The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 75

Then she explained
briefly to her astonished father and brothers what had befallen during
the past few days.

Henry de Montfort, with the fine chivalry that marked him, was the first
to step forward with outstretched hand to thank Norman of Torn, and to
ask his pardon for his rude words and hostile act.

The outlaw but held up his open palm, as he said,

"Let the De Montforts think well ere they take the hand of Norman of
Torn. I give not my hand except in friendship, and not for a passing
moment; but for life. I appreciate your present feelings of gratitude,
but let them not blind you to the fact that I am still Norman the Devil,
and that you have seen my mark upon the brows of your dead. I would
gladly have your friendship, but I wish it for the man, Norman of
Torn, with all his faults, as well as what virtues you may think him to
possess."

"You are right, sir," said the Earl, "you have our gratitude and our
thanks for the service you have rendered the house of Montfort, and ever
during our lives you may command our favors. I admire your bravery and
your candor, but while you continue the Outlaw of Torn, you may not
break bread at the table of De Montfort as a friend would have the right
to do."

"Your speech is that of a wise and careful man," said Norman of Torn
quietly. "I go, but remember that from this day, I have no quarrel with
the House of Simon de Montfort, and that should you need my arms, they
are at your service, a thousand strong. Goodbye." But as he turned to
go, Bertrade de Montfort confronted him with outstretched hand.

"You must take my hand in friendship," she said, "for, to my dying day,
I must ever bless the name of Norman of Torn because of the horror from
which he has rescued me."

He took the little fingers in his mailed hand, and bending upon one knee
raised them to his lips.

"To no other--woman, man, king, God, or devil--has Norman of Torn bent
the knee. If ever you need him, My Lady Bertrade, remember that his
services are yours for the asking."

And turning, he mounted and rode in silence from the courtyard of
the castle of Leicester. Without a backward glance, and with his five
hundred men at his back, Norman of Torn disappeared beyond a turning in
the roadway.

"A strange man," said Simon de Montfort, "both good and bad, but from
today, I shall ever believe more

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