The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 47

boon once
granted shall be always kept."

Quick to reach decisions and as quick to act, Norman of Torn decided
that he liked this girl and that he wished her friendship more than any
other thing he knew of. And wishing it, he determined to win it by any
means that accorded with his standard of honor; an honor which in many
respects was higher than that of the nobles of his time.

They reached the castle of De Stutevill late in the afternoon, and
there, Norman of Torn was graciously welcomed and urged to accept the
Baron's hospitality overnight.

The grim humor of the situation was too much for the outlaw, and, when
added to his new desire to be in the company of Bertrade de Montfort, he
made no effort to resist, but hastened to accept the warm welcome.

At the long table upon which the evening meal was spread sat the entire
household of the Baron, and here and there among the men were evidences
of painful wounds but barely healed, while the host himself still wore
his sword arm in a sling.

"We have been through grievous times," said Sir John, noticing that his
guest was glancing at the various evidences of conflict. "That fiend,
Norman the Devil, with his filthy pack of cut-throats, besieged us for
ten days, and then took the castle by storm and sacked it. Life is no
longer safe in England with the King spending his time and money with
foreign favorites and buying alien soldiery to fight against his own
barons, instead of insuring the peace and protection which is the right
of every Englishman at home.

"But," he continued, "this outlaw devil will come to the end of a short
halter when once our civil strife is settled, for the barons themselves
have decided upon an expedition against him, if the King will not subdue
him."

"An' he may send the barons naked home as he did the King's soldiers,"
laughed Bertrade de Montfort. "I should like to see this fellow; what
may he look like--from the appearance of yourself, Sir John, and many of
your men-at-arms, there should be no few here but have met him."

"Not once did he raise his visor while he was among us," replied the
Baron, "but there are those who claim they had a brief glimpse of him
and that he is of horrid countenance, wearing a great yellow beard and
having one eye gone, and a mighty red scar from his forehead to his
chin."

"A fearful apparition," murmured Norman of Torn. "No wonder he keeps his
helm closed."

"But such

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