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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/31

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door after them and divested themselves of their raincoats. The younger man, evidently the leader of the party, was clad in the uniform of an officer of hussars from which the shoulder insignia was missing, and his high boot tops were here and there splattered with mud, proof that his ride had been far from leisurely. One of the frogs of his coat braid had been torn loose and dangled by a thread as if it had been ripped away in the haste of fastening it, and one of his spurs was missing. He fumbled absently at his belt, unfastened it, and threw belt and sword carelessly on top of the suitcase before turning toward the fire. His stout and elderly companion was far from being as neat in his attire, being clad in a rather startling mixture consisting of a pair of dress trousers tucked into cavalry boots, a dress waistcoat exposing a soiled dress shirt front, and a heavy hunting coat from each pocket of which protruded letters and papers crammed hastily inward. Around his portly waist was strapped a cavalry sabre and, mixed with the papers in one pocket of his coat, projected the handle of a huge revolver. Before he was clear of his raincoat he began roaring orders like an important guest newly arrived at an inn.

"Here, Woman," he called to the aged peasant dame. "Have some one take our horses to a stable, rub them down, water and feed them. Not