Esther is speaking about John Jarndyce,. Mr. Jarndyce is guardian to Richard, Ada, and Esther, and owner of Bleak House.
He began to rub his head again and to hint that he felt the wind. But it was a delightful instance of his kindness towards me that whether he rubbed his head, or walked about, or did both, his face was sure to recover its benignant expression as it looked at mine; and he was sure to turn comfortable again and put his hands in his pockets and stretch out his legs.
“Perhaps it would be best, first of all,” said I, “to ask Mr. Richard what he inclines to himself.”
“Exactly so,” he returned. “That’s what I mean! You know, just accustom yourself to talk it over, with your tact and in your quiet way, with him and Ada, and see what you all make of it. We are sure to come at the heart of the matter by your means, little woman.”
I really was frightened at the thought of the importance I was attaining and the number of things that were being confided to me. I had not meant this at all; I had meant that he should speak to Richard. But of course I said nothing in reply except that I would do my best, though I feared (I really felt it necessary to repeat this) that he thought me much more sagacious than I was. At which my guardian only laughed the pleasantest laugh I ever heard.
“Come!” he said, rising and pushing back his chair. “I think we may have done with the growlery for one day! Only a concluding word. Esther, my dear, do you wish to ask me anything?”
He looked so attentively at me that I looked attentively at him and felt sure I understood him.
“About myself, sir?” said I.
“Guardian,” said I, venturing to put my hand, which was suddenly colder than I could have wished, in his, “nothing! I am quite sure that if there were anything I ought to know or had any need to know, I should not have to ask you to tell it to me. If my whole reliance and confidence were not placed in you, I must have a hard heart indeed. I have nothing to ask you, nothing in the world.”
He drew my hand through his arm and we went away to look for Ada. From that hour I felt quite easy with him, quite unreserved, quite content to know no more, quite happy.
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