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plexy, and then added, with a soft drawl that even the language of Marken could not hide, "Don't trouble to speak, Baron, if it hurts you. I undoubtedly have the advantage of you in this, that while you don't know who I am, which after all matters but little, I know all about you."

"You you you Impudence, I call it! How dare you——"

"Easy! Easy, Baron," he admonished, with much of the good nature vanishing from his eyes, and his firm mouth adjusting itself to harshness. "Best not make a fool of yourself. You have my permission to scowl at me. Perhaps it's just as well, so that in future meetings, if there are any, you can identify me quickly and thus learn to suppress what I fear is shall we say a rather truculent temper."

The king, who had watched him closely, evidently had greater control of his emotions and faced his chancellor sharply.

"Baron, sit down," he said, quietly. "We are not in a position to domineer. You forget yourself. We are this gentleman's guests, although, as he says, he has an advantage of knowledge."

Kent refused to accept this suggestion that he make himself known and turned to his desk and the steel despatch box which he had opened and took therefrom a packet of papers that rustled as he spread them before him.