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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/30

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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

she might appear beautiful; even to the indifferent judgment of a fiscal agent.

Behind her came a most haughty personage carrying a jewel case. Nothing save the fact that she carried it indicated that this might be the maid and the other the mistress.

"Well," said the lady with the box, addressing him abruptly, "can't you offer a chair?"

She fixed Kent with a haughty stare, and he, realising that in his inspection of his new guest he had forgotten to be polite, felt rebuffed, and hastened to make amends.

"Pardon me," he said, lamely. "I forgot."

He drew two chairs toward the fireplace, and was then aware that during his ministrations the door had opened and another young man had entered carrying a suitcase and handbag. This, he decided, eyeing the visitor's long, gauntleted gloves, was the chauffeur. The latter carefully deposited the luggage out of the way at one side, removed his cap and stood by the door. He appeared to be the youngest of the party and was clean and fearless of face and eyes. Kent, the student of men, mentally valuing him, concluded that he liked the young man as one who could be depended upon in almost any emergency. He had scant time for his inspection; for the door from the vestibule again swung open and the two men who had first disturbed him appeared, closed the

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