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'That night. I have never seen her since. I went back, after
parting from you, to speak to her, but she was gone. I was
unwilling to mention her to you then, and I am now; but she is the
person of whom I speak, and with whom I think we should
communicate. Do you understand?'
'Too well, sir,' he replied. We had sunk our voices, almost to a
whisper, and continued to speak in that tone.
'You say you have seen her. Do you think that you could find her?
I could only hope to do so by chance.'
'I think, Mas'r Davy, I know wheer to look.'
'It is dark. Being together, shall we go out now, and try to find
He assented, and prepared to accompany me. Without appearing to
observe what he was doing, I saw how carefully he adjusted the
little room, put a candle ready and the means of lighting it,
arranged the bed, and finally took out of a drawer one of her
dresses (I remember to have seen her wear it), neatly folded with
some other garments, and a bonnet, which he placed upon a chair.
He made no allusion to these clothes, neither did I. There they
had been waiting for her, many and many a night, no doubt.
'The time was, Mas'r Davy,' he said, as we came downstairs, 'when
I thowt this girl, Martha, a'most like the dirt underneath my
Em'ly's feet. God forgive me, theer's a difference now!'
As we went along, partly to hold him in conversation, and partly to
satisfy myself, I asked him about Ham. He said, almost in the same
words as formerly, that Ham was just the same, 'wearing away his
life with kiender no care nohow for 't; but never murmuring, and
liked by all'.
I asked him what he thought Ham's state of mind was, in reference
to the cause of their misfortunes? Whether he believed it was
dangerous? What he supposed, for example, Ham would do, if he and
Steerforth ever should encounter?
'I doen't know, sir,' he replied. 'I have thowt of it oftentimes,
but I can't awize myself of it, no matters.'
I recalled to his remembrance the morning after her departure, when