Publisher: Project Gutenberg
On Christmas Eve, around 1812, Pip, a boy around the age of six, encounters an escaped convict in the village churchyard while visiting his mother and father's and younger brothers' graves. The convict scares Pip into stealing food for him and a file to grind away his leg shackles. He warns Pip not to tell anyone and to do as he says or his friend will cut out Pip's heart and liver. Pip returns home, where he lives with Mrs. Joe (whose name is later revealed to be Georgiana Maria), his older sister, and her husband Joe Gargery. His sister is very cruel and beats him as well as her husband with various objects regularly; however, Joe is much kinder to Pip. Pip's sister, called Mrs. Joe throughout the novel, often reminds Pip that she was the one who "brought him up by hand". Early the next morning, Pip steals food and drink from the Gargery pantry (including a pie for their Christmas feast) and sneaks out to the graveyard. It is the first time in Pip’s life he’s felt truly guilty.