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I asked him how Ham was? He shook his head.
'He works,' he said, 'as bold as a man can. His name's as good, in
all that part, as any man's is, anywheres in the wureld. Anyone's
hand is ready to help him, you understand, and his is ready to help
them. He's never been heerd fur to complain. But my sister's
belief is ('twixt ourselves) as it has cut him deep.'
'Poor fellow, I can believe it!'
'He ain't no care, Mas'r Davy,' said Mr. Peggotty in a solemn
whisper - 'kinder no care no-how for his life. When a man's wanted
for rough sarvice in rough weather, he's theer. When there's hard
duty to be done with danger in it, he steps for'ard afore all his
mates. And yet he's as gentle as any child. There ain't a child
in Yarmouth that doen't know him.'
He gathered up the letters thoughtfully, smoothing them with his
hand; put them into their little bundle; and placed it tenderly in
his breast again. The face was gone from the door. I still saw
the snow drifting in; but nothing else was there.
'Well!' he said, looking to his bag, 'having seen you tonight,
Mas'r Davy (and that doos me good!), I shall away betimes tomorrow
morning. You have seen what I've got heer'; putting his hand on
where the little packet lay; 'all that troubles me is, to think
that any harm might come to me, afore that money was give back. If
I was to die, and it was lost, or stole, or elseways made away
with, and it was never know'd by him but what I'd took it, I
believe the t'other wureld wouldn't hold me! I believe I must come
He rose, and I rose too; we grasped each other by the hand again,
before going out.
'I'd go ten thousand mile,' he said, 'I'd go till I dropped dead,
to lay that money down afore him. If I do that, and find my Em'ly,
I'm content. If I doen't find her, maybe she'll come to hear,
sometime, as her loving uncle only ended his search for her when he
ended his life; and if I know her, even that will turn her home at
As he went out into the rigorous night, I saw the lonely figure