The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 0

THE OUTLAW OF TORN

By Edgar Rice Burroughs


To My Friend

JOSEPH E. BRAY




CHAPTER I

Here is a story that has lain dormant for seven hundred years. At first
it was suppressed by one of the Plantagenet kings of England. Later it
was forgotten. I happened to dig it up by accident. The accident being
the relationship of my wife's cousin to a certain Father Superior in a
very ancient monastery in Europe.

He let me pry about among a quantity of mildewed and musty manuscripts
and I came across this. It is very interesting--partially since it is a
bit of hitherto unrecorded history, but principally from the fact that
it records the story of a most remarkable revenge and the adventurous
life of its innocent victim--Richard, the lost prince of England.

In the retelling of it, I have left out most of the history. What
interested me was the unique character about whom the tale revolves--the
visored horseman who--but let us wait until we get to him.

It all happened in the thirteenth century, and while it was happening,
it shook England from north to south and from east to west; and reached
across the channel and shook France. It started, directly, in the London
palace of Henry III, and was the result of a quarrel between the King
and his powerful brother-in-law, Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester.

Never mind the quarrel, that's history, and you can read all about it at
your leisure. But on this June day in the year of our Lord 1243, Henry
so forgot himself as to very unjustly accuse De Montfort of treason in
the presence of a number of the King's gentlemen.

De Montfort paled. He was a tall, handsome man, and when he drew himself
to his full height and turned those gray eyes on the victim of his
wrath, as he did that day, he was very imposing. A power in England,
second only to the King himself, and with the heart of a lion in him, he
answered the King as no other man in all England would have dared answer
him.

"My Lord King," he cried, "that you be my Lord King alone prevents Simon
de Montfort from demanding satisfaction for such a gross insult. That
you take advantage of your kingship to say what you would never dare say
were you not king, brands me not a traitor, though it does brand you a
coward."

Tense silence fell upon the little company of lords and courtiers as
these awful words fell from the lips of a subject, addressed to his
king. They were horrified, for

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