1 I could not help looking at the fire, in an obvious state of doubt.
2 My thoughts strayed from that question as I looked disconsolately at the fire.
3 "Well, boy," Uncle Pumblechook began, as soon as he was seated in the chair of honor by the fire.
4 Joe made the fire and swept the hearth, and then we went to the door to listen for the chaise-cart.
5 As he looked at the fire, I thought I saw a cunning expression, followed by a half-laugh, come into his face.
6 "Give me," said Joe, "a good book, or a good newspaper, and sit me down afore a good fire, and I ask no better."
7 The torches we carried dropped great blotches of fire upon the track, and I could see those, too, lying smoking and flaring.
8 At this dismal intelligence, I twisted the only button on my waistcoat round and round, and looked in great depression at the fire.
9 One of the soldiers opened its wooden windows, another lighted the fire, another turned to at the bellows, the rest stood round the blaze, which was soon roaring.
10 Well, Pip," said Joe, taking up the poker, and settling himself to his usual occupation when he was thoughtful, of slowly raking the fire between the lower bars; "I'll tell you.
11 We got a chair out, ready for Mrs. Joe's alighting, and stirred up the fire that they might see a bright window, and took a final survey of the kitchen that nothing might be out of its place.
12 While we stood in the hut, he stood before the fire looking thoughtfully at it, or putting up his feet by turns upon the hob, and looking thoughtfully at them as if he pitied them for their recent adventures.
13 Mrs. Joe was soon landed, and Uncle Pumblechook was soon down too, covering the mare with a cloth, and we were soon all in the kitchen, carrying so much cold air in with us that it seemed to drive all the heat out of the fire.
14 Then, as the marsh winds made the fire glow and flare, I thought I heard the voice outside, of the man with the iron on his leg who had sworn me to secrecy, declaring that he couldn't and wouldn't starve until to-morrow, but must be fed now.
15 In his lay capacity, he persisted in sitting down in the damp to such an insane extent, that when his coat was taken off to be dried at the kitchen fire, the circumstantial evidence on his trousers would have hanged him, if it had been a capital offence.
16 Then, we went into the hut, where there was a smell of tobacco and whitewash, and a bright fire, and a lamp, and a stand of muskets, and a drum, and a low wooden bedstead, like an overgrown mangle without the machinery, capable of holding about a dozen soldiers all at once.
17 It being Saturday night, I found the landlord looking rather grimly at these records; but as my business was with Joe and not with him, I merely wished him good evening, and passed into the common room at the end of the passage, where there was a bright large kitchen fire, and where Joe was smoking his pipe in company with Mr. Wopsle and a stranger.
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