The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 135

outlaw.

"I am to wait, My Lord," replied the awestruck fellow, to whom the
service had been much the same had his mistress ordered him to Hell to
bear a message to the Devil.

Norman of Torn turned to a flickering torch and, breaking the seals,
read the message from the woman he loved. It was short and simple.

To Norman of Torn, from his friend always, Bertrade de Montfort.

Come with Giles. He has my instructions to lead thee secretly to where I
be.

Bertrade de Montfort.

Norman of Torn turned to where one of his captains squatted upon the
ground beside an object covered with a cloth.

"Come, Flory," he said, and then, turning to the waiting Giles, "lead
on."

They fell in single file: first the lackey, Giles, then Norman of Torn
and last the fellow whom he had addressed as Flory bearing the object
covered with a cloth. But it was not Flory who brought up the rear.
Flory lay dead in the shadow of a great oak within the camp; a thin
wound below his left shoulder blade marked the spot where a keen dagger
had found its way to his heart, and in his place walked the little grim,
gray, old man, bearing the object covered with a cloth. But none might
know the difference, for the little man wore the armor of Flory, and his
visor was drawn.

And so they came to a small gate which let into the castle wall where
the shadow of a great tower made the blackness of a black night doubly
black. Through many dim corridors, the lackey led them, and up winding
stairways until presently he stopped before a low door.

"Here," he said, "My Lord," and turning left them.

Norman of Torn touched the panel with the mailed knuckles of his right
hand, and a low voice from within whispered, "Enter."

Silently, he strode into the apartment, a small antechamber off a
large hall. At one end was an open hearth upon which logs were burning
brightly, while a single lamp aided in diffusing a soft glow about the
austere chamber. In the center of the room was a table, and at the sides
several benches.

Before the fire stood Bertrade de Montfort, and she was alone.

"Place your burden upon this table, Flory," said Norman of Torn. And
when it had been done: "You may go. Return to camp."

He did not address Bertrade de Montfort until the door had closed behind
the little grim, gray man who wore the armor of the dead Flory and
then Norman of Torn advanced to the table

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