not mentioned this before, it was because I did not wish to hurt
you. I hope our friendship will not cease, but I must tell you
flatly that I desire to hear no more of this. You will oblige me
by not mentioning it again, Your Majesty."
The King begged Cleggett's pardon with a becoming sincerity, and
was about to withdraw. Cleggett, who liked him immensely, was
sudden smitten with a regret that it had been so impossible to
"Your Majesty," he cried impulsively, "I BEG of you not to get
the idea that there is anything personal in this refusal."
"I respect principle," said the King gravely. But he WAS hurt
and could not help showing it, and he was a little stiff.
"We will compromise," said Cleggett, with a flash of inspiration.
"I will let you have my second son, Athos Cleggett. You may make
him Earl of Claiborne, if you choose. After all, HE is half