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'My dooty here, sir,' said Mr. Peggotty, 'is done. I'm a going to
seek my -' he stopped, and went on in a firmer voice: 'I'm a going
to seek her. That's my dooty evermore.'

He shook his head when I asked him where he would seek her, and
inquired if I were going to London tomorrow? I told him I had not
gone today, fearing to lose the chance of being of any service to
him; but that I was ready to go when he would.

'I'll go along with you, sir,' he rejoined, 'if you're agreeable,

We walked again, for a while, in silence.

'Ham,'he presently resumed,'he'll hold to his present work, and go
and live along with my sister. The old boat yonder -'

'Will you desert the old boat, Mr. Peggotty?' I gently interposed.

'My station, Mas'r Davy,' he returned, 'ain't there no longer; and
if ever a boat foundered, since there was darkness on the face of
the deep, that one's gone down. But no, sir, no; I doen't mean as
it should be deserted. Fur from that.'

We walked again for a while, as before, until he explained:

'My wishes is, sir, as it shall look, day and night, winter and
summer, as it has always looked, since she fust know'd it. If ever
she should come a wandering back, I wouldn't have the old place
seem to cast her off, you understand, but seem to tempt her to draw
nigher to 't, and to peep in, maybe, like a ghost, out of the wind
and rain, through the old winder, at the old seat by the fire.

Then, maybe, Mas'r Davy, seein' none but Missis Gummidge there, she
might take heart to creep in, trembling; and might come to be laid
down in her old bed, and rest her weary head where it was once so

I could not speak to him in reply, though I tried.

'Every night,' said Mr. Peggotty, 'as reg'lar as the night comes,
the candle must be stood in its old pane of glass, that if ever she
should see it, it may seem to say "Come back, my child, come back!"
If ever there's a knock, Ham (partic'ler a soft knock), arter dark,
at your aunt's door, doen't you go nigh it. Let it be her - not
you - that sees my fallen child!'
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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