Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/217

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retary take Provarsk's bribe, and then tell him that the mineral water company was to be our biggest winner. Provarsk, through straw men and in divers ways, bought and bought until every dollar he could rake and scrape is in the venture. He owns forty-nine per cent of a project that isn't worth ten kronin on the minute that the state support is withdrawn and the reasons made public. Now do you see it all?"

"No, I don't," admitted the king thoughtfully. "What has that to do with a fresh disturbance among the people?"

Kent laughed, amused at what he regarded as the king's denseness.

"Why, just this. He expects to arouse the people to a point where they will demand a big share in the profits of all enterprises. Perhaps the absolute relinquishment of state control and ownership. Then those who hold the controlling stock in the best enterprise will find themselves rich. He thinks he has the best one."

"Pshaw! You haven't understood me," declared the king soberly. "I said that he aims his efforts at the mines."

"Quite true," replied the American. "In that way he kills several birds with one stone. He thinks that he upsets my house of cards on one hand, and builds his own with the other. Also, he embarrasses you because he knows that you