"You are rather excited, but you are quite yourself."
"I know I am quite myself. And the man we have in hiding down the
river, is Estella's Father."
What purpose I had in view when I was hot on tracing out and
proving Estella's parentage, I cannot say. It will presently be
seen that the question was not before me in a distinct shape, until
it was put before me by a wiser head than my own.
But, when Herbert and I had held our momentous conversation, I was
seized with a feverish conviction that I ought to hunt the matter
down - that I ought not to let it rest, but that I ought to see Mr.
Jaggers, and come at the bare truth. I really do not know whether I
felt that I did this for Estella's sake, or whether I was glad to
transfer to the man in whose preservation I was so much concerned,
some rays of the romantic interest that had so long surrounded her.
Perhaps the latter possibility may be the nearer to the truth.
Any way, I could scarcely be withheld from going out to
Gerrard-street that night. Herbert's representations that if I did,
I should probably be laid up and stricken useless, when our
fugitive's safety would depend upon me, alone restrained my
impatience. On the understanding, again and again reiterated, that
come what would, I was to go to Mr. Jaggers to-morrow, I at length
submitted to keep quiet, and to have my hurts looked after, and to
stay at home. Early next morning we went out together, and at the
corner of Giltspur-street by Smithfield, I left Herbert to go his
way into the City, and took my way to Little Britain.
There were periodical occasions when Mr. Jaggers and Wemmick went
over the office accounts, and checked off the vouchers, and put all
things straight. On these occasions Wemmick took his books and
papers into Mr. Jaggers's room, and one of the up-stairs clerks came
down into the outer office. Finding such clerk on Wemmick's post
that morning, I knew what was going on; but, I was not sorry to
have Mr. Jaggers and Wemmick together, as Wemmick would then hear
for himself that I said nothing to compromise him.
My appearance with my arm bandaged and my coat loose over my
shoulders, favoured my object. Although I had sent Mr. Jaggers a
brief account of the accident as soon as I had arrived in town, yet
I had to give him all the details now; and the speciality of the
occasion caused our talk to be less dry and hard, and less strictly
regulated by the rules of evidence, than it had been before. While
I described the disaster, Mr. Jaggers stood, according to his wont,
before the fire. Wemmick leaned back in his chair, staring at me,
with his hands in the pockets of his trousers, and his pen put
horizontally into the post. The two brutal casts, always
inseparable in my mind from the official proceedings, seemed to be
congestively considering whether they didn't smell fire at the
My narrative finished, and their questions exhausted, I then
produced Miss Havisham's authority to receive the nine hundred
pounds for Herbert. Mr. Jaggers's eyes retired a little deeper into
his head when I handed him the tablets, but he presently handed
them over to Wemmick, with instructions to draw the cheque for his
signature. While that was in course of being done, I looked on at
Wemmick as he wrote, and Mr. Jaggers, poising and swaying himself on
his well-polished boots, looked on at me. "I am sorry, Pip," said
he, as I put the cheque in my pocket, when he had signed it, "that
we do nothing for you."
"Miss Havisham was good enough to ask me," I returned, "whether she
could do nothing for me, and I told her No."
"Everybody should know his own business," said Mr. Jaggers. And I
saw Wemmick's lips form the words "portable property."
"I should not have told her No, if I had been you," said Mr
Jaggers; "but every man ought to know his own business best."
"Every man's business," said Wemmick, rather reproachfully towards
me, "is portable property."
As I thought the time was now come for pursuing the theme I had at
heart, I said, turning on Mr.