The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 106

with no one within the castle.

He then sat at the table with Roger Leybourn and his lady, who had
recovered from her swoon, and behind them on the rushes of the floor lay
the body of De Fulm in a little pool of blood.

Leybourn told them that he had heard that De Fulm was at his home, and
had hastened back; having been in hiding about the castle for half an
hour before the arrival of Norman of Torn, awaiting an opportunity to
enter unobserved by the servants. It was he who had followed across the
ladder after Shandy.

The outlaw spent the night at the castle of Roger Leybourn; for the
first time within his memory a welcomed guest under his true name at the
house of a gentleman.

The following morning, he bade his host goodbye, and returning to his
camp started on his homeward march toward Torn.

Near midday, as they were approaching the Thames near the environs of
London, they saw a great concourse of people hooting and jeering at a
small party of gentlemen and gentlewomen.

Some of the crowd were armed, and from very force of numbers were waxing
brave to lay violent hands upon the party. Mud and rocks and rotten
vegetables were being hurled at the little cavalcade, many of them
barely missing the women of the party.

Norman of Torn waited to ask no questions, but spurring into the thick
of it laid right and left of him with the flat of his sword, and his
men, catching the contagion of it, swarmed after him until the whole
pack of attacking ruffians were driven into the Thames.

And then, without a backward glance at the party he had rescued, he
continued on his march toward the north.

The little party sat upon their horses looking in wonder after the
retreating figures of their deliverers. Then one of the ladies turned
to a knight at her side with a word of command and an imperious gesture
toward the fast disappearing company. He, thus addressed, put spurs to
his horse, and rode at a rapid gallop after the outlaw's troop. In a few
moments he had overtaken them and reined up beside Norman of Torn.

"Hold, Sir Knight," cried the gentleman, "the Queen would thank you in
person for your brave defence of her."

Ever keen to see the humor of a situation, Norman of Torn wheeled his
horse and rode back with the Queen's messenger.

As he faced Her Majesty, the Outlaw of Torn bent low over his pommel.

"You be a strange knight that thinks so lightly

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