LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY. 199
" To Court Lodge," said Thomas to the coachman as he mounted the box; " an' you may depend on it, things are taking a unigg-spected turn."
When the carriage stopped at Court Lodge, Cedric was in the drawing-room with his mother.
The Earl came in without being announced. He looked an inch or so taller, and a great many years younger. His deep eyes flashed.
" Where," he said, "is Lord Fauntleroy ?"
Mrs. Errol came forward, a flush rising to her cheek. " Is it Lord Fauntleroy ? " she asked. '* Is it, indeed !"
The Earl put out his hand and grasped hers. " Yes," he answered, "it is."
Then he put his other hand on Cedric's shoulder. " Fauntleroy," he said in his unceremonious, authoritative way, " ask your mother when she will come to us at the Castle." Fauntleroy flung his arms around his mother's neck. " To live with us ! " he cried. " To live with us always ! " The Earl looked at Mrs. Errol, and Mrs. Errol looked at the Earl. His lordship was entirely in earnest. He had made up his mind to waste no time in arranging this matter. He had begun to think it would suit him to make friends with his heir's mother.
"Are you quite sure you want me?" said Mrs. Errol, with her soft, pretty smile.
"Quite sure," he said bluntly. "We have always wanted you, but we were not exactly aware of it. We hope you will come."