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'Yes, it is, ma'am,' said Mrs. Crupp.

'What's become of him?' asked my aunt.

Mrs. Crupp was taken with a troublesome cough, in the midst of
which she articulated with much difficulty. 'He was took ill here,
ma'am, and - ugh! ugh! ugh! dear me! - and he died!'

'Hey! What did he die of?' asked my aunt.

'Well, ma'am, he died of drink,' said Mrs. Crupp, in confidence.
'And smoke.'

'Smoke? You don't mean chimneys?' said my aunt.

'No, ma'am,' returned Mrs. Crupp. 'Cigars and pipes.'

'That's not catching, Trot, at any rate,' remarked my aunt, turning
to me.

'No, indeed,' said I.

In short, my aunt, seeing how enraptured I was with the premises,
took them for a month, with leave to remain for twelve months when
that time was out. Mrs. Crupp was to find linen, and to cook;
every other necessary was already provided; and Mrs. Crupp
expressly intimated that she should always yearn towards me as a
son. I was to take possession the day after tomorrow, and Mrs.
Crupp said, thank Heaven she had now found summun she could care

On our way back, my aunt informed me how she confidently trusted
that the life I was now to lead would make me firm and
self-reliant, which was all I wanted. She repeated this several
times next day, in the intervals of our arranging for the
transmission of my clothes and books from Mr. Wickfield's; relative
to which, and to all my late holiday, I wrote a long letter to
Agnes, of which my aunt took charge, as she was to leave on the
succeeding day. Not to lengthen these particulars, I need only
add, that she made a handsome provision for all my possible wants
during my month of trial; that Steerforth, to my great
disappointment and hers too, did not make his appearance before she
went away; that I saw her safely seated in the Dover coach,
exulting in the coming discomfiture of the vagrant donkeys, with
Janet at her side; and that when the coach was gone, I turned my
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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