THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
is such a billet as that in Marken, isn't there?" he concluded in a bland tone of inquiry.
Von Glutz was the first to recover from this attack.
"When one has been a chancellor, it is rather difficult to step back to a portfolio," he protested.
"Then why not step out into private life?" retorted Kent, and added with great enthusiasm : "It would be such a change for you! By Jove! That's the very thing! Become a plain citizen! All sorts of things to do. Opportunities to criti- cise the government. Tell admiring friends what you would have done if you had been chancellor. Point out the incumbent's mistakes. Get a lot of figures together to show wasteful extravagance in expenditures. Tariff reform. Income tax. Workingman's friend. Poor girls' benefactor. Be a Cromwell, and get the power of a king by having His Majesty's head cut off. Or a Bismarck, freely lieing, breaking all covenants, and have yourself made a prince. Sort of fellow-citizen, friend-of- the-people, Napoleon, and clap the crown on your bald head. You might even Cookize, and discover a new North pole. Say! If you've been a good chancellor, why did the hen cross the road! Why was Provarsk?"
He paused with mock earnestness, waiting def- erentially for a reply.
"You don't answer," he continued, and again