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