The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 69

of the cavalcade, which strung out behind him in a long column.
Above his gray steel armor, a falcon's wing rose from his crest. It was
the insignia which always marked him to his men in the midst of battle.
Where it waved might always be found the fighting and the honors, and
about it they were wont to rally.

Beside Norman of Torn rode the grim, gray, old man, silent and taciturn;
nursing his deep hatred in the depths of his malign brain.

At the head of their respective companies rode the five captains: Red
Shandy; John Flory; Edwild the Serf; Emilio, Count de Gropello of Italy;
and Sieur Ralph de la Campnee, of France.

The hamlets and huts which they passed in the morning and early
afternoon brought forth men, women and children to cheer and wave
God-speed to them; but as they passed farther from the vicinity of Torn,
where the black falcon wing was known more by the ferocity of its
name than by the kindly deeds of the great outlaw to the lowly of his
neighborhood, they saw only closed and barred doors with an occasional
frightened face peering from a tiny window.

It was midnight ere they sighted the black towers of Colfax silhouetted
against the starry sky. Drawing his men into the shadows of the forest
a half mile from the castle, Norman of Torn rode forward with Shandy
and some fifty men to a point as close as they could come without being
observed. Here they dismounted and Norman of Torn crept stealthily
forward alone.

Taking advantage of every cover, he approached to the very shadows of
the great gate without being detected. In the castle, a light shone
dimly from the windows of the great hall, but no other sign of life was
apparent. To his intense surprise, Norman of Torn found the drawbridge
lowered and no sign of watchmen at the gate or upon the walls.

As he had sacked this castle some two years since, he was familiar with
its internal plan, and so he knew that through the scullery he could
reach a small antechamber above, which let directly into the great hall.

And so it happened that, as Peter of Colfax wheeled toward the door of
the little room, he stopped short in terror, for there before him stood
a strange knight in armor, with lowered visor and drawn sword. The girl
saw him too, and a look of hope and renewed courage overspread her face.

"Draw!" commanded a low voice in English, "unless you prefer to pray,
for you are about to

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