Charles Dickens

Jaggers going to do with that waterside murder?

Is he going to make it manslaughter, or what's he going to make of


"Why don't you ask him?" returned Wemmick.

"Oh yes, I dare say!" said the turnkey.

"Now, that's the way with them here. Mr. Pip," remarked Wemmick,

turning to me with his post-office elongated. "They don't mind what

they ask of me, the subordinate; but you'll never catch 'em asking

any questions of my principal."

"Is this young gentleman one of the 'prentices or articled ones of

your office?" asked the turnkey, with a grin at Mr. Wemmick's


"There he goes again, you see!" cried Wemmick, "I told you so! Asks

another question of the subordinate before his first is dry! Well,

supposing Mr. Pip is one of them?"

"Why then," said the turnkey, grinning again, "he knows what Mr.

Jaggers is."

"Yah!" cried Wemmick, suddenly hitting out at the turnkey in a

facetious way, "you're dumb as one of your own keys when you have

to do with my principal, you know you are. Let us out, you old fox,

or I'll get him to bring an action against you for false


The turnkey laughed, and gave us good day, and stood laughing at us

over the spikes of the wicket when we descended the steps into the


"Mind you, Mr. Pip," said Wemmick, gravely in my ear, as he took my

arm to be more confidential; "I don't know that Mr. Jaggers does a

better thing than the way in which he keeps himself so high. He's

always so high. His constant height is of a piece with his immense

abilities. That Colonel durst no more take leave of him, than that

turnkey durst ask him his intentions respecting a case. Then,

between his height and them, he slips in his subordinate - don't

you see? - and so he has 'em, soul and body."

I was very much impressed, and not for the first time, by my

guardian's subtlety. To confess the truth, I very heartily wished,

and not for the first time, that I had had some other guardian of

minor abilities.

Mr. Wemmick and I parted at the office in Little Britain, where

suppliants for Mr. Jaggers's notice were lingering about as usual,

and I returned to my watch in the street of the coach-office, with

some three hours on hand. I consumed the whole time in thinking how

strange it was that I should be encompassed by all this taint of

prison and crime; that, in my childhood out on our lonely marshes

on a winter evening I should have first encountered it; that, it

should have reappeared on two occasions, starting out like a stain

that was faded but not gone; that, it should in this new way

pervade my fortune and advancement. While my mind was thus engaged,

I thought of the beautiful young Estella, proud and refined, coming

towards me, and I thought with absolute abhorrence of the contrast

between the jail and her. I wished that Wemmick had not met me, or

that I had not yielded to him and gone with him, so that, of all

days in the year on this day, I might not have had Newgate in my

breath and on my clothes. I beat the prison dust off my feet as I

sauntered to and fro, and I shook it out of my dress, and I exhaled

its air from my lungs. So contaminated did I feel, remembering who

was coming, that the coach came quickly after all, and I was not

yet free from the soiling consciousness of Mr. Wemmick's

conservatory, when I saw her face at the coach window and her hand

waving to me.

What was the nameless shadow which again in that one instant had


Chapter 33

In her furred travelling-dress, Estella seemed more delicately

beautiful than she had ever seemed yet, even in my eyes. Her manner

was more winning than she had cared to let it be to me before, and

I thought I saw Miss Havisham's influence in the change.

We stood in the Inn Yard while she pointed out her luggage to me,

and when it was all collected I remembered - having forgotten

everything but herself in the meanwhile - that I knew nothing of

her destination

"I am going to Richmond," she told me.