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Just as Mrs. Joe realizes that the meat pie that Pip has stolen is gone, a file of soldiers arrive at the Gargery door. The sergeant asks for the blacksmith because he has leg-irons that need repair. So, after a couple of hours, Joe has them repaired and the soldiers with their loaded muskets set out for the escaped convicts that they are hunting. Into the "dismal wilderness" of wind and rain and coarse rushes and banks and marshes the soldiers search for the man who has filed the leg-irons. They know that the convicts will wait for dusk before they try to escape from the cover of the marshes for fear of being shot by the soldiers.
As the soldiers traverse this wetland where the footing is bad with the wind and sleet persecuting them, some of them hear water splashing and curses being uttered. The sergeant runs in, followed by other soldiers with their muskets cocked. "Here are both men!" the sergeant calls to the others ordering the convicts to surrender. As they stop, Pip's convict tells the sergeant,
Lookee here!”.... “Single-handed I got clear of the prison-ship; I made a dash and I done it. I could ha' got clear of these death-cold flats likewise—look at my leg: you won't find much iron on it—if I hadn't made the discovery that he was here. Let him go free? Let him profit by the means as I found out? Let him make a tool of me afresh and again? Once more? No, no, no. If I had died at the bottom there;” and he made an emphatic swing at the ditch with his manacled hands; “I'd have held to him with that grip, that you should have been safe to find him in my hold."
Then, the convict explains that he could have escaped, but he was not about to let the second convict get away, too, just so that he could implicate Pip's convict if he got caught. He tells the soldiers that the second convict is a villain whom he has refused to let go. Clearly, there is great hatred for this convict on the part of Pip's convict.
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