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others who were waiting, saw him at the same time, and there was quite a rush at
him. Mr. Jaggers, putting a hand on my shoulder and walking me on at his side
without saying anything to me, addressed himself to his followers.
First, he took the two secret men.
"Now, I have nothing to say to you," said Mr. Jaggers, throwing his finger
at them. "I want to know no more than I know. As to the result, it's a
toss-up. I told you from the first it was a toss-up. Have you paid Wemmick?"
"We made the money up this morning, sir," said one of the men,
submissively, while the other perused Mr. Jaggers's face.
"I don't ask you when you made it up, or where, or whether you made it up
at all. Has Wemmick got it?"
"Yes, sir," said both the men together.
"Very well; then you may go. Now, I won't have it!" said Mr Jaggers,
waving his hand at them to put them behind him. "If you say a word to me, I'll
throw up the case."
"We thought, Mr. Jaggers--" one of the men began, pulling off his hat.
"That's what I told you not to do," said Mr. Jaggers. "You thought! I
think for you; that's enough for you. If I want you, I know where to find you;
I don't want you to find me. Now I won't have it. I won't hear a word."
The two men looked at one another as Mr. Jaggers waved them behind again,
and humbly fell back and were heard no more.
"And now you!" said Mr. Jaggers, suddenly stopping, and turning on the two
women with the shawls, from whom the three men had meekly separated. - "Oh!
Amelia, is it?"
"Yes, Mr. Jaggers."
"And do you remember," retorted Mr. Jaggers, "that but for me you wouldn't
be here and couldn't be here?"
"Oh yes, sir!" exclaimed both women together. "Lord bless you, sir, well
we knows that!"
"Then why," said Mr. Jaggers, "do you come here?"
"My Bill, sir!" the crying woman pleaded.
"Now, I tell you what!" said Mr. Jaggers. "Once for all. If you don't
know that your Bill's in good hands, I know it. And if you come here, bothering
about your Bill, I'll make an example of both your Bill and you, and let him
slip through my fingers. Have you paid Wemmick?"
"Oh yes, sir! Every farden."
"Very well. Then you have done all you have got to do. Say another word -
one single word - and Wemmick shall give you your money back."
This terrible threat caused the two women to fall off immediately. No one
remained now but the excitable Jew, who had already raised the skirts of Mr.
Jaggers's coat to his lips several times.
"I don't know this man!" said Mr. Jaggers, in the same devastating strain:
"What does this fellow want?"
"Ma thear Mithter Jaggerth. Hown brother to Habraham Latharuth?"
"Who's he?" said Mr. Jaggers. "Let go of my coat."
The suitor, kissing the hem of the garment again before relinquishing it,
replied, "Habraham Latharuth, on thuthpithion of plate."
"You're too late," said Mr. Jaggers. "I am over the way."
"Holy father, Mithter Jaggerth!" cried my excitable acquaintance, turning
white, "don't thay you're again Habraham Latharuth!"
"I am," said Mr. Jaggers, "and there's an end of it. Get out of the way."
"Mithter Jaggerth! Half a moment! My hown cuthen'th gone to Mithter
Wemmick at thith prethent minute, to hoffer him hany termth. Mithter Jaggerth!
Half a quarter of a moment! If you'd have the condethenthun to be bought off
from the t'other thide - at hany thuperior prithe! - money no object! - Mithter
Jaggerth - Mithter - !"
My guardian threw his supplicant off with supreme indifference, and left
him dancing on the pavement as if it were red-hot. Without further
interruption, we reached the front office, where we found the clerk and the man
in velveteen with the fur cap.
"Here's Mike," said the clerk, getting down from his stool, and approaching
Mr. Jaggers confidentially.
"Oh!" said Mr. Jaggers, turning to the man, who was pulling a lock of hair
in the middle of his forehead, like the Bull in Cock Robin pulling at the
bell-rope; "your man comes on this afternoon. Well?"
"Well, Mas'r Jaggers," returned Mike, in the voice of a sufferer from a
constitutional cold; "arter a deal o' trouble, I've found one, sir, as might
"What is he prepared to swear?"
"Well, Mas'r Jaggers," said Mike, wiping his nose on his fur cap this time;
"in a general way, anythink."
Mr. Jaggers suddenly became most irate. "Now, I warned you before," said
he, throwing his forefinger at the terrified client, "that if you ever presumed
to talk in that way here, I'd make an example of you. You infernal scoundrel,
how dare you tell ME that?"
The client looked scared, but bewildered too, as if he were unconscious
what he had done.
"Spooney!" said the clerk, in a low voice, giving him a stir with his
elbow. "Soft Head! Need you say it face to face?"
"Now, I ask you, you blundering booby," said my guardian, very sternly,
"once more and for the last time, what the man you have brought here is prepared
Mike looked hard at my guardian, as if he were trying to learn a lesson
from his face, and slowly replied, "Ayther to character, or to having been in
his company and never left him all the night in question."
"Now, be careful. In what station of life is this man?"
Mike looked at his cap, and looked at the floor, and looked at the ceiling,
and looked at the clerk, and even looked at me, before beginning to reply in a
nervous manner, "We've dressed him up like--" when my guardian blustered out:
"What? You WILL, will you?"
("Spooney!" added the clerk again, with another stir.)
After some helpless casting about, Mike brightened and began again:
"He is dressed like a 'spectable pieman. A sort of a pastry-cook."
"Is he here?" asked my guardian.
"I left him," said Mike, "a settin on some doorsteps round the corner."
"Take him past that window, and let me see him."
The window indicated, was the office window. We all three went to it,
behind the wire blind, and presently saw the client go by in an accidental
manner, with a murderous-looking tall individual, in a short suit of white linen
and a paper cap. This guileless confectioner was not by any means sober, and
had a black eye in the green stage of recovery, which was painted over.
"Tell him to take his witness away directly," said my guardian to the
clerk, in extreme disgust, "and ask him what he means by bringing such a fellow
My guardian then took me into his own room, and while he lunched, standing,
from a sandwich-box and a pocket flask of sherry (he seemed to bully his very
sandwich as he ate it), informed me what arrangements he had made for me. I was
to go to "Barnard's Inn," to young Mr. Pocket's rooms, where a bed had been sent
in for my accommodation; I was to remain with young Mr. Pocket until Monday; on
Monday I was to go with him to his father's house on a visit, that I might try
how I liked it. Also, I was told what my allowance was to be - it was a very
liberal one - and had handed to me from one of my guardian's drawers, the cards
of certain tradesmen with whom I was to deal for all kinds of clothes, and such
other things as I could in reason want. "You will find your credit good, Mr.
Pip," said my guardian, whose flask of sherry smelt like a whole cask-full, as
he hastily refreshed himself, "but I shall by this means be able to check your
bills, and to pull you up if I find you outrunning the constable. Of course
you'll go wrong somehow, but that's no fault of mine."
After I had pondered a little over this encouraging sentiment, I asked Mr.
Jaggers if I could send for a coach? He said it was not worth while, I was so
near my destination; Wemmick should walk round with me, if I pleased.
I then found that Wemmick was the clerk in the next room. Another clerk
was rung down from up-stairs to take his place while he was out, and I
accompanied him into the street, after shaking hands with my guardian. We found
a new set of people lingering outside, but Wemmick made a way among them by
saying coolly yet decisively, "I tell you it's no use; he won't have a word to
say to one of you;" and we soon got clear of them, and went on side by side.
Casting my eyes on Mr. Wemmick as we went along, to see what he was like in
the light of day, I found him to be a dry man, rather short in stature, with a
square wooden face, whose expression seemed to have been imperfectly chipped out
with a dull-edged chisel. There were some marks in it that might have been
dimples, if the material had been softer and the instrument finer, but which, as
it was, were only dints. The chisel had made three or four of these attempts at
embellishment over his nose, but had given them up without an effort to smooth
them off. I judged him to be a bachelor from the frayed condition of his linen,
and he appeared to have sustained a good many bereavements; for, he wore at
least four mourning rings, besides a brooch representing a lady and a weeping
willow at a tomb with an urn on it. I noticed, too, that several rings and
seals hung at his watch chain, as if he were quite laden with remembrances of
departed friends. He had glittering eyes - small, keen, and black - and thin
wide mottled lips. He had had them, to the best of my belief, from forty to
"So you were never in London before?" said Mr. Wemmick to me.
"No," said I.
"I was new here once," said Mr. Wemmick. "Rum to think of now!"
"You are well acquainted with it now?"
"Why, yes," said Mr. Wemmick. "I know the moves of it."
"Is it a very wicked place?" I asked, more for the sake of saying something
than for information.
"You may get cheated, robbed, and murdered, in London. But there are
plenty of people anywhere, who'll do that for you."
"If there is bad blood between you and them," said I, to soften it off a
"Oh! I don't know about bad blood," returned Mr. Wemmick; "there's not
much bad blood about. They'll do it, if there's anything to be got by it."
"That makes it worse."
"You think so?" returned Mr. Wemmick. "Much about the same, I should say."
He wore his hat on the back of his head, and looked straight before him:
walking in a self-contained way as if there were nothing in the streets to claim
his attention. His mouth was such a postoffice of a mouth that he had a
mechanical appearance of smiling. We had got to the top of Holborn Hill before
I knew that it was merely a mechanical appearance, and that he was not smiling
"Do you know where Mr. Matthew Pocket lives?" I asked Mr. Wemmick.
"Yes," said he, nodding in the direction. "At Hammersmith, west of
"Is that far?"
"Well! Say five miles."
"Do you know him?"
"Why, you're a regular cross-examiner!" said Mr. Wemmick, looking at me
with an approving air. "Yes, I know him. I know him!"
There was an air of toleration or depreciation about his utterance of these
words, that rather depressed me; and I was still looking sideways at his block
of a face in search of any encouraging note to the text, when he said here we
were at Barnard's Inn. My depression was not alleviated by the announcement,
for, I had supposed that establishment to be an hotel kept by Mr. Barnard, to
which the Blue Boar in our town was a mere public-house. Whereas I now found
Barnard to be a disembodied spirit, or a fiction, and his inn the dingiest
collection of shabby buildings ever squeezed together in a rank corner as a club
We entered this haven through a wicket-gate, and were disgorged by an
introductory passage into a melancholy little square that looked to me like a
flat burying-ground. I thought it had the most dismal trees in it, and the most
dismal sparrows, and the most dismal cats, and the most dismal houses (in number
half a dozen or so), that I had ever seen. I thought the windows of the sets of
chambers into which those houses were divided, were in every stage of
dilapidated blind and curtain, crippled flower-pot, cracked glass, dusty decay,
and miserable makeshift; while To Let To Let To Let, glared at me from empty
rooms, as if no new wretches ever came there, and the vengeance of the soul of
Barnard were being slowly appeased by the gradual suicide of the present
occupants and their unholy interment under the gravel. A frouzy mourning of
soot and smoke attired this forlorn creation of Barnard, and it had strewn ashes
on its head, and was undergoing penance and humiliation as a mere dust-hole.
Thus far my sense of sight; while dry rot and wet rot and all the silent rots
that rot in neglected roof and cellar - rot of rat and mouse and bug and
coaching-stables near at hand besides - addressed themselves faintly to my sense
of smell, and moaned, "Try Barnard's Mixture."
So imperfect was this realization of the first of my great expectations,
that I looked in dismay at Mr. Wemmick. "Ah!" said he, mistaking me; "the