THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT
if infinitely bored by hearing a lot of stuff that he had heard before.
"Suppose I said one per cent?" questioned the American with an air of slyness.
"Then I should say," instantly reciprocated the baron, now fully convinced, "that if you induced John Rhodes to advance another million dollars, you should be entitled to——" He stopped short, got to his feet, rested his palms on the long table and leaned far across, and spoke scarcely above a whisper—"to a bigger commission than you ever had in your life. Enough so that you could re- linquish your difficult and burdensome duties, Mr. Kent, and retire. If you can induce Rhodes to extend the time of the previous bonds five years, and to advance five million francs more for ten years, on the same terms as those preceding, I'll make you an independent man by giving you one million francs. Think of it I A million francs for your own! Is that worth while?"
Kent sat stolidly in his chair, and to all outward appearances considered the proposition.
"But what of Rhodes?" he asked, lifting his eyes, slowly. "What of Rhodes? Does he ever get his money? How will you raise it?"
"Sweat it out of the hands and hides of these citizens of Mark en!" was the emphatic reply, still carried across the desk in that suggestive under- tone.