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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/134

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completely under the influence of this money- lender is incomprehensible ! "

Her annoyance was unmistakable. Captain Paulo was secretly thankful that he was not her brother and was vastly relieved by the entry of that gentleman in person. By the troubled frown on the king's brows the young officer decided that every word of the princess' last and captious speech had been overheard.

"You may go, Captain Paulo," the king said, mgnificantly, and the young officer saluted and discreetly retired, glad that he was not in the king's shoes.

"Eloise," the king remonstrated, with an at- tempt at severity, "I am sorry to say that I heard what you said to the captain. Does it seem quite fitting that you should discuss our affairs with "

"Why not!" she retorted, coolly. "It's time it was discussed with some one on whom I can depend, isn't it? If I don't, I'm afraid this man Kent will be running the kingdom as he pleases before long."

The king winced and lost his air of admonish- ment. He knew, from past experience, that this sister of his dealt in very plain truths. Sometimes they were highly unpleasant. Anger at his own impotence caused him to rush to Kent's defence.

Moreover, he was filled with great respect for his