The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 133

And then she recalled his little acts of thoughtful chivalry,
nay, almost tenderness, on the long night ride to Leicester.

What a strange contradiction of a man! She wondered if he would come
with lowered visor, for she was still curious to see the face that lay
behind the cold, steel mask. She would ask him this night to let her see
his face, or would that be cruel? For, did they not say that it was
from the very ugliness of it that he kept his helm closed to hide the
repulsive sight from the eyes of men!

As her thoughts wandered back to her brief meeting with him two years
before, she wrote and dispatched her reply to Norman of Torn.

In the great hall that night as the King's party sat at supper, Philip
of France, addressing Henry, said:

"And who thinkest thou, My Lord King, rode by my side to Battel today,
that I might not be set upon by knaves upon the highway?"

"Some of our good friends from Kent?" asked the King.

"Nay, it was a man upon whose head Your Majesty has placed a price,
Norman of Torn; and if all of your English highwaymen be as courteous
and pleasant gentlemen as he, I shall ride always alone and unarmed
through your realm that I may add to my list of pleasant acquaintances."

"The Devil of Torn?" asked Henry, incredulously. "Some one be hoaxing
you."

"Nay, Your Majesty, I think not," replied Philip, "for he was indeed a
grim and mighty man, and at his back rode as ferocious and awe-inspiring
a pack as ever I beheld outside a prison; fully a thousand strong they
rode. They be camped not far without the city now."

"My Lord," said Henry, turning to Simon de Montfort, "be it not time
that England were rid of this devil's spawn and his hellish brood?
Though I presume," he added, a sarcastic sneer upon his lip, "that it
may prove embarrassing for My Lord Earl of Leicester to turn upon his
companion in arms."

"I owe him nothing," returned the Earl haughtily, "by his own word."

"You owe him victory at Lewes," snapped the King. "It were indeed a
sad commentary upon the sincerity of our loyalty-professing lieges
who turned their arms against our royal person, 'to save him from the
treachery of his false advisers,' that they called upon a cutthroat
outlaw with a price upon his head to aid them in their 'righteous
cause'."

"My Lord King," cried De Montfort, flushing with anger, "I called not
upon this fellow, nor did I know he

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