Great Expectations Chapter 16 Page 6

the question finally in the negative, and reopened and reargued it next morning. The contention came, after all, to this; — the secret was such an old one now, had so grown into me and become a part of myself, that I could not tear it away.

In addition to the dread that, having led up to so much mischief, it would be now more likely than ever to alienate Joe from me if he believed it, I had a further restraining dread that he would not believe it, but would assort it with the fabulous dogs and veal-cutlets as a monstrous invention. However, I temporized with myself, of course — for, was I not wavering between right and wrong, when the thing is always done? — and resolved to make a full disclosure if I should see any such new occasion as a new chance of helping in the discovery of the assailant.