The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 72

sun marks noon. And you will be
safer under the protection of the hated Devil of Torn than with your own
mighty father, or your royal uncle."

"It is said that you never lie, Norman of Torn," spoke the girl, "and I
believe you, but tell me why you thus befriend a De Montfort."

"It is not for love of your father or your brothers, nor yet hatred of
Peter of Colfax, nor neither for any reward whatsoever. It pleases me to
do as I do, that is all. Come."

He led her in silence to the courtyard and across the lowered
drawbridge, to where they soon discovered a group of horsemen, and in
answer to a low challenge from Shandy, Norman of Torn replied that it
was he.

"Take a dozen men, Shandy, and search yon hellhole. Bring out to me,
alive, Peter of Colfax, and My Lady's cloak and a palfrey--and Shandy,
when all is done as I say, you may apply the torch! But no looting,
Shandy."

Shandy looked in surprise upon his leader, for the torch had never been
a weapon of Norman of Torn, while loot, if not always the prime object
of his many raids, was at least a very important consideration.

The outlaw noticed the surprised hesitation of his faithful subaltern
and signing him to listen, said:

"Red Shandy, Norman of Torn has fought and sacked and pillaged for
the love of it, and for a principle which was at best but a vague
generality. Tonight we ride to redress a wrong done to My Lady Bertrade
de Montfort, and that, Shandy, is a different matter. The torch, Shandy,
from tower to scullery, but in the service of My Lady, no looting."

"Yes, My Lord," answered Shandy, and departed with his little
detachment.

In a half hour he returned with a dozen prisoners, but no Peter of
Colfax.

"He has flown, My Lord," the big fellow reported, and indeed it was
true. Peter of Colfax had passed through the vaults beneath his castle
and, by a long subterranean passage, had reached the quarters of some
priests without the lines of Norman of Torn. By this time, he was
several miles on his way to the coast and France; for he had recognized
the swordsmanship of the outlaw, and did not care to remain in England
and face the wrath of both Norman of Torn and Simon de Montfort.

"He will return," was the outlaw's only comment, when he had been fully
convinced that the Baron had escaped.

They watched until the castle had burst into flames in a dozen places,
the prisoners huddled

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