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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

speak, when, as if it were her particular mission in life to interfere, the Princess Eloise came hur- riedly into the room, again with full danger sig- nals flying.

"Karl," she asked, "is it true, as Provarsk just now informed me, in the ante-room, that you have appointed him chancellor of Marken?"

"It is true," the king replied.

"Then," she declared stormily, "I suppose this outrage is also due to the sage advice of your new friend, Mr. Kent? Are you still the king of Marken, may I ask? Or are you a marionette pulled by a string? Have you gone mad? Have you no spirit left?"

Exasperated by her return as well as by the contempt that had so deftly conveyed itself in th selection of her words, the king forgot his promise of secrecy to the American.

"Eloise," he replied, desperately, "sheer force of circumstances have for the time being drawn me into a pact with Mr. Kent, by which he is to have the controlling voice in the affairs of the kingdom. You forget that without his efforts we should scarcely be here now. So far he has proven "

"Why doesn't he have himself crowned?"

The king did not answer. Kent was amused. She stared at him as he sat noiselessly drumming

his fingers on the arm of his chair, entirely self-

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