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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/247

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watch the harassments of a younger one when about to tender sympathy and assistance.

"All right!" he said, bluntly. "I think we can fix that up. It may be foolish on my part damned foolish! But a man can't pass through this world without being foolish once in a while. I'm going to give you that concession."

The king's face expressed many emotions, and among them solicitous affection.

"But but Rhodes?" he asked excitedly. "What will Rhodes think of you?"

"I've got to take my chances of squaring it with him. Most always he does about as I want him to. I've made a lot of money for John Ehodes, one time and another, and he knows it. Besides, I am going to tell you something. The last penny that Marken owed John Ehodes, to- gether with two per cent interest, was paid him more than a week ago. If, after all that, he kicked, he'd be more of a dog than I ever suspected him of being. "

The king, stupefied by the news that he was free from debt, gasped, but Kent disregarded him.

He got up and locked the door to make certain that he would not be disturbed, walked briskly across the room to a book case, and spoke with the proud delight of an ingenious boy.

"Come here," he said. "I want to show you

something. Pretty clever, I call it. My own idea.