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There was no other news in Peggotty's letters. Mr. Barkis was an
excellent husband, she said, though still a little near; but we all
had our faults, and she had plenty (though I am sure I don't know
what they were); and he sent his duty, and my little bedroom was
always ready for me. Mr. Peggotty was well, and Ham was well, and
Mrs.. Gummidge was but poorly, and little Em'ly wouldn't send her
love, but said that Peggotty might send it, if she liked.

All this intelligence I dutifully imparted to my aunt, only
reserving to myself the mention of little Em'ly, to whom I
instinctively felt that she would not very tenderly incline. While
I was yet new at Doctor Strong's, she made several excursions over
to Canterbury to see me, and always at unseasonable hours: with the
view, I suppose, of taking me by surprise. But, finding me well
employed, and bearing a good character, and hearing on all hands
that I rose fast in the school, she soon discontinued these visits.

I saw her on a Saturday, every third or fourth week, when I went
over to Dover for a treat; and I saw Mr. Dick every alternate
Wednesday, when he arrived by stage-coach at noon, to stay until
next morning.

On these occasions Mr. Dick never travelled without a leathern
writing-desk, containing a supply of stationery and the Memorial;
in relation to which document he had a notion that time was
beginning to press now, and that it really must be got out of hand.

Mr. Dick was very partial to gingerbread. To render his visits the
more agreeable, my aunt had instructed me to open a credit for him
at a cake shop, which was hampered with the stipulation that he
should not be served with more than one shilling's-worth in the
course of any one day. This, and the reference of all his little
bills at the county inn where he slept, to my aunt, before they
were paid, induced me to suspect that he was only allowed to rattle
his money, and not to spend it. I found on further investigation
that this was so, or at least there was an agreement between him
and my aunt that he should account to her for all his
disbursements. As he had no idea of deceiving her, and always
desired to please her, he was thus made chary of launching into
expense. On this point, as well as on all other possible points,
Mr. Dick was convinced that my aunt was the wisest and most
wonderful of women; as he repeatedly told me with infinite secrecy,
and always in a whisper.

'Trotwood,' said Mr. Dick, with an air of mystery, after imparting
this confidence to me, one Wednesday; 'who's the man that hides
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