking my knuckles through
the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate
branch; 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 sobbed, '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 to and
fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes: still it
wailed, '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 a waif for twenty years!'