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The Convict and the Churchyard
Christmas Eve. Pip, a young boy at the start of the novel,
introduces himself and describes a visit to the graves of his
parents and brothers in an isolated country churchyard. He is
suddenly set upon and menaced by Magwitch, a convict escaped from a
prison hulk moored on the river. Magwitch forces Pip to promise to
bring him food, drink and a file to remove his fetters. Pip
lives with his much older sister and her husband, the village
blacksmith. He is punished severely for his absence from home. The
next morning, he gets up early and makes for the marshes with the
required items, which he has stolen from the larder and the forge.
Before he meets Magwitch, Pip is surprised to discover a second
convict, who runs away. He tells Magwitch about it as he gives him
the food. Taken aback, Magwitch decides to head off in pursuit.
"Hold your noise!" cried a terrible
voice, as a man started up from among the graves at the
side of the church porch.
A fearful man, all in coarse
grey, with a great iron on his leg.
Tickler was a wax-ended piece of
cane, worn smooth by collision with my tickled frame.
I...ran for the misty
He shivered all the while, so
violently, that it was quite as much as he could do to
keep the neck of the bottle between his teeth, without
biting it off.
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