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done, I'm sure! "I've wrote afore you," he says to me, "and I
shall speak to many as will come that way, and many will know you,
fur distant from here, when you're a-travelling alone." I told him,
best as I was able, what my gratitoode was, and went away through

'Alone, and on foot?' said I.

'Mostly a-foot,' he rejoined; 'sometimes in carts along with people
going to market; sometimes in empty coaches. Many mile a day
a-foot, and often with some poor soldier or another, travelling to
see his friends. I couldn't talk to him,' said Mr. Peggotty, 'nor
he to me; but we was company for one another, too, along the dusty

I should have known that by his friendly tone.

'When I come to any town,' he pursued, 'I found the inn, and waited
about the yard till someone turned up (someone mostly did) as
know'd English. Then I told how that I was on my way to seek my
niece, and they told me what manner of gentlefolks was in the
house, and I waited to see any as seemed like her, going in or out.
When it warn't Em'ly, I went on agen. By little and little, when
I come to a new village or that, among the poor people, I found
they know'd about me. They would set me down at their cottage
doors, and give me what-not fur to eat and drink, and show me where
to sleep; and many a woman, Mas'r Davy, as has had a daughter of
about Em'ly's age, I've found a-waiting fur me, at Our Saviour's
Cross outside the village, fur to do me sim'lar kindnesses. Some
has had daughters as was dead. And God only knows how good them
mothers was to me!'

It was Martha at the door. I saw her haggard, listening face
distinctly. My dread was lest he should turn his head, and see her

'They would often put their children - particular their little
girls,' said Mr. Peggotty, 'upon my knee; and many a time you might
have seen me sitting at their doors, when night was coming in,
a'most as if they'd been my Darling's children. Oh, my Darling!'

Overpowered by sudden grief, he sobbed aloud. I laid my trembling
hand upon the hand he put before his face. 'Thankee, sir,' he
said, 'doen't take no notice.'
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