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Chapter 5: The Sergeant and the Soldiers... Notes from Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Chapter 5: The Sergeant and the Soldiers...

The handcuffs aren't, as he'd feared, for Pip. The sergeant has come instead for a blacksmith who can promptly mend the broken cuffs so that they can be put to use this afternoon in the hunt for two escaped convicts. Having to wait a few hours while Joe does the work, the soldiers are invited in by Mrs. Joe, and a little party gets going in the Gargery kitchen.

Joe finishes mending the cuffs, and he, Mr. Wopsle, and Pip accompany the soldiers out into the marshes. There soon comes a great hollering--what sounds like two voices--and the search party sets off in pursuit. It is indeed the two convicts, and these convicts are the two spooky men that Pip encountered on the marshes earlier that day. The first shackled man, which Pip thinks to himself as "my convict," seems almost happy that the police have arrived. For some reason, it's very important to him that the other man be returned to the prison ship, and the shackled man's conversation indicates that the two may have been on trial together at some point in the past.

The two men are handcuffed, and everyone makes their way by torchlight out of the marshes. Pip is terrified that his convict will recognize him, which he does, but the convict says nothing. In fact, as they all stand in a wooden hut, where some sort of police report is filed, the convict makes the surprising confession that he has stolen food from the blacksmith's house, generously clearing Pip of any trouble he might have gotten in had it been presumed Pip stole the missing food.

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