All on you owns stock and land; which on you owns a brought-up
London gentleman?' This way I kep myself a-going. And this way I
held steady afore my mind that I would for certain come one day and
see my boy, and make myself known to him, on his own ground."
He laid his hand on my shoulder. I shuddered at the thought that
for anything I knew, his hand might be stained with blood.
"It warn't easy, Pip, for me to leave them parts, nor yet it warn't
safe. But I held to it, and the harder it was, the stronger I held,
for I was determined, and my mind firm made up. At last I done it.
Dear boy, I done it!"
I tried to collect my thoughts, but I was stunned. Throughout, I
had seemed to myself to attend more to the wind and the rain than
to him; even now, I could not separate his voice from those voices,
though those were loud and his was silent.
"Where will you put me?" he asked, presently. "I must be put
somewheres, dear boy."
"To sleep?" said I.
"Yes. And to sleep long and sound," he answered; "for I've been
sea-tossed and sea-washed, months and months."
"My friend and companion," said I, rising from the sofa, "is
absent; you must have his room."
"He won't come back to-morrow; will he?"
"No," said I, answering almost mechanically, in spite of my utmost
efforts; "not to-morrow."
"Because, look'ee here, dear boy," he said, dropping his voice, and
laying a long finger on my breast in an impressive manner, "caution
"How do you mean? Caution?"
"By G - , it's Death!"
"I was sent for life. It's death to come back. There's been
overmuch coming back of late years, and I should of a certainty be
hanged if took."
Nothing was needed but this; the wretched man, after loading
wretched me with his gold and silver chains for years, had risked
his life to come to me, and I held it there in my keeping! If I had
loved him instead of abhorring him; if I had been attracted to him
by the strongest admiration and affection, instead of shrinking
from him with the strongest repugnance; it could have been no
worse. On the contrary, it would have been better, for his
preservation would then have naturally and tenderly addressed my
My first care was to close the shutters, so that no light might be
seen from without, and then to close and make fast the doors. While
I did so, he stood at the table drinking rum and eating biscuit;
and when I saw him thus engaged, I saw my convict on the marshes at
his meal again. It almost seemed to me as if he must stoop down
presently, to file at his leg.
When I had gone into Herbert's room, and had shut off any other
communication between it and the staircase than through the room in
which our conversation had been held, I asked him if he would go to
bed? He said yes, but asked me for some of my "gentleman's linen"
to put on in the morning. I brought it out, and laid it ready for
him, and my blood again ran cold when he again took me by both
hands to give me good night.
I got away from him, without knowing how I did it, and mended the
fire in the room where we had been together, and sat down by it,
afraid to go to bed. For an hour or more, I remained too stunned to
think; and it was not until I began to think, that I began fully to
know how wrecked I was, and how the ship in which I had sailed was
gone to pieces.
Miss Havisham's intentions towards me, all a mere dream; Estella
not designed for me; I only suffered in Satis House as a
convenience, a sting for the greedy relations, a model with a
mechanical heart to practise on when no other practice was at hand;
those were the first smarts I had. But, sharpest and deepest pain
of all - it was for the convict, guilty of I knew not what crimes,
and liable to be taken out of those rooms where I sat thinking, and
hanged at the Old Bailey door, that I had deserted Joe.