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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

itself and conveyed much. "It is the business of your superior to lend from his enormous stores of wealth. A man with so much money has but one object, to lend it. You, as his agent, have but one employment, to see that it is lent. Is that not so, Mr. Kent?"

The baron was now leaning eagerly across the big table with a meaning smile, like an angler who sees a coveted trout nosing his bait.

"Quite so," came again the encouraging assent.

"And you, as a most capable agent for the most distinguished financier in the world, perhaps receive, for doing the lion's share, the brainy share, let us say, a commission?"

"You are right about that," declared the American, grinning steadily into the baron's fact and inviting him to come still further.

"Then," said the baron, dropping all pretence and confident of his ground, "what use is there for you and me to ride this merry-go-round any longer? You want money. So do I. Rhodes has it—plenty of it. What commission do you usually make on a loan of five million dollars?"

Kent eyed him in perfect understanding, and pretended a certain amount of caution by throwing a quick glance over his shoulder at Ivan, who, with a face as blank as the wall, stared straight in front of him, and even yawned deliberately, as

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