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substitution of black darkness in its place,
warned me that the man had closed a shutter.
After groping about for a little, he found the
flint and steel he wanted, and began to strike a
light. I strained my sight upon the sparks that
fell among the tinder, and upon which he breathed
and breathed, match in hand, but I could only
see his lips, and the blue point of the match;
even those, but fitfully. The tinder was damp
no wonder thereand one after another the
sparks died out.

The man was in no hurry, and struck again
with the flint and steel. As the sparks fell
thick and bright about him, I could see his
hands, and touches of his face, and could make
out that he was seated and bending over the
table; but nothing more. Presently I saw his blue
lips again breathing on the tinder, and then a flare
of light flashed up, and showed me Orlick.

Whom I had looked for, I don't know. I
had not looked for him. Seeing him, I felt that
I was in a dangerous strait indeed, and I kept
my eyes upon him.

He lighted the candle from the flaring
match with great deliberation, and dropped the
match and trod it out. Then he put the candle
away from him on the table, so that he could see
me, and sat with his arms folded on the table
and looked at me. I made out that I was
fastened to a stout perpendicular ladder a few
inches from the walla fixture therethe means
of ascent to the loft above.

"Now," said he, when we had surveyed one
another for some time, "I've got you."

"Unbind me. Let me go!"

"Ah!" he returned, " I'll let you go. I'll
let you go to the moon, I'll let you go to the
stars. All in good time."

"Why have you lured me here?"

"Don't you know?" said he, with a deadly

"Why have you set upon me in the dark?"

"Because I mean to do it all myself. One
keeps a secret better than two. Oh you enemy,
you enemy!"

His enjoyment of the spectacle I furnished,
as he sat with his arms folded on the table,
shaking his head at me and hugging himself,
had a malignity in it that made me tremble.
As I watched him in silence, he put his hand
into the corner at his side, and took up a gun
with a brass-bound stock.

"Do you know this?" said he, making as if
he would take aim at me. "Do you know
where you saw it afore? Speak, wolf!"

"Yes," I answered.

"You cost me that place. You did. Speak!"

"What else could I do?"

"You did that, and that would be enough,
without more. How dared you to come betwixt
me and a young woman I liked?"

"When did I?"

"When didn't you? It was you as always
give Old Orlick a bad name to her."

"You gave it to yourself; you gained it for
yourself. I could have done you no harm, if you
had done yourself none."

"You're a liar. And you'll take any pains,
and spend any money, to drive me out of this
country, will you?" said he, repeating my words
to Biddy in the last interview I had with her.
"Now, I'll tell you a piece of information. It
was never so well worth your while to get me
out of this country as it is to-night. Ah! If it was
all your money twenty times told, to the last
brass farden!" As he shook his heavy hand at
me, with his mouth snarling like a tiger's, I felt
that it was true.

"What are you going to do to me?"

"I'm a going," said he, bringing his fist down
upon the table with a heavy blow, and rising as
the blow fell, to give it greater force, " I'm a
going to have your life!"

He leaned forward staring at me, slowly
unclenched his hand and drew it across his mouth as
if his mouth watered for me, and sat down again.

"You was always in Old Orlick's way since
ever you was a child. You goes out of his way,
this present night. He'll have no more on you.
You're dead."

I felt that I had come to the brink of my
grave. For a moment I looked wildly round
my trap for any chance of escape; but there
was none.

"More than that," said he, folding his arms
on the table again, " I won't have a rag of you,
I won't have a bone of you, left on earth. I'll
put your body in the kilnI'd carry two such
to it, on my shouldersand, let people suppose
what they may of you, they shall never know

My mind, with inconceivable rapidity, followed
out all the consequences of such a death.
Estella's father would believe I had deserted him,
would be taken, would die accusing me; even
Herbert would doubt me, when he compared the
letter I had left for him, with the fact that I had
called at Miss Havisham's gate for only a
moment; Joe and Biddy would never know how
sorry I had been that night; none would ever
know what I had suffered, how true I had meant
to be, what an agony I had passed through. The
death close before me was terrible, but far more
terrible than death was the dread of being
misremembered after death. And so quick were
my thoughts, that I saw myself despised by
unborn generationsEstella's children, and their
childrenwhile the wretch's words were yet on
his lips.

"Now, wolf," said he, " afore I kill you like
any other beastwhich is wot I mean to do and
wot I have tied you up forI'll have a good
look at you and a good goad at you. Oh, you

It had passed through my thoughts to cry out
for help again; though few could know better
than I, the solitary nature of the spot, and the
hopelessness of aid. But as he sat gloating over
me, I was supported by a scornful detestation
of him that sealed my lips. Above all things, I
resolved that I would not entreat him, and that
I would die making some last poor resistance to
him. Softened as my thoughts of all the rest
of men were in that dire extremity; humbly