One evening, St John came to my house to see me when I was just
finishing painting a picture. He looked closely at some of my other pictures.
Then he tore a piece of paper off the bottom of one of the pictures and put
it in his pocket. I waited for him to say something, but he remained silent.
'How strange he is,' I thought.
Even though it snowed next day, and the weather was very cold, St John
came to see me again. I was very surprised to see him.
'Why are you here?' I asked him. 'Has something bad happened? Are your
sisters all right?'
'Don't worry,' he said. 'Diana and Mary are both well.'
St John sat down beside the fire and said nothing for a long time. I
wondered I what had made him come to see me on such a cold, dark night.
At last, he spoke. 'Jane, I know your story,' he told me. 'I know about your
parents, and Mrs Reed. I know about your time at Lowood and about Mr
Rochester. I also know about Mr Rochester's wife. I know why you came
here with no money. Mr Rochester must be a very bad man,' he said.
'No, no!' I cried. 'He isn't bad.'
'I have had a letter from a man in London, called Mr Briggs, who is
looking for someone called Jane Eyre,' St John said. 'You say that your name
is Jane Elliott, but I know that you are Jane Eyre. Look!' He showed me the
piece of paper from the bottom of my painting. My real name, Jane Eyre,
was on it.
'Does Mr Briggs know anything about Mr Rochester?' I asked.
'Does he know how Mr Rochester is?' I could only think about Mr
Rochester, because I still loved him.
'Mr Briggs said nothing about Mr Rochester,' said St John.
'His letter was about your uncle, Mr Eyre of Madeira. Mr Eyre is dead. He
left you all his money. You are very rich, Jane.'
I was so surprised that I was unable to speak for a long time.
I did not feel excited or happy. Instead, I wondered what it would mean to
'I don't understand,' I said, when I was able to speak again. 'Why did Mr
Briggs write to you?'
'Because,' said St John, 'Mr Eyre of Madeira was my mother's brother,
which means that he is also our uncle.'
'Then you and your sisters are my cousins,' I said, feeling happy now. 'We
can share the money between the four of us.
Diana and Mary can come home, and we can all live together.'
It was good to have money, after being poor for all of my life, but it was
even better to know that I had three cousins.
Diana and Mary came home just before Christmas. I worked happily to
make their old house comfortable. 'I know that Diana and Mary will like it,' I
thought. 'But what will St John think? He is such a strange man. He's hard
and cold, like a stone. Even though he's pleased to see his sisters, he does not
look really happy.'
I soon realised that St John was not content with just having money. He
still wanted to go to India. I was happy living with Diana and Mary, but I
still thought about Mr Rochester every day. Was he still at Thornfield? Was
he happy? I had to know, so I wrote to the lawyer, Mr Briggs. Mr Briggs
replied that he knew nothing about Mr Rochester. I wrote to Mrs Fairfax at
Thornfield Hall, but there was no reply. When a letter came for me at last, it
was from Mr Briggs about the money. I was so disappointed that I started to
St John came into the room while I was crying. 'Jane, come for a walk
with me,' he said.
'I want to talk to you.'
We walked together beside the river. St John was very quiet at first, but
then he turned and said to me, 'Jane, I'm going to India soon, and I want you
to come with me.'
I was very surprised by what he said. Why did he want me to go to India
with him? How could I help him? I was not strong like he was.
'I don't think I would be a very good helper for you, St John... ' I began to
'No, not as a helper. I want you to be my wife. If we get married, we can
work together in India. There are many poor people there who need our
It was hard to believe what St John was saying to me. I felt sure that he did
not love me. I knew that I did not love him, and that I could not marry him. I
still loved Mr Rochester.
'I can't work in India. I don't know how to help the poor people there. I'm
not like you, St John.'
'That doesn't matter,' St John replied. 'I shall tell you what to do. You will
soon learn. I saw how hard you worked in the village school. I know that
you will work hard in India, too.'
I said nothing while I thought about what St John had said.
He was my cousin and he needed my help. He was going to do good and
useful work in India. Maybe I should do as he asked?
'If I help you, then I must be free,' I said. 'You are like a brother to me. I
can't marry you.'
St John's face looked like stone. 'No, Jane, you must be my wife,' he said.
'I don't want a sister. I don't want you to marry another man, I want us to
stay together and work together until we die.'
I turned away from St John so that he could not see how upset I was, I
remembered my love for Mr Rochester. He had always been so kind and
gentle when he spoke to me. St John spoke coldly to me, and I knew that he
did not love me at all. He was a good man, but I knew that I would never
love him.What could I say to him?
'I am going away for two weeks, to visit friends,' said St John. 'When I
return, I will want to know your answer. I hope that you will agree to
marry me. It is the right thing for you to do, Jane. You can't stay here forever,
I saw Diana when I went back to the house. When she saw my unhappy
face, she asked, 'What is wrong, Jane? You look so pale and upset. What has
happened to you?'
'St John has asked me to marry him,' I said, miserably. 'That is wonderful,'
Diana cried, 'If you marry him, he will stay here in England with us, instead
of going to India.'
'No,' I said. 'He wants me to go to India with him.'
Diana looked surprised. 'But you can't go to India,' she said,
'You're not strong enough.'
'I won't go because I can't marry him,' I told her. 'I'm afraid that he's angry
with me, Diana. I know that he's a good man, but I don't think that he
understands how ordinary people feel.'
'Yes,' Diana said, seriously. 'My brother is a very good man, but
sometimes he appears to be hard and cold.'
I lay awake in my bed that night, and I thought about St John.
I could not decide what I should do. I knew that I did not love him, and I
was sure that he did not love me. But maybe I should go to India? The night
was very quiet. I could hear nothing in the darkness.
Suddenly, I thought that I heard a voice. 'Jane!' it called, 'Jane! Jane!'
（It was Mr Rochester's voice.）
'I am here, Mr Rochester.' I cried. 'Where are you? What is wrong?'
Was I dreaming? Perhaps, but it didn't matter. Somehow, I knew that Mr
Rochester needed me. 'I must go to him at once,' I thought.
The next day, I left once more for Thornfield Hall. It was a long journey,
and I decided to walk for the last two miles to the house.