1 It began the moment we sat down to dinner.
2 Their pieces were cocked and levelled when we all ran in.
3 Then Joe began to hammer and clink, hammer and clink, and we all looked on.
4 Before we departed from that spot, four soldiers standing in a ring, fired twice into the air.
5 When it broke out again, the soldiers made for it at a greater rate than ever, and we after them.
6 I had alighted from Joe's back on the brink of the ditch when we came up, and had not moved since.
7 The sergeant ran in first, when we had run the noise quite down, and two of his men ran in close upon him.
8 As we came nearer to the shouting, it became more and more apparent that it was made by more than one voice.
9 Mr. Wopsle, Joe, and I, received strict charge to keep in the rear, and to speak no word after we reached the marshes.
10 Presently we saw other torches kindled at some distance behind us, and others on the marshes on the opposite bank of the river.
11 They came in again without finding anything, and then we struck out on the open marshes, through the gate at the side of the churchyard.
12 The soldiers were moving on in the direction of the old Battery, and we were moving on a little way behind them, when, all of a sudden, we all stopped.
13 There we were stopped a few minutes by a signal from the sergeant's hand, while two or three of his men dispersed themselves among the graves, and also examined the porch.
14 You see, blacksmith," said the sergeant, who had by this time picked out Joe with his eye, "we have had an accident with these, and I find the lock of one of 'em goes wrong, and the coupling don't act pretty.'
15 So, we had our slices served out, as if we were two thousand troops on a forced march instead of a man and boy at home; and we took gulps of milk and water, with apologetic countenances, from a jug on the dresser.
16 You know, Pip," said Joe, solemnly, with his last bite in his cheek, and speaking in a confidential voice, as if we two were quite alone, "you and me is always friends, and I'd be the last to tell upon you, any time.
17 As she applied herself to set the tea-things, Joe peeped down at me over his leg, as if he were mentally casting me and himself up, and calculating what kind of pair we practically should make, under the grievous circumstances foreshadowed.
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