Well, Dearest of All, you know how difficult it is for a young person to wait for a whole year for anything--so you can imagine how young Dick Whittington felt when a year had passed without hearing a word about the ship or his cat--and when a second year had passed, Dick began to think that the ship was lost and that he had doomed his poor cat to a watery grave.
Dick began to think that his investment was a failure and that his future was very bleak if he stayed in the great city.
Worst of all, Dick had met Mr. Fitzwarren's daughter, Alice--a pretty little girl just about his age, and she had spoken kindly to him though they were in such very different social classes.
The failure of the ship to return with any good news for him made him give up all hope for improving his situation--he felt that he would probably live and die a scullery boy--and not only that, it seemed to him that the cook, his boss, was being mean to him.
And so one day, after more than two years had passed since he put his cat aboard the trading ship, Dick was so discouraged that he decided to leave London forever.
The poor boy probably had nothing at all to pack and carry as he began to sadly walk away from the only home he had ever known.
But he had not gone far when something incredible happened.
He was still close enough to the old Bow church to hear it's bells ringing in the distance and there was a voice in the bells.
The voice clearly said: "Turn again, Dick Whittington, Lord Mayer of London."
You can be sure Dick stopped walking and listened more carefully than he had ever listened to anything in his life as the bells began to ring and talk again.
This time the bells seemed to say: "Turn again Dick Whittington, Twice Lord Mayor of London."
Dick was sure the bells were talking to HIM!
He listened even more intently as the Bow bells spoke again: "Turn again Dick Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London."
Then the bells were silent. Around him he heard only the usual sounds of the city, but he felt sure the bells had somehow announcd his destiny.
Of course, no one else had heard anything unusual--just the Bow Bells ringing the hours as always.
Dick hurried back to Mr. Fitzwarren's home--he was so unimportant that no one had even missed him--but now he was determined to stay in London--he had hope for his future. The bells had said it--he would be three times Lord Mayor of London though the boy certainly had no idea how this would happen.