Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/19

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of his shrewd eyes, the ruggedness of his well-shaped nose, the half-humorous, half-stern crevices bordering his liberal mouth.

In the corner of the room, whose uniform and blackened wainscoting Kent had, with his own hands, desecrated by building a makeshift bookcase, Ivan knelt. His huge shoulders were bent forward and his shock head was stretched, turtlewise, as he sought, patiently and laboriously, along the well-packed shelves, for a book that the widow had replaced in her customary hit-or-miss fashion. His face, dour and strong, was set like a mask of perseverance, and one huge finger probed methodically along the line of titles. His lips moved, dumbly, as he read. A terrifying, terrific shock of combined thunder and lightning did not disturb him; but Kent started and stared at the diamond-shaped panes that became iridescent with fresh rivulets of rain. An interior door was jerked open and the widow appeared, holding her work-gnarled hands upward, and rolling her eyes with fright.

"I hope it struck the Catholic church!" she exclaimed. "I'm a Lutheran."

She paused to look backward over her shoulder, as if afraid that the thunderbolt had legs and might be chasing her; and then, suddenly discovering that she was safe, made garrulity serve for apology.