Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/164

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THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

king has been studying over this affair, and knows what it ought to cost just about as well as you do. Bring the new figures around to-morrow at seven minutes past three o'clock. Good day!"

Like a Gatling gun that voice snapped and boomed all day long, and a close observer might have discovered that in the cafes of Marken by night, and in the Market Place by day, men began to speak of the king with something more than stupefaction, something bordering on fear and respect. ' ' Who would have ever thought it ? " they muttered and wagged. "No one ever expected him to do any more than any other king does!" And, "Where on earth would he get workmen for eo many enterprises?" Pessimists opined that the king was mad and the kingdom going to the dogs.

The days of the registration passed with good- natured tolerance. It was fairly good sport, the Markenites thought, quite like some foolish festi- val season. But why was it that when they regis- tered themselves they were also given a physical examination and issued cards of different colours stating that they had been assigned to a certain class? It certainly did indicate that the king was preparing to go to war, and was therefore organising all his resources. The citizens of the toy capital of the toy kingdom were vastly per- plexed, but not quite alarmed.

Secretly the new chancellor speculated on what

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