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Harper's Weekly Picture and Story on the Des Moines, Iowa, Indian Agency

The February 9, 1861 Edition of Harper's Weekly

Biographies of Seceding Alabama Delegation | Civil War News, February 9, 1861 | Captain Foster News Article | Iowa Indian Agency | Secession News | Louisiana Secession | Confederate State House, Montgomery Alabama | Vicksburg During Civil War | Vicksburg, Mississippi Civil War News | Civil War Iron Clads | Civil War Iron Clad Story in Harper's Weekly | Civil War Slave Cartoon

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FEBRUARY 9, 1861.]




(Continued from Previous Page)

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.]


Splendidly Illustrated by John McLenan.

Printed from the Manuscript and early Proof-sheets purchased from the Author by the Proprietors of "Harper's Weekly."


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, Willful Murder.

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 again.

"Now!" said he. "Do you know it, or don't you know it ?"

" Certainly I know it," replied Mr. Wopsle.

" 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."

"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. Wopsle.

" Yes !" repeated the stranger, looking round

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, unheard?"

We all began to suspect that Mr. Wopsle was not the man we had thought him, and that he was beginning to be found out.

"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 right.

" 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 that."

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 Joe.

"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 one another.

"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 grand scale.

"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 objection.

"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


Des Moines Indian Agency




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