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'it is of more importance than anything else - it is of paramount
importance - that my brother should not be disturbed or made
uncomfortable. I suppose I had better say yes.'
I thanked her, without making any demonstration of joy, lest it
should induce her to withdraw her assent. Nor could I help
thinking this a prudent course, since she looked at me out of the
pickle-jar, with as great an access of sourness as if her black
eyes had absorbed its contents. However, the permission was given,
and was never retracted; for when the month was out, Peggotty and
I were ready to depart.
Mr. Barkis came into the house for Peggotty's boxes. I had never
known him to pass the garden-gate before, but on this occasion he
came into the house. And he gave me a look as he shouldered the
largest box and went out, which I thought had meaning in it, if
meaning could ever be said to find its way into Mr. Barkis's
Peggotty was naturally in low spirits at leaving what had been her
home so many years, and where the two strong attachments of her
life - for my mother and myself - had been formed. She had been
walking in the churchyard, too, very early; and she got into the
cart, and sat in it with her handkerchief at her eyes.
So long as she remained in this condition, Mr. Barkis gave no sign
of life whatever. He sat in his usual place and attitude like a
great stuffed figure. But when she began to look about her, and to
speak to me, he nodded his head and grinned several times. I have
not the least notion at whom, or what he meant by it.
'It's a beautiful day, Mr. Barkis!' I said, as an act of
'It ain't bad,' said Mr. Barkis, who generally qualified his
speech, and rarely committed himself.
'Peggotty is quite comfortable now, Mr. Barkis,' I remarked, for
'Is she, though?' said Mr. Barkis.
After reflecting about it, with a sagacious air, Mr. Barkis eyed
her, and said: