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'Martha,' he replied, 'got married, Mas'r Davy, in the second year.
A young man, a farm-labourer, as come by us on his way to market
with his mas'r's drays - a journey of over five hundred mile, theer
and back - made offers fur to take her fur his wife (wives is very
scarce theer), and then to set up fur their two selves in the Bush.
She spoke to me fur to tell him her trew story. I did. They was
married, and they live fower hundred mile away from any voices but
their own and the singing birds.'
'Mrs. Gummidge?' I suggested.
It was a pleasant key to touch, for Mr. Peggotty suddenly burst
into a roar of laughter, and rubbed his hands up and down his legs,
as he had been accustomed to do when he enjoyed himself in the
'Would you believe it!' he said. 'Why, someun even made offer fur
to marry her! If a ship's cook that was turning settler, Mas'r
Davy, didn't make offers fur to marry Missis Gummidge, I'm Gormed
- and I can't say no fairer than that!'
I never saw Agnes laugh so. This sudden ecstasy on the part of Mr.
Peggotty was so delightful to her, that she could not leave off
laughing; and the more she laughed the more she made me laugh, and
the greater Mr. Peggotty's ecstasy became, and the more he rubbed
'And what did Mrs. Gummidge say?' I asked, when I was grave enough.
'If you'll believe me,' returned Mr. Peggotty, 'Missis Gummidge,
'stead of saying "thank you, I'm much obleeged to you, I ain't
a-going fur to change my condition at my time of life," up'd with
a bucket as was standing by, and laid it over that theer ship's
cook's head 'till he sung out fur help, and I went in and reskied
Mr. Peggotty burst into a great roar of laughter, and Agnes and I
both kept him company.
'But I must say this, for the good creetur,' he resumed, wiping his
face, when we were quite exhausted; 'she has been all she said
she'd be to us, and more. She's the willingest, the trewest, the
honestest-helping woman, Mas'r Davy, as ever draw'd the breath of
life. I have never know'd her to be lone and lorn, for a single