THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
dare not tell the people of Marken that you have given John Rhodes a concession for these mines, and that, although they have been getting big pay, they have been enriching you, as well as pay- ing back John Bhodes' money. The people them- selves have been helping to do it."
" Can't agree with you quite!" stubbornly in- sisted the king. "Why, the men who work there are getting double the wages, and sometimes quad- ruple, that they ever before had in their lives. They are prosperous prosperous beyond any hope that any of them ever had. You don't mean to say that prosperous men are the ones to revolt?"
" Nothing more certain in the world ! Too much prosperity is just the same, if not worse, than too much poverty. An autocrat, I have come to the conclusion, can make, with fair luck, either one or the other; too much wealth or too much pov- erty. And the end will always be the same they will get rid of the autocrat, who is the most obso- lete being on God Almighty's earth. There are times when one seems a necessity ; but the moment that necessity vanishes, so does he. Three very- great nations in this world proved it, Great Brit- ain, France and the United States. Sometimes I think the others don't count!"
"But we must stop Provarsk!" insisted the