Charles Dickens

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

is necessary."

"How do you mean? Caution?"

"By G - , it's Death!"

"What'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.