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In a very little while he took his hand away and put it on his
breast, and went on with his story.
'They often walked with me,' he said, 'in the morning, maybe a mile
or two upon my road; and when we parted, and I said, "I'm very
thankful to you! God bless you!" they always seemed to understand,
and answered pleasant. At last I come to the sea. It warn't hard,
you may suppose, for a seafaring man like me to work his way over
to Italy. When I got theer, I wandered on as I had done afore.
The people was just as good to me, and I should have gone from town
to town, maybe the country through, but that I got news of her
being seen among them Swiss mountains yonder. One as know'd his
servant see 'em there, all three, and told me how they travelled,
and where they was. I made fur them mountains, Mas'r Davy, day and
night. Ever so fur as I went, ever so fur the mountains seemed to
shift away from me. But I come up with 'em, and I crossed 'em.
When I got nigh the place as I had been told of, I began to think
within my own self, "What shall I do when I see her?"'
The listening face, insensible to the inclement night, still
drooped at the door, and the hands begged me - prayed me - not to
cast it forth.
'I never doubted her,' said Mr. Peggotty. 'No! Not a bit! On'y
let her see my face - on'y let her beer my voice - on'y let my
stanning still afore her bring to her thoughts the home she had
fled away from, and the child she had been - and if she had growed
to be a royal lady, she'd have fell down at my feet! I know'd it
well! Many a time in my sleep had I heerd her cry out, "Uncle!"
and seen her fall like death afore me. Many a time in my sleep had
I raised her up, and whispered to her, "Em'ly, my dear, I am come
fur to bring forgiveness, and to take you home!"'
He stopped and shook his head, and went on with a sigh.
'He was nowt to me now. Em'ly was all. I bought a country dress
to put upon her; and I know'd that, once found, she would walk
beside me over them stony roads, go where I would, and never,
never, leave me more. To put that dress upon her, and to cast off
what she wore - to take her on my arm again, and wander towards
home - to stop sometimes upon the road, and heal her bruised feet
and her worse-bruised heart - was all that I thowt of now. I
doen't believe I should have done so much as look at him. But,
Mas'r Davy, it warn't to be - not yet! I was too late, and they
was gone. Wheer, I couldn't learn. Some said beer, some said
theer. I travelled beer, and I travelled theer, but I found no