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'Did she tell you why?' I inquired.
'I asked her, Mas'r Davy,' he replied, 'but it is but few words as
she ever says, and she on'y got my promise and so went away.'
'Did she say when you might expect to see her again?' I demanded.
'No, Mas'r Davy,' he returned, drawing his hand thoughtfully down
his face. 'I asked that too; but it was more (she said) than she
As I had long forborne to encourage him with hopes that hung on
threads, I made no other comment on this information than that I
supposed he would see her soon. Such speculations as it engendered
within me I kept to myself, and those were faint enough.
I was walking alone in the garden, one evening, about a fortnight
afterwards. I remember that evening well. It was the second in
Mr. Micawber's week of suspense. There had been rain all day, and
there was a damp feeling in the air. The leaves were thick upon
the trees, and heavy with wet; but the rain had ceased, though the
sky was still dark; and the hopeful birds were singing cheerfully.
As I walked to and fro in the garden, and the twilight began to
close around me, their little voices were hushed; and that peculiar
silence which belongs to such an evening in the country when the
lightest trees are quite still, save for the occasional droppings
from their boughs, prevailed.
There was a little green perspective of trellis-work and ivy at the
side of our cottage, through which I could see, from the garden
where I was walking, into the road before the house. I happened to
turn my eyes towards this place, as I was thinking of many things;
and I saw a figure beyond, dressed in a plain cloak. It was
bending eagerly towards me, and beckoning.
'Martha!' said I, going to it.
'Can you come with me?' she inquired, in an agitated whisper. 'I
have been to him, and he is not at home. I wrote down where he was
to come, and left it on his table with my own hand. They said he
would not be out long. I have tidings for him. Can you come
My answer was, to pass out at the gate immediately. She made a
hasty gesture with her hand, as if to entreat my patience and my