LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY. 189
"Well," said Mr. Hobbs, "he 's pervided for between us, if he aint a earl."
" So he is," said Dick. " I'd ha' stood by him. Blest if I did n't like that little feller fust-rate."
The very next morning, one of Dick's customers was rather surprised. He was a young lawyer just beginning practice — as poor as a very young lawyer can possibly be, but a bright, energetic young fellow, with sharp wit and a good temper. He had a shabby office near Dick's stand, and every morning Dick blacked his boots for him, and quite often they were not exactly water-tight, but he always had a friendly word or a joke for Dick.
That particular morning, when he put his foot on the rest, he had an illustrated paper in his hand—an enterprising paper, with pictures in it of conspicuous people and things. He had just finished looking it over, and when the last boot was polished, he handed it over to the boy.
" Here 's a paper for you, Dick," he said; " you can look it over when you drop in at Delmonico's for your breakfast. Picture of an English castle in it, and an English earl's daughter-in-law. Fine young woman, too,— lots of hair,— though she seems to be raising rather a row. You ought to become familiar with the nobility and gentry, Dick. Begin on the Right Honorable the Earl of Dorin-court and Lady Fauntleroy. Hello ! I say, what 's the matter ? "
The pictures he spoke of were on the front page, and Dick was staring at one of them with his eyes and mouth open, and his sharp face almost pale with excitement.
"What 's to pay, Dick?" said the young man. "What has paralyzed you ? "
Dick really did look as if something tremendous had happened. He pointed to the picture, under which was written: " Mother of Claimant (Lady Fauntleroy)."