Little Lord Fauntleroy - illustrated online book

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

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98                                LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
one that his lordship's worst fears were realized, and twenty-two chances to one that if the poor little fellow had disappointed him, the Earl was even now in a tearing rage, and ready to vent all his ran­cor on the first person who called — which it appeared probable would be his reverend self.
Judge then of his amazement when, as Thomas opened the library door, his ears were greeted by a delighted* ring of childish laughter. " That 's two out! " shouted an excited, clear little voice. " You see it 's two out! "
And there was the Earl's chair, and the gout-stool, and his foot on it; and by him a small table and a game on it; and quite close to him, actually leaning against his arm and his ungouty knee, was a little boy with face glowing, and eyes dancing with excitement. "It 's two out!" the little stranger cried. "You had n't any luck that time, had you?"—And then they both recognized at once that some one had come in.
The Earl glanced around, knitting his shaggy eyebrows as he had a trick of doing, and when he saw who it was, Mr. Mordaunt was still more surprised to see that he looked even less disagreeable than usual instead of more so. In fact, he looked almost as if he had forgotten for the moment how disagreeable he was, and how unpleas­ant he really could make himself when he tried.
" Ah !" he said, in his harsh voice, but giving his hand rather graciously. " Good-morning, Mordaunt. I Ve found a new employ­ment, you see."
He put his other hand on Cedric's shoulder,— perhaps deep down in his heart there was a stir of gratified pride that it was such an heir he had to present; there was a spark of something like pleasure in his eyes as he moved the boy slightly forward.
" This is the new Lord Fauntleroy," he said. " Fauntleroy, this is Mr. Mordaunt, the rector of the parish."
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