14 LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
Cedric gathered all his strength of mind together.
" Mr. Hobbs," he said, "do you remember what we were talking about yesterday morning ? "
"Well," replied Mr. Hobbs,—"seems to me it was England."
"Yes," said Cedric; "but just when Mary came for me, you know ?"
Mr. Hobbs rubbed the back of his head.
" We was mentioning Queen Victoria and the aristocracy."
"Yes," said Cedric, rather hesitatingly, "and—and earls; don't you know ? "
" Why, yes," returned Mr. Hobbs ; " we did touch 'em up a little ; that's so ! "
Cedric flushed up to the curly bang on his forehead. Nothing so embarrassing as this had ever happened to him in his life. He was a little afraid that it might be a trifle embarrassing to Mr. Hobbs, too.
" You said," he proceeded, "that you would n't have them sitting 'round on your cracker-barrels."
" So I did!" returned Mr. Hobbs, stoutly. "And I meant it. Let 'em try it—that's all! "
" Mr. Hobbs," said Cedric, "one is sitting on this box now !" Mr. Hobbs almost jumped out of his chair.
" What! " he exclaimed.
" Yes," Cedric announced, with due modesty; "I am one—or I am going to be. I wont deceive you."
Mr. Hobbs looked agitated. He rose up suddenly and went to look at the thermometer.
" The mercury 's got into your head ! " he exclaimed, turning back to examine his young friend's countenance. " It is a hot day! How do you feel? Got any pain? When did you begin to feel that way ? "