The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 146

with a little moan she sank beside the body
of her second born, crying out:

"Oh Richard, my boy, my boy!" And as she bent still lower to kiss the
lily mark upon the left breast of the son she had not seen to know for
over twenty years, she paused, and with frantic haste she pressed her
ear to his breast.

"He lives!" she almost shrieked. "Quick, Henry, our son lives!"

Bertrade de Montfort had regained consciousness almost before Philip of
France had raised her from the floor, and she stood now, leaning on
his arm, watching with wide, questioning eyes the strange scene being
enacted at her feet.

Slowly, the lids of Norman of Torn lifted with returning consciousness.
Before him, on her knees in the blood spattered rushes of the floor,
knelt Eleanor, Queen of England, alternately chafing and kissing his
hands.

A sore wound indeed to have brought on such a wild delirium, thought the
Outlaw of Torn.

He felt his body, in a half sitting, half reclining position, resting
against one who knelt behind him, and as he lifted his head to see whom
it might be supporting him, he looked into the eyes of the King, upon
whose breast his head rested.

Strange vagaries of a disordered brain! Yes it must have been a very
terrible wound that the little old man of Torn had given him; but why
could he not dream that Bertrade de Montfort held him? And then his eyes
wandered about among the throng of ladies, nobles and soldiers standing
uncovered and with bowed heads about him. Presently he found her.

"Bertrade!" he whispered.

The girl came and knelt beside him, opposite the Queen.

"Bertrade, tell me thou art real; that thou at least be no dream."

"I be very real, dear heart," she answered, "and these others be real,
also. When thou art stronger, thou shalt understand the strange thing
that has happened. These who wert thine enemies, Norman of Torn, be thy
best friends now--that thou should know, so that thou may rest in peace
until thou be better."

He groped for her hand, and, finding it, closed his eyes with a faint
sigh.

They bore him to a cot in an apartment next the Queen's, and all that
night the mother and the promised wife of the Outlaw of Torn sat bathing
his fevered forehead. The King's chirurgeon was there also, while the
King and De Montfort paced the corridor without.

And it is ever thus; whether in hovel or palace; in the days of Moses,
or in the days that be ours; the lamb that has been

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