44 LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
" I 'd come to see you," replied Mr. Hobbs, graciously. So it seemed to be agreed that if he received a pressing invitation from the earl to come and spend a few months at Dorincourt Castle, he was to lay aside his republican prejudices and pack his valise at once.
At last all the preparations were complete; the day came when the trunks were taken to the steamer, and the hour arrived when the carriage stood at the door. Then a curious feeling of loneliness came upon the little boy. His mamma had been shut up in her room for some time; when she came down the stairs, her eyes looked large and wet, and her sweet mouth was trembling. Cedric went to her, and she bent down to him, and he put his arms around her, and they kissed each other. He knew something made them both sorry, though he scarcely knew what it was; but one tender little thought rose to his lips.
" We liked this little house, Dearest, did n't we ? " he said. " We always will like it, wont we?"
" Yes—yes," she answered, in a low, sweet voice. " Yes, darling."
And then they went into the carriage and Cedric sat very close to her, and as she looked back out of the window, he looked at her and stroked her hand and held it close.
And then, it seemed almost directly, they were on the steamer in the midst of the wildest bustle and confusion; carriages were driving down and leaving passengers; passengers were getting into a state of excitement about baggage which had not arrived and threatened to be too late; big trunks and cases were being bumped down and dragged about; sailors were uncoiling ropes and hurrying to and fro; officers were giving orders; ladies and gentlemen and children and nurses were coming on board,—some were laughing and looked gay, some were silent and sad, here and there two or