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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/182

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IN the precincts of the palace, on that eventful afternoon, there was considerable apprehension sustained by the king, who, born to precedent and hedged in by conventionalities, believed in doing all things slowly and with decorum. As Kent once said, he was "As fine a watchful-waiter as ever succeeded in ponderously doing nothing." Indeed there was but one person visible after Kent's hasty departure for the Market Place who did not seem anxious, that person being the chancellor himself. He strolled languidly into Kent's office within three minutes after the American had passed out, and looked for the King's Remembrancer. Not seeing him, he smiled slyly, took a seat, waited a few minutes, and then rang the bell that summoned Kent's secretary. That astute and well trained young gentleman entered the room and stood like a statue of respectful attention.

"Good morning, Your Excellency," he said, while in the back of his brain ran the question, "Wonder what that pusillanimous blighter wants in here at this time?"