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Little Lord Fauntleroy Frances Hodgson Burnett

Chapter VI

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"I learned to dress myself many years ago, thank you," answered Fauntleroy. "Dearest taught me. `Dearest' is my mamma. We had only Mary to do all the work,--washing and all,--and so of course it wouldn't do to give her so much trouble. I can take my bath, too, pretty well if you'll just be kind enough to 'zamine the corners after I'm done."

Dawson and the housekeeper exchanged glances.

"Dawson will do anything you ask her to," said Mrs. Mellon.

"That I will, bless him," said Dawson, in her comforting, good-humored voice. "He shall dress himself if he likes, and I'll stand by, ready to help him if he wants me."

"Thank you," responded Lord Fauntleroy; "it's a little hard sometimes about the buttons, you know, and then I have to ask somebody."

He thought Dawson a very kind woman, and before the bath and the dressing were finished they were excellent friends, and he had found out a great deal about her. He had discovered that her husband had been a soldier and had been killed in a real battle, and that her son was a sailor, and was away on a long cruise, and that he had seen pirates and cannibals and Chinese people and Turks, and that he brought home strange shells and pieces of coral which Dawson was ready to show at any moment, some of them being in her trunk. All this was very interesting. He also found out that she had taken care of little children all her life, and that she had just come from a great house in another part of England, where she had been taking care of a beautiful little girl whose name was Lady Gwyneth Vaughn.

"And she is a sort of relation of your lordship's," said Dawson. "And perhaps sometime you may see her."

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"Do you think I shall?" said Fauntleroy. "I should like that. I never knew any little girls, but I always like to look at them."

When he went into the adjoining room to take his breakfast, and saw what a great room it was, and found there was another adjoining it which Dawson told him was his also, the feeling that he was very small indeed came over him again so strongly that he confided it to Dawson, as he sat down to the table on which the pretty breakfast service was arranged.

"I am a very little boy," he said rather wistfully, "to live in such a large castle, and have so many big rooms,--don't you think so?"

"Oh! come!" said Dawson, "you feel just a little strange at first, that's all; but you'll get over that very soon, and then you'll like it here. It's such a beautiful place, you know."

"It's a very beautiful place, of course," said Fauntleroy, with a little sigh; "but I should like it better if I didn't miss Dearest so. I always had my breakfast with her in the morning, and put the sugar and cream in her tea for her, and handed her the toast. That made it very sociable, of course."

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Little Lord Fauntleroy
Frances Hodgson Burnett

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