I stayed at the school until I was eighteen, and for the last two years I was
a teacher. I then decided that I wanted to see more of the world, and so I
advertised in a newspaper for a job.
In my advertisement, I said that I was a young teacher who wanted to
work as a governess to a family. I waited a long time for an answer. Then, at
last, I received a letter from a lady, Mrs Fairfax, who lived at a place called
Thornfield Hall. She wanted a governess for a little girl. I packed all my
things into a small bag, and set out to start a new life.
I was very excited when I first saw the house in which I was going to work.
It was very large, but it seemed very quiet.
Mrs Fairfax was waiting for me at the door. She was an old lady with a
'I am pleased to see you, Miss Eyre,' said Mrs Fairfax. 'You must be tired
after such a long journey. Sit down and rest. You will meet Adele later.'
'Is Adele my student?' I asked.
'Yes, she is nine years old. She is a little French girl, and Mr Rochester
wants you to teach her English.'
'Who is Mr Rochester?' I asked.
'Mr Rochester owns Thornfield,' she replied. 'I only work here. I am the
'Where is Mr Rochester now?' I asked.
'He is away,' she said. 'He does not come very often to Thornfield. I never
know when he will return.'
Next day I met Adele. She was a very pretty little girl, and at first I talked
to her in French. I began to teach her English, and I was glad that she
enjoyed her lessons. I liked Adele and I liked Mrs Fairfax, too. I was happy
at Thornfield, although it was very quiet. Sometimes I was a little bored, but
everyone was very kind to me.
One afternoon I walked to the village to post a letter for Mrs Fairfax. It
was winter, and the weather was very cold. There was ice on the road. As I
walked back to Thornfield Hall, I heard the sound of a horse on the road
behind me. I stood aside to let the horse go past. The rider did not see me.
He was a stranger with dark hair. Suddenly the horse slipped and fell
down on the ice. The man was lying in the road. As I ran forward to help, he
struggled to get up. 'Are you hurt, sir?' I asked.
For a moment, the stranger was not able to answer me.
Then he looked at me in surprise.
'Can I do anything to help?' I asked again.
'You can stand on one side while I catch my horse,' he replied.
But the horse managed to get up by itself, and I realized that it was the
stranger himself who was hurt. He tried to stand up, but his injured leg was
hurting too much. I helped him to get back onto his horse, and he rode away
without thanking me.
'Who is he?' I asked myself. 'He is not very handsome and not at all polite,
but he looks interesting. I would like to know him.'
When I arrived back at, everyone was very excited and busy. I asked Mrs
Fairfax what was happening. 'Mr Rochester has returned,' she said. 'But he may go away again soon. He wants to see you and Adele, Miss Eyre. Go and
put on your best dress. He will see you after dinner.'
After dinner, I took Adele to see Mr Rochester in his room. When I
entered the room, I stopped in surprise and stared at the man who was sitting
in the chair. It was the man who had fallen from his horse. The interesting
stranger was Mr Rochester!
Mr Rochester decided to stay at for a while. He was busy all day, but
sometimes he talked to me in the evening. He did not smile or laugh very
often, but he was an interesting man, and I was happy when I was with him.
I liked my life at Thornfield Hall.
One night long after I had gone to bed, I woke up suddenly. It was very
early in the morning. I thought that I heard something unusual. Everything
was silent, but I listened very carefully, and I heard the sound again.
Someone was moving about outside my room.
'Is anyone there?' I called. There was no answer. I felt worried and very
frightened. But the house was silent again, and after a while, I tried to go
back to sleep. But then I heard a laugh. It was a terrible, cruel, sound, which
made me quite cold with fear.
There was a sound of footsteps walking away, and going up the steps to
the attic. I could not sleep after that. I put on my clothes and went to find
Mrs Fairfax. I heard nothing now, but suddenly I realized that I could smell
smoke. It was coming from Mr Rochester's bedroom. I ran into the room and
saw that his bed was on fire. I tried to wake him, but he did not move. I
looked around the room, looking for something to put out the fire. I saw a
large jug of water on a small table. I picked it up and threw the water onto
the burning bed. Then, Mr Rochester woke up.
'What's happening?' he cried. 'Is that you, Jane? What is wrong?'
'You must get up, Mr Rochester,' I said. 'Your bed was on fire, but I have
put it out 1 now.'
He got out of bed quickly. The water was everywhere and there was still
smoke from the fire.
'Jane, you have saved my life,' he said. 'What made you wake up? How did
you know about the fire?'
I told him about the noise I had heard outside my room, and the strange
Mr Rochester looked upset and angry. 'I must go upstairs to the attic,' he
told me. 'Stay here and wait for me. Do not leave the room. Don't tell anyone
what has happened.'
I waited in the room for a long time. At last, Mr Rochester came back. 'Go
back to bed now, Jane,' he said. 'Everything is all right. You are quite safe.'
Next day, I asked Mrs Fairfax, 'Who lives in the attic?'
'A woman called Grace Poole,' she answered. 'She is one of the servants.
She's a little strange.'
I remembered Grace Poole. She was a large, silent woman who did not
speak to the other servants in the house. Perhaps it was Grace Poole who
wandered around the house at night, and laughed outside my door?
In the evening, when Adele had finished her lessons, I went to talk to Mrs
'Mr Rochester left the house early today,' she told me. 'He says that he is
going to stay with friends. He didn't say when he will come back.'
The house was very quiet while he was away. Mr Rochester stayed with
his friends for a few weeks, and I continued to teach Adele her lessons. I did
not hear the strange laugh again.
When I returned from a walk one day, I found that Mrs Fairfax and the
servants were very excited. Mrs Fairfax showed me a letter which she had
received from Mr Rochester. 'He is coming back tomorrow,'
She said. 'He is bringing some of his friends with him. We are going to be
very busy with so many visitors in the house. Miss Blanche Ingram is
coming, too. She is very beautiful and very rich.'
Mr Rochester and his friends arrived the next day. Mrs Fairfax was right
when she said that Miss Ingram was beautiful. But she was proud too, and
didn't seem to notice me.
I was too poor and unimportant. But she was very interested in Mr
Rochester. They talked a lot together, and often went horse-riding.
'I think that Mr Rochester might marry Miss Ingram,' I said to Mrs Fairfax.