toward Hooja's village, nor did I relish
doing so now; but Dian's life might hinge upon the success of my
venture, and so I could not afford to take chances. To have met
suddenly with discovery and had a score or more of armed warriors upon
me might have been very grand and heroic; but it would have immediately
put an end to all my earthly activities, nor have accomplished aught in
the service of Dian.
Well, I must have traveled nearly a mile across that mesa without
seeing a sign of anyone, when all of a sudden, as I crept around the
edge of a boulder, I ran plump into a man, down on all fours like
myself, crawling toward me.
THE RAID ON THE CAVE-PRISON
His head was turned over his shoulder as I first saw him--he was
looking back toward the village. As I leaped for him his eyes fell
upon me. Never in my life have I seen a more surprised mortal than
this poor cave man. Before he could utter a single scream of warning
or alarm I had my fingers on his throat and had dragged him behind the
boulder, where I proceeded to sit upon him, while I figured out what I
had best do with him.
He struggled a little at first, but finally lay still, and so I
released the pressure of my fingers at his windpipe, for which I
imagine he was quite thankful--I know that I should have been.
I hated to kill him in cold blood; but what else I was to do with him I
could not see, for to turn him loose would have been merely to have the
entire village aroused and down upon me in a moment. The fellow lay
looking up at me with the surprise still deeply written on his
countenance. At last, all of a sudden, a look of recognition entered
"I have seen you before," he said. "I saw you in the arena at the
Mahars' city of Phutra when the thipdars dragged the tarag from you and
your mate. I never understood that. Afterward they put me in the
arena with two warriors from Gombul."
He smiled in recollection.
"It would have been the same had there been ten warriors from Gombul.
I slew them, winning my freedom. Look!"
He half turned his left shoulder toward me, exhibiting the newly healed
scar of the Mahars' branded mark.
"Then," he continued, "as I was returning to my people I met some of
Then he turned on his heel and strode from the armory.Page 4
For years an inmate of the palace, and often a listener in the armory when the King played at sword with his friends and favorites, De Vac had heard much which passed between Henry III and his intimates that could well be turned to the King's harm by a shrewd and resourceful enemy.Page 9
Were there no desire there would be no virtue, and because one man desires what another does not, who shall say whether the child of his desire be vice or virtue? Or on the other hand if my friend desires his own wife and if that be virtue, then if I also desire his wife, is not that likewise virtue, since we desire the same thing? But if to obtain our desire it be necessary to expose our joints to the Thames' fog, then it were virtue to remain at home.Page 11
"Mon Dieu, Sir Jules," she cried, "hast thou gone mad?" "No, My Lady," he answered, "but I had not thought to do the work which now lies before me.Page 30
dry moat at the back of the ruined castle.Page 43
of Torn drove his blade through the meshes of his adversary's mail, and the fellow, with a cry of anguish, sank limply to the ground.Page 47
Life is no longer safe in England with the King spending his time and money with foreign favorites and buying alien soldiery to fight against his own barons, instead of insuring the peace and protection which is the right of every Englishman at home.Page 48
" "He loves neither King nor baron," spoke Mary de Stutevill, "and I rather lean to the thought that he will serve neither, but rather plunder the castles of both rebel and royalist whilst their masters be absent at war.Page 55
"There be a reason, Father, why I must remain in England for a time at least, though the picture you put is indeed wondrous alluring.Page 58
Now they were half way up the ridge's side.Page 60
Come, come, now, arise and clothe thyself, for the handsome bridegroom canst scarce restrain his eager desire to fold thee in his arms.Page 64
Feigning trouble with the buckle of her own girdle, she called upon the old woman to aid her, and as the hag bent her head close to the girl's body to see what was wrong with the girdle clasp, Bertrade reached quickly to her side and snatched the weapon from its sheath.Page 80
" And with a profound bow to De Montfort, Norman of Torn left the apartment, and in a few minutes was riding through the courtyard of the castle toward the main portals.Page 93
What was that which clicked against his breastplate? He felt, and found a metal bauble linked to a mesh of his steel armor by a strand of silken hair.Page 97
"I thought that they had killed you, and all for me, for my foolish stubbornness.Page 98
"You have won her respect and--and--" But she could not say it and so she trailed off lamely--"and undying gratitude.Page 102
Richard de Tany with his family and Mary de Stutevill were still fully clothed, having not lain down during the whole night.Page 106
" Ever keen to see the humor of a situation, Norman of Torn wheeled his horse and rode back with the Queen's messenger.Page 115
Through all the winter, Father Claude had been expecting to hear from Simon de Montfort, but not until now did he receive a message which told the good priest that his letter had missed the great baron and had followed him around.Page 137
God knows that it be no pleasant thing to see the loathing in your very attitude, and to read the hate and revulsion that surges through your heart, or to guess the hard, cold thoughts which fill your mind against me because I allowed you to speak the words you once spoke, and to the Devil of Torn.