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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

being as independent as the poles of the globe, I can not conceive what it is that has overtaken him!"

"And all the time," angrily asserted the Min- ister of Finance, "that Provarsk plots!"

It was true. And Kent, as well as his adherents, knew it; for Kent's sources of information bronght him the constant and unanimous reports that the chancellor was adroitly using his time. The managers of the mines stated that the men were becoming daily more intractable and sullen, that nightly meetings were being held from which no information ever leaked, and that there was a growing unrest. There was no room to doubt that Provarsk was behind it all, and that Provarsk was carefully laying a powder train to cause an explosion; yet Kent, the master spirit of change, read the reports, or listened to them, and was lethargic.

Baron Von Glutz, the new enthusiast for road improvement, slipped hastily away to the outer world to inspect some new road-making machin- ery. Kent smiled at his enthusiasm. Paulo went to the other side of the toy kingdom to inspect work connected with his department. Again Kent smiled, and seemed happy to be left alone and un- molested.

And then, when least expected, Provarsk acted

with his customary boldness. Kent, walking alone

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