Mr. Fitzwarren ordered a chair to be set for him, and then the lad began to think that they were making fun of him.
“I beg that you won’t play tricks with a poor boy like me,” he said. “Please let me go back to my work.”
“Mr. Whittington,” said Mr. Fitzwarren, “this is no joke at all. The captain has sold your cat, and has brought you, in return for her, more riches than I have in the whole world.”
Then he opened the box of jewels, and showed Dick his treasures.
The poor boy did not know what to do. He begged his master to take a part of it; but Mr. Fitzwarren said, “No, it is all your own; and I feel sure that you will make good use of it.”
Dick then offered some of his jewels to his mistress and little Alice. They thanked him, and told him that they felt great joy at his good luck, but wished him to keep his riches for himself.
But he was too kind-heart-ed to keep everything for himself. He gave nice presents to the cap-tain and the sailors, and to the servants in Mr. Fitz-warren’s house. He even remembered the cross old cook.
After that, Whittington’s face was washed, and his hair curled, and he was dressed in a nice suit of clothes; and then he was as handsome a young man as ever walked the streets of London.
Some time after that, there was a fine wedding at the finest church in London; and Miss Alice became the wife of Mr. Richard Whittington. And the lord mayor was there, and the great judges, and the sher-iffs, and many rich mer-chants; and everybody was very happy.
And Richard Whittington became a great merchant, and was one of the foremost men in London. He was sheriff of the city, and thrice lord mayor; and King Henry V. made him a knight.
He built the famous prison of New-gate in London. On the arch-way in front of the prison was a figure, cut in stone, of Sir Richard Whittington and his cat; and for three hundred years this figure was shown to all who visited London.
There was a great battle at sea. One could hear nothing but the roar of the big guns. The air was filled with black smoke. The water was strewn with broken masts and pieces of timber which the cannon balls had knocked from the ships. Many men had been killed, and many more had been wounded.
The flag-ship had taken fire. The flames were breaking out from below. The deck was all ablaze. The men who were left alive made haste to launch a small boat. They leaped into it, and rowed swiftly away. Any other place was safer now than on board of that burning ship. There was powder in the hold.
But the captain’s son, young Ca-sa-bi-an’ca, still stood upon the deck. The flames were almost all around him now; but he would not stir from his post. His father had bidden him stand there, and he had been taught always to obey. He trusted in his father’s word, and be-lieved that when the right time came he would tell him to go.