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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/187

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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

Any word which Your Excellency might wish to leave will be duly repeated," Provarsk said in admirable imitation of Kent's secretary, and then added, "My goodness! It's all fussed up, isn't it?"

"Everything is lost!" exclaimed the Minister of War, speaking to the king.

"What has happened!" asked the latter, quietly, confronting an issue that brought out his better and fighting qualities.

"Mr. Kent! He told me that he proposed to put the decree through regardless of anything and that if I had to fight, fight it would be; told me to have my army stationed at places named, but said he would be there and that I wasn't to give the command to fire until he told me to. Great crowd! People all excited and restless! Accidentally dropped my glasses and stepped on them! And I've lost the oculist's prescription."

"You're rattled!" said the king, growing still cooler now that he faced an emergency.

"So I am! So I am!" admitted Von Glutz, hastily. "But I couldn't see Mr. Kent anywhere and the crowd grew threatening. I asked if any one of my officers had seen him. No one had. I hurried here to inform him, and on the way I heard shots. It can mean but one thing; that, pressed to the limit, my soldiers have fired, and that Marken is in a state of civil war!"

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