LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY. 1 79
little anxiousness and perplexity, it is true, but its foundation was not in baffled ambition.
While the Earl told him what had happened, he had sat on a stool holding on to his knee, as he so often did when he was listening to anything interesting; and by the time the story was finished he looked quite sober.
" It makes me feel very queer," he said; "it makes me feel — queer!"
The Earl looked at the boy in silence. It made him feel queer, too—queerer than he had ever felt in his whole life. And he felt more queer still when he saw that there was a troubled expression on the small face which was usually so happy.
"Will they take Dearest's house from her — and her carriage?" Cedric asked in a rather unsteady, anxious little voice.
"No!" said the Earl decidedly—in quite a loud voice, in fact. " They can take nothing from her."
" Ah ! " said Cedric, with evident relief. " Can't they? " Then he looked up at his grandfather, and there was a wistful shade in his eyes, and they looked very big and soft.
"That other boy," he said rather tremulously—"he will have to — to be your boy now — as I was — wont he ? "
"No!" answered the Earl—and he said it so fiercely and loudly that Cedric quite jumped.
" No ?" he exclaimed, in wonderment. "Wont he? I thought------"
He stood up from his stool quite suddenly.
" Shall I be your boy, even if I 'm not going to be an earl ? " he said. " Shall I be your boy, just as I was before ? " And his flushed little face was all alight with eagerness.
How the old Earl did look at him from head to foot, to be sure ! How his great shaggy brows did draw themselves together, and how queerly his deep eyes shone under them — how very queerly !