THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
able to fight her own battles. Better, I might suggest, than some of those stalwarts around her."
Heedless of the chancellor's discomfiture, he walked around the desk and seated himself, with all the air of energy and business capability that dominated him when on guard. He folded the scattered papers, placed them in an envelope, put them back into the despatch box, and then brusquely turned toward the king.
"Now that we understand more or less of the conditions," he said, coldly, "I should like to have you tell me exactly what happened in Marken that explains your presence here in this village. You need not hesitate or stand on your dignity. I have talked with other fallen kings. I have made and unmade some of them," he added, with grim significance.
The king looked at him and smiled, almost sadly, yet not without dignity. The chancellor, after a perplexed and hesitating glance, grunted, wiped his bald head with his handkerchief, and left the task of reply to royalty. The king shrugged his shoulders, and his eyes wandered around the room, as he mentally formulated speech and sought the true beginning. They fell upon Ivan, and for the first time he appeared cognisant of his presence.
"Perhaps," he suggested, "in the discussion