The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 43

of Torn drove his blade
through the meshes of his adversary's mail, and the fellow, with a cry
of anguish, sank limply to the ground.

"Quick, Sir Knight!" cried the girl. "Mount and flee; yonder come his

And surely, as Norman of Torn turned in the direction from which he
had just come, there, racing toward him at full tilt, rode three
steel-armored men on their mighty horses.

"Ride, madam," cried Norman of Torn, "for fly I shall not, nor may I,
alone, unarmored, and on foot hope more than to momentarily delay these
three fellows, but in that time you should easily make your escape.
Their heavy-burdened animals could never o'ertake your fleet palfrey."

As he spoke, he took note for the first time of the young woman. That
she was a lady of quality was evidenced not alone by the richness of
her riding apparel and the trappings of her palfrey, but as well in her
noble and haughty demeanor and the proud expression of her beautiful

Although at this time nearly twenty years had passed over the head of
Norman of Torn, he was without knowledge or experience in the ways of
women, nor had he ever spoken with a female of quality or position. No
woman graced the castle of Torn nor had the boy, within his memory, ever
known a mother.

His attitude therefore was much the same toward women as it was toward
men, except that he had sworn always to protect them. Possibly, in a
way, he looked up to womankind, if it could be said that Norman of Torn
looked up to anything: God, man or devil--it being more his way to look
down upon all creatures whom he took the trouble to notice at all.

As his glance rested upon this woman, whom fate had destined to
alter the entire course of his life, Norman of Torn saw that she was
beautiful, and that she was of that class against whom he had preyed for
years with his band of outlaw cut-throats. Then he turned once more to
face her enemies with the strange inconsistency which had ever marked
his methods.

Tomorrow he might be assaulting the ramparts of her father's castle, but
today he was joyously offering to sacrifice his life for her--had she
been the daughter of a charcoal burner he would have done no less. It
was enough that she was a woman and in need of protection.

The three knights were now fairly upon him, and with fine disregard for
fair play, charged with couched spears the unarmored man on foot. But as

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