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<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

'ARE you pretty comfortable?'

Peggotty laughed, and answered in the affirmative.

'But really and truly, you know. Are you?' growled Mr. Barkis,
sliding nearer to her on the seat, and nudging her with his elbow.
'Are you? Really and truly pretty comfortable? Are you? Eh?'

At each of these inquiries Mr. Barkis shuffled nearer to her, and
gave her another nudge; so that at last we were all crowded
together in the left-hand corner of the cart, and I was so squeezed
that I could hardly bear it.

Peggotty calling his attention to my sufferings, Mr. Barkis gave me
a little more room at once, and got away by degrees. But I could
not help observing that he seemed to think he had hit upon a
wonderful expedient for expressing himself in a neat, agreeable,
and pointed manner, without the inconvenience of inventing
conversation. He manifestly chuckled over it for some time. By
and by he turned to Peggotty again, and repeating, 'Are you pretty
comfortable though?' bore down upon us as before, until the breath
was nearly edged out of my body. By and by he made another descent
upon us with the same inquiry, and the same result. At length, I
got up whenever I saw him coming, and standing on the foot-board,
pretended to look at the prospect; after which I did very well.

He was so polite as to stop at a public-house, expressly on our
account, and entertain us with broiled mutton and beer. Even when
Peggotty was in the act of drinking, he was seized with one of
those approaches, and almost choked her. But as we drew nearer to
the end of our journey, he had more to do and less time for
gallantry; and when we got on Yarmouth pavement, we were all too
much shaken and jolted, I apprehend, to have any leisure for
anything else.

Mr. Peggotty and Ham waited for us at the old place. They received
me and Peggotty in an affectionate manner, and shook hands with Mr.
Barkis, who, with his hat on the very back of his head, and a
shame-faced leer upon his countenance, and pervading his very legs,
presented but a vacant appearance, I thought. They each took one
of Peggotty's trunks, and we were going away, when Mr. Barkis
solemnly made a sign to me with his forefinger to come under an

'I say,' growled Mr. Barkis, 'it was all right.'
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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