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16  Miss Havisham realizes how Pip has suffered

 

When I went to see Miss Havisham the next dayas she had requestedher house looked darker than everand I realized how lonely she was without EstellaShe looked sadly at me

Tell mePip,’she saidstretching out her hand to me,‘how can I help your friendYou said something about it last time

I explained my agreement with Clarrikers to make Herbert a partnerNine hundred pounds still had to be paid

And you will be happier if I pay this?’

Much happier.’

can't I help you yourselfPip?’

There is nothing you can do,’I answered

She wrote a cheque which she handed to me.‘Mr Jaggers will give you the moneyAnd-herePip,’handing me another piece of paper,‘here is a note with my name onIfone dayyou can write under my nameI forgive her”,please do it.’

Oh Miss Havisham,’I said,‘I can do it nowWe have all made mistakesI can't be bitter with anyone.’

What have I donePip!’she crieddropping to her knees in front of me.‘I should never have brought up Estella like thator allowed you to be hurt!’

Could I ask you something about EstellaHow and why did you adopt her?’

I never knew her parents,’she said quietly.‘I asked Jaggers to find a little girl for me to adoptand he brought Estella herewhen she was about three.’

We had no more to say to each otherand so I leftBut on my way through the old garden I had a strange feeling that something was wrongand I ran back upstairs to check that Miss Havisham was all rightAs I opened the door of her roomI saw her sitting close to the fireSuddenly a great flame lit the roomShe turned and rushed towards mescreamingher hair and clothes on fireSomehow I managed to cover her with my coat and put out the flames with my hands

I sent for a doctorwho cleaned her woundsHer bed was placed on the great dining tablewhere her wedding cake had beenand she lay therecovered with a white sheethalf con-scionsI could not staybut left her in the care of the doctor and several nursesand returned to London

My hands and right arm had been badly burntBut although I was in great painI was desperate to know if Magwitch was safe

Everything's fine,’Handel,’Herbert told me calmlyas he gently put bandages on my hands.‘He seems much pleasanter than beforeI actually like him nowDo you knowyesterday he was telling me about his pastApparently at one time he was married to a young woman who was jealous of an-other womanThere was a fight and his wife killed the other Luckily for hershe had a clever lawyer at her trialand was never punished for the murderShe and Magwitch had a daughter who Magwitch dearly loved Both wife and child disappeared after the trial and he thought his wife must have killed their daughter.’

How old was the child?’I askedtrying to control my excitement

She would have been about your ageif she had lived.’

Herbert,’ I said,‘am I ill or mad or anything?’

No,’replied Herbert after examining me carefully,‘al-though you do look a little excited.’

Listen HerbertMagwitch is Estella's father.’

The next dayalthough I felt ill and weakbecause of my burnsI went straight to JaggersofficeHe admitted that Estella was his housekeeper's daughteradopted by Miss Hav-isham to give her the chance of a better life But even hethe great Jaggersdid not know that Magwitch was Estella's father

 


 

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