Great Expectations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 554 pages of information about Great Expectations.
severe punishment.  For some days, I even kept close at home, and looked out at the kitchen door with the greatest caution and trepidation before going on an errand, lest the officers of the County Jail should pounce upon me.  The pale young gentleman’s nose had stained my trousers, and I tried to wash out that evidence of my guilt in the dead of night.  I had cut my knuckles against the pale young gentleman’s teeth, and I twisted my imagination into a thousand tangles, as I devised incredible ways of accounting for that damnatory circumstance when I should be haled before the Judges.

When the day came round for my return to the scene of the deed of violence, my terrors reached their height.  Whether myrmidons of Justice, specially sent down from London, would be lying in ambush behind the gate?  Whether Miss Havisham, preferring to take personal vengeance for an outrage done to her house, might rise in those grave-clothes of hers, draw a pistol, and shoot me dead?  Whether suborned boys — a numerous band of mercenaries — might be engaged to fall upon me in the brewery, and cuff me until I was no more?  It was high testimony to my confidence in the spirit of the pale young gentleman, that I never imagined him accessory to these retaliations; they always came into my mind as the acts of injudicious relatives of his, goaded on by the state of his visage and an indignant sympathy with the family features.

However, go to Miss Havisham’s I must, and go I did.  And behold! nothing came of the late struggle.  It was not alluded to in any way, and no pale young gentleman was to be discovered on the premises.  I found the same gate open, and I explored the garden, and even looked in at the windows of the detached house; but, my view was suddenly stopped by the closed shutters within, and all was lifeless.  Only in the corner where the combat had taken place, could I detect any evidence of the young gentleman’s existence.  There were traces of his gore in that spot, and I covered them with garden-mould from the eye of man.

On the broad landing between Miss Havisham’s own room and that other room in which the long table was laid out, I saw a garden-chair — a light chair on wheels, that you pushed from behind.  It had been placed there since my last visit, and I entered, that same day, on a regular occupation of pushing Miss Havisham in this chair (when she was tired of walking with her hand upon my shoulder) round her own room, and across the landing, and round the other room.  Over and over and over again, we would make these journeys, and sometimes they would last as long as three hours at a stretch.  I insensibly fall into a general mention of these journeys as numerous, because it was at once settled that I should return every alternate day at noon for these purposes, and because I am now going to sum up a period of at least eight or ten months.

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Great Expectations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.