"Great Expectations"
by Charles Dickens

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     He held me by the collar and stared at me so, that I began to think his first idea about cutting my throat had revived.

     "Dressed like you, you know, only with a hat," I explained, trembling; "and--and"--I was very anxious to put this delicately--"and with--the same reason for wanting to borrow a file. Didn't you hear the cannon last night?"

     "Then there was firing!" he said to himself.

     "I wonder you shouldn't have been sure of that," I returned, "for we heard it up at home, and that's farther away, and we were shut in besides."


     "Why, see now!" said he. "When a man's alone on these flats, with a light head and a light stomach, perishing of cold and want, he hears nothin' all night, but guns firing, and voices calling. Hears? He sees the soldiers, with their red coats lighted up by the torches carried afore, closing in round him. Hears his number called, hears himself challenged, hears the rattle of the muskets, hears the orders 'Make ready! Present! Cover him steady, men!' and is laid hands on--and there's nothin'! Why, if I see one pursuing party last night--coming up in order, Damn 'em, with their tramp, tramp--I see a hundred. And as to firing! Why, I see the mist shake with the cannon, arter it was broad day,--But this man"; he had said all the rest, as if he had forgotten my being there; "did you notice anything in him?"

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