* I had not the least wish to go into company, for in company I was very rarely noticed 23 * I had never been called to Mrs. Reed’s presence; restricted so long to the nursery, the breakfast, dining, and drawing-rooms were become for me awful regions, on which it dismayed me to intrude. 24 * What a miserable little poltroon had fear, engendered of unjust punishment, made of me in those days! I feared to return to the nursery, and feared to go forward to the parlour; ten minutes I stood in agitated hesitation 24 * “Nothing, indeed,” thought I, as I struggled to repress a sob, and hastily wiped away some tears, the impotent evidences of my anguish.26 * “How dare I, Mrs. Reed? How dare I? Because it is the truth. You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity. I shall remember how you thrust me back—roughly and violently thrust me back—into the red-room, and locked me up there, to my dying day; though I was in agony; though I cried out, while suffocating with distress, ‘Have mercy! Have mercy, Aunt Reed!’ And that punishment you made me suffer because your wicked boy struck me—knocked me down for nothing. I will tell anybody who asks me questions, this exact tale. People think you a good woman, but you are bad, hard-hearted.
You are deceitful!” 28 * Ere I had finished this reply, my soul began to expand, to exult, with the strangest sense of