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Little Lord Fauntleroy

Chapter XIII
OF course, as soon as the story of Lord Fauntleroy and the difficulties of the Earl of
Dorincourt were discussed in the English newspapers, they were discussed in the
American newspapers. The story was too interesting to be passed over lightly, and it was
talked of a great deal. There were so many versions of it that it would have been an
edifying thing to buy all the papers and compare them. Mr. Hobbs read so much about it
that he became quite bewildered. One paper described his young friend Cedric as an
infant in arms,--another as a young man at Oxford, winning all the honors, and
distinguishing himself by writing Greek poems; one said he was engaged to a young lady
of great beauty, who was the daughter of a duke; another said he had just been married;
the only thing, in fact, which was NOT said was that he was a little boy between seven
and eight, with handsome legs and curly hair. One said he was no relation to the Earl of
Dorincourt at all, but was a small impostor who had sold newspapers and slept in the
streets of New York before his mother imposed upon the family lawyer, who came to
America to look for the Earl's heir. Then came the descriptions of the new Lord
Fauntleroy and his mother. Sometimes she was a gypsy, sometimes an actress, sometimes
a beautiful Spaniard; but it was always agreed that the Earl of Dorincourt was her deadly
enemy, and would not acknowledge her son as his heir if he could help it, and as there
seemed to be some slight flaw in the papers she had produced, it was expected that there
would be a long trial, which would be far more interesting than anything ever carried into
court before. Mr. Hobbs used to read the papers until his head was in a whirl, and in the
evening he and Dick would talk it all over. They found out what an important personage
an Earl of Dorincourt was, and what a magnificent income he possessed, and how many
estates he owned, and how stately and beautiful was the Castle in which he lived; and the
more they learned, the more excited they became.
"Seems like somethin' orter be done," said Mr. Hobbs. "Things like them orter be held on
to--earls or no earls."
But there really was nothing they could do but each write a letter to Cedric, containing
assurances of their friendship and sympathy. They wrote those letters as soon as they
could after receiving the news; and after having written them, they handed them over to
each other to be read.
This is what Mr. Hobbs read in Dick's letter:
"DERE FREND: i got ure letter an Mr. Hobbs got his an we are sory u are down on ure
luck an we say hold on as longs u kin an dont let no one git ahed of u. There is a lot of ole
theves wil make al they kin of u ef u dont kepe ure i skined. But this is mosly to say that
ive not forgot wot u did fur me an if there aint no better way cum over here an go in
pardners with me. Biznes is fine an ile see no harm cums to u Enny big feler that trise to
cum it over u wil hafter setle it fust with Perfessor Dick Tipton So no more at present
"DICK."
And this was what Dick read in Mr. Hobbs's letter:
"DEAR SIR: Yrs received and wd say things looks bad. I believe its a put up job and
them thats done it ought to be looked after sharp. And what I write to say is two things.
Im going to look this thing up. Keep quiet and Ill see a lawyer and do all I can And if the
worst happens and them earls is too many for us theres a partnership in the grocery
business ready for you when yure old enough and a home and a friend in
 
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