"Jane Eyre"
by Charlotte Bronte

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     While I paced softly on, the last sound I expected to hear in so still a region, a laugh, struck my ear. It was a curious laugh; distinct, formal, mirthless. I stopped: the sound ceased, only for an instant; it began again, louder: for at first, though distinct, it was very low. It passed off in a clamorous peal that seemed to wake an echo in every lonely chamber; though it originated but in one, and I could have pointed out the door whence the accents issued.

     "Mrs. Fairfax!" I called out: for I now heard her descending the great stairs. "Did you hear that loud laugh? Who is it?"


     "Some of the servants, very likely," she answered: "perhaps Grace Poole."

     "Did you hear it?" I again inquired.

     "Yes, plainly: I often hear her: she sews in one of these rooms. Sometimes Leah is with her; they are frequently noisy together."

     The laugh was repeated in its low, syllabic tone, and terminated in an odd murmur.

     "Grace!" exclaimed Mrs. Fairfax.

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