Little Lord Fauntleroy - illustrated online book

An American boy becomes A British Earl, By Frances Hodgson Burnett

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LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
33
" Dick is a boot-black," said his young lordship, quite warming up in his interest in plans so exciting. " He is one of the nicest boot-blacks you ever knew. He stands at the corner of a street down-town. I Ve known him for years. Once when I was very little, I was walking out with Dearest, and she bought me a beauti­ful ball that bounced, and I was carrying it and it bounced into the middle of the street where the carriages and horses were, and I was so disappointed, I began to cry — I was very little. I had kilts on. And Dick was blacking a man's shoes, and he said ' Hello!' and he ran in between the horses and caught the ball for me and wiped it off with his coat and gave it to me and said, ' It 's all right, young un.' So Dearest admired him very much, and so did I, and ever since then, when we go down-town, we talk to him. He says ' Hello !' and I say ' Hello !' and then we talk a little, and he tells me how trade is. It's been bad lately."
11 And what would you like to do for him ?" inquired the lawyer, rubbing his chin and smiling a queer smile.
" Well," said Lord Fauntleroy, settling himself in his chair with a business air, " I 'd buy Jake out."
" And who is Jake? " Mr. Havisham asked.
" He 's Dick's partner, and he is the worst partner a fellow could have! Dick says so. He is n't a credit to the business, and he is n't square. He cheats, and that makes Dick mad. It would make you mad, you know, if you were blacking boots as hard as you could, and being square all the time, and your partner was n't square at all. People like Dick, but they don't like Jake, and so sometimes they don't come twice. So if I were rich, I 'd buy Jake out and get Dick a 'boss' sign—he says a 'boss' sign goes a long way; and I 'd get him some new clothes and new brushes, and start him out fair. He says all he wants is to start out fair."
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