The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 141

with their
ladies.

There was no hiding now, and no escape; for run he would not, even had
there been where to run. Slowly, he backed away from the door toward a
corner where, with his back against a wall and a table at his right,
he might die as he had lived, fighting; for Norman of Torn knew that he
could hope for no quarter from the men who had him cornered there like a
great bear in a trap.

With an army at their call, it were an easy thing to take a lone man,
even though that man were the Devil of Torn.

The King and De Montfort had now crossed the smaller apartment and were
within the room where the outlaw stood at bay.

At the far side, the group of royal and noble women stood huddled
together, while behind De Montfort and the King pushed twenty gentlemen
and as many men-at-arms.

"What dost thou here, Norman of Torn?" cried De Montfort, angrily.
"Where be my daughter, Bertrade?"

"I be here, My Lord Earl, to attend to mine own affairs," replied Norman
of Torn, "which be the affair of no other man. As to your daughter: I
know nothing of her whereabouts. What should she have to do with the
Devil of Torn, My Lord?"

De Montfort turned toward the little gray man.

"He lies," shouted he. "Her kisses be yet wet upon his lips."

Norman of Torn looked at the speaker and, beneath the visor that was now
partly raised, he saw the features of the man whom, for twenty years, he
had called father.

He had never expected love from this hard old man, but treachery and
harm from him? No, he could not believe it. One of them must have gone
mad. But why Flory's armor and where was the faithful Flory?

"Father!" he ejaculated, "leadest thou the hated English King against
thine own son?"

"Thou be no son of mine, Norman of Torn," retorted the old man. "Thy
days of usefulness to me be past. Tonight thou serve me best swinging
from a wooden gibbet. Take him, My Lord Earl; they say there be a good
strong gibbet in the courtyard below."

"Wilt surrender, Norman of Torn?" cried De Montfort.

"Yes," was the reply, "when this floor be ankle deep in English blood
and my heart has ceased to beat, then will I surrender."

"Come, come," cried the King. "Let your men take the dog, De Montfort!"

"Have at him, then," ordered the Earl, turning toward the waiting
men-at-arms, none of whom seemed overly anxious to advance upon the
doomed outlaw.

But an officer

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