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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/20

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"It isn't often that we have such weather here, it isn't! The sides of the house are waterfalls; the street a river; the garden a lake. I was afraid the pig would drown. I brought him into the kitchen."

"And very humane of you," commented Kent, drily. "Why didn't you bring him in here? Any other stock to be salvaged?"

"There's the chickens; but they have roosts, and—a very great bother to bring them all in the kitchen. Unless——" she stopped, put her arms akimbo and stared at Ivan as if to suggest that with his assistance she might manage.

"Never mind! As you say, they can roost," Kent hastily protested, lest she take him seriously and bring not only the chickens but perhaps the cow, a donkey and the family goat into the household.

Another crash of thunder and flash of light so close as to be simultaneous caused her to throw her arms above her head as if to protect it. Ivan did not so much as raise his eyes. His imperturbability exasperated her.

"I tell you," she exclaimed, pointing a declamatory finger at Ivan, "he's not natural! Sometimes he doesn't answer when a body speaks to him. Something uncanny about him, and—and I don't like it!"

"There is something wrong with him," Kent