Act Two

As the party and evening progress, two interesting events occur: a mysterious gypsy hag tells the ladies' fortunes and encourages Jane to follow her heart, and a stranger from Jamaica arrives, much to the distress of Rochester, and involves Jane in a night of blood and fear. Just when Jane feels she must again face separation from one she loves, due to Rochester's implied engagement to Miss Ingram, Rochester confesses in a moment of passion his love for Jane, proposing marriage and defying convention. Jane believes she has at last found happiness, but its doom is foreshadowed by lightning splitting a nearby tree

One month following Rochester's proposal to Jane, and on the night before the wedding, Jane finds herself the victim of bizarre happenings. Despite mysterious vandalism in her room, her wedding begins as planned, only to be interrupted by the exposure of a dark secret from Rochester's past which prohibits the marriage and their happiness. At this hour, Jane is tested to the core but remains true to herself and God by choosing separation, the most painful of her life. Rochester, who begged her to compromise, is also devastated by her leaving, but finds the strength within himself to change and follow Jane's example.

Jane flees Thornfield with nothing and nowhere to go, but a kind Providence who has seen her integrity deposits her on the doorstep of a family who will become her family, in every sense of the word. The pattern of separations now turns to a cycle of healing as Jane finds familial love and even inherits an uncle's fortune. But there is one more test for Jane, as her new-found cousin, St. John Rivers, requests her hand in what would be a missionary partnership in India. Wanting to do God's will, but knowing St. John does not love her as a husband should, Jane struggles to know what to do; at the same time, events are occurring at Thornfield which will change Rochester's life forever.

At a moment of peril, Jane hears Rochester call her name, and she knows what she must do. Returning to Thornfield, Jane finds it in ruins, and an old servant tells her of the recent tragedy and leads her to Rochester who, blind and crippled, waits by the splintered tree, which now shows new life in young shoots. Jane finds Rochester a better man; the impediment to their marriage is now gone, and their reunion is a sweet conclusion to the cycle of struggle and healing.

© 1998 Rebecca Thompson, Kari Skousen, Bill Kilpatrick