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19. CHAPTER XIX
A LETTER, edged with black, announced the day of my master's return, Isabella was dead; and he wrote to bid me get mourning for his daughter, and arrange a room, and other accommodations, for his youthful nephew. Catherine ran wild with joy at the idea of welcoming her father back; and indulged most sanguine anticipations of the innumerable excellencies of her 'real' cousin. The evening of their expected arrival came. Since early morning she had been busy ordering her own small affairs; and now attired in her new black frock - poor thing! her aunt's death impressed her with no definite sorrow - she obliged me, by constant worrying, to walk with her down through the grounds to meet them.
'Linton is just six months younger than I am,' she chattered, as we strolled leisurely over the swells and hollows of mossy turf, under shadow of the trees. 'How delightful it will be to have him for a playfellow! Aunt Isabella sent papa a beautiful lock of his hair; it was lighter than mine - more flaxen, and quite as fine. I have it carefully preserved in a little glass box; and I've often thought what a pleasure it would be to see its owner. Oh! I am happy - and papa, dear, dear papa! Come, Ellen, let us run! come, run.'
She ran, and returned and ran again, many times before my sober footsteps reached the gate, and then she seated herself on the grassy bank beside the path, and tried to wait patiently; but that was impossible: she couldn't be still a minute.
'How long they are!' she exclaimed. 'Ah, I see, some dust on the road - they are coming! No! When will they be here? May we not go a little way - half a mile, Ellen, only just half a mile? Do say Yes: to that clump of birches at the turn!'
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