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       "I write this by request of Mr. Gargery, for
to let you know that he is going to London in
company of Mr. Wopsle and would be glad if agreeable
to be allowed to see you. He would call at
Barnard's Hotel Tuesday morning 9 o'clock, when if
not agreeable please leave word. Your poor sister
is much the same as when you left. We talk of you
in the kitchen every night, and wonder what you
are saying and doing. If now considered in the
light of a liberty, excuse it for the love of poor old
days. No more, dear Mr. Pip, from
       "Your ever obliged, and affectionate
"P.S. He wishes me most particular to write
what larks. He says you will understand. I hope
and do not doubt it will be agreeable to see him
even though a gentleman, for you had ever a good
heart and he is a worthy worthy man. I have read
him all, excepting only the last little sentence, and he
wishes me most particular to write again what larks."

I received this letter by the post on Monday
morning, and therefore its appointment
was for next day. Let me confess exactly,
with what feelings I looked forward to Joe's

Not with pleasure, though I was bound to
him by so many ties; no; with considerable
disturbance, some mortification, and a keen sense
of incongruity. If I could have kept him away
by paying money, I certainly would have paid
money. My greatest reassurance was, that he
was coming to Barnard's Inn, not to Hammersmith,
and consequently would not fall in Bentley
Drummle's way. I had little objection to his
being seen by Herbert or his father, for both of
whom I had a respect; but I had the sharpest
sensitiveness as to his being seen by Drummle,
whom I held in contempt. So, throughout life,
our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually
committed for the sake of the people whom we
most despise.

I had begun to be always decorating the
chambers in some quite unnecessary and
inappropriate way or other, and very expensive
those wrestles with Barnard proved to be. By
this time, the rooms were vastly different from
what I had found them, and I enjoyed the
honour of occupying a few prominent pages in
the books of a neighbouring upholsterer. I
had got on so fast of late, that I had even started
a boy in bootstop bootsin bondage and
slavery to whom I might have been said to pass
my days. For, after I had made the monster (out
of the refuse of my washerwoman's family) and
had clothed him with a blue coat, canary waistcoat,
white cravat, creamy breeches, and the
boots already mentioned, I had to find him a
little to do and a great deal to eat; and with
both of those horrible requirements he haunted
my existence.

This avenging phantom was ordered to be
on duty at eight on Tuesday morning in the
hall (it was two feet square, as charged for
floorcloth), and Herbert suggested certain
things for breakfast that he thought Joe would
like. While I felt sincerely obliged to him for
being so interested and considerate, I had an
odd half-provoked sense of suspicion upon me,
that if Joe had been coming to see him, he
wouldn't have been quite so brisk about it.

However, I came into town on the Monday
night to be ready for Joe, and I got up early in
the morning, and caused the sitting-room and
breakfast-table to assume their most splendid
appearance. Unfortunately the morning was
drizzly, and an angel could not have concealed
the fact that Barnard was shedding sooty tears
outside the window, like some weak giant of a

As the time approached I should have liked
to run away, but the Avenger pursuant to
orders was in the hall, and presently I heard
Joe on the staircase. I knew it was Joe
by his clumsy manner of coming up-stairs
his state boots being always too big for him
and by the time it took him to read the names
on the other floors in the course of his ascent.
When at last he stopped outside our door, I
could hear his finger tracing over the painted
letters of my name, and I afterwards distinctly
heard him breathing in at the keyhole. Finally
he gave a faint single rap, and Peppersuch
was the compromising name of the avenging
boyannounced "Mr. Gargery!" I thought he
never would have done wiping his feet, and that
I must have gone out to lift him off the mat, but
at last he came in.

"Joe, how are you, Joe?"

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