Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/117

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As I passed the steps of the portico, I encountered, at the corner a woman's face. It looked in mine, passed across the narrow lane, and disappeared. I knew it. I had seen it somewhere. But I could not remember where. I had some association with it, that struck upon my heart directly; but I was thinking of anything else when it came upon me, and was confused.

"On the steps of the church, there was the stooping figure of a man, who had put down some burden on the smooth snow, to adjust it; my seeing the face, and my seeing him, were simultaneous. I don't think I had stopped in my surprise; but, in any case, as I went on, he rose, turned, and came down towards me. I stood face to face with Mr. Peggotty!

"Then I remembered the woman. It was Martha, to whom Emily had given the money that night in the kitchen. Martha Endell—side by side with whom, he would not have seen his dear niece, Ham had told me, for all the treasures wrecked in the sea.

"We shook hands heartily. At first, neither of us could speak a word.

"'Mas'r Davy!' he said, gripping me tight, 'it do my 'art good to see you, Sir. Well met, well met!'"…

Weeks elapse since this meeting between Peggotty and Mas'r David, and another takes place at which David suggests that Martha, still a woman of the streets, may help in the finding of Emily.

"'Do you know that she (Martha) is in London?' (Copperfield asked).