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|Little Lord Fauntleroy||Frances Hodgson Burnett|
|Page 4 of 12||
Cedric looked at him just as he had looked at the woman at the lodge and at the housekeeper, and came quite close to him.
"Are you the Earl?" he said. "I'm your grandson, you know, that Mr. Havisham brought. I'm Lord Fauntleroy."
He held out his hand because he thought it must be the polite and proper thing to do even with earls. "I hope you are very well," he continued, with the utmost friendliness. "I'm very glad to see you."
The Earl shook hands with him, with a curious gleam in his eyes; just at first, he was so astonished that he scarcely knew what to say. He stared at the picturesque little apparition from under his shaggy brows, and took it all in from head to foot.
"Glad to see me, are you?" he said.
"Yes," answered Lord Fauntleroy, "very."
There was a chair near him, and he sat down on it; it was a high-backed, rather tall chair, and his feet did not touch the floor when he had settled himself in it, but he seemed to be quite comfortable as he sat there, and regarded his august relative intently but modestly.
"I've kept wondering what you would look like," he remarked. "I used to lie in my berth in the ship and wonder if you would be anything like my father."
"Am I?" asked the Earl.
"Well," Cedric replied, "I was very young when he died, and I may not remember exactly how he looked, but I don't think you are like him."
"You are disappointed, I suppose?" suggested his grandfather.
"Oh, no," responded Cedric politely. "Of course you would like any one to look like your father; but of course you would enjoy the way your grandfather looked, even if he wasn't like your father. You know how it is yourself about admiring your relations."
The Earl leaned back in his chair and stared. He could not be said to know how it was about admiring his relations. He had employed most of his noble leisure in quarreling violently with them, in turning them out of his house, and applying abusive epithets to them; and they all hated him cordially.
"Any boy would love his grandfather," continued Lord Fauntleroy, "especially one that had been as kind to him as you have been."
Another queer gleam came into the old nobleman's eyes.
"Oh!" he said, "I have been kind to you, have I?"
"Yes," answered Lord Fauntleroy brightly; "I'm ever so much obliged to you about Bridget, and the apple-woman, and Dick."
"Bridget!" exclaimed the Earl. "Dick! The apple-woman!"
"Yes!" explained Cedric; "the ones you gave me all that money for--the money you told Mr. Havisham to give me if I wanted it."
"Ha!" ejaculated his lordship. "That's it, is it? The money you were to spend as you liked. What did you buy with it? I should like to hear something about that."
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|Little Lord Fauntleroy
Frances Hodgson Burnett
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