The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 8

to learn the whereabouts of the old woman and the child,
thy sister and her son you tell me they be, who you are so anxious to
hide away in old Til's garret. So it be well for you, my Lord, to pay
old Til well and add a few guilders for the peace of her tongue if you
would that your prisoner find peace in old Til's house."

"Fetch me the bundle, hag," replied De Vac, "and you shall have gold
against a final settlement; more even than we bargained for if all goes
well and thou holdest thy vile tongue."

But the old woman's threats had already caused De Vac a feeling of
uneasiness, which would have been reflected to an exaggerated degree in
the old woman had she known the determination her words had caused in
the mind of the old master of fence.

His venture was far too serious, and the results of exposure too
fraught with danger, to permit of his taking any chances with a disloyal
fellow-conspirator. True, he had not even hinted at the enormity of the
plot in which he was involving the old woman, but, as she had said, his
stern commands for secrecy had told enough to arouse her suspicions, and
with them her curiosity and cupidity. So it was that old Til might well
have quailed in her tattered sandals had she but even vaguely guessed
the thoughts which passed in De Vac's mind; but the extra gold pieces
he dropped into her withered palm as she delivered the bundle to him,
together with the promise of more, quite effectually won her loyalty and
her silence for the time being.

Slipping the key into the pocket of his tunic and covering the bundle
with his long surcoat, De Vac stepped out into the darkness of the alley
and hastened toward the dock.

Beneath the planks he found a skiff which he had moored there earlier
in the evening, and underneath one of the thwarts he hid the bundle.
Then, casting off, he rowed slowly up the Thames until, below the palace
walls, he moored near to the little postern gate which let into the
lower end of the garden.

Hiding the skiff as best he could in some tangled bushes which grew to
the water's edge, set there by order of the King to add to the beauty of
the aspect from the river side, De Vac crept warily to the postern and,
unchallenged, entered and sought his apartments in the palace.

The next day, he returned the original key to Brus, telling the

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