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CHAPTER 29. I VISIT STEERFORTH AT HIS HOME, AGAIN (continued)
All day, she seemed to pervade the whole house. If I talked to Steerforth in his room, I heard her dress rustle in the little gallery outside. When he and I engaged in some of our old exercises on the lawn behind the house, I saw her face pass from window to window, like a wandering light, until it fixed itself in one, and watched us. When we all four went out walking in the afternoon, she closed her thin hand on my arm like a spring, to keep me back, while Steerforth and his mother went on out of hearing: and then spoke to me.
'You have been a long time,' she said, 'without coming here. Is your profession really so engaging and interesting as to absorb your whole attention? I ask because I always want to be informed, when I am ignorant. Is it really, though?'
I replied that I liked it well enough, but that I certainly could not claim so much for it.
'Oh! I am glad to know that, because I always like to be put right when I am wrong,' said Rosa Dartle. 'You mean it is a little dry, perhaps?'
'Well,' I replied; 'perhaps it was a little dry.'
'Oh! and that's a reason why you want relief and change - excitement and all that?' said she. 'Ah! very true! But isn't it a little - Eh? - for him; I don't mean you?'
A quick glance of her eye towards the spot where Steerforth was walking, with his mother leaning on his arm, showed me whom she meant; but beyond that, I was quite lost. And I looked so, I have no doubt.
'Don't it - I don't say that it does, mind I want to know - don't it rather engross him? Don't it make him, perhaps, a little more remiss than usual in his visits to his blindly-doting - eh?' With another quick glance at them, and such a glance at me as seemed to look into my innermost thoughts.
'Miss Dartle,' I returned, 'pray do not think -'
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