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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/205

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of its neighbours. It's respected. It pays its bills. Its bonds are away above par among the best in the world. If it wants more territory it doesn't have to go to war to get it. It can buy it, outright!"

He even slapped his fat, sun-tanned hand on his knee to emphasise his point, and added, "We were all mistaken. It took a Kent to show us how. He is a great man, Eloise, a very great man. The greatest that ever came to Marken. Why, do you know, I was angry when he used to call me a doddering old fool, and now I know he was right. I like it, I do!"

He threw his head back proudly and defiantly. He, the dignified stately old chancellor, admitted that he was pleased to be called a fool so long as it was this phenomenal alien who called him that ! She ended that interview by lifting her head in the air and passing from the room, and red- dened with annoyance when she thought she heard from behind her a soft, chuckling noise. And then came the worst shock of all. The king had actually gone, with bag-kneed trousers, ink-stained fingers and all, accompanied by Kent only, into the city and attended an evening band concert in the Market Place. And most undignified had been the consequence ; for the people, recognising him, had given him an ovation and with locked arms

escorted him home to the very palace gates!