Little Lord Fauntleroy - illustrated online book

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

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52                                LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
ladies talked to him, there was always laughter in the group of which he was the center; when he played with the children, there was always magnificent fun on hand. Among the sailors he had the heartiest friends; he heard miraculous stories about pirates and ship­wrecks and desert islands; he learned to splice ropes and rig toy ships, and gained an amount of information concerning "tops'ls" and " mains'ls," quite surprising. His conversation had, indeed, quite a nautical flavor at times, and on one occasion he raised a shout of laughter in a group of ladies and gentlemen who were sitting on deck, wrapped in shawls and overcoats, by saying sweetly, and with a very engaging expression :
" Shiver my timbers, but it 's a cold day !" It surprised him when they laughed. He had picked up this sea-faring remark from an " elderly naval man" of the name of Jerry, who told him stories in which it occurred frequently. To judge from his stories of his own adventures, Jerry had made some two or three thousand voyages, and had been invariably shipwrecked on each occasion on an island densely populated with bloodthirsty canni­bals. Judging, also, by these same exciting adventures, he had been partially roasted and eaten frequently and had been scalped some fifteen or twenty times.
" That is why he is so bald," explained Lord Fauntleroy to his mamma. " After you have been scalped several times the hair never grows again. Jerry's never grew again after that last time, when the King of the Parromachaweekins did it with the knife made out of the skull of the Chief of the Wopslemumpkies. He says it was one of the most serious times he ever had. He was so frightened that his hair stood right straight up when the king flourished his knife, and it never would lie down, and the king wears it that way now, and it looks some­thing like a hair-brush. I never heard anything like the asperiences Jerry has had! I should so like to tell Mr. Hobbs about them ! "
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