Impossible to reply to this in the affirmative: my little world held a
contrary opinion: I was silent. Mrs. Reed answered for me by an
expressive shake of the head, adding soon, "Perhaps the less said on that
subject the better, Mr. Brocklehurst."
"Sorry indeed to hear it! she and I must have some talk;" and bending
from the perpendicular, he installed his person in the arm-chair opposite
Mrs. Reed's. "Come here," he said.
I stepped across the rug; he placed me square and straight before him.
What a face he had, now that it was almost on a level with mine! what a
great nose! and what a mouth! and what large prominent teeth!
"No sight so sad as that of a naughty child," he began, "especially a
naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?"
"They go to hell," was my ready and orthodox answer.
"And what is hell? Can you tell me that?"
"A pit full of fire."
"And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for
"What must you do to avoid it?"