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fiction on my part.

'I'm much obleeged to her, I'm sure,' said Mr. Peggotty. 'Well,
sir, if you can make out here, fur a fortnut, 'long wi' her,'
nodding at his sister, 'and Ham, and little Em'ly, we shall be
proud of your company.'

Having done the honours of his house in this hospitable manner, Mr.
Peggotty went out to wash himself in a kettleful of hot water,
remarking that 'cold would never get his muck off'. He soon
returned, greatly improved in appearance; but so rubicund, that I
couldn't help thinking his face had this in common with the
lobsters, crabs, and crawfish, - that it went into the hot water
very black, and came out very red.

After tea, when the door was shut and all was made snug (the nights
being cold and misty now), it seemed to me the most delicious
retreat that the imagination of man could conceive. To hear the
wind getting up out at sea, to know that the fog was creeping over
the desolate flat outside, and to look at the fire, and think that
there was no house near but this one, and this one a boat, was like
enchantment. Little Em'ly had overcome her shyness, and was
sitting by my side upon the lowest and least of the lockers, which
was just large enough for us two, and just fitted into the chimney
corner. Mrs. Peggotty with the white apron, was knitting on the
opposite side of the fire. Peggotty at her needlework was as much
at home with St. Paul's and the bit of wax-candle, as if they had
never known any other roof. Ham, who had been giving me my first
lesson in all-fours, was trying to recollect a scheme of telling
fortunes with the dirty cards, and was printing off fishy
impressions of his thumb on all the cards he turned. Mr. Peggotty
was smoking his pipe. I felt it was a time for conversation and

'Mr. Peggotty!' says I.

'Sir,' says he.

'Did you give your son the name of Ham, because you lived in a sort
of ark?'

Mr. Peggotty seemed to think it a deep idea, but answered:

'No, sir. I never giv him no name.'
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