When Spantz entered the door, a moment later, the girl was gazing listlessly from the window and Truxton King was leaning against the counter with his back toward her, his arms folded and a most impatient frown on his face. "Hello!" he said gruffly. "I've been waiting ten minutes for you." Spantz's black eyes shot from one to the other. "What do you want?" he demanded sharply.
Spantz's eyes flamed for an instant and then subtly resumed their most ingratiating twinkle. "We cannot all be peacocks," he said quietly. "You will see the Prince, his court and all the distinguished men of the city and the army. You will also see that the man who rides beside the Prince's carriage wheel is an American, while Graustark nobles take less exalted places." "An American, eh?" "Yes.
I'm sorry, but I must wrap this cloth about " He did not complete the sentence, for he had come within range. The whole weight of Truxton King's body was behind the terrific blow that landed on the man's jaw. Loraine suppressed the scream that rose to her white lips. Julius Spantz's knees crumpled; he lunged against the wall and was sliding down when King caught him in his arms.
It is of special significance that the trap door in Spantz's workshop was reserved for use by the armourer and his more fastidious comrades of whom three were women and one an established functionary in the Royal Household. One should not expect ladies to traverse a sewer if oilier ways are open to them. The manner of reaching the workshop was not so simple, however, as you might suppose.
He could not put off the feeling, however, that the intense stare of Baron Dangloss, the watch-dog of the land, followed him until the corner of the wall intervened. The now incensed American glanced involuntarily across the square in the direction of Spantz's shop. He saw three mounted soldiers ride up to the curb and hail the armourer as he started to close his doors.
Will you take this old ring of mine and wish it on her finger just as soon as I have left your presence?" "How did you know she was coming in again?" in wide-eyed wonder. "Excuse me. I shouldn't ask questions. What shall I wish?" It was the old ring that had come from Spantz's shop. The Prince promptly hid it beneath the pillow. "I'll leave that to you, my best of friends."
To his revived spirits and his new attitude toward life in its present state, the city had suddenly turned gay and vivacious. Twice during the evening he passed Spantz's shop. It was dark, upstairs and down. He wondered if the unhappy Olga was looking at him from behind the darkened shutters. But even if she were not la, la! He was having a good time! He was gay!
She sat silent and oppressed through all the acrid, bitter discussions which carried the conclave far past the midnight hour. In her heart she knew that these men and women were already thinking of her as a regicide. It was settled it was ordained. At Spantz's right lounged Peter Brutus, a lawyer formerly secretary to the Iron Count and now his sole representative among these people.