“How did you come here?”
“I come her,” he retorted, “on my legs. I had my box brought alongside me in a barrow.”
“Are you here for good?”
“I ain’t her for harm, young master, I suppose?”
I was not so sure of that. I had leisure to entertain the retort in my mind, while he slowly lifted his heavy glance from the pavement, up my legs and arms, to my face.
“Then you have left the forge?” I said.
“Do this look like a forge?” replied Orlick, sending his glance all round him with an air of injury. “Now, do it look like it?”
I asked him how long he had left Gargery’s forge?
“One day is so like another here,” he replied, “that I don’t know without casting it up. However, I come her some time since you left.”
“I could have told you that, Orlick.”
“Ah!” said he, drily. “But then you’ve got to be a scholar.”
By this time we had come to the house, where I found his room to be one just within the side door, with a little window in it looking on the court-yard. In its small proportions, it was not unlike the kind of place usually assigned to a gate-porter in Paris. Certain keys were hanging on the wall, to which he now added the gate-key; and his patchwork-covered bed was in a little inner division or recess. The whole had a slovenly confined and sleepy look, like a cage for a human dormouse: while he, looming dark and heavy in the shadow of a corner by the window, looked like the human dormouse for whom it was fitted up — as indeed he was.
“I never saw this room before,” I remarked; “but there used to be no Porter here.”
“No,” said he; “not till it got about that there was no protection on the premises, and it come to be considered dangerous, with convicts and Tag and Rag and Bobtail going up and down. And then I was recommended to the place as a man who could give another man as good as he brought, and I took it. It’s easier than bellowsing and hammering. — That’s loaded, that is.”
My eye had been caught by a gun with a brass bound stock over the chimney-piece, and his eye had followed mine.
“Well,” said I, not desirous of more conversation, “shall I go up to Miss Havisham?”
“Burn me, if I know!” he retorted, first stretching himself and then shaking himself; “my orders ends here, young master. I give this here bell a rap with this here hammer, and you go on along the passage till you meet somebody.”
“I am expected, I believe?”
“Burn me twice over, if I can say!” said he.
Upon that, I turned down the long passage which I had first trodden in my thick boots, and he made his bell sound. At the end of the passage, while the bell was still reverberating, I found Sarah Pocket: who appeared to have now become constitutionally green and yellow by reason of me.
“Oh!” said she. “You, is it, Mr. Pip?”