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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/149

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and wilted into an effigy of injured innocence, not unlike a wilted turnip.

" Baron," Kent began, "all this may appear a trifle strange to you; but I have reasons."

"Does it not seem to you, Mr. Kent, that you are in a measure taking advantage of our some- what singular position?" the king asked. "I am still striving to keep my share of our agreement; but I can not quite grasp "

"You aren't supposed to grasp anything, owing to that agreement," was the concise retort. "You were, and still are, in a passive position. It's my job to pull you out. I'm probably upsetting a lot of precedents; but I take the responsibility for running this board of directors—pardon ! I mean this kingdom in my own way."

Rebuffed, the king met Kent's look, and then, reassured by the intelligence he saw there, said, "I am sorry to have interfered. I am doing the best I can to learn. It requires some patience, under the circumstances, to "

He stopped, the confession itself being difficult ; but the American liked him for his outburst. In- deed, he decided there might be some hope for the king, properly handled.

"Our ways are different," he said, less aggres- sively. "Your way has been tried and failed. Therefore mine can be no worse."

He faced Von Glutz again, and was about to