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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/198

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IT was nearly three months later when the various steel manufacturers of the world were stirred and agitated by the announcement that the redoubtable John Rhodes had again been heard from and in a most unsatisfactory way. The manganese deposits, of which there were only two or three of any size on earth, had been secretly bought in, or concessions gained therefor, and word came from the blithe John Rhodes, dated from his London offices, that hereafter manganese would double in price. Steel manufacturers swore volubly, but the market went soaring. Some of the manufacturers used cables and wires to find out if that deposit which was said to exist in a dinky little kingdom called Marken, was open for sale, lease, or concession.

The replies provoked renewed profanity, inasmuch as they tersely said, "Nothing doing. Concession already held by John Rhodes. (Signed) Kent."

And the steel industry of the world threw up its hands in horror and was compelled to submit to unheard of prices for a commodity that was