The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 70

die."

"Who be ye, varlet?" cried the Baron. "Ho, John! Ho, Guy! To the rescue,
quick!" he shrieked, and drawing his sword, he attempted to back quickly
toward the main doorway of the hall; but the man in armor was upon him
and forcing him to fight ere he had taken three steps.

It had been short shrift for Peter of Colfax that night had not John and
Guy and another of his henchmen rushed into the room with drawn swords.

"Ware! Sir Knight," cried the girl, as she saw the three knaves rushing
to the aid of their master.

Turning to meet their assault, the knight was forced to abandon the
terror-stricken Baron for an instant, and again he had made for the
doorway bent only on escape; but the girl had divined his intentions,
and running quickly to the entrance, she turned the great lock and threw
the key with all her might to the far corner of the hall. In an instant
she regretted her act, for she saw that where she might have reduced
her rescuer's opponents by at least one, she had now forced the cowardly
Baron to remain, and nothing fights more fiercely than a cornered rat.

The knight was holding his own splendidly with the three retainers, and
for an instant Bertrade de Montfort stood spell-bound by the exhibition
of swordsmanship she was witnessing.

Fighting the three alternately, in pairs and again all at the same
time, the silent knight, though weighted by his heavy armor, forced them
steadily back; his flashing blade seeming to weave a net of steel about
them. Suddenly his sword stopped just for an instant, stopped in the
heart of one of his opponents, and as the man lunged to the floor,
it was flashing again close to the breasts of the two remaining
men-at-arms.

Another went down less than ten seconds later, and then the girl's
attention was called to the face of the horrified Baron; Peter of Colfax
was moving--slowly and cautiously, he was creeping, from behind, toward
the visored knight, and in his raised hand flashed a sharp dagger.

For an instant, the girl stood frozen with horror, unable to move a
finger or to cry out; but only for an instant, and then, regaining
control of her muscles, she stooped quickly and, grasping a heavy
foot-stool, hurled it full at Peter of Colfax.

It struck him below the knees and toppled him to the floor just as the
knight's sword passed through the throat of his final antagonist.

As the Baron fell, he struck heavily upon a table which supported
the only

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