THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
much as I suggest. Besides, this strikes me as an interesting proposition, and at present I haven't much to do. Provarsk is promising. I admire him, too. It requires courage to do what he has done."
He suddenly threw the book back into the drawer and shoved the latter shut with an emphatic bang. He arose from his chair, frowned thoughtfully at the lampshade, then looked across it at the king, who was watching him, as if fascinated by his heavy, square-cut American face. He seemed to have arrived at an audacious resolution.
"I'll make a bargain with you," he said, chopping his sentences. "You assist me and I'll assist you—under—let us say—very peculiar conditions. If you will agree to do exactly as I say, I'll either make a real king of you, or give you a chance to die like a man instead of a runaway. And if we fail, we'll fail together. But I shall at least make an effort to save John Rhodes' money, and you your throne! Be certain of that!"
The king looked at him hopefully, and the chancellor with grudging respect.
"I can't see what else I can do but listen," said the king. "I am—as you see. What do you propose?"
"This," said Kent, deliberately; "that you are to go back to your country and fight it out; but that you are to fight it out just as I direct; that