When Miss Havisham

done the handsome thing by you, she called me back to say to me as

that were all."

"Yes, Joe. I heard her."

"ALL," Joe repeated, very emphatically.

"Yes, Joe. I tell you, I heard her."

"Which I meantersay, Pip, it might be that her meaning were - Make

a end on it! - As you was! - Me to the North, and you to the South!

- Keep in sunders!"

I had thought of that too, and it was very far from comforting to

me to find that he had thought of it; for it seemed to render it

more probable.

"But, Joe."

"Yes, old chap."

"Here am I, getting on in the first year of my time, and, since the

day of my being bound, I have never thanked Miss Havisham, or asked

after her, or shown that I remember her."

"That's true, Pip; and unless you was to turn her out a set of

shoes all four round - and which I meantersay as even a set of

shoes all four round might not be acceptable as a present, in a

total wacancy of hoofs--"

"I don't mean that sort of remembrance, Joe; I don't mean a

present."

But Joe had got the idea of a present in his head and must harp

upon it. "Or even," said he, "if you was helped to knocking her up

a new chain for the front door - or say a gross or two of

shark-headed screws for general use - or some light fancy article,

such as a toasting-fork when she took her muffins - or a gridiron

when she took a sprat or such like--"

"I don't mean any present at all, Joe," I interposed.

"Well," said Joe, still harping on it as though I had particularly

pressed it, "if I was yourself, Pip, I wouldn't. No, I would not.

For what's a door-chain when she's got one always up? And

shark-headers is open to misrepresentations. And if it was a

toasting-fork, you'd go into brass and do yourself no credit. And

the oncommonest workman can't show himself oncommon in a gridiron -

for a gridiron IS a gridiron," said Joe, steadfastly impressing it

upon me, as if he were endeavouring to rouse me from a fixed

delusion, "and you may haim at what you like, but a gridiron it

will come out, either by your leave or again your leave, and you

can't help yourself--"

"My dear Joe," I cried, in desperation, taking hold of his coat,

"don't go on in that way. I never thought of making Miss Havisham

any present."

"No, Pip," Joe assented, as if he had been contending for that, all

along; "and what I say to you is, you are right, Pip."

"Yes, Joe; but what I wanted to say, was, that as we are rather

slack just now, if you would give me a half-holiday to-morrow, I

think I would go up-town and make a call on Miss Est - Havisham."

"Which her name," said Joe, gravely, "ain't Estavisham, Pip, unless

she have been rechris'ened."

"I know, Joe, I know. It was a slip of mine. What do you think of

it, Joe?"

In brief, Joe thought that if I thought well of it, he thought well

of it. But, he was particular in stipulating that if I were not

received with cordiality, or if I were not encouraged to repeat my

visit as a visit which had no ulterior object but was simply one of

gratitude for a favour received, then this experimental trip should

have no successor. By these conditions I promised to abide.

Now, Joe kept a journeyman at weekly wages whose name was Orlick.

He pretended that his Christian name was Dolge - a clear

impossibility - but he was a fellow of that obstinate disposition

that I believe him to have been the prey of no delusion in this

particular, but wilfully to have imposed that name upon the village

as an affront to its understanding. He was a broadshouldered

loose-limbed swarthy fellow of great strength, never in a hurry,

and always slouching. He never even seemed to come to his work on

purpose, but would slouch in as if by mere accident; and when he

went to the Jolly Bargemen to eat his dinner, or went away at

night, he would slouch out, like Cain or the Wandering Jew, as if

he had no idea where he was going and no intention of ever coming

back.

Charles Dickens
Classic Literature Library
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