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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/175

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state form of conscription had been evolved, not for the purpose of bearing arms, but that work- ers might be obtained for the conduct of various state enterprises, the profit therefrom to be de- rived by the state and applied to the payment of its debts and upkeepĀ ; that ultimately the citizens themselves would receive that profit after the state debts had been paid, and that the new form of taxation, that imposed by the work of their hands, would abrogate all others. Furthermore, it was announced that certain factories and public utili- ties were to be commandeered and in future op- erated by the government acting over and legiti- mately protecting the original owners. The voice of the announcer closed with its "God Save the King," and he took his seat.

There had been attentive silence while he read. Out there in the clear noon, under the clear blue sky, the Markenites listened, and struggled to comprehend. And then an abrupt murmur arose to become in a moment a roar, and the American sitting stolidly and listening attentively, caught an undernote that threatened anger; so without a moment's hesitation threw himself forward to stem the tide before it got beyond control. He signalled to the trumpeters and shouted, "Blow I Throw your lungs into it! Quickly! Blow!"

Obediently the two men trumpeted for atten-

tion. Kent had jumped across the platform and