Great Expectations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 554 pages of information about Great Expectations.

My appearance with my arm bandaged and my coat loose over my shoulders, favoured my object.  Although I had sent Mr. Jaggers a brief account of the accident as soon as I had arrived in town, yet I had to give him all the details now; and the speciality of the occasion caused our talk to be less dry and hard, and less strictly regulated by the rules of evidence, than it had been before.  While I described the disaster, Mr. Jaggers stood, according to his wont, before the fire.  Wemmick leaned back in his chair, staring at me, with his hands in the pockets of his trousers, and his pen put horizontally into the post.  The two brutal casts, always inseparable in my mind from the official proceedings, seemed to be congestively considering whether they didn’t smell fire at the present moment.

My narrative finished, and their questions exhausted, I then produced Miss Havisham’s authority to receive the nine hundred pounds for Herbert.  Mr. Jaggers’s eyes retired a little deeper into his head when I handed him the tablets, but he presently handed them over to Wemmick, with instructions to draw the cheque for his signature.  While that was in course of being done, I looked on at Wemmick as he wrote, and Mr. Jaggers, poising and swaying himself on his well-polished boots, looked on at me.  “I am sorry, Pip,” said he, as I put the cheque in my pocket, when he had signed it, “that we do nothing for you.”

“Miss Havisham was good enough to ask me,” I returned, “whether she could do nothing for me, and I told her No.”

“Everybody should know his own business,” said Mr. Jaggers.  And I saw Wemmick’s lips form the words “portable property.”

“I should not have told her No, if I had been you,” said Mr Jaggers; “but every man ought to know his own business best.”

“Every man’s business,” said Wemmick, rather reproachfully towards me, “is portable property.”

As I thought the time was now come for pursuing the theme I had at heart, I said, turning on Mr. Jaggers: 

“I did ask something of Miss Havisham, however, sir.  I asked her to give me some information relative to her adopted daughter, and she gave me all she possessed.”

“Did she?” said Mr. Jaggers, bending forward to look at his boots and then straightening himself.  “Hah!  I don’t think I should have done so, if I had been Miss Havisham.  But she ought to know her own business best.”

“I know more of the history of Miss Havisham’s adopted child, than Miss Havisham herself does, sir.  I know her mother.”

Mr. Jaggers looked at me inquiringly, and repeated “Mother?”

“I have seen her mother within these three days.”

“Yes?” said Mr. Jaggers.

“And so have you, sir.  And you have seen her still more recently.”

“Yes?” said Mr. Jaggers.

“Perhaps I know more of Estella’s history than even you do,” said I.  “I know her father too.”

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Great Expectations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.