`One day is so like another here,' he replied, `that I don't know without casting it up. However, I come her some time since you left.'
`I could have told you that, Orlick.'
`Ah!' said he, drily. `But then you've got to be a scholar.'
By this time we had come to the house, where I found his room to be one just within the side door, with a little window in it looking on the court-yard. In its small proportions, it was not unlike the kind of place usually assigned to a gate-porter in Paris. Certain keys were hanging on the wall, to which he now added the gatekey; and his patchwork-covered bed was in a little inner division or recess. The whole had a slovenly confined and sleepy look, like a cage for a human dormouse: while he, looming dark and heavy in the shadow of a corner by the window, looked like the human dormouse for whom it was fitted up - as indeed he was.
`I never saw this room before,' I remarked; `but there used to be no Porter here.'
`No,' said he; `not till it got about that there was no protection on the premises, and it come to be considered dangerous, with convicts and Tag and Rag and Bobtail going up and down. And then I was recommended to the plàce as a man who could give another man as good as he brought, and I took it. It's easier than bellowsing and hammering. - That's loaded, that is.'
My eye had been caught by a gun with a brass bound stock over the chimney-piece, and his eye had followed mine.
`Well,' said I, not desirous of more conversation, `shall I go up to Miss Havisham?'
`Burn me, if I know!' he retorted, first stretching himself and then shaking himself; `my orders ends here, young master. I give this here bell a rap with this here hammer, and you go on along the passage till you meet somebody.'
`I am expected, I believe?'
`Burn me twice over, if I can say!' said he.
Upon that, I turned down the long passage which I had first trodden in my thick boots, and he made his bell sound. At the end of the passage, while the bell was still reverberating, I found Sarah Pocket: who appeared to have now become constitutionally green and yellow by reason of me.
`Oh!' said she. `You, is it, Mr Pip?'
`It is, Miss Pocket. I am glad to tell you that Mr Pocket and family are all well.'
`Are they any wiser?' said Sarah, with a dismal shake of the head; `they had better be wiser, than well. Ah, Matthew, Matthew!You know your way, sir?'
Tolerably, for I had gone up the staircase in the dark, many a time. I ascended it now, in lighter boots than of yore, and tapped in my old way at the door of Miss Havisham's room. `Pip's rap,' I heard her say, immediately; `come in, Pip.'
She was in her chair near the old table, in the old dress, with her two hands crossed on her stick, her chin resting on them, and her eyes on the fire. Sitting near her, with the white shoe that had never been worn, in her hand, and her head bent as she looked at it, was an elegant lady whom I had never seen.
`Come in, Pip,' Miss Havisham continued to mutter, without looking round or up; `come in, Pip, how do you do, Pip? so you kiss my hand as if I were a queen, eh? - Well?'
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