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"I know more of the history of Miss
Havisham's adopted child, than Miss Havisham
herself does, sir. I know her mother."

Mr. Jaggers looked at me inquiringly, and
repeated "Mother?"

"I have seen her mother within these three

"Yes?" said Mr. Jaggers.

"And so have you, sir. And you have seen
her still more recently."

"Yes?" said Mr. Jaggers.

"Perhaps I know more of Estella's history
than even you do," said I. "I know her father

A certain stop that Mr. Jaggers came to in
his mannerhe was too self-possessed to change
his manner, but he could not help its being
brought to an indefinably attentive stop
assured me that he did not know who her
father was. This I had strongly suspected from
Provis's account (as Herbert had delivered it) of
his having kept himself dark; which I pieced on
to the fact that he himself was not Mr. Jaggers's
client until some four years later, and when he
could have no reason for claiming his identity.
But I could not be sure of this unconsciousness
on Mr. Jaggers's part before, though I was quite
sure of it now.

"So! You know the young lady's father,
Pip?" said Mr. Jaggers.

"Yes," I replied, "And his name is Provis
from New South Wales."

Even Mr. Jaggers started when I said those
words. It was the slightest start that could
escape a man, the most carefully repressed and
the soonest checked, but he did start, though
he made it a part of the action of taking out
his pocket-handkerchief. How Wemmick
received the announcement I am unable to say,
for I was afraid to look at him just then,
lest Mr. Jaggers's sharpness should detect that
there had been some communication unknown
to him between us.

"And on what evidence, Pip?" asked Mr.
Jaggers, very coolly, as he paused with his
handkerchief half way to his nose, "does Provis
make this claim?"

"He does not make it," said I, "and has
never made it, and has no knowledge or belief
that his daughter is in existence."

For once, the powerful pocket-handkerchief
failed. My reply was so unexpected that Mr.
Jaggers put the handkerchief back into his
pocket without completing the usual performance,
folded his arms, and looked with stern
attention at me, though with an immovable face.

Then I told him all I knew, and how I knew
it , with the one reservation that I left him to
infer that I knew from Miss Havisham what I in
fact knew from Wemmick. I was very careful
indeed as to that. Nor did I look towards
Wemmick until I had finished all I had to tell, and
had been for some time silently meeting Mr.
Jaggers's look. When I did at last turn my
eyes in Wemmick's direction, I found that he
had unposted his pen, and was intent upon the
table before him.

"Hah!" said Mr. Jaggers at last, as he moved
towards the papers on the table. "—What
item was it you were at, Wemmick, when Mr.
Pip came in?"

But I could not submit to be thrown off in
that way, and I made a passionate, almost an
indignant, appeal to him to be more frank and
manly with me. I reminded him of the false hopes
into which I had lapsed, the length of time they
had lasted, and the discovery I had made; and I
hinted at the danger that weighed upon my spirits.
I represented myself as being surely worthy of
some little confidence from him, in return for the
confidence I had just now imparted. I said that
I did not blame him, or suspect him, or mistrust
him, but I wanted assurance of the truth from
him. And if he asked me why I wanted it and
why I thought I had any right to it, I would
tell him, little as he cared for such poor dreams,
that I had loved Estella dearly and long, and that,
although I had lost her and must live a bereaved
life, whatever concerned her was still nearer and
dearer to me than anything else in the world.
And seeing that Mr. Jaggers stood quite still
and silent, and apparently quite obdurate, under
this appeal, I turned to Wemmick, and said,
"Wemmick, I know you to be a man with a
gentle heart. I have seen your pleasant home,
and your old father, and all the innocent cheerful
playful ways with which you refresh your
business life. And I entreat you to say a word
for me to Mr. Jaggers, and to represent to him
that, all circumstances considered, he ought to
be more open with me!"

I have never seen two men look more oddly
at one another than Mr. Jaggers and Wemmick
did after this apostrophe. At first, a misgiving
crossed me that Wemmick would be instantly
dismissed from his employment; but it melted
as I saw Mr. Jaggers relax into something like
a smile, and Wemmick become bolder.

"What's all this?" said Mr. Jaggers. "You
with an old father, and you with pleasant and
playful ways?"

"Well!" returned Wemmick. "If I don't
bring 'em here, what does it matter?"

"Pip," said Mr. Jaggers, laying his hand
upon my arm, and smiling openly, "this man
must be the most cunning impostor in all

"Not a bit of it," returned Wemmick,
growing bolder and bolder. "I think you're

Again they exchanged their former odd looks,
each apparently still distrustful that the other
was taking him in.

"You with a pleasant home?" said Mr.

"Since it don't interfere with business,"
returned Wemmick, "let it be so. Now, I look
at you, sir, I shouldn't wonder if you might
be planning and contriving to have a pleasant
home of your own, one of these days, when you're
tired of this work."

Mr. Jaggers nodded his head retrospectively
two or three times, and actually drew a sigh.
"Pip," said he, "we won't talk about poor