In Great Expectations convict #1 had been in this prison for a crimenine letters are in the word that describes the crime

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Magwitch, who calls himself Provis, arrives in London to visit Pip, he reveals his past.  As a young man some twenty years ago, Provis met a well-educated man named Compeyson who took him on "to be his man and pardner."  Compeyson's business was

the swindling [nine letters], handwriting forging, stolen bank note passing, and suchlike.  All sorts of traps as Compeyson could set with his head, and let another man in for, was Compeyson's business.

Thus, in Chapter XLII of Great Expectations, Pip learns, not only the past of his "fearful man, all in coarse gray, with a great iron on his leg," of Chapter I, but he also is informed of the identity of the second convict, as well.  For, Provis declares Compeyson is the man that Pip saw Provis "a-pounding in the ditch" those many years ago. In addition, Pip learns about Arthur, the man who was once engaged to Miss Havisham, that Compeyson also exploits.  After working for Compeyson for a while, Provis and he are put into prison--"committed for felony"--"on a charge of putting stolen notes in circulation."

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Great Expectations

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