Not but what, Pip, if you had ever made objections to the

business - such as its being open to black and sut, or such-like -

not but what they would have been attended to, don't you see?"

"Has the boy," said Miss Havisham, "ever made any objection? Does

he like the trade?"

"Which it is well beknown to yourself, Pip," returned Joe,

strengthening his former mixture of argumentation, confidence, and

politeness, "that it were the wish of your own hart." (I saw the

idea suddenly break upon him that he would adapt his epitaph to the

occasion, before he went on to say) "And there weren't no objection

on your part, and Pip it were the great wish of your heart!"

It was quite in vain for me to endeavour to make him sensible that

he ought to speak to Miss Havisham. The more I made faces and

gestures to him to do it, the more confidential, argumentative, and

polite, he persisted in being to Me.

"Have you brought his indentures with you?" asked Miss Havisham.

"Well, Pip, you know," replied Joe, as if that were a little

unreasonable, "you yourself see me put 'em in my 'at, and therefore

you know as they are here." With which he took them out, and gave

them, not to Miss Havisham, but to me. I am afraid I was ashamed of

the dear good fellow - I know I was ashamed of him - when I saw

that Estella stood at the back of Miss Havisham's chair, and that

her eyes laughed mischievously. I took the indentures out of his

hand and gave them to Miss Havisham.

"You expected," said Miss Havisham, as she looked them over, "no

premium with the boy?"

"Joe!" I remonstrated; for he made no reply at all. "Why don't you

answer--"

"Pip," returned Joe, cutting me short as if he were hurt, "which I

meantersay that were not a question requiring a answer betwixt

yourself and me, and which you know the answer to be full well No.

You know it to be No, Pip, and wherefore should I say it?"

Miss Havisham glanced at him as if she understood what he really

was, better than I had thought possible, seeing what he was there;

and took up a little bag from the table beside her.

"Pip has earned a premium here," she said, "and here it is. There

are five-and-twenty guineas in this bag. Give it to your master,

Pip."

As if he were absolutely out of his mind with the wonder awakened

in him by her strange figure and the strange room, Joe, even at

this pass, persisted in addressing me.

"This is wery liberal on your part, Pip," said Joe, "and it is as

such received and grateful welcome, though never looked for, far

nor near nor nowheres. And now, old chap," said Joe, conveying to

me a sensation, first of burning and then of freezing, for I felt

as if that familiar expression were applied to Miss Havisham; "and

now, old chap, may we do our duty! May you and me do our duty, both

on us by one and another, and by them which your liberal present -

have - conweyed - to be - for the satisfaction of mind - of - them

as never--" here Joe showed that he felt he had fallen into

frightful difficulties, until he triumphantly rescued himself with

the words, "and from myself far be it!" These words had such a

round and convincing sound for him that he said them twice.

"Good-bye, Pip!" said Miss Havisham. "Let them out, Estella."

"Am I to come again, Miss Havisham?" I asked.

"No. Gargery is your master now. Gargery! One word!"

Thus calling him back as I went out of the door, I heard her say to

Joe, in a distinct emphatic voice, "The boy has been a good boy

here, and that is his reward. Of course, as an honest man, you will

expect no other and no more."

How Joe got out of the room, I have never been able to determine;

but, I know that when he did get out he was steadily proceeding

up-stairs instead of coming down, and was deaf to all remonstrances

until I went after him and laid hold of him. In another minute we

were outside the gate, and it was locked, and Estella was gone.

Charles Dickens
Classic Literature Library
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