184 LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
" Perhaps she cares for him as much as I care for Cedric, my lord," said little Mrs. Errol. " And if she was your eldest son's wife, her son is Lord Fauntleroy, and mine is net."
She was no more afraid of him than Cedric had been, and she looked at him just as Cedric would have looked, and he, having been an old tyrant all his life, was privately pleased by it. People so seldom dared to differ from him that there was an entertaining novelty in it.
"I suppose," he said, scowling slightly, "that you would much prefer that he should not be the Earl of Dorincourt." Her fair young face flushed.
" It is a very magnificent thing to be the Earl of Dorincourt, my lord," she said. " I know that, but I care most that he should be what his father was — brave and just and true always."
" In striking contrast to what his grandfather was, eh ?" said his lordship sardonically.
" I have not had the pleasure of knowing his grandfather," replied
Mrs. Errol, "but I know my little boy believes------" She stopped
short a moment, looking quietly into his face, and then she added, " I know that Cedric loves you."
" Would he have loved me," said the Earl dryly, " if you had told him why I did not receive you at the Castle ? "
"No," answered Mrs. Errol, "I think not. That was why I did not wish him to know."
"Well," said my lord brusquely, "there are few women who would not have told him."
He suddenly began to walk up and down the room, pulling his great mustache more violently than ever.
" Yes, he is fond of me," he said, "and I am fond of him. I can't say I ever was fond of anything before. I am fond of him. He pleased me from the first. I am an old man, and was tired of my