Open main menu

Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/160

This page needs to be proofread.


came effective, and this, they decided, was ample time to consider so startling an innovation.

And innovation had been made in the palace it- self, unknown to the placid, indolent citizens of the quaint old city that flowed in haphazard angles below the palace hill. The American, after effect- ing the organisation of the new cabinet, was the cause.

"Thank you for the invitation to make your palace my home, sir," he said to the king on His Majesty's formal re-entry into his ancestral home.

The king, astonished, inasmuch as he had never conceived, or voiced, any such invitation, answered with a whimsical smile not too unlike Kent's own, " Oh, it's nothing! Nothing at all, Mr. Kent. It was thoughtful of me, wasn't it?"

"Very," replied the new guest. "It was very kind of you, also, to suggest that inasmuch as a King's Remembrancer must be a mighty busy man, because a king has so much to think about, that I should select such rooms of the palace as would serve for business offices."

Thus he seized a reception room, overlooking the gardens, and a smaller room that was meta- morphosed into his private office, and in a third a staff of bookkeepers was installed.

"It looks," said the king to Paulo, whilst mak- ing a surreptitious visit, "like a bank. What on

earth can so many bookkeepers do?"