Little Lord Fauntleroy - illustrated online book

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

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LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.                              183
When Mrs. Errol entered the drawing-room, a very tall, majes­tic-looking old man was standing on the tiger-skin rug. He had a handsome, grim old face, with an aquiline profile, a long white mustache, and an obstinate look.
" Mrs. Errol, I believe?" he said.
" Mrs. Errol," she answered.
" I am the Earl of Dorincourt," he said. He paused a moment, almost unconsciously, to look into her uplifted eyes. They were so like the big, affectionate, childish eyes he had seen uplifted to his own so often every day during the last few months, that they gave him a quite curious sensation.
" The boy is very like you," he said abruptly.
"It has been often said so, my lord," she replied, "but I have been glad to think him like his father also."
As Lady Lorridaile had told him, her voice was very sweet, and her manner was very simple and dignified. She did not seem in the least troubled by his sudden coming.
"Yes," said the Earl, "he is like — my son — too." He put his hand up to his big white mustache and pulled it fiercely. " Do you know," he said, "why I have come here?"
"I have seen Mr. Havisham," Mrs. Errol began, "and he has told me of the claims which have been made------"
" I have come to tell you," said the Earl, "that they will be inves­tigated and contested, if a contest can be made. I have come to tell you that the boy shall be defended with all the power of the law.
His rights------"
The soft voice interrupted him.
" He must have nothing that is not his by right, even if the law can give it to him," she said.
" Unfortunately the law can not," said the Earl. " If it could, it should. This outrageous woman and her child------"
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