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unfortunate now!'

'Does it belong to anybody in the neighbourhood?' I asked.

'To a mast-maker up town,' said Mr. Peggotty. 'I'm a-going to give
the key to him tonight.'

We looked into the other little room, and came back to Mrs.
Gummidge, sitting on the locker, whom Mr. Peggotty, putting the
light on the chimney-piece, requested to rise, that he might carry
it outside the door before extinguishing the candle.

'Dan'l,' said Mrs. Gummidge, suddenly deserting her basket, and
clinging to his arm 'my dear Dan'l, the parting words I speak in
this house is, I mustn't be left behind. Doen't ye think of
leaving me behind, Dan'l! Oh, doen't ye ever do it!'

Mr. Peggotty, taken aback, looked from Mrs. Gummidge to me, and
from me to Mrs. Gummidge, as if he had been awakened from a sleep.

'Doen't ye, dearest Dan'l, doen't ye!' cried Mrs. Gummidge,
fervently. 'Take me 'long with you, Dan'l, take me 'long with you
and Em'ly! I'll be your servant, constant and trew. If there's
slaves in them parts where you're a-going, I'll be bound to you for
one, and happy, but doen't ye leave me behind, Dan'l, that's a
deary dear!'

'My good soul,' said Mr. Peggotty, shaking his head, 'you doen't
know what a long voyage, and what a hard life 'tis!'

'Yes, I do, Dan'l! I can guess!' cried Mrs. Gummidge. 'But my
parting words under this roof is, I shall go into the house and
die, if I am not took. I can dig, Dan'l. I can work. I can live
hard. I can be loving and patient now - more than you think,
Dan'l, if you'll on'y try me. I wouldn't touch the 'lowance, not
if I was dying of want, Dan'l Peggotty; but I'll go with you and
Em'ly, if you'll on'y let me, to the world's end! I know how 'tis;
I know you think that I am lone and lorn; but, deary love, 'tan't
so no more! I ain't sat here, so long, a-watching, and a-thinking
of your trials, without some good being done me. Mas'r Davy, speak
to him for me! I knows his ways, and Em'ly's, and I knows their
sorrows, and can be a comfort to 'em, some odd times, and labour
for 'em allus! Dan'l, deary Dan'l, let me go 'long with you!'

And Mrs. Gummidge took his hand, and kissed it with a homely pathos
and affection, in a homely rapture of devotion and gratitude, that
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