Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
A GREATER LOSS
It was not difficult for me, on Peggotty's solicitation, to resolve
to stay where I was, until after the remains of the poor carrier
should have made their last journey to Blunderstone. She had long
ago bought, out of her own savings, a little piece of ground in our
old churchyard near the grave of 'her sweet girl', as she always
called my mother; and there they were to rest.
In keeping Peggotty company, and doing all I could for her (little
enough at the utmost), I was as grateful, I rejoice to think, as
even now I could wish myself to have been. But I am afraid I had
a supreme satisfaction, of a personal and professional nature, in
taking charge of Mr. Barkis's will, and expounding its contents.
I may claim the merit of having originated the suggestion that the
will should be looked for in the box. After some search, it was
found in the box, at the bottom of a horse's nose-bag; wherein
(besides hay) there was discovered an old gold watch, with chain
and seals, which Mr. Barkis had worn on his wedding-day, and which
had never been seen before or since; a silver tobacco-stopper, in
the form of a leg; an imitation lemon, full of minute cups and
saucers, which I have some idea Mr. Barkis must have purchased to
present to me when I was a child, and afterwards found himself
unable to part with; eighty-seven guineas and a half, in guineas
and half-guineas; two hundred and ten pounds, in perfectly clean
Bank notes; certain receipts for Bank of England stock; an old
horseshoe, a bad shilling, a piece of camphor, and an oyster-shell.
From the circumstance of the latter article having been much
polished, and displaying prismatic colours on the inside, I
conclude that Mr. Barkis had some general ideas about pearls, which
never resolved themselves into anything definite.
For years and years, Mr. Barkis had carried this box, on all his
journeys, every day. That it might the better escape notice, he
had invented a fiction that it belonged to 'Mr. Blackboy', and was
'to be left with Barkis till called for'; a fable he had
elaborately written on the lid, in characters now scarcely legible.
He had hoarded, all these years, I found, to good purpose. His