The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 68

the Saxon to the richly ornamented plate armor of Milan.
Gold and silver and precious stones set in plumed crest and breastplate
and shield, and even in the steel spiked chamfrons of the horses' head
armor showed the rich loot which had fallen to the portion of Norman of
Torn's wild raiders.

Fluttering pennons streamed from five hundred lance points, and the gray
banner of Torn, with the black falcon's wing, flew above each of the
five companies. The great linden wood shields of the men were covered
with gray leather and, in the upper right hand corner of each, was the
black falcon's wing. The surcoats of the riders were also uniform, being
of dark gray villosa faced with black wolf skin, so that notwithstanding
the richness of the armor and the horse trappings, there was a grim,
gray warlike appearance to these wild companies that comported well with
their reputation.

Recruited from all ranks of society and from every civilized country of
Europe, the great horde of Torn numbered in its ten companies serf and
noble; Britain, Saxon, Norman, Dane, German, Italian and French, Scot,
Pict and Irish.

Here birth caused no distinctions; the escaped serf, with the gall
marks of his brass collar still visible about his neck, rode shoulder to
shoulder with the outlawed scion of a noble house. The only requisites
for admission to the troop were willingness and ability to fight, and an
oath to obey the laws made by Norman of Torn.

The little army was divided into ten companies of one hundred men, each
company captained by a fighter of proven worth and ability.

Our old friends Red Shandy, and John and James Flory led the first three
companies, the remaining seven being under command of other seasoned
veterans of a thousand fights.

One Eye Kanty, owing to his early trade, held the always important
post of chief armorer, while Peter the Hermit, the last of the five
cut-throats whom Norman of Torn had bested that day, six years before,
in the hut of Father Claude, had become majordomo of the great castle of
Torn, which post included also the vital functions of quartermaster and
commissary.

The old man of Torn attended to the training of serf and squire in
the art of war, for it was ever necessary to fill the gaps made in the
companies, due to their constant encounters upon the highroad and their
battles at the taking of some feudal castle; in which they did not
always come off unscathed, though usually victorious.

Today, as they wound west across the valley, Norman of Torn rode at the
head

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