Open main menu

Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/209

This page needs to be proofread.

THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

eyes. Then as if studying the face of a child, he looked at her with an odd kindliness and approval. She was the first to lower her gaze and could not understand why she suddenly felt like a small girl appealing to a very great man.

"Will you not be seated?" she asked and heard him obey. She did not look up until he began to speak, and there was nothing of ridicule, sarcasm, or raillery in his musical voice.

"There is much that you might do, Princess Eloise, if only you understood; but the barrier between a princess and her people, the common people, I mean, is well it's a mighty hard hurdle to take. I don't know much about such things. I wasn't brought up exactly as those of royal families are, you see. I graduated from a sawmill. Outside of lumber kings, and soap kings, and others of that sort, we haven't any kings in America. The way I look at the situa- tion here is this. First we had to make Marken honest and prosperous. To do that we had to make people work, make them all get their shoul- ders to the wheel and shove in the same direction. That far we have got. Next, so that they may keep shoving for all they are worth, we have got to get closer and closer to them ; got to make them loyal to Marken and its ruling house because they want to be so. People can be forced to do things

for a while by law ; but that wears off, sometime.{

[205]