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Chapter 72 (continued)
Dolly cried the more.
'You must have suffered very much within these few days--and yet you're not changed, unless it's for the better. They said you were, but I don't see it. You were--you were always very beautiful,' said Joe, 'but you are more beautiful than ever, now. You are indeed. There can be no harm in my saying so, for you must know it. You are told so very often, I am sure.'
As a general principle, Dolly DID know it, and WAS told so, very often. But the coachmaker had turned out, years ago, to be a special donkey; and whether she had been afraid of making similar discoveries in others, or had grown by dint of long custom to be careless of compliments generally, certain it is that although she cried so much, she was better pleased to be told so now, than ever she had been in all her life.
'I shall bless your name,' sobbed the locksmith's little daughter, 'as long as I live. I shall never hear it spoken without feeling as if my heart would burst. I shall remember it in my prayers, every night and morning till I die!'
'Will you?' said Joe, eagerly. 'Will you indeed? It makes me-- well, it makes me very glad and proud to hear you say so.'
Dolly still sobbed, and held her handkerchief to her eyes. Joe still stood, looking at her.
'Your voice,' said Joe, 'brings up old times so pleasantly, that, for the moment, I feel as if that night--there can be no harm in talking of that night now--had come back, and nothing had happened in the mean time. I feel as if I hadn't suffered any hardships, but had knocked down poor Tom Cobb only yesterday, and had come to see you with my bundle on my shoulder before running away.--You remember?'
Remember! But she said nothing. She raised her eyes for an instant. It was but a glance; a little, tearful, timid glance. It kept Joe silent though, for a long time.
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