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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/34

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He hesitated. The king vented a short, bitter laugh.

"Go ahead," he said. "What you mean to say is that our cousin, Baron Provarsk, is not the sort to pay much attention to boundaries on a dark night when out for a chase?"

"Exactly, Sir."

"Then do as you wish," the king assented, with a shrug of his shoulders and a gesture of help- lessness. Instantly, and with an air of willing- ness, the young officer saluted and passed outside to stand guard in the storm.

"Karl, I can not yet see the sense of all this," asserted the princess, who up to now had not spoken, and Kent caught himself starting at the musical sound of her voice.

"But, Your Royal Highness!" blurted the chancellor, "it would have been extremely dan- gerous for you to have remained there. I foresaw that, and being a man of action, I——"

He paused, interrupted by the opening of the door from the kitchen and the appearance of the peasant woman wearing, draped about her head and shoulders, a gunny sack that she had used to protect herself from the rain. She glared haughtily at the visitors and spoke directly to Kent, the only one she acknowledged as her master.

"I have put the horses in the woodshed," she