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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/195

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nice, secure little place protected by iron bars. I gave the people a treat. Talked to them myself and was ahem! received with marked enthusi- asm. The firing you heard was prearranged by me. It was a salvo of joy fired with blank cart- ridges. The ringing of the bells was also arranged by me, to give due dramatic effect. The feeling of love for the chancellor was also stimulated by me. I pointed out that it was he who signed the harsh decree enforcing labour, and suggested that only the unswerving efforts of His Majesty, the King, had ameliorated what might have been a most heart-rending condition of toil. We turned the proposed revolt into a celebration of joy and enthusiasm for His Majesty, who is probably at this moment the best loved man in Marken."

The king threw off royal dignity, and impul- sively tried to express his thanks, but seemed to have trouble with his throat.

As if to relieve himself from an embarrassing position, Kent suddenly swung round toward Pro- varsk, and fixed him with mocking eyes.

"By the way, Chancellor," he asked in a casual tone, "isn't the banker Wimblehurst a friend of yours?"

"It seems to me that I am acquainted with the gentleman," Provarsk replied, not in the least perturbed.

"Too bad! Too bad!" said Kent. "He was