I feared now to hear my own story.
I endeavoured to recall him to the main fact.
"And this lady?"
"This lady, ma'am," he answered, "turned out to be Mr. Rochester's wife!
The discovery was brought about in the strangest way.
There was a young lady, a governess at the Hall, that Mr. Rochester fell in" ----
"But the fire," I suggested.
"I'm coming to that, ma'am -- that Mr. Edward fell in love with.
The servants say they never saw anybody so much in love as he was: he was after her continually.
They used to watch him -- servants will, you know, ma'am --
and he set store on her past everything: for all, nobody but him thought her so very handsome.
She was a little small thing, they say, almost like a child.
I never saw her myself; but I've heard Leah, the house-maid, tell of her.
Leah liked her well enough.
Mr. Rochester was about forty, and this governess not twenty;
and you see, when gentlemen of his age fall in love with girls, they are often like as if they were bewitched.
Well, he would marry her."
"You shall tell me this part of the story another time," I said;
"but now I have a particular reason for wishing to hear all about the fire.
Was it suspected that this lunatic, Mrs. Rochester, had any hand in it?"
"You've hit it, ma'am: it's quite certain that it was her, and nobody but her, that set it going.