The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 38

of rank
or house. More powerful and richer than many nobles of the court, he was
without rank or other title than that of outlaw and he seemed to assume
what in reality he held in little esteem.

He wore armor because his old guardian had urged him to do so, and not
because he craved the protection it afforded. And, for the same cause,
he rode always with lowered visor, though he could never prevail upon
the old man to explain the reason which necessitated this precaution.

"It is enough that I tell you, my son," the old fellow was wont to say,
"that for your own good as well as mine, you must not show your face to
your enemies until I so direct. The time will come and soon now, I hope,
when you shall uncover your countenance to all England."

The young man gave the matter but little thought, usually passing it off
as the foolish whim of an old dotard; but he humored it nevertheless.

Behind him, as he rode down the steep declivity that day, loomed a very
different Torn from that which he had approached sixteen years before,
when, as a little boy he had ridden through the darkening shadows of
the night, perched upon a great horse behind the little old woman, whose
metamorphosis to the little grim, gray, old man of Torn their advent to
the castle had marked.

Today the great, frowning pile loomed larger and more imposing than ever
in the most resplendent days of its past grandeur. The original keep was
there with its huge, buttressed Saxon towers whose mighty fifteen foot
walls were pierced with stairways and vaulted chambers, lighted by
embrasures which, mere slits in the outer periphery of the walls, spread
to larger dimensions within, some even attaining the area of small
triangular chambers.

The moat, widened and deepened, completely encircled three sides of the
castle, running between the inner and outer walls, which were set at
intervals with small projecting towers so pierced that a flanking fire
from long bows, cross bows and javelins might be directed against a
scaling party.

The fourth side of the walled enclosure overhung a high precipice, which
natural protection rendered towers unnecessary upon this side.

The main gateway of the castle looked toward the west and from it ran
the tortuous and rocky trail, down through the mountains toward the
valley below. The aspect from the great gate was one of quiet and rugged
beauty. A short stretch of barren downs in the foreground only sparsely
studded with an occasional gnarled oak gave an unobstructed view

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Text Comparison with Thuvia, Maid of Mars

Page 3
Thus Thuvia of Ptarth found a way out of a dilemma, escaping the necessity of placing her father's royal guest under forcible restraint, and at the same time separating the two princes, who otherwise would have been at each other's throat the moment she and the guard had departed.
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