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76. CHAPTER LXXVI (continued)
"Why, you see," said John, "I was always main fond of that lass Ellen, whom you remember running after, Master Ernest, and giving your watch to. I expect you haven't forgotten that day, have you?" And here he laughed. "I don't know as I be the father of the child she carried away with her from Battersby, but I very easily may have been. Anyhow, after I had left your papa's place a few days I wrote to Ellen to an address we had agreed upon, and told her I would do what I ought to do, and so I did, for I married her within a month afterwards. Why, Lord love the man, whatever is the matter with him?"--for as he had spoken the last few words of his story Ernest had turned white as a sheet, and was leaning against the railings.
"John," said my hero, gasping for breath, "are you sure of what you say--are you quite sure you really married her?"
"Of course I am," said John, "I married her before the registrar at Letchbury on the 15th of August 1851.
"Give me your arm," said Ernest, "and take me into Piccadilly, and put me into a cab, and come with me at once, if you can spare time, to Mr Overton's at the Temple."
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