Open main menu

Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/37

This page needs to be proofread.


sternation. The princess, aghast, opened her eyes widely, and the chancellor, bristling with annoyance, jumped to his feet and roared loudly, "What business have you listening? Do you know whom you are addressing?"

To a man who, throughout his life, had been accustomed to see his hearers quail when he vented that tremendous roar, the effect was more than disappointing. The roar seemed to have lost its efficacy; for the financial agent merely grinned at him and snapped his fingers. He even had the temerity to eye the chancellor slowly from his round eyes down to the tips of his boots, then back up again; almost contemptuously, but with infinite good nature. Yet there was something about him suggesting that he might grin just as pleasantly if he were ordering the chancellor to be taken out to the hen house and hanged by his fat neck.

"Suppose you drop that style of talk with me," he said at last, "and sit down like a good boy. Certainly I know whom I address. Otherwise Humph! I don't think I'd take the trouble. This pleasant little party consists, first, of Her Royal Highness, Princess Eloise; second, of His Majesty, Karl Second, King of Marken, and third, of His Excellency, that clever, astute and far-sighted chancellor, Baron Von Glutz."

He chuckled softly as the chancellor writhed under his sarcasm, stuttered, threatened apo-