The Mad King

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 21

I have never seen you before. But that is not necessary--you
conform perfectly to the printed description of you with which the
kingdom is flooded. Were that not enough, the fact that you were
discovered with old Von der Tann's daughter is sufficient to remove
the least doubt as to your identity."

"You are governor of Blentz," cried Barney, "and yet you say that
you have never seen the king?"

"Certainly," replied Maenck. "After you escaped the entire
personnel of the garrison here was changed, even the old servants to
a man were withdrawn and others substituted. You will have
difficulty in again escaping, for those who aided you before are no
longer here."

"There is no man in the castle of Blentz who has ever seen the
king?" asked Barney.

"None who has seen him before tonight," replied Maenck. "But were we
in doubt we have the word of the Princess Emma that you are Leopold.
Did she not admit it to you, Butzow?"

"When she thought his majesty dead she admitted it," replied Butzow.

"We gain nothing by discussing the matter," said Maenck shortly.
"You are Leopold of Lutha. Prince Peter says that you are mad. All
that concerns me is that you do not escape again, and you may rest
assured that while Ernst Maenck is governor of Blentz you shall not
escape and go at large again.

"Are the royal apartments in readiness for his majesty, Dr. Stein?"
he concluded, turning toward a rat-faced little man with bushy
whiskers, who stood just behind him.

The query was propounded in an ironical tone, and with a manner that
made no pretense of concealing the contempt of the speaker for the
man he thought the king.

The eyes of the Princess Emma were blazing as she caught the scant
respect in Maenck's manner. She looked quickly toward Barney to see
if he intended rebuking the man for his impertinence. She saw that
the king evidently intended overlooking Maenck's attitude. But Emma
von der Tann was of a different mind.

She had seen Maenck several times at social functions in the
capital. He had even tried to win a place in her favor, but she had
always disliked him, even before the nasty stories of his past life
had become common gossip, and within the year she had won his hatred
by definitely indicating to him that he was persona non grata, in so
far as she was concerned. Now she turned upon him, her eyes flashing
with indignation.

"Do you forget, sir, that you address the king?" she cried. "That
you are without honor I have heard men say,

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