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'My soul, not at all!' said I, cheerfully. 'If you will sometimes
think of that, and look about now and then at your papa's
housekeeping, and endeavour to acquire a little habit - of
accounts, for instance -'

Poor little Dora received this suggestion with something that was
half a sob and half a scream.

'- It would be so useful to us afterwards,' I went on. 'And if you
would promise me to read a little - a little Cookery Book that I
would send you, it would be so excellent for both of us. For our
path in life, my Dora,' said I, warming with the subject, 'is stony
and rugged now, and it rests with us to smooth it. We must fight
our way onward. We must be brave. There are obstacles to be met,
and we must meet, and crush them!'

I was going on at a great rate, with a clenched hand, and a most
enthusiastic countenance; but it was quite unnecessary to proceed.
I had said enough. I had done it again. Oh, she was so
frightened! Oh, where was Julia Mills! Oh, take her to Julia
Mills, and go away, please! So that, in short, I was quite
distracted, and raved about the drawing-room.

I thought I had killed her, this time. I sprinkled water on her
face. I went down on my knees. I plucked at my hair. I denounced
myself as a remorseless brute and a ruthless beast. I implored her
forgiveness. I besought her to look up. I ravaged Miss Mills's
work-box for a smelling-bottle, and in my agony of mind applied an
ivory needle-case instead, and dropped all the needles over Dora.

I shook my fists at Jip, who was as frantic as myself. I did every
wild extravagance that could be done, and was a long way beyond the
end of my wits when Miss Mills came into the room.

'Who has done this?' exclaimed Miss Mills, succouring her friend.

I replied, 'I, Miss Mills! I have done it! Behold the destroyer!'
- or words to that effect - and hid my face from the light, in the
sofa cushion.

At first Miss Mills thought it was a quarrel, and that we were
verging on the Desert of Sahara; but she soon found out how matters
stood, for my dear affectionate little Dora, embracing her, began
exclaiming that I was 'a poor labourer'; and then cried for me, and
embraced me, and asked me would I let her give me all her money to
keep, and then fell on Miss Mills's neck, sobbing as if her tender
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