Spanish that he was upon the wrong trail.
"Wot's this guy chewin' about?" asked Billy, turning to Miguel.
"He says you must keep to the arroyo, Senor Capitan," explained the
"Tell him to go back into his stall," was Byrne's laconic rejoinder, as
he pushed his mount forward to pass the brigand.
The soldier was voluble in his objections. Again he reined in front of
Billy, and by this time his five fellows had spurred forward to block
"This is the wrong trail," they cried. "Come this other way, Capitan.
Pesita has so ordered it."
Catching the drift of their remarks, Billy waved them to one side.
"I'm bossin' this picnic," he announced. "Get out o' the way, an' be
quick about it if you don't want to be hurted."
Again he rode forward. Again the troopers interposed their mounts, and
this time their leader cocked his carbine. His attitude was menacing.
Billy was close to him. Their ponies were shoulder to shoulder, that of
the bandit almost broadside of the trail.
Now Billy Byrne was more than passing well acquainted with many of the
fundamental principles of sudden brawls. It is safe to say that he had
never heard of Van Bibber; but he knew, as well as Van Bibber knew, that
it is well to hit first.
Without a word and without warning he struck, leaning forward with
all the weight of his body behind his blow, and catching the man full
beneath the chin he lifted him as neatly from his saddle as though a
battering ram had struck him.
Simultaneously Bridge and Miguel drew revolvers from their shirts and as
Billy wheeled his pony toward the remaining five they opened fire upon
The battle was short and sweet. One almost escaped but Miguel, who
proved to be an excellent revolver shot, brought him down at a hundred
yards. He then, with utter disregard for the rules of civilized warfare,
dispatched those who were not already dead.
"We must let none return to carry false tales to Pesita," he explained.
Even Billy Byrne winced at the ruthlessness of the cold-blooded murders;
but he realized the necessity which confronted them though he could not
have brought himself to do the things which the Mexican did with such
sang-froid and even evident enjoyment.
"Now for the others!" cried Miguel, when he had assured himself that
each of the six were really quite dead.
Spurring after him Billy and Bridge ran their horses over the rough
ground at the base of the little hill, and then parallel to the arroyo
for a matter of a hundred yards, where
"The bundle is ready," she continued, closing the door after De Vac, who had now entered, "and here be the key; but first let us have a payment.Page 18
"We start tonight upon a long journey to our new home.Page 21
"You have seen, my son, that all Englishmen are beasts.Page 39
The new towers and buildings added to the ancient keep under the direction of Norman of Torn and the grim, old man whom he called father, were of the Norman type of architecture, the windows were larger, the carving more elaborate, the rooms lighter and more spacious.Page 43
Although at this time nearly twenty years had passed over the head of Norman of Torn, he was without knowledge or experience in the ways of women, nor had he ever spoken with a female of quality or position.Page 50
CHAPTER VIII As Norman of Torn rode out from the castle of De Stutevill, Father Claude dismounted from his sleek donkey within the ballium of Torn.Page 55
Today the two girls roamed slowly through the gardens of the great court, their arms about each other's waists, pouring the last confidences into each other's ears, for tomorrow Bertrade had elected to return to Leicester.Page 84
Like their leader, each of these fierce warriors carried a great price upon his head, and the story of the life of any one would fill.Page 94
he was a man of position, and he was evidently in heated discussion with some one whom Norman of Torn could not see.Page 98
I have so few friends," he added sadly, "that I cannot afford to lose such as you.Page 99
"There is nothing to fear, Joan," reassured Norman of Torn.Page 100
Putting out the light, lest it should attract the notice of the watch upon the castle walls, Norman of Torn pushed open the little door and stepped forth into the fresh night air.Page 103
As they came forth into the courtyard, they descried an old man basking in the sun, upon a bench.Page 110
" This the officer did and, when he had assured himself that Norman of Torn was not within, an hour had passed, and Joan de Tany felt certain that the Outlaw of Torn was too far ahead to be caught by the King's men; so she said: "There was one here just before you came who called himself though by another name than Norman of Torn.Page 117
" Taking the parchment from the messenger, Norman of Torn read: Henry, by Grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Aquitaine; to Norman of Torn: Since it has been called to our notice that you be harassing and plundering the persons and property of our faithful lieges!!!!! We therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in us by Almighty God, do command that you cease these nefarious practices!!!!! And further, through the gracious intercession of Her Majesty, Queen Eleanor, we do offer you full pardon for all your past crimes!!!!! Provided, you repair at once to the town of Lewes, with all the fighting men, your followers, prepared to protect the security of our person, and wage war upon those enemies of England, Simon de Montfort, Gilbert de Clare and their accomplices, who even now are collected to threaten and menace our person and kingdom!!!!! Or, otherwise, shall you suffer death, by hanging, for your long unpunished crimes.Page 119
"Indeed!" cried Philip.Page 134
"A messenger from Lady Bertrade de Montfort," said the soldier.Page 137
"I only know that I love you, Bertrade; I only know that I love you, and with a love that surpasseth even my own understanding.Page 144
It was what the gray old snake had expected, and he was ready.