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I made my gentleman a distant bow, and Peggotty barely recognized
him. He was, at first, somewhat disconcerted to meet us two
together; but quickly decided what to do, and came up to me.

'I hope,' he said, 'that you are doing well?'

'It can hardly be interesting to you,' said I. 'Yes, if you wish
to know.'

We looked at each other, and he addressed himself to Peggotty.

'And you,' said he. 'I am sorry to observe that you have lost your

'It's not the first loss I have had in my life, Mr. Murdstone,'
replied Peggotty, trembling from head to foot. 'I am glad to hope
that there is nobody to blame for this one, - nobody to answer for

'Ha!' said he; 'that's a comfortable reflection. You have done
your duty?'

'I have not worn anybody's life away,' said Peggotty, 'I am
thankful to think! No, Mr. Murdstone, I have not worrited and
frightened any sweet creetur to an early grave!'

He eyed her gloomily - remorsefully I thought - for an instant; and
said, turning his head towards me, but looking at my feet instead
of my face:

'We are not likely to encounter soon again; - a source of
satisfaction to us both, no doubt, for such meetings as this can
never be agreeable. I do not expect that you, who always rebelled
against my just authority, exerted for your benefit and
reformation, should owe me any good-will now. There is an
antipathy between us -'

'An old one, I believe?' said I, interrupting him.

He smiled, and shot as evil a glance at me as could come from his
dark eyes.

'It rankled in your baby breast,' he said. 'It embittered the life
of your poor mother. You are right. I hope you may do better,
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