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THE OLD INDIAN AGENCY AT
MOINES, IOWA .-[FROM A DAGUERREOTYPE.]
picture back of the house show
the snow on the places where the fire last fall burned off the weeds and grass,
whereby the snow is permitted to be seen in all its unflecked whiteness.
" Many of our citizens would be
glad to see this relic embalmed in the pages of the Weekly, so that themselves
and children in the future may be able to see the resemblance of one of the
landmarks which bore so important a part in the early history of our city and
the surrounding territory."
[Entered according to Act of
Congress, in the Year 1860, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the
District Court for the Southern District of New York.]
BY CHARLES DICKENS.
Splendidly Illustrated by John McLenan.
Printed from the Manuscript and
early Proof-sheets purchased from the Author by the Proprietors of "Harper's
IT was in the fourth year of my
apprentice-ship to Joe, and it was a Saturday night. There was a group assembled
round the fire at the Three Jolly Bargemen, attentive to Mr. Wopsle as he read
the newspaper aloud. Of that group I was one.
A highly popular murder had been
committed, and Mr. Wopsle was imbrued in blood to the eyebrows. He gloated over
every abhorrent adjective in the description, and identified himself with every
witness at the Inquest. He faintly moaned, "I am done for," as the victim, and
he barbarously bellowed, " I'll serve you out," as the murderer. He gave the
medical testimony, in pointed imitation of our local practitioner ; and he piped
and shook, as the aged turnpike-keeper who had heard blows, to an extent so very
paralytic as to suggest a doubt regarding the mental competency of that witness.
The coroner, in Mr. Wopsle's hands, be-came Timon of Athens ; the beadle,
Coriolanus. He enjoyed himself thoroughly, and we all
enjoyed ourselves, and were
delightfully comfort-able. In this cozy state of mind we came to the verdict,
Then, and' not sooner, I became
aware of a strange gentleman leaning over the back of the settle opposite me,
looking on. There was an expression of contempt on his face, and he bit the side
of a great forefinger as he watched the group of faces. " Well !" said the
stranger to Mr. Wopsle, when the reading was done, "you have settled it all to
your own satisfaction, I have no doubt ?"
Every body started and looked up,
as if. it were the murderer. He looked at every body coldly and sarcastically.
" Guilty, of course?" said he.
"Out with it. Come!"
" Sir," returned Mr. Wopsle, "
without having the honor of your acquaintance, I do say Guilty." Upon this we
all took courage to unite in a confirmatory murmur.
"I know you do," said the
stranger ; "I knew you would, I told you so. But now I'll ask you a question. Do
you know, or do you not know, that the law of England supposes every man to be
innocent until he is proved- proved—to be guilty ?"
" Sir," Mr. Wopsle began to
reply, " as an Englishman myself, I—"
" Come !" said the stranger,
biting his fore-finger at him. " Don't evade the question. Either you know it or
you don't know it. Which is it to be?"
He stood with his head on one
side, and him-self on one side, in a bullying, interrogative manner, and he
threw his forefinger at Mr. Wopsle—as it were to mark him out—before biting it
"Now!" said he. "Do you know it,
or don't you know it ?"
" Certainly I know it," replied
" Certainly you know it. Then why
didn't you say so at first ? Now I'll ask you another question ;" taking
possession of Mr. Wopsle, as if he had a right to him. "Do you know that none of
these witnesses have, yet been cross-examined ?"
Mr. Wopsle was beginning, " I can
only say—" when the stranger stopped him.
" What ? You won't answer the
question, yes or no ? Now I'll try you again. Throwing his finger at him again.
"Attend to me. Are you aware, or are you not aware, that none of these witnesses
have yet been cross-examined ? Come, I only want one word from you. Yes or no?"
Mr. Wopsle hesitated, and we all
began to conceive rather a poor opinion of him.
" Come !" said the stranger, "
I'll help you. You don't deserve help, but I'll help you. Look at that paper you
hold in your hand. What is it ?"
" What is it ?" repeated Mr.
Wopsle, eying it, much at a loss.
" Is it," pursued the stranger in
his most sarcastic and suspicious manner, " the printed pa-per you have just
been reading from?"
"Undoubtedly. Now turn to that
paper and tell me whether it distinctly states that the prisoner expressly said
that his legal advisers instructed him altogether to reserve his defense?"
"I read that just now," Mr.
Wopsle pleaded. "Never Never mind what you read just now, Sir ; I don't ask you
what you read. You may read the Lord's Prayer backward, if you like—and,
perhaps, have done it before to-day. Turn to the paper. No, no, no, my friend ;
not to the top of the column ; you know better than that; to the bottom, to the
bottom." (We all began to think Mr. Wopsle full of subterfuge.) " Well ? Have
you found it?"
"Here it is," said Mr. Wopsle.
" Now follow that passage with
your eye, and tell me whether it distinctly states that the prisoner expressly
said that he was instructed by his legal advisers wholly to reserve his defense?
Come ! Do you make that of it ?"
Mr. Wopsle answered, "Those are
not the exact words."
"Not the exact words!" repeated
the gentle-man, bitterly. "Is that the exact substance ?" " Yes," said Mr.
" Yes !" repeated the stranger,
at the rest of the company with
his right hand extended toward the witness, Wopsle. "And now I ask you what you
say to the conscience of that man who, with that passage before his eyes, can
lay his head upon his pillow after having pronounced a fellow-creature guilty,
We all began to suspect that Mr.
Wopsle was not the man we had thought him, and that he was beginning to be found
"And that same man, remember,"
pursued the gentleman, throwing his finger at Mr. Wopsle heavily ; "that same
man might be summoned as a juryman upon this very trial, and, having thus deeply
committed himself, might return to the bosom of his family and lay his head upon
his pillow, after deliberately swearing that he would well and truly try the
issue joined between Our Sovereign Lord the King and the prisoner at the bar,
and would a true verdict give according to the evidence, so help him God !"
We were all deeply persuaded that
the unfortunate Wopsle had gone too far, and had bet-ter stop in his reckless
career while there was yet time.
The strange gentleman, with an
air of authority not to be disputed, and with a manner expressive of knowing
something secret about every one of us that would effectually do for each
individual if he chose to disclose it, left the back of the settle, and came
into the space between the two settles, in front of the fire, where he remained
standing: his left hand in his pocket, and he biting the forefinger of his
" From information I have
received," said he, looking round at us as we all quailed before him, "I have
reason to believe there is a black-smith among you, by name Joseph—or
Joe—Gargery. Which is the man?"
" Here is the man," said Joe.
The strange gentleman beckoned
him out of his place, and Joe went.
" You have an apprentice,"
pursued the stranger, "commonly known as Pip? Is he here ?"
" I am here !" I cried.
The stranger did not recognize
me, but I recognized him as the gentleman I had met on the stairs on the
occasion of my second visit to Miss Havisham. His appearance was too remark-able
for me to have forgotten. I had known him the moment I saw him looking over the
settle, and now that I stood confronting him with his hand upon my shoulder, I
checked off again in detail, his large head, his dark complexion, his deep-set
eyes, his bushy black eye-brows, his large watch-chain, his strong black dots of
beard and whisker, and even the smell of scented soap on his great hand.
"I wish to have a private
conference with you two," said he, when he had surveyed me at his leisure. "It
will take a little time. Per-Imps we had better go to your place of residence. I
prefer not to anticipate my communication here ; you will impart as much or as
little of it as you please to your friends afterward ; I have nothing to do with
Amidst a wondering silence we
three walked out of the Jolly Bargemen, and in a wondering silence walked home.
While going along, the strange gentleman occasionally looked at me, and
occasionally bit the side of his finger. As we neared home, Joe, vaguely
acknowledging the occasion as an impressive and ceremonious one, went on ahead
to open the front door. Our conference was held in the state-parlor, which was
feebly lighted by one candle.
It began with the strange
gentleman's sitting down at the table, drawing the candle to him, and looking
over some entries in his pocket-book. He then put up the pocket-book, and set
the candle a little aside : after
peering round it into the darkness at Joe and me, to ascertain which was which.
"My name," he said, " is Jaggers,
and I am a lawyer in London. I am pretty well known. I have unusual business to
transact with you, and I commence by explaining that it is not of my
originating. If my advice had been asked, I should not have been here. It was
not asked, and you see me here. What I have to do, as the confidential agent of
another, I do. No less, no more."
Finding that he could not see us
very well from where he sat, he got up, and threw one leg over the back of a
chair, and leaned upon it; thus having one foot on the seat of the chair, and
one foot on the ground.
Now, Joseph Gargery, I am the
bearer of an offer to relieve you of this young fellow, your apprentice. You
would not object to cancel his indentures, at his request and for his good? You
would not want any thing for so doing ?"
"Lord forbid that I should want
any thing for not standing in Pip's way !" said Joe, staring.
"Lord forbidding is pious, but
not to the purpose," returned Mr. Jaggers. "The question is, Would you want any
thing? Do you want any thing?"
" The answer is," returned Joe,
sternly, 44 No."
I thought Mr. Jaggers glanced at
Joe as if he considered him a fool for his disinterestedness. But I was too much
bewildered between breathless curiosity and surprise to be sure of it.
"Very well," said Mr. Jaggers.
"Recollect the admission you have made, and don't try to go from it presently."
"Who's a going to try ?" retorted
"I don't say any body is. Do you
keep a dog ?"
"Yes, I do keep a dog."
" Bear in mind, then, that Brag
is a good dog, but Holdfast is a better. Bear that in mind, will you?" repeated
Mr. Jaggers, shutting his eyes and nodding his head at Joe, as if he were
forgiving him something. "Now I return to this young fellow. And the
communication I have got to make is, that he has great expectations."
Joe and I gasped, and looked at
"I am instructed to communicate
to him," said Mr. Jaggers, throwing his finger at me, sideways, "that he will
come into a handsome property. Further, that it is the desire of the present
possessor of that property that he be immediately removed from his present
sphere of life and from this place, and be brought up as a gentleman—in a word,
as a young fellow of great expectations."
My dream was out ; my wild fancy
was surpassed by sober reality ; Miss Havisham was going to make my fortune on a
"Now, Mr. Pip," pursued the
lawyer, "I ad-dress the rest of what I have to say to you. You are to understand
first, that it is the request of the person from whom I take my instructions,
that you always bear the name of Pip. You will have no objection, I dare say, to
your great expectations being encumbered with that easy condition. But if you
have any objection, this is the time to mention it."
My heart was beating so fast, and
there was such a singing in my ears, that I could scarcely stammer I had no
"I should think not ! New you are
to under-stand, secondly, Mr. Pip, that the name of the person who is your
liberal benefactor remains a profound secret until the person chooses to re-veal
it. I am empowered to mention that it is the intention of the person to reveal
it at first hand by word of mouth to yourself'. When that intention may be
carried out I can not say; no one can say. It may be years hence; even
"PIP'S A GENTLEMAN OF FORTUN',
THEN," SAID JOE, "AND GOD BLESS HIM IN IT!"