Little Lord Fauntleroy - illustrated online book

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

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LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
143
it was decided that the wretched hovels should be pulled down and new houses should be built.
"It is Lord Fauntleroy who insists on it," he said dryly; "he thinks it will improve the property. You can tell the tenants that it 's his idea." And he looked down at his small lordship, who was lying on the hearth-rug playing with Dougal. The great dog was the lad's constant companion, and followed him about everywhere, stalking solemnly after him when he walked, and trotting majestic­ally behind when he rode or drove.
Of course, both the country people and the town people heard of the proposed improvement. At first, many of them would not believe it; but when a small army of workmen arrived and com­menced pulling down the crazy, squalid cottages, people began to understand that little Lord Fauntleroy had done them a good turn again, and that through his innocent interference the scandal of Earl's Court had at last been removed. If he had only known how they talked about him and praised him everywhere, and prophesied great things for him when he grew up, how astonished he would have been ! But he never suspected it. He lived his simple, happy, child life,—frolicking about in the park; chasing the rabbits to their burrows; lying under the trees on the grass, or on the rug in the library, reading wonderful books and talking to the Earl about them, and then telling the stories again to his mother; writing long letters to Dick and Mr. Hobbs, who responded in characteristic fashion; riding out at his grandfather's side, or with Wilkins as escort. As they rode through the market town, he used to see the people turn and look, and he noticed that as they lifted their hats their faces often brightened very much; but he thought it was all because his grandfather was with him.
" They are so fond of you," he once said, looking up at his lord­ship with a bright smile. " Do you see how glad they are when
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