Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/58

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men killed on my acount. After all, they are my people, as they have been the people of my ancestors for hundreds of years! I have conceived it to be my duty to protect them and their happiness and welfare."

"Well spoken," said Kent. "Very nice theory, too; but it lacks this much: that quite frequently it is necessary to compel people to do the right things for their own happiness. For this reason we sometimes spank boys when they run away from schools; paddle them when they yield to the delights of chewing tobacco; admonish our daughters when they go to places of gaiety that they should not enter; whip our dogs when they begin to delight in snapping at strangers' heels; and a thousand and one other things that make the admonished howl or yelp at the time, but work out for their own good."

He stared in a kindly way at the king for a moment, as if expecting the latter to dispute, and then added, grimly, "If I were in your place, I'd not let this man Provarsk win so easily. I'd fight!"

"I would, if I knew how!" The king spoke impetuously.

"But you must have some friend who can assist you," suggested Kent. "Some man you can depend upon."

The king shook his head sadly.