The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 29

a table.

Paul of Merely was a brave man, but he shuddered at the thought of dying
uselessly at the hands of a mere boy. He would not call upon his friends
for aid, but presently, to his relief, Beauchamp sprang between them
with drawn sword, crying "Enough, gentlemen, enough! You have no
quarrel. Sheathe your swords."

But the boy's only response was, "En garde, cochon," and Beauchamp found
himself taking the center of the stage in the place of his friend. Nor
did the boy neglect Paul of Merely, but engaged them both in swordplay
that caused the eyes of Greystoke to bulge from their sockets.

So swiftly moved his flying blade that half the time it was a sheet of
gleaming light, and now he was driving home his thrusts and the smile
had frozen upon his lips--grim and stern.

Paul of Merely and Beauchamp were wounded in a dozen places when
Greystoke rushed to their aid, and then it was that a little, wiry, gray
man leaped agilely from the kitchen doorway, and with drawn sword took
his place beside the boy. It was now two against three and the three may
have guessed, though they never knew, that they were pitted against the
two greatest swordsmen in the world.

"To the death," cried the little gray man, "a mort, mon fils." Scarcely
had the words left his lips ere, as though it had but waited permission,
the boy's sword flashed into the heart of Paul of Merely, and a Saxon
gentleman was gathered to his fathers.

The old man engaged Greystoke now, and the boy turned his undivided
attention to Beauchamp. Both these men were considered excellent
swordsmen, but when Beauchamp heard again the little gray man's "a mort,
mon fils," he shuddered, and the little hairs at the nape of his neck
rose up, and his spine froze, for he knew that he had heard the sentence
of death passed upon him; for no mortal had yet lived who could vanquish
such a swordsman as he who now faced him.

As Beauchamp pitched forward across a bench, dead, the little old man
led Greystoke to where the boy awaited him.

"They are thy enemies, my son, and to thee belongs the pleasure of
revenge; a mort, mon fils."

Greystoke was determined to sell his life dearly, and he rushed the lad
as a great bull might rush a teasing dog, but the boy gave back not
an inch and, when Greystoke stopped, there was a foot of cold steel
protruding from his back.

Together they buried the knights at the bottom of the

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