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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

by the American's readiness to defend her against the squalid band outside.

"You have impugned my motives before," his cold, restrained voice again broke in, and with a quality that she could not misinterpret. "But you have now interfered, seriously, in an emer- gency whose difficulties are increased by your presence. You have jeopardised our chances; so you shall and must obey what I am going to tell you."

"Must? Must?"

"Must and shall!"

For an instant they eyed each other, and then, frightened by his very domination and strength, she felt suddenly disturbed.

"Come," he said, "we have no time to quibble. If you value your life, or your brother's posses- sion of the throne, you will do precisely as I tell you. If this can not be accomplished with your friendship as an aid, it shall, nevertheless, be ac- complished. I expect you to obey, implicitly! It is our only chance."

Overawed by his determined pose, she bowed her head, in enforced assent. He stepped across to the side of the table, touched Ivan on the arm, and gestured for him to release their prisoner.

"Get up, Provarsk!" the American curtly or- dered, and as the baron stiffly descended from

the table and began with nervous fingers to rear-

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