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Jane Eyre: Novel Summary: Chapters 21-22

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Chapter 21: Jane begins the chapter by saying that she had never been one to believe in signs or presentiments, but she remembers when she was younger that a woman in the house had had a dream with an infant in it, believed that something bad was to come, and then got word that her sister was on her deathbed.  Jane says that she had had dreams for the last seven nights about infants.  She is called to the drawing room and there finds Robert, the coachman from Gateshead (and Bessie's husband).  He tells her that John Reed had killed himself after driving himself into debt and spending much of his mother's money.  Robert continues to say that Mrs. Reed had had a stroke and was now on her deathbed and had been calling for Jane.  Jane says that she will leave with him early the next morning and goes to ask Rochester's leave. 
Rochester is surprised when Jane asks for leave, as she had told him that she had no family.  She says that she had had none that would own her, and explains about the Reeds of Gateshead. Rochester tries to get Jane to promise that she will stay only a week, and when he gives her more money that he owes her for her wages, he then takes some back so that she will return for it and not stay away.  She mentions that since it seems that he is going to be married soon, it would be a good idea for him to put Adele in a school and for her to advertise for a new position.  He makes her promise that she will not advertise but will let him find her a new position.  She agrees as long as she and "Adele shall be both safe out of the house before [his] bride enters it."
When Jane reaches Gateshead, Bessie is glad to see her and says that the doctor has said that Mrs. Reed may linger a week or two.  Jane sees the Misses Reed, and they are not friendly to her, although they become better later.  Jane goes to see Mrs. Reed, but she is somewhat delirious and tells her to come back when she has rested.  She also then talks to her about Jane as if she is not Jane, saying that she had never liked her because she had never liked her mother because she was a favorite of her husband's.  Ten days pass and Jane does not see Mrs. Reed again, as she is delirious.
When Jane finally does get to talk to Mrs. Reed.  Mrs. Reed says that she must tell her of two wrongs that she had done her.  The first was sending her away after she had promised to take care of her, and for the other she tells Jane to take out a letter from her dressing case.  It is from John Eyre, Jane's uncle, and is dated three years before.  It says that he had come into some money and that he wanted Jane's address so that she could live with him and he could bequeath everything to her at his death since he is not married and is childless.  Mrs. Reed tells Jane that she had written back and told him that Jane had died in the fever outbreak at Lowood.  Jane takes the letter and tells Mrs. Reed that she forgives her.  Mrs. Reed dies that night.
Chapter 22: Mr. Rochester had asked Jane to be gone only a week, but already she had been gone more than a month when she finally begins her return to Thornfield.  She has heard from Mrs. Fairfax that the party at Thornfield had dispersed and that Mr. Rochester had gone to London for a few weeks to buy a new carriage in preparation for his upcoming marriage.  Jane does not tell Mrs. Fairfax the exact date of her arrival home, as she wants to walk to Thornfield.  As she nears the Hall, she sees Rochester writing in a book and he calls to her.  Rochester shows Jane the carriage and walks with her to the Hall.  Adele and Mrs. Fairfax are happy to see Jane, but Jane is full of grief at the upcoming separation when Rochester marries.  A fortnight passes with calm, and while Jane notices that Rochester never goes to see Miss Ingram, she writes that he had never called her more frequently to him and had never been nicer to her.


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