The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 71

lighted cresset within the chamber. In an instant, all was
darkness. There was a rapid shuffling sound as of the scurrying of rats
and then the quiet of the tomb settled upon the great hall.

"Are you safe and unhurt, my Lady Bertrade?" asked a grave English voice
out of the darkness.

"Quite, Sir Knight," she replied, "and you?"

"Not a scratch, but where is our good friend the Baron?"

"He lay here upon the floor but a moment since, and carried a thin long
dagger in his hand. Have a care, Sir Knight, he may even now be upon

The knight did not answer, but she heard him moving boldly about the
room. Soon he had found another lamp and made a light. As its feeble
rays slowly penetrated the black gloom, the girl saw the bodies of
the three men-at-arms, the overturned table and lamp, and the visored
knight; but Peter of Colfax was gone.

The knight perceived his absence at the same time, but he only laughed a
low, grim laugh.

"He will not go far, My Lady Bertrade," he said.

"How know you my name?" she asked. "Who may you be? I do not recognize
your armor, and your breastplate bears no arms."

He did not answer at once and her heart rose in her breast as it filled
with the hope that her brave rescuer might be the same Roger de Conde
who had saved her from the hirelings of Peter of Colfax but a few short
weeks since. Surely it was the same straight and mighty figure, and
there was the marvelous swordplay as well. It must be he, and yet Roger
de Conde had spoken no English while this man spoke it well, though, it
was true, with a slight French accent.

"My Lady Bertrade, I be Norman of Torn," said the visored knight with
quiet dignity.

The girl's heart sank, and a feeling of cold fear crept through her. For
years that name had been the symbol of fierce cruelty, and mad hatred
against her kind. Little children were frightened into obedience by the
vaguest hint that the Devil of Torn would get them, and grown men had
come to whisper the name with grim, set lips.

"Norman of Torn!" she whispered. "May God have mercy on my soul!"

Beneath the visored helm, a wave of pain and sorrow surged across
the countenance of the outlaw, and a little shudder, as of a chill of
hopelessness, shook his giant frame.

"You need not fear, My Lady," he said sadly. "You shall be in your
father's castle of Leicester ere the

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Text Comparison with The Outlaw of Torn

Page 3
By her side walked a handsome boy of about three, clad, like his companion, in gay colors.
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For all the din of clashing blades and rattling armor, neither of the contestants had inflicted much damage, for the knight could neither force nor insinuate his point beyond the perfect guard of his unarmored foe, who, for his part, found difficulty in penetrating the other's armor.
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Norm--Roger de Conde asks permission of no man to do what he would do.
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His life had been a hard and lonely one.
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"Look! Behind you.
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A wave of melancholy passed over him, for the deserted aspect of the little flower-hedged cote seemed dismally prophetic of a near future without the beaming, jovial face of his friend and adviser.
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" "Who be ye, that thus rudely breaks in upon the peace of my castle, and makes bold to insult my guests?" demanded Roger de Leybourn.
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Keep thy cattle back, out of my way.
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They stood looking into each other's eyes with a strange fixity, for what seemed an eternity, before any dared to move; and then, as though they feared what they should see, they bent over the form of the Outlaw of Torn for the first time.
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reasons of clarity: "chid" to "chide" "sword play" to "swordplay" "subtile" to "subtle".