The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 10

gate which she quickly unlocked, admitting her lover, who had
been waiting without. Relocking the gate the two strolled arm in arm to
the little bower which was their trysting place.

As the lovers talked, all self-engrossed, the little Prince played
happily about among the trees and flowers, and none saw the stern,
determined face which peered through the foliage at a little distance
from the playing boy.

Richard was devoting his royal energies to chasing an elusive butterfly
which fate led nearer and nearer to the cold, hard watcher in the
bushes. Closer and closer came the little Prince, and in another
moment, he had burst through the flowering shrubs, and stood facing the
implacable master of fence.

"Your Highness," said De Vac, bowing to the little fellow, "let old
DeVac help you catch the pretty insect."

Richard, having often seen De Vac, did not fear him, and so together
they started in pursuit of the butterfly which by now had passed out
of sight. De Vac turned their steps toward the little postern gate,
but when he would have passed through with the tiny Prince, the latter
rebelled.

"Come, My Lord Prince," urged De Vac, "methinks the butterfly did but
alight without the wall, we can have it and return within the garden in
an instant."

"Go thyself and fetch it," replied the Prince; "the King, my father, has
forbid me stepping without the palace grounds."

"Come," commanded De Vac, more sternly, "no harm can come to you."

But the child hung back and would not go with him so that De Vac was
forced to grasp him roughly by the arm. There was a cry of rage and
alarm from the royal child.

"Unhand me, sirrah," screamed the boy. "How dare you lay hands on a
prince of England?"

De Vac clapped his hand over the child's mouth to still his cries,
but it was too late. The Lady Maud and her lover had heard and, in an
instant, they were rushing toward the postern gate, the officer drawing
his sword as he ran.

When they reached the wall, De Vac and the Prince were upon the outside,
and the Frenchman had closed and was endeavoring to lock the gate.
But, handicapped by the struggling boy, he had not time to turn the key
before the officer threw himself against the panels and burst out before
the master of fence, closely followed by the Lady Maud.

De Vac dropped the key and, still grasping the now thoroughly
affrightened Prince with his left hand, drew his sword and confronted
the officer.

There were no words, there was no need of

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