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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/196

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the leader of the disturbers. He was the first one I had arrested and put in jail. To-morrow he shall be deported and all his property escheat to the crown. "

" Dreadful person!" said Provarsk, with a slight grin.

Kent's eyes lost all mockery and stared harshly at Provarsk with an unmistakable menace.

"Take care, Your Excellency, lest you over- work and the cares of state become too great for your zeal. It would indeed be pitiable if you were suddenly compelled to join that estimable gentle- man, your friend the banker, in an equally penni- less state."

Provarsk did not waver. He sniffed disdain- fully, and with the utmost politeness asked, "Am I to understand that this is a command for my departure?"

"Not at all! Why should it be?" Kent re- torted with cynical courtesy. "Oh, no, indeed! You are too good a thing to lose sight of, my gen- tle chancellor. Why, do you know, you are the most interesting person I have met since the panic of 1903? It is almost unthinkable what might happen to Marken without your presence to g^zide the ship of state through the reefs of unrest Also I'm making you popular; as popular as c&ctior oil for a summer beverage."

He waved his hand deprecatingly.