The Mad King

The Mad King

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The Mad King

The Mad King

Read FREE!

Excerpt

THE EFFECT of his words upon the girl were quite different from what be had expected. An American girl would have laughed, knowing that he but joked. This girl did not laugh. Instead her face went white, and she clutched her bosom with her two hands. Her brown eyes peered searchingly into the face of the man.

"Leopold!" she cried in a suppressed voice. "Oh, your majesty, thank God that you are free -- and sane!"

Before he could prevent it the girl had seized his hand and pressed it to her lips.

Here was a pretty muddle! Barney Custer swore at himself inwardly for a boorish fool. What in the world had ever prompted him to speak those ridiculous words! And now how was he to unsay them without mortifying this beautiful girl who had just kissed his hand?

She would never forgive that-he was sure of it.

There was but one thing to do, however, and that was to make a clean breast of it. Somehow, he managed to stumble through his explanation of what had prompted him, and when he had finished he saw that the girl was smiling indulgently at him.

"It shall be Mr. Bernard Custer if you wish it so," she said; "but your majesty need fear nothing from Emma von der Tann. Your secret is as safe with me as with yourself, as the name of Von der Tann must assure you."

She looked to see the expression of relief and pleasure that her father's name should have brought to the face of Leopold of Lutha, but when he gave no indication that he had ever before heard the name she sighed and looked puzzled.

"Perhaps," she thought, "he doubts me. Or can it be possible that, after all, his poor mind is gone?"

"I wish," said Barney in a tone of entreaty, "that you . . .

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