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the beautifullest trees, and with the roses a-covering our Beein to
the roof. Theer come along one day, when I was out a-working on
the land, a traveller from our own Norfolk or Suffolk in England (I
doen't rightly mind which), and of course we took him in, and giv
him to eat and drink, and made him welcome. We all do that, all
the colony over. He'd got an old newspaper with him, and some
other account in print of the storm. That's how she know'd it.
When I came home at night, I found she know'd it.'
He dropped his voice as he said these words, and the gravity I so
well remembered overspread his face.
'Did it change her much?' we asked.
'Aye, for a good long time,' he said, shaking his head; 'if not to
this present hour. But I think the solitoode done her good. And
she had a deal to mind in the way of poultry and the like, and
minded of it, and come through. I wonder,' he said thoughtfully,
'if you could see my Em'ly now, Mas'r Davy, whether you'd know
'Is she so altered?' I inquired.
'I doen't know. I see her ev'ry day, and doen't know; But,
odd-times, I have thowt so. A slight figure,' said Mr. Peggotty,
looking at the fire, 'kiender worn; soft, sorrowful, blue eyes; a
delicate face; a pritty head, leaning a little down; a quiet voice
and way - timid a'most. That's Em'ly!'
We silently observed him as he sat, still looking at the fire.
'Some thinks,' he said, 'as her affection was ill-bestowed; some,
as her marriage was broken off by death. No one knows how 'tis.
She might have married well, a mort of times, "but, uncle," she
says to me, "that's gone for ever." Cheerful along with me; retired
when others is by; fond of going any distance fur to teach a child,
or fur to tend a sick person, or fur to do some kindness tow'rds a
young girl's wedding (and she's done a many, but has never seen
one); fondly loving of her uncle; patient; liked by young and old;
sowt out by all that has any trouble. That's Em'ly!'
He drew his hand across his face, and with a half-suppressed sigh
looked up from the fire.
'Is Martha with you yet?' I asked.