The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 49

away
from you. You shall see me again, and at the castle of your father,
Simon de Montfort, in Leicester. Provided," he added, "that you will
welcome me there."

"I shall always welcome you, wherever I may be, Roger de Conde," replied
the girl.

"Remember that promise," he said smiling. "Some day you may be glad to
repudiate it."

"Never," she insisted, and a light that shone in her eyes as she said it
would have meant much to a man better versed in the ways of women than
was Norman of Torn.

"I hope not," he said gravely. "I cannot tell you, being but poorly
trained in courtly ways, what I should like to tell you, that you
might know how much your friendship means to me. Goodbye, Bertrade de
Montfort," and he bent to one knee, as he raised her fingers to his
lips.

As he passed over the drawbridge and down toward the highroad a few
minutes later on his way back to Torn, he turned for one last look at
the castle and there, in an embrasure in the south tower, stood a
young woman who raised her hand to wave, and then, as though by sudden
impulse, threw a kiss after the departing knight, only to disappear from
the embrasure with the act.

As Norman of Torn rode back to his grim castle in the hills of Derby, he
had much food for thought upon the way. Never till now had he realized
what might lie in another manner of life, and he felt a twinge of
bitterness toward the hard, old man whom he called father, and whose
teachings from the boy's earliest childhood had guided him in the ways
that had cut him off completely from the society of other men, except
the wild horde of outlaws, ruffians and adventurers that rode beneath
the grisly banner of the young chief of Torn.

Only in an ill-defined, nebulous way did he feel that it was the girl
who had come into his life that caused him for the first time to feel
shame for his past deeds. He did not know the meaning of love, and so he
could not know that he loved Bertrade de Montfort.

And another thought which now filled his mind was the fact of his
strange likeness to the Crown Prince of England. This, together with the
words of Father Claude, puzzled him sorely. What might it mean? Was it a
heinous offence to own an accidental likeness to a king's son?

But now that he felt he had solved the reason that he rode always with
closed

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