THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
member, Sire, that it was you who did away with our secret service."
"Bah! Why not! It accomplished nothing, and cost much to keep."
"Now when your father was alive, under whom you must not forget I had the extreme honour to act as chancellor——" began Von Glutz, crustily and pompously.
"Yes, Father willed you to us," interjected the princess with acerbity.
The chancellor said, "Humph! Hum-m!" nois- ily, and then, having cleared his throat prepara- tory to speaking, contented himself by getting extremely red in the face, opened his lips, closed them, and tugged at his white moustache.
"And things went from bad to worse, regard- less of all I wanted to do for my people!" The king spoke with a voice of regret and sorrow.
This evidence of sincerity appeared to be the final spur necessary to bring Kent to a decision. He turned slowly around and stared hard at the young man, then abruptly closed his book, tossed it on the table and said, addressing him in the tongue of Marken, "And so, abandoning your good intentions, you ran away, eh?"
The falling of one of the beams of the ceiling could scarcely have proven more startling to the three refugees by the fireplace. The king pivoted
in his chair and faced Kent with a look of con-