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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

man. The noise in the corridor increased, making it plain that the guard, highly entertained, had fal- len into the Princess' wake. They heard her turn on them.

"What do you mean by following after and annoying me?" she questioned, angrily.

Ubaldo, anxious to find some means of extri- cating himself from a ridiculous position, bawled, "The princess is right! Halt, you men! Fall in! Stand at attention!"

There was a quick shuffling of feet as the guardsmen obeyed.

"Now, Your Royal Highness, if you still in- sist, I will announce you."

"No, you won't!" she said. "All you can do is to stand to one side. I'll announce myself!"

That she gained her way was evident by her entrance, as she swung one of the doors open and, with white cheeks and blazing eyes, stepped inside. Instantly the American closed it behind her. At the sound of the closing door she turned appre- hensively like one entrapped, but both fear and anger gave way to astonishment as she grasped the signs of struggle that were before her, the American with pistol in hand, and on the table the discomfited usurper intently watched by the giant, who did not so much as glance up at her entrance.

"What—what is the meaning of this?" she

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