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It might not be what you expect, but certainly it is not
what a line expects either. Let's call it a feature.

I don't mean the ending 'CR', but the one in between.  I
can understand stripping 'CR' just before 'LF', but why
the one in between ?

Because I don't have a look-ahead. If I had a look-ahead, I
would have more freedom.

At any rate, what does it mean for a line to have a <CR> in
the middle of it? I understand you can use a trick like this
in a terminal to overwrite something, or in a printer to do
a cheap boldface, but it doesn't seem to make much sense
anywhere else. '*l' was supposed to break the text into
lines, one at a time. I could either consider this lone <CR>
as being a line break on its own, ignore it, or leave it
there.  I decided to ignore it because it was the easiest
thing to do.  As I said, it's a feature, not a bug, in the
sense that I put some thought on it. Whether it was a wise
decision, I am not 100% sure.