148 LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
but she never did, because the Earl had been in a bad humor when he went back to Dorincourt, and had forbidden him ever to go to Lorridaile Park again. But Lady Lorridaile had always remembered him tenderly, and though she feared he had made a rash marriage in America, she had been very angry when she heard how he had been cast off by his father and that no one really knew where or how he lived. At last there came a rumor of his death, and then Bevis had been thrown from his horse and killed, and Maurice had died in Rome of the fever; and soon after came the story of the American child who was to be found and brought home as Lord Fauntleroy.
" Probably to be ruined as the others were," she said to her husband, "unless his mother is good enough and has a will of her own to help her to take care of him."
But when she heard that Cedric's mother had been parted from him she was almost too indignant for words.
" It is disgraceful, Harry !" she said. " Fancy a child of that age being taken from his mother, and made the companion of a man like my brother ! He will either be brutal to the boy or indulge him until he is a little monster. If I thought it would do any good to write------"
" It would n't, Constantia," said Sir Harry.
" I know it would n't," she answered. " I know his lordship the Earl of Dorincourt too well;—but it is outrageous."
Not only the poor people and farmers heard about little Lord Fauntleroy; others knew him. He was talked about so much and there were so many stories of him — of his beauty, his sweet temper, his popularity, and his growing influence over the Earl, his grandfather— that rumors of him reached the gentry at their country places and he was heard of in more than one county of England. People talked about him at the dinner tables, ladies pitied his