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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

he appeared competent. His was rather a handsome, fearless, albeit reckless face, fairly strong, and without trace of any excess. He was more the rapier type of soldier of fortune, than usurpers usually are, and would probably prefer a rapier to a butcher's cleaver. And as far as looks were concerned, Kent afterward said, he "had it on the king."

On the side of the room opposite from the balconied, or garden side, were ornate inner windows looking out upon a corridor, and, proving that the baron proposed to take no chances, there could be seen standing in this generous passageway a file of armed men. As for them, the foreign legion of Africa could not have been more mixed, or mongrel. Apparently the baron had been interested in such of the king's papers and letters as he had been able to find by ransacking the palace. He scanned them hastily, grinning pleasantly now and then. A good usurper displays no more delicacy in nosing into another's palace, than does a cuckoo intent on laying an egg in another's nest.

Provarsk shoved the papers into a heap and picked up several other sheets in his own handwriting, just as a scar-faced man with a scraggly moustache and stubby goatee swaggered into the room and stood opposite his new master.

"I don't see anything to prevent my procla-

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