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Summary Chapter 12



Pip becomes concerned as he thinks about the fight he had with the red-headed boy. He believes he really injured the boy and is destined to be punished for it. He expects to be sent to prison and stays close to home, fearing arrest by the Constable. He tries to erase evidence of the fight—blood from the boy’s nose on his trousers and on the ground—and tries to think up an explanation for the scrapes on his fingers.

He is terrified the day he has to return to Miss Havisham’s. He is expecting to be arrested by the police, to be shot by Miss Havisham, or to be done in by hired mercenaries. He doesn’t believe this vengeance would come from the red-headed boy, but relatives of his who wish to defend his honor and the family name.

However, nothing happens. It isn’t even spoken of. Pip searches for the boy, but he is not there.

Pip pushes Miss Havisham around in a wheelchair when she tires of walking. They go around the property for several hours. She arranges for him to come every other day.

As they get accustomed to each other. Miss Havisham asks more personal questions—like what Pip is going to do in the future. He tells her he expects to become a blacksmith like his adoptive father. Miss Havisham doesn’t offer to help him in any way—either financially or with his education.

Estella never lets him kiss her again, and her moods change very quickly. Generally, she is cold and superior acting. Miss Havisham is pleased that Estella grows more desirable in Pip’s eyes. She is proud that Estella is growing up to be a heartbreaker, which Miss Havisham has bred her to be.

One day, Miss Havisham asks Pip to sing. He sings a ditty he has often heard Joe sing. It is a song dedicated to the patron saint of blacksmiths. Miss Havisham likes the song so much, she makes it a custom that they sing it. The silence of the house, though, seems to drown out their voices.

Pip makes Biddy a confidante and tells her everything about his visits with Miss Havisham that he refuses to reveal to anyone else. Biddy is concerned.

Mr. Pumblechook exasperates Pip by constantly coming over to discuss Pip’s future prospects with Mrs. Joe. Pip’s sister is aggravated by her husband, thinking Joe only wants Pip to be a lowly blacksmith.

Miss Havisham, noticing that Pip is growing up, asks Pip to bring Joe Gargery and his indentures. She insists that they both come alone. When Mrs. Joe hears this, she is thrown into a fury. She is upset that she is excluded. 

Charles Dickens