What do you mean by it?"
"A man can't help his feelings, Mr. Wemmick," pleaded Mike.
"His what?" demanded Wemmick, quite savagely. "Say that again!"
"Now, look here my man," said Mr. Jaggers, advancing a step, and
pointing to the door. "Get out of this office. I'll have no
feelings here. Get out."
"It serves you right," said Wemmick, "Get out."
So the unfortunate Mike very humbly withdrew, and Mr. Jaggers and
Wemmick appeared to have re-established their good understanding,
and went to work again with an air of refreshment upon them as if
they had just had lunch.
From Little Britain, I went, with my cheque in my pocket, to Miss
Skiffins's brother, the accountant; and Miss Skiffins's brother,
the accountant, going straight to Clarriker's and bringing
Clarriker to me, I had the great satisfaction of concluding that
arrangement. It was the only good thing I had done, and the only
completed thing I had done, since I was first apprised of my great
Clarriker informing me on that occasion that the affairs of the
House were steadily progressing, that he would now be able to
establish a small branch-house in the East which was much wanted
for the extension of the business, and that Herbert in his new
partnership capacity would go out and take charge of it, I found
that I must have prepared for a separation from my friend, even
though my own affairs had been more settled. And now indeed I felt
as if my last anchor were loosening its hold, and I should soon be
driving with the winds and waves.
But, there was recompense in the joy with which Herbert would come
home of a night and tell me of these changes, little imagining that
he told me no news, and would sketch airy pictures of himself
conducting Clara Barley to the land of the Arabian Nights, and of
me going out to join them (with a caravan of camels, I believe),
and of our all going up the Nile and seeing wonders. Without being
sanguine as to my own part in these bright plans, I felt that
Herbert's way was clearing fast, and that old Bill Barley had but
to stick to his pepper and rum, and his daughter would soon be
happily provided for.
We had now got into the month of March. My left arm, though it
presented no bad symptoms, took in the natural course so long to
heal that I was still unable to get a coat on. My right arm was
tolerably restored; - disfigured, but fairly serviceable.
On a Monday morning, when Herbert and I were at breakfast, I
received the following letter from Wemmick by the post.
"Walworth. Burn this as soon as read. Early in the week, or say
Wednesday, you might do what you know of, if you felt disposed to
try it. Now burn."
When I had shown this to Herbert and had put it in the fire - but
not before we had both got it by heart - we considered what to do.
For, of course my being disabled could now be no longer kept out of
"I have thought it over, again and again," said Herbert, "and I
think I know a better course than taking a Thames waterman. Take
Startop. A good fellow, a skilled hand, fond of us, and
enthusiastic and honourable."
I had thought of him, more than once.
"But how much would you tell him, Herbert?"
"It is necessary to tell him very little. Let him suppose it a mere
freak, but a secret one, until the morning comes: then let him know
that there is urgent reason for your getting Provis aboard and
away. You go with him?"
It had seemed to me, in the many anxious considerations I had given
the point, almost indifferent what port we made for - Hamburg,
Rotterdam, Antwerp - the place signified little, so that he was got
out of England. Any foreign steamer that fell in our way and would
take us up, would do. I had always proposed to myself to get him
well down the river in the boat; certainly well beyond Gravesend,
which was a critical place for search or inquiry if suspicion were