The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 21

must be very cruel and hard upon the poor. He had seen
them in all their sorrow and misery and poverty--stretching a long,
scattering line all the way from London town. Their bent backs, their
poor thin bodies and their hopeless, sorrowful faces attesting the weary
wretchedness of their existence.

"Be no one happy in all the world?" he once broke out to the old woman.

"Only he who wields the mightiest sword," responded the old woman. "You
have seen, my son, that all Englishmen are beasts. They set upon and
kill one another for little provocation or for no provocation at all.
When thou shalt be older, thou shalt go forth and kill them all for
unless thou kill them, they will kill thee."

At length, after tiresome days upon the road, they came to a little
hamlet in the hills. Here the donkeys were disposed of and a great horse
purchased, upon which the two rode far up into a rough and uninviting
country away from the beaten track, until late one evening they
approached a ruined castle.

The frowning walls towered high against the moonlit sky beyond, and
where a portion of the roof had fallen in, the cold moon, shining
through the narrow unglazed windows, gave to the mighty pile the
likeness of a huge, many-eyed ogre crouching upon the flank of a
deserted world, for nowhere was there other sign of habitation.

Before this somber pile, the two dismounted. The little boy was filled
with awe and his childish imagination ran riot as they approached the
crumbling barbican on foot, leading the horse after them. From the dark
shadows of the ballium, they passed into the moonlit inner court. At the
far end the old woman found the ancient stables, and here, with decaying
planks, she penned the horse for the night, pouring a measure of oats
upon the floor for him from a bag which had hung across his rump.

Then she led the way into the dense shadows of the castle, lighting
their advance with a flickering pine knot. The old planking of the
floors, long unused, groaned and rattled beneath their approach. There
was a sudden scamper of clawed feet before them, and a red fox dashed by
in a frenzy of alarm toward the freedom of the outer night.

Presently they came to the great hall. The old woman pushed open the
great doors upon their creaking hinges and lit up dimly the mighty,
cavernous interior with the puny rays of their feeble torch. As they
stepped cautiously within, an impalpable dust arose in little spurts
from the

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the following changes to the text: PAGE LINE ORIGINAL CHANGED TO 10 12 of or 14 19 of animals life of animals 31 26 is arms his arms 37 14 above this above his 37 23 Bradley, Bradley 54 18 man man 57 14 and of Oo-oh of Oo-oh 62 18 spend spent 63 31 and mumbled the mumbled 64 9 things thing 80 30 east cast 104 16 proaching proached 106 30 cos-at-lu cos-ata-lu 126 17 not artistic not an artistic 126 25 close below hands close below 130 1 internals intervals 132 9 than .