The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

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...THE OUTLAW OF TORN

By Edgar Rice Burroughs


To My Friend

JOSEPH E. BRAY




CHAPTER I

Here is a story...

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...De Montfort's bold challenge was to them
but little short of sacrilege.

Henry, flushing in mortification and...

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...the master
of fence drew the King into the position he wanted him, and with the
suddenness...

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...and who would die for a dog? No, De Vac would
find other means of satisfying...

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...peremptory authority and dignity, which
sat strangely upon one so tiny, caused the young woman at...

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...force of knights and
men-at-arms to wage a relentless war upon his own barons that he...

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...where, by a little
postern gate, she admitted a certain officer of the Guards to whom...

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...far intervals by an occasional
smoky lantern, until he came to a squalid tenement but a...

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...to learn the whereabouts of the old woman and the child,
thy sister and her son...

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...old man
that he had not used it after all, since mature reflection had convinced
him of...

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...gate which she quickly unlocked, admitting her lover, who had
been waiting without. Relocking the gate...

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...words; De Vac's intentions
were too plain to necessitate any parley, so the two fell upon...

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...not end for
over twenty years; but the first fruits of it turned the hearts of...

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...dense bushes.

De Vac did not dare remain in this retreat until dark, as he had...

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...the dock and, gathering the sleeping child in his arms, stood
listening, preparatory to mounting to...

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...the tomb, while those above stood listening
for a repetition of the sound.

"Dock rats," said De...

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...search of Til, whom he now thoroughly mistrusted and feared. The
words of De Montfort, which...

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...building, and with her was a little boy who never went abroad
alone, nor by day....

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...of his narrow shoulders and with waving of his arms and other
strange and amusing gesticulations....

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...old woman. "Thou hast a toothache,
and so thy face must be wrapped in many rags....

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...mailed rider lay quiet and still where he had fallen.

With raised visor, the black knight...

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...must be very cruel and hard upon the poor. He had seen
them in all their...

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...long-rotted rushes that crumbled beneath their feet. A huge
bat circled wildly with loud fluttering wings...

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...will and so lightly,
shouldst thou desire, that thy point, wholly under the control of a
master...

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...he dragged the
boy with him, but all his mighty efforts were unavailing to loosen the
grip...

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...cried the boy, and turning he led the prancing but
subdued animal toward the castle and...

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...the moment De Montfort's back be turned."

"He fears his brother-in-law," interrupted another of the knights,...

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...was clothed in a rough under tunic of wool, stained red,
over which he wore a...

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...knights, at first taken back by this unexpected outbreak, finally
burst into uproarious laughter.

"Indeed," cried Paul...

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...a table.

Paul of Merely was a brave man, but he shuddered at the thought of...

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...dry moat at the
back of the ruined castle. First they had stripped them and, when...

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...him, but more often he rode alone.

On one occasion, he chanced upon a hut at...

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...was he who taught the boy to read and write in French,
English and Latin at...

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...behind him to tie his neck with a halter
later, and dead men talk the least."

"If...

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...he
rushed out after the four knaves. Once in the open, they turned upon
him, but he...

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...we, be fit to command us."

"But what be the duties?" said he whom they called...

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...Henry III sent
a little expedition against him, he surrounded and captured the entire
force, and, stripping...

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...of the castle after
this outbreak, Shandy, turning to Norman of Torn, with a wide grin,
said:

"By...

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...of rank
or house. More powerful and richer than many nobles of the court, he was
without...

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...of
broad and lovely meadowland through which wound a sparkling tributary of
the Trent.

Two more gateways let...

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...all the rest than he, the
peasants worshipped him as a deliverer from the lowborn murderers...

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...fellows? I like to fight, but there is
plenty of fighting which is legitimate, and what...

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...and struck
repeatedly but futilely against the iron headgear of her assailant while
he swung his horse...

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...of Torn drove his blade
through the meshes of his adversary's mail, and the fellow, with...

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...leading knight came close enough to behold his face, he cried out in
surprise and consternation:

"Mon...

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...dead knight lying where it
had fallen.

"Ride on," he called to Bertrade de Montfort, "I will...

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...Was it
because he feared the loathing that name would inspire in the breast of
this daughter...

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...boon once
granted shall be always kept."

Quick to reach decisions and as quick to act, Norman...

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...a swordsman," spoke up a son of De Stutevill. "Never in all
the world was there...

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...away
from you. You shall see me again, and at the castle of your father,
Simon de...

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...helm, he was for the first time anxious himself to hide his face
from the sight...

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...in humility and poverty among His people, than to be ever
surrounded with the temptations of...

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...he donned his
armor, while the girl waited without, was that I should now behold the
falcon...

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...let us understand each other once and for all. For all
thou dost and hast done...

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...welcome.

"Greetings, my son," said the priest.

"And to thee, Father," replied the outlaw, "And what may...

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...his hand across
his eyes as though to brush away a vision.

"There be a reason, Father,...

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...five
knights were sacrificed than fifty, for either number would be but a
mouthful to that horrid...

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...of whom his guest
might be. It was the little armored man who was speaking.

"Is it...

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...setting out
upon such a dismal day and without sufficient escort, but Bertrade de
Montfort was firm.

"Already...

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...stalls for all the chance they had of overtaking the flying
white steed that fairly split...

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...father's knights on the road to Stutevill.

Bertrade de Montfort was so long overdue that the...

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...that she was his niece would scarce aid her cause
with Henry, for it was more...

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...call of their mighty chieftains for
the oath of fealty.

Her wandering eyes took in the dozen...

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...word of
what hath transpired shall ever pass my lips. But let me go, 'tis all
I...

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...could
barricade herself within and thus delay, at least, her impending fate
in the hope that succor...

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...lying tongue.

"Then will I starve you out," he cried at length.

"Gladly will I starve in...

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...replied with haughty
scorn. "The same that it shall always be. I will be neither wife...

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...words, and we cannot resort to arms, for you
have us entirely in your power. Name...

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...the Saxon to the richly ornamented plate armor of Milan.
Gold and silver and precious stones...

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...of the cavalcade, which strung out behind him in a long column.
Above his gray steel...

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...die."

"Who be ye, varlet?" cried the Baron. "Ho, John! Ho, Guy! To the rescue,
quick!" he...

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...lighted cresset within the chamber. In an instant, all was
darkness. There was a rapid shuffling...

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...sun marks noon. And you will be
safer under the protection of the hated Devil of...

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...together in terror and apprehension, fully
expecting a summary and horrible death.

When Norman of Torn had...

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...Montfort.

The watch upon the tower was thrown into confusion by the approach of
so large a...

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...Then she explained
briefly to her astonished father and brothers what had befallen during
the past few...

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...good than bad. Would that he were other
than he be, for his arm would wield...

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..."How many men be ye,
Roger de Conde? With raised visor, you could pass in the...

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...denied the society of such as these throughout his entire life,
yet it seemed that he...

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...say it till I come again.
You know nothing of me, you do not know even...

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...you have wormed your sneaking way into my home? And
thought you that Simon de Montfort...

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...Roger de Conde," she whispered, dropping a tiny parcel to
him, "and wear it ever, for...

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...will not. No it is impossible.
It is better that she marry her French prince than...

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...the Plantagenet King and the nobles and barons of
his realm, thou be but serving as...

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...south, the gibbet shall have its own, and a Plantagenet dog shall
taste the fruits of...

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...a large volume
with romance, war, intrigue, treachery, bravery and death.

Toward noon one day, in the...

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...father's castle.

"Are all your old friends and neighbors come after you to Essex," cried
Joan de...

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...could not well be blamed," said Joan de Tany, generously. "Bertrade
de Montfort is all and...

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...a sharp retort was on her
tongue when suddenly she realized the folly of such a...

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...Torn," and was
unsigned.

All went well and Joan was laughing merrily at the fears of those...

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...to a cold, hard
line, and the eyes of the man narrow to mere slits, and...

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...highroad.

She slid quickly from her palfrey and ran fearlessly toward his
prostrate form, reckless of the...

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...so I
will grant you at least one favor. I will not take you to the...

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...no attempt to force
it.

He was fully dressed and in armor, as he had been when...

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...he was a man of position, and he was evidently in
heated discussion with some one...

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...laid his vandal hands upon Joan
de Tany, she turned upon him like a tigress. Blow...

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...he jerked his blade from the fellow's throat, Norman of
Torn felt a firm, warm hand...

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...the Baron returns to let us out of this musty
hole?"

"Wait," she answered, "until I quiet...

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...moment entered his
head. To him, the fault was all his; and perhaps it was this...

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...of Torn.

Presently they reached the bottom of the stairway, and Joan de Tany
led him, gropingly,...

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...moat. What may we do now, Roger,
without horses?"

"Let us get out of this place, and...

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...instant Norman of Torn had learned the
difference between friendship and love, and love and passion.

The...

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...a
gentleman of France.

There was something familiar in the great bulk of Red Shandy; where had
she...

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...thousand more lurked in the woods before
the grim pile.

Under cover of the tangled shrubbery, they...

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...of
Torn advanced on foot with Shandy and the eight others, close in the
wake of the...

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...to the
noble's rescue, and so the outlaw was forced to fly with the girl lest
he...

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...with no one within the castle.

He then sat at the table with Roger Leybourn and...

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...on saving a queen's life
that you ride on without turning your head, as though you...

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...to Tany."

"I shall give them plenty of room," replied Norman of Torn. "My neck
itcheth not...

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...as he feared, how was he to tell her that he loved only Bertrade de
Montfort?

"You...

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...was, and that the memory of Bertrade de
Montfort's lips would always be more to him...

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...golden hair ornament set with precious stones,
and about it was wound a strand of her...

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...him, too,
and felt that outlaw though he be, he is still more a gentleman than
nine-tenths...

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...homage to the memory of the daughter of De Tany, and all
but the grieving mother...

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...turn
loose upon her fair breast the beasts of hell who know no law or order
or...

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...so covered the public highways that it became
a matter of grievous import to the King's...

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...until he had but just received it. The message
closed with these words:

"Any clew, however vague,...

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...scowled angrily, crying:

"It ill becomes such a low fellow to speak thus disrespectfully of our
gracious...

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...raged and stormed, swearing
by all the saints in the calendar that Norman of Torn should...

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...only elapsed before the
little, grim, gray man emerged from the darkened interior and hastened
upward upon...

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...The old man eyed his
companion narrowly through the eye slit in his helm.

"'Tis passing strange,"...

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...chance should prevent the accomplishment of our
meeting, My Lord Earl, I send thee this by...

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...in direct contrast to the methods of the baronial troops,
had spent the preceding night in...

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...put upon his mother that day
at London on the preceding July.

So vicious was his onslaught...

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...of Prince Richard, King of the Romans, that
he fell upon the baronial troops with renewed...

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...yours to do with as you see fit."

"You have fought well this day, Norman of...

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...his men did not participate, but camped a little apart from the town
until daybreak the...

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...hostile appearance of their visitors, but before a blow
could be struck, Norman of Torn, grasping...

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...had no quarrel with me. Then why
be you here? Speak! Shall it be as a...

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...follow every detail of the
fascinating drama that was being enacted before them.

"God, what a swordsman!"...

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...a few words
of instructions, to one of his men.

The fellow gathered up the head of...

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...twenty or
thirty men, mostly servants, and a half dozen richly garbed knights.

As Norman of Torn...

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...a price
upon his head?"

"The price has been there since I was eighteen," answered Norman of
Torn,...

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...And then she recalled his little acts of thoughtful chivalry,
nay, almost tenderness, on the long...

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...was within two hundred miles of
Lewes until I saw him ride into the midst of...

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...outlaw.

"I am to wait, My Lord," replied the awestruck fellow, to whom the
service had been...

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...and stood with his left hand
ungauntleted, resting upon the table's edge.

"My Lady Bertrade," he said...

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...him, burying her face in her raised
arms, he came to her side, and, laying his...

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...things--the degradation of his low birth, and
the memory of the great love she had cherished...

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...in truth I did really love Roger de Conde, but
thee--oh Norman, why is it that...

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...revenge! I have
waited long, thou cur of a King, to return the blow thou struck
that...

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...with their
ladies.

There was no hiding now, and no escape; for run he would not, even...

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...of the guard set them the example, and so they pushed
forward in a body toward...

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...of sadness and finality in her
voice; but her eyes met his squarely and bravely.

Instantly, the...

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...too. He had devoted years of his life to training
that mighty sword arm that it...

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...those who be down that they may sink deeper
into the mud. Mon Dieu! How I...

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...with a little moan she sank beside the body
of her second born, crying out:

"Oh Richard,...

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...lost and is found
again be always the best beloved.

Toward morning, Norman of Torn fell into...

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...the saints, Richard, thou be every inch a King's son, an' though
we made sour faces...

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...not the outlaw that I loved, Richard, nor be it the prince I
love now; it...

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...reasons
of clarity:

"chid" to "chide" "sword play" to "swordplay" "subtile" to "subtle"...