I was so unwilling to see the look again, that I made no remonstrance against this tone.
“Well, Sir,” pursued Joe, “this is how it were. I were at the Bargemen t’other night, Pip;” whenever he subsided into affection, he called me Pip, and whenever he relapsed into politeness he called me Sir; “when there come up in his shay-cart, Pumblechook. Which that same identical,” said Joe, going down a new track, “do comb my ’air the wrong way sometimes, awful, by giving out up and down town as it were him which ever had your infant companionation and were looked upon as a playfellow by yourself.”
“Nonsense. It was you, Joe.”
“Which I fully believed it were, Pip,” said Joe, slightly tossing his head, “though it signify little now, Sir. Well, Pip; this same identical, which his manners is given to blusterous, come to me at the Bargemen (wot a pipe and a pint of beer do give refreshment to the working-man, Sir, and do not over stimilate), and his word were, ‘Joseph, Miss Havisham she wish to speak to you.’”
“Miss Havisham, Joe?”
“‘She wish,’ were Pumblechook’s word, ‘to speak to you.’” Joe sat and rolled his eyes at the ceiling.
“Yes, Joe? Go on, please.”
“Next day, Sir,” said Joe, looking at me as if I were a long way off, “having cleaned myself, I go and I see Miss A.”
“Miss A., Joe? Miss Havisham?”
“Which I say, Sir,” replied Joe, with an air of legal formality, as if he were making his will, “Miss A., or otherways Havisham. Her expression air then as follering: ’Mr. Gargery. You air in correspondence with Mr. Pip?’ Having had a letter from you, I were able to say ‘I am.’ (When I married your sister, Sir, I said ’I will;’ and when I answered your friend, Pip, I said ‘I am.’) ’Would you tell him, then,’ said she, ’that which Estella has come home and would be glad to see him.’”
I felt my face fire up as I looked at Joe. I hope one remote cause of its firing, may have been my consciousness that if I had known his errand, I should have given him more encouragement.
“Biddy,” pursued Joe, “when I got home and asked her fur to write the message to you, a little hung back. Biddy says, ’I know he will be very glad to have it by word of mouth, it is holidaytime, you want to see him, go!’ I have now concluded, Sir,” said Joe, rising from his chair, “and, Pip, I wish you ever well and ever prospering to a greater and a greater heighth.”
“But you are not going now, Joe?”
“Yes I am,” said Joe.
“But you are coming back to dinner, Joe?”
“No I am not,” said Joe.
Our eyes met, and all the “Sir” melted out of that manly heart as he gave me his hand.