The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 13

dense bushes.

De Vac did not dare remain in this retreat until dark, as he had first
intended. Instead, he drew a dingy, ragged dress from the bundle beneath
the thwart and in this disguised himself as an old woman, drawing a
cotton wimple low over his head and forehead to hide his short hair.
Concealing the child beneath the other articles of clothing, he pushed
off from the bank, and, rowing close to the shore, hastened down the
Thames toward the old dock where, the previous night, he had concealed
his skiff. He reached his destination unnoticed, and, running in beneath
the dock, worked the boat far into the dark recess of the cave-like
retreat.

Here he determined to hide until darkness had fallen, for he knew that
the search would be on for the little lost Prince at any moment, and
that none might traverse the streets of London without being subject to
the closest scrutiny.

Taking advantage of the forced wait, De Vac undressed the Prince and
clothed him in other garments, which had been wrapped in the bundle
hidden beneath the thwart; a little red cotton tunic with hose to match,
a black doublet and a tiny leather jerkin and leather cap.

The discarded clothing of the Prince he wrapped about a huge stone torn
from the disintegrating masonry of the river wall, and consigned the
bundle to the voiceless river.

The Prince had by now regained some of his former assurance and,
finding that De Vac seemed not to intend harming him, the little fellow
commenced questioning his grim companion, his childish wonder at this
strange adventure getting the better of his former apprehension.

"What do we here, Sir Jules?" he asked. "Take me back to the King's, my
father's palace. I like not this dark hole nor the strange garments you
have placed upon me."

"Silence, boy!" commanded the old man. "Sir Jules be dead, nor are you
a king's son. Remember these two things well, nor ever again let me hear
you speak the name Sir Jules, or call yourself a prince."

The boy went silent, again cowed by the fierce tone of his captor.
Presently he began to whimper, for he was tired and hungry and
frightened--just a poor little baby, helpless and hopeless in the hands
of this cruel enemy--all his royalty as nothing, all gone with the
silken finery which lay in the thick mud at the bottom of the Thames,
and presently he dropped into a fitful sleep in the bottom of the skiff.

When darkness had settled, De Vac pushed the skiff outward to the
side of

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