The Turn of the Screw
Henry James
Contributed by Cinderella Domino
Chapter 4
Summary

The shocked governess rushes back to the house and runs into Mrs. Grose. The governess at once feels very frightened and at the same time wants to spare her companion her fears-so she offers a vague pretext for her lateness and goes to bed without mentioning anything.

She feels nervous and very observant for the next few days, but can tell that none of the servants is playing a joke on her and assumes the man was some bold unscrupulous traveler. She throws herself into her work with the children, who are unremittingly charming and who teach her the freedom to be amused and to amuse. There’s only one area that remains a dark mystery to her: Miles’ bad conduct at school. She feels as though he himself has wordlessly made the charge absurd by his overwhelming innocence. Both children are so cherubic that they are almost impersonal. She suspects that the horrid school-world was the problem, not little Miles. In fact the children look so innocent that she feels as though they have no history and have never suffered in their lives. She finds no emotional trace of Miles ever having been punished at school. She knows she is under the children’s spell, but gives herself up to it. 

One evening she goes into the dining room to look for a pair of gloves. She sees them, and on the other side of a window directly behind them she sees the unknown man again. She turns cold, and both recognize each other. She understands that he has not come for her but for someone else. This gives her courage as it reminds her to protect the children. She runs outdoors to find the man, but he has vanished. She looks in the window where he looked, and gives Mrs. Grose the same shock she had received earlier. As Mrs. Grose hurries out to join her outside, the governess wonders why this has scared Mrs. Grose so much. 

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