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the night, and saying, "What, Captain Tom?
Are you there? Ah, indeed!" and also, " Is that
Black Bill behind the cistern? Why, I didn't
look for you these two months; how do you find
yourself?" Equally in his stopping at the bars
and attending to anxious whisperersalways
singlyWemmick with his post-office in an
immovable state, looked at them while in
conference, as if he were taking particular notice
of the advance they had made, since last
observed, towards coming out in full blow at their

He was highly popular, and I found that he
took the familiar department of Mr. Jaggers's
business: though something of the state of Mr.
Jaggers hung about him too, forbidding approach
beyond certain limits. His personal recognition
of 'each successive client was comprised in a nod,
and in his settling his hat a little easier on his head
with both hands, and then tightening the post-
office, and putting his hands in his pockets. In
one or two instances, there was a difficulty respecting
the raising of fees, and then Mr. Wemmick,
backing as far as possible, from the insufficient
money produced, said, "It's no use, my boy.
I'm only a subordinate. I can't take it. Don't
go on in that way with a subordinate. If you
are unable to make up your quantum, my boy,
you had better address yourself to a principal;
there are plenty of principals in the profession,
you know, and what is not worth the while of
one, may be worth the while of another; that's
my recommendation to you, speaking as a
subordinate. Don't try on useless measures. Why
should you! Now, who's next?"

Thus, we walked through Wemmick's greenhouse,
until he turned to me and said,
"Notice the man I shall shake hands with." I
should have done so, without the preparation,
as he had shaken hands with no one yet.

Almost as soon as he had spoken, a portly
upright man (whom I can see now, as I write)
in a well-worn olive-coloured frock-coat, with a
peculiar pallor overspreading the red in his
complexion, and eyes that went wandering about
when he tried to fix them, came up to a corner
of the bars, and put his hand to his hatwhich
had a greasy and fatty surface like cold broth
with a half-serious and half-jocose military

"Colonel, to you!" said Wemmick; "how
are you, Colonel?"

"All right, Mr. Wemmick."

"Everything was done that could be done,
but the evidence was too strong for us, Colonel."

"Yes, it was too strong, sirbut I don't

"No, no," said Wemmick, coolly, "you don't
care." Then, turning to me, "Served His
Majesty this man. Was a soldier in the line
and bought his discharge."

I said, " Indeed?" and the man's eyes looked
at me, and then looked over my head, and then
looked all round me, and then he drew his hand
across his lips and laughed.

"I think I shall be out of this on Monday,
sir," he said to Wemmick.

"Perhaps," returned my friend, "but there's
no knowing."

"I am glad to have the chance of bidding
you good-by, Mr. Wemmick," said the man,
stretching out his hand between two bars.

"Thankye," said Wemmick, shaking hands
with him. " Same to you, Colonel."

"If what I had upon me when taken, had
been real, Mr. Wemmick," said the man,
unwilling to let his hand go, " I should have asked
the favour of your wearing another ringin
acknowledgment of your attentions."

"I'll accept the will for the deed," said
Wemmick. " By-the-by; you were quite a
pigeon-fancier." The man looked up at the sky.
"I am told you had a remarkable breed of
tumblers. Could you commission any friend of
yours to bring me a pair, if you've no further use
for 'em?"

"It shall be done, sir."

"All right," said Wemmick, " they shall be
taken care of. Good afternoon, Colonel.
Good-by!" They shook hands again, and as we
walked away Wemmick said to me, "A Coiner,
a very good workman. The Recorder's report
is made to-day, and he is sure to be executed on
Monday. Still you see, as far as it goes, a pair
of pigeons are portable property, all the same."
With that, he looked back, and nodded at this
dead plant, and then cast his eyes about him
in walking out of the yard, as if he were
considering what other pot would go best in its

As we came out of the prison through the
lodge, I found that the great importance of my
guardian was appreciated by the turnkeys, no
less than by those whom they held in charge.
"Well, Mr. Wemmick," said the turnkey, who
kept us between the two studded and spiked
lodge gates, and carefully locked one before he
unlocked the other, " what's Mr. Jaggers going
to do with that waterside murder? Is he going
to make it manslaughter, or what's he going to
make of it?"

"Why don't you ask him?" returned Wemmick.

"Oh yes, I dare say!" said the turnkey.

"Now, that's the way with them here, Mr.
Pip," remarked Wemmick, turning to me with
the post-office elongated. " They don't mind
what they ask of me, the subordinate; but
you'll never catch 'em asking any questions of
my principal."

"Is this young gentleman one of the 'prentices
or articled ones of your office?" asked
the turnkey, with a grin at Mr. Wemmick's

"There he goes again, you see!" cried
Wemmick, " I told you so! Asks another question
of the subordinate before his first is dry! Well,
supposing Mr. Pip is one of them?"

"Why then," said the turnkey, grinning
again, " he knows what Mr. Jaggers is."

"Yah!" cried Wemmick, suddenly hitting
out at the turnkey in a facetious way, " you're
as dumb as one of your own keys when you have
to do with my principal, you know you are.