The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 50

helm, he was for the first time anxious himself to hide his face
from the sight of men. Not from fear, for he knew not fear, but from
some inward impulse which he did not attempt to fathom.




CHAPTER VIII

As Norman of Torn rode out from the castle of De Stutevill, Father
Claude dismounted from his sleek donkey within the ballium of Torn. The
austere stronghold, notwithstanding its repellent exterior and unsavory
reputation, always extended a warm welcome to the kindly, genial priest;
not alone because of the deep friendship which the master of Torn felt
for the good father, but through the personal charm, and lovableness of
the holy man's nature, which shone alike on saint and sinner.

It was doubtless due to his unremitting labors with the youthful Norman,
during the period that the boy's character was most amenable to strong
impressions, that the policy of the mighty outlaw was in many respects
pure and lofty. It was this same influence, though, which won for Father
Claude his only enemy in Torn; the little, grim, gray, old man whose
sole aim in life seemed to have been to smother every finer instinct of
chivalry and manhood in the boy, to whose training he had devoted the
past nineteen years of his life.

As Father Claude climbed down from his donkey--fat people do not
"dismount"--a half dozen young squires ran forward to assist him, and to
lead the animal to the stables.

The good priest called each of his willing helpers by name, asking a
question here, passing a merry joke there with the ease and familiarity
that bespoke mutual affection and old acquaintance.

As he passed in through the great gate, the men-at-arms threw him
laughing, though respectful, welcomes and within the great court,
beautified with smooth lawn, beds of gorgeous plants, fountains, statues
and small shrubs and bushes, he came upon the giant, Red Shandy, now the
principal lieutenant of Norman of Torn.

"Good morrow, Saint Claude!" cried the burly ruffian. "Hast come to save
our souls, or damn us? What manner of sacrilege have we committed now,
or have we merited the blessings of Holy Church? Dost come to scold, or
praise?"

"Neither, thou unregenerate villain," cried the priest, laughing.
"Though methinks ye merit chiding for the grievous poor courtesy with
which thou didst treat the great Bishop of Norwich the past week."

"Tut, tut, Father," replied Red Shandy. "We did but aid him to adhere
more closely to the injunctions and precepts of Him whose servant and
disciple he claims to be. Were it not better for an Archbishop of His
Church to walk

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