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being there once, had naturally no great interest in going there
again. Hence, on three or four days that I can at once recall, we
went our several ways after an early breakfast, and met again at a
late dinner. I had no idea how he employed his time in the
interval, beyond a general knowledge that he was very popular in
the place, and had twenty means of actively diverting himself where
another man might not have found one.

For my own part, my occupation in my solitary pilgrimages was to
recall every yard of the old road as I went along it, and to haunt
the old spots, of which I never tired. I haunted them, as my
memory had often done, and lingered among them as my younger
thoughts had lingered when I was far away. The grave beneath the
tree, where both my parents lay - on which I had looked out, when
it was my father's only, with such curious feelings of compassion,
and by which I had stood, so desolate, when it was opened to
receive my pretty mother and her baby - the grave which Peggotty's
own faithful care had ever since kept neat, and made a garden of,
I walked near, by the hour. It lay a little off the churchyard
path, in a quiet corner, not so far removed but I could read the
names upon the stone as I walked to and fro, startled by the sound
of the church-bell when it struck the hour, for it was like a
departed voice to me. My reflections at these times were always
associated with the figure I was to make in life, and the
distinguished things I was to do. My echoing footsteps went to no
other tune, but were as constant to that as if I had come home to
build my castles in the air at a living mother's side.

There were great changes in my old home. The ragged nests, so long
deserted by the rooks, were gone; and the trees were lopped and
topped out of their remembered shapes. The garden had run wild,
and half the windows of the house were shut up. It was occupied,
but only by a poor lunatic gentleman, and the people who took care
of him. He was always sitting at my little window, looking out
into the churchyard; and I wondered whether his rambling thoughts
ever went upon any of the fancies that used to occupy mine, on the
rosy mornings when I peeped out of that same little window in my
night-clothes, and saw the sheep quietly feeding in the light of
the rising sun.

Our old neighbours, Mr. and Mrs. Grayper, were gone to South
America, and the rain had made its way through the roof of their
empty house, and stained the outer walls. Mr. Chillip was married
again to a tall, raw-boned, high-nosed wife; and they had a weazen
little baby, with a heavy head that it couldn't hold up, and two
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