LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY. 123
Fauntleroy mounted in great delight. He had never been on a pony before, and he was in the highest spirits. Wilkins, the groom, led the animal by the bridle up and down before ihe library window.
" He 's a well plucked un, he is," Wilkins remarked in the stable afterward with many grins. " It were n't no trouble to put him up. An' a old un would n't ha' sat any straighter when he were up. He ses — ses he to me, 'Wilkins,' he ses, 'am I sitting up straight? They sit up straight at the circus,' ses he. An' I ses, ' As straight as a arrer, your lordship !'— an' he laughs, as pleased as could be, an' he ses, 'That 's right,' he ses, 'you tell me if I don't sit up straight, Wilkins !' "
But sitting up straight and being led at a walk were not altogether and completely satisfactory. After a few minutes, Fauntleroy spoke to his grandfather— watching him from the window:
" Can't I go by myself? " he asked; "and can't I go faster? The boy on Fifth Avenue used to trot and canter!"
" Do you think you could trot and canter?" said the Earl.
" I should like to try," answered Fauntleroy. His lordship made a sign to Wilkins, who at the signal brought up his own horse and mounted it and took Fauntleroy's pony by the leading-rein.
" Now," said the Earl, "let him trot." The next few minutes were rather exciting to the small equestrian. He found that trotting was not so easy as walking, and the faster the pony trotted, the less easy it was.
"It j-jolts a g-goo-good deal—do-does n't it?" he said to Wilkins. " D-does it j-jolt y-you ? "
" No, my lord," answered Wilkins. " You '11 get used to it in time. Rise in your stirrups."
" I 'm ri-rising all the t-time," said Fauntleroy.