"Don't talk to me about her, John: I told you not to go near her; she is
not worthy of notice; I do not choose that either you or your sisters
should associate with her."
Here, leaning over the banister, I cried out suddenly, and without at all
deliberating on my words--
"They are not fit to associate with me."
Mrs. Reed was rather a stout woman; but, on hearing this strange and
audacious declaration, she ran nimbly up the stair, swept me like a
whirlwind into the nursery, and crushing me down on the edge of my crib,
dared me in an emphatic voice to rise from that place, or utter one
syllable during the remainder of the day.
"What would Uncle Reed say to you, if he were alive?" was my scarcely
voluntary demand. I say scarcely voluntary, for it seemed as if my
tongue pronounced words without my will consenting to their utterance:
something spoke out of me over which I had no control.