"I am wery sorry to have the pleasure of bein a Bear of ill news your Mother in law cort cold consekens of imprudently settin too long on the damp grass in the rain a hearin of a shepherd who warnt able to leave off till late at night owen to his havin vound his-self up vith brandy and vater and not being able to stop hisself till he got a little sober which took a many hours to do the doctor says that if she'd svallo'd varm brandy and vater artervards insted of afore she mightn't have been no vus her veels wos immedetly greased and everythink done to set her agoin as could be inwented your farther had hopes as she vould have vorked round as usual but just as she wos a turnen the corner my boy she took the wrong road and vent down hill vith a welocity you never see and notvithstanding that the drag wos put on drectly by the medikel man it wornt of no use at all for she paid the last pike at twenty minutes afore six o'clock yesterday evenin havin done the jouney wery much under the reglar time vich praps was partly owen to her have taken in wery little luggage by the vay your father says that if you vill come and see me Sammy he vill take it as a wery great favor for I am wery lonely Samivel n b he vill have it spelt that vay vich I say ant right and as there is sich a many things to settle he is sure your guvner wont object of course he vill not Sammy for I knows him better so he sends his dooty in which I join and am Samivel infernally yours "TONY VELLER."
"Wot a incomprehensible letter," said Sam; "who's to know wot it means, vith all this he-ing and I-ing! It ain't my father's writin', 'cept this here signater in print letters; that's his."
"Perhaps he got somebody to write it for him, and signed it himself afterwards," said the pretty housemaid.
"Stop a minit," replied Sam, running over the letter again, and pausing here and there, to reflect, as he did so. "You've hit it. The gen'l'm'n as wrote it wos a tellin' all about the misfortun' in a proper vay, and then my father comes a lookin' over him, and complicates the whole concern by puttin' his oar in. That's just the wery sort o' thing he'd do. You're right, Mary, my dear."
Having satisfied himself on this point, Sam read the letter all over, once more, and, appearing to form a clear notion of its contents for the first time, ejaculated thoughtfully, as he folded it up:
"And so the poor creatur's dead! I'm sorry for it. She warn't a bad-disposed 'ooman, if them shepherds had let her alone. I'm wery sorry for it."
Mr. Weller uttered these words in so serious a manner, that the pretty housemaid cast down her eyes and looked very grave.
"Hows'ever," said Sam, putting the letter in his pocket with a gentle sigh, "it wos to be--and wos, as the old lady said arter she'd married the footman. Can't be helped now, can it, Mary?"
Mary shook her head, and sighed too.
"I must apply to the hemperor for leave of absence," said Sam.
Mary sighed again. The letter was so very affecting.
"Good bye!" said Sam.
"Good bye," rejoined the pretty housemaid, turning her head away.
"Well, shake hands, won't you?" said Sam.
The pretty housemaid put out a hand which, although it was a housemaid's, was a very small one, and rose to go.
"I shan't be wery long avay," said Sam.
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