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GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

BY CHARLES DICKENS.
CHAPTER XII.

MY mind grew very uneasy on the subject of
the pale young gentleman. The more I thought
of the fight, and recalled the pale young gentleman
man on his back in various stages of puffy and
incrimsoned countenance, the more certain it
appeared that something would be done to me.
I felt that the pale young gentleman's blood
was on my head, and that the Law would avenge
it. Without having any definite idea of the
penalties I had incurred, it was clear to me that
village boys could not go stalking about the
country, ravaging the houses of gentlefolks and
pitching into the studious youth of England,
without laying themselves open to 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 accessary 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
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.

As we began to be more used to one another,
Miss Havisham talked more to me, and asked
me such questions as what had I learnt and
what was I going to be? I told her I was
going to be apprenticed to Joe, I believed; and
I enlarged upon my knowing nothing and wanting
to know everything, in the hope that she
might offer some help towards that desirable
end. But, she did not; on the contrary, she
seemed to prefer my being ignorant. Neither did
she ever give me any money- or anything but
my daily dinner- nor ever stipulate that I should
be paid for my services.

Estella was always about, and always let me
in and out, but never told me I might kiss her
again. Sometimes, she would coldly tolerate
me; sometimes, she would condescend to me;
sometimes, she would be quite familiar with me;
sometimes, she would tell me energetically that
she hated me. Miss Havisham would often ask
me in a whisper, or when we were alone, " Does
she grow prettier and prettier, Pip?" And

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