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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/154

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"Good!" said Kent, bluntly.

He waited, as if expecting the princess to leave the room; but she, divining his wish, stubbornly made her way to a chair and seated herself with the evident intention of remaining indefinitely. Observing this, Kent smiled slightly, and an- nounced himself.

"Having thus come so easily through our re- organisation, and now being on such nice, friendly terms of amity and unity, " he said, "we may as well get down to business and understand what we propose to do. I have studied the situation pretty thoroughly. First, we have army enough now to do police duty. That is what it shall do. Next, we shall have conscription. "

His hearers gave a gasp of dismay.

"The trouble with a large majority of Marken- ites," he went on, "is that they are lazy. They don't produce enough. Therefore we will have conscription for labour, and compel them to work whether they want to or not. If they don't obey, we confiscate their property and throw them out of the kingdom. I'm going to compel every man in Marken to earn more money than he ever has hitherto!"

His voice was now hard and emphatic, and he punctuated his declaration by rapping the table with his knuckles.

"I'm going to make them rich, and the kingdom