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second knocking at the door to startle me from
my uneasy bed.

The Castle battlements arose upon my view at
eight o'clock. The little servant happening to
be entering the fortress with two hot rolls, I
passed through the postern and crossed the
drawbridge, in her company, and so came without
announcement into the presence of
Wemmick as he was making tea for himself and the
Aged. An open door afforded a perspective view
of the Aged in bed.

"Halloa, Mr.Pip!" said Wemmick. " You
did come home, then?"

"Yes," I returned; "but I didn't go home."

"That's all right," said he, rubbing his hands.
"I left a note for you at each of the Temple
gates, on the chance. Which gate did you come

I told him.

"I'll go round to the others in the course of
the day and destroy the notes," said Wemmick;
"it's a good rule never to leave documentary
evidence if you can help it, because you don't
know when it may be put in. I'm going to take
a liberty with you.—Would you mind toasting
this sausage for the Aged P.?"

I said I should be delighted to do it.

"Then you can go about your work, Mary
Anne," said Wemmick to the little servant;
"which leaves us to ourselves, don't you see, Mr.
Pip?" he added, winking, as she disappeared.

I thanked him for his friendship and caution,
and our discourse proceeded in a low tone, while
I toasted the Aged's sausage and he buttered
the crumb of the Aged's roll.

"Now, Mr. Pip, you know," said Wemmick,
"you and I understand one another. We are
in our private and personal capacities, and we
have been engaged in a confidential transaction
before today. Official sentiments are one thing.
We are extra official."

I cordially assented. I was so very nervous,
that I had already lighted the Aged's sausage
like a torch, and been obliged to blow it out.

"I accidentally heard, yesterday morning,"
said Wemmick, " being in a certain place where
I once took youeven between you and me,
it's as well not to mention names when avoidable—— "

"Much better not," said I. " I understand

"I heard there, by chance, yesterday morning,"
said Wemmick, "that a certain person not
altogether of uncolonial pursuits, and not
unpossessed of portable propertyI don't know
who it may really bewe won't name this

"Not necessary," said I.

"—had made some little stir in a certain part
of the world where a good many people go, not
always in gratification of their own inclinations,
and not quite irrespective of the government

In watching his face, I made quite a firework
of the Aged's sausage, and greatly discomposed
both my own attention and Wemmick's; for
which I apologised.

"—by disappearing from such place, and
being no more heard of thereabouts. From
which," said Wemmick, " conjectures had been
raised and theories formed. I also heard that
you at your chambers in Garden court, Temple,
had been watched, and might be watched again."

"By whom?" said I.

"I wouldn't go into that," said Wemmick,
evasively, " it might clash with official
responsibilities. I heard it, as I have in my time
heard other curious things in the same place. I
don't tell it you on information received. I heard it."

He took the toasting fork and sausage from
me as he spoke, and set forth the Aged's breakfast
neatly on a little tray. Previous to placing
it before him, he went into the Aged's room
with a clean white cloth, and tied the same
under the old gentleman's chin, and propped him
up, and put his nightcap on one side, and gave
him quite a rakish air. Then he placed his
breakfast before him with great care, and said,
"All right, ain't you, Aged P.?" To which the
cheerful Aged replied, " All right, John, my boy,
all right!"  As there seemed to be a tacit
understanding that the Aged was not in a presentable
state, and was therefore to be considered
invisible, I made a pretence of being in complete
ignorance of these proceedings.

"This watching of me at my chambers (which
I have once had reason to suspect),"  I said to
Wemmick when he came back, " is inseparable
from the person to whom you have adverted; is it?"

Wemmick looked very serious. " I couldn't
undertake to say that, of my own knowledge. I
mean, I couldn't undertake to say it was at first.
But it either is, or it will be, or it's in great
danger of being."

As I saw that he was restrained by fealty to
Little Britain from saying as much as he could,
and as I knew with thankfulness to him how
far out of his way he went to say what he did,
I could not press him. But I told him, after a
little meditation over the fire, that I would like
to ask him a question, subject to his answering
or not answering, as he deemed right, and sure
that his course would be right. He paused in
his breakfast, and crossing his arms, and pinching
his shirt sleeves (his notion of indoor comfort
was to sit without any coat), he nodded to
me once, to put my question.

"You have heard of a man of bad character,
whose true name is Compeyson?"

He answered with one other nod.

"Is he living?"

One other nod.

"Is he in London?"

He gave me one other nod, compressed the
post office exceedingly, gave me one last nod,
and went on with his breakfast.

"Now," said Wemmick, " questioning being
over;" which he emphasised and repeated
for my guidance; " I come to what I did after
hearing what I heard. I went to Garden court
to find you; not finding you, I went to
Clarriker's to find Mr. Herbert."