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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/181

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those who paid him adulation as the one who had spoken for the king. Only once he halted in this triumphal progress, when his eyes fell on a puffed-up and self-important contractor with whom he had become acquainted and whom he thoroughly detested for his garrulity. To him he extended his hand and spoke. The little man swelled visibly at being thus recognised by the great man, and was gratified that so many could see this evidence of friendship.

"The people understand," murmured Kent, confidentially. "The king told me they would, because he could always trust to their good sense; but His Excellency, the Chancellor, will be furious; because you see he wanted the king to lower all wages, and not compel any of the rich ones to work. The chancellor, born to a golden spoon, I am afraid hates the honest sons of toil. Trust the king to set him in his place if he goes too far!"

He gave a lugubrious shake of his head, again shook hands very warmly and hastened onward.

"One for you, Provarsk," he said to himself. "Before I've got out of this square that fat gas bag will pass it around with exaggeration and my worthy little chancellor won't dare travel without a guard for some time, I reckon. Hope they don't catch him and hang him on sight!"