I looked: I saw a woman attired like a well-dressed servant, matronly,
yet still young; very good-looking, with black hair and eyes, and lively
"Well, who is it?" she asked, in a voice and with a smile I half
recognised; "you've not quite forgotten me, I think, Miss Jane?"
In another second I was embracing and kissing her rapturously: "Bessie!
Bessie! Bessie!" that was all I said; whereat she half laughed, half
cried, and we both went into the parlour. By the fire stood a little
fellow of three years old, in plaid frock and trousers.
"That is my little boy," said Bessie directly.
"Then you are married, Bessie?"
"Yes; nearly five years since to Robert Leaven, the coachman; and I've a
little girl besides Bobby there, that I've christened Jane."
"And you don't live at Gateshead?"
"I live at the lodge: the old porter has left."
"Well, and how do they all get on? Tell me everything about them,
Bessie: but sit down first; and, Bobby, come and sit on my knee, will
you?" but Bobby preferred sidling over to his mother.