Behind the furthest end of the brewery, was a rank garden with an

old wall: not so high but that I could struggle up and hold on long

enough to look over it, and see that the rank garden was the garden

of the house, and that it was overgrown with tangled weeds, but

that there was a track upon the green and yellow paths, as if some

one sometimes walked there, and that Estella was walking away from

me even then. But she seemed to be everywhere. For, when I yielded

to the temptation presented by the casks, and began to walk on

them. I saw her walking on them at the end of the yard of casks.

She had her back towards me, and held her pretty brown hair spread

out in her two hands, and never looked round, and passed out of my

view directly. So, in the brewery itself - by which I mean the

large paved lofty place in which they used to make the beer, and

where the brewing utensils still were. When I first went into it,

and, rather oppressed by its gloom, stood near the door looking

about me, I saw her pass among the extinguished fires, and ascend

some light iron stairs, and go out by a gallery high overhead, as

if she were going out into the sky.

It was in this place, and at this moment, that a strange thing

happened to my fancy. I thought it a strange thing then, and I

thought it a stranger thing long afterwards. I turned my eyes - a

little dimmed by looking up at the frosty light - towards a great

wooden beam in a low nook of the building near me on my right hand,

and I saw a figure hanging there by the neck. A figure all in

yellow white, with but one shoe to the feet; and it hung so, that I

could see that the faded trimmings of the dress were like earthy

paper, and that the face was Miss Havisham's, with a movement going

over the whole countenance as if she were trying to call to me. In

the terror of seeing the figure, and in the terror of being certain

that it had not been there a moment before, I at first ran from it,

and then ran towards it. And my terror was greatest of all, when I

found no figure there.

Nothing less than the frosty light of the cheerful sky, the sight

of people passing beyond the bars of the court-yard gate, and the

reviving influence of the rest of the bread and meat and beer,

would have brought me round. Even with those aids, I might not have

come to myself as soon as I did, but that I saw Estella approaching

with the keys, to let me out. She would have some fair reason for

looking down upon me, I thought, if she saw me frightened; and she

would have no fair reason.

She gave me a triumphant glance in passing me, as if she rejoiced

that my hands were so coarse and my boots were so thick, and she

opened the gate, and stood holding it. I was passing out without

looking at her, when she touched me with a taunting hand.

"Why don't you cry?"

"Because I don't want to."

"You do," said she. "You have been crying till you are half blind,

and you are near crying again now."

She laughed contemptuously, pushed me out, and locked the gate upon

me. I went straight to Mr. Pumblechook's, and was immensely relieved

to find him not at home. So, leaving word with the shopman on what

day I was wanted at Miss Havisham's again, I set off on the

four-mile walk to our forge; pondering, as I went along, on all I

had seen, and deeply revolving that I was a common labouring-boy;

that my hands were coarse; that my boots were thick; that I had

fallen into a despicable habit of calling knaves Jacks; that I was

much more ignorant than I had considered myself last night, and

generally that I was in a low-lived bad way.

Chapter 9

When I reached home, my sister was very curious to know all about

Miss Havisham's, and asked a number of questions. And I soon found

myself getting heavily bumped from behind in the nape of the neck

and the small of the back, and having my face ignominiously shoved

against the kitchen wall, because I did not answer those questions

at sufficient length.

Charles Dickens
Classic Literature Library
Classic Authors

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