The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 79

say it till I come again.
You know nothing of me, you do not know even who I be; but when next I
come, I promise that ye shall know as much of me as I myself know, and
then, Bertrade, my Bertrade, if you can then say, 'I love you' no power
on earth, or in heaven above, or hell below shall keep you from being
mine!"

"I will wait, Roger, for I believe in you and trust you. I do not
understand, but I know that you must have some good reason, though
it all seems very strange to me. If I, a De Montfort, am willing to
acknowledge my love for any man, there can be no reason why I should
not do so, unless," and she started at the sudden thought, wide-eyed and
paling, "unless there be another woman, a--a--wife?"

"There is no other woman, Bertrade," said Norman of Torn. "I have
no wife; nor within the limits of my memory have my lips ever before
touched the lips of another, for I do not remember my mother."

She sighed a happy little sigh of relief, and laughing lightly, said:

"It is some old woman's bugaboo that you are haling out of a dark corner
of your imagination to frighten yourself with. I do not fear, since I
know that you must be all good. There be no line of vice or deception
upon your face and you are very brave. So brave and noble a man, Roger,
has a heart of pure gold."

"Don't," he said, bitterly. "I cannot endure it. Wait until I come again
and then, oh my flower of all England, if you have it in your heart
to speak as you are speaking now, the sun of my happiness will be at
zenith. Then, but not before, shall I speak to the Earl, thy father.
Farewell, Bertrade, in a few days I return."

"If you would speak to the Earl on such a subject, you insolent young
puppy, you may save your breath," thundered an angry voice, and Simon de
Montfort strode, scowling, into the room.

The girl paled, but not from fear of her father, for the fighting blood
of the De Montforts was as strong in her as in her sire. She faced
him with as brave and resolute a face as did the young man, who turned
slowly, fixing De Montfort with level gaze.

"I heard enough of your words as I was passing through the corridor,"
continued the latter, "to readily guess what had gone before. So it
is for this that

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