Open main menu

Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/65

This page needs to be proofread.


taking a final and desperate chance, he made his decision. He stood to his feet, as befitted the gravity of the situation, and said, very simply, "I accept. The concession is yours, and I put my- self completely in your hands because I trust you and because I have no other recourse. Our agree- ment is one of honour, to last until you have secured your superior's money, or by your own word release me from further obligation."

"That is fair; very fair," Kent replied, with equal gravity. "And you may trust me to make my stay as brief as possible, because I've no wish for the job. " He paused a minute and added with one of his rare, half -humorous smiles, "You see, the fact is, I never have run a kingdom before. Once when I was young, I ran a sawmill, and after all, running kingdoms and sawmills are not much different. Both consist in seeing that the work is well done."

The king extended his hand to the financial agent, who took it, and for an instant held it, and studied the king's face as if to make a last ap- praisment of this material with which he must work.

"And I take it that the chancellor "

"For more than twenty years, as boy and man," Von Glutz rumbled, "I have served the house of His Majesty. And behind me are four genera-

tions of my name who have also given all they had