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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

Kent, agent for John Rhodes, that you shall not make your departure from this palace until you have induced your employer to advance the additional loan. Needless to add that, under these new conditions, you can scarcely expect any commission whatever."

The American did not appear disturbed; yet there was a peculiar watchfulness in his manner.

"Humph! You don't dare to detain me," he said.

"Don't dare to detain you? That's a joke. Don't dare? I dare not only to detain you, but, in case this money lending, penny scraping master of yours doesn't advance, I dare to have both you and that stupid dummy behind you shot and put nicely out of the way."

If he had expected to frighten his visitor, he must have been disappointed; for the latter grinned with the utmost contempt directly across at him and then chuckled deep in his throat.

"You're not half the man I thought you," he said, jeeringly. "I'm quite disappointed in you, to tell the truth. Dare? Why, you wouldn't dare do anything. It's a pity. You had me respecting you as a pretty fair gamester; but this last lot about detaining me, brigand and ransom stuff, cheap melodrama, really hurts me! Call in one of those louts outside, and, by an exchange, take your proper place. You and your mob are, after

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