The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 76

good than bad. Would that he were other
than he be, for his arm would wield a heavy sword against the enemies of
England, an he could be persuaded to our cause."

"Who knows," said Henry de Montfort, "but that an offer of friendship
might have won him to a better life. It seemed that in his speech was a
note of wistfulness. I wish, father, that we had taken his hand."




CHAPTER XI

Several days after Norman of Torn's visit to the castle of Leicester,
a young knight appeared before the Earl's gates demanding admittance to
have speech with Simon de Montfort. The Earl received him, and as the
young man entered his presence, Simon de Montfort, sprang to his feet in
astonishment.

"My Lord Prince," he cried. "What do ye here, and alone?"

The young man smiled.

"I be no prince, My Lord," he said, "though some have said that I favor
the King's son. I be Roger de Conde, whom it may have pleased your
gracious daughter to mention. I have come to pay homage to Bertrade de
Montfort."

"Ah," said De Montfort, rising to greet the young knight cordially, "an
you be that Roger de Conde who rescued my daughter from the fellows of
Peter of Colfax, the arms of the De Montforts are open to you.

"Bertrade has had your name upon her tongue many times since her return.
She will be glad indeed to receive you, as is her father. She has told
us of your valiant espousal of her cause, and the thanks of her brothers
and mother await you, Roger de Conde.

"She also told us of your strange likeness to Prince Edward, but until I
saw you, I could not believe two men could be born of different mothers
and yet be so identical. Come, we will seek out my daughter and her
mother."

De Montfort led the young man to a small chamber where they were greeted
by Princess Eleanor, his wife, and by Bertrade de Montfort. The girl was
frankly glad to see him once more and laughingly chide him because he
had allowed another to usurp his prerogative and rescue her from Peter
of Colfax.

"And to think," she cried, "that it should have been Norman of Torn who
fulfilled your duties for you. But he did not capture Sir Peter's head,
my friend; that is still at large to be brought to me upon a golden
dish."

"I have not forgotten, Lady Bertrade," said Roger de Conde. "Peter of
Colfax will return."

The girl glanced at him quickly.

"The very words of the Outlaw of Torn," she said.

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