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"A clerk. And I hope it is not at, all unlikely
that he may expand (as a clerk of your acquaintance
has expanded) into a partner. Now, Handel
in short, my dear boy, will you come
to me?"

There was something charmingly cordial and
engaging in the manner in which after saying
"Now, Handel," as if it were the grave
beginning of a portentous business exordium,
he had suddenly given up that tone, stretched
out his honest hand, and spoken like a school-

"Clara and I have talked about it again and
again," Herbert pursued, " and the dear little
thing begged me only this evening, with tears
in her eyes, to say to you that if you will live
with us when we come together, she will do her
best to make you happy, and to convince her
husband's friend that he is her friend too. We
should get on so well, Handel!"

I thanked her heartily, and I thanked him
heartily, but said I could not yet make sure of
joining him, as he so kindly offered. Firstly,
my mind was too preoccupied to be able to
take in the subject clearly. SecondlyYes!
Secondly, there was a vague something lingering
in my thoughts that will come out very near
the end of this slight narrative.

"But if you thought, Herbert, that you could,
without doing any injury to your business, leave
the question open for a little while—"

"For any while," cried Herbert. " Six
months, a year!"

"Not so long as that," said I. "Two or
three months at most."

Herbert was highly delighted when we shook
hands on this arrangement, and said he could
now take courage to tell me that he believed he
must go away at the end of the week.

"And Clara?" said I.

"The dear little thing," returned Herbert,
"holds dutifully to her father as long as he
lasts; but he won't last long. Mrs. Whimple
confides to me that he is certainly going."

"Not to say an unfeeling thing," said I, " he
cannot do better than go."

"I am afraid that must be admitted," said
Herbert: " and then I shall come back for the
dear little thing, and the dear little thing and I
will walk quietly into the nearest church.
Remember! The blessed darling comes of no
family, my dear Handel, and never looked into
the red book, and hasn't a notion about her
grandpapa. What a fortune for the son of my

On the Saturday in that same week, I took
my leave of Herbertfull of bright hope, but
sad and sorry to leave meas he sat on one of
the seaport mail coaches. I went into a coffee-
house to write a little note to Clara, telling her
he had gone off sending his love to her over and
over again, and then went to my lonely home
if it deserved the name, for it was now no home
to me, and I had no home anywhere.

On the stairs I encountered Wemmick, who
was coming down, after an unsuccessful application
of his knuckles to my door. I had not seen
him alone, since the disastrous issue of the
attempted flight; and he had come, in his private
and personal capacity, to say a few words of
explanation in reference to that failure.

"The late Compeyson," said Wemmick, "had
by little and little got at the bottom of half of
the regular business now transacted, and it was
from the talk of some of his people in trouble
(some of his people being always in trouble)
that I heard what I did. I kept my ears open,
seeming to have them shut, until I heard that he
was absent, and I thought that would be the
best time for making the attempt. I can only
suppose now, that it was part of his policy, as a
very clever man, habitually to deceive his own
instruments. You don't blame me, I hope, Mr.
Pip? I am sure I tried to serve you, with all
my heart."

"I am as sure of that, Wemmick, as you can
be, and I thank you most earnestly for all your
interest and friendship."

"Thank you, thank you very much. It's a
bad job," said Wemmick, scratching his head,
"and I assure you I haven't been so cut up for
a long time. What I look at, is the sacrifice of
so much portable property. Dear me!"

"What I think of, Wemmick, is the poor
owner of the property."

"Yes, to be sure," said Wemmick. " Of
course there can be no objection to your being
sorry for him, and I'd put down a five-pound
note myself to get him out of it. But what
I look at, is this. The late Compeyson having
been beforehand with him in intelligence of his
return, and being so determined to bring him
to book, I do not think he could have been.
saved. Whereas, the portable property certainly
could have been saved. That's the difference
between the property and the owner, don't you

I invited Wemmick to come up-stairs, and
refresh himself with a glass of grog before walking
to Walworth. He accepted the invitation.
While he was drinking his moderate allowance,
he said, with nothing to lead up to it, and after
having appeared rather fidgety:

"What do you think of my meaning to take
a holiday on Monday, Mr. Pip?"

"Why, I suppose you have not done such a
thing these twelve mouths."

"'These twelve years, more likely," said
Wemmick. " Yes. I'm going to take a holiday.
More than that; I'm going to take a
walk. More than that; I'm going to ask you
to take a walk with me."

I was about to excuse myself, as being but a
bad companion just then, when Wemmick
anticipated me.

"I know your engagements," said he, " and I
know you are out of sorts, Mr. Pip. But if you
could oblige me, I should take it as a kindness.
It ain't a long walk, and it's an early one. Say
it might occupy you (including breakfast on the
walk) from eight to twelve. Couldn't you stretch
a point and manage it?"

He had done so much for me at various times,
that this was very little to do for him. I said I