When at last I dozed, in sheer exhaustion of
mind and body, it became a vast shadowy verb which I had to
conjugate. Imperative mood, present tense: Do not thou go home, let
him not go home, let us not go home, do not ye or you go home, let
not them go home. Then, potentially: I may not and I cannot go
home; and I might not, could not, would not, and should not go
home; until I felt that I was going distracted, and rolled over on
the pillow, and looked at the staring rounds upon the wall again.
I had left directions that I was to be called at seven; for it was
plain that I must see Wemmick before seeing any one else, and
equally plain that this was a case in which his Walworth
sentiments, only, could be taken. It was a relief to get out of the
room where the night had been so miserable, and I needed no second
knocking at the door to startle me from my uneasy bed.
The Castle battlements arose upon my view at eight o'clock. The
little servant happening to be entering the fortress with two hot
rolls, I passed through the postern and crossed the drawbridge, in
her company, and so came without announcement into the presence of
Wemmick as he was making tea for himself and the Aged. An open door
afforded a perspective view of the Aged in bed.
"Halloa, Mr. Pip!" said Wemmick. "You did come home, then?"
"Yes," I returned; "but I didn't go home."
"That's all right," said he, rubbing his hands. "I left a note for
you at each of the Temple gates, on the chance. Which gate did you
I told him.
"I'll go round to the others in the course of the day and destroy
the notes," said Wemmick; "it's a good rule never to leave
documentary evidence if you can help it, because you don't know
when it may be put in. I'm going to take a liberty with you. -
Would you mind toasting this sausage for the Aged P.?"
I said I should be delighted to do it.
"Then you can go about your work, Mary Anne," said Wemmick to the
little servant; "which leaves us to ourselves, don't you see, Mr.
Pip?" he added, winking, as she disappeared.
I thanked him for his friendship and caution, and our discourse
proceeded in a low tone, while I toasted the Aged's sausage and he
buttered the crumb of the Aged's roll.
"Now, Mr. Pip, you know," said Wemmick, "you and I understand one
another. We are in our private and personal capacities, and we have
been engaged in a confidential transaction before today. Official
sentiments are one thing. We are extra official."
I cordially assented. I was so very nervous, that I had already
lighted the Aged's sausage like a torch, and been obliged to blow
"I accidentally heard, yesterday morning," said Wemmick, "being in
a certain place where I once took you - even between you and me,
it's as well not to mention names when avoidable--"
"Much better not," said I. "I understand you."
"I heard there by chance, yesterday morning," said Wemmick, "that a
certain person not altogether of uncolonial pursuits, and not
unpossessed of portable property - I don't know who it may really
be - we won't name this person--"
"Not necessary," said I.
" - had made some little stir in a certain part of the world where
a good many people go, not always in gratification of their own
inclinations, and not quite irrespective of the government
In watching his face, I made quite a firework of the Aged's
sausage, and greatly discomposed both my own attention and
Wemmick's; for which I apologized.
" - by disappearing from such place, and being no more heard of
thereabouts. From which," said Wemmick, "conjectures had been
raised and theories formed. I also heard that you at your chambers
in Garden Court, Temple, had been watched, and might be watched
"By whom?" said I.
"I wouldn't go into that," said Wemmick, evasively, "it might clash
with official responsibilities.