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Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/98

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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

play it? That's too bad! You're ignorant of a lot that we teach school boys, over in America. By the way, have you a telegraph formĀ ? "

Puzzled by this swift speech, and inclined to believe that the difference in national characteris- tics accounted for any balk of agreement, after all, the baron resumed his air of suavity, and threw a blank sheet of paper across the table which Ivan, as if schooled to service, laid in front of his employer, and handed him a pencil.

"You said," remarked Kent, with the pencil poised in his fingers and looking across at the baron, "that if I didn't get Rhodes to advance you five million francs more, you would repudiate the loan?"

"I said it. "

"You don't dare do it!"

"I don't, eh? Try me, Mr. Kent." There was the utmost assurance in his words, but his manner belied them as he watched the American, who painstakingly scrawled a message on the sheet of paper, then, almost carelessly, tossed it along toward Provarsk. It fell short, and Ivan, like an automaton, picked it up and handed it on to its destination. "With a show of nothing more than cursory interest, the baron read it. It was addressed to the foreign minister of Austria and said: "Provarsk, who is now dic-

tator of Marken, owing to the abdication of Karl

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