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Трек 12_02

I stared at him, my heart beating like a heavy hammer.

“You ought to have a guardian too,” he said. “Some lawyer, perhaps. Would that lawyer’s name begin with a J?”

All the truth of my position suddenly came to me; and its disappointments, dangers, disgraces, consequences of all kinds, rushed in in such number that I felt weighed down by them and had to struggle for every breath.

“Suppose,” he went on, “that the employer of that lawyer had come over sea to Portsmouth, and had landed there, and had wanted to find you. How did I find you? Why, I wrote from Portsmouth to a person in London, for particulars of your address. That person’s name? Why, it was Wemmick.”

I could not have spoken one word though it had been to save my life.

“Yes, Pip, dear boy, I’ve made a gentleman of you. I swore that time, as sure as I earned a guinea, that guinea should go to you. I swore that if I ever got rich, you should get rich. I lived rough, that you should live smooth; I worked hard, that you should be above work. I’m your second father, Pip. You’re my son—more to me than any son could be. I’ve put away money only for you to spend. Again and again I’ve said to myself, ‘If I get liberty and money, I’ll make that boy a gentleman.’ And I’ve done it. Why, look at you, dear boy! Look at these lodgings, fit for a lord! And your books, too,” turning his eyes round the room, “hundreds and hundreds of them! And you read them, don’t you? You shall read them to me, dear boy!”

Again he took both my hands and put them to his lips, while my blood ran cold.

“Did you never think it might be me?” he asked then, with a smile.

“No,” I returned. “Never!”

“Well, you see, it was me. Never a soul in it but my own self and Mr. Jaggers.”

“Was there no one else?” I asked.

“No,” said he, with a look of surprise. “Who else should there be? And, dear boy,” he rushed on, “how good-looking you have grown! There’s bright eyes somewhere, eh? Isn’t there bright eyes somewhere, that you love the thought of?”

Трек 12_03

O Estella, Estella!

“They shall be yours, dear boy, if money can buy them. But let me finish what I was telling you. When I began to make money in Australia, I sent it home to Mr. Jaggers—all for you!”

He laid his hand on my shoulder. I trembled at the thought that, for all I knew, that hand might be stained with blood.

“It wasn’t easy for me, Pip, to leave those parts and come back here, but at last I’ve done it. Dear boy, I’ve done it!”

I tried to collect my thoughts.

“Where will you put me?” he asked. “I must sleep somewhere, dear boy.”

“Sleep?” said I. “Oh—yes—my friend is away—you must have his room.”

“He won’t come back tomorrow, will he?”

“No, not tomorrow.”

“Because, look here, dear boy,” he said, dropping his voice, “caution is necessary.”

“How do you mean? Caution?”

“I was sent abroad for life. It’s death for me to come back. They’ll hang me if they catch me.”

Nothing was needed but this; the wretched man, after loading me with his wretched gold and silver chains for years, had risked his wretched life to come to me, and I held it there in my keeping. My first thought was to draw the curtains, and then to lock the door. I gave him food and drink, and when I saw him eating, like a dog at his meal, I saw my convict on the marshes all over again. As soon as he had finished, he said that he was tired and wished to sleep. I took him into Herbert’s room, and my blood ran cold again when he took me by both hands and said good night.

I got away from him and sat down by the fire, afraid to go to bed. I sat there for a long time, thinking how wrecked I was, and how the ship in which I had sailed was gone to pieces.

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