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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

faltered, all her own resolutions upset by the strangeness of the tableau.

Provarsk dumbly rolled his eyes toward her, but it was Kent who replied.

"It means that the princess has arrived at a most inopportune moment," he said, coldly. "I left positive instructions that neither you, nor any one else, was to interfere with my plans."

"And my brother took orders from you," she said, sarcasm in her reflexion. "And I told him that if there was no man of our house who dared to face this upstart baron, I would do it myself and alone ! "

A reluctant approval of her bravery shone in his grim, resolute face.

"How could my brother know, " she demanded, as her temper again came uppermost, "that the agent of John Rhodes, who seeks his pound of flesh and nothing more, would not come here and ally himself with this adventurer?"

"I am not without honour," Kent answered, quietly and with a fine dignity of his own. " The situation as you find it is sufficient proof."

She hesitated, bit her lip, and looked back at the other participants in this outré scene into which she had recklessly forced her way. The proof of Kent's fidelity to her house was palpable in that restrained and desperate figure stretched

out and held relentlessly by the silent giant, and

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