The listening face, insensible to the inclement night, still drooped at the door, and the hands begged me - prayed me - not to cast it forth.
'I never doubted her,' said Mr. Peggotty. 'No! Not a bit! On'y let her see my face - on'y let her beer my voice - on'y let my stanning still afore her bring to her thoughts the home she had fled away from, and the child she had been and if she had growed to be a royal lady, she'd have fell down at my feet! I know'd it well! Many a time in my sleep had I heerd her cry out, "Uncle!" and seen her fall like death afore me. Many a time in my sleep had I raised her up, and whispered to her, "Em'ly, my dear, I am come fur to bring forgiveness, and to take you home!"'
He stopped and shook his head, and went on with a sigh.
'He was nowt to me now. Em'ly was all. I bought a country dress to put upon her; and I know'd that, once found, she would walk beside me over them stony roads, go where I would, and never, never, leave me more. To put that dress upon her, and to cast off what she wore - to take her on my arm again, and wander towards home - to stop sometimes upon the road, and heal her bruised feet and her worse-bruised heart - was all that I thowt of now. I doen't believe I should have done so much as look at him. But, Mas'r Davy, it warn't to be - not yet! I was too late, and they was gone. Wheer, I couldn't learn. Some said beer, some said theer. I travelled beer, and I travelled theer, but I found no Em'ly, and I travelled home.'
'A matter o' fower days,' said Mr. Peggotty. 'I sighted the old boat arter dark, and the light a-shining in the winder. When I come nigh and looked in through the glass, I see the faithful creetur Missis Gummidge sittin' by the fire, as we had fixed upon, alone. I called out, "Doen't be afeerd! It's Dan'l!" and I went in. I never could have thowt the old boat would have been so strange!' From some pocket in his breast, he took out, with a very careful hand a small paper bundle containing two or three letters or little packets, which he laid upon the table.
'This fust one come,' he said, selecting it from the rest, 'afore I had been gone a week. A fifty pound Bank note, in a sheet of paper, directed to me, and put underneath the door in the night. She tried to hide her writing, but she couldn't hide it from Me!'
He folded up the note again, with great patience and care, in exactly the same form, and laid it on one side.
'This come to Missis Gummidge,' he said, opening another, 'two or three months ago.'After looking at it for some moments, he gave it to me, and added in a low voice, 'Be so good as read it, sir.'