Why was the stranger quite happy to learn that Joe Gargery was a blacksmith?

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The stranger in question is the former escaped convict Abel Magwitch in disguise. He's rocked up at the local tavern in search of young Pip, on whom he will eventually settle a large portion of his fortune. Magwitch doesn't know this part of the world that well, but he does...

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The stranger in question is the former escaped convict Abel Magwitch in disguise. He's rocked up at the local tavern in search of young Pip, on whom he will eventually settle a large portion of his fortune. Magwitch doesn't know this part of the world that well, but he does know that young Pip lives with a blacksmith by the name of Joe Gargery. That's why he's so glad to make Joe's acquaintance at the tavern and happily buys him a drink. Now that Magwitch has located Joe, he'll know just where to find Pip.

Eventually, Magwitch meets up with Pip again, albeit in completely different circumstances to their first encounter at the churchyard all those years ago. For one thing, Magwitch is a good deal more friendly than he was back then, when he made all kinds of blood-curdling threats against the young lad. Now, however, he's all smiles as he generously gives Pip the princely sum of £2, quite a decent amount of money in those days.

Pip still doesn't know who this strange man is. But there are one or two clues as to his identity. For one thing, he stirs his drink with the same nail file that he, Pip, stole for the escaped convict all those years ago.

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