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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/239

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A problem presented itself to him in which he attempted to stand aloof like an outside spectator, and speculate what John Rhodes, the richest and most feared man in the world, would do upon the receipt of such letters. Would he be tolerant and kind, or severe and unrelenting, with such evidence against Richard Kent, the trusted agent, who had at last yielded to a very great temptation and gone wrong?

His guard halted and opened a door. Kent walked through and closed it behind him. He was alone in his accustomed room with his problem. And then it occurred to him that there is such an influence as justice, and that justice will not be denied. There was a king. The king, though it cost him his throne—though it cost him everything he prized in the world—would under such circumstances find and confront Rhodes, and declare it all a lie. And Rhodes under those circumstances would be compelled to believe. Kent's long and varied training in reading men told him that the king would prove a loyal, fighting, steadfast friend, and that in such an outrageous, diabolical plan as Provarsk's, this would prove to be the weak point in the chancellor's armour.

Kent disrobed, bathed the dust of that stiff physical contest on the garden path from his face, and climbed into bed. To-morrow was merely to-