The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 67

words, and we cannot resort to arms, for you
have us entirely in your power. Name your price and it shall be paid,
only be quick and let me hence with my sister."

"What wild words be these, Henry de Montfort? Your sister! What mean
you?"

"Yes, my sister Bertrade, whom you stole upon the highroad two days
since, after murdering the knights of John de Stutevill who were
fetching her home from a visit upon the Baron's daughter. We know that
it was you for the foreheads of the dead men bore your devil's mark."

"Shandy!" roared Norman of Torn. "WHAT MEANS THIS? Who has been upon the
road, attacking women, in my absence? You were here and in charge during
my visit to my Lord de Grey. As you value your hide, Shandy, the truth!"

"Since you laid me low in the hut of the good priest, I have served you
well, Norman of Torn. You should know my loyalty by this time and that
never have I lied to you. No man of yours has done this thing, nor is
it the first time that vile scoundrels have placed your mark upon their
dead that they might thus escape suspicion, themselves."

"Henry de Montfort," said Norman of Torn, turning to his visitor, "we of
Torn bear no savory name, that I know full well, but no man may say that
we unsheath our swords against women. Your sister is not here. I give
you the word of honor of Norman of Torn. Is it not enough?"

"They say you never lie," replied De Montfort. "Would to God I knew who
had done this thing, or which way to search for my sister."

Norman of Torn made no reply, his thoughts were in wild confusion, and
it was with difficulty that he hid the fierce anxiety of his heart or
his rage against the perpetrators of this dastardly act which tore his
whole being.

In silence De Montfort turned and left, nor had his party scarce passed
the drawbridge ere the castle of Torn was filled with hurrying men and
the noise and uproar of a sudden call to arms.

Some thirty minutes later, five hundred iron-clad horses carried their
mailed riders beneath the portcullis of the grim pile, and Norman the
Devil, riding at their head, spurred rapidly in the direction of the
castle of Peter of Colfax.

The great troop, winding down the rocky trail from Torn's buttressed
gates, presented a picture of wild barbaric splendor.

The armor of the men was of every style and metal from the ancient
banded mail of

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