Great Expectations

by: Charles Dickens

Chapters 53–56

1

“You cost me that place. You did. Speak!... You did that and that would be enough, without more. How dared you come betwixt me and a young woman I liked? … When didn’t you? It was you as always give Old Orlick a bad name to her.”

2

“I come upon her from behind, as I come upon you to-night. I giv’it her! I left her for dead, and if there had been a limekiln as nigh her as there is now nigh you, she shouldn’t have come to life again. But it warn’t Old Orlick as sis it; it was you. You was favored, and he was bullied and beat. Old Orlick bullied and beat, eh? Now you pays for it. You done it; now you pays for it.”

3

We touched the stairs lightly for a single momnt, and he was on board and we were off again. He had a boat-cloak with him, and a black canvas bag, and he looked as much like a river-pilot as my heart could wish. “Dear boy!” he said, putting his arm on my shoulder, as he took his seat. “Faithful dear boy, well done. Thankye, thankye!”

4

Still in the same moment, I saw the prisoner start up, lean across his captor, and pull the cloak from the neck of the shrinking sitter in the galley. Still in the same moment I saw that face disclosed, was the face of the other convict of long ago. Still in the same moment I saw the face tilt back ward with a white terror on it that I shall never forget, and heard a great cry on board the steamer and a loud splash in the water, and felt the boat sink from under me.

5

That there were, still living, people enough who were able and willing to identify him, I could not doubt. That he would be leniently treated, I could not hope. He who had been presented in the worst light at his trial, who had since broken prison and been tried again, who had returned from transportation for a life sentence, and who had occasioned the death of the man who was the cause of his arrest.