What is the meaning of ",that I've gone to sea, or have died of the rot." in the following sentence (Source: The Great Big Elephant and the Very Small Elephant ),
Early one morning a telegram arrived for the Very Small Elephant. It said:
COMING TO VISIT FOR THREE DAYS STOP
ARRIVING TOMORROW AFTERNOON STOP
LOVE GREAT AUNT MATILDA
"Oh dear, oh dear," said the Very Small Elephant.
"Oh dear, oh dear," cried the Very Small Elephant.
"Maybe I should just telegraph her back and say she can't come, that I've gone to sea, or have died of the rot."
Does it mean "The Elephant wish that the aunt will not come. So, the elephant want to telegraph her back and say she can't come because the elephant have gone to sea or the elephant have died to rotten elephant." ?
Does " ,that " mean " because that " ?