THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
which he has invested every dollar he has in the world, and all he could borrow. It's so easy now that it's scarcely interesting!"
"But the people don't know that you have the concession," objected the king. "They think I still own the mines for the state, and that the profits have been turned to the redemption of the state bonds ; and they are confident that after the bonds are redeemed I'm going to spend more money for the good of the state. The minute Provarsk exposes the whole affair, they will lose confidence in me and my intentions."
The American regarded the king's distress with sympathy.
"But, suppose you had never granted the con- cession, and that you did own the mines, free from everything?"
"As soon as your bonds have been met, I'd give them the profits all of them ! You certainly know that I do care for my people and am unselfish ! I want to be just what they have thought me to be, Kent, the best king that Marken ever had! I want to be able to do again what I have done, walk out amongst them, and know that they respect me as a king, and like me as a man and a friend."
He spoke impassionedly, voicing the hunger of his mind, confessing his dream, while the Ameri-
can watched him kindly as an elder brother might