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'You will oblige me, ma'am,' interrupted Mr. Spenlow, 'by confining
yourself to facts.'

Miss Murdstone cast down her eyes, shook her head as if protesting
against this unseemly interruption, and with frowning dignity

'Since I am to confine myself to facts, I will state them as dryly
as I can. Perhaps that will be considered an acceptable course of
proceeding. I have already said, sir, that I have had my
suspicions of Miss Spenlow, in reference to David Copperfield, for
some time. I have frequently endeavoured to find decisive
corroboration of those suspicions, but without effect. I have
therefore forborne to mention them to Miss Spenlow's father';
looking severely at him-'knowing how little disposition there
usually is in such cases, to acknowledge the conscientious
discharge of duty.'

Mr. Spenlow seemed quite cowed by the gentlemanly sternness of Miss
Murdstone's manner, and deprecated her severity with a conciliatory
little wave of his hand.

'On my return to Norwood, after the period of absence occasioned by
my brother's marriage,' pursued Miss Murdstone in a disdainful
voice, 'and on the return of Miss Spenlow from her visit to her
friend Miss Mills, I imagined that the manner of Miss Spenlow gave
me greater occasion for suspicion than before. Therefore I watched
Miss Spenlow closely.'

Dear, tender little Dora, so unconscious of this Dragon's eye!

'Still,' resumed Miss Murdstone, 'I found no proof until last
night. It appeared to me that Miss Spenlow received too many
letters from her friend Miss Mills; but Miss Mills being her friend
with her father's full concurrence,' another telling blow at Mr.
Spenlow, 'it was not for me to interfere. If I may not be
permitted to allude to the natural depravity of the human heart, at
least I may - I must - be permitted, so far to refer to misplaced

Mr. Spenlow apologetically murmured his assent.

'Last evening after tea,' pursued Miss Murdstone, 'I observed the
little dog starting, rolling, and growling about the drawing-room,
worrying something. I said to Miss Spenlow, "Dora, what is that
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