Open main menu

Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/191

This page needs to be proofread.


He stood quietly to one side, listening atten- tively, as if all his own plans had been defeated.

"I don't see why we waste time talking now," the king declared, impatiently.

" Please, Sire, allow the Princess Eloise to pro- ceed," Kent said. "Her suggestions might be valuable. " He turned his face toward her and en- couraged her by asking, "And what then? After the riot is quelled?"

1 ' Then they must be dealt with kindly, but with resolute firmness. It will not do to seem to give in to them. They must be made to obey ; but there can be a compromise of some sort, can there not? This new plan was too unexpected, too drastic. It would have been better to have prepared them gradually. That would have been my way, Mr. Kent."

She stopped in expectation of his defence, and gazed at him with sympathy and regret, as if wishing to assist him in any way she could now that his plans, all energetic, all hopeful, had gone awry. She had never by word, until this day, credited him with any virtues.

"Thank you," he said quietly, lifting his fine eyes to hers. "I applaud your firmness. It's like encouragement from a friend to hear you talk. But I think, after all, that my way was the best. Something abrupt and sensational had to be done

to arouse them. I did it. It worked all right."