The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 127

hostile appearance of their visitors, but before a blow
could be struck, Norman of Torn, grasping his sword in his right hand,
raised his left aloft in a gesture for silence.

"Hold!" he cried, and, turning directly to Roger de Leybourn, "I have
no quarrel with thee, My Lord, but again I come for a guest within thy
halls. Methinks thou hast as bad taste in whom thou entertains as didst
thy fair lady."

"Who be ye, that thus rudely breaks in upon the peace of my castle, and
makes bold to insult my guests?" demanded Roger de Leybourn.

"Who be I! If you wait, you shall see my mark upon the forehead of yon
grinning baboon," replied the outlaw, pointing a mailed finger at one
who had been seated close to De Leybourn.

All eyes turned in the direction that the rigid finger of the outlaw
indicated, and there indeed was a fearful apparition of a man. With
livid face he stood, leaning for support against the table; his craven
knees wabbling beneath his fat carcass; while his lips were drawn apart
against his yellow teeth in a horrid grimace of awful fear.

"If you recognize me not, Sir Roger," said Norman of Torn, drily, "it is
evident that your honored guest hath a better memory."

At last the fear-struck man found his tongue, and, though his eyes never
left the menacing figure of the grim, iron-clad outlaw, he addressed the
master of Leybourn; shrieking in a high, awe-emasculated falsetto:

"Seize him! Kill him! Set your men upon him! Do you wish to live another
moment, draw and defend yourselves for he be the Devil of Torn, and
there be a great price upon his head.

"Oh, save me, save me! for he has come to kill me," he ended in a
pitiful wail.

The Devil of Torn! How that name froze the hearts of the assembled
guests.

The Devil of Torn! Slowly the men standing there at the board of Sir
Roger de Leybourn grasped the full purport of that awful name.

Tense silence for a moment held the room in the stillness of a
sepulchre, and then a woman shrieked, and fell prone across the table.
She had seen the mark of the Devil of Torn upon the dead brow of her
mate.

And then Roger de Leybourn spoke:

"Norman of Torn, but once before have you entered within the walls of
Leybourn, and then you did, in the service of another, a great service
for the house of Leybourn; and you stayed the night, an honored guest.
But a moment since, you said that you

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