THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
yet," a piece of pleasantry that Kent appreciated with a slight smile, and which the king plainly resented.
"And the Baron Provarsk is therefore now at liberty?" queried Paulo, evidently unable to grasp the extraordinary changes that had taken place.
"My goodness, man! Your Excellency, the Minister of the Treasury, does not suggest that so exalted and important official as the chancellor of the realm should be pinched, do you?" Kent asked, with unsmiling lips.
"Why, I should say not ! " exclaimed Provarsk, with a great assumption of dignity. "I couldn't think of such a thing! I've a mind to ask my cousin to instantly remove you from office!"
"If I am to act as cabinet minister " began Paulo.
"I would suggest that you and the chancellor retire to the anteroom, and come to an amicable agreement to leave each other alone," Kent in- terrupted. "His Majesty expects you to do so. It must be understood that all previous differ- ences have, from the moment of His Majesty's ap- pointments, been obliterated."
Provarsk arose with an air of relief, bowed deeply to the king, eyed Kent quizzically, and led the way. Paulo, still bewildered, made his salutes and followed after, leaving the American with his
eyes fixed on Von Glutz, who had steadily drooped