The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 56

five
knights were sacrificed than fifty, for either number would be but a
mouthful to that horrid horde of unhung murderers. No, Mary, I shall
start tomorrow and your good knights shall return the following day with
the best of word from me."

"If thou wilst, thou wilst," cried Mary petulantly. "Indeed it were
plain that thou be a De Montfort; that race whose historic bravery be
second only to their historic stubbornness."

Bertrade de Montfort laughed, and kissed her friend upon the cheek.

"Mayhap I shall find the brave Roger de Conde again upon the highroad
to protect me. Then indeed shall I send back your five knights, for of
a truth, his blade is more powerful than that of any ten men I ere saw
fight before."

"Methinks," said Mary, still peeved at her friend's determination to
leave on the morrow, "that should you meet the doughty Sir Roger all
unarmed, that still would you send back my father's knights."

Bertrade flushed, and then bit her lip as she felt the warm blood mount
to her cheek.

"Thou be a fool, Mary," she said.

Mary broke into a joyful, teasing laugh; hugely enjoying the
discomfiture of the admission the tell-tale flush proclaimed.

"Ah, I did but guess how thy heart and thy mind tended, Bertrade; but
now I seest that I divined all too truly. He be indeed good to look
upon, but what knowest thou of him?"

"Hush, Mary!" commanded Bertrade. "Thou know not what thou sayest. I
would not wipe my feet upon him, I care naught whatever for him, and
then--it has been three weeks since he rode out from Stutevill and no
word hath he sent."

"Oh, ho," cried the little plague, "so there lies the wind? My Lady
would not wipe her feet upon him, but she be sore vexed that he has sent
her no word. Mon Dieu, but thou hast strange notions, Bertrade."

"I will not talk with you, Mary," cried Bertrade, stamping her sandaled
foot, and with a toss of her pretty head she turned abruptly toward the
castle.

In a small chamber in the castle of Colfax two men sat at opposite sides
of a little table. The one, Peter of Colfax, was short and very stout.
His red, bloated face, bleary eyes and bulbous nose bespoke the manner
of his life; while his thick lips, the lower hanging large and flabby
over his receding chin, indicated the base passions to which his life
and been given. His companion was a little, grim, gray man but his suit
of armor and closed helm gave no hint to his host

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