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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

fere!" Ivan shouted, and then, pleading for the privilege of destroying Provarsk, was toppled over, breathing hoarsely, and looking up into Kent's face. Slowly the red flame burned out of his eyes, as he recovered control of himself. The pistol fell from his hand, and the princess, with a spring as graceful as a leopard's seized it and retreated to a safe distance.

" Promise me that you will not hurt him, Ivan! I tell you not to ! Are you mad, man?"

"I promise," said Ivan, sullenly, but relaxing himself, and Kent arose. Ivan got slowly to his feet, with a stare of hatred and defeated intent at Provarsk, who was painfully trying to extricate himself from the pieces of splinted screen.

Kent put his hand firmly, but gently, beneath him and assisted him to his feet, and then to a chair. There was no need to ask his condition. The loosely swinging arm told its own story. The door gave way under a fresh onslaught and several guardsmen fell into the room. Behind them could be seen two others holding Provarsk 's mercenary between them. Kent smiled grimly and said, ' * Thank you, men ; but I do not require your help. Pull what's left of the door shut and at once go and arrest or kill Provarsk 's hired men. Leave one man on guard outside in case I want

him."

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