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up in his shay-cart Pumblechook.
Which that same identical," said Joe, going down a new track, "do comb my 'air
the wrong way some-times, by giving out up and down town as it wore him which
ever had your infant companionation and were looked upon as a playfellow by
"Nonsense. It was you, Joe."
"Which I fully believed it were,
Pip," said Joe, slightly tossing his head, " though it signify little now, Sir.
Well, Pip ; this same identical, which his manners is given to blusterous, come
to me at the Bargemen (wot a pipe and a pint of beer do give refreshment to the
working man, Sir, and do not over stimilate), and his word were, `Joseph, Miss
Havisham she wish to speak to you.""
" Miss Havisham, Joe ?"
She wish,' were Pumblechook's
word, ' to speak to you.' " Joe sat and rolled his eyes at the ceiling.
"Yes, Joe? Go on, please."
"Next day, Sir," said Joe,
looking at me as if I were a long way off, " having cleaned myself, I go and I
see Miss A."
" Miss A., Joe ? Miss Havisham?"
"Which I say, Sir," replied Joe,
"Miss A., or Havisham. 'Her expression air then as follering : 'Mr. Gargery. You
air in correspondence with Mr. Pip ?' Having had a letter from you, I were able
to say ' I am.' (When I married your sister, Sir, I said ' I will ;' and when I
answered your friend, Pip, I said ' I am.') ' Would you tell him, then,' said
she, ' that which Estella has come home and would be glad to see him?' "
I felt my face fire up as I
looked at Joe. I hope one remote cause of its firing may have been my
consciousness that if I had known his errand I should have given him more
"Biddy," pursued Joe, "when I got
home and asked her fur to write the message to you, a little hung back. Biddy
says, ' I know he will be very glad to have it by word of mouth, it is
holiday-time, you want to see him, go !' I have now concluded, Sir," said Joe,
rising from his chair, "and, Pip, I wish you ever well and ever prospering to a
greater and greater heigth."
" But you are not going now, Joe
" Yes I am," said Joe.
"But you are coming back to
dinner, Joe ?" " No, I am not," said Joe.
Our eyes met, and all the " Sir"
melted out of that honest open heart as he gave me his hand.
"Pip, dear old chap, life is made
of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, and one man's a
blacksmith, and one's a white-smith, and one's a goldsmith, and one's a
coppersmith. Diwisions among such must come, and must be met as they come. If
there's been any fault at all to-day, it's mine. You and me is not two figures
to be together in London ; nor yet any whores else but what is private, and
beknown, and understood among friends. It ain't that I am proud, but that I want
to be right, as you shall never see me no more in these clothes. I'm wrong in
these clothes. I'm wrong out of the forge, the kitchen, or off th' meshes. You
won't find half so much fault in me if you think of me in my forge-dress, with
my hammer in my hand, pr even my pipe. You won't find half so much fault in me
if, supposing as you should ever wish to see me, you come and put your head in
at the forge-window and see Joe the blacksmith there at the old anvil, in the
old burned apron, at the old work, as he used to be when he first carried you
about. I'm awful dull, but I hope I've beat out something nigh the rights of
this at last. And so Gov bless you, dear old Pip ; old chap, GOD bless you !"
I had not been mistaken in my
fancy that there was a simple dignity in him. The fashion of his dress could no
more come in its way when he spoke these words than it could come in its way in
heaven. He touched me gently on the forehead and went out. As soon as I could
re-cover myself sufficiently I ran out after him and looked for him in the
neighboring streets; but he was gone.
IT was clear that I must repair
to our town next day, and in the first flow of my repentance it was equally
clear that I must stay at Joe's. But when I had secured my box-place by
to-morrow's coach and had been down to Mr. Pocket's and back, I was not by any
means convinced on the last point, and began to invent reasons and make excuses
for putting up at the Blue Boar. I should be an inconvenience at Joe's; I was
not expected, and my bed would not be ready ; I should be too far from Miss
Havisham's, and she was exacting and mightn't like it. All other swindlers upon
earth are nothing to the self-swindlers, and with such pre-tenses did I cheat
myself. Surely a curious thing. That I should innocently take a bad half-crown
of somebody else's manufacture is reasonable enough bat that I should knowingly
reckon the spurious coin of my own make as good money ! An obliging stranger,
under pre-tense of compactly folding up my bank-notes for security's sake,
abstracts the notes and gives me nut-shells ; but what is his sleight of hand to
mine, when I fold up my own nut-shells and pass them on myself as notes !
Having settled that I must go to
the Blue Boar, my mind was much disturbed by indecision whether or no to take
the Avenger. It was tempting to think of that expensive Mercenary airing his
boots in the arch-way of the Blue Boar's posting-yard; it was almost solemn to
imagine him casually produced in the tailor's shop and confounding the
disrespectful senses of Trabb's boy. On the other hand, Trabb's
boy might worm himself into his
intimacy and tell him things ; or, reckless and desperate wretch as I knew he
could be, might hoot him in the High Street. My patroness, too, might hear of
him, and not approve. On the whole, I resolved to leave the Avenger behind.
It was the afternoon coach by
which I had taken my place, and, as winter had now come round, I should not
arrive at my destination until two or three hours after dark. Our time of
starting from the Cross Keys was two o'clock. I arrived on the ground with a
quarter of an hour to spare, attended by the Avenger—if I may connect that
expression with one who never attended on me if he could possibly help it.
At that time it was customary to
carry Convicts down to the dock-yards by stage-coach. As I had often heard of
them in the capacity of outside-passengers, and had more than once seen them on
the high-road dangling their ironed legs over the coach roof, I had no cause to
be surprised when Herbert, meeting me in the yard, came up and told me there
were two convicts going down with me. But I had a reason that was an old reason
now, for constitutionally faltering whenever I heard the word convict.
" You don't mind them, Handel?"
"Oh no !"
"I thought you seemed as if you
didn't like them ?"
"I can't pretend that I do like
them, and I suppose you don't particularly. But I don't mind them."
" See ! There they are," said
Herbert, "coming out of the Tap. What a degraded and vile sight it is !"
They had been treating their
guard, I sup-pose, for they had a jailer with them, and all three came out
wiping their months on their hands. The two convicts were handcuffed together,
and had irons on their legs—irons of a pattern that I knew very well. They wore
the dress that I likewise knew very well. Their keeper had a brace of pistols,
and carried a thick-knobbed bludgeon under his arm; but he was on terms of good
understanding with them, and stood, with them beside him, looking on at the
putting-to of the horses, rather with an air as if they were an interesting
Exhibition not formally open at the moment, and he the Curator. One was a taller
and stouter man than the other, and appeared, as a matter of course, according
to the mysterious ways of the world both convict and free, to have had allotted
to him the smallest suit of clothes. His arms and legs were like great
pin-cushions of those shapes, and his attire disguised him absurdly ; but I knew
his half-closed eye at one glance. There stood the man whom I had seen on the
settle at the Three Jolly Bargemen on a Saturday night, and who had brought me
down with his invisible gun !
It was easy to make sure that as
yet he knew me no more than if he had never seen me in his life. He looked
across at me, and his eye appraised my watch-chain, and then he incidentally
spat and said something to the other convict, and they laughed, and slued
themselves round with a clink of their coupling manacle, and looked at something
else. The great numbers on their backs, as if they were street-doors ; their
coarse, mangy, ungainly outer surface, as if they were lower animals ; their
ironed legs, apologetically garlanded with pocket-handkerchiefs; and the way in
which all present looked at them and kept from them, made them (as Herbert had
said) a most disagreeable and de-graded spectacle.
But this was not the worst of it.
It came out that the whole of the back of the coach had been taken by a family
removing from London, and that there were no places for the two prisoners but on
the seat in front behind the coachman. Hereupon a choleric gentleman, who had
taken the fourth place on that seat, flew into a most violent passion, and said
that it was a breach of contract to mix him up with such villainous company, and
that it was poisonous, and pernicious, and infamous, and shameful, and I don't
know what else. At this time the coach was ready and the coachman impatient, and
we were all preparing to get up, and the prisoners had. come over with their
keeper—bringing with them that curious flavor of bread-poultice, baize,
rope-yarn, and hearth-stone which attends the convict presence.
"Don't take it so much amiss,
Sir," said the keeper to the angry passenger ; "I'll sit next you myself. I'll
put 'em on the outside of the row. They won't interfere with you, Sir. You
needn't know they're there."
"And don't blame me," growled the
convict I had recognized. " I don't want to go. I am quite ready to stay behind.
As fur as I am concerned any one's welcome to my place."
"Or mine," said the other,
gruffly. "I wouldn't have incommoded none of you, if I'd a had may way." Then
they both laughed, and began cracking nuts, and spitting the shells about.—As I
really think I should have liked to do myself, if I had been in their place and
At length it was voted that there
was no help for the angry gentleman, and that he must either go in his chance
company or remain be-hind. So he got into his place, still making complaints,
and the keeper got into the place next him, and the convicts hauled themselves
up as well as they could, and the convict I had recognized sat behind me with
his breath on the hair of my head.
"Good-by, Handel!" Herbert called
out, as we started. I thought what a blessed fortune it was that he had found
another name for me than Pip.
It is impossible to express with
what acuteness I felt the convict's breathing, not only on the back of my head,
but all along my spine. The sensation was like being touched with some
pungent and searching acid, and
it set my very teeth on edge. He seemed to have more breathing to do than
another man, and to make more noise in doing it ; and I was conscious of growing
high-shouldered on one side in my shrinking endeavors to fend him off.
The weather was miserably raw,
and the two cursed the cold. It made us all lethargic before we had gone far,
and when we had left the Half way House behind, we habitually dozed and shivered
and were silent. I dozed off myself in considering the question whether I ought
to restore a couple of pounds to this creature be-fore losing sight of him, and
how it could best be done. In the act of dipping forward, as if I were going to
bathe among the horses, I woke in a fright and took the question up again.
But I must have lost it longer
than- I had thought for, since, although I could recognize nothing in the
darkness and the fitful lights and shadows of our lamps, I traced marsh country
in the cold damp wind that blew at us. Cowering forward for warmth, and to make
me a screen against the wind, the convicts were closer to me than before. The
very first words I heard them interchange as I became conscious were the words
of my own thought, " Two One-Pound notes."
" How did he get 'em ?" said the
convict I had never seen.
" How should I know ?" returned
the other. "He had 'em stowed away somehows. Giv him by friends, I expect."
"I wish," said the other, with a
bitter curse upon the cold, " that I had 'em here."
" Two one-pound notes or friends
"Two one-pound notes. I'd sell
all the friends I ever had for one. Well ? So he says— ?"
" So he says," resumed the
convict I had recognized—it was all said and done in half a minute behind the
pile of timber in the yard—" ' you're going to be discharged ?' Yes, I was.
Would I find out that boy that had fed him and kep' his secret, and give him
them two one-pound notes? Yes, I would. And I did."
"More fool you," growled the
other. "I'd have spent 'em on a Man in wittles and drink. He must have been a
green one. Mean to say he knowed nothing of you ?"
"Not a ha'porth. Different gangs
and different ships. He was tried again for prison breaking, and got made a
Lifer. 'That's what he took by his motion, and that's all I know of him."
" And was that—Honor !—the only
time you worked out in this part of the country ?" "The only time."
"What might have been your
opinion of the place ?"
" A most infernal place. Mudbank,
mist, swamp, and work ; work, swamp, mist, and mudbank."
They both execrated the place in
very strong language, and gradually- growled themselves out and had nothing left
After overhearing this dialogue,
I should assuredly have got down and been left in the solitude and darkness of
the highway, but for feeling certain that the man had no suspicion of my
identity. Indeed, I was not only so changed in the course of nature, but so
differently dressed and so differently circumstanced, that it was not at all
likely he could have known me without accidental help. Still, the coincidence of
our being together on the coach was sufficiently strange to fill me with a dread
that some other coincidence might at any moment connect me, in his hearing, with
my name. For this reason I resolved to alight as soon as we touched the town,
and put myself beyond his hearing. This device I executed successfully. My
little portmanteau was in the boot under my feet; I had but to turn a hinge to
get it out; I threw it down before me, got down after it, and was left at the
first lamp on the first stones of the town pavement. As to the convicts, they
went their way with the coach, and I knew at what point they would be spirited
off to the river. In my fancy I saw" the boat-with its convict crew waiting for
them at the slime-washed stairs—again heard the gruff' " Give way, you !" like
an order to dogs—again saw the wicked Noah's Ark lying out in the black water.
I could not have said what I was
afraid of, for my fear was altogether undefined and vague, but there was fear
upon me. As I walked on to the hotel, I felt that a dread, exceeding the mere
apprehension of a painful or disagreeable recognition, made me tremble. I am
confident that it took no distinctness of shape, and that it was the revival for
a few minutes of the terror of childhood.
The coffee-room at the Blue Boar
was empty, and I had not only ordered my thinner there, but had sat down to it,
before the waiter knew me. As soon as ever he had apologized for the remissness
of his memory, he asked me if he should send Boots for Mr. Pumblechook !
"No," said I, "certainly not."
The waiter .(it was he who had
brought up the Great remonstrance from the Commercials on the day when I was
bound) appeared surprised, and took the earliest opportunity of putting a dirty
old copy of a local newspaper so directly in my way, that I took it up and read
this paragraph :
"Our readers will learn, not
altogether with-out interest, in reference to the recent romantic rise in
fortune of a young artificer in iron of this neighborhood (what a theme,
by-the-way, for the magic pen of our as yet not universally acknowledged
townsman TOOBY, the poet of our columns!), that the youth's earliest patron,
companion, and friend, was a highly-respected individual not entirely
unconnected with the corn and seed trade, and whose eminently convenient and
commodious business premises are situate within a hundred miles of the High
is not wholly irrespective of
our. personal feelings that we record Him as the Mentor of our young Telemachus,
for it is good to know that our town produced the' founder of the latter's
fortunes. Does the thought-contracted brow of the local Sage or the lustrous eye
of local Beauty in-quire whose fortunes ? We believe that Quentin Matsys was the
BLACKSMITH of Antwerp. VERB. SAP."
I entertain a conviction, based
upon large experience, that if in the days of my prosperity I had gone to the.
North Pole, I should have met somebody there, either wandering Esquimaux or
civilized man, who would have told me that Pumblechook was my earliest patron
and the founder of my fortunes.
WE publish on
page 184 a fine
picture, from drawings by a Government draughtsman, of the
surrender of General
Twiggs, lately dismissed from the United States Army, to the Texan authorities,
on the Gran Plaza of San Antonio, Texas. Also a view of the
Alamo at San
Antonio, the headquarters of the Military Department of Texas.
Galveston News of the 22d
February gives details in regard to the surrender of the United States property
by General Twiggs. The account refers to the proceedings at San Antonio, General Twiggs's head-quarters:
"It seems that the famous
General Ben McCulloch, was intrusted by the Convention Committee [in
whose hands the whole subject had been placed] with the duty of obtaining
possession of the Federal forts and other military property in and near San
Antonio and on that frontier—he being prepared to act in conjunction with
Messrs. Devine and Maverick, Commissioners appointed to represent the State.
"General McCulloch, who was
stationed at Sequin, received a dispatch from the Commissioners on the 9th, and
he immediately hastened forward in consequence of its having become known that
General Twiggs had been relieved by order of the Secretary of War, and was to be
succeeded by Colonel Carlos A. Waite, 1st Infantry, stationed at Camp Verde, in
Kerr County, about 90 miles northwest of San Antonio. Colonel Waite is a
Northern man; his views on the political crisis were not known."
'What followed is thus given by
" On Friday evening the San
Antonio K. G. C.'s, 200 in number—a well armed and equipped body—marched out to
meet the coming troops under McCulloch, from the Salado, four miles off. At 2
o'clock on Saturday 200 of them--picked men—entered San Antonio on horseback as
an advance-guard. Later, 500 more marched in. Guards were at once stationed
around the arsenal, over the artillery-park, and all the Government buildings.
" A letter to a gentleman, who
has kindly placed it at our disposal, says: 'After the city companies took
possession of the Alamo, General Twiggs, accompanied by Major Nichols, met
General McCulloch in the Main Plaza. The horsemen paraded around them, and there
was a burst of cheers as the three officers met. A demand was made for the
surrender of the Federal property, and the immediate evacuation of the place by
the United States soldiers, without their arms. The reply was, that every
soldier would be shot down before submitting to that disgrace.
" 'At half past 12 o'clock,
however, terms were agreed upon. The soldiers leave town immediately, taking
their side-arms, and a sufficient supply of stores to enable them to leave the
State. They are getting ready to leave. They will camp at the San Pedro Springs,
awaiting the arrival of Colonel Waite. The stores, houses, and shops are closed
; the streets are almost deserted, except by the Rangers and the K. G. C. The
Alamo and Military Plaza present a very martial appearance. The Government
property is now in charge of the citizen soldiers of the place. The volunteers
are all well-armed. They are plainly dressed, some in kerseys, a fine-looking
body of men, with a determined air."'
The Main Plaza is a large vacant
square in the centre of the city. On one side is the Cathedral, an old
dilapidated edifice, built by the Spaniards after the invasion of Mexico by
Cortez. The other sides are occupied by stores and hotels. A quarter of a mile
from the Plaza is the
Alamo, the head-quarters of
General Twiggs. This also is a
very old building, once a church, and afterward trans-formed to a fortress. It
was here that Colonel David Crockett and Colonel Bowie is—the inventor of the
famous knife which bears his name—fell in the massacre by the Mexicans, under
Santa Anna, in 1836. But three persons escaped. It is now occupied by the Texan
This post, included in the United
States property lately surrendered to the State of Texas by
General Twiggs, is
situated on the San Antonio and San Diego mail route, near the junction of Live
Oak Creek and the Rio Pecos. It is surrounded by the Table-lands, that curious
geological and topographical feature of Western Texas. A remarkable
characteristic of these lands is, that they slope, from the base to the summit,
almost universally at an angle of 45°. Near the summit are horizontal strata of
rocks resembling, in appearance, huge steps; and on gaining the surface the eye
wanders over vast plains, the only vegetation being grass, mezquit bushes, and
cacti. The absence of water prevents any exploration over them; but the quantity
of fossils found in that region renders it evident that they are the result of
some great convulsion of nature.
The fort is quite an important
one on account of the protection it gives to the ford of the Pecos, which is but
a few miles from it, and where nearly all the trains from Texas to California
FORT BROWN, Texas, of which we
give an illustration on page 185, is situated on the Rio Grande, about thirty
miles in a straight line from the coast, and about seventy miles following the
meandering of the river. It was laid out as a town in 1848 about the time of the
evacuation of Matamoras, on the opposite side of the river. It has now a population