THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
tance, so quiet, so gentle, so grave it was in this decisive moment of its existence.
"You," it said, "are a princess. I am nothing, save that which I am—a man who has done his best. A plebeian man, Princess Eloise, because all that I have tried and all that I have done, may seem insignificant in your eyes. But what I am, I am."
The voice paused in that time she stood with hands crossed above her breast not daring to lift her eyes to his; paused as if gathering power to find the way.
"I should not dare to speak," it proceeded, more firmly, "had you not said what you did a while ago. You said that you would have given anything for———" he hesitated and spoke scarcely above a whisper, as if a repetition of her words were profanation, as if he, a penitent, approached slowly on hands and knees to confession. "You said that you would have given anything for my friendship, for my esteem! That you had wanted to help me—always!" He spoke the last word like one reading the ultimate word of life from the open book of destiny, laid once before us all. "Oh, Eloise!" he cried with a tenderness beyond all she had dreamed, "I am like that poor, foolish juggler of Notre Dame, who, unable to do more than juggle gay balls upon his hands and feet, yet dared toss them at the shrine of Our Lady,