THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
ing them off on his finger-tips, and having them recapitulated to make certain of their intelligent understanding. He was quite gleeful when Paulo ran from the room, calling back, " Leave it to me, Mr. Kent. You can depend on me."
He consulted his watch, saw that it lacked but half an hour of noon, and locked his desk and twirled the knob of his private safe. He clapped his hat on his head, and whistled merrily as he closed the office door after telling his secretary that he would not return until late in the after- noon. He was exactly like any other American business man as he walked alertly to his waiting car, smiled at Ivan, and told the driver, another man on whom he could depend, to make his way to the Market Place. He lighted a cigar and puffed it vigorously as the car swung out of the palace gates and with shrill warnings made its way to- ward the centre of that day's attraction.
In the outskirts of the crowd the car was stopped by an officer who, on seeing the palace uniform worn by the driver, was prepared to give the car right of way. The American dismounted.
"Permit this car to stand here at the side where we can reach it when we return," he said. " Clear a way and conduct my man and me to the platform where the announcement is to be made. I am on the king's business."
"I recognised you, sir," said the officer respect-