56 LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
stroking her, not noticing what his mother and Mr. Havisham were saying.
They were, indeed, speaking in a rather low tone. Mrs. Errol looked a little pale and agitated.
"He need not go to-night?" she said. "He will stay with me to-night ?"
"Yes," answered Mr. Havisham in the same low tone ; "it will not be necessary for him to go to-night. I myself will go to the Castle as soon as we have dined, and inform the Earl of our arrival."
Mrs. Errol glanced down at Cedric. He was lying in a graceful, careless attitude upon the black-and-yellow skin ; the fire shone on his handsome, flushed little face, and on the tumbled, curly hair spread out on the rug ; the big cat was purring in drowsy content,— she liked the caressing touch of the kind little hand on her fur. Mrs. Errol smiled faintly.
" His lordship does not know all that he is taking from me," she said rather sadly. Then she looked at the lawyer. " Will you tell him, if you please," she said, " that I should rather not have the money ? "
"The money !" Mr. Havisham exclaimed. " You can not mean the income he proposed to settle upon you !"
" Yes," she answered, quite simply; " I think I should rather not have it. I am obliged to accept the house, and I thank him for it, because it makes it possible for me to be near my child ; but I have a little money of my own,— enough to live simply upon,— and I should rather not take the other. As he dislikes me so much, I should feel a little as if I were selling Cedric to him. I am giving him up only because I love him enough to forget myself for his good, and because his father would wish it to be so." Mr. Havisham rubbed his chin.