LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY. 151
if you wish to quarrel with me, you had better mention it at once. What I hear of the young creature makes me quite sure that her child owes her everything. We were told even at Lorridaile Park that your poorer tenants adore her already."
" They adore him," said the Earl, nodding toward Fauntleroy. "As to Mrs. Errol, you '11 find her a pretty little woman. I 'm rather in debt to her for giving some of her beauty to the boy, and you can go to see her if you like. All I ask is that she will remain at Court Lodge and that you will not ask me to go and see her," and he scowled a little again.
" But he does n't hate her as much as he used to, that is plain enough to me," her ladyship said to Sir Harry afterward. "And he is a changed man in a measure, and, incredible as it may seem, Harry, it is my opinion that he is being made into a human being, through nothing more nor less than his affection for that innocent, affectionate little fellow. Why, the child actually loves himóleans on his chair and against his knee. His own children would as soon have thought of nestling up to a tiger."
The very next day she went to call upon Mrs. Errol. When she returned, she said to her brother:
11 Molyneux, she is the loveliest little woman I ever saw ! She has a voice like a silver bell, and you may thank her for making the boy what he is. She has given him more than her beauty, and you make a great mistake in not persuading her to come and take charge of you. I shall invite her to Lorridaile."
" She '11 not leave the boy," replied the Earl.
" I must have the boy too," said Lady Lorridaile, laughing.
But she knew Fauntleroy would not be given up to her, and
each day she saw more clearly how closely those two had grown to
each other, and how all the proud, grim old man's ambition and
hope and love centered themselves in the child, and how the warm,