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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT


sister there at Provarsk's mercy. You see, Sir, my sister was also one of his objects. Twice he has tried to marry her. It was because I didn't want her to fall into his clutches that we ran away. We would have remained to fight it out but for her presence. We did hold them off until Captain Paulo had succeeded in carying her away, then,—well—the chancellor and I mounted, led Provarsk's followers off in the wrong direction to give Paulo time, and rejoined my sister here at this village."

"We fought," observed the chancellor, as if theirs had been an achievement scarcely worthy of note. "We held them up from door to door, and charged them once in the woods, cutting our way through and back again."

The king nodded agreement, and Kent, aston- ished, studied both his and the chancellor's faces as if he had discovered unexpected cause for com- mendation.

"His Majesty made most excellent sword play," observed the chancellor. "We dared not fire lest we bring others against us."

The king lifted his hand in deprecation.

"Well, you did, Sire," insisted the chancellor. pro- tested the king.

"I did not mind that so much as the difficulties

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