The Mad King

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 25

a full length oil of a
former Blentz princess looked down in arrogance upon the unwilling
occupant of the room. It seemed to the girl that there was an
expression of annoyance upon the painted countenance that another,
and an enemy of her house, should be making free with her
belongings. She wondered a little, too, that this huge oil should
have been hung in a lady's boudoir. It seemed singularly out of
place.

"If she would but smile," thought Emma von der Tann, "she would
detract less from the otherwise pleasant surroundings, but I suppose
she serves her purpose in some way, whatever it may be."

There were papers, magazines and books upon the center table and
more books upon a low tier of shelves on either side of the
fireplace. The girl tried to amuse herself by reading, but she found
her thoughts continually reverting to the unhappy situation of the
king, and her eyes momentarily wandered to the cold and repellent
face of the Blentz princess.

Finally she wheeled a great armchair near the fireplace, and with
her back toward the portrait made a final attempt to submerge her
unhappy thoughts in a current periodical.


When Barney and his escort reached the apartments that had been
occupied by the king of Lutha before his escape, Butzow and the
soldiers left him in company with Dr. Stein and an old servant,
whom the doctor introduced as his new personal attendant.

"Your majesty will find him a very attentive and faithful servant,"
said Stein. "He will remain with you and administer your medicine at
proper intervals."

"Medicine?" ejaculated Barney. "What in the world do I need of
medicine? There is nothing the matter with me."

Stein smiled indulgently.

"Ah, your majesty," he said, "if you could but realize the sad
affliction that clouds your life! You may never sit upon your throne
until the last trace of this sinister mental disorder is eradicated,
so take your medicine voluntarily, or otherwise Joseph will be
compelled to administer it by force. Remember, sire, that only
through this treatment will you be able to leave Blentz."

After Stein had left the room Joseph bolted the door behind him.
Then he came to where Barney stood in the center of the apartment,
and dropping to his knees took the young man's hand in his and
kissed it.

"God has been good indeed, your majesty," he whispered. "It was He
who made it possible for old Joseph to deceive them and find his way
to your side."

"Who are you, my man?" asked Barney.

"I am from Tann," whispered the old man, in a very low voice.

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