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Summary Chapter 40



Pip realizes he can’t conceal his guest from his nosy landlord. He decides to tell her that his uncle has made an unexpected visit.

While going to fetch the watchman, he stumbles over a man in the hallway. Pip tells the watchman. When they return, though, there is no man there. Pip checks his apartment to see if the man went inside. He is not in there.

The watchman tells him that all the men he had admitted onto the premises left. The watchman continues to say that he also admitted Pip’s uncle and his friend. When the convict awakes, Pip informs him of the cover story he told everyone that the convict is his uncle. He asks the convict’s name. The convict now goes by the name of Provis, but he was born Abel Magwitch.

Pip tells him that the watchman said he admitted a friend of his, but Provis tells him he didn’t come with anyone. There may have been someone lingering about. Provis said he was better known in the provinces and not in London. However, he was tried in London the last time, which is how he met Jaggers. Before Pip can ask about his charges, Provis tells him it was all settled and paid for.

Provis tells Pip his only stipulation now is that he’d be allowed to watch Pip and take pride in his creation. Pip is concerned about what he is chained to. Provis is determined that Pip will live better than his colonists. He hands Pip some money.

Pip asks Provis how he plans to keep himself safe, how long he intends to be here, and what he plans to do. Provis assures him that he is not going to revert to his former lifestyle. He doesn’t think there is much danger in him being recognized. Many years have passed, and nobody would gain much by turning him in. He would have risked everything, though, to see Pip. He plans to stay for good. He assures Pip that other convicts have lived safely by disguising their appearance. However, if death is his fate, he will gladly face it. He only wants to see his gentleman.

Pip decides to get Provis some lodgings. He will have to tell Herbert his secret. Provis doesn’t like the idea of revealing his identity to another person. However, he plans to make Herbert swear by a little bible he carries around with him. He had stolen it from a courtroom. He believes it makes an oath binding.

Pip buys Provis some new clothes and other items. He then visits Mr. Jaggers’ office. Mr. Jaggers is already aware of the arrival of Pip’s benefactor and doesn’t want to know anything further about it. However, Pip wants to confirm the truth.

Mr. Jaggers tells Pip that he warned Mr. Magwitch of the penalties he could suffer if he ever returned to England. Mr. Wemmick received a letter from a man named Provis, asking for Pip’s address. It was given to him. Mr. Jaggers will send the vouchers and balance to Pip.

The clothes do not do much to disguise Provis’ appearance. The man has all the mannerisms of a prisoner and one who has lived a solitary life.

Pip worries about this man’s crimes, and yet he is torn by the fact of what the man has done for him. He is tempted to flee to the army.

Herbert returns after a year abroad. Provis takes out his bible and tells Herbert to swear on it. Pip begs Herbert to comply, which he does. 

Charles Dickens