LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY. 83
" You must be very proud of your house," he said, "it 's such a beautiful house. I never saw anything so beautiful; but, of course, as I 'm only seven, I have n't seen much."
" And you think I must be proud of it, do you ? " said the Earl.
" I should think any one would be proud of it," replied Lord Fauntleroy. "I should be proud of it if it were my house. Everything about it is beautiful. And the park, and those trees,—how beautiful they are, and how the leaves rustle !"
Then he paused an instant and looked across the table rather wistfully.
" It 's a very big house for just two people to live in, is n't it?" he said.
" It is quite large enough for two," answered the Earl. " Do •you find it too large?"
His little lordship hesitated a moment.
" I was only thinking," he said, " that if two people lived in it who were not very good companions, they might feel lonely sometimes."
"Do you think I shall make a good companion ?" inquired the Earl.
" Yes," replied Cedric, " I think you will. Mr. Hobbs and I were great friends. He was the best friend I had except Dearest." The Earl made a quick movement of his bushy eyebrows.
" Who is Dearest ? "
" She is my mother," said Lord Fauntleroy, in a rather low, quiet little voice.
Perhaps he was a trifle tired, as his bed-time was nearing, and perhaps after the excitement of the last few days it was natural he should be tired, so perhaps, too, the feeling of weariness brought to him a vague sense of loneliness in the remembrance that to-night he was not to sleep at home, watched over by the loving eyes of that "best friend" of his. They had always been "best friends,"