The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 11

words; De Vac's intentions
were too plain to necessitate any parley, so the two fell upon each
other with grim fury; the brave officer facing the best swordsman that
France had ever produced in a futile attempt to rescue his young prince.

In a moment, De Vac had disarmed him, but, contrary to the laws of
chivalry, he did not lower his point until it had first plunged through
the heart of his brave antagonist. Then, with a bound, he leaped between
Lady Maud and the gate, so that she could not retreat into the garden
and give the alarm.

Still grasping the trembling child in his iron grip, he stood facing the
lady in waiting, his back against the door.

"Mon Dieu, Sir Jules," she cried, "hast thou gone mad?"

"No, My Lady," he answered, "but I had not thought to do the work which
now lies before me. Why didst thou not keep a still tongue in thy head
and let his patron saint look after the welfare of this princeling? Your
rashness has brought you to a pretty pass, for it must be either you or
I, My Lady, and it cannot be I. Say thy prayers and compose thyself for
death."

Henry III, King of England, sat in his council chamber surrounded by
the great lords and nobles who composed his suit. He awaited Simon de
Montfort, Earl of Leicester, whom he had summoned that he might heap
still further indignities upon him with the intention of degrading and
humiliating him that he might leave England forever. The King feared
this mighty kinsman who so boldly advised him against the weak follies
which were bringing his kingdom to a condition of revolution.

What the outcome of this audience would have been none may say, for
Leicester had but just entered and saluted his sovereign when there came
an interruption which drowned the petty wrangles of king and courtier in
a common affliction that touched the hearts of all.

There was a commotion at one side of the room, the arras parted, and
Eleanor, Queen of England, staggered toward the throne, tears streaming
down her pale cheeks.

"Oh, My Lord! My Lord!" she cried, "Richard, our son, has been
assassinated and thrown into the Thames."

In an instant, all was confusion and turmoil, and it was with the
greatest difficulty that the King finally obtained a coherent statement
from his queen.

It seemed that when the Lady Maud had not returned to the palace with
Prince Richard at the proper time, the Queen had been notified and an
immediate search had been instituted--a search which did

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