THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
Ivan and I did most of the work. Now look over here. On this side of the room, right under the mantel see this marble ornament? Well, it's nothing but a plain, common old American electric latch; the kind we have over home when we live on the top flat and want to open the ground floor door for a caller. Push on it!"
The king, still speechless, did so. There was a sharp click, and the book case swung away from the wall, exposing a modern safe behind it. The king's eyes were wide with curiosity.
"That's the way she works," Kent exclaimed, proudly. "Thought it out myself, for emergen- cies. I haven't kept any papers of importance in the vault of my office for more than three months. I'd give a hundred dollars to watch Provarsk when he opens it with the combination I gave him last night. It's quite empty."
He chuckled as he bent over and twirled the knob, pulled the heavy door open, brought out a drawer and took from it a piece of paper that the king recognised. He opened it and glanced at it to make certain of its identity, held it before the king to show what it was and then deliberately tore it to shreds, which he threw into the fireplace and lighted.
"There goes the concession," he said, gazing at the flames. "The manganese are yours, unmort-
gaged, free from all debt and all obligations."