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14  Pip visits Estella and Miss Havisham again

 

Before taking Magwitch abroadI felt I must see both Estella and Miss HavishamWhen I visited Estella's London homeI found she had gone to stay with Miss Havishamand soleaving Magwitch in Herbert's careI went by coach to the town I knew so well

Before walking to Miss Havisham'sI went to the hotel for breakfastIt was an unpleasant shock to discover Bentley Drummle therebut I could imagine his reason for visiting the areaWhen he noticed mehe immediately called to the waitermaking sure I could hear,‘ListenyouThe lady isn't going riding todayAnd rememberI'm not having dinner here tonightI'll be at the lady's.’And Drummle smiled wickedly at meknowing that what he said cut me to the heartHe went outshouting for his horse

If he had spoken Estella's nameI would have hit himI was so angry with himand so depressed about my futurethat I could not eat the breakfastInstead I went straight to the old house

I found Miss Havisham and Estella sitting in the same roomwith candles burning as usual

Miss Havisham,’I said,‘I must tell you that I'm as unhappy as you ever wanted me to beI've discovered who has been paying for my educationNow I know I shall never be richor importantI cannot tell you any moreIt isn't my secretbut another person's.’I stoppedconsidering what to say next

Go on,’said Miss Havishamlooking interested

I thought it was youMiss HavishamAnd you encouraged me in my mistake!’

Why should I be kind to anybody after all I've suffered!’cried Miss Havisham angrily

Yesyou're right,’I said quicklyto calm her.‘But you also encouraged your relations to think I would inherit some of your fortune.’

Why shouldn't I?’she cried wildly

But Matthew Pocket and his son are differentThey aren't selfish or greedythey're generous and honestI want you to know that.’

She looked carefully at me.‘What do you want for them?’

I'm asking for money,’I repliedmy cheeks red.‘I would like you to help my friend Herbert become a partner in his companyI started paying for this myself two years ago-and I want to keep it a secret from himbut now I find I can't continue the paymentsI can't explain whyIt's part of the other person's secret

Miss Havisham looked at the fireand then at me again

What else?’she asked

Turning to EstellaI tried to control my trembling voice.‘You know I love youEstella,’I said.‘I have loved you long and dearly.’She shook her head

I knowI know I have no hope of ever marrying youEstellaBut I have loved you ever since I first saw you in this houseIt was cruel of Miss Havisham to encourage me to hopebut I don't think she meant to be unkind.’

What you say,’said Estella very calmly,‘doesn't touch my heartI can't feel love as you do And I've warned you of thisHaven't I?’

Yes,’I answered miserably,‘but I couldn't believe it.’

It's the way I've been brought up.’

EstellaBentley Drummle is in town hereYou go riding with himdon't youIs he having dinner with you tonight?’

It is all true,’she answereda little surprised

You cannot love himEstella!’I cried

Didn't you listenI can never love anyone!’And then she added,‘But why not tell you the truth I'm going to marry him.’

I covered my face with my handsAfter a moment I lifted my head and cried,‘Dont't throw yourself away on an animal like himEven if you won't marry methere must be others who love youAny of them would be a thousand times better than Drummle!’

I can't marry a man who expects me to love himSo Drummle will do well enough as my husbandYou will soon forget me.’

NeverEstellaYou are part of myselfYou are in every line I've readin every view I've seenin every dream I've dreamtTo the last hour of my lifeyou will remain part of me God bless you and God forgive you!’I held her hand to my lips for a momentAs I leftEstella's lovely face looked at me in wonderbut Miss Havisham was staring at me with a mixture of pity and guilt

It was all overTo calm my feelings I walked all the way back to LondonAt night the Temple gates were always closedbut the nightporter let me in when I told him my nameHe gave me an envelope addressed to Mr PipInsidein Wemmick's writingit said:‘DONT GO HOME.’

 


 

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