THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
ceasingly while heaping more fagots around the backlog and dusting the ashes from the grate. Her voice, raised to a snap, brought him back from a reverie.
"You've not heard a word I said!" she declared, vastly annoyed.
"Eh? What's that?" he lifted his eyes and placated her with a smile that was rare and winning.
"A man came from Marken," she repeated, intent on impressing him with prodigious news, "Pierre LaFranz, it was, and says there might be a revolution over there that will shake the world! Shake the world, Pierre said."
Kent could not restrain a laugh.
"Don't you bother about the world," he said, soothingly. "Marken's standing army might give the Pope's Swiss guard a good tussle, but— Humph! If Marken went to war the world would probably never hear of it—let alone shake. Why, Marken's so small it's a secret!"
As he proceeded, she reddened with indignation, tried to speak, and then, wagging her head at the obtuseness of a man who could not believe that the two-by-four kingdom, neighbouring on Steinweg, and regarded with awe by every peasant within forty miles, was not of world-wide importance, retired to her kitchen. She slammed the door with a final expression of disgust; but Kent