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<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

He walked a little in front of us, and kept before us for some
minutes. During this interval, I glanced at Ham again, and
observing the same expression on his face, and his eyes still
directed to the distant light, I touched his arm.

Twice I called him by his name, in the tone in which I might have
tried to rouse a sleeper, before he heeded me. When I at last
inquired on what his thoughts were so bent, he replied:

'On what's afore me, Mas'r Davy; and over yon.'
'On the life before you, do you mean?' He had pointed confusedly
out to sea.

'Ay, Mas'r Davy. I doen't rightly know how 'tis, but from over yon
there seemed to me to come - the end of it like,' looking at me as
if he were waking, but with the same determined face.

'What end?' I asked, possessed by my former fear.

'I doen't know,'he said, thoughtfully; 'I was calling to mind that
the beginning of it all did take place here - and then the end
come. But it's gone! Mas'r Davy,' he added; answering, as I
think, my look; 'you han't no call to be afeerd of me: but I'm
kiender muddled; I don't fare to feel no matters,' - which was as
much as to say that he was not himself, and quite confounded.

Mr. Peggotty stopping for us to join him: we did so, and said no
more. The remembrance of this, in connexion with my former
thought, however, haunted me at intervals, even until the
inexorable end came at its appointed time.

We insensibly approached the old boat, and entered. Mrs. Gummidge,
no longer moping in her especial corner, was busy preparing
breakfast. She took Mr. Peggotty's hat, and placed his seat for
him, and spoke so comfortably and softly, that I hardly knew her.

'Dan'l, my good man,' said she, 'you must eat and drink, and keep
up your strength, for without it you'll do nowt. Try, that's a
dear soul! An if I disturb you with my clicketten,' she meant her
chattering, 'tell me so, Dan'l, and I won't.'

When she had served us all, she withdrew to the window, where she
sedulously employed herself in repairing some shirts and other
clothes belonging to Mr. Peggotty, and neatly folding and packing
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