The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 57

of whom his guest
might be. It was the little armored man who was speaking.

"Is it not enough that I offer to aid you, Sir Peter," he said, "that
you must have my reasons? Let it go that my hate of Leicester be the
passion which moves me. Thou failed in thy attempt to capture the
maiden; give me ten knights and I will bring her to you."

"How knowest thou she rides out tomorrow for her father's castle?" asked
Peter of Colfax.

"That again be no concern of thine, my friend, but I do know it, and, if
thou wouldst have her, be quick, for we should ride out tonight that we
may take our positions by the highway in ample time tomorrow."

Still Peter of Colfax hesitated, he feared this might be a ruse of
Leicester's to catch him in some trap. He did not know his guest--the
fellow might want the girl for himself and be taking this method of
obtaining the necessary assistance to capture her.

"Come," said the little, armored man irritably. "I cannot bide here
forever. Make up thy mind; it be nothing to me other than my revenge,
and if thou wilst not do it, I shall hire the necessary ruffians and
then not even thou shalt see Bertrade de Montfort more."

This last threat decided the Baron.

"It is agreed," he said. "The men shall ride out with you in half an
hour. Wait below in the courtyard."

When the little man had left the apartment, Peter of Colfax summoned his
squire whom he had send to him at once one of his faithful henchmen.

"Guy," said Peter of Colfax, as the man entered, "ye made a rare fizzle
of a piece of business some weeks ago. Ye wot of which I speak?"

"Yes, My Lord."

"It chances that on the morrow ye may have opportunity to retrieve
thy blunder. Ride out with ten men where the stranger who waits in the
courtyard below shall lead ye, and come not back without that which ye
lost to a handful of men before. You understand?"

"Yes, My Lord!"

"And, Guy, I half mistrust this fellow who hath offered to assist us.
At the first sign of treachery, fall upon him with all thy men and slay
him. Tell the others that these be my orders."

"Yes, My Lord. When do we ride?"

"At once. You may go."

The morning that Bertrade de Montfort had chosen to return to her
father's castle dawned gray and threatening. In vain did Mary de
Stutevill plead with her friend to give up the idea of

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