I alone am guilty, I alone committed the offence, and I
"He wrote her a letter; it frightened her. He followed it up by a visit -"
Doris paused; the sentence hung suspended. She had heard a step - a hand on the door.
Oswald had heard nothing, seen nothing. But he took note of Doris' silence, and turning towards her in frenzy saw what had happened, and so was in a measure prepared for the stern, short sentence which now rang through the room:
"Wait, Miss Scott! you tell the story badly. Let him listen to me. >From my mouth only shall he hear the stern and seemingly unnatural part I played in this family tragedy."
The face of Oswald hardened. Those pliant features - beloved for their gracious kindliness - set themselves in lines which altered them almost beyond recognition; but his voice was not without some of its natural sweetness, as, after a long and hollow look at the other's composed countenance, he abruptly exclaimed:
"Speak! I am bound to listen; you are my brother."
Orlando turned towards Doris. She was slipping away.
Oswald raised his hand and checked the words with which he would have begun his story.
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