One evening, another visitor came to Thornfield Hall. He was a well dressed
young man with dark hair. He said that his name was Mr Mason,
and that he and Mr Rochester were old friends. But Mr Rochester looked
alarmed when he saw him. His face turned white.
Mr Rochester and Mr Mason talked for a long time that night. They went
to bed very late. I woke up suddenly and heard a terrible scream from the
room above my bedroom. Then there was a lot of noise, as if people were
fighting. There was another loud scream.
'Help!' I heard a voice shout. 'Rochester! Come quickly! Help me!'
I heard doors opening and the sound of someone running. I put on my
clothes and opened my door. All the visitors were awake and standing
outside their doors.
'What's happened?' they cried. 'Is there a fire? Who screamed?'
Mr Rochester came down the stairs from the attic. His friends crowded
around him, asking him questions. 'Everything is all right,' he told them.
'But what has happened?' someone asked.
'One of the servants had a nightmare that is all. She's a very nervous
person. She thought that she saw a ghost, and so she screamed. There is no
need to worry. Please go back to bed now.'
One by one, Mr Rochester's friends went back to their rooms. I also went
back to my room, but soon afterwards, someone knocked at my door. I
opened it and saw Mr Rochester.
'Jane, can you come with me?' he asked. I knew from his voice that
something was very wrong.
'Yes, of course,' I said, and I followed him down the corridor and up the
stairs to the attic. He unlocked the door of the attic and we entered the
'Wait here,' he said. I stayed outside the door of another room, while he
unlocked it and went inside.
Then from behind this door I heard a terrible sound. It sounded like a
wounded animal, crying with rage. Once again I heard that cruel,
frightening laugh. Was Grace Poole inside that room? Mr Rochester came
out and locked the door again.
'Are you afraid of the sight of blood, Jane?' he asked me.
'I don't think so,' I replied.
'Then come into the room with me,' he said.
I entered the room and saw that Mr Mason was lying on a large bed. His
face was pale, and his eyes were closed. His white shirt was covered in
'Is he dead?' I asked.
'No,' Mr Rochester replied. 'He isn't badly hurt, but I must go and call a
doctor for him. Will you stay with him until I return?'
Mr Mason moved and tried to speak. Mr Rochester said to him,
'Don't try to talk, Mason. You must not speak to Jane while I am away.'
Mr Rochester left me alone with the injured man. He was away for a long
time and I was very frightened. Grace Poole was in the next room, and at
any moment she might come in and try to hurt Mr Mason or me.
After a very long time, Mr Rochester came back with the doctor. Mr
Rochester said to me,
'Thank you for your help, Jane. Mason is now going to leave Thornfield
Hall. The doctor will take him away to be cared for in a safe place.' I helped
Mr Rochester and the doctor to get Mr Mason down the stairs and out of the
'Take care of him, doctor,' said Mr Rochester. 'Soon he will be well
enough to go back to the West Indies.'
But before he got into the carriage, Mr Mason said something very strange.
'Look after her, Rochester. Promise to look after her.'
'Yes,' said Mr Rochester, and his face was very sad. 'I will always look
after her.' I wanted to go back to the house and to my bed, but Mr Rochester
put his hand on my arm. 'Don't go yet,' he said. 'Walk with me for a while.'
We walked together in the garden.
'What a night that was,' Mr Rochester said. 'Were you afraid, Jane?'
'Yes, I was,' I replied. 'While I waited for you in the attic, I heard
something in the next room... I heard a terrible laugh. Was it Grace Poole,
Mr Rochester? Will she go away now?'
'Don't worry about Grace Poole,' he said. He did not look at me as he
spoke. 'She will not harm you. It is Mason I fear. I will not be happy until
he is back in the West Indies.'
'But Mr Mason is a quiet and gentle man,' I said, surprised. 'I'm sure that
he will do what you tell him.'
'No, he'll not hurt me deliberately,' Mr Rochester replied.
'But he might say something without meaning to, which would do me
I was surprised when I heard this. 'Then you must tell him to be careful
about what he says.' I said.
Mr Rochester turned to look at me, and he laughed. 'It is not that simple,
Jane,' he said. We went back into the house together.