The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 52

he donned his
armor, while the girl waited without, was that I should now behold the
falcon guarding the dove. Hast he not returned?"

"No," said the old man, "and doubtless his adventure is of a nature
in line with thy puerile and effeminate teachings. Had he followed my
training, without thy accurst priestly interference, he had made an
iron-barred nest in Torn for many of the doves of thy damned English
nobility. An' thou leave him not alone, he will soon be seeking service
in the household of the King."

"Where, perchance, he might be more at home than here," said the priest
quietly.

"Why say you that?" snapped the little old man, eyeing Father Claude
narrowly.

"Oh," laughed the priest, "because he whose power and mien be even more
kingly than the King's would rightly grace the royal palace," but he had
not failed to note the perturbation his remark had caused, nor did his
off-hand reply entirely deceive the old man.

At this juncture, a squire entered to say that Shandy's presence was
required at the gates, and that worthy, with a sorrowing and regretful
glance at the unemptied flagon, left the room.

For a few moments, the two men sat in meditative silence, which was
presently broken by the old man of Torn.

"Priest," he said, "thy ways with my son are, as you know, not to my
liking. It were needless that he should have wasted so much precious
time from swordplay to learn the useless art of letters. Of what benefit
may a knowledge of Latin be to one whose doom looms large before him. It
may be years and again it may be but months, but as sure as there be a
devil in hell, Norman of Torn will swing from a king's gibbet. And thou
knowst it, and he too, as well as I. The things which thou hast taught
him be above his station, and the hopes and ambitions they inspire will
but make his end the bitterer for him. Of late I have noted that he
rides upon the highway with less enthusiasm than was his wont, but he
has gone too far ever to go back now; nor is there where to go back to.
What has he ever been other than outcast and outlaw? What hopes could
you have engendered in his breast greater than to be hated and feared
among his blood enemies?"

"I knowst not thy reasons, old man," replied the priest, "for devoting
thy life to the ruining of his, and what I guess at be such as I dare
not voice; but

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Page 13
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" ***** The following changes have been made: PAGE LINE ORIGINAL CHANGED TO 17 17 merks marks 554 ertswhile erstwhile 591 so so do so 90 26 beats beasts 934 presntly presently 124 20 rescurer rescuer 171 27 walls.