THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
tongues until we find out about this. Do you hear me?"
Slowly and sullenly they became subdued. Ubaldo then turned fiercely on the American, who sat impassive at the head of the table, his manner portraying nothing more than a melan- choly, almost disinterested curiosity in his sur- roundings.
"Now, you limping old fossil !" Ubaldo snarled, "you'll tell us exactly what happened. And don't forget this; if you don't tell the truth, I'll cook you, inch by inch, and then throw the cinders into the streets."
The "old fossil" looked mildly surprised.
"I thought I did tell you," he said. "If I've got to tell it again, suppose you call all your men in to hear it. It strikes me that you're only one of them, and that any man that joined your ex- pedition has just as much right to know what is up as you have."
" That 's right ! You 're right there ! " the other adventurers in the room yelled in chorus, some of them in the meantime scowling at Ubaldo and muttering to their neighbours that he was the one, after all, who had got them into the mess. Ubaldo recognised the sign of danger, and tried to quell it ; but he was unheeded in the turmoil. Two of the guardsmen rushed out of the room to summon
their comrades. Ubaldo was vainly trying to